Wow, what a wild night across the NBA-osphere. Tons of injuries, lots of scrubs getting some burn, if I didn’t know better, I woulda though it was late March. But no! I guess we can start with that other JB as Jerryd Bayless moved into the starting line-up and lit up the Hawks for a season-high 29 Pts. Shooting 12-21, it was pretty ThrAGNOFfy for 29/2/2/1/0 with 5 treys. Why you avoid the 3-point specialists on draft day! Who knows what preppy-boy Brad Stevens is going to do next, and while getting the Pacers on Saturday isn’t a great matchup, home games vs. GS, BKN, then DET next week could be a 10 3PTM week for JB. And while he’s not as multi-cat as the real JB over here, we can all grab the band if we need some scoring. I’ll wear a headband as well for the moral support! Here’s what else went down on a very busy night of injuries and surprise games in the NBA:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh man! So many places to go with a title like that… Last night we had two virtually 100%-owned big men step back on the hardwood in Derrick Favors and Andrew Bogut. Let’s start first with Aussie Aussie Aussie who had his typical Oi Oi Oi multi-cat line for 4/7/4/1/1. Played 29 minutes which is very encouraging, but did foul out. The big man fouls were rough in this one! Both starting 4/5s combined for 10 fouls in Golden State at Detroit. Mark Jackson pre-game must’ve been like, “pretend you’re all Artest and the Pistons just threw a beer on you!” I remain high on Bogut for his multi-cat walkabouts. Then to Favors – who had been doing fantasy owners no Favors with his bum hip – but lit it up in his return last night for 8-9 FG (4-4 FT) 20/4/1/0/3 in 29 you-couldn’t-ask-for-better minutes. Hopefully his hip can hold up the rest of the season! And hopefully he doesn’t Favor too much on the other one. Womp womp. Worst joke of the year! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s finally here: All Star Weekend! It’s a shortened week, so you get a shortened article. Like New Years Eve, I’m getting hyped up to be let down, the most common experience in life. I’d like to say I’m optimistic for the weekend’s festivities, that the changes to the dunk competition will make the product exciting, but I’m not. Nevertheless, it’s all about expectation. Take your fantasy squad: If you’re like me, you enjoy having a player on your roster being named to the All-Star squad. From my perspective, it increases his value, even though we all know, that it really comes down to the numbers. But I have an expectation that players who have been named an All-Star will live up to that honour.
So now might be the time to buy an All-Star, who has the best part of the season (and his production) left, or to sell high on an All-Star who is overvalued. Understand that there are no steals here. You’ll pay (or receive) for every player listed below. That said, here are a few names to consider:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Man, that title seems all sorts of wrong… But what is right is Nikola Vucevic returned to action last night For a solid 16/10 dub-dub in only 20 minutes. Efficiency! Shot 6-12, 4-4 from the stripe and added a few steals. Very encouraging return for a guy people were dismissing since he had no timetable from the concussion. Concussions can really jack ya up, but hopefully you stayed true on your course to the playoffs and have a dynamic top-20ish big man. Of course the Magic now have lost value in other places, with Big Baby going 5/4/4 in 32 minutes, Arron Afflalo looking like the scrub I’ve said he was all year (still think his 20+ PPG is one of the most preposterous stats this year) and Tobias Harris temporarily moving to the bench. Although T Dawg isn’t Walking Dead (going 9/11/3/1/1 in 37 minutes), he shot like a stiff going 2-8. Afflalo is still a sell as soon as you can, Davis a drop, and hope you bought low on Vuc while there was a window open. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last night was a doozy. Flummoxing. I actually had to look up flummoxing to be sure it worked. And it does! But there are numerous things that aren’t working for the Kings, mainly Rudy Gay‘s Achilles and DeMarcus Cousins‘ ankle. Gay actually wasn’t “Leon” down in pain like DeMarcus after DMC fully rolled his ankle, but neither sounds like any sort of fun. With Cousins, the diagnosis is a “moderate sprain” and I gotta say, a big near 300-pounder putting all his weight on an ankle the turns 90 degrees the wrong way doesn’t sound moderate. Moderate maybe in the sense that the dude in 127 hours only had to “moderately” scratch his arm to get free! I’d expect at least a few weeks. But, “I’m not a doctor, I’m a pool man!” Then there’s Gay’s Achilles which you could see in his face he was in bad pain and exited pretty quick, albeit under his own power. We all saw Kobe Bryant limp off under his own power with the torn Achilles, so this one is definitely a hold-your-breath injury. The obvious immediate add in most formats is Derrick Williams, who I kinda disregarded when he was acquired, but now is in a “you-better-be-able-to-score-a-lot-because-we’ll-need-it” starting role. Solid 22/11/1 with three treys last night in 40 minutes of duty. Just added him in one league for the ice cold Terrence Ross for example. Ross is like, “hey don’t blame me, it’s this effin’ weather!” Yes – I narrate my fantasy teams. Someday soon I hope to put on a finger puppet show. Here’s what else I saw last night in a wild evening of fantasy action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ohhhhh Brad Stevens. You look like you’re 12 and coach like you’re… 12. But at least, unlike Larry Drew, his inconsistencies have been pretty centralized to the… center. I need to work on expanding my vocab! First there was the Vitor Faverani early (albeit very brief) breakout, then Kelly Olynyk got some starts, followed by a really nice run from Jared Sullinger. I at first brushed him off, but then had Yahoo highlights for a Celtics game and was really impressed. I liked how he saw the floor, played hard, a nice-looking shot, and just overall looked like a guy that would be a must-own. Then after some flagrant fouls and rough-n-tough play racking up the personals, Stevens threw him to the bench. From December 22nd to January 8th he was brutal and I had to jump ship as well. And of course right after that happens, he goes for 21/11 and 14/10 over the weekend, with a pair of treys in both. The first comment on Friday was asking about dropping Sullinger and I said “12 team with a solid squad I might hold, but if I had injuries or needed production now, he’s droppable. I think he is bad a few weeks, but gets back into the starting lineup.” That’s me quoting me! My timetable was off, turned out he was done being bad/underplayed, but I still had some faith. I think he needs to be owned in most leagues with double-double upside, a perimeter game, and I think the assists come back (only 1 in the past 4, but was at 2.3 dimes a game in December). Let’s all just hope Stevens doesn’t keep sullying fantasy hoops for us… Here’s what else I saw over the weekend (through tears of sadness after the refs rigged the 49ers a playoff win) in fantasy basketball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you recall back to last week, I remember talking up Jon Leuer as an interesting deep league play. Loved the out-of-position threes, the boarding, the all-around production. I said I would probably go after him in REL, and then Slim tells me he’s probably not bidding on him this week. So I figure, I can dangle a few bucks and if someone beats me to him so be it. But it shouldn’t have been you Slim!! He Leuered me in with scoffing and brush-off ness. Slim, you want to repay me for this horrific slight of hand? Trade him to me! I guess I should talk more about Leuer than rant… Just over 27 minutes last night for 16/12 with a three on 7-14 shooting. This now marks five straight games of 23:30+ minutes, averaging nearly a double-double a game on top of almost a three a game with a few blocks. He’s not going to turn into some superstar, but he’s a great stretch the court center, which fits Mike Conley trying to drive and dish. Sorry Kosta Koufos, but your outside shots are labradoodles! That term needs to be added to the glossary… I see Leuer continuing his PT as a double double threat while Marc Gasol is out, with a handful of threes, steals and blocks to help out deeper leagues. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ending up with a late-round pick in this year’s fantasy draft is like reaching the front of the line at McDonald’s and having the former computer analyst behind the counter tell you that they only have chicken sandwiches left.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Al Jeffersons and Carmelo Anthonys, but I came here for the Big Macs, not those Southwest whatever-you-call-its with the weird sauce.
Picking in that slot seems to be having a ripple effect. At that point all the elite guys are gone, so you have to take someone like Jefferson or Anthony or gamble a little on a guy like Derrick Rose. Also, if you didn’t get James Harden, Stephen Curry or Paul George, you’re going to have to either reach or punt a little on SG, because there isn’t one of proper value to take at that spot.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50. Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots. Have fun grilling these!
(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause. Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury. He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again. He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3’s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter. Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.
(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big. The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The period of free agency continues to shape the fantasy basketball-scape with fresh meat on terrible teams and players signing with contenders to be relegated to bench duty. With baseball in full swing and the NFL getting half of the ESPN air time no matter what time of year it is, a lot of NBA moves have been made under the radar. Look for every division to get a team-by-team breakdown and some early fantasy thoughts on the new faces in new places:Please, blog, may I have some more?