Sometimes there’s not much you can do to affect your situation. If you’re reading this, digging this deep into the murky ether of the worldwide inter-webs for fantasy basketball advice, I’m sure you’ve had a daydream or two about being an NBA baller. We both know, however, for you and I, it wasn’t about not getting enough shots up after practice that held us out of the Association, we didn’t have the talent, pure and simple. But, if you’re petty like me, you might take some ironic comfort in knowing that even some of the Ballers in the NBA get shafted as well. Take Kyle Lowry, for example. He gets snubbed for the All Star game, then snubbed for the replacement players, THEN gets named Eastern conference player of the week, and then receives the worst call of the year, just to burst his bubble. That is a travesty of injustice, and while I’m not shedding any tears for Kyle inherently, it just goes to show that even the elite get effed with. There is a karmic balance going on, people, stop pretending there isn’t, and start paying it forward, eat your vegetables, and help old ladies across the street.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I might be making this up, but doesn’t Denver play the Flavor Flav “Yeah Boy!” when Randy Foye hits a three? Well I hope they do! After a brutal Super Bowl for the Broncos (and America), the Denver populous got some slight redemption with Foye hitting this buzzer-beater last night. Sportscenter! But even with that game-winner, Foye had a rainbow flirt of 14/7/4/1/2. That’s not ThrAGNOF! Even with Ty Lawson back, Foye is rackin’ up multi-cat!? I haven’t been a big Foye fan for shallower leagues this year – I thought he was constantly overvalued – but getting 16 dimes in his previous game then a nice all-around line last night with Ty-Ty back; I think I’m a little more a believer. Sure it’s only one game against a fast-paced Clippers team, but 40+ minutes yet again last night and now in three straight games and Foye is looking pretty locked in for good value right now. Owned in 57% of Yahoo leagues seems a little thin. Show ya Foye a little Flavor of Love. Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just like a vacation to Cape Cod, Tim Hardaway Jr. got a sabbatical Mike Woodson’s bench at the start of 2014. “My New Year’s resolution will be… Bench my best players! Well except Melo…” Playing under 15 minutes in first 5 2014 games, it looked like it would be a Hardaway Way Back. But as they say, “slow and steady wins the race!” Then how come Andrew Bynum isn’t running track? “Usain Bolt got nothing on me!” Then starting on the 14th, Coach Woody got Timmy Tim more minutes, capped off with 30+ in three of the last four. And man, was last night some straight ballin’! Topping his career-high by 8, Timmay(!) went 29/3/1 in 31 minutes, shooting a sizzling 11-17 FG with 6-12 from deep. “That means he made every shot inside the arc!” Thanks arbitrary remark man! Enough with the quotes this morning JB… This game was virtually over the second Tyler Zeller lost the tip to Tyson Chandler (the ridiculous mismatch on the tip was a nice foreshadowing of the game…) and the Knicks embarrassed the Cavs about as bad as “The Decision.” But while Timmay(!) racked up some points in junk time, the Knicks have won four straight with him helping to stretch the floor. Of course no Iman Shumpert factors in, but there’s no way Coach Woody doesn’t have some morning woody seeing 4 straight wins – thanks to a lot less of Timmay(!) on the pine and more of him on… hardwood. So I think Hardaway Jr. is here to stay as a ThrAGNOF, which isn’t necessarily a derogatory term. Stream him when you can even in shallow leagues! Free points and threes! But not much else… Here’s what else I saw last night in a light slate of Thursday games:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Remember back in the day when you played Oregon Trail every waking moment? I only sorta remember because I kept getting dysentery… But I imagine an update should have the mythical creature of LaMarcus Aldridge as some sort of omnipotent deity that you hope comes to your aid. “Your wagon is stuck in quick sand, use 1 of 3 remaining LaMarcus Aldridge summons?” Hells yea! And then I need him to save my oxen. Huge game from LA last night putting up a career-high points and a sick 44/13/5/0/2 line including 14-17 FT while the crowd chanted “M-V-P” all 4th quarter. Scored the last 15 points, went 8-8 at the stripe in the last 70 seconds, all in a 5-point win. The Nuggets just had nothing for him inside when he was crashing the glass, and LA was boarding like a beast. I know he’s had a lot of Goromotaros, but almost all the boards he got in this one were in traffic. And the Nuggets were fouling him extremely hard all 4th quarter. Gonna need an ice bath! All he has to do is come to the east coast and jump in a lake. One of my worst calls of the year was my poor Aldridge ranking, but if you can’t get it right, join em! Or something like that… Traded for him in REL and in another league. I don’t know why owners were pulling a Kurt Russell and trying to Escape From L.A., but enjoy your huge stats and the first-round value you’re accruing. Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA news and action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
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?
I trust everyone has been a good boy or girl this year, and has sent their wish list to Santa already, right? I have it on good authority that jolly old St. Nick is a huge NBA fan, so naturally I suggest you ask for fantasy help. And I have a strategy: bear in mind, if you ask for too much, you get burned for being greedy, and you will get coal bricks under your tree (like Drummond at the free throw line, amirite?? Awful, sorry.). So, that in mind, I’m simply asking for dimes. I need help with assists in my 2 leagues, I took Kyrie in both leagues, and he is not exactly packing that stat line, I have Jameer, and he’s been on and off the court… well, whining to you guys won’t do anything about it. But whining to Santa will. It has to, as there is no quality points on my waiver. And with that let me bend your eyeballs to a few guys that might make excellent stocking stuffers:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now I’m not sure about this, but when Taj Gibson had a couple good games over the Thanksgiving week, I probably recapped and gobble-gobbled at it. My jowls flapped around like Boss Nass bein’ all “Hmmpphhherr Rumpity-Doooo, Taj Gibson, rabble rabble rabble!” At least that sounds like me… Now you see what I deal with in my inner monologue! It’s like I battle a drunk Kenny Rogers. Which is to say, I battle Kenny Rogers. Gibson has been a scrate-up beast the past four, going 23/8, 18/4, 26/14 5 blks, and 19/6/0/1/1 last night. Bringing big time energy to that front line as the main big off the bench, he’s playing insane out there, shooting 67% from the floor in those past 4. I watched the game last night and was impressed with his spark, but then again, the Heat bigs are awful. They got out-rebounded 49-27 last night! Back in the day, I used to love Taj when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah battled injuries. But now… it took some time and four in a row to buy it. I think it’s because the Bulls are my least favorite team. Sorry Bulls fans! Boozer & Noah just yell on virtually every rebound and definitely every single putback attempt. It’s unreal! It’s like Maria Sharapova is rebounding. And Gibson does it at least 50% of the time. He’s becoming the Bulls Sex Panther. “50% of the time he’s yelling… every time!” But regardless of how annoying he/the Bulls bigs are to watch/listen to, he’s playing like a must-own in all formats. At 33% owned in Yahoo and 24% in ESPN, he’s hot while a lot guys are not. I don’t think he’s going to turn into a set-it and forget-it guy the rest of the year, he doesn’t do enough of anything else besides score and board (if not for that 5 block game, he’d be under 1 in Asts, Stls & Blks on the year), but I think he’s a ride the wave kinda add right now. Here’s what else I saw on the light Thursday slate of games and a few updates for tonight:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sorry Bargs, it’s not “Il Mago” you’re “Il Diva”. After whining about playing time in Toronto saying he wanted to play somewhere warmer to the Italian media, the obvious answer is the tropical climate of New York City. Il Diva disappeared in his final year in Toronto, playing under 30 minutes a game for the first time since 07-08. His FG% fell to a career-second worse, the 3PT% second worst and tied a career-worst in rebounding. After 35 games, they cut open his elbow and he cut his ties with the great country of Canadia (sp?). Enter 2013-14 and Bargnani was coming off the bench, and Knicks fans were even booing him after one quarter. Welcome to the Big Apple! I saw some early Knicks action as well, and Bargnani looked as bad as Amar’e Stoudemire. Hey-o! But then Tyson Chandler went down with the broken leg, thrusting Il Diva into a starting role. At that point, I put no stock in either Bargs or Amar’e, but Bargnani has been able to prove something to me: he needs big minutes to be able to do anything. And it’s not a per/48 thing, it’s getting comfortable in the game. Through this season, in the 5 games he’s under 30 minutes he’s shooting 48.8% for 10.2/1.4/0.4 with 0.8 threes a game. And didn’t log a single block. In 3 games over 30 minutes, he’s 53.8% 23/7.7/1.7 2.3 Blks and 2.7 threes a game. Even at per/48 rates and taking into account the small sample, the disparity is shocking. Since Chandler is out a good while healing up the broken leg and Amar’e is just a huge contract sitting on the bench, Bargnani is going to get huge minutes (almost always over 30) and continue this run. “Let me play lots or else I stand around!” Must own in all leagues, a statement I made last week and confirmed with another 24/4 line with three threes and a block last night. Here’s what else I saw in last night’s action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In yet another bad turn for fantasy top-100 Cs, JaVale McGee joins the triage with Tyson Chandler as centers with broken legs. However unlike Chandler with the impact fracture, McGee discovered a stress fracture in his tibia with the ominous “out indefinitely” declaration. It’s a very tough break (ugh) for the Nuggets and fantasy owners hoping to see stat lines of 10/10/5 when the Nuggets were on the slate. All joking aside, I hate seeing players get injuries and it’s my least favorite open in news recaps in any sport. There are a select few that are funny (my favorite will always be Bartolo Colon trying to swing for the fences and throwing out his back, and I have little sympathy because he’s a roider), but I wish McGee a speedy recovery. For fantasy, he’s droppable in virtually all leagues. A tall guy with a stress fracture isn’t swell, plus he was only playing 16 minutes a game anyway. J.J. Hickson and Tomfey Mozgov get immediate boosts in value, Mozgov is decent when he’s not getting posterized, but Hickson I think is the biggest takeaway and probably should be scooped up in most leagues if he’s not owned already. He proved he can be valuable with starting minutes and is a quality big man. Here’s some other headlines from over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?