This was a very big week for the Thunder. They got both of their superstars back in a matter of days.

Russell Westbrook returned on Friday night, putting up 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists in only 24 minutes of clock. Now owners may be concerned with the lack of minutes, but know that Westbrook wasn’t on a minutes’ restriction. Instead, Westbrook, along with the rest of the starters, were pulled early since the Thunder were up 32 late in the game. They were playing the New York Knicks after all.

A few days later, Kevin Durant returned to score 27 points on Tuesday night. He showed little rust on the court, shooting 9-18 from twos, 3-8 from downtown, and 6-7 from the line. Durant didn’t do much else outside of the scoring, but those numbers will happen in due time. The important thing is that Westbrook and Durant are both back and healthy.

Westbrook and Durant immediately regain their statuses as two of the top ten fantasy producers. At the same time, their return also hurts the guys filling in for them. Reggie Jackson’s statistics will take a hit, as he won’t be needed as much as an offensive producer. In the two games since Westbrook returned, Jackson had his two lowest usage rates of the season and saw his field goal attempts decrease to 11 FGA per game (down from 17.9 without Durant and Westbrook). Now there is still value to be had with Jackson, since he’ll be getting around 30 minutes a night, but don’t expect the same numbers he was providing early in the season.

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… especially since the Sixers are probably going to stay with that one in the win column for a good while!

One… The number of restarts to the Sixers game…  What, was Tim Donaghy reffing and have odds on the Wolves scoring first?!  Seriously, the Sixers couldn’t win a game without controversy?!  Then again there was that Bucks game, sheesh (more below).

One… The number of TOs Michael Carter-Williams will never have in a game… Only one game under three TO this year, but hey, everything else is pretty sexy out there!  Near tripdub last night in the Sixers W for 20/9/9 and three steals.  Finally putting the W in MCW!  Shot 9-20 from the field, but when he’s at the FT line it still gives him delirium triggers like a recovering alcoholic!  It’s actually “delirium tremens”, but man I love that old Coheed song!  2-7 from the stripe last night with the whopping 6 giveaways, and it’s what you bargain for as an MCW owner.  It’s almost like he sold his soul to the efficiency gods just to put up sexy triple-double stats.  Maybe when Tony Wroten comes back, he can just be MCW’s TO-surrogate.  “Tony, just turn it over a few times, and it’ll get em out of my system.”  I feel like trading away/for MCW has been the most frequently asked comment… I was huge on him heading into the year, and even though his FT/TO drain hurt him in the metrics, I think if you can build around that – even in 9-cat – he’s probably worth more than most owners think.  While those 9-cat metrics that rate everything equally are how they should work, remember it’s a team game and strengths/weaknesses play off each other.  All you really want is one!  One more win than the other team in the fantasy championship.  Of course in Roto, you can’t handle those ones!  So I would be selling in those formats.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy action:

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As most of you don’t know, I’m actually Will Smith’s illegitimate first son.  If you don’t believe me, well you more or less have to click on that link and read it, or else the following will be too esoteric… Too ephemeral…

After Mo Williams was moved back into the starting line-up last night, he showed his Rubio-esqueness going 14/3/13 in a fantastic dimebag performance.  The chosen player for the open this morning, I asked Mo to interview me and my method for compartmentalizing everything fantasy basketball into a daily recap:

Mo: What have you been reading lately?

JB: Ya know, totem pole haikus, Ke$ha’s twitter profile, because ya know… Because living.

Mo: I feel ya.  So what’d you think about my facilitating last night?  Pretty sick line back in the starting 5.

JB: Well, I don’t really watch the NBA.  There’s no sports I like to watch, so I make them up myself and watch them again, and it’s the best thing…  But even in my self-created NBA, it was pretty impressive.  The way you can distribute while making time go slow… Or fast… As you please… And how you know it doesn’t exist.

Mo: I have been turning back the clock, that’s for sure!  That baby Zach LaVine is way behind me for fantasy these days, right?

JB: He’s the feeling of like, a fragment of a holographic reality…

Mo: You’re right, pretty easy call there.  So are you dropping say… Tony Wroten for me?

JB: There’s a duality to it.  So when one thought goes into your mind, it’s not just one thought, it has to bounce off both hemispheres of the brain.  When you’re thinking “yes”, you’re thinking “no”.  It’s a tool for understanding.  It comes from a place of oneness.

Mo: I have no idea what the F you’re saying.  Just tell me, am I a good medium-term value until Ricky Rubio gets his ankle all healed up?!

JB: If he wants his muscles to grow, he has to shock them.  If you want society to change, you have to shock them.  That’s what art is, shocking people.

Mo: Fine.  Whatever.  I know I’m legit, LaVine shoulda stayed in school longer…

JB: You never learn anything in school. Think about how many people die in hospitals every day.  Med school?  What’s up with that!?  I still haven’t been to med school and I haven’t died in a hospital, I can’t see how med school is really helping anyone out…  Same with LaVine, in whatever universal form he occupies…

Mo: Occupy?  #OccupyDraymondGreen?!

JB: Forever, ‘til the day that we’re in our bed!

 

Here’s what else went down in NBA action last night:

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After getting down as much as 23 points, I was going to pose the question – is Nicolas Batum the glue for the Blazers?

But then the Charlotte Hornets looked like the Kelly Tripucka Charlotte Hornets, hiked up their shorts, and got run out of Portland in the second half.  This is Damian Lillard‘s show!  29/4/7/2/0 hitting 5 treys and 12 of 21 shots for The Omen.

With Batum out last night (and is hopeful to miss only two more and returning next Monday – he likes the weekly league fantasy players!), a lot of minutes opened up for Blazers SF.  And of all the options, I don’t think anyone would’ve projected Allen Crabbe as the starter!  Play Chris Kaman at the 3!  I actually remember watching a few of Crabbe’s games at Cal when they were in the NCAA tourney and thought he was a good little player.  But dude had 4 combined minutes on the season!  And even the starting role did nothing for him, going 2/2/2/0/0 in 22 minutes shooting 1-4.  Allen Crabby, want more rock!  Crabbe has virtually no value, and Batum’s injury just means a few stats will trickle down through the Blazers starters and role players.

The under-the-radar winner is Steve Blake, who nearly rainbowed for 5/4/2/2/1.  Season-high 25 minutes and he’s averaging over 3 dimes a game this year.  Your line-up is probably filled out tomorrow and Saturday for the next two Blazers games, but hey, if you have one streaming spot open and need a little PG love, don’t be afraid to turn to grown-up Dewey for help.  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops last night:

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This NBA DFS season has been kind of a roller coaster ride.  The ownership of players is higher than normal.  Seems like everyone is on the same value players night after night.  If your high priced players you spend on don’t tank and reach value then you’re going to do well.  So be smart and don’t take too many risky players.  Also with the NFL, NHL and College Football going on too, be smart with your bankroll.

On Saturday we have a 7 game slate:

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Preseason is here!  Preseason is here!  I’m as giddy as N64 kid on Christmas Day.

But before we got into any action, Nick Young had a rough end of to his week last week, jacking up his thumb on his shooting hand requiring surgery.  He’ll be out 8 weeks, which puts him back in Purp-n-Gold mid-to-late November, optimistically.  You can drop him off your fantasy teams now!  He’s got a plenty big cast to hitchhike his way somewhere else.  I would say to “Scrubtown” but if you say that three times fast it starts to sound kinda like Scranton and I don’t want to offend Scrantonites or fans of The Office.

I wasn’t big on Swaggy P anyway, but no reason to touch him except in the very deepest of leagues.  Pretty empty scoring.  Wesley Johnson gets a minor bump up, and that’s the extent of the impact.  Now back to preseason!  Of course every performance must be taken with a grain of salt, and this early it’s a friggin’ pillar of salt, but it’s never too early to see how players are doing – especially this year’s ridiculous class of rooks.  Here’s what’s gone on across the league:

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1) I’m sure I’ve mentioned this numerable times but JB and I are well known members in the swingers community. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to give away our anonymity but I feel like I can trust you. I go by the Hairless Wonder, don’t ask, and JB goes by the alias… If you would like JB’s alias to be ‘Big Country’ go to paragraph 5. If you think JB’s alias should be ‘The Diesel’ go to paragraph 3.

2) … Twister. I’m sure you’ve been there before, you’ve got your left foot on green, your left hand on red and if someone says right hand blue you know you’re going to be the unfortunate soul who’s going to have the sad face when you’re given your parting gift of a half of a gallon of Purell and sent on your way home. Since JB never breaks character I have no idea if he’s giving me a good spin or he wants to see me end up … For the epic conclusion go to paragraph 6.

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the top 75.  Captain N is aboard!  Captain on the bridge!  The respect he garners trumps captain Russell Crowe with long hair… Captain Patrick Stewart with no hair… Captain N has a huge ass flat top!  And this captain is Nerlens Noel; double the N for twice the… nifty…?  Twice the… neat hair?  This captain will put non-believers 20,000 leagues under the sea!  Here’s my top 75 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the top 20.  I’ve gotten really bored of Imagine Dragons… They were fine and it was good hearing decent music on the pop stations, but now I cringe almost as much as that friggin’ Fancy song.  I haven’t heard anything more talent-less since Ashlee Simpson!  And parallel-o-ly, or some real word that means that, I imagine some cringing for my sky high Goran Dragic rank.  I’m on the dragon wave!  Dragons are just as hot as vampires or zombies right now.  You got movies how to train them, hot blondes mothering them, Hobbits sneaking up on them in caves… I’m just swept in the fever.  And here’s to hoping I sweep you too! Here’s my top 20 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We all know the story.  Cleveland fans burn things, then stage apology videos.  Yeah, let’s put the ashes from last night’s barbecue and put it on top of my LeBron James Cavs jersey and pick it up.  Sooooooooooo symbolic.  Somebody is already halfway through the 30 for 30 special… But I got an advanced look at LeBron’s first press event with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert:

LeBron Gets New Cavs Jersey

I love what Slim said in his reaction as a Heat fan.  “LeBron’s legacy will now be that of a journeyman.”  BURN!  Poor choice of the all caps scathing word, JB!  LeBron is still the alpha dog of the NBA, but he’s now numero tres in my ranking-os… Never was too good at Spanish.  I’m moving Anthony Davis up to 2 and joining Slim’s bandwagon.  Even though BronBron had talent around him in Miami, he never had a point guard.  Which I mean more literally than not since Mario Chalmers‘ assists look more like Billy Dee Williams’ Dancing with the Stars‘ scores than an NBA PG’s!  And now LeBron’s got family on his team!  I don’t mean the city of Cleveland, but Uncle Drew!  They should mish mash one of those videos with drunk uncle from SNL…  Anyway, Kyrie Irving is going to have some balls in his hands (cough), so LeBron will be performing less hernia tests.  Kyrie’s three-year arc has been declining FG% but steadily improving Ast/TO ratios and overall dimes.  More efficient with the ball, but not hitting the shots.  Maybe it’s because the Cavs had no other playmakers… Iso for Anderson Varejao!  Dion Waiters just blocked me on Twitter.  LeBron will be a huge ease on Kyrie’s defensive pressure, however stemming from that – if Kyrie is hot, he shootin’!  Both will have great final numbers, but a little inconsistent game-to-game.  LeBron should see his dimes go down a tick as well.  Here’s a look at the rest of the free agency movement and some key notes from Summer League:

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