Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night! Well, except for the Hawks, who lost both DeMarre Carroll and Al Horford in last night’s double overtime win against the Cavs. Carroll’s Christmas carol was about hoping his hand and/or thumb didn’t break, as he was in bad pain exiting the game. Diagnosis came out that he has a sprained thumb, and while a non-break is a good news, remember Larry Sanders “just” had a sprained thumb and had to have surgery. Just shatter the champagne bottle you got sprayed with and use it like a weapon like a normal bar fight, Sanders! And to make matters worse, Horford then lost all his Christmas cheer when he hurt his shoulder later in the game and is set for an MRI. It’s his right shoulder vs. a left pectoral tear that ended his year in 2012, but neither of these injuries look too good. Big men waiting in the wings for the Hawks (womp womp) Elton Brand, Pero Antic, Gustavo Ayon, and Mike Scott would all stand to get increased roles, especially if both injuries turn out to be serious. I’ve talked about Scott more than a few times as a guy to keep an eye on should there be injuries, and I think he has the most upside by far to emerge. His per 36 of 18.7/7.7/2.0/0.6 with 1.3 treys while shooting 55% from the field gives him a glimmer of hope to be the fantasy contributor I thought he could be. Here’s what else I spotted through the Holidays while opening all of my Brandon Knight basketball cards on Christmas morning:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
Anyone stay up to watch some of the Geminid meteor shower start up last night? I love astronomy. And it’s not really that different from fantasy. You use math and all sorts of techy stats like Win Shares or True Shooting Percentage or Gravitational Microlensing to find far off worlds and far off fantasy production. Then if you’re lucky enough, like having the reigns at the greatest fantasy hub known to man, you get to name your own planets! Of course astronomers find so many exoplanets these days that H2894B is the best they got for creative nomenclature. I got Goromotaros! Rainbow Lines! And LaMarcus Aldridge fit the bill of them all, with a redonkulous 31/25/2/2/2 slash last night. He shot 12-22 and is playing like a MVP. I ranked him too low. I ranked him like a worthless Neptune when he is really a Jupiter. According to Basketball Monster, he’s your #7 overall player. And his only real negative is he doesn’t shoot threes – which is what ThrAGNOFs are for! I also thought the Blazers weren’t going to be a gas giant out there. Maybe a little white dwarf. But they’re going off and my ridiculous conception that LA could be traded if this year didn’t work looks horrible now. I’ll admit stupidity there, but the Blazers are virtually the same team. And now it’s clicking. There’s planetary alignment. So when you’re done watching basketball, bundle up, grab some adult beverages and head out to watch the shooting stars late tonight. It helps ease the worldly constraints of stress and fantasy disappointments – at least it does for me – and helps you just think bigger… Here’s what else I saw last night: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?
“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?
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?
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?
Welcome to my second round. The second round is on me! That way I can buy all cheaper/low-shelf swill and not look like a cheapskate [underutilized word]. Seriously, try that next time you’re out. Well, to be honest it only really works on the 8th or 9th round. “What is in this snake juice?!” “It’s basically rat poison!” “Baba Booey!”
So these guys are all still elite talents, just have those lingering question marks that would have me passing on them. I know you’re all gonna yell at Paul George being a second rounder for me, I have comment ESP! Here’s how I see the remainder of the top 20 with off-season adjustments (previous ranks from my Off-Season Rankings are in parentheses before this re-rank):Please, blog, may I have some more?
Heading into the upcoming Fantasy Basketball Season, Razzball will be interviewing local NBA beat writers for some actual in-depth basketball knowledge to shed some additional light on our fantasy basketball knowledge. Keep your eye out for an interview for every NBA team through the summer. This installment comes courtesy of Devin Kharpertian from leading Brooklyn Nets blog The Brooklyn Game.
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 fun 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?