You know, Raymond Felton broke his hand last year, and this is no joke, less than two weeks after Twinkies were officially discontinued. I imagine him hearing the news after a Knicks loss, and punching the glass out at a NYC convenience store. “How will I ever carboload before rolling onto the court!” Then Twinkies, after being bought out and licensed, again appeared on store shelves in July 2013. And ohhhh boy, was it an offseason to remember for Roly Poly Felton! Even though he’s always looked like a big boy, concerns about his weight surfaced yet again, and this year his stats were down before a myriad of injuries took their toll. This past groin injury, where Felton reportedly heard a “pop”, finally got him to listen to the advice of the trainers. “When my little guy down there told me something was wrong, I finally listened.” Knicks head athletic trainer Roger Hinds had to think on the fly, eventually settling on a 12-grain/cashew cream vegan Twinkie-substitute. Instead of the 15-17 off-the-shelf Twinkies comprising the majority of Felton’s daily diet, he was down to 12-14 “healthy-makers” (as he called them) while rehabbing his groin injury. “The first three or four were kinda funky, but then you get that urge for more-and-more just like the old ones.” After losing 34 pounds in 72 hours, Felton was ready to rejoin the team in practice. “I felt great out there, mobile, my arms stopped running into my love handles when I was drivin’ to the hoop.” Another 42 pounds came off in the next week, and he was ready to play last night. And man, did those 76 lost pounds come in handy! 13/5/14/1/0 against the Heat in a surprise win. I caught up with him after the game: “No J.R. Smiff in the game helped me keep the rock and everything runnin’ through me. He can untie e’rybody’s shoelaces all I care!” Back to reality, I did watch this game, and the bulk of those assists came on dishes to Carmelo Anthony burying jumpers, so the assist total is obviously a big outlier. But Felton did look good. Made good moves, looked agile, and more importantly, made the Knicks look better while playing 39 minutes. We can have fun all we want, but I think I was wrong to be a little dismissive on him returning. I like him right now over D.J. Augustin and Kendall Marshall for example. More staying power, and while the most injury prone of the bunch, I think helps you more in the long-haul. Must-own in 12-teamers, depends on need and depth in 10ers. Here’s what else I saw last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
PGs depth suddenly overfloweth from the wire, with a lot of guys on their choppers… chopping(?) their way onto fantasy squads. Listen, I would make some sort of better parallel with that show, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Takes a lot of effort to plow through a show! I friggin’ had to stop the new Arrested Development in season 4. Yikes. And speaking of arrested development, the Clips sure got a buster when Chris Paul went down with a separated shoulder Friday night, and through a series of updates will be out “up to six weeks.” The trainer asked Paul if he was filing for divorce with his shoulder, but nah, just separated. Huge blow to the Clippers, but it was a “rush to your nearest internet device” moment for fantasy owners to add Darren Collison. On Friday night, in JB’s RCL 2 I missed out, then when deciding who to drop for him in RCL 1, I missed him by about 10 seconds. Thank’s a lot Your Mom Says Hi! A Hill ‘O Beans bout to be refried! Yeah, terrible smack talk, I know… If you’re not checking out the comments every night, all sorts of updates get fantasy spins throughout the evening, like El Burro breaking the news while watching his Clips’ title hopes get separated. I like Collison a lot, and unless you singularly need assists, I like him over the other big breakout PG from the weekend. I think he gives you 16/3/6/2 a game until Paul is done with marriage counseling. The 35 minutes he’ll play a night should make those numbers pretty realistic. Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in hoops action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, Andrew Bynum is Mr. Glass too… But the other way! And he’s also Mr. Franchise Killer, as the Cavs had to suspend him just to get him to stay out of the stadium. “Hey Andrew, leave the HurryCane at home today, we don’t wanna keep paying the stadium workers to put down the handicap ramps!” Just saves money across the board. Once Bynum gets waived, I think even Obama will be shaking his head at Bynum’s healthcare bills. Anyway, the obvious benefactor to that whole mess is Anderson Varejao, who after his dominating 18/25 game last night has double-digit boards in 4 of the last 5. Varejao was cleaning up the glass like he was the Unbreakable one! The leading rebounder in the NBA last year before he got hurt (at a ridiculous 14.4 a game), Varejao should be a monster in 2014. Although it does help when Nikola Vucevic is hurt and the starting center against you is Jason Maxiell. Hell, I coulda had a double double against them last night! And I don’t even have Jerry Curls! Here’s what else I saw last night across the NBA:Please, blog, may I have some more?
When the Obamacare website launched, it was a lot like the Nuggets. Load errors, mental mistakes, and only 6 people actually showed up because George Karl got fired. But after JaVale McGee went down (I bet the Nuggets wish their healthcare bills were free!), the 1-3 Nuggets are now 11-6. Coinky-dink? I think not! J.J. Hickson has been great at the 5 fillin’ in for Shaqtin-a-McGee, but it was Timofey Mozgov who has stolen the show the past two games, with 15+/15+ back-to-back including 17/20 against the hapless Nets last night. But a trend is a-surfacing as Hickson has been under 18 minutes in those games while Mozgov was over 30. Hickson is still starting, but Mozgov is just being a straight Godzilla out there against opposing B-teams. I’m not ready to completely hand over the torch – I think Mozzy Bear getting in there was just matchup-based and Hickson gets back to the 30 minute range and Mozgov to the low-to-mid 20s. But if you need boarding and scoring help, Mozgov is available in a lot of leagues and can still be valuable with that sort of run. Pete even put him on the radar! Now he’s in full view. Even 12-teamers needing the big man help need to take the flyer while they can. Here’s what else went down last night in the hoops-o-sphere:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s the time of crazed shopping for discounted electronics. The argument: “At that price, I couldn’t afford NOT to get it!” will be heard all around the country over Turkey leftovers this weekend. I give to you the Buy/Sell shortened holiday edition, free packaging, 70% off, this weekend only! And with that in mind, here are a few guys you can’t afford not to get:
Jordan Farmar PG
You got up late, you’re one of the last to the mall, cursing the excessive turkey and alcohol consumption, and you’re scrambling for points, treys, steals and the odd assist. Well, the basketball gods are smiling on you, because although he’s one of the last in the sales bin, Jordan Farmar is still there for you. In the last 2 games, he has hit 8 3pts, with almost 5 dimes per game. He’s only owned 9% of leagues. It’s not a perfect choice, but that’s what you get when you sleep in, mutton-head!Please, blog, may I have some more?
So… It was a ridiculous weekend of injuries with the NBA pulling its best NFL impression. “Look how many people we can hurt too!” Right now the safest big sport might be hockey… The survivors of this NBA-wide injury bug should barricade themselves in a giant prison. OK, so that’s not exactly the best analogy… Look out for the Governor! Arguably the biggest injury over the weekend was another knee giving out for Derrick Rose, who tore his meniscus and is having surgery some time today. This is about the worst thing that could’ve happened for fantasy this season. No, not because I’m a Rose owner… But because of all the Rose questions! Of course this would happen for a second straight year. So obligatory memo, statement, press release – Razzball’s official stance on answering questions on Rose will involve no guesses or speculation to his return! Well, Pete, Slim, & Dan can… I guess. But I’m not doing this again! “Hey JB, when’s the end of the world?” “When am I going to win the lottery?” “How in God’s green earth did the Patriots win last night?” “When will the Spurs finally kick out all the vets and give Kawhi Leonard superstar touches?!” I just don’t have the answers! We saw Russell Westbrook go down with a meniscus injury, only to need a second clean-up surgery. Rose has said he’s leaning towards a reattachment procedure that would cost him the season, plus Rose has his other knee just off the ACL. His knees have gone the way of Kyle’s knees in that South Park episode after his expletive-plasty. Hopefully Rose’s surgeon is part-Borg and can get something mechanical going on in there. “He’s more machine now than man…” Dude, I just crossed sci-fi swords there in a major fail… Here’s what else went down across fantasy hoops over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All hail Trey Burke! May all the inhabitants of the great Salt Lake City and all their respective wives rejoice! And… the Jazz are still atrocious. Poor Tyrone Corbin. He’s got to fiddle with Burke, Alec Burks, John Lucas III and now Diante Garrett at the point. Jerry Sloan got John Stockton. Then Deron Williams. It just ain’t fair! In yet another Jazz loss moving them down to 1-12, Burke got 12 minutes even, going 11/1/1 with a steal and hitting a trey shooting 5-8. Trey with the trey! If only Deuce McAllister was an NBA player. Deuce with the deuce! Or if McAllister was a dunker, “Deuce with the upper decker!” I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing highlights for my second Jazz game now, but it was cool to see Burke’s debut and I thought he looked pretty good. His first NBA points were off a long rebound then coast-to-coast for a controlled, attacking floater. Obviously he’s getting eased in and he’ll get more minutes – hippity-skippity to a few months back and I was bigger on Burke than anyone – but I’m not ready to go nuts and drop quality guys for him. Of course it’s a case-by-case scenario, but I really wanted Burke to get tons of preseason work; instead he broke his finger and missed some really crucial development time. For example, I think I’m still holding Patrick Beverley over him. PBev is the Razzball “why can’t I quit you?!” fantasy asset. Lucas III is obviously not a long-term solution, and while he’s in the mix, he didn’t look good last night but was the only guy that could hit any long balls. Alec Burks looked awful, sure his line 8/1/1/1/2 is fine, shot 3-6 – fine – but racked up 4 TOs in 16 minutes. Just looked bad. Which brings me to Diante G, who I thought looked really good. Garrett actually led the Jazz in PG minutes with 20, and racked up a 4/1/6 line with three steals and only 2 TOs (one late one was pretty bad, but the game was over) and played down the stretch. Garrett was the only point who could create opportunities. So it’s a little crowded with Burks’ potential wilting away and Garrett looking decent as a D-League gamble and could get run through the season. I think Lucas III gets cut at some point and Burks plays strictly backup 2 minutes, but that’s just me. It’s a mess. Shocker, considering it’s the Jazz! Here’s what else I saw last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sometimes it’s nice, oh so nice, to see so much potential that you saw through the preseason finally get the chance to shine, the star to sizzle, the Sun to finally get his run. With Eric Bledsoe sitting last night with a bruised shin, my boy Archie Goodwin finally got a chance, running a season-high 19 minutes for 16/2/2/2 shooting 7-10 and hitting a three, including this highlight worthy pick 6. “Give me a chance coach!” Goodwin has great speed and a good feel for the game for a 19-year-old, and is showing a little bit of what he could do should he get extended time. The Suns backcourt is flooded, muddled mostly by the breakout Gerald Green is putting on, but the hot start-Suns have now dropped three straight, going from 3-1 to 5-5. Green is an ultimate sell-high, both in fantasy and in the NBA trade market, for his highlight-inducing big plays and he’s shooting 12% better from the field and 11% better from 3-point land than last year. Obviously 2012-13 was a disaster, so some bounce back was coming, but yea, if the Suns could get anything in return, they’ll take it. With Green signed through next season and Goran Dragic with a player-option for next year, both are potential trade chips the Suns could use to build around Bledsoe. Sure, I’m dreaming up a scenario that may not be the most likely, but what I’m really dreaming about is a Bledsoe/Goodwin starting backcourt. Mmmmmm. Fantasy goodness everywhere! Goodwin is worth keeping an eye on with the Bledsoe shin injury in the deepest of leagues, and deeper dynasty leagues should have him on the radar as well. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As an ancient proverb goes – “I’d like to introduce you to an old friend and a new friend.” Ok, so I made that up. But it sounds good!
For an old friend I’ve mentioned a few times and pumped up in my last rankings update before the season started up, my boy Omri Casspi had another solid outing last night that probably was under the radar. In 24 minutes, he went 7/8/5 with no turnovers, 2-4 from the field and 3-4 from the line. He just looks awesome every time I see him play. Did you know he was the first Israeli to play in the NBA? He’s pretty much Chandler Parsons but with Chandler Parsons in his way. After a ho-hum first two games, his past two have been fantastic – and this last one without hitting a three which is a big part of his game. Not necessarily a must own in 12-teamers, but definitely worth a look, and needs to be grabbed in 14+.
Then my new friend – Gal Mekel on the Mavericks. You’re like, “who the eff is Gal Mekel? I thought this was NBA not WNBA!” Mekel was signed to a three-year deal by the Mavs this offseason, and became the second Israeli to join the NBA. Cut to Amar’e Stoudemire going, “Hey, I should count!” With Shane Larkin dealing with an ankle injury, and no Devin Harris for a while, Mekel is getting full-on backup PG run and playing well doing it. He got his 2nd 6 assist game last night going 9/4/6 and hitting a 3. Sure some run was in junk time, but with the oft-injured Jose Calderon the only one ahead of him (hasn’t played in over 68 games since 2007), Mekel could find his way into starts. Of course, now I’ve ruined my play on him in the REL League. Let’s just hope no one in that league is reading! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Coming into this year, the fantasy freaks of the world had two guys on their radar as far as Phoenix Suns centers. Would it be one-time fantasy darling and all-the-time Polish Hammer Marcin Gortat, or lottery pick Alex Len, who could either end up as a modern-day Jon Koncak or a white Dwight Howard.
How about neither? Gortat was traded to the Washington Cheese Wiz in a very odd trade where the Suns ended up with a protected first-round pick and a frozen-in-Carbonite Emeka Okafor – which really isn’t that different than Emeka Okafor – while the ex-Bullets got Gortat and three guys they waived.
Len, meanwhile, is injured, and won’t be ready even when he’s ready, if that makes any sense.
And all of this is perfectly fine in the retirement capital of the world.Please, blog, may I have some more?