Yea yea I know… Of all the “Knight” puns, that’s the best ya got?! Man did Brandon Knight have a huge game last night, notching a career-high 36 points for a 36/9/3/0/1 line shooting 13-25 and 6-12 from deep. As you all know, I was a huge Knight fan heading into the year, stuck with him, and think this is what he averages here on out. Wiggity what?! Haha, just kidding to see if you were paying attention. I’ve always liked his ability to board, he’s probably the best pure scorer on that team, and can shoot treys and drive. But I’m a little tired of the “but he doesn’t assist!” from the hate Mafia. Who gives a flip man?! Of course because he’s a PG, he gets dogged for bad Ast:TO, and listen I get it – 8 TOs last night bums hard – but if Ryan Anderson had that line last night, people would be sacrificing live chickens just to meet him. Pedro Cerrano doesn’t like when his PG doesn’t dish! “If Brandon Knight doesn’t average 8 dimes a game, I say forget you Jobu! I do it myself!” Knight will never be an elite fantasy PG, sure, but a very useful one, definitely. He just has to navigate Larry Drew’s mood swings. Get the coach some Midol! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hate you Larry Drew. First you go and make your son Larry Drew II feel like he’s some sort of special talent and have him quit UNC, then you take over a Bucks team that all want to leave too. Why do I have so much invested in the Bucks?! I hate the Bucks! In a game where the Spurs doubled Milwaukee’s points in the first quarter (32 to 16), then went up by 23 at halftime, then after 3 were up 38, Drew decided to kill fantasy teams by playing their F-team virtually the whole second half. As in, a D-League team could beat those guys. Brandon Knight got 18 minutes after an impressive game two nights ago. John Henson got 21 after the huge breakout. O.J. Mayo, yes that terrible, horrible, not gelling on this awful team O.J. Mayo led the starters with 22 minutes on a 3/0/0/0/0 line with a TO. Ok, ok, so Drew let his scrubs play in the blowout, good to see Giannis Antetokounmpo get some development time at just over 33 minutes, but the icing on the cake was Drew gave Ersan Ilyasova, a guy that looks like a humanoid Turkey, 39 minutes?! How is that developing young talent?! Ersan goes out and shoots 3-16 for an 8/6/2 game. The Bucks are the worst. You’re holding Henson obviously and Knight I think you stick with, but I don’t want any of these other guys on a 12-teamer. I know I like Khris Middleton, but he was part of the starting mess and I just dropped Mayo in some sort of RCL travesty I should probably take my name off of. I still think Knight, Mayo, Middleton and Henson are locked in as starters for now, but man, I really hope they look good facing the even worse Bulls again on Friday. Enough ranting from me! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In what was some brutally bad basketball last night, John Henson led the woeful Milwaukee Bucks into Chicago against a Bulls team more battered up than a candy bar at a state fair… and the Bucks actually won! It’s horrifying to think in today’s NBA that a guy like Henson might have been the most polished offensive player on the court for EITHER TEAM. It was brutal. This was the game I made the Yahoo highlights for, and man, it was more of a wreck than if you went out partying and decided that Lindsay Lohan would be your DD. But for fantasy, whew-ee if you’re a Henson owner! Huge rainbow line of 25/14/2/3/6. It was so good from the big man that Larry Sanders punched a wall. But the icing on the cake, was this preposterous rainbow shot to close out the rainbow night. I love the Bulls announcers reacting to that. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Good thing he didn’t take that shot in Cowboys Stadium, that mighta hit the scoreboard! It feels really good seeing Henson going off, as he was a guy I ranked really high (#100 exactly) and have recommended him over a lot of fringe-wire adds through the young season. His stats are helping fill all the Andre Drummond voids I have! Win some, lose some… Henson is obviously a must-own in all leagues, and I think can maintain solid production playing at the 4 when The Colonel is back. Here’s what else I saw last night in hoopsland:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As JB and I sit at our local Starbucks at 4 PM, him in a 2-piece flannel Carolina Panther outfit he just woke up in and me in only my usual loin cloth, we notice that there are some very odd looking people who drink coffee in the middle of the afternoon. It isn’t just for yuppies and house wives anymore. Middle schoolers walk in, talking about how badly they need their caffeine. Really? Was your long day of sleeping in class stressful? More than anything, a coffee shop has become a place to be seen, and fortunately for us on this day, it was worth watching. A couple of girls walk in, one on her phone talking, laughing and the other with a nasty scowl on her face. She must have said something on the phone because all of a sudden the other girl starts yelling like a banshee and slapping the girls face as hard as she could. In what I feel was an appropriate response, JB began his play-by-play a la Howard Cosell, “There’s another left by George he’s getting into Fraziers head.” We all knew what was coming, “I think he hurt Joe Frazier, I think Joe is hurt!” Right when JB was about to formulate that iconic saying, the girl on the phone delivers a thundering overhand right, dropping the aggressor and immediately ending the altercation.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?
Ahhhh, it’s finally that time when drafts are becoming more and more meaningful and abundant, we’ve got the REL Auction draft on Thursday, and two RCL leagues drafting this weekend which still have spots open! Don’t forget the grand prize in RCL of Razzball gear and a permanent imprint of your team name shaved in my head. I mean, where else can you win a fan league and brand the resident editor? I’m not really looking forward to the looks I’m going to get (doesn’t help I’m 6’7 and people be lookin’ anyway!), especially if a team like Your Mom wins. Ugh.
So in order to hopefully restore my honor, my second RCL team was drafted last Thursday, and I gotta say, while I’m lukewarm to my team, you RCL leaguemates were brutal. Here’s how the draft went down (full draft results):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?
Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50. Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots. Have fun grilling these!
(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause. Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury. He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again. He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3’s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter. Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.
(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big. The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.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?