In Shaq-ramento, when Christmas carolers sing at your doorstep, if it’s deck the halls you must insist a free a Rudy Gay jersey! You better believe Sleep Train Arena is gonna deck their halls with Gay apparel. That is, if it has power. Zing! Last night, the Kings picked up Gay from the Raptors in a 7-player deal with a lot more fantasy impact than just the players involved. The Kings also picked up Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, for the fewest letters in three surnames you could ever receive in a three-player haul. In return, Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes got exported to Canada. I hope they have winter wear! Instead of going over all of the impact in the open, it’ll be fettered out and we’ll focus on Gay at the top. Nothing changes. Brevity! Lots of shots, the Kings don’t become any better or worse, but get a good all-around player. The fantasy impact on Gay seems null. The trade overall I think it a win-win, both in real hoops and in fantasy. The Kings dumped guys that don’t really help their rotations for a star, and the Raptors break up their two high-volume shots guys with it not working. Plus the Raptors are looking to rebuild around the Luminescent Lithuanian. Then all sorts of fantasy optimism below, along with other action across the NBA over the weekend: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?
As I look back on my fantasy basketball career, I find it astonishing how much the game has changed. Back when JB and I wore bell-bottom jeans and flowing paisley shirts it was just the two of us playing fantasy basketball. We didn’t have all these fancy categories the kids have today. All we could keep track of was points and that was hard enough. Back then we would use a CB radio to relay the scores across the country. Some nights we would hear, “Wilt Chamberlain scored 72″ and others we would hear how, “Harry pests poured only poo.” Confusing to some, but to us it meant Jerry West must have gotten injured if he only scored 2 points. We would start our draft with a coin flip to determine draft order. Nowadays it takes as much computing power to determine draft order as it did to land a man on the moon. I’m not sure If you have ever played in a 2 team league, but believe me trading was tough. Once a year I would say, “I’ll give you West and Oscar for Wilt and Bellamy.” Then JB would say, “Heyyy mannn, I’m not trading Wilt for nothin’, how about just Oscar for Bellamy.” Inevitably, trade talks ended because we played with only a 2 man roster.
Now people play in 20 team leagues, with 17 player rosters, and my personal favorite the dynasty. Thankfully when JB and I started, there would be that coin flip every year and our teams would change. Well, about half the time they changed. Today’s dynasty format favors those who try to predict how the entire career of a 20 year old kid will turn out. That sounded much easier to do before I typed it out. Nothing I can do about that now. Here’s a couple:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Is it safe?” Dustin Hoffman was so not type B enough in that situation. Imagine Jeff Spicoli in that scene. “Dude, what are you doing with that, man?!” But nothing beats the end when Hoffman makes him eat the diamonds. Spoiler alert! Oh yea, that’s supposed to go before the – – nevermind. Ryan Anderson last night was sure the marathon man in the triple OT slug fest in Chicago, playing a preposterous 57 minutes for 36/6 with 7 threes. He’s like a big Klay Thompson! I was actually texting with my friend who said the broadcast compared him to Larry Bird – Hah! I countered with the Jazz broadcast in their opener compared Alec Burks to Michael Jordan. I can’t even make something up more preposterous than that! These announcers must’ve failed those analogy tests you had to take through elementary school. “Pizza:delicious::ice cream:????” “Alec Burks!” While it’s good seeing Anderson get that kind of run, spoiler alert! I think his toe could flare up at some point. He’s playing great, no question, but when he came back from injury he said he was going to manage the pain and the Pelicans were hoping to hold back his minutes a bit. Sure failed last night! I’m obviously not his toe, but I’d be like, “Yo, Ryan, 57 minutes be too much and Tough Actin’ Tinactin ain’t gonna fix me!” I’m buying the nice Anderson stats right now, but think he’s a bit of a sell high and big dudes with big toes that have been big ouchies are big red flags. Here’s what else I saw from last night’s action and news in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
Ohhhh, Blake Griffin. Well maybe stud is a reach… I don’t want to change the title! With your powerful dunks and lifeless expression when you try to make the other team hit you… Sigh. I think Griffin was on some of the most overrated/bust/avoid lists on draft sheets heading into the season, and rightfully so. But maybe I’m just in my own head with a false narrative… The scoring and rebounding in 2012-13 went down for the third consecutive season (as did his minutes), and he just didn’t do enough multi-cat for you to pay the premium over your moron little brother’s friend who only knows NBA players from Sportscenter top 10. Gerald Green, first pick! That said, it was still a solid 2012-13 campaign. I ended up having him at 42, 7 higher than Yahoo and 10 below ESPN, so I was right in the middle. His ADPs on both sites were 6-7 picks ahead of their respective rankings, but I think the hardcore fantasy players were probably avoiding at the ADPs. He’s looked fantastic so far this season, averaging a career-high Pts, shooting his best FG% and stealing at a career pace. I really liked what he did last night, as Serge Ibaka was letting him have his shot from outside, and BGriff was draining em. Ended his night with a sultry 12-13 27/10/5/2 line. It’s like he went back in time, and told his 2011 self to get better at racking up fantasy stats. Championships? Pshhhh, we want fantasy goodness! I know I won two fantasy leagues last year, but I have no idea who won the Finals! I’m not exactly going to unload my roster to try and get Griffin, but I wouldn’t be selling high either if I ended up with him. Sit back, and enjoy your highlight dunks. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Are you not entertained?!
Chris Paul sure put on a show last night, dropping treys, lobbing alleys, fending off tigers chained up as obstacles. You name it! He torched the Warriors in the Clippers “home opener” (despite it being their second straight game in LA) for an unreal 42/4/15 and 6 steals. Shot 12-20 from the field and won you FT% this week going 16-17 at the stripe. Paul was so much like Russell Crowe. In LA there’s even a “Coliseum” (ok maybe that’s a stretch)! Games like this support Doc wanting to cover up the banners and jerseys. Even when Kobe gets back, Paul has to be the best player in LA. I said it before on Opening Night and reiterate below, but the acquisition of J.J. Redick does wonders for Paul in the Clippers spacing. I said he’ll have double-digit assists almost every game. I said he’d score 42 against the Warriors. Dammit, OK so I didn’t say that second one. Elite assists and steals are par for the course, and scoring like this in a few more games will have him the easy #3 fantasy player. Here’s what else I saw in last night’s two NBA games:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Despite the two nationally telecast Opening Night games (with the Heat/Bulls starting at 8:00 PM EST), the season really started at 7:00 with the Magic against the Pacers. Non-fantasy players probably didn’t know this game ever happened. All the sudden in the second quarter, Andrew Nicholson just went off, going 8-9 in the first half with 18 points. Next thing you know, ESPN Fantasy Basketball is down. Why RCL is on Yahoo! But despite the Magic losing the lead and the offense going stagnant early in the third, Nicholson only played another few minutes in the second half and got stuck at 18 points in 19 minutes, only taking one additional shot and going 8-10 on the night. Womp womp. I never thought too much of Nicholson and don’t think he’s a guy to go rush to the wire for (unlike ESPN fantasy players!), and don’t forget Tobias Harris sat out with the ailing ankle. 19 minutes sounds about right for Nicholson, and he’s obviously not going to be a 48 PPG scorer per 48. But I hope the kid enjoyed the moment in the sun during that first half shooting spree. You temporarily broke Fantasy! He was like the Fantasy Basketball Kevin Ogletree. Here’s what else went down last night in the NBA:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After re-ranking the top 10, top 20, and top 50, it’s easy to see there’s been big changes since last May. Below are the Razzball Updated Rankings with the previous May rankings in parentheses before the adjusted rank:
(68) ↑ 51. Derrick Favors – Utah declining to bring back either Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gives you a slight inclination on their thoughts on Favors, and they’re already talking contract extension with their emerging big as well. I love his athleticism, and if I miss out on Serge Ibaka who I’m high on early, I’m gonna want to reach on Favors to win blocks. I think he’ll be a top-5 NBA swatter.
(51) 52. Kemba Walker – Kemba has been higher on virtually every rankings I’ve seen, and I’m just not top-50 high on him. He had a really solid season last year, but the terrible FG% still worries me as I feel like he forces some offense. The acquisition of Big Al is going to give the Bobcats/soon-to-be Hornets an actual scorer down, and I don’t think that translates into helping Kemba all that much. I like Gerald Henderson a lot too to take a bigger scoring role. The 2.0 steals a game last year was elite, but I see those going down along with the scoring, and a comparable 5.7:2.4 Ast:TO ratio. All that spells a slightly down ranking for me. Although to be fair, he’s played in every single Bobcats game in his career, so there’s that reliability that can’t be ignored.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?