“Did you coach the Celtics to a win last night, B-Rad?!”  “No…  But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!”

Since returning from his bad ankle sprain, Marcus Smart has had quite the timeline.  Returned last Wednesday and played five minutes, and Stevens said he didn’t look ready.  And when you’re not ready, you get demoted to the D-League.  And when you shoot 1-12 FG in that D-League game, you still get a promotion.  I want to work for that company!  Any time you get reprimanded, you just have to explain why you’re currently better than 1-12!  Then DNP Friday, and 8 minutes of nada Sunday.  So of course, everyone expected that he’d play 35 minutes and go 23/4/5/1/0 shooting 7-14 FG (4-8 3PTM, 5-5 FT) without a single TO last night.  And everyone expected Rajon Rondo, off a triple-double, to be benched in favor of Smart down the stretch and for both the overtimes.  Well, the Celtics did almost upset the Wiz at home!  Key word… almost.  And sure, Boston had a big 4th quarter with the subs to make it a game, but an L is an L!  Rondo owners collectively throw things at their computers – no one is safe from a Stevens line-up bamboozle.  Before you run out and grab Smart, consider that timeline this past week.  And don’t forget before last night he was shooting sub-30% FG and 21.4% from deep with only 1.1 dimes a game.  Given some of those were in low-minute spells, but it was still only 8 dimes in 114 minutes to 6 TO.  So don’t pull a Stevens and feel like the smartest one in the room by dropping, well virtually anyone in a 12 or 14 teamer for him, unless you plan to stash.  Rondo could still be moved, but I never bet on a trade.  It’s like betting on a successful hostage trade in an action movie.  They never work out!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!

DraftKings is back, and while we don’t have a Razzball Only contest this week (bummer, I know…), we can still all get together and sing some campfire songs over a big contest in the several they run every night!  I wanted to keep it low key, albeit with a big payday, so join me why don’t ya in the NBA $50K Layup!  It’s $2 to play, and pays out a cool, hard $50-grand for the overall winner.  If somebody from Razzball Nation wins, I better get a heavy dose of Crown & Cokes!  I’ll be in there with my jbrazzball moniker, so you can track me as I finish middle of the pack, which has been my normal finish most of the time this year in daily… I’m coming for that payday this Friday though!  If not, I might Drunk Uncle rant after tonight… So click-ity click that link right there, draft your team today, and let’s get some skrilla for Razzball Nation!

Here’s 5 of my picks for tonight’s action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

… especially since the Sixers are probably going to stay with that one in the win column for a good while!

One… The number of restarts to the Sixers game…  What, was Tim Donaghy reffing and have odds on the Wolves scoring first?!  Seriously, the Sixers couldn’t win a game without controversy?!  Then again there was that Bucks game, sheesh (more below).

One… The number of TOs Michael Carter-Williams will never have in a game… Only one game under three TO this year, but hey, everything else is pretty sexy out there!  Near tripdub last night in the Sixers W for 20/9/9 and three steals.  Finally putting the W in MCW!  Shot 9-20 from the field, but when he’s at the FT line it still gives him delirium triggers like a recovering alcoholic!  It’s actually “delirium tremens”, but man I love that old Coheed song!  2-7 from the stripe last night with the whopping 6 giveaways, and it’s what you bargain for as an MCW owner.  It’s almost like he sold his soul to the efficiency gods just to put up sexy triple-double stats.  Maybe when Tony Wroten comes back, he can just be MCW’s TO-surrogate.  “Tony, just turn it over a few times, and it’ll get em out of my system.”  I feel like trading away/for MCW has been the most frequently asked comment… I was huge on him heading into the year, and even though his FT/TO drain hurt him in the metrics, I think if you can build around that – even in 9-cat – he’s probably worth more than most owners think.  While those 9-cat metrics that rate everything equally are how they should work, remember it’s a team game and strengths/weaknesses play off each other.  All you really want is one!  One more win than the other team in the fantasy championship.  Of course in Roto, you can’t handle those ones!  So I would be selling in those formats.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a jam-packed weekend with all sorts of big news and Anthony Davis putting up a career-high, I figured why not start as off-the-fantasy-radar as possible!  Well, that’s a lie, my Steve Nash open about him being a malnourished librarian turned out to already be a commercial

The injury gods were working overtime this weekend, as big ol’ Roy Hibbert landed funky on his ankle and left very early in the Pacers’ game Saturday.  The bad news continues to floweth down the bad news river in Indianapolis.  Drown your sorrows in onion rings, Pacers fans!  Not gonna have any other rings any time soon.  “That was mean, JB!”  I’m rooting for Paul George to come back healthy next year and shock the Cavs in the playoffs, don’t you worry.  But back to the issue at hand, when Howard Cosell made the call “Down goes Hibbert!” I immediately had something bubbling up inside [Mahin]me.  Certainly not one of the premiere backup Cs in the NBA, but Ian Mahinmi is passable, and a solid short-term add for some early-week big man upside.  Mahinmi carried the torch with the starters for an all-leagues usable 12/10/1/3/1 line in only 26 minutes, without even finishing down the stretch as the Suns went full supernova to the Pacers white/brown dwarves (I don’t wanna say one or the other, might get into trouble…).  The backup Frenchy could easily go 10/10 with 2 swats in a few starts early this week.  Tonight is against a gimpy Tyson Chandler who tweaked his kankle, then Wednesday against a Spurs team who have struggled to handle bigs since Tiago Splitter has been in a siesta.  So while I Mahin-Me, I hope while reading this there is time to Mahin-You!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m back y’all! It’s gonna be a stunted article, as the season started Tuesday, and I’m writing this on Thursday evening to submit, so please, just be happy for this small sample of what’s to come. Think of it as dessert before dinner. Then more… dessert?

Ok: I have been contacted by a few of you out there , already stressing about your squad (you know who you are, don’t look around the class!) It’s been a few games. Please try to “chill”, as the kids are saying these days. Adopt your Macaulay Culkin stance in the Michael Jackson video, as a baaad mutha…

First and foremost, I council patience. Don’t tinker too much with your squad in the first 3 days, nobody has any idea what’s what in the world of fantasy, too small a slice thus far.  But since I am contractually obligated to come up with something, consider the following as guys to consider, considering what I just asked you to consider:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Uh oh…  Brandon Knight had a good game…  JB’s gonna talk about his Brandon Knight infatuation all year now!  Great…

One of my big sleeper calls last year (which was, only, kindasorta right), I again came into this season with Knight well ahead of the consensus (six spots ahead of the next highest among 25 experts – the only one in green!).  And while his knight (womp womp) was still redonkulous, there was more to like than only the stat line.  Went 22/8/13/0/1 with 2 treys and 10-10 FT. But what’s to salivate over is he led the Bucks in minutes, clearly started the game as the PG, and both Kendall Marshall and Nate Wolters didn’t get off the bench.  Jerryd Bayless was the only backup PG to get off the pine for a measly 14 minutes.  I think a big hesitation for fantasy owners was if Knight was going to play more SG like he did down the stretch last year, having his dimes eaten away like Raymond Felton at a CiCis.  Certainly looks like that won’t be the case, and when I face opposing fantasy teams, Knight is going to be my Public Enemy #1.  Here’s what else went down in our first big slate of games for the 2014-15 season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!

If you hadn’t gathered through some comments and a few less articles the past week, I’m back from my adventure in Bavaria and over my Oktoberfest hangover!  Geez those Oktoberfest litre (European spelling!) beers were strong!  If anyone has had the chance to go, definitely share your stories.  Drunk munchies of currywurst and then trying to order steak for some reason (or so I’m told!) was absolutely fantastic.

So indeed I am back, and even though I have a callus on my forefinger from raising my beer glass, my hand is in better shape than Rajon Rondo‘s!  Broke his hand in the shower on Friday, and with surgery will miss 6-8 weeks.  Let me set up the scene as I pictured this incident: Rondo is on the run after ripping off his bank, pulls into the Olynyk Hotel, he starts to shower and the piercing violin theme sounds – with Kelly Olynyk storming in with a butcher knife!  Pretty much Kelly Olynyk anything is scary.  “He’s coming at me with a fish stick!”  Then all the sudden he turns 5 fish sticks into enough to feed the whole crowd… (Of course, I wrote that whole intro before news came out Rondo was spotted on a trampoline at a park, and that sounds more likely a hand-breaking locale.  Maybe he was practicing for a revival of SlamBall!)

I’ve gotten flack for liking Rondo a lot this year, with my rationale him expanding into a perimeter game and likely a career best in points, but as I’ve said before – sometimes injuries can help you from bad ranks!  Moving him way down into 50s or so, maybe even later, even though he’ll only miss the first week or two (report surfaced today 10-15 games so more like 3 weeks).  Here’s what else has gone down lately in the world of offseason hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the final 50.  Sean Connery.  Kevin Costner.  Tons of Great Depression-esque costumes.  I’d imagine if you’re in a deep league and looking at the field below with your last pick or two, you’re feeling something like this:

It’s pretty hopeless, as in 12-teamers these are all likely guys you’re merely starring on your watch list post draft.  There’s some questionable talent, some questionable roles, maybe even someone that’ll give you The Grapes of Wrath, but some untapped upside!  Here’s my top 200 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be ThrAGNOF!  Full disclosure – I had to look up this song from that movie about a weird looking ginger chick and it’s about coming of age or something.  No, not Teeth!  Last night, an injury-ravaged, de-taloned Pelicans went out and shocked the Clippers.  Kevin Hart, apparently a big Clippers fan, got to travel with LA on a Ride Along I’m guessing.  When Jamal Crawford upchucked a three at the buzzer for the win, that arced so high it might’ve hit the Cowboys Stadium scoreboard, Hart started crying when it barely hit rim and got angrier than his little cameo in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.  Anyway – Anthony Morrow was a big factor in the upset win, going full-ThrAGNOF 27/5/0/0/1 with two treys.  Scoring is the name of his game!  Always a high-volume shooter, Morrow just has never stuck in a big role as he doesn’t do anything else.  Dude, if he was on a D’Antoni Lakers team, he might break the NBA!  With Brian Roberts with a bruised knee, Eric Gordon with an absence of knees, and Austin Rivers with the sniffies, the Pels were without three of their bigger remaining scorers.  Looking ahead to tomorrow, the Pelicans get a beignet of a matchup against the former New Orleans Jazz and all three could miss again.  So if you need some treys and a little scoring upside in the deeper leagues, it’s that time of year when the scrubs will come out tomorrow!  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The injury bug hath claimed another victim, with LaMarcus Aldridge suffering a tough fall in San Antonio on his lower back/coccyx.  What are you doing to us fantasy gods?!  While reports right now is it was only a lower back contusion, you never want to hear “needed a wheelchair to get around the arena.”  Unless you’re Professor X!  Yikes.  As Slim is putting out early this afternoon, the Blazers have a mammoth of a 5-week slate coming up in the second week of the playoffs.  So if you’re an Aldridge owner, I would just thank my blessings, or count my lucky stars, or something like that, if L.A. can indeed give you all five of those.  In the immediacy, Thomas Robinson looks like an interesting pickup for some flashy upside.  “Oh camon JB, Thomas Robinson again!?”  Yup!  And I said it last time and he had a 14/18/2/0/2 in there!  I serious doubt Aldridge will suit up again this week, giving T-Rob some serious run.  We’ll obviously get some more detailed updates throughout the day, so sacrifice a shot of rum to Jobu, or rub your bunions against the carpet, whatever you do to appease the fantasy gods to get a healthy Aldridge back for the postseason.  Here’s what else went down in fantasy action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?