As you can tell from my Avatar, I’m no genius. Heck, that’s me actually trying to look smart.

But after watching last night’s Epic Battle of Rookie Big Men, featuring Jahlil Okafor vs. Karl-Anthony Towns, I do feel like I got one thing right: It is indeed Jah, and not KAT, who should have been the number one pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Can you honestly and fairly say that after one game between the two?

I say yes, and the stats are only part of the story. Okafor finished with 25 points, 12 boards and two blocks and absolutely manhandled Towns the whole game, in which the Wolves topped the Sixers 100-95. Towns had six points, two boards and two blocks in 17 minutes. In fact, Towns barely got off the bench after Okafor out-positioned him for a rebound and forced Towns to commit his fourth foul before the end of the first half.

For the season, Towns has arguably better stats. But with Okafor, it’s not just the stats that he gets, it’s how he gets them. He gets them without a real point guard, and without any great shooters to help open up the paint. He gets them looking like Tim Duncan Jr., whether its gracefully sweeping the lane for a lay-in with some dandy big-man footwork, denying a Towns’ shot with some uncharacteristic anger or pulling up and nailing a 15-footer at will.

Some say this is Okafor’s ceiling. They say he’s a 20-10 guy, and is only getting that because he’s on one of the worst teams in NBA history. I’m not so sure about that. I think he’d be getting better stats with better guys around him, and therefore I’m not so sure that this is his ceiling.

As for Towns? This is definitely not his ceiling. This is Andrew Wiggins‘ team right now, so he has time to develop, which is scary.

Still, despite the Wolves getting the win, Round 1 of this battle goes to Okafor. Round 2 will be January 4, 2016 in Philly.

Here’s some other B-N-B studs and duds from the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It just took prime time to rejuvenate Derrick Rose!  After an utterly atrocious outing against the Hornets on Tuesday – and three straight games of single-digit scoring – it certainly looked like the injuries had maybe made Rose a below-average PG…  I just edited out about 3 flower puns from this open, NO ONE IS READING FOR BOTANY OR WHATEVER THE WORD IS FOR FLOWER-STUFF!  Is it horticulture?  SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY!  That’s me yelling at myself.  And also venting some anger, because I wanted him to be poopy for one more week as I face him in REL, so of course he would have by far his best game of the season last night.  Rose looked pretty spry out there, shooting 12-25 for a nice popcorn 29/5/7 stat line.  But as always, his lines have thorny stems supporting the bloom (AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!), as he didn’t notch a trey or steal.  He’s got no treys and only two swipes though 6 games now.  Even Jarrett Jack is like, “is this really an NBA PG?!”  At the very least, Rose is keeping the TO in check and he looked pretty healthy last night.  I think he’s still hovering in that 80-100 range that he fell in ADP, but if anyone would buy last night’s game as he’s back to vintage Rose, you’re obviously selling.  I actually saw him dropped in an RCL, and I’m pending my waiver claim.  Of course I won’t get him at my #6 spot, and of course I could use PG depth.  I’ve luckily avoided Rose the past half-decade, but now my frustration with him is reaching Nate Robinson levels.  Waived like three days after being the opening night starter?!  Or maybe it’s a Pelicans issue, THE WORST RUN NBA FRANCHISE!  Aight, aight, I’ve taken my diazepam, I’m ready to mellow.  Thankfully NO didn’t play last night, or else I mighta needed to double my dosage…  Here’s what else went down yesterday in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I Googled “crisis of leadership” because, well, it’s been a pretty annoying ride for NBA franchises in Charlotte since the 90s.  According to never-wrong Wikipedia, the term was coined about something with Trotsky and Communism, I ain’t goin’ there!  It’s been well-documented and scrutinized through the years, but Charlotte certainly seems to make odd decisions behind Michael Jordan.  And before that, they moved to New Orleans, brought in an expansion team called “The Bobcats” (????@#?#$%@#%), and drafted Sean May.

While Charlotte’s follies could be it’s own dedicated article, I’m just going to talk about the planning behind PF/C minutes for 15-16.

TANGENT!  Speaking of planning, we’re debuting a new part of Monday daily notes this season.  The 7 Ahead!  After wrapping up the standard daily notes from the weekend, at the bottom will be a weekly planner for the upcoming 7 nights of NBA action.  Let me know if you like it!  And as always, add any suggestions you commenters have for The 7 Ahead moving forward.  If you don’t like it, ya know, not wanting to read such a long effin’ blog post when you’ve got a case of the Mudiays, just let me know!

FOCUS!  So the Hornets draft Frank Kaminsky 9th in the draft, passing on in-state product Justise Winslow (who looks great in early run for the Heat) and the undeniably awesome Myles Turner.  Part of the argument seemed to be NBA-readiness.  But instead of sticking with the decision, or continuing to play Cody Zeller, another high-draft pick, they instead come out and start Starvin Marvin Williams.  I mean, if you’re just going to take a no-upside PF/C for bench depth, why not go pure upside of my boy Kelly Oubre?!?!  Such a wasted pick and poor planning for the rotation, as now Marvin is running away with the role with a fantastic start to 15-16.  Opening the season with back-to-back dubdubs, Marvin went 15/5/1 with 3 blocks and 5 treys last night.  They need some speed on D and a perimeter player to compliment Al “slow feet” Jefferson, and it’s put Marvin clearly in the ThrAGNOF category.  The blocks were a little fluky, but I don’t think the minutes are.  He’s surged to 34% owned which seems a smidge high, but on low-schedule nights, he’ll be a frequent streaming target of mine.  And if I sounded unnecessarily bitter, it’s because I had him as a $1 REL keeper and let him walk.  Friggin’ Hornets.  What a waste of draft picks only to play the low-paid vet…  Here’s what else happened over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wooo, preseason is here!  We finally get to see players on the court, thennnn, pretty much immediately we have season-ending injuries…  Just let athletes take steroids again, eesh!  Tired of this nonsense!

In literally the second game of the preseason, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist slipped on just a routine perimeter dribble and dislocated his shoulder.  It looked like he might’ve slipped on some sweat, those are some slacking Magic ball boys!  Then after an MRI yesterday, it revealed a torn labrum (true story, it had a red underline underneath “labrum” which had me being sure I spelled it right, and the suggested fix was labium) and he’ll likely need season-ending surgery.  Yikes.  Tough shakes for the Hornets who just invested $52 mil over 4 years in the guy (THAT’S MORE THAN MONTA ELLIS!), and have nothing great to fill-in SF minutes.  Well, I guess technically SG minutes, as Nicolas Batum should slot back to SF as the Hornets hodgepodge their SG.  Jeremy Lin had a nice 17/2/7 debut in that first game on Saturday, but followed it up with 10/3/1 and 4 TO on Sunday.  Jeremy Lamb scored 16 in the debut and got the start Sunday, only to shoot 2-11 in 25 yawnstipating minutes.  P.J. Hairston also got a start Sunday as Batum got that game off, and shot 1-7 missing all 5 treys.  Then there’s also Marvin Williams, who has reportedly lost weight and was rumored to get SF minutes back in July, but he figures to be more of a Batum backup or a small stretch-4 like last year.  I really don’t like any of these guys, and none of them vault into the draftable range for me in 12ers.  I guess in deepers I’d grab Lin first, but meh.  The only actionable impact for me is MKG’s 15-16 death.  “This guy here is dead!”  “Well cross him off then!”  Here’s what else has happened through the first few nights of preseason as we prepare for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ugh.  I’ve said numerous times I hate when injuries prove any calls right or wrong, but my BJ tooting horn, ya know – the one that says sell high – isn’t looking bad anymore.

If you missed it over the weekend, Brandon Jennings tore his Achilles and is out for the season.  And this isn’t one of those LaMarcus Aldridge thingies where he can just decide not to have surgery and keep playing.  Let’s hope Aldridge didn’t inject some sort of juice in that thumb!  ADHD alert, JB!  More on L.A. later…  So with BJ done, the Pistons only have to change one letter and put in the D.J.!  D.J. Augustin is an obvious must-own in all leagues, and while I’ve been one of the hardest “Wahhhhhhhh!  I’m Jarrett Jack!” pushers, Augustin vaulted him right away, even before last night.  Tore up the Craptors for 18 points in the first half in a redonkulous 35/4/8 line with 5 treys.  D.J.s no longer welcome in Canada!  Wedding costs are going to be out of hand…  No more Jazzy Jeff!  “Who got maple syrup all over the turntable, eh?!”  If you’re reading this and there’s still a D.J. on your wire, as The Crystal Method would say, “NOW IS THE TIME!”  Here’s what else went down over the crazy weekend of fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Woooo-ie!  When I think about why I’ve had such a bad past four weeks, it became easy to forget just how good Kawhi Leonard is!  My deep league REL squad (20 team, 340 players owned) couldn’t handle the loss and I went into a Nicolas Cage Leaving Las Vegas tailspin of drinkery.  But I’m back baby!  Unfortunately not with Elisabeth Shue though…

Hitting the glass harder than a Coloradoan at a dispensary, Kawhi gobbled down 15 boards in a 17/15/3/2/1 line hitting 6-13 FG, three treys and 2-2 FT.  All is right with the world!  No fear in that hand, and no other Spurs player had more than 5 boards.  Box out, Jamba Jus!  I’ve been a big Kawhi fan his whole career, and I’m still eagerly awaiting the day Pop decides he will finally run Kawhi for 35 MPG.  Hasn’t gotten to 31 in his three games back from the hand injury, and while the minutes are up this year, it’s still only 32 MPG on the season.  Give him the Jimmy Butler treatment!  And then we’re talking some no-brainer first round shizz.  Maybe the big workload will happen once the vets are gone and Pop will be forced to play his superstar, but maybe Pop likes playing his hockey line changes.  At least we can look back on Tim Duncan who was playing 39 MPG his first 6 seasons.  Let the stars play!  Either way, it’s just good to have Kawhi back.  Here’s what else went down on a short night of NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The race to see who will be the biggest historical figure from NYC named Langston!

In his first career start, another D-League darling in Langston Galloway had a career-high 21 points in a 21/5/3/0/0 line hitting 8-14 FG and 3-6 from deep.  Probably the best stat from yesterday is that the Knicks are undefeated in Galloway starts.  Kid doesn’t know how to lose!  Starting a little bit out-of-position at the 2 guard, the Knicks seem intent on giving him minutes and seeing what they have.  He played 31 yesterday to Jose Calderon‘s 23 minutes of rock-bottom garbage and Shane Larkin only popped up for 15.  Definitely going Galloway over Larkin, I was on that side of the argument even last week, but is it crazy to roll the dice on Langston over terrible-aroni Calderoni?  I would probably take Galloway unless a desperate need for assists-upside.  Plus Calderon makes perfect sense as a trade candidate given the Knicks’ direction.  Notice how I said Knicks.  And not Poppycockers.  Because they won a game!  I’m giving our New York readers a day of respite…  Keep the losses coming, Knicks, I wanna keep doling out the Poppycockers joke the rest of the year!  Here’s what else has gone down since we last checked in on Friday in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Who doesn’t remember Remember the Titans?  “If you have to remind people what the joke in the title is from, it sucks JB!”  Thanks ghost of Grey!  I’ll work on improving the rest of the week if you can sneak in and Hollow Man me a mustache ride.

Hard to believe Remember the Titans is so old.  Who woulda thought Will Patton’s annoying ass daughter would be getting torn apart by some monster Russian boxer.  “I must break you.”   And who woulda thought a guy who had bounced around the D league, played in China, barely played in 2011-12 the last time we saw him in the NBA, would break fantasy basketball waiver wires?!  Hassan Whiteside absolutely tore apart the Clippers Klitschko-style for 23/16/0/2/2 yesterday afternoon, in case you missed it and weren’t watching NBA.  Not like there was any other sport with important games on…  Mr. Whiteside hit 10-13 FG and 3-4 FT (although he’s not the best FT shooter), and most importantly started the second half over Chris Andersen.  Birdman had bid flu with a -17 +/- and Whiteside was brightside for +26.  No disparity there!  And somehow Slim’s Heat won.  I’d be very surprised if Whiteside doesn’t start tomorrow against the Lakers, and he’s leap-frogged a lot of the fringy big men.  Alex Len is so then!  Jordan Hill can take a chill pill!  Jusuf Nurkic can… Nope, he’s still Jamba Jus!  Love my smoothies…  But Hassan is likely a must-own in all leagues.  Hopefully you grabbed him yesterday or can this morning, so your bigs can tear apart your opponents Klitschko-style.  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday afternoon was a frenzy!  A frenzy because no Mozzy!  About as crazy as I was last Saturday about Fozzy!  Go Panthers!

Our prayers have been answered with Timofey Mozgov getting shipped out to Cleveland for two first round picks.  Two first-rounders?!  For Healthcare.Mozgov?!  Well, they’re like controlled picks from Memphis in some sort of hooblah where all that matters is they’re not going to be very high.  Not as high as say, Afroman!  Or 16th!  That’s where Jusuf Nurkic went in the first round this Summer, originally picked by the Bulls then traded.  Good thing for Nurkic!  It originally seemed really muddied there in Denver at C, but JaVale McGee just can’t get healthy, and Mozgov couldn’t go 3 minutes before getting multiple fouls.  So out ya go TinaFey, and huge role ahead for Nurkic!  At least 35 minutes every night given how good he’s been!  Andddddddd, only 22 minutes for 8/4/3/1/2 last night.  Still respectable numbers though!  Given one of his made FGs was this.  To quote my favorite sound from 90s gaming, “Oopsie!”  Or whatever he really says…  Anyway, J.J. Hickson is still there to give us a headache, as he went 11/10/1/2/1 in 30 solid minutes.  Yikes.  I still love me some Nurkic, and to the patient man goes the spoils!  Something like that…  Kinda lost in all of this yesterday was Hickson’s deep league value shooting up.  He’s not a terrible player for some Pts/Reb relief in a very poor man’s Zach Randolph kinda way now that minutes should be coming.  While many owners are mad they didn’t scoop Nurkic up quick enough, shoot out some buy lows with who you would’ve dropped, and maybe last night’s dud is enough to sneak Jamba Jus into your Mini-mall.  That sounds so wrong…  Here’s what else went down on a busy night of NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Some NBA GMs had a case of the Mondays, that’s for sure!  “Uhhhh, I’m not ready to be back at work, let’s do something nuts just to make it look like we’re working…”

In a blockbuster three-team trade, the New York Poppycockers salary dumped Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to the Cavs.  More pressure on Blatt!  Now he has to win with Knicks Outkasts… “I like the way you move!”  The last NBA coach who said that to Smith was George Karl.  Shumpert is likely going to start at the 2 with Smith becoming a 6th man.  Both of them must have had a redonkulous party to be heading to a winner.  Don’t invite Plaxico or Felton!  Then there’s Dion Waiters to the Thunder.  Meh.  Not like most leagues were using Waiters anyway, but he takes a minor hit in deepers.  Reggie Jackson should still lead the second unit in shots, so I’m not that excited.  The Knicks picked up three guys – Captain Kirk (but not the Hinrich one), some European with a lot of hair, but then an interesting name in Lance Thomas.  I almost made a cracker joke, but we’re gonna gloss right over that and reminiscence in some games he had earlier in the year on a depleted Thunder front line – 12/8/2 (Nov 1), 14/5/1 (Nov 4), the fluky 7/13/6 (Nov 12).  And depleted is baked right into the Knicks funnel cake right now.  The Poppycockers might as well see what they have at some point, so in uber deep leagues if you need someone with any sort of upside, I’d be sure and star LT on your wire.  Here’s what else went down on a crazy Monday for fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?