Welcome back from Thanksgiving! After a week of indulgent eating, I’m back with an extra 20 lbs of writing weight. Those drumsticks went right into my index fingers. So I didn’t learn the typical QWERTY typing method, sue me! I taught myself how to type in “Olsen Twins Turn 18 Countdown” chat rooms when I was in middle school… Fantasy hoops had a ton go down through the Turkey Day holiday, although Omer Asik wasn’t traded to the Magic for Hedo Turkoglu. Now that would’ve been a Turkey Day! Of all the things that went down, I am positively giddy for the run Patrick Beverley is about to give us with Jeremy Lin set to miss two weeks with a knee strain. Thanks in part to Slim’s water torture, I’m a big Beverley believer for some real mulit-cat upside. Early returns started slow, with PBev going 7/2/2/2/0 the game Lin got hurt during the first quarter, then only 5/4/1/0/0 in 24 minutes on the Friday night. But on Saturday against the Spurs, 11/6/5/3/1 no turnovers and three treys. ”Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!” Thanks Maury Ballstein. Even though PBev isn’t a focal point of the offense, I buy the peripheral stats, and a must-have addition to your own “Balls Models” squads. Steals, boards a-plenty, with some dimes and out-of-position blocks will floweth like a river. Or Slim’s water torture device. You said you weren’t into S&M! This is my fantasy update writing of shame… Here’s what else I saw since we last checked in:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For some reason, the hype coming into this year was all about Andre Drummond and how he was gonna punk Greg Monroe and take all his boards and blocks and the such. These same people drafted Drummond in the same round as Monroe and in some cases even higher. They were Monroe haters, just like Mr. Rush on “Too Close For Comfort” and the Federalists.
But now those same peeps who slept on the big guy are flipping out in classic Ted Knight style.
Monroe has been a stud for Mo Cheeks, racking up almost 12 boards and 2 blocks per contest. He’s also scoring 16.3 ppg and hitting 54 percent of his shots. In his most recent game, against Oklahoma City on Friday, he compiled 15 boards and 3 blocks to go along with 20 points – a vintage big man stat line.Please, blog, may I have some more?
After a very tough start to his season going 2-14 in his first two games, Evan Fournier finally found his stroke last night going 5-10 (2-3 3PTM) for a 12/3/2 line in a season high 25 minutes. If you’re like me, you’re a Fournier virgin in all leagues. Sure he’s way off the map (I don’t know where France is!), but I have a feeling he could surprise later on in the season. In the last 8 games of 2012-13, Fournier went 11.5 Pts (0.9 3PTM) 2.3 Rebs 2.8 Asts 1.4 Stls while shooting 50% from the field and 92.9% from the stripe in only 23 minutes a game. Now that was on a playoff team, resting some stars – sure, but this Nuggets team is a mess right now. I know they just beat the Hawks, but a lineup starting Randy Foye and Jordan Hamilton (of course Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are on the shelf), Fournier could get late season run as I highly doubt the Nuggets make the playoffs. He’s a great off-the-radar multi-cat guy to keep your eye on especially in deeper leagues as we start getting into the meat of the season. Here’s what else I saw last night in the NBA:Please, blog, may I have some more?
At last! At long last.
The fantasy basketball season is upon us and we finally get to start seeing our lineups in action. I, for one, am pumped like never before. Sure it may be because it’s my first full season as the Razzball Editor on hoops, and sure, it may be because it’s the last year the North Carolina team will be called the “Bobcats”, but hey, we all have our things to look forward to!
If you’re new to Razzball, I’ll be giving you daily recaps of everything that went down across fantasy hoops (starting tomorrow) along with contributions from our other great writers (Pete, Dan and Slim) throughout the year. And if you missed my mention of it once or twice through the preseason, I work for a company that makes the Yahoo Fantasy Basketball player highlights which will start going up tonight! We also make the TNT Overtime highlights which come up on the timeline as you’re watching the game (It’s free! And starts tonight!). I bring this up, well first because it’s the coolest job, and second because I get to watch a lot of hoops and break down film of typically two games a night. So at the end of Daily Recaps I’ll be letting you what games I’m watching that night and you can either tweet me (@jbgilpin) if you’re wondering about something in the game or ask in comments the next day. We’re next level here at Razzball!Please, blog, may I have some more?
[It’s March of 2011. A disenchanted DeMarcus Cousins is mindlessly taking part in a layup drill during a practice at ARCO Arena/ Power Balance Pavilion/ Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento]
Paul Westphall: Ah, yeah, what’s up DeMarcus. Um, I understand there’s been a few questions about your efforts on the glass? Yeah, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and fix that by participating in some rebounding drills, um-kay? Greaaat. Oh, oh, and I almost forgot. Ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and practice on Sunday, too…
[Cousins says nothing, fumes, and goes off to take part in the rebounding drills with Assistant Coach Keith Smart]
DeMarcus Cousins: Hey, guys.
Tyreke Evans: What’s up, G?
Marcus Thornton: Oh, it’s a little early.
DeMarcus Cousins: I gotta get outta here. I think I’m gonna lose it.
Keith Smart: Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Listen, I know a lot of drafts have gone down, but I think we’re still right in the sweet spot of the drafting season. And while we’re in that sweet spot, why not start up an RCL Hoops league where we need more commishes! I am putting an embargo on comments unless you start up a league! Haha – kidding. But what’s less funny is the curse of my love for Trey Burke, as he’s going to have surgery on his index finger. ”Don’t you point at me!” ”I can’t help it, it’s the cast!” The original report of him missing 8-12 weeks had him a 100% no bueno in my book, but then he tweeted out (I guess using other fingers) that it should only be 4-6 weeks. Apparently he’ll be in a splint three weeks and will be reevaluated. As in – “my fingy still hurty!” I’m moving Burke way down and taking it as a sign to completely cool off my love for him. As in Arnold in the last bad Batman movie cool. ”Tonight’s forecast – a freeze is coming in!” John Lucas III becomes the starting PG it appears in most games and probably needs to be owned in deeper leagues, but I wouldn’t drop someone that good for him. Lucas III didn’t crack the updated rankings because I don’t see season-long impact from him. Alec Burks could start some games at the point as well, and remains ranked as I think he plays both guard positions and minutes all year. That is despite a horrible 1-13 shooting performance last night… The Jazz are also re-evaluating trading for the Bulls’ Marquis Teague in a possible trade. Then there’s a rumor that free agent Jamaal Tinsley might also get signed. Sounding more and more like the Jazz PG is going to be a black hole this season. So I’m avoiding them all, but still holding Burke in 12+ team leagues (like my 1st RCL League) and hoping. Here’s what else has been going down through the preseason, and a final rankings update:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The preseason is upon us! And just like how you don’t put too much stock in Spring Training or the NFL Preseason – there isn’t anything to go too crazy about with what happens in the box scores. However, some guys do get hurt, hurt guys can show they’re back, and there’s additional news to spruce up everyone’s rankings (my updated top 200 is below and broken down by position in the menu). But before you scroll down! We really need some RCL commissioners to start up new leagues to show me just how bad my rankings are. The winner gets their name shaved in my head for god’s sake! Please don’t make it anything too profane… I don’t want to tell the barber he has to put @$%#% somewhere in my scalp! Rather than belaboring current events and more RCL pandering, let’s just hop right in: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?
I’ve got to say, growing up a huge Charlotte Hornets fan, I am going to finally have a favorite team again next year. I mean, the Bobcats is such a horrific name for a professional sports team that it actually made me not cheer for them. If they follow my logic – citizens of New Orleans, I’m sorry, you’re no longer cheering for your NBA team.
If you missed it the other night, the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery was selected (coincidentally right when a huge Powerball was built up and won – conspiracy?!) with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning another #1 pick. Nerlens Noel, or Captain N as I’m going to call him, looks like he’s heading to one of basketball’s friendliest cities. Just don’t leave for another team in a televised special. Honestly, my first thought was, “great, another talented player I have to navigate through injury estimates with.”
Anyway, I doubt any NBA rookies will crack the top 100 for fantasy this year, it’s a pretty weak draft class, but that’s why these way too early rankings will be capped at 100 before readdressed closer to the season when they’ll expand to 200. As always with rankings this early, it’s May, the Finals haven’t even started yet, and there will be a lot of revisions. But here’s how I see things shaking out as of right now:Please, blog, may I have some more?