There were a lot of great choices last night, but the fantasy star of the night must go to James
Harden for his massive 37-point triple-double. With Kevin Durant out with a knee injury, Harden
was forced to step up and did it in a big way on Friday with 37 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds
for his eighth triple-double this season. He ranks just outside the top-five fantasy players but is
likely to sneak into the top five while Durant is out. Kyrie Irving continues to only play in road
games because of his vaccination status but has been great when in the lineup. He scored 24
points in yesterday’s game and will see a larger role without Durant. He ranks in the top-20 on a
per-game basis, but that is only in six games this year

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Remember that scene in Jurassic Park when the SUVs are rolling along the track and the people inside are looking out the windows to get a glimpse of the dinosaurs? Except there are no dinosaurs. This is Jurassic Park, not some bootleg zoo where wild animals are confined to what amounts to a jail cell for humans. The dinosaurs are not beholden to the whims of us silly humans. They will appear, eat, and do their dinosaur things when they so desire. The same thing goes for volcanoes. They do not erupt when the 1:00 pm tour guide gets to the base of the mountain. They do their thing when they are ready to do their thing. Which brings me to Hassan Whiteside of the Utah Jazz. Every once in a while, Mt. Whiteside will erupt for a huge game, like he did back in mid-December: 18 points, 14 boards, and four blocks in 20 minutes of action. Over the past two games with Rudy Gobert out of commission, the tour guides to Mt. Whiteside were selling tickets like hotcakes because he was set to start and crush. If you don’t know where this story is going, then you have a serious reading comprehension issue. He started the last two games, played 30 and 26 minutes, and disappointed. Granted, he endured some foul problems but he only blocked two shots and did not reach double-digit in points or rebounds. As the visitors returned to the safety of their homes, hopes dashed, money wasted, Mt. Whiteside exploded again last night.

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Back in high school, Cam Reddish was THE man. Granted, most NBA players were THE man for most of their lives but Cam was THE man.

His peers on the AAU circuit knew. By the way, that’s Anthony Edwards who’s kind of aiiight right now. With all the injuries on the Hawks, Cam made his fourth straight start and….

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
33 4 0 0 1 4 8/13 11/23 3/3

In 40 minutes! The dude is a walking bucket but there’s a reason why he doesn’t have a more prominent role. He’s not an efficient scorer and doesn’t contribute much outside of points, tres, and steals. He’s shooting 41% from the field on the season and was a sub-40% for the first two years in the league. Over the last four starts, he’s scored 33, 10, 18, and 34 points on 47%, 26%, 53%, and 47% shooting. When the Hawks get healthy, Cam will return to a reserve role so sell Cam if you can.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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So my pops was born and raised in Korea. He grew up during the Korean War and life was tough, as his homeland was the battleground for a proxy war between superpowers. As a result, every male Korean citizen had to do their duty and serve in the armed forces, which is still a staple of Korean society since the peninsula is technically still at war. For him, that’s fighting for freedom. We were having a discussion the other night about people who choose not to get vaccinated. Although I don’t agree with their stances, I do understand some of their perspectives. My pops? He scoffed and chuckled when the perspective of “It’s my right to not get vaxxed. Don’t infringe upon my freedoms” got mentioned. In his words, “Those are the same people who would try and skirt a military draft if their freedom was at stake! Bunch of ” I love when pops keeps it real. Anyways, Joel Embiid is not one of those people. He not only fights for freedom but looks forward to the battles with Freedom, as in Enes Freedom. Prior to last night, they faced each other 17 times. Embiid has averaged 26.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.6 blocks. Last night, Embiid eradicated Freedom once again in 40 minutes:

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I was chilling out with pops the other night. Yes, your Son is actually a son. I know, mind-blowing. Anyways, we were chatting about who the superstars in the league are. Giannis, LeBron, KD, blah blah blah. Then Jayson Tatum came up. My pops shook his head…..which way though? Up and down or side to side? It was side to side with a crooked frown. For full transparency, he is a Lakers fan but he does know his hoops. He has skills, he said. He can score, he said but he’s missing that extra element that vaults him into the upper echelon. My response? 

I’ve seen him do fantastic things that make me go, daaayyam. I also remember that he and Kobe would train and converse so Mamba passed down secrets, no? Then I remember those games where I’m left completely underwhelmed. Well, last night, Tatum knocked on our craniums with….

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
42 5 4 3 0 3 7/13 16/25 3/5

It was the eighth time Tatum has gone for at least 40 points in his career! Now, Tatum is shooting 42% from the field on the season. He has never finished with a mark below 45%. The early-season struggles may be dissipating as he’s been shooting over 50% from the field over the last seven games. Tatum was being drafted at the back end of the first round in most drafts. While he scores a ton of points, the efficiency has improved, and he chips in tres, boards, and some dimes, the defensive stats are lacking at 0.9 steals and 0.7 blocks. Fine, they aren’t exactly lacking but in order to be a first-rounder, he will likely need to be in the 1/1/1 club. Get your act together, Tatum!

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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Everyone has their favorite day. The psychopaths enjoy Monday. Those who straddle the fence find equilibrium on Wednesday. The party-goers cannot wait for Friday, although, the true-to-the-cause live everyday as if it’s the same. The spiritual find solace and peace on Sunday. Me? It’s always a good day when a player messes around but I especially appreciate Trae Day. Trae Young is not the stereotypical NBA player who is built like a football player, jumps like a flea, or has limbs that would make Mr. and Mrs. Plastic ask for a DNA test. Young is 6-foot-1, 164 pounds, and looks as if he just stuck his finger into the electric socket. That said, he’s got thhhhrrrreeeeeecccooooooollllaaaaa range on the J, handles that causes love to weep, and a Chinese water torture floater. Last night, he went off….

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Y’all know that I’m mainly a hip-hop guy but I do have a diverse musical palette. I enjoy classical, jazz, and metal. I actually played the bass guitar in elementary school with “our band.” Y’all also know that I’m a Lakers homer and have been on Talen Horton-Tucker since Day One. Watching him in the first three games of this season has gotten me so amped.

He could always drive to the rack but now he’s developed the side-step J and really improved his outside shot. With his wingspan, the defensive ability has always been there. This AC/DC song just kept playing in my head watching THT play last night in Milwaukee:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
25 12 3 2 1 3 3/6 9/18 4/4

In three games so far, he’s the number four player in fantasy!!! Alright, small sample size and he’s been getting a ton of run with LeBron James out of the lineup. There is uncertainty as to what exactly his role will be and how much run he will get when LeBron returns, but he’s going to be an important part of the rotation. If he’s still out there, scoop him up for sure.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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When I first moved out to the East Coast, the changing of the seasons was kind of cool because I had never experienced it before. After a year, F that. NAW mean? The summers are so freaking humid. The winters are cold and nasty. Fall is kind of cool with the leaves and all but it’s chilly as well. Spring time is when people are most jovial because they’ve been cooped up all winter but it’s also the nicest weather. NAW mean? So, why not be in a place that is spring all the time? If you want to frolic in the snow, then drive a few hours to the nearest mountain. NAW mean? Anyways, sorry for the rant but Nickeil Alexander-Walker got me all amped up from his performance last night.

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Anyone seen the movie, Red Dawn? *raises hand* Anyone else? A true American classic in which patriotic teens in the good ole’ US of A are able to thwart a Russian invasion on the Motherland. On Monday, the Knicks were the mighty Russians, as they went into Philadelphia against a depleted squad without three of their best players – Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Ben Simmons. The initial invasion went smoothly as the Knicks led by 14 points at halftime but those pesky 76ers came out of the halftime locker room pumped up from watching Braveheart, presumably, and HEEEEEELLLLLLDDDDDDDDD. Like any King of New York does, though, Julius Randle squashed the rebellion to bring victory to its rightful owner as the Knicks eventually triumphed, 103-96.

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Every Saturday, I will update the below Google sheet. It will show the upcoming schedule for all teams with color coding for pace rankings. RED = slowest. YELLOW = middle of the pack. GREEN = fastest. Pace is the number of possessions a team has per game. More possessions increase the chances of more fantasy goodies. The data I use for pace, which is year-to-date, is from ESPN. I also want to give a shoutout to Hashtag Basketball, as their schedule grid is fantastic and allowed me to save time by not having to look at each teams schedule. Good luck!

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That girl you have a crush on. That job you’ve been dreaming about. That glory you receive from hitting the game-winner. None can become reality until you shoot your shot. Well, I decided to shoot my shot by entering the NFBKC Main Event for the first time. It’s a 12-team, 8-cat league with an overall component. Entry fee is $1,000 with the top three getting paid and a $10,000 overall prize with the glory that comes with it. Here’s a look at Son taking his shot.

I did the research and labored over making projections in the offseason. I feel like I’m at a certain level so I need to see where I’m at. Will I be paying tuition to get educated or will I have a chance at glory? Time will tell but even if I bomb, the experience and knowledge will be beneficial going forward. You cannot learn without failing. So, here’s a recap of the draft and my thoughts behind each pick. The draft room was filled with sharks like Hall of Famer Eric Wong, Curtis Gazdewich, who has won everything that NFBKC has had to offer, and Dalton Del Don, who writes for Yahoo and is a high-stakes player. 

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