The prototypical Boards-N-Block dude is not a Hoosier. They don’t Tweet about how the best thing ever is singing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve, and they don’t shoot well from the line.
Yet here we are leading a B-N-B column with one Cody Zeller, the once-proclaimed savior of Indiana basketball, crooner of carols and 74 percent career free-throw shooter.
Well, if you want boards, maybe that’s you. Because over his past four games, Zeller is averaging more boards (10 rpg) than Al Horford and Nerlens Noel and almost as many as Andre Drummond (11.5 rpg), minus the major charity stripe headaches (25 percent; more on this later).
Zeller is actually really close to becoming a double-double machine on the order of another cheap source of rebounding this season, Zaza Pachulia, who also shoots for high percentages from the field and the charity stripe (and is averaging more than 14 rpg over the past week, by the by).
I’m selling Zeller here mainly for points-leagues players. I had Drummond in one points league and just couldn’t take it anymore. The free-throws had me lodged in third-place with no way out. So I got what I could for ‘Dre (Gordon Hayward, ugh) and decided to try and use dudes like Zeller and Zaza to make up for the loss of boards while patching up that lowly FT percentage. Don’t know if it’ll work, but it was worth a try.
In other B-N-B news …
DeMarcus Cousins – While everyone’s feverishly ogling Boogie’s recent gamelog like it was the Spice Channel or something, can I just interject with one minor little gripe? Where the blocks? He’s only had three in his last five. OK, OK, back to your squiggly lines then. Sheesh. Pervs.
Ian Mahinmi – Clearly an avid reader of Boards-N-Blocks, Mahinmi must have been mighty mad at my accusations that he was a softy Rik Smits-Roy Hibbert type. He responded with a nice week that was nothing I’d wipe my rear with: 12.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.8 bpg.
Jusuf Nurkic – The good news is Mike Malone said he was “a force,” which says maybe he might start getting a little more run than the 13-18 minutes per he’s been seeing. The bad news is, in the same quote in the same Denver Post article, Malone said Nurkic is a part of their “future.” The worst news is he said the same thing again, only he threw in the words “big part of our future” to pretty much imply that he’s a bigger part of the future than the present. Just get the big Bosnia in there already – he’s blocking more than 2 per game over the past week even in the limited time.
Draymond Green – Had a string of five-straight games with double-digit boards snapped on Saturday when he “only” grabbed 9 in that wild win over the Kings. I guess the 25 points, 5-6 from 3PT, 2 blocks, 2 steals and 4 assists kind of makes up for it.
Zach Randolph – Turned back the clock to last decade with a few 20-and-10s, including a 25-13-2 line in Sunday’s win over the Celts. The best part about Z-Bo is he’s always good for the couple blocks, plus he always makes his free-throws like a good boy.
Jonas Valanciunas – He’s breaking out and snagging the minutes from Bismack Biyombo, and producing accordingly. Had 22-11-2 in a win against the Nets, and notched a 17-9-2 line while looking fully engaged against the Sixers in another win.
Walter Tavares – Had a Willy T. sighting last Tuesday – he notched 5 points, 3 boards and 2 snuffs against the Knicks … and hasn’t been seen since. Still, I love him in keeper leagues. Don’t sleep on Willy T.!
Nerlens Noel – As I mentioned earlier, he’s still not rebounding like I wish he would, but he is blocking a whole heck of a lot of shots lately (2.5 bpg). I think this whole can’t-play-next-to-Jahlil Okafor talk is a bunch of hoo-ha. The would-be Twin Towers 3.0 had been playing the whole year without a point guard (a Sam Hinkie blunder remedied by Jerry Colangelo’s acquisition of Ish Smith) and still have no shooters to open up the middle. It could work if the Sixers really wanted it to.
Drew Gooden – Put up a 10-12-1 in 26 minutes – and as the sixth man – in last night’s big road win in Chicago. Seemed like a match-up deal and not something likely to continue.
Pau Gasol – He tried to get Bulls Nation riled up on Twitter before the game but it apparently didn’t work. He still had a nice game (15-10-1, 6-11 FGs) to continue an excellent start to 2016. If I was in a dynasty league where I actually had a chance at a title, I’d rent Pau and see how far I could go.
JaVale McGee – Got some run this week, including a spot start, but I wouldn’t let last week’s double-double against the Kings fool you. He’s just another big body for Rick Carlisle to throw out there at DeAndre Jordan come playoff time.