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?
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?
Ohhhh, Blake Griffin. Well maybe stud is a reach… I don’t want to change the title! With your powerful dunks and lifeless expression when you try to make the other team hit you… Sigh. I think Griffin was on some of the most overrated/bust/avoid lists on draft sheets heading into the season, and rightfully so. But maybe I’m just in my own head with a false narrative… The scoring and rebounding in 2012-13 went down for the third consecutive season (as did his minutes), and he just didn’t do enough multi-cat for you to pay the premium over your moron little brother’s friend who only knows NBA players from Sportscenter top 10. Gerald Green, first pick! That said, it was still a solid 2012-13 campaign. I ended up having him at 42, 7 higher than Yahoo and 10 below ESPN, so I was right in the middle. His ADPs on both sites were 6-7 picks ahead of their respective rankings, but I think the hardcore fantasy players were probably avoiding at the ADPs. He’s looked fantastic so far this season, averaging a career-high Pts, shooting his best FG% and stealing at a career pace. I really liked what he did last night, as Serge Ibaka was letting him have his shot from outside, and BGriff was draining em. Ended his night with a sultry 12-13 27/10/5/2 line. It’s like he went back in time, and told his 2011 self to get better at racking up fantasy stats. Championships? Pshhhh, we want fantasy goodness! I know I won two fantasy leagues last year, but I have no idea who won the Finals! I’m not exactly going to unload my roster to try and get Griffin, but I wouldn’t be selling high either if I ended up with him. Sit back, and enjoy your highlight dunks. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well… Larry Sanders hasn’t had the best few weeks… The Colonel held his injuries from the field surgeon just long enough to keep hope alive in his troops, but had to undergo the knife to repair his thumb and will be out 6 weeks. Was it from a punch, the champagne bottle, or just getting too close in the delivery room? No one will ever know. Talk about easily the biggest fantasy bust this season thus far. With no IR spot, drop this dude. Zaza Pachulia is now a big pickup for anyone needing big man stats. Za/Za is such a good Scrabble play! Definitely a go-to for 60+ point moves on the triples. If you have the cajones to challenge me in Words With Friends, hit me up (user ID: Jbronze). But if I smell any Word Gen, I’ma publicly smite you! Oh yeah, hoops, John Henson gets a big boost as well looking at consistent run. But beware Henson’s terrible FT shooting and prepare thusly. Speaking of thusly, herebe the NBA beings-all I saw last fortnight (wait, doesn’t that mean like 20 days ago? Eh you know what I meant):Please, blog, may I have some more?
I always love when an off night (only 4 games yesterday) yields one of the best NBA games we’ve seen all year. So many story lines, so many stars. And more importantly – so much fantasy goodness!
I guess I shouldn’t have curtsied around it, but there’s no way Chris Paul doesn’t lead the NBA in assists this year. I said in the first recap of the season he would average a bajillion assists and rack up double-digit dimes almost every game. Score two for JB! Averaging 12 a game equates to a bajillion, right? John Stockton is deadpan staring me down right now. Creepy, Stockton! Creepy… J.J. Redick will be a really underrated acquisition if the Clips indeed make a title run with how he helps space the floor with his movement and shooting, and while we all know Chris Paul is awesome, I’m already putting him as the #3 fantasy player right now, leapfrogging James Harden.
I lucked out getting last night’s only late game, making Yahoo highlights for the 137-118 Clippers win. Pretty much everything played out like a video game. Everyone was hitting 3s, the scoring was astronomical, the pace was like a Peyton Manning offense, and finished off with some late alleys for the icing on the cake. Fantasy God #1 really got that L2 + Square alley working out by the end of the game; Fantasy God #2 just couldn’t quite time Harden’s 3-point shot release. Wait, do they even need controllers? We are the controllers! Whoa, too much philosophizing. Let’s just get this back on the rails and go over some of the news and notes from last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Are you not entertained?!
Chris Paul sure put on a show last night, dropping treys, lobbing alleys, fending off tigers chained up as obstacles. You name it! He torched the Warriors in the Clippers “home opener” (despite it being their second straight game in LA) for an unreal 42/4/15 and 6 steals. Shot 12-20 from the field and won you FT% this week going 16-17 at the stripe. Paul was so much like Russell Crowe. In LA there’s even a “Coliseum” (ok maybe that’s a stretch)! Games like this support Doc wanting to cover up the banners and jerseys. Even when Kobe gets back, Paul has to be the best player in LA. I said it before on Opening Night and reiterate below, but the acquisition of J.J. Redick does wonders for Paul in the Clippers spacing. I said he’ll have double-digit assists almost every game. I said he’d score 42 against the Warriors. Dammit, OK so I didn’t say that second one. Elite assists and steals are par for the course, and scoring like this in a few more games will have him the easy #3 fantasy player. Here’s what else I saw in last night’s two NBA games:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Despite the two nationally telecast Opening Night games (with the Heat/Bulls starting at 8:00 PM EST), the season really started at 7:00 with the Magic against the Pacers. Non-fantasy players probably didn’t know this game ever happened. All the sudden in the second quarter, Andrew Nicholson just went off, going 8-9 in the first half with 18 points. Next thing you know, ESPN Fantasy Basketball is down. Why RCL is on Yahoo! But despite the Magic losing the lead and the offense going stagnant early in the third, Nicholson only played another few minutes in the second half and got stuck at 18 points in 19 minutes, only taking one additional shot and going 8-10 on the night. Womp womp. I never thought too much of Nicholson and don’t think he’s a guy to go rush to the wire for (unlike ESPN fantasy players!), and don’t forget Tobias Harris sat out with the ailing ankle. 19 minutes sounds about right for Nicholson, and he’s obviously not going to be a 48 PPG scorer per 48. But I hope the kid enjoyed the moment in the sun during that first half shooting spree. You temporarily broke Fantasy! He was like the Fantasy Basketball Kevin Ogletree. Here’s what else went down last night in the NBA:Please, blog, may I have some more?
At last! At long last.
The fantasy basketball season is upon us and we finally get to start seeing our lineups in action. I, for one, am pumped like never before. Sure it may be because it’s my first full season as the Razzball Editor on hoops, and sure, it may be because it’s the last year the North Carolina team will be called the “Bobcats”, but hey, we all have our things to look forward to!
If you’re new to Razzball, I’ll be giving you daily recaps of everything that went down across fantasy hoops (starting tomorrow) along with contributions from our other great writers (Pete, Dan and Slim) throughout the year. And if you missed my mention of it once or twice through the preseason, I work for a company that makes the Yahoo Fantasy Basketball player highlights which will start going up tonight! We also make the TNT Overtime highlights which come up on the timeline as you’re watching the game (It’s free! And starts tonight!). I bring this up, well first because it’s the coolest job, and second because I get to watch a lot of hoops and break down film of typically two games a night. So at the end of Daily Recaps I’ll be letting you what games I’m watching that night and you can either tweet me (@jbgilpin) if you’re wondering about something in the game or ask in comments the next day. We’re next level here at Razzball!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?
Razzball Nation! You’ve been clamoring for some updated rankings, and here they come! I’m going to release them slowly, teasing them out, just like how we did the offseason rankings 5 months ago. These top guys haven’t changed too much, but the rankings will expand to the top 200, culminating in an easy-to-use and frequently updated cheat sheet you can use during all your drafts as they commence in the next few months. Fantasy NBA is coming and we’re ready to win you titles (or titties – depending on your league’s prize pool). Previous ranks from my Off-Season Rankings are in parentheses before this re-rank:Please, blog, may I have some more?