My lead yesterday was about a weekend of injuries, and as much as I wanted to stay away from injuries in today’s open, there’s just way too many. Like that pilot in the Return of the Jedi when they attack the new Death Star. ”There’s too many of them!” Sorry in advance Jake VZ – but I think the lead is Bradley Beal reportedly aggravating his leg injury and at the time of this post in the wee hours of the morning, the Wizards fear a prolonged absence. Beal hurt the same leg with a broken fibula last year that ended his season prematurely. In both my longer blurb in my top 100 and in my top 200 I tried to say I was worried, and only ended up with him on my autodrafted team. By now, news has hit his little news icon on Yahoo and ESPN, so it’s going to be a little tough to sell at full price or even a slight discount if you’re hitting the panic button. I’m worried myself. I’m running in with Jodie Foster and a weird, gothy, tween Kristen Stewart into my Panic Room. More precise news should come out today, but if for some reason you were about to cut Martell Webster, hold the phone and keep my boy. I have been told I have too many “boys”. But I like Webster a lot! And called him a must add a few weeks back. Trevor Ariza is also back and starting tonight, and the mere fact they’re not easing him in off the bench has me thinking his hammy must be doing pretty well. Both Ariza and Webster are looking at big minutes for a stretch, and John Wall will continue to have this big offensive upside he’s shown in the past two games. Here’s what else went down in the wide world of fantasy hoops last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So… It was a ridiculous weekend of injuries with the NBA pulling its best NFL impression. ”Look how many people we can hurt too!” Right now the safest big sport might be hockey… The survivors of this NBA-wide injury bug should barricade themselves in a giant prison. OK, so that’s not exactly the best analogy… Look out for the Governor! Arguably the biggest injury over the weekend was another knee giving out for Derrick Rose, who tore his meniscus and is having surgery some time today. This is about the worst thing that could’ve happened for fantasy this season. No, not because I’m a Rose owner… But because of all the Rose questions! Of course this would happen for a second straight year. So obligatory memo, statement, press release – Razzball’s official stance on answering questions on Rose will involve no guesses or speculation to his return! Well, Pete, Slim, & Dan can… I guess. But I’m not doing this again! ”Hey JB, when’s the end of the world?” ”When am I going to win the lottery?” ”How in God’s green earth did the Patriots win last night?” ”When will the Spurs finally kick out all the vets and give Kawhi Leonard superstar touches?!” I just don’t have the answers! We saw Russell Westbrook go down with a meniscus injury, only to need a second clean-up surgery. Rose has said he’s leaning towards a reattachment procedure that would cost him the season, plus Rose has his other knee just off the ACL. His knees have gone the way of Kyle’s knees in that South Park episode after his expletive-plasty. Hopefully Rose’s surgeon is part-Borg and can get something mechanical going on in there. ”He’s more machine now than man…” Dude, I just crossed sci-fi swords there in a major fail… Here’s what else went down across fantasy hoops over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All hail Trey Burke! May all the inhabitants of the great Salt Lake City and all their respective wives rejoice! And… the Jazz are still atrocious. Poor Tyrone Corbin. He’s got to fiddle with Burke, Alec Burks, John Lucas III and now Diante Garrett at the point. Jerry Sloan got John Stockton. Then Deron Williams. It just ain’t fair! In yet another Jazz loss moving them down to 1-12, Burke got 12 minutes even, going 11/1/1 with a steal and hitting a trey shooting 5-8. Trey with the trey! If only Deuce McAllister was an NBA player. Deuce with the deuce! Or if McAllister was a dunker, “Deuce with the upper decker!” I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing highlights for my second Jazz game now, but it was cool to see Burke’s debut and I thought he looked pretty good. His first NBA points were off a long rebound then coast-to-coast for a controlled, attacking floater. Obviously he’s getting eased in and he’ll get more minutes – hippity-skippity to a few months back and I was bigger on Burke than anyone – but I’m not ready to go nuts and drop quality guys for him. Of course it’s a case-by-case scenario, but I really wanted Burke to get tons of preseason work; instead he broke his finger and missed some really crucial development time. For example, I think I’m still holding Patrick Beverley over him. PBev is the Razzball “why can’t I quit you?!” fantasy asset. Lucas III is obviously not a long-term solution, and while he’s in the mix, he didn’t look good last night but was the only guy that could hit any long balls. Alec Burks looked awful, sure his line 8/1/1/1/2 is fine, shot 3-6 – fine – but racked up 4 TOs in 16 minutes. Just looked bad. Which brings me to Diante G, who I thought looked really good. Garrett actually led the Jazz in PG minutes with 20, and racked up a 4/1/6 line with three steals and only 2 TOs (one late one was pretty bad, but the game was over) and played down the stretch. Garrett was the only point who could create opportunities. So it’s a little crowded with Burks’ potential wilting away and Garrett looking decent as a D-League gamble and could get run through the season. I think Lucas III gets cut at some point and Burks plays strictly backup 2 minutes, but that’s just me. It’s a mess. Shocker, considering it’s the Jazz! Here’s what else I saw last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sometimes it’s nice, oh so nice, to see so much potential that you saw through the preseason finally get the chance to shine, the star to sizzle, the Sun to finally get his run. With Eric Bledsoe sitting last night with a bruised shin, my boy Archie Goodwin finally got a chance, running a season-high 19 minutes for 16/2/2/2 shooting 7-10 and hitting a three, including this highlight worthy pick 6. ”Give me a chance coach!” Goodwin has great speed and a good feel for the game for a 19-year-old, and is showing a little bit of what he could do should he get extended time. The Suns backcourt is flooded, muddled mostly by the breakout Gerald Green is putting on, but the hot start-Suns have now dropped three straight, going from 3-1 to 5-5. Green is an ultimate sell-high, both in fantasy and in the NBA trade market, for his highlight-inducing big plays and he’s shooting 12% better from the field and 11% better from 3-point land than last year. Obviously 2012-13 was a disaster, so some bounce back was coming, but yea, if the Suns could get anything in return, they’ll take it. With Green signed through next season and Goran Dragic with a player-option for next year, both are potential trade chips the Suns could use to build around Bledsoe. Sure, I’m dreaming up a scenario that may not be the most likely, but what I’m really dreaming about is a Bledsoe/Goodwin starting backcourt. Mmmmmm. Fantasy goodness everywhere! Goodwin is worth keeping an eye on with the Bledsoe shin injury in the deepest of leagues, and deeper dynasty leagues should have him on the radar as well. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Even though he looks exactly like the youngest kid from Malcolm in the Middle, Steve Blake is playing like an NBA PG in the top. Last night’s 16 Asts gives him 10+ in four straight, and starting to remind us of Chris Paul who has started the year with the ten straight 10+ dime games. You can’t go anywhere in LA without someone trying to give you a dimebag! I think that’s going to be a new term I’m going to add into the Razzball lexicon, 10+ assists equals a dimebag. As in, “the Lakers got so high last night with Steve Blake handing out a dimebag!” Pretty soon it won’t even be a crime anywhere. Rasheed Wallace is like, “man I played at the wrong time!” Blake is an obvious must-own in all leagues, and I think will be all year. He’s been D-Antoni-ed. Here’s what else I saw across fantasy hoops over the weekend: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?
Have you ever sat back and thought, “What if I got a shot at the NBA when I was in my prime? Everyone knows I average a double double in my men’s league, I tell them all the time. I’m 6’7″ and can jump higher than even Steve the Electrician’s kid. What if I got minutes against the best in the world?” I know one Razzball writer who’s had that exact thought. Usually after one too many crown and cokes. Someone thanks him for helping them win their weekly match-up 7-2 and we go out and celebrate at the bar. Well played sir. Well Played. This night gave us much more than just a terrible hangover. It gave questionable decision making and a highly impaired thinking process. At some yet still hazy point that night we began playing the fantasy ‘What If’ game, culminating in the question what if Nick Calathes started and got 36 minutes? Wouldn’t he average 10 assists per game? With that eureka moment I knew it was time to hail a cab and call it a night. Obviously I was far too tired to think straight. When I awoke the next day, thinking clearly once more, I decided to play the ‘What If’ game again. This time with you as my live studio audience and hopefully with a more level head. Would everyone please now fill out your name tag and be seated. Because you may just be the next contestant on, ‘What… If… He Starrrrrtsss…’ And it’s a Go for the Theme Song.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So the Pistons were looking like a playoff contending team with all their offseason acquisitions, but after a 2-1 record with the only loss a close one on the road to Memphis, the Pistons have dropped 4 straight to fall to 2-5. Plus Memphis looks god awful after that looking like a “good” loss. The Pistons aren’t very good. Hire Jim Leyland! The culmination of the four-game skid climaxed in an ugly 18- point loss to the Warriors last night that sent a few fantasy shockwaves down our fantasy spine. First Josh Smith was benched before playing 19 minutes and shot 1-6 for 2 Pts and no boards. That’s like a Robin Lopez line! He reportedly took some bad three-pointers. Those familiar with Josh Smith are like, “aren’t they all bad three pointers coming from him?!” Still think Smith will be fine and this could actually help him from killing your FG% on his off nights. The biggest benefactor to the J Smoove benching was my boyfriend (!) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting 24 minutes and going 9/3/1 with a trey and two steals playing a small (literally) forward role at times. Now I didn’t watch this game, so if he was matched up on Andre Iguodala who isn’t exactly a domineering 3, that makes sense. Then to top off a terrible night for Pistons fans, Razzball commenter favorite Andre Drummond went down with an ankle injury, playing way too late in the game that was a blowout. It was like a Booby Miles injury. He walked off the court under his own power, but ankle injuries are like the fantasy grim reaper’s wheel of fortune. Sometimes a terrible looking one turns into nothing, and sometimes you’re Tobias Harris. Hell Tyson Chandler walked off the court with a broken leg! You just never know… Keep your eye out for updates during the day. Hey, at least Drummond put up 16/14/0/3/3 for ya! Here’s what else I saw across the NBA last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As an ancient proverb goes – “I’d like to introduce you to an old friend and a new friend.” Ok, so I made that up. But it sounds good!
For an old friend I’ve mentioned a few times and pumped up in my last rankings update before the season started up, my boy Omri Casspi had another solid outing last night that probably was under the radar. In 24 minutes, he went 7/8/5 with no turnovers, 2-4 from the field and 3-4 from the line. He just looks awesome every time I see him play. Did you know he was the first Israeli to play in the NBA? He’s pretty much Chandler Parsons but with Chandler Parsons in his way. After a ho-hum first two games, his past two have been fantastic – and this last one without hitting a three which is a big part of his game. Not necessarily a must own in 12-teamers, but definitely worth a look, and needs to be grabbed in 14+.
Then my new friend - Gal Mekel on the Mavericks. You’re like, “who the eff is Gal Mekel? I thought this was NBA not WNBA!” Mekel was signed to a three-year deal by the Mavs this offseason, and became the second Israeli to join the NBA. Cut to Amar’e Stoudemire going, “Hey, I should count!” With Shane Larkin dealing with an ankle injury, and no Devin Harris for a while, Mekel is getting full-on backup PG run and playing well doing it. He got his 2nd 6 assist game last night going 9/4/6 and hitting a 3. Sure some run was in junk time, but with the oft-injured Jose Calderon the only one ahead of him (hasn’t played in over 68 games since 2007), Mekel could find his way into starts. Of course, now I’ve ruined my play on him in the REL League. Let’s just hope no one in that league is reading! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So Russell Westbrook played yesterday… Ummm… What?
After hurting his knee in last year’s playoffs, then requiring a second surgery on October 1st, Westbrook was one of the biggest fantasy news stories early in preseason with an uncertain timetable. Well that table has expired much earlier than anyone expected, and Westbrook was out there without a minutes restriction last night. It’s like the first surgery was done in Hostel, then the next one at the X-Mansion. Seriously, reports ranged from from early to mid-December as a target return date, but a little Adamantium in your bones goes a long way! The good news is he’s back, but the bad (and frankly, not shocking) news is he was mighty rusty. In nearly 33 minutes, Westbrook shot only 5-16 (0-2 3PTM 11-14 FT) for 21 points, with 4 Reb and 7 Ast and 4 TOs. Besides shooting like Michael Chiklis, you’ll take that line any day. Very encouraging to see Westbrook get to the line that frequently, and the minutes were indeed non-limited. He looked pretty Westbrook-ish in highlights as well. Even if Westbrook isn’t quite the player he was the past few seasons, all owners are looking at a steal for where they got him post-second surgery. Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy hoops action:Please, blog, may I have some more?