This is the best time of the year. Baseball is going to get real soon, pigskins are being thrown around, it’s the eye of the WNBA season, and my rankings start flowing out. I also forgot that my kids go back to school soon. I love my kids and all, but they need to start getting edumacated again. You scoff at the WNBA mention? I admit, I was not a fan in the early days, but those ladies got skills. In addition, they play beautiful basketball and the offensive sets that they run are poetry.
Since August 1st happened to be on a Tuesday, I’ll release rankings every Tuesday from here on out. Can one be semi-OCD? That’s an oxymoron right? Maybe I’m just a moron. Anyways, I get a little particular about things, like it would’ve bothered me if I started this whole endeavor on Monday the 31st. I know. I know. I’ve got issues, but lucky for you, the subscription is free!
Ok, before I begin, shit happens. As a result, I’ll put out a Top 200 list in early October that will highlight any player movement that happens over the next few months.
A big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and his thoughts and opinions on many players.
Whoa, how weird is that?! “2017-18 Fantasy Basketball”?!?! Already?! Well, as what typically happens with postseason fantasy hoops disappointments for me, I’m ready to again turn the page. Gonna get nothing but titles next year, wooooo! I’m gonna be like UCLA in the 60s-70s. Plenty of white players on those teams, right LaVar Ball!? Oh shizz, yeah let’s get straight to the inappropriate right off the bat for 2017-18!
As tradition, we’re kicking off our Way Too Early Ranks for 17-18 on the last day of the 16-17 season, passing the torch to next year on a hot handoff, but not hot enough to knock the baton out of someone’s hands. Ish ain’t allowed! Also, I should be disallowed from ranking Chandler Parsons, amiright?! Thanks again to everyone reading through the season, and let’s get some early rankings on! Here’s my Way Too Early Top 10 for the 2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Season:
Razzball Nation! For most of us H2Hers the season is over, but we’ve still got Roto wrapping up and some ill-conceived H2H finals pressing through, so I wanted to take a quick look at some Daily Notes over the last stretch of action. Really the only reason it would be fun to still have games matter is if you own superstars on teams vying for the 7th or 8th seed. Enter Omen, stage left!
Damian Lillard showed Utah why he really hates jazz music, going 59/6/5/1/0, and somehow dropping that kind of line without a TO. Hit 9 triples and 14-16 FT, on his way to a career and franchise high… It’s a horror film watching him slice up oppo D’s! Career-highs in FG%, FT%, scoring, and he’s dropped his TO rate from 3.2 last year back down to 2.6. Funny how no one complains about his sub-1.0 STL rate though, unlike Dennis Schroder! But when you’re hitting 3 treys a game at almost 45% from the field, you get a pass! What a year from “Baby”, as he plays his way into a clear early-to-mid second rounder for drafts in 2017-18. Can’t wait to unveil some ranks! Tomorrow we’ll have the Razzies Presentation (if you haven’t voted yet – vote now!), then Wednesday my 2017-18 Top 10. Fantasy never sleeps over here on hoops! Here’s what else went down over the past week in fantasy basketball action:
If you recognize this picture, then you’ll certainly understand the title. If you don’t, then how dare you call yourself a basketball fan… Also, you should check out Vince Carter in the 2000 slam dunk contest.
We have reached my final recap of the season. It has been a long journey. We have laughed and cried, we have shouted and groaned, but most of all, we have experienced the deep love of fantasy basketball that transcends us all. For the good times we’ve had, I thank you. For those who have offered comments, compliments, and constructive criticism, I appreciate you. And for the haters, I say fuck you. Wait, am I allowed to say that??? Well shit…
We start our night in Detroit, where the Pistons barely manage to edge the Nets 90-89… Let’s dive in!
In a battle for real life playoff implications, Hassan Whiteside tipped in Goran Dragic’s missed putback to give the Heat a 97-96 win:
It was just the tip, but sometimes that’s all you need, as the Heat went up a game on the Bulls and 2.5 games ahead of the Pistons for the final playoff spot in the east. Whiteside finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Dragic added 28/4/4 on 9-16 shooting.
Oddly enough, it was the Heat’s first game-winning buzzer-beater since 2013, when a little known player by the name of LeBron James beat the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the playoffs in full swing, every game matters, so here are the rest of your nightly notables:
The Bulls came into Toronto having beat the Raptors in 11 straight games. It took overtime, but the Raptors snapped the losing streak behind DeMar DeRozan’s 42 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Double D shot 17-38 and helped erase a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter to secure the win.
DeRozan battled all game against Jimmy Butler, who also went off for 37/10/6. Despite these two all-stars’ phenomenal performances, the game was overshadowed by the fight between Serge Ibaka (16 and 6) and Robin Lopez (12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks):
Usually Lopez only fights mascots, but took exception to Ibaka’s shove in the back. Fortunately the guys were separated rather quickly, but the league will obviously review the fight and make a decision later on whether either player will be suspended any games. Personally, I’d expect both guys to miss at least one game, but hopefully it’s just a fine and they return for their teams’ next game.
I don’t typically do this, but I’m going completely off-script for the open today, after we got the awful news Bill Paxton passed away in his early 60s due to complications from heart surgery. Isn’t it weird how attached we get to actors we obviously don’t know in person?! Especially more a character guy like Bill, but this one hit me hard for some reason! Who doesn’t love True Lies? Aliens? The GOOD James Cameron movies?!
And for this to happen on Oscar weekend too, just a real shame. Alas, it’s been a busy-as-hell weekend across the association plus I finally wrapped up my Pitcher Rankings over on baseball that’ll be out this afternoon or tomorrow. Weekend of writing! That’s what really pulls me through man, getting to write about sports for all you wondrous people in Razzball Nation. The game will never be over, there will always be basketball and baseball! Tackle football…? Eh, maybe not-sa-much… Here’s what went down over the busy weekend – the first after the break with a lot of fresh faces in new places – in fantasy basketball action:
The biggest news from Tuesday may have happened off the court. Prior to playing the Chicago Bulls, the Toronto Raptors traded Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick to the Orlando Magic for Serge Ibaka.
Playing in what will be one of the last games without Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas nearly posted a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Dwyane Casey wasn’t sure if Ibaka would join the team before the All-Star Break so Valanciunas might have one more game sans-Ibaka (Wednesday night), but I expect his numbers to take a hit playing alongside Ibaka. Both guys should still be valuable so I wouldn’t even think about dropping either guy.
The biggest beneficiary of the trade is Norman Powell, who will see an increase in production with Ross gone. Powell led the Raptors in scoring off the bench versus the Bulls with 13 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
The trade couldn’t have happened quickly enough. DeMar DeRozan had an off night, scoring 18 points (5-19 FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, as the Raptors dropped their 11th game in the last 15. To add insult to injury, the Bulls weren’t even at full strength, with Dwyane Wade (wrist) and Nikola Mirotic (back spasms) sitting.
Kyle Lowry was the only bright spot for the Raptors, posting 22 points (8-17 FG, 4-11 3PT FG), 4 assists, and 4 threes.
Now here’s the rest of this Valentine’s Day edition of the Daily Notes:
For the love of tripdubs! Dayum Draymond Green had a ridiculous Friday night, nay, a legendary Friday night! One of the craziest lines I can remember since helming Razzball hoops, Dray was the one bringing the defense instead of the Grizz, going 4/12/10/10/5.
Well, when Marc Gasol tries a slow-ass, lackluster behind-the-back dribble right in front of you, it’s easy to get 10 steals! I think I coulda stolen that! Speaking of stealing, Andre Iguodala totally stole my dance move at the end of that highlight there… When I go to the club, it’s like I’m walking on hot coals! Anyway, it was the NBA’s first triple-double without scoring 10 points, and Dray couldn’t even get a 5×5 line! Chump. Then #Occupy followed it up Saturday with a 6/8/8/3/1 line, with the weekend boosting his season averages to 2.1 steals and 1.5 blocks per. He’s exactly copying the 7.4 AST which he also had in 15-16, but he’s cut down the TO from 3.2 to 2.4 this year, while averaging career-bests in the stocks. We all expected the scoring to go down, but man, the defense numbers the Dubs crank out is insanity, thanks in part to their pace. If you didn’t win steals and blocks with Dray’s 13 steals and 6 blocks over the weekend, then something went drastically wrong! Would be time to occupy that trading block! Here’s what else went down over a fun weekend of NBA action:
No Super Bowl hangover in the NBA, that’s for sure! A full helping of action with 11 games on the slate, starting with a phenomenal national game on TNT to kick off the next 2 months, where there’s nothing but NBA going on. Well, hockey too, sorry Viz! And college basketball! Dammit, well, basketball isn’t competing with NFL or MLB for a bit, and the face of the NBA let everyone know, with a preposterous buzzer-beater to get the Cavs in OT and eventually beat the Wiz (snapping their 17-game home winning streak):
That Wizards fan says it all! Who says LeBron Jamesis old?! 32/7/17/2/2 in an unreal performance on national TV, in a game the NBA couldn’t have scripted to go any better the night after the NFL got their best game ever played. Well, maybe a little hyperbole, but it was OK… Along with that line, he hit 6 treys and 12-18 from the field, but only 2-5 FT!? Wouldn’t have needed that buzzer beater if he could just hit his damned FT!!! He actually fouled out early in OT too, but Kyrie Irving then took over as the alpha, scoring 11 of his 23 in OT in an otherwise disappointing game. Then there’s of course Kevin Love, who went OFF for 39/12/3/3/0 with 6 treys and 11-11 FT. Needed every bit outta the big 3 to beat a hot Wizards team on the road! During the game, Frank Isola (who you may know from Around the Horn and ish) reported LeBron is pushing the Cavs management to trade Love for Carmelo Anthony. LeBron then went all Trump on his ass in postgame. “Fake News!” But ya know, fighting the rumors off in a less dictatory-way, even as The King… Here’s what else went down last night in a busy Monday of hoops action: