Maybe I’m just not into Nenê Hilario because of his name.
I can understand why he wanted to go from Maybyner Rodney Hilario to Nenê Hilario – his nickname as a youngster because he was the Nenê, or baby, of the family – although Maybyner is kind of a cool name and Rodney Hilario has a nice ring to it.
But now I’m way confused. Why is it no longer just Nenê but now Nenê Hilario? And why is it Nenê on second reference and not Hilario? And how come he only gets the accent sometimes (I’m giving it to him this time but usually I don’t). And wouldn’t you go with something more original, since there were three Brazilian soccer players who used the nickname, as well as a 19th century Bavarian princess? And wouldn’t you change Hilario, since it’s almost Hilarious, instead of the first two names?
A bigger question I’ve been asking myself is why did I drop Nenê earlier in the year. At the time I had way too many injuries, and no one was going to trade for a headcase injury risk with a revolving door moniker. Since then, of course, he has managed several huge games and some decent numbers, and I shame myself with a whip every morning for dropping him outright without at least riding it out a little. Don’t tell anyone.
But then again, I’m really not sorry I dropped him, because 15.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 0.9 bpg are not all-star numbers by any stretch. Plus, no one has any idea what to expect out of the guy on a given night. You might get a nice big man performance with points like the 24-8-1 he posted on Nov. 20 in Cleveland, or you might get a huge-yet-wussified night like his Nov. 30 showing against the Lakers, when he had a career-high 30 points but just 2 rebounds and no blocks.
He also might barely show up, bringing in a paltry stat line, or he might not show up at all, calling in sick with a sore something-or-other. It drove me nuts just looking at his game log. Obviously, you can’t drop someone with that kind of potential. But you can trade him. Wait until he gets in another nice groove and sell high quick.
Josh Smith – He’s the opposite of Nene (there goes the accent). You never know what you’re going to get from him, but it’s cool in a weird way. Sometimes it’s points and blocks but not a lot of boards, sometimes it’s a ton of boards and a block but not a lot of points, sometimes it’s steals and three’s with points but no big man stats. One thing’s for sure: J-Smoove is a polite guest; he’s always gonna bring something to the table.
Andrew Bynum – Everyone uttered a collective no duh when reports surfaced that the future Hall of Fame bowler had a sore knee which was followed by games where his minutes fell into the teens. Then, out of nowhere (my worst nightmare?) came Saturday’s break-out against the Bulls: 20 points, 10 rebounds and five snuffs in 30 minutes and four seconds, stomping on the line of doom I had drawn earlier this year when I said he’d never top 30 minutes. If you have common sense, you know this is an anomaly and not a future predictor. But if you believe Murphy’s Law applies to 76ers fans, I’d grab him off waivers if he’s there.
Robin Lopez – You: “I don’t want the Robin Lopez, it looks funny.” Me: “But it’s good for you. It’s averaging nearly 10 boards in the last seven games, including two straight double doubles, and it’s verging on averaging a double-double for the season. You: “It’s got nasty hair. I don’t like it. I won’t pick it up!” Me: “Yes you will pick it up. You clearly need a consistent rebounder who can block coming off your bench. Pick it up or spend the rest of your season in last place.”
Timofey Mozgov – Hasn’t seen much action of late but stays on the Boards-N-Blocks radar by posting a monstrous 16-15-2 in Toronto on Sunday.
Terrence Jones – Some of you wanted to know if he was for real. As a board-n-blocker, the answer is yes. He’s been at about 8 boards and 1.5 blocks since he slid into the starting lineup last month, and his scoring is well into the double digits. If you still don’t believe, watch this awesome block and finish from a game last week against the Hawks. He’s not going to be part of any kind of Big Three in Houston, but the Rockets clearly believe in him: He’s one of only six first-round picks since 2010 still on the roster.
DeAndre Jordan – Three-day-old Thanksgiving leftovers weren’t the only thing owners were drooling over on Nov. 29: That 9-block, 15-board performance against the Kings was yummier than a homemade Bobbie. He’s the new Tyson Chandler, which brings us to …
Tyson Chandler – He’s getting closer, but like just about every other injured NBA player this year, his timetable is nebulous. Some dude stashed him in one league where I dropped him earlier this year. I’d be pissed about it, but someone else had inexplicably dropped Jordan way before that, and I got him, so it’ll all even out even if Chandler comes back as beastly on the boards as ever.
Wesley Johnson – Don’t: Be fooled into thinking Johnson is a major coup of a pick-up after his 27-point explosion last Friday. Do: Remember that Johnson has always been a great source of blocks (six in his last two games) whenever he’s going right, i.e. hitting three’s, scoring in the low double figures and chipping in with some other stats. Great streamer.
DeJuan Blair – If there was a Boards-N-Steals column, Blair would be the headliner almost every week. He’s averaging 7.8 rpg and 1.7 spg for the season in just 20 minutes per game. In the past week: 10.3, 1.3, to go along with 10.8 ppg. Another sweet streaming option but little more – the big boy will never get more than 25 minutes in a game because if he played any more than that he’d require a ventilator.
Kosta Koufos – Marc Gasol’s fill-in has been fillin’ up the stat sheet like a jammin’ gyro, piling up 12.3 rpg and 2.7 bpg in the last week. He doesn’t score at all so if you’re a Gasol owner, you’ll need to get the points from someone else.
Andrew Bogut – This bearded bloke is still boarding (double figures in seven of his last eight) and blocking (2.3 bpg in his last seven games) like Mad Max beyond Thunderdome. Still healthy, and his role in the brouhaha last week against Portland was actually a good thing – he’s as aggressive as ever.
Jermaine O’Neal – Guess who took part in the aforementioned dust-up in Oakland last weekend? Uh, Jermaine, you do remember that you were a part of the worst fight to ever spill into the stands right. So, were you thinking about the fact that you still look like a 16-year-old with the hairline of a 55-year-old when you helped escalate said fight?
Tristan Thompson – The Good: 10.7 rpg over the past week. The Bad: Averaging 9.5 rpg on the season, just a click above what he did last year, which is a bummer for a dude who was supposed to step up. The Ugly: Does not block shots at all, especially over the last seven days (literally, no blocks), during which he shot just 31 percent from the floor and averaged 6.7 ppg.
Little Big Man of the Week Award: Stephen Curry. The little Warrior is 6-3 but has to be hiding something somewhere if he’s 185. He pulled down 6.3 rpg last week, including 11 boards in a shoot-out loss in Oklahoma City during which he also blew up for 32 points and five assists.