Merry Christmas Razzball Nation! I hope everyone is looking forward to a great holiday. What have you asked for for Christmas? A ridiculous stroke of luck to get you a Fantasy Football championship tonight? A Christmas Day where three of your guys have triple doubles? Mine is hoping that no more injuries roll through the NBA, at least with questionable return dates. Hey, at least Brook Lopez has a certain return date. October 2014. Huge loss (I was going to say break, but um, yea) for fantasy owners with a broken foot. Here’s what I said in my ranks with him at 50, lower than most other places: “Love his game, had him top-20 in May. Foot injury and big trade limits #s.” That’s me quoting me! Ok, ok, so I get a ton wrong and you can’t project injuries (which I didn’t really, gotta love vagueness!), but I avoided Lopez everywhere so I am not suffering a stocking full of coal like BroLo owners. BroLo’s stocking is actually full of a swollen foot, but you get the idea. Andray Blatche becomes a must-own with the boost in minutes, and was already at double-digits and 19:40 plus of playing time in 15 of 17 games before Friday night’s dud when BroLo got hurt. I see him grabbing 7 to 8 boards with decent %s – along with his scoring – for a bottom end guy on rosters with a tad of upside. Here’s what else/who else got hurt over the weekend: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?
Well, this is the peril you get playing in other countries… After a generator next to the stadium in Mexico City failed, last night’s Spurs at [hah] Timberwolves got postponed after the stadium filled with smoke. It looked like Mexico City’s skyline of smog in there! Man, so many people are going to get fired over this. “Who let their 5 year olds with squirt guns play next to the exposed wires?!” All the sudden the NBA is looking like the MLB… I haven’t seen a PPD since September! Brutal break for Spurs and Wolves owners in H2H formats as the reschedule is sure to be a while down the road. Usually I like H2H for hoops because you don’t get rocked when your team has bad weather (vs. H2H Fantasy Baseball which I loathe), but now you have to think about generator fires when playing in other countries! Well, I guess except Canada… They better have their shizz in order! Breaking News! The Raptors stadium has a Rob Ford crack den hidden within the locker room that caught fire, and they’re relocating to become the Reno Lt. Dangles. Go Reno! Here’s what else happened last night across fantasy hoops: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?
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?
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?
Now, I never went to a boarding school… I was stuck in the public schooling circuit, and just could never rebound. I was like Andrea Bargnani or Brook Lopez down there. Domineering over some little men, but the boards just never came my way… Enter J.J. Hickson, who despite being a tad undersized has always been a solid boarder, and racked up 19 last night for an 18/19 night. Near Goromotaro! Just one putback slammah-jammah and he’s seeing 20/20. A little laser eye surgery. I liked Hickson a lot when JaVale McGee went down, and he’s proved he needs to be owned virtually everywhere like I said 8 days ago. In the five games since, Hickson has at least 8 boards, double-figures in four of five, and a block every night. Even if Shaqtin-a-McGee is able to get back within his original time frame, McGee just isn’t able to play the big starter’s minutes and Hickson is going to maintain this value either starting at the 5 or playing out his minutes as an early sub. If you’re hurtin’ for boards, be sure the recent grad from the boarding school isn’t sitting on your wire. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Even though he looks exactly like the youngest kid from Malcolm in the Middle, Steve Blake is playing like an NBA PG in the top. Last night’s 16 Asts gives him 10+ in four straight, and starting to remind us of Chris Paul who has started the year with the ten straight 10+ dime games. You can’t go anywhere in LA without someone trying to give you a dimebag! I think that’s going to be a new term I’m going to add into the Razzball lexicon, 10+ assists equals a dimebag. As in, “the Lakers got so high last night with Steve Blake handing out a dimebag!” Pretty soon it won’t even be a crime anywhere. Rasheed Wallace is like, “man I played at the wrong time!” Blake is an obvious must-own in all leagues, and I think will be all year. He’s been D-Antoni-ed. Here’s what else I saw across fantasy hoops over the weekend: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?
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?