Do you believe in Love? Do you believe it’s Lue?
The answers to these two questions hold immense meaning whether you’re a fan of Huey Lewis and the News or the Cleveland Cavaliers or if you have a vested interest in the future of either man as the owner of a fantasy basketball team.
First, there’s Kevin Love. Who cares what he’s meant to the Cavaliers and whether he should be there going forward to help LeBron James win another title: The trade that brought him to Cleveland two seasons ago has to go down in one of the all-time biggest fantasy bummers.
He’s down 10 ppg off his career average, he’s hauling in a few boards less than usual and his FG percentage is down.
Whether that has more to do with the fact that David Blatt was a bad coach and didn’t know how to fit him in with Bron and Kyrie Irving and an ill-fitting supporting cast (60 percent blame in my opinion) or the fact that he was no longer the main guy and had to share shots with guys who needed to shoot (40 percent blame) is irrelevant. It happened, and it took Love off the table as a premier fantasy guy.
And then there’s Tyronn Lue, who will always just be the guy A.I. stepped over to me. He might be a good young coach. He might be the perfect LeBron stooge. Regardless, even if he works magic and finds a way to win the rest of the Cavs games this year en route to a title, he won’t do it by using Love on the elbow or returning his stats to their lofty career numbers. It certainly didn’t do Love any good last night against his former team, when he meekly went for 11 points and 6 rebounds in a win.
However, a trade to another team, where Love would most likely become The Man once again, would be a different story. And I think that’s what’s going to happen before the trade deadline next month.
It could be the Celtics (possibly for Jae Crowder and some over-paid veteran garbage). Boston’s roster, a mess of solid role players, just screams for a scorer like Love.It could be the Trailblazers (for C.J. McCollum), or the Raptors (for a vet package).
So I guess the question isn’t “do you believe in Love” but rather “do you believe Love will be traded”. And if the answer is yes, I say go ahead and buy in – find a way to trade for this guy before he becomes the new face of another franchise.
And since this is Boards-N-Blocks, know that any trade would help Love get back to his career average of about 12 rpg and maybe even better.
Here’s what else is going on in Boards-N-Blocks …
Willie Cauley-Stein – Like the Julius Randle-Byron Scott debacle in L.A., George Karl don’t like Young Old Man Willie. But he’s starting now, and has double-double digit boards in three sraight, including double-doubles in two of his last three. He can’t be unowned in your league!
Alex Len – Phoenix Suns fans are pretty bummed out about Len. He’s the highest draft pick they’ve had in 30 years and he’s not the second coming of Tom Chambers. Too soon to give up, I say, as he’s in the starting lineup and getting huge minutes with the other young Suns (Archie Goodwin, Devon Booker, etc.) and showing some consistency, averaging 11.6 ppg and 10.6 rpg over his last three. How about a few blocks, young fella?
Tyson Chandler – Some might think it weird that Chandler was brought out of mothballs and inserted in the starting lineup in the midst of this Phoenix youth movement, but that was actually the smartest thing Jeff Hornacek has done all year. Chandler has 14, 20 and 27 boards in his last three games, plus 4 blocks. I wouldn’t get too excited, or expect it to last, but Chandler is worth riding until the minutes go back down or he’s dealt to a contender.
Myles Turner – Turner is that rare species of the B-N-B world: A blocker who scores but isn’t a dominant boarder. Usually blockers are stiffs who just stand there and swing everytime they see an orange sphere coming their way (see: Jerami Grant). Turner is averaging 20.5 ppg, 3.25 bpg and 6.25 rpg, and you have room on your roster for him. I just checked.
DeMarcus Cousins – His 56-point, 12-board eruption Monday against the Hornets (which comes after his 48-point, 13-board game Sunday against the Pacers) demands a look back at one of the most dominant big man runs in recent memory: Over his last 10 games, all of which were double-doubles, Cousins is averaging 34.8 ppg, 13.5 rpg, 1.0 bpg and 0.0 freak-outs per game. And the Kings aren’t horrible, the Cubs are World Series favorites, Trump could be president and McDonald’s has mozzarella sticks. The end is near, indeed.
Salah Mejri – Everyone thought Salah’s start and breakout on Jan. 13 was a one-time deal, a veritable Halley’s Comet on the fantasy radar. But with Zaza Pachulia on the shelf again, that cagey Rick Carlisle plugged Mejri in there again and player rewarded coach with 10 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks in a loss to Houston on Sunday.
Kelly Olynyk – Just when the Boston faithful were starting to make preposterous Dirk comparisons, the gangly big man went back into his shell and started playing like Kelly Olynyk. The trend continued in last night’s blowout win in Washington, as he chipped in 13 points and just 4 boards in 22 minutes off the bench. Safe to drop.
James Harden – This might be Harden’s first-ever B-N-B appearance, but it is most truly deserved thanks to his recent three-game run of rebounding: He’s averaging 12.3 rpg over his last three (including games of 15 and 17 boards) to go along with 28.6 ppg and 10.6 apg.
Enes Kanter – Steven Adams’ elbow boo-boo was all it took for Kanter to get the minutes he deserves. He got bumped up all the way to 30-plus minutes Sunday’s loss to the Nets, but didn’t exactly produce accordingly, scoring only 8 points on 4-12 shooting. He did haul in 10 boards, however, and I think he could be a 16 and 10 guy, easy, with a few blocks sprinkled in, while Adams is out.
Andre Drummond – By now it’s old news that Dre set the all-time record for free-throws missed when he went 13-36 from the charity stripe in a win against the Rockets last week. We can move on, but the problem is starting to linger. On Saturday against the Nuggets, Drummond got in foul trouble in the first half, then barely played in the second because Stan Van Gundy didn’t want him in there chucking bricks with the game on the line. The result: Drummond finished with just 4 points, 8 rebounds and a block in 18 minutes of court time. SVG tried to keep him in there a little longer in last night’s game against the Jazz, and Drummond rewarded him with a 1-10 from the line to go along with 7 points and 6 boards.
Rudy Gobert – 17 points, 17 boards and a block in the same game. And 3-4 from the line, and 61 percent on the season. At least Gobert makes most of his free throws.