After a decent enough start, Kevin Durant was still without the big eruption type game in his first three back, but last night dismantled the Bucks in an uber-efficient 23/9/7/1/1 game shooting 7-11 FG and 8-8 FT. He’s worth 9 or 10 Bucks, at the least! Was 1-5 from deep, so didn’t miss within the arc. All of that in 29 minutes, as Beam-me-up Scotty Brooks benched the Thunder studs down the stretch of the double-digit win. Even though this was against the young Bucks, the Thunder as a whole are coming together with Russell Westbrook having a fantastic 28/5/7 night with like, a million free throws made, and Serge Ibaka is back to his %-gold ways for 15/5/0/2/2 shooting 5-5 FG & 5-5 FT. Durantula and Westy are going to command their first-round values in trades, but I bet you could still swindle Ibaka away at a buy-low price. 3+ blocks the past four games and 16-26 from the field his last three, and isn’t needing to force shots anymore. Things are right in order for OKC to go on a mad run, so be counting your lucky stars if you got KD at a discount on draft day! What we preached all preseason post-injury! Here’s some other happenings from the NBA last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Totally off the wagon! My sobriety is over. On my bender this weekend, I ate a roasted chicken off the bone for dinner, lost my voice yelling trying to talk to Germans, tried to order steak at a carnival stand, and woke up the next day hating life. Well, that was actually my time at Oktoberfest, but more or less the same thing!
We all know how much I love Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He’s probably my most talked about fantasy player since last season that hasn’t fully broken into 100%-owned fantasy relevance. And of course, after a slow start and swearing him off – with me finally admitting to my KCP obsession – he turns it back around culminating in another fantastic line against OKC for 19/3/5/1/0 shooting 6-12 FG (1-5 3PTM 6-7 FT). Did have 3 TO, but one was a very questionable charge on a nasty layup in transition. I think Kevin Durant took it – MVP call! In the finale last year, KCP went 30/6/0/2/1 on 11-19 shooting with 5 treys against OKC. Slim – how many times have I brought up that game now?! I worked Yahoo highlights on that one when my company did them last year, so harkening to the memories of that 30-burger is like reliving your ultimate drug trip. “The trees were melting into the sky!” So of course seeing him rip apart OKC once again has my teeth grinding more than a cokehead stranded in Antarctica.
KCP’s got steals in 9 of 10 games now, his TO rate is fantastic (3 was a season high yesterday – averaging 1.0 TO a game before last night), but I’m recently liking how much more he’s getting involved inside the perimeter. Through the first 15 games, 47.4% of KCP’s shots were 3s, but through the last six, 35 of his 80 shots were treys taking it down to 43.8%. And in that time his USG% (estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor) – something I don’t look at too, too often – jumped from 18% those first 15 games, to 20.3% not including yesterday. I watched a lot of last night’s game, and he was more involved in the O than any other Pistons game I’ve seen all year – and due to my addiction, it’s been a lot. While it was yet another loss, they still gave OKC a run for their money – given the Thunder studs are still shaking off some rust. So I’m back to being a KCP addict! Let’s hope this doesn’t start impacting my work and ruining my relationships… I won’t go rehab again! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This was a very big week for the Thunder. They got both of their superstars back in a matter of days.
Russell Westbrook returned on Friday night, putting up 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists in only 24 minutes of clock. Now owners may be concerned with the lack of minutes, but know that Westbrook wasn’t on a minutes’ restriction. Instead, Westbrook, along with the rest of the starters, were pulled early since the Thunder were up 32 late in the game. They were playing the New York Knicks after all.
A few days later, Kevin Durant returned to score 27 points on Tuesday night. He showed little rust on the court, shooting 9-18 from twos, 3-8 from downtown, and 6-7 from the line. Durant didn’t do much else outside of the scoring, but those numbers will happen in due time. The important thing is that Westbrook and Durant are both back and healthy.
Westbrook and Durant immediately regain their statuses as two of the top ten fantasy producers. At the same time, their return also hurts the guys filling in for them. Reggie Jackson’s statistics will take a hit, as he won’t be needed as much as an offensive producer. In the two games since Westbrook returned, Jackson had his two lowest usage rates of the season and saw his field goal attempts decrease to 11 FGA per game (down from 17.9 without Durant and Westbrook). Now there is still value to be had with Jackson, since he’ll be getting around 30 minutes a night, but don’t expect the same numbers he was providing early in the season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Some big games last night! Easily the most fun Tuesday we’ve had on the young season. Twas a… Ruby Tuesday? There’s really no good Tuesday references… Have you ever thought about how much Tuesday sucks? There’s nothing interesting at all about Tuesday! Tuesday is just a lost day… Except let’s hope you were able to watch some hoops action, as this Tuesday was a big one!
And none bigger than LaMarcus Aldridge torching Denver, putting up 39 Pts on 16-30 shooting. What’s hilarious about his 39/11/1/0/2 line is that one assist was a high-low pass to the awful Robin Lopez for the game-winning layup with one second left. Surprised Lopez didn’t botch it! When you have Sonic the Hedgehog as your haircut, it’s got to be distracting… L.A. with all that production with no TO and 7-9 FT is showing us why he’s boring, but reliable as a second-round fantasy producer. It’s easy to miss the solid volume FT% and if he gets that 3-pointer dropping like the 0.5 he’s bringing this year – a new development for L.A. – it’s icing on the cake. Mostly this whole open was just to highlight I’m up 3-0 on Slim in our 30-point challenge! Even after his slimy Kevin Durant pick. Slimy, I say! I think Aldridge has moved into that top 13 or 14 overall, with double-digit boards in six straight bringing those rebounds closer to the 11.1 we saw last year. If he can avoid any injuries, he’ll be a premiere day of the week, like Friday or something. No one wants to be a dud like Tuesday, which more than suitably personifies Robin Lopez. Henceforth, I will now call Tuesdays “Robin Lopez Day”. Here’s some other happenings that went on across the NBA on Robin Lopez Day:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In a jam-packed weekend with all sorts of big news and Anthony Davis putting up a career-high, I figured why not start as off-the-fantasy-radar as possible! Well, that’s a lie, my Steve Nash open about him being a malnourished librarian turned out to already be a commercial…
The injury gods were working overtime this weekend, as big ol’ Roy Hibbert landed funky on his ankle and left very early in the Pacers’ game Saturday. The bad news continues to floweth down the bad news river in Indianapolis. Drown your sorrows in onion rings, Pacers fans! Not gonna have any other rings any time soon. “That was mean, JB!” I’m rooting for Paul George to come back healthy next year and shock the Cavs in the playoffs, don’t you worry. But back to the issue at hand, when Howard Cosell made the call “Down goes Hibbert!” I immediately had something bubbling up inside [Mahin]me. Certainly not one of the premiere backup Cs in the NBA, but Ian Mahinmi is passable, and a solid short-term add for some early-week big man upside. Mahinmi carried the torch with the starters for an all-leagues usable 12/10/1/3/1 line in only 26 minutes, without even finishing down the stretch as the Suns went full supernova to the Pacers white/brown dwarves (I don’t wanna say one or the other, might get into trouble…). The backup Frenchy could easily go 10/10 with 2 swats in a few starts early this week. Tonight is against a gimpy Tyson Chandler who tweaked his kankle, then Wednesday against a Spurs team who have struggled to handle bigs since Tiago Splitter has been in a siesta. So while I Mahin-Me, I hope while reading this there is time to Mahin-You! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As most of you don’t know, I’m actually Will Smith’s illegitimate first son. If you don’t believe me, well you more or less have to click on that link and read it, or else the following will be too esoteric… Too ephemeral…
After Mo Williams was moved back into the starting line-up last night, he showed his Rubio-esqueness going 14/3/13 in a fantastic dimebag performance. The chosen player for the open this morning, I asked Mo to interview me and my method for compartmentalizing everything fantasy basketball into a daily recap:
Mo: What have you been reading lately?
JB: Ya know, totem pole haikus, Ke$ha’s twitter profile, because ya know… Because living.
Mo: I feel ya. So what’d you think about my facilitating last night? Pretty sick line back in the starting 5.
JB: Well, I don’t really watch the NBA. There’s no sports I like to watch, so I make them up myself and watch them again, and it’s the best thing… But even in my self-created NBA, it was pretty impressive. The way you can distribute while making time go slow… Or fast… As you please… And how you know it doesn’t exist.
Mo: I have been turning back the clock, that’s for sure! That baby Zach LaVine is way behind me for fantasy these days, right?
JB: He’s the feeling of like, a fragment of a holographic reality…
Mo: You’re right, pretty easy call there. So are you dropping say… Tony Wroten for me?
JB: There’s a duality to it. So when one thought goes into your mind, it’s not just one thought, it has to bounce off both hemispheres of the brain. When you’re thinking “yes”, you’re thinking “no”. It’s a tool for understanding. It comes from a place of oneness.
Mo: I have no idea what the F you’re saying. Just tell me, am I a good medium-term value until Ricky Rubio gets his ankle all healed up?!
JB: If he wants his muscles to grow, he has to shock them. If you want society to change, you have to shock them. That’s what art is, shocking people.
Mo: Fine. Whatever. I know I’m legit, LaVine shoulda stayed in school longer…
JB: You never learn anything in school. Think about how many people die in hospitals every day. Med school? What’s up with that!? I still haven’t been to med school and I haven’t died in a hospital, I can’t see how med school is really helping anyone out… Same with LaVine, in whatever universal form he occupies…
Mo: Occupy? #OccupyDraymondGreen?!
JB: Forever, ‘til the day that we’re in our bed!
Here’s what else went down in NBA action last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ay dios mio!
Friday was a cryday for me. Then Saturday was a sadderday. Muy triste! Ricky Rubio severely sprained his ankle in the second quarter against the Magic Friday night, effectively crushing several of my teams and ruining my DraftKings squad! Seems like every year there’s several bad ankle sprains with players rolling their foot on their own, get these guys better footwear! Rubio’s gonna miss at least a month, with a widely circulated update it “could” be 7-8 weeks. All I want for Christmas is Rubio back on the court! I’m holding in virtually all leagues, as he was finally banking on the high expectations I’ve set for him with my high ranks the past two years. Because we all know the Razzball Ranks are bulletin board material for NBA locker rooms…
Everything seemed to point towards a massive workload for Mo Williams, who through the first four games (with Rubio in there full time as the starter), Mo was averaging 21.4 minutes and 3 dimes per. But surprisingly, Flip Saunders went sushi on us with the raw Zach Lavine getting the start and going 5/6/4 in 26 minutes (only 2 TO) while Mo’s 2/4/5 in 22 minutes (3 TO) doesn’t inspire any sort of confidence Williams will get more rock. Add into the stew the Wolves were actually in that game against the Heat until the end, and it’s a stew I don’t think I want any part of anymore. I mean, who puts sushi in a mother f stew?! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ok. I’m never beating Rabbit in a freestyle battle with rhyming skills like in my title, I know. Maybe my Dad was right, it’s time to hang up the mic for good, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but Parents just don’t understand. My hip-hop name was MC Ice Trey. Booking the YMCA rec room on seniors discount day to perform my edgy, in-yo-face raps was a disaster, and yet it was the height of my career. Who knew the Canasta league would be filled with so much rage? Still, I like to think I spit the truth to that old white group.
So, maybe I don’t know how to flow, but I do know how to dribble and dime, amirite? That’s not true, either. I’m a 2 dribble max, pick and pop player, at best. What you CAN take to the bank is that there is fantasy fools gold glittering in them thar hills, and you gotta know when you have itI was never on the Caron Butler bus, which appears to have been a very quick bus route, so I’m not exactly revealing any nuggets here. That said, I’m still high on Jonas Valanciunas, as I said in my “bold predicitions” article, despite his minor injury currently. What I’m saying here, gentle reader, is that some players who look dope early on are the fantasy equivalent of “good from far, far from good” types (Butler), while others are starting slow, but have much more to offer you, the type you bring home to your Nonna/Bubby/Gram Grams (JV). What’s our mantra here? Buy low, sell high, chikka chikka, what?? (my written imagery of record scratches right there). So throw yo hands in the air, and wave ’em like you just don’t care, and if you wanna learn who to buy and sell, somebody say: “Oh yeah!!” Sorry. I’ll cut that out.Please, blog, may I have some more?
You might as well set up a Civil War style triage on the Thunder bench, because somebody has the team set of Thunder voodoo dolls and isn’t wasting any time! Adding to this virtually unprecedented injury wave to hit an NBA team through only week one of the season, Perry Jones knocked knees for the second game in a row; this time in a ton of pain and had to exit. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the Thunder depth chart on Rotoworld, where the red S means sidelined:
Oklahoma City Red S-es! And while a “knee contusion” usually wouldn’t worry me too much, George Hill had the same deal and he’s going to be out until late-November is sounds…
On the plus side, Serge Ibaka is absolutely en fuego out there. 25/11/2/0/1 and forced to take contested jumpers the whole night, but hit 11-14 including three treys. And played 46 minutes out of desperation! The blocks will come, so if you got Serge late round 1 (like we had him) or round 2, you’ve got something of your own surging in your pants.
On the negative side, Reggie Jackson is playing with some ill-advised reckless abandon. I mean, give the kid some props for playing through numerous injuries last night, but he ended up with his butt on the hardwood more often then Paris Hilton. Had a fantastic slash of 13/4/14 but hurt his wrist limiting him to 4-14 FG (0-6 3PTM). Plus the ankle still looks gimpy. I know the upside is immense the next month, but I might try to sell RJax high after watching this game. It was like watching Denard Robinson at Michigan. I’m not a huge college football fan, but my dad went there and I watch parts of most games, and Shoelace is still the most dynamic player I’ve ever seen in Maize & Blue. But he seemed to leave early almost every game, getting battered and beaten up.
The Thunder need to do everything and anything to get healthy, with three straight off days until Friday. My recommendations include – every player eating a live octopus chasing it with raw eggs, hiring the Wolverine (Jackman, not Denard) for some mutant healing blood, and calling Mrs. Cleo to figure out which guy will be hurt on Friday and benching him. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Anyone watch the Mavs host the Celtics last night? Game be scrappy! Rajon Rondo tackled Monta Ellis towards the end trying to restrain him for a hard foul, and I got confused if I was watching hoops or that MNF tragedy! Ellis held his knee for a bit there, so let’s hope he’s OK…
But the big story in that one was Jeff Green‘s absurdity. Well, it actually mimicked the absurdity of this game. Down 30 in the second quarter, the Celtics somehow came back – in Dallas – to make it a nailbiter to the finish. The Mavs took Jeff Green as seriously as fantasy owners this year, and he had one of his three monster games he’ll have this season. 35/7/2/1/2 shooting 14-28 including 5-12 from downtown. If there was ever a sell high game, this would be it. You need any data to back it up? How about after his last big game – 39/6 with four treys against the Pelicans on March 16th, 2014? The subsequent 8 games immediately afterwards – 11.8/3.6/2.3 shooting 34% from the field. Green is Brandon Jennings in a SF/PF body. They couldn’t even do a Freaky Friday remake with these two, they’d wake up and look at their new bodies in the mirror and go, “meh, at least I can still get hot one game outta ten shooting the ball…”
Green’s first two games were the expected blah, and he just doesn’t do anything but score and trey… Glorified ThrAGNOF! Is Chris Copeland really that much worse than Jeff Green right now? Maybe Citizen Copeland doesn’t have this kind of big game upside, but it’s why we preach to stream your threeballers. Stream your polyorchids! Learn something new every day here at Razzball… Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:Please, blog, may I have some more?