After a tough loss in Detroit, it’s safe to say things have yet to take flight for this year’s Houston Rockets. While many came into the season thinking Houston’s out-of-this-world lineup had the potential to challenge the incumbent Golden State Warriors for the title as best team in the West, those dreams came crashing back to earth weeks ago (and Kevin McHale is still searching through the wreckage for the cause of the incident). Last night’s struggles are just another indication of this season’s overall trend: the Houston Rockets are looking more like Team Rocket when they step on the court.

Even a near triple double from James Harden (29 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) wasn’t enough for Houston to surmount a surprising Pistons squad. With Harden passing 40 minutes for the fourth straight game, it’s looking like the Rockets are going to be riding their thoroughbred until the saddle cracks. In fairness, a monster game from Harden is probably the best chance Houston has to win every night, but for fantasy owners, the team’s struggle bodes well for the Beard’s outlook. Harden is going to score in abundance while racking up rebounds, assists, 3s, and steals as Houston fights to stay in the playoff hunt early. I think these past five games are particularly telling for the current state of the team as well as Harden’s prospects for the next few weeks as they try to right the ship (or the rocket).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hoops fans were treated to a pretty entertaining six-game slate on Tuesday night, and those who were able to stay awake into the wee hours of Wednesday morning (for us East coasters anyways), saw history made at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors set a new benchmark for best record to start an NBA season by winning their sixteenth straight game to open the 2015-2016 campaign.

For all intents and purposes, the game between the Warriors and the visiting Lakers was over before it started. GSW entered the contest as 17-point favorites and it took them all of 10 and a half minutes to cover that number. The Dubs were up 34 after three quarters and LA had the look of a team that might as well have just stayed home – they walked in defeated. (Aside: Byron Scott needs to go. Awful, awful ball coach.)

Unfortunately the blowout factor was in full effect as none of the Warriors starters were needed in the fourth quarter, evidenced by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green playing a game-high 30 minutes each. However, in honor of this Golden State team destroying the league so far this season, here are the lines for each of their starters tonight:

  • Chef Curry – 24/4/9/2/0, four triples, zero TOs
  • Klay Thompson – 11/3/2/0/1, two triples, one TO
  • Harrison Barnes – 8/2/1/0/0, two triples, one TO
  • Draymond Green – 18/7/5/1/2, two triples, 7-11 FGs
  • Andrew Bogut – 8/7/2/0/2, 4-7 FGs, zero TOs

Those are pretty pedestrian numbers (relative to each player’s typical contributions this year), but these are the types of lines that we’ll occasionally see with a team as dominant as the Warriors. For season-long owners you just have to move on to the next game and hope it’s a more competitive affair. And for DFS players, you know for the future to fade GSW players on nights when they’re huge favorites as the main guys won’t be needed for the full 48. At some point we’ll also have to keep an eye out for DNP-Rest days, though I can’t imagine that will happen until Golden State loses their first game. (For the record, the teams standing in the way of a 28-0 Warriors team hosting the Cleveland LeBrons on Christmas Day are: Phoenix twice, Sacramento, Utah twice, Charlotte, Toronto, Brooklyn, Indiana, and Milwaukee twice. Seriously – who of those teams is scaring you if you’re the Dubs?)

Let’s take a look at the non-Bay Area happenings on Tuesday night…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I think I used that title a couple of years ago in the season intro post, did something similar last year, and was thinking of something new this season…  But F it!  I’m too excited, IT ALL STARTS HERE BABY!

The 2015-16 season starts tonight, with the Pistons going at the Hawks, Pelicans going at the champ Warriors, and the bigun – Cavs at Bulls.  A very nice slate to kick it off, but I wanted Nets at 76ers!  That’s a premiere matchup right there!  All of our hopes and dreams for the year start this evening (hyperbole police are after me!), with my optimism for an REL title, everyone’s yearning for the RCL title, and my year-long nervousness my ranks look good in April.  Would it be narcissistic if I win the RCL title to put myself in the RCL hall of fame?!  It would be like Heisman awarding himself the first Heisman!  Or something like that…  I’m all talk though, we all know Slim is going to be in the top-10 yet again with me lower on the master table in disdain…

If you missed it yesterday afternoon, our 15-16 lineup features several awesome new writers and you can check out our weekly schedule of content for the season.  The size of that hyperlink mimics my excitement for our articles this year!  Trust me, I’m not compensating for something…

And I’d like to thank all of you out there in Razzball Nation for bringing legitimacy to the phrase/cliche I’ve used on the kickoff post for three straight years: 15-16 is going to be our biggest year yet!  We’ve grown a ton, and I couldn’t be more thankful to you readers and commenters.  Can’t wait for opening tip…  LET’S GET THIS GOIN’!  Here’s a few thoughts on the opening night matchups:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yikes.  After an injury-plagued 14-15 season where virtually every starter missed a good chunk of time, the injury bug hath reared it’s ugly head yet again for the Pelicans.  I need comfort!  Time to shame eat 50 beignets!

After Jrue Holiday‘s slow recovery from another stress reaction in his leg, the Pelicans plan to limit him to 15 minutes a game until January and sit him on back-to-backs.  Then Norris Cole suffered a high-ankle sprain a little over a week ago, and given an “up to 6 weeks” timetable.  And right when the Tyreke Evans buzz couldn’t get louder, we get hit with news on The Blindside (starring Sandra Bullock) that he had arthroscopic knee surgery and will be out 6-8 weeks.  The Pelicans need a new conditioning staff!  Hopefully this gets all the injuries out of the team’s system and we see 82 games of Brow…  Anyway, the Pelicans signed Nate Robinson late last week, and all the sudden he’s looking at starting minutes to open the season – starting when Jrue sits and playing a ton off the bench after Jrue’s 15 allotted minutes.  Lord help me, but I actually drafted him in the JB vs. Slim RCL last night…  All he needs to do is put it within 15 feet of Brow and he could fall into 5 assists with the upside for a few 3s and some points with low TO (18 Pts last night, but 0 AST and 4 TO – had 9 dimes previous 2 games with only 3 TO, TO isn’t usually an issue).  It’s like Jose Calderon, but with a few more minutes.  Ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little with that comp though…  Here’s what else has gone down over the past few days in preseason action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ah, the almost-studlies.  The “still can’t quite miss, but you can start reaching round.”  …Almost sounds like I said reach around…

This is where the sommeliers really can knock their drafts out of the park – it’s all about the pairings.  You don’t serve red wine with fish, you cro-magnon!  But what’s great about fantasy hoops as opposed to a pretentious French restaurant is there’s very few pairings that can go wrong.  I mean your first rounder is awesome and your second rounder awesome with it!  I know a lot of people like the FT punt builds, but really the only pairing I can’t see doing is going big-big.  There’s a ton of FT-punt bigs littered through the first 4-5 rounds, so I think you can still punt, but start with a LeBron James/Draymond Green pair, then PG/C in 3/4.  I’m sure Slim and I will work on more culinary pairings as we go through the ranks and do some mocks on the Podcast, as we attempt to put together the best fine dining experience…  I just wanna avoid the friggin’ snails!  Here’s the Top 20 for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Things move fast in Hollywood!  After Dwyane Wade sold the sitcom rights of his life to Fox, he’s already been casted to star in Alexander Payne’s sequel Sideways.  Apparently it’s about an over-the-hill basketball player who chugs four bottles of wine before playing the Bulls….

Twas a rough one for D-Wade hitting only 4-20 (420!) from the field, putting up 9/3/3 with 5 TO last night.  Awesome defense by my boyfriend Tony Snell!  Played 38 minutes of fantasy-awfulness, but his D was smothering!  While I’m usually good with learning from pictures, from what I gathered in the playoff picture the Heat are now 1.5 games out of the playoffs.  I may have seen the picture wrong, I mean that mother F dress was blue!  Oh great, we’re back on that again…  Anyway, Wade might only have one game left in him if the Heat get knocked out of the playoff picture, and I think is expendable in Roto and H2H leagues running through Wednesday.  No reason to keep some dead weight from winning your title, and keeping you from that Sandra Oh-face!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

….And we’re back with our regularly scheduled programming!  If you missed it yesterday, our polls are open for the 2014-15 Razzies, our prestigious ceremony awarding the best of the best… of terribleness!  Larry Drew is like, “Finally!  Someone else has to put up with this ish!”

Speaking of putting up with ish, geez navigating all these DNPs is a near impossible chore for championship teams!  The finals of the H2H playoffs are often won and lost by waiver fodder, and if you’re in need of some ThrAGNOFfing, Anthony Tolliver is getting some run!  Sure most of his stats will make you exclaim with defiance, “please sir, I want s’more!”, but he’s at 3+ treys and 11+ Pts in 3 of the last 4.  Got a crazy dose of 40 minutes for 13/10/1/0/0 last night, hitting 4-9 FG (3-7 3PTM 2-2 FT).  And like your perfect little ThrAGNOF, he almost never turns it over, with only 2 TO in the past 6 games.  9-catters needing some treys should certainly take a look, and the Pistons have three games in four days – tonight, Friday and Saturday.  Threes ain’t got no face!  That phrase is so perfectly used here it has got me a little excited in my Dickens.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, who woulda thought the Bucks without Brandon Knight (sat with minor injuries) would’ve been able to beat the Raptors last night?!  I figured that big Jurassic Park reboot trailer during the Super Bowl would have pumped the Raps up!  Well, I guess Canadians don’t really watch the Super Bowl, so their loss!

And while the 82-75 win was a defensive grinder, it didn’t slow down that impressive O from The Duchess K Middleton!  25/9/1/3/0 for Khris Middleton, hitting 10-17 FG (3-4 3PTM 2-2 FT) and only 1 TO.  All that with Jorge Gutierrez as the fill-in starting PG!  It didn’t matter though, since they had a JB waiting in the wings as well…  But more there later.  With 25 Pts last night, K-Midd is 17+ points in 4 of 5 and 3+ treys in 4 of 5.  And multi-steals in 4 of 5 for good measure as well!  Even though a lot of the counting stats are lower than the breakout last year, so are the minutes and the %s are much better.  But my favorite leap is 1.0 steals in 30 minutes last year to a whopping 1.5 in only 26 this year.  The Duchess is secretly a world-class thief!  I think Keira Knightley could star in that movie.  Larry Drew could be the evil drug lord!  Maybe Ersan Ilyasova can be a Turkish arms dealer.  The script is writing itself!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, the question posed in the title there is a real toughie…  I need to make a pros and cons list.  I mean, more like a pros and D-league list…

First to last night – how can you call a throw right there?!  Is Brad Stevens calling plays for the Seahawks all the sudden?!  Ugh, enough football, but we’ll tie one more NFL reference here in the open if we can…

The Cavs went into Minnesota on Saturday night, and Kevin Love‘s return to Minnesota wasn’t exactly a metaphorical hug.  I love the random ginger at 0:55…  He has no idea what to do!  He’s like, “boo!” wait, I mean, maybe I should clap?  It’s like the end of Air Bud where both the creepy pedophile looking dude and the annoying kid try to call for the emotionally conflicted dog.  Anyway, Cleveland got to see both of their #1 picks from the last two years, and spoiler alert!  Andrew Wiggins did better.  A cool 31/1/1/4/0 on 14-25 shooting and absolutely no issues with Kevin Martin back in the line-up.  And still no Ricky Rubio, who is back tonight! All of Wiggins’ damage done with recent-signee Lorenzo Brown playing all 48.  Meanwhile, Cleveland’s “other” former #1 pick Anthony Bennett played 13 minutes of nothingball.  0/1/1/0/0, and as we mentioned on the Pod with Andy Behrens the other week, Draymond Green went in the second round of that draft!  Hopefully Kevin Costner had nothing to do with this Cleveland team’s Draft Day.  That movie bombed harder than the Manziel pick!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?