Man, you guys don’t even know. There’s been a mob outside my house every night for the past two weeks carrying tiki torches and screaming, “We want the Top 200 with stats!” Or at least I think that’s what they were saying. Anyways, big shout out to Rudy who waved his magic wand and created the beautiful looking spreadsheet below. It even sorts. Here is Rudy in his lab:
To you who are reading this post, I love you all. To those who aren’t, I hate you. Good thing those people will never see that. I don’t care if you are just a hoops junkie, need something to pass the time when on the can, or if you love/hate my work. You’re here and that’s all that matters. It’s been a long journey, but alas…sniff sniff…the end is here. There are a few upside players here that could definitely make a leap in the rankings, but for the most part, this post will be populated with specialists and “use in case of emergency.”
The Wicked Witch from the West, Phil Jackson, is gone! Oompa loompa doompety doo! The one thing that he did well was to draft Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Of course, the Knicks figured out a way to make KP a spot up, three-point shooter. Such a Knicks thing to do. Anyways, he gave Joakim Noah a four-year, $72 million contract and re-upped Melo for five years, $124 million, with a no-trade clause. Brilliant! Let’s not forget about trading away Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Hawks, which the new regime just re-acquired for four years, $71 million. He also signed Derrick Fisher and Kurt Rambis to be head coaches. Someone explain to me why Rambis has been a head coach in the NBA for three different teams? His career win percentage wouldn’t even make him a good baseball player. He must suck….I better stop there. It is said that the success of an organization always start at the top. Well, James Dolan is the man up top and his team is #1 on Forbes’ team value list. Grandmaster Flash knew what was up….
As we prepare for the 2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Season, I’ll be taking a look at each NBA team with their major adds and drops to see if we can pan for any surprise rotational gold. This open is especially witty for the Nuggets… We’ll be counting down from worst NBA regular season to the best, mainly because I’m still figuring out how to rank the Warriors…
Washington Wizards (41-41)
G Trey Burke
C Jason Smith
G Tomas Satoransky
G Ramon Sessions
G Garrett Temple
G Gary Neal
You have to say “Whhhhhitman!” like you’re almost about to whistle. Whhhhhhhhit! Hah, anyway, the Wiz were one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA last year, after being a tough out in the East in 14-15. Head coach Randy Whitman got the axe, they brought in a good replacement in Scotty Brooks, but didn’t really change too much of their roster. Kieff didn’t give them the spark they were looking for in a deadline deal, but maybe with a full offseason training with the team (and hopefully only getting detailed for a ton of weed at Philly’s airport will be his only off-the-court distraction), he can return to his peak Suns days. Other than that, it’s really your same Wiz regulars with a re-vamped second unit. Here’s how the Wizards roster is taking shape for the season:
Winter might not officially end for another couple of weeks, but Spring looks to have sprung for us up here in the northeast. Temperatures are climbing, the last of the snow has melted, the pretty girls are starting to peel away their heavy winter apparel, and the Toronto Raptors are reminding Canadian hoops fans why it’s never a good idea to buy into the idea that “maybe this will be our year.”
You’d think after nearly blowing a 15-point lead to the Blazers on Friday, and then actually blowing it against the visiting Rockets on Sunday, my Raps would take out some of their frustrations on the woefully bad Brooklyn Nets…yeah, not so much. Thanks to getting outscored 35-14 in the 2nd quarter, they were down 16 at half…to the Nets. The 18-45 Nets. That Toronto came back to win on the strength of 48 points from their All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry (23) & DeMar DeRozan (25) is besides the point. These extended periods of disinterested play against inferior competition are what have caused their early playoff exits each of the past couple years and Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre was just the most recent example of the team failing to learn from their past mistakes. If history is any indication, there’s going to be a lot more where that came from…
Whatever. I’m preemptively upset about it happening again and I don’t want to talk about it anymore, alright? Let’s just move past it.
For variety’s sake, we’ll change up the format again this week and break down Tuesday’s six pack game-by-game with a focus on the noteworthy fantasy performers who are helping and hurting owners as the playoffs fast approach.
You’d think a team decimated by injuries would throw in the towel. Not the case with the Bulls. Already missing Jimmy Butler (left knee strain), Nikola Mirotic (appendicitis), and Joakim Noah (shoulder surgery), Derrick Rose was a last-minute scratch due to right hamstring tendinitis. The Bulls won anyways, their third straight victory.
Playing alongside a makeshift lineup, Pau Gasol played through the flu, just missing a triple-double with 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 assists. While it wasn’t Michael Jordan’s flu game, it was a still a pretty strong line.
Even with the Bulls’ starters ailing, there is value to be had on the roster. Under-owned guys like Taj Gibson (17/7/7), E’Twaun Moore (17 points and 3 rebounds), and Doug McDermott (14/5/2), can and should be relied upon down the stretch for both the Bulls and your fantasy teams. McBuckets also had the dunk of the night.
They won’t win you a championship on their own, but don’t overlook lesser named (and owned) guys during your playoff push.
The odds of Russell Westbrook scoring 0 points is definitely better than winning the jackpot, but it’s still rare. He was ejected after 15 minutes of playing time with nary a point. Fortunately, he still contributed 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals before departing.
Another rarity: Mavericks big man Salah Mejri came off the bench to post 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block in 25 minutes. Zaza Pachulia and Dirk Nowitzki were rested, but still. Mejri had played a combined 20 minutes all season coming into the game!
Stephen Curry scored 38 points. Not that surprising. Well, how about the Nuggets beating the Warriors? Now that’s unexpected. The Warriors were playing without Draymond Green (scheduled rest day), but the Nuggets were just 14-24 coming into the game! In addition to his 38 points, Curry also added 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 threes, and 3 steals.
Those were some of the stranger games of the night. Here are the rest of Wednesday night’s daily notes:
Congratulations to Dirk Nowitzki. He passed Shaquille O’Neal for number 6 on the all-time NBA scoring list.
While Kobe Bryant gains the headlines in his last season, Dirk and Tim Duncan have quietly shown how to adapt their game for the team’s sake, taking less money and adding more wins to their already impressive résumés.
At 37, Dirk isn’t the same fantasy monster that he used to be, but is still valuable. He’s scored 20+ points in three straight games and so far has posted better overall numbers than last season. His game is much different than Kobe’s, with much less wear and tear on his body, allowing him to remain relatively healthy later in his career. Personally, I don’t see any reason why Dirk has to tie the sneakers up anytime soon.
In addition to passing Shaqtus, Dirk hit the game winner in the Mavericks’ overtime win over the Nets. He finished with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Not bad for a 37-year-old.
Overtime basketball is free basketball and it usually means great stat lines for everyone involved:
On a weekend where elite guys did elite things – we got served more 40-burgers than a McDonalds – I’m going to open this Monday morning a little further down the bunnyhole. It may be “rabbit” hole, but it sounded dirtier my way…
When Al Jefferson went down with his calf strain (he’s still out at least another 1-2 weeks), I clowned the Hornets for their “three-headed” monster for C minutes. I joked it was a nice way of saying none were any good. Kinda like saying the “three-headed monster” of good M. Night Shyamalan movies. Especially Frank the Stank, as Michael Jordan’s never-ending conquest of building an NCAA dream team continues to keep the Charlotte franchise in the awful-to-mediocre range. At least Spencer Hawes looks OK out there, putting up decent lines in 20+ minutes the past two Hornets games. But watching the Hornets against the Bulls on Saturday – I was mad impressed by Cody Zeller. Took the lion’s share of PT playing 32 minutes, and went 17/8/2/1/1 on 6-10 FG (5-7 FT) with no TO. And it wasn’t a cupcake matchup either against Pau Gasol. Although Gasol wouldn’t get that joke, let’s say “it wasn’t a flan matchup.” Just at the eye level, he was cutting to the basket with great speed, finished strong at the rim with a few dunks, and took jumpers confidently. I think the Hornets wanted someone to step up with Big Al down, and they’ve found their guy. Now this would only be a medium-term pickup in 12ers, plus the schedule is going to be a crazy test. Hornets get DET, MIA then @MEM the next three, so Zeller is going to have to D up Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside, then Marc Gasol. Eesh. At least the Gasol one is more his player-type… And it’s not like Hawes or Frank Kaminsky is going to play any better against those beasts… So if you’re looking for a little help up front without the big blocks upside, Zeller is worth a look. Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops action, including The 7 Ahead for week 7:
Fresh off surviving the 2014-15 Razzies with his nomination for worst coach, Brad Stevens only kinda-sorta did something right last night… Yo Brad, how about you have Marcus Smart take some other shots than 3s (1-5 FG with 1-4 3PTM last night)?!
But despite the Celtics’ horrific mismanaging of Smart, Stevens did run Isaiah Thomas a whopping one-more-minute than Smart, and IT2/3 went nuts for 34/3/6 on 10-17 FG (4-8 3PTM 10-11 FT). In a 10-point win, you don’t run IT2/3 over 30 minutes with a +35?! Only got to 29:47 last night, but you’ll take it when he’s at at least 23 Pts, 2 treys and 4 3PTM the past three games. Those are the floors! Other than the %s (he is shooting a ton more though), IT2/3 has really improved since changing into green, and I think that slow start in Phoenix might make him a value next year. IT2/3, the Hoppin’ Leprechaun! That might have to be his full official Razzball nickname… Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action: