When it comes to movies, the first thing that comes to mind are sequels. Well, maybe not the first thing, but it’s up there. A lot of movies are ruined when the sequels come out. Sometimes one excellent movie is exhausted into far too many parts. Then there is the nostalgic sequel, and sometimes even the nostalgic remake. We are witnessing that with Mary Poppins. A great movie is being remade with modern technology and modern twists. How about that for current events! The anticipation of those who saw the original is mounting and the hype surrounding the film has the attention of newcomers as well. That is how I feel about Willy Hernangomez.

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First of all, I want to wish everyone a happy New Year. If you’re just getting into your fantasy basketball season because football is now over, I don’t blame you, and welcome.

I’m not going to sit here and lie to everyone. I am pissed at the Lakers organization. Should I give them another day or two before dumping on their parade? Maybe yes, maybe no. The recently highlighted Ivica Zubac has relegated to DNP duties when JaVale McGee returned from his respiratory infection. I was just trying to think up a good nickname for Zubac. Was thinking “The Tap” (for the “IV” in Ivica), “ZU-LA”, “ViZa” (not to be confused with the credit card), and “Big Z”, just so LeBron thinks Zydrunas Ilgauskas is back in town and lets the kid play. So this is all for naught because it looks like the franchise is opting for the old over the new. With that said, I am holding for a game or two before I cut him loose. I don’t think Tyson Chandler is the key, Zubac should be in the rotation going forward, and I think a night off after his nice run is well deserved. Stay tuned.

As for today’s suggestion, Tomas Satoransky has to be owned. John

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Hey there Razzball community. It’s been a short while since I’ve surfaced, and for no excuse other than life hitting from all directions. Busy work life and home life equals no life, if you know what I mean. I’m back this week and I hope to be back for the foreseeable future, but when life hands you lemons, you need to scale back from the hobbies you love. Is that the right saying? Probably not. The fact remains, I love writing for Razzball, I love writing sports, and I especially love the satisfaction of nailing a call. If I could do this for living, I would, but for now, I get to express myself on this platform as an outlet, the best hobby in the world. Yes, I am ranting, and writing allows you do just that, which is to speak your mind. I believe everyone should write. Write down thoughts, prayers, feelings, and passions, whatever it may be. Writing doesn’t need to be hard, and neither does fantasy basketball, which is what brings us here today. On Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James, torched the powerhouse Warriors. Something that most people didn’t realize prior to that game was the man playing the center position. For most of the season, the story from the front court has been the resurgence of JaVale McGee, a supreme athlete known for his appearances on Shaqtin’ a Fool. Well, he’s been a great addition to the Lakers so far this season, averaging 11.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game in 23.6 minutes per contest. McGee has missed five straight games dealing with pneumonia, and will likely miss Thursday’s tilt with the Kings. Tyson Chandler stepped in with back-to-back uninspiring games with 2 blocks a piece and nothing else to write home about, but in the third game missing McGee, a former and future star emerged. Kostas hit on him this morning but it would be a shame if I didn’t dig a little deeper and explain why Ivica Zubac is here for the long haul (in my opinion).

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Injuries usually lead to opportunity. I believe the moniker amongst fantasy friends is “next man up”. Well, in certain situations, the next man up is an all-time great and needs to be considered for your fantasy liking. This week we are going to talk about someone who is most definitely beyond his glory days. See what I did there, all puns intended, and you will like it! Dwayne Wade has been on the cusp of retirement since he took to Instagram to save his wife from the eyes of Jimmy Butler. Never before has Wade taken to social media to make a stand, but when your career is going down faster than the Hindenburg, you do things to remain relevant. Going back to Miami was surely a  sanctioned retirement tour, and what we failed to remember was that retirement tours can bring out the best of players (see: Kobe Bryant’s 60 Burger). Wade has been taking advantage of injuries to Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson, and has been playing his best basketball of the season. Over his last four games he is averaging 21.5 points, 2.3 3PM, 3.5 REBs, 5.8 AST, and only 1.5 TOs over 29.5 minutes per game. Couple that with 46% from the field and 79.2% from the stripe and you have one of the top players in that time frame. If Wade has been rejuvenated, this could be scratching the surface of a useful season.

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The Flintstones was a childhood favorite. Of all the goofy characters with unique personalities, one stuck out the most. A character that encapsulates what it means to be an avid sports fan. What we want our sons to be and not to be all at the same time. That’s Bam Bam. Kid walks around with a bat all day, ready to play ball at a moments notice. Naive, but at the same time mischievous, smashing things left and right. Ever keep a pair of sneakers and a ball in your trunk just in case you happened upon some pickup ball? That’s Bam Bam. Ever carry a bat around town and get stared at by neighbors wondering what you are thinking? Me neither, but that is Bam Bam in a nutshell. Well, Bam Adebayo has probably done it all, trying to live up to his namesake of course, and he has been seeing the fruits of his labor pay off in a big way the last week.

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The concept of white noise is an interesting one. Using a common, almost subconscious, noise to block out the surrounding sound that may be disturbing. It can be used in many scenarios. My son needs a white noise machine to sleep soundly at night. I use it to pick up players that people forget about. How about a game of rapid fire? Name the Rockets point guard. Chris Paul is correct. Name the Thunder point guard. Russell Westbrook is correct. Name the Spurs point guard. Tony Parker is… wrong. So many people forget that Tony Parker is in Charlotte. You think I am joking. Ask the average fan, or the fantasy only basketball enthusiast and they may not realize that Derrick White has snuck into the starting role, returning after getting hurt prior to the season. Parker has been so irrelevant for fantasy purposes over the last few years that he is the forgotten man. Well he is now wearing Buzz City jerseys and backing up the Texas ranger that is Kemba Walker, and Derrick White is playing the Tony Parker role for Gregg Popovich.

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Preseason popularity usually leads to a certain trend following drafts. Roster drops. The highly-touted buzz players who don’t pan out in the first few weeks of the season end up being on the waiver wire earlier than expected. This is when we pounce, Razzball Nation. Players like Cedi Osman, Jonathan Isaac, and Pascal Siakam have been dropped everywhere. Today I will focus on someone who likely is sitting on the wire in your league but should be added immediately. Mitchell Robinson. That’s right, if Robinson is available in your league, stop reading this and go pick him up. Oh, you’re not sure? Stop reading and go check your waiver wire. Yes, if he is there go ahead and pick him up. I will wait… Ok, you’re back. Now let me explain why.

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Gilligan’s Island. A famous show from the 1960’s that most people remember for it’s quirky lines and personalities. Seven passengers on a tour boat end up stranded on an island and life never would be the same. A theme song you may know without even realizing it, due to it’s infectious nature. Fast forward to the 2018 Clippers. A team of misfits and outcasts. Marcin Gortat was ousted from Washington by John Wall. Tobias Harris, stud in his own right but known as the player who came over for Blake Griffin. The slew of players sent over from Houston for Chris Paul, including Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley. Journeyman Lou Williams is still in LA. Avery Bradley is playing for a contract and joined Harris in the exodus from Detroit last season. The longest tenured player on this team is Danilo Gallinari, when he’s on the floor. This is a team that has seen tremendous turnover the last few season. Heck, Doc Rivers even threw his own son out of town. What is there to be excited about here on LA Island? Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

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With the season minutes away, and drafts likely complete, there is still time to dig deep for those watch list wonders and sneaky waiver pickups. Whether these players are in a new scheme, new location, getting more minutes or just primed for a breakout, there are potential underrated stars to be had on every team. I highlighted the Eastern Conference earlier in the week, now we’ll tackle the Western Conference and look for players who can be had for cheap and can make an impact sooner than later.

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