Apparently, Jabari – out the whole 2014-2015 season with a torn ACL – got kind of bored playing with his toys on the bench and decided to tell Daddy (Jason Kidd) that Giannis was being bad and not working hard enough.
So since Jabari went to Duke, where all the good little boys who never, ever do anything wrong go to school, Kidd knew that he was telling the truth, and decided to punish bad boy Giannis by benching him for a game.
And Jabari can do this, despite having a very lackluster season, because he is known as a “diligent worker.” He needs to be “diligently working” on his jumper, while it seems the Alphabet has got it all together in his third year as a pro.
Since the start of the New Year, Antetokounmpo has vaulted onto the Boards-N-Blocks radar by becoming a threat to get double-digit boards every night. But over his last four he’s done way better than that, putting up dang near All-Pro numbers: 22.5 ppg, 12 rpg, 2.6 bpg and 3.5 apg while shooting 57 percent from the floor.
While Middleton has become a big-time scorer, MCW has shown major improvement as a starting PG and Monroe continues to be one of the league’s more consistent rebounders (more on that in a second), I think I like the Greek Freak best.
And I think that at the end of the day it’ll be Jabari – and quite possible J-Kidd – who will be in big trouble, not Antetokounmpo. I don’t think there’s enough shots to go around, and Jabari seems like the most moveable piece. That would leave more shots for Antetokounmpo, and if I were going for a fantasy title, he’s a guy I’d be targeting.
Let’s see what else is going on in Boards-N-Blocks …
Greg Monroe – Ah yes, Mr. Monroe. He’s had double-digit boards in 11 of his last 13 games, double-doubles in five-straight, and two 20-10’s in that span. Not a lot of blocks, but that’s what Freaks are for.
Julius Randle – Fact: Byron Scott hates Julius Randle and therefore refuses to give him minutes. Also fact: Byron Scott loves Larry Nance Jr. and will play him even if he hits the court with his sneakers on his hands. Don’t ask why. It just is. Case in point: Broken Nose Gate. Nance Jr., who had deservedly become the favorite, had fallen off a bit of late and recently injured his ankle, necessitating Randle’s move back into the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against Houston. Not surprisingly, Randle stepped right in and double-doubled. After the game, it seemed like Scott was the first one to pop up with news that Randle had broken his nose during the contest. When Randle piped up that his nose wasn’t broken, Scott quickly asserted that, well, Nance Jr. is the starter anyway, so there. Weird!
Taj Gibson – As expected, Gibson racked up 10 boards and 2 blocks to go along with 8 points in 35 minutes as the starter in yesterday’s win against the Pistons. You know the deal, with Jaokim Noah sidelined, yet again, Gibson will see more minutes, blah blah blah. In other words, own Gibson.
Andre Drummond – Hard to complain about the NBA’s best rebounder, but other than his 14 points, 21 board, 3 block blowout on Jan. 16 against Golden State he’s just been kind of excellent, not exactly otherworldly. And that FT percentage continues to really kind of suck. Bad. Apparently, the brick-laying might be contagious, as he’s been hitting the iron more from the field too (he went 6-20 in the Warriors game). Definite sell high candidate.
Nerlens Noel – Piled up 18 points on 8-14 FG to go along with 13 boards and 3 blocks in 47 minutes of a Double OT MLK Day loss to the Knicks. He clearly thrived with Jahlil Okafor on the bench for the entire fourth quarter and both overtimes …
Jahlil Okafor – See above; that’s probably why the Sixers lost. He put up a solid 20-7-2 on 10-17 shooting but no way can you go that long without your best offensive player on the court. It’s a question mark rolled inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma for Brett Brown, but for fantasy purposes, I wouldn’t let the Jah-Noel conundrum in Philly worry you. They’ll continue to lose while they figure it out, and they likely won’t make a deal until they know that Joel Embiid is definitely coming back from injury.
Joel Embiid – Might as well throw the big guy in here too, even though he’s only relevant this year in dynasty leagues. He’s been seen doing drills, shooting, and by all accounts is well on the way to a full recovery, whatever that means for a guy with two screws in his foot. No clue on what we’ll see when he gets back on the court, but one thing I can say for certain is that you will not see him in a real game this year. Quick Did You Know? segment: Embiid is now 7-2, two inches taller than when he was drafted.
Kristaps Porizingis – We’ll stay in New York, where we’ve learned the rookie’s secret: He’s either a robot or an alien. Porzingis piled up a 16-12-3 before leaving near the end of regulation with an ankle injury after coming down on Noel in the paint. Oddly enough, even though he admitted to “one spot bothering” him, he was “sure” he’ll be fine and wouldn’t need any X-rays. I dunno man, seems like a no-brainer, but apparently no X-rays … hmm sounds fishy to me.
Robin Lopez – Had a 16-10-2 in the same game, after a nice 9-12-1 on Jan. 13 at Brooklyn. However, those two games were the really tasty bread to the poop sandwich in the middle, when he got into foul trouble and did nothing in 15 minutes against Memphis on Jan. 16. Really boring player to own. I can’t even.
Rudy Gobert – Although he physically returned to action on Jan. 7, Gobert only truly got back to doin’ Gobert thangs in his last three games, piling up 14.6 rpg, 3 bpg and 11.4 ppg over that span, and also has shot 12-15 FG over his last two.
Salah Mejri – Although we have to go all the way back to Wednesday, Mejri’s 25 minutes of fame must get some ink in this week’s B-N-B. You know you’re a backup when you need Charlie Villanueva to get hurt to get run, but that’s what happened in the Mavs’ Jan. 13 game against the Thunder. The Tunisian 7-footer responded with 17 points, 9 boards and a block and then retreated to the Netherworld at the end of the bench.
Ian Mahinmi – They’re saying his ankle sprain isn’t serious, but he wasn’t playing great enough when he was healthy to warrant a spot on your roster. Cut away.
Myles Turner – Just gonna throw in that, even though he’s not a B-N-B kind of guy, Turner got his shot and blew up big time when Mahnimi went down (prompting much excitement for J.B., I’m sure). I’d pick him up if I had a spot and needed points.