Now I’m not sure about this, but when Taj Gibson had a couple good games over the Thanksgiving week, I probably recapped and gobble-gobbled at it. My jowls flapped around like Boss Nass bein’ all “Hmmpphhherr Rumpity-Doooo, Taj Gibson, rabble rabble rabble!” At least that sounds like me… Now you see what I deal with in my inner monologue! It’s like I battle a drunk Kenny Rogers. Which is to say, I battle Kenny Rogers. Gibson has been a scrate-up beast the past four, going 23/8, 18/4, 26/14 5 blks, and 19/6/0/1/1 last night. Bringing big time energy to that front line as the main big off the bench, he’s playing insane out there, shooting 67% from the floor in those past 4. I watched the game last night and was impressed with his spark, but then again, the Heat bigs are awful. They got out-rebounded 49-27 last night! Back in the day, I used to love Taj when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah battled injuries. But now… it took some time and four in a row to buy it. I think it’s because the Bulls are my least favorite team. Sorry Bulls fans! Boozer & Noah just yell on virtually every rebound and definitely every single putback attempt. It’s unreal! It’s like Maria Sharapova is rebounding. And Gibson does it at least 50% of the time. He’s becoming the Bulls Sex Panther. “50% of the time he’s yelling… every time!” But regardless of how annoying he/the Bulls bigs are to watch/listen to, he’s playing like a must-own in all formats. At 33% owned in Yahoo and 24% in ESPN, he’s hot while a lot guys are not. I don’t think he’s going to turn into a set-it and forget-it guy the rest of the year, he doesn’t do enough of anything else besides score and board (if not for that 5 block game, he’d be under 1 in Asts, Stls & Blks on the year), but I think he’s a ride the wave kinda add right now. Here’s what else I saw on the light Thursday slate of games and a few updates for tonight:Please, blog, may I have some more?
My lead yesterday was about a weekend of injuries, and as much as I wanted to stay away from injuries in today’s open, there’s just way too many. Like that pilot in the Return of the Jedi when they attack the new Death Star. “There’s too many of them!” Sorry in advance Jake VZ – but I think the lead is Bradley Beal reportedly aggravating his leg injury and at the time of this post in the wee hours of the morning, the Wizards fear a prolonged absence. Beal hurt the same leg with a broken fibula last year that ended his season prematurely. In both my longer blurb in my top 100 and in my top 200 I tried to say I was worried, and only ended up with him on my autodrafted team. By now, news has hit his little news icon on Yahoo and ESPN, so it’s going to be a little tough to sell at full price or even a slight discount if you’re hitting the panic button. I’m worried myself. I’m running in with Jodie Foster and a weird, gothy, tween Kristen Stewart into my Panic Room. More precise news should come out today, but if for some reason you were about to cut Martell Webster, hold the phone and keep my boy. I have been told I have too many “boys”. But I like Webster a lot! And called him a must add a few weeks back. Trevor Ariza is also back and starting tonight, and the mere fact they’re not easing him in off the bench has me thinking his hammy must be doing pretty well. Both Ariza and Webster are looking at big minutes for a stretch, and John Wall will continue to have this big offensive upside he’s shown in the past two games. Here’s what else went down in the wide world of fantasy hoops last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So… It was a ridiculous weekend of injuries with the NBA pulling its best NFL impression. “Look how many people we can hurt too!” Right now the safest big sport might be hockey… The survivors of this NBA-wide injury bug should barricade themselves in a giant prison. OK, so that’s not exactly the best analogy… Look out for the Governor! Arguably the biggest injury over the weekend was another knee giving out for Derrick Rose, who tore his meniscus and is having surgery some time today. This is about the worst thing that could’ve happened for fantasy this season. No, not because I’m a Rose owner… But because of all the Rose questions! Of course this would happen for a second straight year. So obligatory memo, statement, press release – Razzball’s official stance on answering questions on Rose will involve no guesses or speculation to his return! Well, Pete, Slim, & Dan can… I guess. But I’m not doing this again! “Hey JB, when’s the end of the world?” “When am I going to win the lottery?” “How in God’s green earth did the Patriots win last night?” “When will the Spurs finally kick out all the vets and give Kawhi Leonard superstar touches?!” I just don’t have the answers! We saw Russell Westbrook go down with a meniscus injury, only to need a second clean-up surgery. Rose has said he’s leaning towards a reattachment procedure that would cost him the season, plus Rose has his other knee just off the ACL. His knees have gone the way of Kyle’s knees in that South Park episode after his expletive-plasty. Hopefully Rose’s surgeon is part-Borg and can get something mechanical going on in there. “He’s more machine now than man…” Dude, I just crossed sci-fi swords there in a major fail… Here’s what else went down across fantasy hoops over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All hail Trey Burke! May all the inhabitants of the great Salt Lake City and all their respective wives rejoice! And… the Jazz are still atrocious. Poor Tyrone Corbin. He’s got to fiddle with Burke, Alec Burks, John Lucas III and now Diante Garrett at the point. Jerry Sloan got John Stockton. Then Deron Williams. It just ain’t fair! In yet another Jazz loss moving them down to 1-12, Burke got 12 minutes even, going 11/1/1 with a steal and hitting a trey shooting 5-8. Trey with the trey! If only Deuce McAllister was an NBA player. Deuce with the deuce! Or if McAllister was a dunker, “Deuce with the upper decker!” I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing highlights for my second Jazz game now, but it was cool to see Burke’s debut and I thought he looked pretty good. His first NBA points were off a long rebound then coast-to-coast for a controlled, attacking floater. Obviously he’s getting eased in and he’ll get more minutes – hippity-skippity to a few months back and I was bigger on Burke than anyone – but I’m not ready to go nuts and drop quality guys for him. Of course it’s a case-by-case scenario, but I really wanted Burke to get tons of preseason work; instead he broke his finger and missed some really crucial development time. For example, I think I’m still holding Patrick Beverley over him. PBev is the Razzball “why can’t I quit you?!” fantasy asset. Lucas III is obviously not a long-term solution, and while he’s in the mix, he didn’t look good last night but was the only guy that could hit any long balls. Alec Burks looked awful, sure his line 8/1/1/1/2 is fine, shot 3-6 – fine – but racked up 4 TOs in 16 minutes. Just looked bad. Which brings me to Diante G, who I thought looked really good. Garrett actually led the Jazz in PG minutes with 20, and racked up a 4/1/6 line with three steals and only 2 TOs (one late one was pretty bad, but the game was over) and played down the stretch. Garrett was the only point who could create opportunities. So it’s a little crowded with Burks’ potential wilting away and Garrett looking decent as a D-League gamble and could get run through the season. I think Lucas III gets cut at some point and Burks plays strictly backup 2 minutes, but that’s just me. It’s a mess. Shocker, considering it’s the Jazz! Here’s what else I saw last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sometimes it’s nice, oh so nice, to see so much potential that you saw through the preseason finally get the chance to shine, the star to sizzle, the Sun to finally get his run. With Eric Bledsoe sitting last night with a bruised shin, my boy Archie Goodwin finally got a chance, running a season-high 19 minutes for 16/2/2/2 shooting 7-10 and hitting a three, including this highlight worthy pick 6. “Give me a chance coach!” Goodwin has great speed and a good feel for the game for a 19-year-old, and is showing a little bit of what he could do should he get extended time. The Suns backcourt is flooded, muddled mostly by the breakout Gerald Green is putting on, but the hot start-Suns have now dropped three straight, going from 3-1 to 5-5. Green is an ultimate sell-high, both in fantasy and in the NBA trade market, for his highlight-inducing big plays and he’s shooting 12% better from the field and 11% better from 3-point land than last year. Obviously 2012-13 was a disaster, so some bounce back was coming, but yea, if the Suns could get anything in return, they’ll take it. With Green signed through next season and Goran Dragic with a player-option for next year, both are potential trade chips the Suns could use to build around Bledsoe. Sure, I’m dreaming up a scenario that may not be the most likely, but what I’m really dreaming about is a Bledsoe/Goodwin starting backcourt. Mmmmmm. Fantasy goodness everywhere! Goodwin is worth keeping an eye on with the Bledsoe shin injury in the deepest of leagues, and deeper dynasty leagues should have him on the radar as well. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops: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?
Are you not entertained?!
Chris Paul sure put on a show last night, dropping treys, lobbing alleys, fending off tigers chained up as obstacles. You name it! He torched the Warriors in the Clippers “home opener” (despite it being their second straight game in LA) for an unreal 42/4/15 and 6 steals. Shot 12-20 from the field and won you FT% this week going 16-17 at the stripe. Paul was so much like Russell Crowe. In LA there’s even a “Coliseum” (ok maybe that’s a stretch)! Games like this support Doc wanting to cover up the banners and jerseys. Even when Kobe gets back, Paul has to be the best player in LA. I said it before on Opening Night and reiterate below, but the acquisition of J.J. Redick does wonders for Paul in the Clippers spacing. I said he’ll have double-digit assists almost every game. I said he’d score 42 against the Warriors. Dammit, OK so I didn’t say that second one. Elite assists and steals are par for the course, and scoring like this in a few more games will have him the easy #3 fantasy player. Here’s what else I saw in last night’s two NBA games:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Whewwww-eeee! What a fun draft. A good four-and-a-half hours after the draft start time I had picked my 17th player, and I think I really like my team. But with a lot of picks, I did feel a bit like Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo trying to defend them; “it’s a real good deal this one, real good!” Thanks again for filling out the league loyal Razzball Nation, and again thanks to our friends at RotoGold.com and the TDBSportsNetwork (which you can catch me on their “The Double Bonus” Show throughout the season and from last Wednesday) for helping class up the joint.
So if you missed the post launching the league, the Razzball Elite Dynasty League had our inaugural draft last night, an all-out brawl of an Auction draft with some really interesting bidding wars. Looking at you Ben from RotoGold and you pumping up Giannis Antetokounmpo for $15 late! The league is 20 teams, 12 starters (two of every position and two UTIL) and five bench spots. Using my abacus over here, that’s 340 players owned. Neeedless to say, things got really interesting once we were in the bottom end of starters. There is no inflation, we voted on a true Dynasty application, with lifetime contracts. Free agent pickups all must be done with your $100 yearly FAAB, and those players can be kept on a $1 lifetime contract. So FAAB bidding will be a critical element through the season.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?
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?