Most of my readers are from the South. I can say that, because no matter where you are, you’re probably not in the northernmost portion of the globe. Therefore, you’re south of something. And my understanding of Southerners is that they all watched ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ un-ironically. Which is cool. Them Duke boys always seemed to find themselves in a car chase that ended up with one car flipping over a conveniently placed ramp of hay bales and another car lodged into a ravine. Usually when the General Lee took off skyward, with it’s tires spinnin’ dust and engine roaring suddenly without purpose as it was hurling through the air, the image would pause and Waylon Jennings’ narration would rattle off some homespun outro to the commercial break. “Now I don’t know ’bout you, folks, but the only thing ever flipped higher in the air than Bo and Luke right now are the flapjacks Uncle Jesse made for breakfast!” Banjo sting. Commercial. The thing is, everybody knew that Dodge Charger was going to land safely, probably awesomely. It was that other car that viewers wanted to see. What’s going to happen to it? After three straight games of 20+ points, Denver’s J.R. Smith went 1-for-5 on Sunday with five points. He’ll be fine. He’s out of Karl’s doghouse (for now), he’ll be back in it for sure. This is sort of how things go with those two. They’re both cute like that. But Arron Afflalo dropped a pretty little 25/2/2 line on Sunday. He hasn’t scored 25 points all year, and hadn’t cleared 16 in any of his last 10. When Smith started getting hot last week, Afflalo was dropped in over 15 percent of fantasy leagues. Why? Because no one wants to own Afflalo. He hasn’t posted huge lines. He’s posted decent, quiet ones. Fantasy would just be easier if Smith jumped the hay bales and Afflalo landed in the ravine. Unfortunately, Smith and Afflalo are going to be in hot pursuit of one another for a while and that banjo picking you hear is going to be playing for many months ahead.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy basketball over the weekend:
Nate Robinson – 21/6/6 in 31 Rondo-less minutes. The Celtics are treating Rondo’s hamstring as gently as delicate Fabrajon Egg, which doesn’t actually exist. All the more reason to treat it gently. You wouldn’t horse-collar a unicorn and leave it chained in your backyard, would you? Anyway, if you started Robinson, good on ya.
Glen Davis – 16/9/1 in 30 minutes on Sunday and has scored at least 16 in four of his last five? So what happened in Friday’s 6/4 affair? My guess is either the five fouls he amassed or it was an afternoon AND evening trip to Fudruckers-type of day. Bee-tee-dubya, come see my band play this weekend. We call ourselves the 6/4 Affair.
Devin Harris – Returned from a three-game reprieve recovery and put himself into foul trouble. Instead, Jordan Farmar led the team with a 16/2/3 line from the bench. It’s been feast or famine with the Nets this week, where either the team plays three overtimes and everyone drops killer lines, or no starter plays more than 25 minutes, scores 11 points and, well, posts killer lines.
Derrick Favors – Played his second-most minutes of the season (27). He only went 10/2, turned the ball over four times and earned five fouls. Still, it’s worth noting that Troy Murphy still isn’t clearing 15 minutes Kris Humphries only played 22 and 13 minutes in his last two games and Favors is still young enough not to know that it’s okay to hate Avery Johnson.
DeMar DeRozan – 12/0/2 with a pair of steals in 36 minutes. He’s averaging about 12.4/3.4/1.7 on the season, which are all lower per minute averages than he had in his freshman season last year. And lest ye forget, he wasn’t very good last year. This is what I said about DeRozan in June: “After two years of big stage basketball DeRozan’s game is clear: he’s a driving guard who rarely drives, only gets to the line occasionally and offers no other dimension except, maybe, a high turnover ratio. And despite his youth, unless the Raptors change coaching staffs or DeMar changes teams, there’s no reason to think he’ll develop any part of his flat game.” Predicting a Raptor will not make much of a dent in the future is like predicting that water is wet. But still …
Jerryd Bayless – Remember what I said about Raptors not making much of a dent? No? It was, like, 35 words ago? 1/5 of inch above this sentence? Really? Nothing? That’s concerning. For those of you that do remember what I just said, forget it all for a second. Bayless led Toronto in scoring (er, basketball scoring that is. I’m pretty sure Ryan Gosling leads Canada in the other kind) Bayless also sank a quintet of threes and dished out as many assists as Jose Calderon (6). It looks like ol’ Joe Kettle finds himself once again in a timeshare. Any league rostering Calderon should be looking at Bayless at this point.
Amir Johnson – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it … at least once more: Toronto is chok-full of guys that are likely to make a dent in the future. (What do you care? It’s not like you’re gonna remember anything I said by the time you finish this post. Heck, you’ll forget all about this by the time you get to Xavier Henry’s blurb!) After playing a season-high 31 minutes on Friday, he played almost 39 on Sunday and is averaging 18/12.5/2/1.5 over those two games.
Ed Davis – 6/8 in under 17 minutes. He’s looked sterling so far this season, but until Johnson slows his roll, it’s unlikely he’ll get enough burn to melt faces.
Sonny Weems – He’s averaging 8/2.7/2.8 in his last six games and his minutes are dipping. Put the coffee down, Sonny. Coffee’s for closers.
Landry Fields – Has had four double-doubles in his last six games. Unfortunately, in those other two games he averaged 6/7.5. You take the good, you take the bad, you take ’em both and there you have … different strokes.
Rodney Stuckey – 24/6/11. How normal is this? This season he’s only reached 24 points two other times, six rebounds one other time and 11 dimes is his season high. So … not normal at all, really.
Greg Monroe – 8/7/1/1/1/2 in 24 min. Progress! But like most progress, I wouldn’t recommend paying any attention to it until it becomes trendy.
Charlie Villanueva – 9/1/0/0/0/1 in 23 min. I’ve added and dropped him twice now. If I’m forced to drop him once more, I’ll Villanueva goodbye forever and never look back.
Xavier Henry – Career-highs in points (17), assists (3) and minutes (27:29). The fact that three assists is his career-high tells you everything you need to know about how this kid’s been playing so far.
Rudy Gay – Five blocks last night, 13 in his last four games. We might have a full-on freak leak here. He has 27 blocks after 21 games. Last season it took him 30 games to reject that many. He’s on pace for 105 blocks by season’s end. His previous season high is 79.
Hakim Warrick – 26/6/2 in 29 min. Alvin Gentry: “Hakim, we know you can score. We need you to rebound and block and stuff.” Warrick: “Can’t I just score and stuff?” Gentry: “Well, yes. If by ‘stuff’ you mean ‘rebound and play defense.'” Warrick: “Oh. No, that’s not what I meant. I mostly just meant score.” Gentry: “No. If you don’t start grabbing rebounds we’ll bench you and have Barron start.” Warrick: “Can I just score from the bench?” Gentry: “Significantly less so.” Warrick: “Cool.” This conversation happens every 10 days.
Blake Griffin – 21/15/2. Here, grab this bow. Here, grab this arrow. Griffin shot 7-for-16 from the free throw line. There’s his heel. Now shoot him in it!
Eric Bledsoe – Blind item! Line A: 0/2/2 with 4 turnovers. Line B: 14/6/8 with 2 turnovers. Which line would you want starting for your team? If you’re Vinny Del Negro, you apparently chose Line A.
Chris Kaman – After returning from a month-long injury on Friday with a 10/6/3 line in 13 foul-plagued minutes, he came off the bench Sunday and went 4/3/0 in 13 foul-plagued minutes. On the bright side, he plays for the Clippers so only, like, nine people noticed.
Tony Parker – Cold Tony seems to have thawed out (7-for-10 on Sunday, 14-out-of-24 over the weekend), but the days of regularly dropping lines of 20/9 and three steals are probably behind him. 18/7 and 1.5 steals seem right-er says this writer.
Stephen Curry – .700/4/39/1/6/2/1/5 in 46 minutes. Hoo-ey! The aroma of that Curry is powerful!
Kevin Durant – I’ve been aware of Durantula for the better part of five years now and not a day goes by where my brain doesn’t want to call him Kelvin. I have no idea where this comes from. Kelvin is not a common name, I’ve never known anyone named Kelvin and I don’t think Durant looks particularly like whatever I picture a ‘Kelvin’ to look like. Perhaps it’s because a Kelvin is a measurement of temperature and Durant is usually on fire. But really, I doubt it. I also have a tendency to want to call Josh Smith ‘Jorsh.’ Again, no clue why. Nor can I explain why I don’t want to call Josh Howard ‘Jorsh.’ Just Josh Smith. Anyway, Kevin Durant returned after missing two games to reclaim his team with a 28/7/3 line. /Russell Westbrook scoff