If Lionel Hollins could give you any advice, it would probably be something like this: enjoy every day like it was your last, young man! Smell the daisies. Have a cookie. And above all, if you ever break your finger, take the time to have it splinted, it will not heal well on it’s own. Because it can all come crashing down around you, regardless of if it’s your fault or not. Billy King, you get no love from my smelly little article, as you are the architect to your own demise (re-assignment), the Nets and poor, sweet Lionel had to pay for your sins. What can we learn from this debacle, gentle reader? It can only be this: if you were thinking about making a roster move, either big or small, don’t wait, do it now! And with that, let’s take a look at some roster moves that your sensitive heart been yearning to make:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Early in the day on Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced that All-Star Todd Frazier was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a seven-player trade. Wait, I thought this was a basketball blog! Well, one of those guys involved in the trade was Trayce Thompson. Not quite a Splash Brother, but the biological brother of the Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson and former NBA player, Mychel Thompson, who now plays in Italy.
As brothers, it’s pretty common to be competitive with each other. We may not be on as big of a stage as the Thompson brothers, but my older brother and I make almost everything a competition between each other, whether it’s games of one-on-one, 10-mile races, or Settlers of Catan.
While Trayce was gaining popularity as a new member of the Dodgers in California, Klay went off for 27 points in the 3rd on his way to a game high 43 points (15-22 FG, 8-13 3PT). It must be a happy time for the Thompson family!
Coming off their first loss of the season, the Warriors blew out the Suns by 25, leading by 40 after the 3rd quarter.
With the game in hand, Thompson, Draymond Green, and Stephen Curry weren’t even needed in the 4th quarter. That was enough minutes for Green to go for a triple double (16/11/10/5) and Curry to drop 25 points and 7 assists. So much for feeling sad about their first loss.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. This week’s article will be short because I’m traveling back home. As far as last week goes, it was just ok and I need to start taking some of my own advice. Anyway let’s get on with this 7 game slate:
Damian Lillard (9,100) has a usage rate of 31.5% and that is good for 6th overall in the league. Also, the Lakers give up the 2nd most fantasy points to PG’s. Lillard put a 65 spot on them last Sunday.
Ish Smith (6,600) has been over 40 fantasy points 3 out of his last 4 games with Jrue Holliday on the court. The matchup vs Utah isn’t the greatest, but Holiday is sitting out.
Fire up Patty Mills (3,600) if Tony Parker takes the night off.Please, blog, may I have some more?
So as numerous comments have suggested over the years, I sometimes act as your fantasy therapist. “WHY ARE ALL MY GUYS HURT?!” But this morning, I’m using Razzball Hoops to therap-ize. You guys are going to help therap-ize me… Usually weekends are either “good”, “bad”, or “relaxing”. That’s 99% of weekends. Good = fun things happened, yay! Relaxing = you didn’t do much, and you’re recharged for another work week. Bad = things cut into the relaxing… But for me, it ran the gamut! I’ve mentioned a few times that the wife and I moved (yay!), we love the house (yay!), but ran into a bajillion little things and aren’t nearly as unpacked as we want (boo!) and missing a box that still hasn’t been found ($%&%!). Then we have to rush Saturday night to get to Charlotte to be ready to tailgate for the Panthers game. Tailgating was sick, but then I started to feel a little iffy during the game… At least we were true fans and didn’t leave early to beat traffic in the 2nd half of that bludgeoning! And I was able to snap the best picture I’ve ever seen of the Charlotte skyline:
There’s your pinnacle! Then I feel atrocious in a few hours of stop and go traffic, finally start feeling better, then get a tire blowout on the interstate and barely made it back last night… What a range of emotions! Anyway, long story short, I’m whiny, not feeling great, and the worst of all – didn’t watch as much hoops as I wanted to this weekend. #RealLifeProblems! So I apologize to the weekend commenters, getting to you guys now, and for a slightly shorter Monday Daily Notes that’s out later than usual. But we’ve got a shortened Thanksgiving week to preview anyway! Oh yeah, I guess I’ll stick with the usual daily notes format and tie this into fantasy – this article title could work for Nikola Jokic too! Went nuts on the Spurs last Wednesday for a breakout, but then played 18 starting minutes worth of feeling sick, getting a flat tire, and losing an important box when moving Friday against the Suns. Mike Malone even called out his guys! “Lunch will not be served today due to lack of hustle!” But then Jock Itch looked like a different player against the Warriors, going 11/11/2/2/1 in 27 minutes, while also helping us as a realtor and finding our house, helping the Panthers get to 10-0, and saving several stranded puppies in a well. He’s a 20 year old on a young team, he’s going to go through a lot of ups and downs, but I say he’s worth a look even in 12ers. If you don’t have anyone good to drop, I wouldn’t do anything rash though. He’s at 19% owned in Yahoo and snatched up in all my RCLs, but might be worth a look on your leagues’ wires. Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops action, plus The 7 Ahead for Week 5:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Wow, how good is Russell Westbrook? Two nights after dropping 40 points and 14 assists against the Grizzlies, Westbrook scored 43 points, 8 assists, and 9 rebounds on Wednesday. The Thunder controlled the game, but never really put the game out of reach for the injury-riddled Pelicans. Whenever the Thunder needed a basket, Westbrook had no problem getting to the hoop or finding the open man. My only knock on Westbrook’s game is the turnovers, but when you’re posting near triple doubles every night, you’re allowed to turn the ball over as much as he does.
Now his stats are inflated a little because Kevin Durant has been sitting with a hamstring injury, but Westbrook is still a top 10 talent even with Durant in the lineup. Should Durant leave the Thunder next season (to go to, say, the Wizards!!!), Westbrook would enter my top three, along with Steph Curry and Anthony Davis.
Now onto the other notables from Wednesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
How do you decide who is most deserving of the lead between these two stellar performances?:
- Player A – 25 points, 18 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 10-15 FGs
- Player B – 22 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks, 10-14 FGs
I’m going to give the nod to the player who posted his gaudy stats in a winning effort and that would be Player A, also known as Detroit center, Andre Drummond. The Pistons asked a lot from their franchise big man, and he responded with 39 minutes of terrific play that helped lead his team to a win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. Drummond was a +17 in a five point win, and even made the Cavs pay when they intentionally fouled him in the fourth quarter. After starting 1-4 from the line, AD made four of his last five to help seal the deal. It was a great overall performance and at this point the only thing fantasy owners need to fear is this heavy workload catching up to him later in the season. But at only 22 years old, there’s no reason why Drummond can’t make 2015-2016 his career campaign.
Player B is Miami Heat center, Hassan Whiteside. In just his 77th career game, Whiteside treated fantasy owners to his second points/boards/blocks triple-double. Unfortunately it was in a losing effort to the visiting Timberwolves, and was accompanied by four turnovers and a 2-9 mark from the charity stripe. Despite the sub-par free throw shooting (which was a bugaboo coming into the season), Hassan is providing first round returns and very likely earning himself a max contract when he hits free agency in the summer of 2016. Similar to Andre Drummond, there are no legitimate threats to Whiteside’s value other than injury, so it’s a “sit back and enjoy the ride” opportunity for his owners.
Honorable mention goes to Brooklyn’s pivot, Brook Lopez, who wasn’t too shabby himself on Tuesday night, dropping a 24/10/1/1/3 line in a two point win over the visiting Hawks. BroLo only turned the ball over once in 35 minutes and made 11-21 from the floor against a reasonably stout Atlanta front line. He may not be posting the monster lines like Whiteside and Drummond, but he’s chugging along as a third round per-game value in 9-cat leagues which is likely providing his owners with a solid return on their draft day investment.
Let’s take a look at what else shook down on a highly entertaining seven-game Tuesday evening…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe he didn’t call glass on his clutch three with 1:05 left in the 4th, but when you’re Dirk Nowitzki, a future hall of famer, who cares? I know fantasy owners don’t care whether it was a swish or a banked in three. All we care about are the final stats. And, boy, did Dirk deliver.
Down one going into the second half, Dirk took over for the Mavericks, leading them to a 10-point win against the Clippers. Dirk finished the game with 31 points and 11 rebounds on 11-14 shooting, including 5-6 from downtown. It was vintage Dirk.
Midway through the 3rd quarter he caught a Zaza Pachulia pass off of an offensive rebound and without squaring up, knocked down an one foot fade away jumper without hesitation. He knocked down threes with DeAndre Jordan in his grill. It was truly a great game.
As a fan of the game, it’s amazing to watch games like this, but as a fantasy owner, you have to realize that these games aren’t as common for the 37 year-old as they used to be. It was Dirk’s first 30-point game since December 28, 2014. In his 18th year in the NBA, Dirk is still a top 50 player when he plays, but just be aware his minutes are monitored more closely and he sits on back to backs, hurting his total overall value.
Now onto the other nightly notables:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, that was a bit of a bloodbath.
On what should have been a relatively quiet evening in the NBA, there sure wound up being a lot of noise. And not a lot of it was good noise. For a lot of fantasy owners, Tuesday probably sounded a bit like this.
Mid-game injuries, late-breaking inactives, and low minutes due to a few blowouts seemed to be the consistent narrative of the night.
We’ll get to all that depressing stuff, but let’s start out on a high note – Mo Williams had himself a game. On nearly perfect shooting (8-9 FGs, 9-10 FTs, 4-4 from 3-point range), Mo helped the Cavaliers slip past the Utah Jazz 118-114 in the best game of the night. In addition to the stellar percentages, Williams chipped in six boards, six dimes, and stole the ball twice just for funzies. Five turnovers took a bit of shine off an otherwise brilliant outing, but this still goes down as one of the top fantasy lines of the evening. Mo Williams will continue to be a must-start player until Kyrie Irving comes back, and common sense would suggest that if Mo keeps balling at a high level and the Cavs keep winning, there’s no reason to rush Kyrie back anytime soon. So it’s a bit of a snowball effect in that the immediate returns are great, but they’re also likely to help extend Mo’s opportunity for a 30+ MPG role on a title contending team. People waiting on Irving to return won’t enjoy hearing that, but it’s championship-or-bust in Cleveland, so Kyrie isn’t coming back with health a single percentage point below 100.
Not to be outdone, LeBron James had himself a phenomenal fourth quarter, scoring 17 points (6-8 FGs), 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal as the Cavs scored 38 points in the final frame against one heck of a good defensive team. LBJ finished the game with 31/7/8/2/0 and dropped in a three pointer. He matched Mo Will’s five giveaways and missed four of his 12 freebies, but for all intents and purposes this was a win for LeBron owners as he made it out of the game healthy after soldiering through an owwy on his thigh.
Let’s get on to the rest of the notables…Please, blog, may I have some more?
This fantasy team you’ve assembled is still settling into place, like the foundation of a new building. As someone who knows nothing whatsoever about construction beyond my adventures in Ikea assembly, it stands to reason that if the foundation isn’t sound, if the footprint is comprised of poorly poured concrete, the building won’t stand. Or maybe it will, I haven’t the foggiest clue. But in terms of your squad, I proudly assert that I am marginally less out of my element. Look at it this way: we all need to take these early weeks as seriously as the later ones, particularly for securing those cumulative stat categories, if we wish to compete for a championship, right? So I say, perhaps recklessly, that even entering week 3, improving your foundation should be everyone’s goal, particularly those employed in the concrete business. Check out these cornerstones I’ve poorly stuck into this analogy:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The list of superlatives that can be applied to Andre Drummond is a long one. The Pistons big man went berserk on Tuesday night with his second straight 20/20 game. To be precise, he went for 25 & 29 – the second 25/25 of his career. For perspective on just how good he’s been so far this season:
- Only player since NBA/ABA merger to have 75 points and 75 rebounds through his first four games
- First player since Kareem with multiple 20/20 games in his first four games
- No other Piston has had a single 25/25 game in the last 30 years
Drummond had 11 offensive rebounds tonight which was more than any other player had in this game…combined. If the points and boards weren’t enough, he also tossed in three steals and a block for good measure.
The one knock on AD has always been (and will continue to be) his poor free throw shooting. At .403 FT% for his career, it’s quite the albatross. But this season – early as it may be – Drummond is up to .576 (19-33), making owners who thought they were punting the category feel pretty darn good about their chances across the board.
The stars seem to have aligned for Andre to post a truly special season. Lane-clogging Greg Monroe is gone. Stan Van Gundy isn’t afraid to play his starters heavy minutes and the team is winning (i.e. rewarding this approach). A summer of work with a shooting coach is paying immediate dividends at the foul line. At this point, the only thing that could conceivably derail this train is injury…and Drummond has only missed one game in the last two years, so there are no concerns about chronic or lingering ailments.
Now on to the rest of the happenings from an eventful Tuesday night of round ball…Please, blog, may I have some more?