Ohhhh man, the mile run. Nothing establishes popularity in middle school more than the mile run. You have the athletes who can just jog but have to semi-try, the dorks who are OK at sports that do pretty well (me!), the cool kids that just walk, the unhealthy people who saunter, and then the coolest dudes who hide behind the scoreboard on the other side of the track as the teachers and smoke cigs. True story! But the real run to talk about this morning is C.J. Miles‘ run, who’s capped off three straight great games. Hit a ridiculous 10 treys last night, for a 34/5/2/2 line shooting 11-18 and 10-14 from deep. If only someone called it yesterday! And proof to the theory of ThrAGNOF. Got you 10 treys for just one spot start. Great night for Miles and shows us yet again that if you need to stream guys, play anyone facing the Sixers. As I mentioned yesterday, their D is league worst in points allowed by nearly 7 points more a game given up than the second-worst. It’s a fast-paced team with bad D no matter how you slice it. Unfortunately for Miles, the acquisition of Luol Deng is really going to hurt his minutes, making him a guy you’re probably not picking up in standard leagues or solid 12-teamers. Just won’t have the minutes or upside. But luckily he had one last game to show his range and should stay in the mix for deeper leaguers. Here’s what else I saw last night in a big slate of games:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ahhhh weed jokes. The Pacific Northwest. Their team is the Blazers. Rasheed Wallace used to play for them! But I don’t think Oregon has legalized it yet. What’s the world like in Colorado and Washington these days? Something like Amsterdam? Although, even though I went there, I hardly remember it. If you have Damian Lillard though, you’re surely remembering the night he put up last night! 11-23 shooting, 8-12 3PTM for 36 points, a surprising 8 boards, and a dimebag right on the nose with 10 assists. Plus a game-winner! The near triple-double moves Lillard to 10th overall in Total Value according to Basketball Monster, and a true American Hero! And by that, I mean my 19 overall rank of him got flack more than a few times through the rankings iterations, and looking peachy keen now. He’s lowered his TOs almost a full turnover a game since his rookie year, upped the 3PT% and my favorite – is becoming an elite FT% guy going 5.2-5.6 a night at 91.8% for the season. Getting to the line and making em, pretty much the antithesis of Andre Drummond! Hey o! Oh wait, I mean, I’m jinxing Drummond, he’s the bast center in the world and will all the sudden shoot 95% from the stripe once he adopts the Barry granny shot… Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Pretty much anyone involved in the big Rudy Gay trade has gotten nothing but positive return except Greivis Vasquez. Poor Vasquez… And easily the biggest winner right now is Isaiah Thomas just going off with the backcourt to himself, going 29/6/2 on Friday night and 19/2/8 last night. With both PGs there in Shaq-ramento to start the year, it was like the first Terminator, then IT2 got flipped into the main good guy and it’s movie magic in the sequel. Coach Mike Malone even came out and said Thomas is gonna lead the NBA in minutes. Iron man! Well I guess it would be hyperalloy combat chassis covered by living human tissue man… I wish Vasquez had never gone to Sacramento, because as I mentioned last week, I aggressively ranked Thomas early in the summer. I love this kid. He’s going to be extremely tough to go out and trade for right now, and I certainly would not be selling. He’s got both Gay and DeMarcus Cousins to dish to, plus he’s a fantastic scorer. I have all sorts of IT2 regret now since he’s not on any of my teams… Womp womp… Here’s what else went down over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hate you Larry Drew. First you go and make your son Larry Drew II feel like he’s some sort of special talent and have him quit UNC, then you take over a Bucks team that all want to leave too. Why do I have so much invested in the Bucks?! I hate the Bucks! In a game where the Spurs doubled Milwaukee’s points in the first quarter (32 to 16), then went up by 23 at halftime, then after 3 were up 38, Drew decided to kill fantasy teams by playing their F-team virtually the whole second half. As in, a D-League team could beat those guys. Brandon Knight got 18 minutes after an impressive game two nights ago. John Henson got 21 after the huge breakout. O.J. Mayo, yes that terrible, horrible, not gelling on this awful team O.J. Mayo led the starters with 22 minutes on a 3/0/0/0/0 line with a TO. Ok, ok, so Drew let his scrubs play in the blowout, good to see Giannis Antetokounmpo get some development time at just over 33 minutes, but the icing on the cake was Drew gave Ersan Ilyasova, a guy that looks like a humanoid Turkey, 39 minutes?! How is that developing young talent?! Ersan goes out and shoots 3-16 for an 8/6/2 game. The Bucks are the worst. You’re holding Henson obviously and Knight I think you stick with, but I don’t want any of these other guys on a 12-teamer. I know I like Khris Middleton, but he was part of the starting mess and I just dropped Mayo in some sort of RCL travesty I should probably take my name off of. I still think Knight, Mayo, Middleton and Henson are locked in as starters for now, but man, I really hope they look good facing the even worse Bulls again on Friday. Enough ranting from me! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops: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?
In Shaq-ramento, when Christmas carolers sing at your doorstep, if it’s deck the halls you must insist a free a Rudy Gay jersey! You better believe Sleep Train Arena is gonna deck their halls with Gay apparel. That is, if it has power. Zing! Last night, the Kings picked up Gay from the Raptors in a 7-player deal with a lot more fantasy impact than just the players involved. The Kings also picked up Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, for the fewest letters in three surnames you could ever receive in a three-player haul. In return, Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes got exported to Canada. I hope they have winter wear! Instead of going over all of the impact in the open, it’ll be fettered out and we’ll focus on Gay at the top. Nothing changes. Brevity! Lots of shots, the Kings don’t become any better or worse, but get a good all-around player. The fantasy impact on Gay seems null. The trade overall I think it a win-win, both in real hoops and in fantasy. The Kings dumped guys that don’t really help their rotations for a star, and the Raptors break up their two high-volume shots guys with it not working. Plus the Raptors are looking to rebuild around the Luminescent Lithuanian. Then all sorts of fantasy optimism below, along with other action across the NBA over the weekend: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?
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?
After re-ranking the top 10, top 20, and top 50, it’s easy to see there’s been big changes since last May. Below are the Razzball Updated Rankings with the previous May rankings in parentheses before the adjusted rank:
(68) ↑ 51. Derrick Favors – Utah declining to bring back either Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gives you a slight inclination on their thoughts on Favors, and they’re already talking contract extension with their emerging big as well. I love his athleticism, and if I miss out on Serge Ibaka who I’m high on early, I’m gonna want to reach on Favors to win blocks. I think he’ll be a top-5 NBA swatter.
(51) 52. Kemba Walker – Kemba has been higher on virtually every rankings I’ve seen, and I’m just not top-50 high on him. He had a really solid season last year, but the terrible FG% still worries me as I feel like he forces some offense. The acquisition of Big Al is going to give the Bobcats/soon-to-be Hornets an actual scorer down, and I don’t think that translates into helping Kemba all that much. I like Gerald Henderson a lot too to take a bigger scoring role. The 2.0 steals a game last year was elite, but I see those going down along with the scoring, and a comparable 5.7:2.4 Ast:TO ratio. All that spells a slightly down ranking for me. Although to be fair, he’s played in every single Bobcats game in his career, so there’s that reliability that can’t be ignored.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?