When the Obamacare website launched, it was a lot like the Nuggets. Load errors, mental mistakes, and only 6 people actually showed up because George Karl got fired. But after JaVale McGee went down (I bet the Nuggets wish their healthcare bills were free!), the 1-3 Nuggets are now 11-6. Coinky-dink? I think not! J.J. Hickson has been great at the 5 fillin’ in for Shaqtin-a-McGee, but it was Timofey Mozgov who has stolen the show the past two games, with 15+/15+ back-to-back including 17/20 against the hapless Nets last night. But a trend is a-surfacing as Hickson has been under 18 minutes in those games while Mozgov was over 30. Hickson is still starting, but Mozgov is just being a straight Godzilla out there against opposing B-teams. I’m not ready to completely hand over the torch – I think Mozzy Bear getting in there was just matchup-based and Hickson gets back to the 30 minute range and Mozgov to the low-to-mid 20s. But if you need boarding and scoring help, Mozgov is available in a lot of leagues and can still be valuable with that sort of run. Pete even put him on the radar! Now he’s in full view. Even 12-teamers needing the big man help need to take the flyer while they can. Here’s what else went down last night in the hoops-o-sphere: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?
Now, I never went to a boarding school… I was stuck in the public schooling circuit, and just could never rebound. I was like Andrea Bargnani or Brook Lopez down there. Domineering over some little men, but the boards just never came my way… Enter J.J. Hickson, who despite being a tad undersized has always been a solid boarder, and racked up 19 last night for an 18/19 night. Near Goromotaro! Just one putback slammah-jammah and he’s seeing 20/20. A little laser eye surgery. I liked Hickson a lot when JaVale McGee went down, and he’s proved he needs to be owned virtually everywhere like I said 8 days ago. In the five games since, Hickson has at least 8 boards, double-figures in four of five, and a block every night. Even if Shaqtin-a-McGee is able to get back within his original time frame, McGee just isn’t able to play the big starter’s minutes and Hickson is going to maintain this value either starting at the 5 or playing out his minutes as an early sub. If you’re hurtin’ for boards, be sure the recent grad from the boarding school isn’t sitting on your wire. Here’s what else I saw 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?
In yet another bad turn for fantasy top-100 Cs, JaVale McGee joins the triage with Tyson Chandler as centers with broken legs. However unlike Chandler with the impact fracture, McGee discovered a stress fracture in his tibia with the ominous “out indefinitely” declaration. It’s a very tough break (ugh) for the Nuggets and fantasy owners hoping to see stat lines of 10/10/5 when the Nuggets were on the slate. All joking aside, I hate seeing players get injuries and it’s my least favorite open in news recaps in any sport. There are a select few that are funny (my favorite will always be Bartolo Colon trying to swing for the fences and throwing out his back, and I have little sympathy because he’s a roider), but I wish McGee a speedy recovery. For fantasy, he’s droppable in virtually all leagues. A tall guy with a stress fracture isn’t swell, plus he was only playing 16 minutes a game anyway. J.J. Hickson and Tomfey Mozgov get immediate boosts in value, Mozgov is decent when he’s not getting posterized, but Hickson I think is the biggest takeaway and probably should be scooped up in most leagues if he’s not owned already. He proved he can be valuable with starting minutes and is a quality big man. Here’s some other headlines from over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Things were looking oh so good for the Colonel’s original recipe heading into the season. I bought the whole bucket, the two sides and a giant big gulp of tea. But Larry Sanders could very well be one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments in 2013-14, for reasons on and off the court.
Sanders signed a 4-year deal in the offseason worth a cool $44 million bucks (worth, about, a million buckets of chicken!), and the Bucks regime had big plans for their center. GM John Hammond, while trying to keep his Jurassic Park island under control, said Sanders was the key to the team. Hammond, you lost your keys! Bucks are locked out… Then the season started with Sanders nearly fouling out in 12 minutes, and in three games hasn’t played more than 22 minutes, hit 2 FGs, or grabbed more than 4 boards. I was on the buy low bandwagon faster than a short sell in Trading Places. But after complaining about playing time, Sanders reportedly got into a bar fight Saturday night and effed up his thumb. Stop giving him roids, Braun, we don’t need more roid rage in Milwaukee! I wonder if he was getting hazed by Ersan Ilyasova like Richie Incognito. ”You must play better, now!” yells Ersan in a thick Turkish accident. Hey, Ilyasova was a scratch last night too, Gus Ayonin’! Anyway, Sanders is accused of breaking champagne bottles over peoples’ heads, and to top if off he then missed Monday’s game because his wife went into labor. Sorry Larry Sanders Jr… I’m just sorry… Hopefully this version of The Larry Sanders Show ends anti-climatically with Sanders getting back on the court and giving fantasy owners something. If you’ve got him, you have to be holding and hoping Sanders can settle down and have this blow over, before he’s looking back at his life and he’s Robert Swift. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I always love when an off night (only 4 games yesterday) yields one of the best NBA games we’ve seen all year. So many story lines, so many stars. And more importantly – so much fantasy goodness!
I guess I shouldn’t have curtsied around it, but there’s no way Chris Paul doesn’t lead the NBA in assists this year. I said in the first recap of the season he would average a bajillion assists and rack up double-digit dimes almost every game. Score two for JB! Averaging 12 a game equates to a bajillion, right? John Stockton is deadpan staring me down right now. Creepy, Stockton! Creepy… J.J. Redick will be a really underrated acquisition if the Clips indeed make a title run with how he helps space the floor with his movement and shooting, and while we all know Chris Paul is awesome, I’m already putting him as the #3 fantasy player right now, leapfrogging James Harden.
I lucked out getting last night’s only late game, making Yahoo highlights for the 137-118 Clippers win. Pretty much everything played out like a video game. Everyone was hitting 3s, the scoring was astronomical, the pace was like a Peyton Manning offense, and finished off with some late alleys for the icing on the cake. Fantasy God #1 really got that L2 + Square alley working out by the end of the game; Fantasy God #2 just couldn’t quite time Harden’s 3-point shot release. Wait, do they even need controllers? We are the controllers! Whoa, too much philosophizing. Let’s just get this back on the rails and go over some of the news and notes from last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Man, what a huge night it was across the NBA with nearly every team in action. It obviously all starts with the shocker Philly put on the Heat, and Michael Carter-Williams‘ unreal debut. I was following with my co-workers during the game and tweeted that if he got a triple-double in his first NBA game, the universe would implode. Thankfully MCW was a steal short and we’re all still here. His final line of 6-10 (4-6 3PTM 6-8 FT) 22 Pts 7 Rebs 12 Asts and 9 Stls might actually win some owners their matchups this week on its own. Just preposterous. Most steals in NBA history in a player’s debut. Ok before we all go nutso, remember the Heat played without Dwayne Wade (rest), don’t have a PG, and had all their hands weighed down with new championship rings. So that’s not really an excuse, but so what?! The shooting efficiency was fantastic (the biggest knock on him coming into the year), plus he had only one turnover (his second main knock). ”Nice knockers!” Thanks Young Frankenstein! MCW indeed moves up a fair bit in value in my eyes, but this is likely his best line on the year. MCW was wildly inconsistent in college and I don’t expect much consistency on a terrible 76ers team (I know they just beat the Heat, but c’mon). Look for John Wall to lock him up on Friday and cool the hype. Despite inconsistencies, it goes without saying that MCW should be owned in all leagues now (78% Yahoo, 59.4% ESPN), so if for some reason he’s available in your league, you gotta get him. I’m not expecting MCW to be an elite player, but will continue to contribute even in down games. Here’s what else I saw across Fantasy Basketball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Razzball Nation! You’ve been clamoring for some updated rankings, and here they come! I’m going to release them slowly, teasing them out, just like how we did the offseason rankings 5 months ago. These top guys haven’t changed too much, but the rankings will expand to the top 200, culminating in an easy-to-use and frequently updated cheat sheet you can use during all your drafts as they commence in the next few months. Fantasy NBA is coming and we’re ready to win you titles (or titties – depending on your league’s prize pool). Previous ranks from my Off-Season Rankings are in parentheses before this re-rank:Please, blog, may I have some more?