Welcome back from Thanksgiving! After a week of indulgent eating, I’m back with an extra 20 lbs of writing weight. Those drumsticks went right into my index fingers. So I didn’t learn the typical QWERTY typing method, sue me! I taught myself how to type in “Olsen Twins Turn 18 Countdown” chat rooms when I was in middle school… Fantasy hoops had a ton go down through the Turkey Day holiday, although Omer Asik wasn’t traded to the Magic for Hedo Turkoglu. Now that would’ve been a Turkey Day! Of all the things that went down, I am positively giddy for the run Patrick Beverley is about to give us with Jeremy Lin set to miss two weeks with a knee strain. Thanks in part to Slim’s water torture, I’m a big Beverley believer for some real mulit-cat upside. Early returns started slow, with PBev going 7/2/2/2/0 the game Lin got hurt during the first quarter, then only 5/4/1/0/0 in 24 minutes on the Friday night. But on Saturday against the Spurs, 11/6/5/3/1 no turnovers and three treys. “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!” Thanks Maury Ballstein. Even though PBev isn’t a focal point of the offense, I buy the peripheral stats, and a must-have addition to your own “Balls Models” squads. Steals, boards a-plenty, with some dimes and out-of-position blocks will floweth like a river. Or Slim’s water torture device. You said you weren’t into S&M! This is my fantasy update writing of shame… Here’s what else I saw since we last checked in: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?
So I’m feeling a little like a savant this week, because although I’m losing week 3 so far in my pools, I did predict that Steve Blake would be a good pick up while we was 6% owned, aaaannnnd BAM! Down goes Steve Nash! I know that this is me gloating, but trust me, when you’re writing pieces about who will be hot, and who will be not, you’re gonna whiff once in a while, so savour the small victories, my Auntie Grace would always say. And speaking of savoury treats, Place your eyeballs on these potential gets and drops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So the Pistons were looking like a playoff contending team with all their offseason acquisitions, but after a 2-1 record with the only loss a close one on the road to Memphis, the Pistons have dropped 4 straight to fall to 2-5. Plus Memphis looks god awful after that looking like a “good” loss. The Pistons aren’t very good. Hire Jim Leyland! The culmination of the four-game skid climaxed in an ugly 18- point loss to the Warriors last night that sent a few fantasy shockwaves down our fantasy spine. First Josh Smith was benched before playing 19 minutes and shot 1-6 for 2 Pts and no boards. That’s like a Robin Lopez line! He reportedly took some bad three-pointers. Those familiar with Josh Smith are like, “aren’t they all bad three pointers coming from him?!” Still think Smith will be fine and this could actually help him from killing your FG% on his off nights. The biggest benefactor to the J Smoove benching was my boyfriend (!) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting 24 minutes and going 9/3/1 with a trey and two steals playing a small (literally) forward role at times. Now I didn’t watch this game, so if he was matched up on Andre Iguodala who isn’t exactly a domineering 3, that makes sense. Then to top off a terrible night for Pistons fans, Razzball commenter favorite Andre Drummond went down with an ankle injury, playing way too late in the game that was a blowout. It was like a Booby Miles injury. He walked off the court under his own power, but ankle injuries are like the fantasy grim reaper’s wheel of fortune. Sometimes a terrible looking one turns into nothing, and sometimes you’re Tobias Harris. Hell Tyson Chandler walked off the court with a broken leg! You just never know… Keep your eye out for updates during the day. Hey, at least Drummond put up 16/14/0/3/3 for ya! Here’s what else I saw across the NBA last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Things were looking oh so good for the Colonel’s original recipe heading into the season. I bought the whole bucket, the two sides and a giant big gulp of tea. But Larry Sanders could very well be one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments in 2013-14, for reasons on and off the court.
Sanders signed a 4-year deal in the offseason worth a cool $44 million bucks (worth, about, a million buckets of chicken!), and the Bucks regime had big plans for their center. GM John Hammond, while trying to keep his Jurassic Park island under control, said Sanders was the key to the team. Hammond, you lost your keys! Bucks are locked out… Then the season started with Sanders nearly fouling out in 12 minutes, and in three games hasn’t played more than 22 minutes, hit 2 FGs, or grabbed more than 4 boards. I was on the buy low bandwagon faster than a short sell in Trading Places. But after complaining about playing time, Sanders reportedly got into a bar fight Saturday night and effed up his thumb. Stop giving him roids, Braun, we don’t need more roid rage in Milwaukee! I wonder if he was getting hazed by Ersan Ilyasova like Richie Incognito. “You must play better, now!” yells Ersan in a thick Turkish accident. Hey, Ilyasova was a scratch last night too, Gus Ayonin’! Anyway, Sanders is accused of breaking champagne bottles over peoples’ heads, and to top if off he then missed Monday’s game because his wife went into labor. Sorry Larry Sanders Jr… I’m just sorry… Hopefully this version of The Larry Sanders Show ends anti-climatically with Sanders getting back on the court and giving fantasy owners something. If you’ve got him, you have to be holding and hoping Sanders can settle down and have this blow over, before he’s looking back at his life and he’s Robert Swift. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Man, what a huge night it was across the NBA with nearly every team in action. It obviously all starts with the shocker Philly put on the Heat, and Michael Carter-Williams‘ unreal debut. I was following with my co-workers during the game and tweeted that if he got a triple-double in his first NBA game, the universe would implode. Thankfully MCW was a steal short and we’re all still here. His final line of 6-10 (4-6 3PTM 6-8 FT) 22 Pts 7 Rebs 12 Asts and 9 Stls might actually win some owners their matchups this week on its own. Just preposterous. Most steals in NBA history in a player’s debut. Ok before we all go nutso, remember the Heat played without Dwayne Wade (rest), don’t have a PG, and had all their hands weighed down with new championship rings. So that’s not really an excuse, but so what?! The shooting efficiency was fantastic (the biggest knock on him coming into the year), plus he had only one turnover (his second main knock). “Nice knockers!” Thanks Young Frankenstein! MCW indeed moves up a fair bit in value in my eyes, but this is likely his best line on the year. MCW was wildly inconsistent in college and I don’t expect much consistency on a terrible 76ers team (I know they just beat the Heat, but c’mon). Look for John Wall to lock him up on Friday and cool the hype. Despite inconsistencies, it goes without saying that MCW should be owned in all leagues now (78% Yahoo, 59.4% ESPN), so if for some reason he’s available in your league, you gotta get him. I’m not expecting MCW to be an elite player, but will continue to contribute even in down games. Here’s what else I saw across Fantasy Basketball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away… Is that too cliché? Yeah it is, but there’s a point. You knew where it came from as soon as you read it. You can hear the soundtrack playing in your head. Well, now that I said it you can hear it. There’s even a chance you might remember the first time you saw it. That’s what drafting LeBron James feels like. It’s a smell in the air, a taste in the back of your throat that tells you there’s something familiar here. The nurturing feeling of resting against LeBron’s bosom. Ahh… Hold me LeBron. That’s not what this series is going to be about. This here is akin to trying to remember the first time you saw Spaceballs. Sure it’s a classic, but we both know you weren’t in the right state of mind to remember the first time you watched any Mel Brooks movie. Am I right or am I right? I can hear your silence loud and clear.
Let’s all now jump into our Delorean, Phone Booth, Hot Tub or whatever your time machine of choice is and travel back to last October. There was something with very large fantasy implications happening in Houston. It was not the trade for James Harden. I’m talking about the position battle at SF between Carlos Delfino and Chandler Parsons. If you would have chosen wisely then you would have gotten the closest thing I can imagine to the fantasy holy grail. A top 50 player at the low low cost of a free agent pick up, even in the deepest of leagues. This will be my gift to you. No, not this overpriced knockoff but the next best thing.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe because I didn’t follow the NBA preseason as closely last year as I was working exclusively on Football, but I feel like there’s been a lot more preseason injuries in only the first week of action than in year’s past. Then again, Rodney Stuckey wasn’t even on the court, and slammed his thumb in his car door and needs surgery. It’s gonna make for a hell of a hitchhiking thumb in that cast! What it is with Detroit athletes and getting hurt in their cars? Not even a month ago Nate Burleson broke his arm reaching over to keep some boxes from falling and slamming into the median. All Detroit athletes need to avoid using motor vehicles. Maybe that’s proof right there Obama shouldn’t have bailed out GM. Give them all mopeds. Oh wait, yeah that won’t work, will is Monta Ellis? Maybe segways? I’ve got it! Just tell Andre Drummond he has to carry every Detroit athlete to where they need to go until his FT% goes above 50. He’ll be like a Detroit athlete tauntaun. See, tell me why I’m not an NBA coach. I already had moved Kentavious Caldwell-Pope way up before the Stuckey injury with how the Pistons coaching staff was praising him, and look for KCP to move to right around 100 overall in my next rankings update. Here’s what else went down since we last looked in at preseason action: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?