Ya know, playing a typical “bad” team can help cure all ills, but then there’s playing a New York team that goes full Poppycock… To kick off MLK day, the Knicks continued their epic collapse, by being forced to start doofy Ron Baker and Mind Games Koozie Mints. I’m kinda guessing at that second guy, I don’t know why Razzball isn’t linking to his name though! It’s about right! Baker got 22 minutes of 12/3/1/2/0 and was OK, and I guess Mindaugas Kuzminskas was OK too for 14/5/2/2/0 in 38 minutes, and well, the Hawks only beat this make-shift roster by 1, so there’s that! But the big thing to watch in this game (for me) was Dennis Schroder, who is off two horrid games where he got out-minutesed by Malcolm Delaney. Fortunately Das German broke out of his funk, and went 28/3/3 on a mad hot 13-16 shooting with a trey.

The trey being the game winner! Still got 2 TO and no D stats, but hey, at least he kept another split-PG situation from developing. Already have seen to much of that in the NBA! It was an action-packed, holiday-filled day of basketball last night, so let’s daily notes it up!

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I was struggling to come up with a title to this week’s post.  I thought the other four roster positions articles had decent and easy to understand title.  My initial thought went something like Big Men + Stretchies.  Being that this site already coined “EmBIIIIIIIIIIIID”, I don’t want to further go down that Phallic symbol route.

We’ll end this Numbers Game-by-position series by looking at the PF position.  The game has evolved to the point that most teams now employ some sort of stretch four which is typically a PF (or a SF that plays the PF position on small ball lineups) that can consistently knock down the outside shot.  Some teams still employ the 2 Bigs lineup–think MEM, UTA, TOR sometimes (with JV and Bebe) and SAS, albeit both their bigs aren’t really the traditional big men that likes to operate down low in the post.

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Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, Christmas Day is a great day for basketball fans. With the exception of the shortened 1998 lockout season, games have been played on Christmas Day every year since 1947 and often feature the best of the best. And this year was no exception.

We saw a rematch of the NBA Finals, a battle for Los Angeles, and a matchup of exciting young players between Minnesota and OKC.

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Oh man, no rest for the wicked! Speaking of wicked, oh man quick shout out to the Wicked Weed Funkatorium, that brewery rocked! But yeah, an absolutely amazing slate to catch me back up on the daily notes, with 4 overtimes last night. Including a super size me doubler in Miami! Most of the other games stayed close too, and 20 of the 22 teams in action last night topped 100 points. Fantasy orgasm! And leading the charge on such a big-and-tall NBA night was of course Isaiah Thomas! Career-high 44 points for IT2/3, putting up a 4/3rd’s of a full line of 44/3/6/1/1 on 10-16 FG (7-10 3PTM, 17-17 FT) including a big three in extra time in the OT win.

I’m just glad this groin thing got worked out! …That sounded wrong… If you have a smaller groin muscle, does it heal faster?! I’m not saying he doesn’t have a kick stand down there with a line like this, but just wondering! After semi-breaking out last year (well he was only 2/3 better than his career year in 13-14 for the Kings), IT2/3 has taken an even further step up – scoring 26.6 PPPG, upping the FT volume to 8.8/per at 90% (remember when he was like 70% the first few weeks, that changed quick!), and even though the steals are only at 0.9, he’s drastically cut his TO rate to only 2.2 despite all the added USG. After a slow start due to injuries, the Celtics look like a pretty tough team at full strength right now, and maybe IT2/3 can lead this squad into a deep run. I’ll be cheering for them! (cough, REL bias, cough…) Here’s what else happened on an action-packed Tuesday night of Holiday Season basketball:

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For a while there, it looked like the makeshift Memphis Zombies might sneak by a crazy victory in Toronto over the Raps. But just like in World War Z, the Zeds tried to follow the humans north, but eventually froze up.

In his first start in the non-Mike Conley-era, Andrew Harrison was surprisingly capable with the added onus of driving the offense, going 21/2/4/3/0 on 7-12 FG (4-5 3PTM 3-4 FT) with only 2 TO in 35 minutes. Looked good in transition, hit contested, fadeaway treys… I didn’t expect this to get off to such a good start, and against the Raps no less!

It’s obviously only one game, and he’s not gonna shoot 80% from deep while filling in for Conley, but this was mad encouraging and you’re certainly grabbing him in most leagues off this showing. He has already proven he can handle big NBA minutes – albeit in a more complimentary role – so I think this can work as a PG 3 or 4 on your fantasy roster. On the flip side, Wade Baldwin played 24 minutes and went only 2/3/2/0/0 with 3 TO and 4 fouls, shooting 1-6 FG, bringing his sexy-efficient FG% back down to 31.5%. There might not be a Wade Baldwin V, with accuracy like that! Gus Ayonin’! Here’s what else went down last night in Fantasy Basketball action:

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Ahhhhh, DeMarcus Cousins. Build like a brick shithouse (did I get that phrase right?), puts up monster numbers, and the Kings franchise is terrible. We need a change of scenery! After years of speculation and “Lord give me strength” tweets, it looks like this year might finally be the year.

Boogie went nuts last night against the Wizards, going 36/20/4/2/1 (Goromotaro!), but the Kings still got another kick in the SAC in the OT loss. Cousins tried to put this team on his back! Scored the pivotal last two baskets to put it into extra time, but the Wizards are like the Borg. “Resistance is futile!”

Trekkie jokes! Despite the huge line and burning Marcin Gortat on drives, Boogie still did Boogie things, with 5 TO and 3-10 FT. I saw he almost got a technical foul by complaining to the rim! “Is that goal regulation size or WHAT?!” Even though he has 32+ points in the past 4, the D stats are down, and a looming trade would inevitably hurt his value. Actually, staying put would hurt too, as he’d be a major DNP candidate. One Boogie rumor is that he could be playing for last night’s enemy, and reuniting with Kentucky teammate John Wall. It would probably take Bradley Beal and some pieces, likely some picks thrown in there too, but the Wizards look like they need a shake-up, I think we can all agree there. Scotty Brooks can manage superstar personalities, and might be the best coach for Cousins. That said, the Wiz are 4-2 over the past 6, and might be ever-so-slightly turning it around.

With the trade rumor mill churning and the D stats down (giving Boogie a surprisingly-low 19th per-game valuation on BBmonster), I think now is the time to shop him around. You’re feeling great with your returns if you got him in the second round, so maybe a fantasy owner will want to take on Boogie’s temperamental stats more aggressively than an NBA GM. That is, if this hypothetical NBA GM isn’t a big fantasy player! Although if the GM plays in 8-cat, he’ll spend like crazzzzzzy to get Boogie! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

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Here’s the matchup grid updated prior to the 1030 ET time games last night.

matchupswk3v2

I don’t want to go in depth on this today as I’d like to spend some time talking about a specific player below.  The next in-depth discussion will be in a couple of weeks when we have a nice full month of data.  Just wanted to point out that GSW remains near the top of teams to target, albeit they seem to have tightened it up a bit on the rebounding category compared to last week.

Some names to target for the rest of the week:

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Lucas Nogueira!  Over the last 7 days, Lucas has averaged 8.7/8/1/2/3 – Clearly, the 3 blocks are a great reason to stream him while he’s averaging 27 minutes per game. Plus, how can you not have that sweet fro on your team??  He’s owned at 40% at the moment, so he may not be there at this point though.

Outside of Nogueira, we have some very old names on the list… Let’s get to em!

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As I try to do in my opens, I pull in some real-life news or experience to try and humanize the open. No one wants robot reporting! Just ask Mark Cuban. And that whole situation seems like such a cop out, “I’m going to ban reporters, and the reason why is that I want more human reporting!” Something else is going on there…

Anywho, for this open, I actually have relevant life experience! As previously mentioned regarding Derrick Favors, I too have suffered from IT Band Syndrome. It’s an inflammation of a thin band of nerves that connect from your hip bone on the outside of your leg, past your knee, and connected to your lower leg. Sometimes it can manifest itself in a mad sore hip, but usually it impacts the outside of your knee. When it flares up, it feels like a bone-on-bone “catching” on the outer part of your knee, like you have some horrific scar tissue from a torn meniscus (something I’ve also had). The real annoyance of the injury is you can feel awesome for a few days, then it flares up out of nowhere. You’re just walking normal, and all the sudden that “catch” makes your knee feel like you re-tore something. It’s pretty friggin’ frustrating.

So when I heard Favors was starting last night despite a flare up of knee soreness again on Saturday, I wasn’t the most surprised. I bet it felt great in warm-ups! Then at some point, I’m guessing he felt that same nerve irritation, and he ended up leaving early. I know his frustration. As a nerve thing, this isn’t really a consistent pain-tolerance thing, or a sprain to play through. It feels fine, then a sudden flare up makes your knee feel unstable. I didn’t watch any of this game, but he apparently didn’t look right, and went only 6/2/0/2/0 in 21 minutes. As I mentioned on the Pod, I nabbed some shares of Trey Lyles on Sunday given Favors’ knee issues and knowing this could be a long-term thing, getting rewarded with an 18/5/2/2/0 line with a trey. A trey from Trey! With leaving games early a persistent issue now, I wouldn’t be surprised if Favors gets treatment for a few weeks, and I would take the flier on Lyles where I could. It took me about two months of rehab and a session of dry needling to stimulate the nerves to finally shake my IT issues. Don’t watch if you don’t like needles! Here’s what else happened in fantasy hoops action last night:

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So I had some friends in over the weekend, and they straight up Uncle Bucked me.  I have no idea if I can use that as a verb, and I do mean the movie, they didn’t show up and immediately get cancelled like the recent TV series attempt.  Well, I haven’t really seen either, but I think the point gets across!  They went hard and seemed closer together than my lame, grandpa ass.  Can’t hang like I used to!

In a similar way, when I took over Razzball Hoops, I sometimes felt like the lame black sheep of the family.  Grey over there at baseball was clubbing like that scene from The Social Network, this song was playing, and was talking about how a million page views isn’t cool anymore.  A billion page views is!  Then football had Sky then Jay running a party boat like they were on Lake Minnetonka.  But hoops over here was the ginger outcast, living like Harry Potter under the steps.  Somehow and someway, we went to Hogwarts and became as cool as those other Wizards (although, not the awful 2-7 Washington ones…), and as fantasy hoops grew as the best global fantasy game, Razzball Hoops Nation came along with us for the ride.  Either that, or you keep reading just because you think to yourself, “this clown is such a disgrace, he wears a jersey that says “Smart” and he’s the biggest doofus around!”

Like initiation into the Razzball fraternal order, we have a huge announcement.  Huuuuuuge!  Huge Gina!   Razzball Basketball now has dedicated Player Pages!  Wooooooo, drop the confetti, we’re part of the big boys!  From here on out, you’ll see player names hyperlinked with our own internal player page system that imports several layers of stats: Per game stats, per 36, USG calculations, game logs, season stats, and contract information.  Player pages also link to recent Razzball posts when the player was last mentioned, and coming soon will include next 7 days and DFS projections.  We’re going to be looking into the future!  Slow clap to Rudy for his work putting these together, and working with yours truly to hopefully deliver an awesome new tool that will overtake the player pages you use for your leagues.  And let us know what you think!  If you have additional things you want, things you hate, we want to know!  Razzball Hoops is entirely based on our community and comments, so let us know if you like em!

To mark this triumphant new era for Razzball Hoops, I thought long and hard about who to hyperlink first.  I do have an unhealthy KCP addiction, and slicky Ricky is oh so spicy, but why not go with the hottest guy in 2016, DeMar DeRozan!  Time Magazine‘s sexiest man alive has nothing on DeMar!  And nothing on those sleek player pages either!  33/7/4/2/0 against the Poppycockers, giving him 32+ points in 8 of his first 9 games.  Invasion from Canada!  While he’s obviously more than Wigginsing it, he only has 3 games under 54% from the field, his steals are at a career-high, and he’s likely going to regress a smidge.  I’m certainly not giving him away, but if someone thinks his poutines AND gravy are completely legit, maybe you can get a little more value out of him than he’s worth.  But if he’s carrying your scoring, ride this wave!  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops action, now with players linked to their Razzball pages!  Woooooo!

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