If you’re like JB and myself, then you like your fantasy basketball to be Head-To-Head. The ability to talk smack to a new opponent every week keeps the intensity high. And unlike Roto or NCAA football, we get The Playoffs, where heroes are made and injures decimate championship aspirations. A nasty little side effect however is a shortened regular season. After this week we will have played 10 weeks. Marking the halfway point of the regular season. If you’re in the bottom 3rd of your league then sacrifices must be made. Injured players may need to be traded at less than face value or flat out dropped. Streaming takes priority over upside. There is still plenty of time to make up ground and sneak into the playoffs but it’s safe to say something isn’t working. If you’re in the middle 3rd then you should take a long hard look at who on your team is on the way up and who is on the way down. We all had our favorite sleepers coming into the year, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of mine, Archie Goodwin was well liked around these parts too. They weren’t giving enough so we had to move on to the next opportunity, c’est la vie, life goes on… If your in the top 3rd of your league then you need to ensure you stay there. You can be much more risky and shouldn’t pass up any high upside guy who is getting big minutes.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Pretty much anyone involved in the big Rudy Gay trade has gotten nothing but positive return except Greivis Vasquez. Poor Vasquez… And easily the biggest winner right now is Isaiah Thomas just going off with the backcourt to himself, going 29/6/2 on Friday night and 19/2/8 last night. With both PGs there in Shaq-ramento to start the year, it was like the first Terminator, then IT2 got flipped into the main good guy and it’s movie magic in the sequel. Coach Mike Malone even came out and said Thomas is gonna lead the NBA in minutes. Iron man! Well I guess it would be hyperalloy combat chassis covered by living human tissue man… I wish Vasquez had never gone to Sacramento, because as I mentioned last week, I aggressively ranked Thomas early in the summer. I love this kid. He’s going to be extremely tough to go out and trade for right now, and I certainly would not be selling. He’s got both Gay and DeMarcus Cousins to dish to, plus he’s a fantastic scorer. I have all sorts of IT2 regret now since he’s not on any of my teams… Womp womp… Here’s what else went down 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?
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?
The period of free agency continues to shape the fantasy basketball-scape with fresh meat on terrible teams and players signing with contenders to be relegated to bench duty. With baseball in full swing and the NFL getting half of the ESPN air time no matter what time of year it is, a lot of NBA moves have been made under the radar. Look for every division to get a team-by-team breakdown and some early fantasy thoughts on the new faces in new places:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There’s nothing like an injury to rock your fantasy team, and when it’s the 14 points, 14 rebounds production of Anderson Varejao that goes by the wayside, you have to find a replacement. Tristan Thompson should continue to see the bulk of minutes.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jared Sullinger was wicked sick Friday night as he scored a season high 14 points adding 11 rebounds and shooting 7 for 8 from the field before fouling out. Sully’s been feeling the luck of the Irish lately as Friday’s game was his third straight game in double digits and his second game in a row with a double-double.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve seen enough. Injury prone label be damned, Stephen Curry rises to the second tier of the point guard rankings. I’ve always loved the talent but that ankle injury is frightening (I drafted him in the 2nd round last year…sigh). Through 25 games this year Curry has stayed healthy and hasn’t missed a start. He’s also averaging 19.4 points (career high), 4.1 boards, 6.4 assists (career high), 1.6 steals, 2.6 three’s (career high), 89.7% FT, and 42.2% FG (career low). Yeah that’s right, 19.4 points on a career low FG… and it’s not even close to his second lowest percent of 46.2% his rookie season. The guy is a stud and COULD be better if his FG% rises some. Did I also mention his 3P% is a career low 41.7%? These percentages will keep rising, especially since Klay Thompson has regained some of his shooting touch. If you have Curry, you’re probably sitting in a good place because of the draft value you got for him.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now that the rust is coming off the season (except for you Steve Nash), we’ll be splitting the Wednesday posts into morning (for recaps) and afternoon (for the tiers). Check out the previous Centers, Forwards, and Guards tiers. This week we’ll jump right into the guards.Please, blog, may I have some more?