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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Image result for best of the best

It’s baaaaaaaaack. I know the wait was excrutiating. The eye fatigue from those countless hours staring into the digital dojo. The clicks. Oh, the millions of clicks on the mouse button that turned you into a one-armed Popeye. What was it all for?… <in a voice that echoes and decreases in volume each time the phrase is repeated> What was it all for?…What was it all for?….

The chance to be the best of the best of course!

I’ve been told that the RCLs are populated with some of the sharpest fantasy basketball minds in the land. Do you have what it takes?

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If you’re playing in a roto league, punting shouldn’t pursued. Could it work? Sure, but it’s far more difficult to execute than in head-to-head category leagues. In these leagues, punting is often ideal because you just need to win one more category than your opponent for the week. Punting may also be forced upon you by the way a draft plays out. Take for instance the assists category. Dimes are a precious resource this season, so what happens if you miss out on the run? Rather than utilizing precious resources to scrounge up scraps and still be behind in the category, the prudent course of action may be to just disregard the category and focus on others. With the small sample size of a week’s worth of games, variance will also inevitably rear it’s head. As a result, skewing the probabilites in your favor to lock in certain categories could give you a leg up on the competition. In the below Google Sheets, I’ve listed the rankings (side by side) if you were to punt each category. Keep in mind that these are overall value based on my projections. For thoughts on my process, click HERE.

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Sun Tzu, the Chinese general, military strategist, philosopher, and author of the Art of War wrote: “what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.” Before undertaking any endeavor in life, knowing and understanding the landscape provides a tremendous advantage for those who put in the time to obtain the information. Every fantasy basketball site has their own rankings and projections. As a result, there will be opporunities to exploit depending on which draft room you are situated in. If you know the landscape before entering the fray, you will have an advantage come draft day. Below, I’ve made a Google sheet that compares my rankings to those at ESPN, Yahoo, and Fantrax. This should give a basic lay of the fantasy landscape.

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