I’ve been on hiatus, probably since about a month to go in the 2017-18 season. I blame myself, and my schedule, for not being loyal to my readers. My league had ended, as I ranted about in my last piece, but yours probably didn’t. For those looking for the league winners I had been providing throughout the season, I apologize. For those who are reading my column for the first time ever here in July, I applaud and welcome you to Beyond the Glory.

For those who don’t remember, I was literally two game 7 wins away from being the only Razzball writer to have the Rockets and Celtics in the finals, and then I got neither. I would have basked in that glory for at least a year, but being bold only brought me close to brilliance. Either way, I am back and will be knocking out more content in the offseason, before going back to weekly columns for your reading pleasure.

Oh, the offseason. The start of the NBA season is many months away, yet something inside of me is far too excited for fantasy basketball. Call it what you will. We are the midst of the baseball season and fantasy football prep has begun in earnest. With all of this going on, though, I come home at night and turn on the NBA Summer League. I don’t know why, but my remote leads me there. The only reasonable explanation is that I am pumped for the new draft class. I am pumped to see free agent signings and I am pumped for LeB… I promised myself I wouldn’t go there. I am going to hold strong, because in truth, I’m not excited for anything but basketball, fantasy basketball, and Kevin Knox (more on him later) for 2018-19. So let’s get into the recent draftees and who they may compare to this upcoming year, giving us some pre-pre-preseason sleepers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

 

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This might be more of a somber lead for your fantasy liking, but someone has to speak truths. So here I am taking the responsibility upon myself to teach lessons to those who play in Head-to-Head leagues and find themselves wondering, why? Think about it. As the level of NBA entertainment rises, the fantasy-friendly confines begin to fall. Excitement levels reach all-time highs, along with your heart rate, when Karl-Anthony Towns only has 2 games this week. There are a few schools of thought for teams around the NBA. Either said team is so far ahead, they rest their starters, team is so far behind, they play their youngsters, or team is right in the middle and do things just right. We tried something new in my league this year. We started the playoffs at the end of February. Sounds crazy right? We tried to avoid the problem sweeping the fantasy NBA realm, and that is the art of navigating the sit. H2H, distant cousin of H2O, is so very common, but so very flawed, and you’ll find yourself dropping Taj Gibson because he doesn’t play for another 6 days. Maybe you drop Bobby Portis who’s hot as hell because you need more games that week than your opponent. Then your friends brother picks him up, and you just lost a friend. It’s a complete numbers game and one hell of a slippery slope. So, I’m not going to write a thesis on how to fix this. That’s for another time, but I will  hand you some hot pickups to help you get through the end of the year and weather the storm.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Certain things in sports are sexier than others. It’s as simple as that. While Ichiro strives to make singles sexy, the saying goes, “chicks dig the longball.” In hockey, Barry Melrose’s mullet screams sexy over Ovechkin’s buzz cut.  Big hits catch the eye before a 3 yard run up the middle. Lastly, slam dunks will always be more exciting than a mid-range jumper. Larry Nance finds himself in quite the unique situation. How many times since the inception of the dunk contest, has a contestant debuted their fresh new jersey on that stage? I’ll admit, I didn’t look into this at all, but man would it make a great HQ trivia question. In comes Larry Nance, I assume junior, or maybe even the third, traded from the Lakers and now sporting a Cavs uni. The same Cavs that are his favorite team, the team in which his father, Larry Nance, probably the first, played for and won the slam dunk contest with. The same Larry Nance whose number is hanging in the rafters at the Q. If that doesn’t give you goosebumps, I don’t know what will. As Kevin Costner said, it’s hard not to get emotional about baseball. Wrong sport, yes, but the man just wanted to have a damn catch with his dad, and now he can!

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The name Reggie brings a few players to mind. Reggie Jackson, Reggie Smith, and of course, Reggie Miller. That awkward, yet smooth, combo of grace and precision known as a shooting form. Reggie Miller is one of the greatest shooters of all time. 6’ 7″ shooting guard, able to rise up (barely) above the smaller defender to snap the net with a perfect rotation. Anyone who averaged 1.8 3PM for their career before 2008 is basically a champion, especially considering that his 4.7 attempts per game for his career is a joke these days. So what’s in a name? The name Reggie.

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I’m making a petition, right here, right now! But let my digress for a second. William Henry Parker. Sounds like he may have been an old war hero or 1904 Presidential candidate who you learned about in 8th grade history class. Well, that’s not the case here. William Henry Parker was an NBA player best known for his nickname and his hair from NBA 2K11, which looks like cornrows from one angle and an Afro from another angle. I’m talking about Smush Parker, the enigmatic point guard who played for six teams in merely five seasons in the NBA. The best two coming with the Los Angeles Lakers when he played 82 games in each season. What does this have to do with anything? My point is that nicknames like that don’t happen overnight. Nicknames are earned and stick for numerous reasons. Today, I am proposing a nickname for Tyrone Wallace.

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What did I do on New Years? I took a nap, went to the mall, bought some slacks, and binge-watched some Game of Thrones. Now this may not seem like normal behavior for me, considering almost all of my posts are humor based or geared towards Will Ferrell, but there is a darker side of me, one that enjoys the violent entertainment of Game of Thrones. So maybe 2018 will introduce a new side of me, to you my precious readers, because as you may know, winter is here, but not until summer 2019. Make some sense outta that one.

Major theme of Game of Thrones, for those of you who don’t have the courage to watch the greatest show on turf, dead people. Someone who has been dead to many for weeks now is Dewayne Dedmon.

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There will come a time when you  look back and regret not taking the plunge and picking up a player, who at this point in time, is averaging just 10 minutes a game. That time spent on the court has amassed stats of four points and three rebounds on under three shots per outing. The thing is, if we dig a little deeper, over the last seven days, a span of merely three games, this same player is averaging 13 minutes per contest, with 7.5 points, 3.3 boards, 1 steal, and 1.3 blocks on 78% shooting. Come again…. 78% shooting? Yes sirs and small group of ladies.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Back when I was a youngun and not lazy as hell, I used to play in a pickup basketball game, mostly of men 10+ years older than me. There was an older guy, Lou, who came to play in full gear. Wrist bands, knee braces, slicked back silver hair. He would bring up the ball, run the point, fake passes that fooled nobody, wave his finger around like he was running a play, the whole kit and caboodle. The only thing he lacked were rec-specs. He even hit the occasional flat footer from the top of the key. When Lou scored, the whole place sighed, making the defender feel like shit. At the end of the game, Lou would take off his shirt, wipe down his sweat, make you feel like you’re in a public pool locker room, zip up his nylon jacket, and wish everyone a good evening. He also cursed like a trucker and set the most illegal picks known to man.

Kind of like this guy

Something about Lou Williams reminds me of good ol’ Lou. When Williams comes off the bench, you know he’s shooting, but you can’t stop it. He takes some shots that make you close your eyes, yet, he’s draining them. He plays every game like it’s a revenge game, and his stat line somehow never disappoints. Williams is 17 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 3PM per game, shooting 45% from the field and over 90% from the line. Those are useful numbers. It makes no sense to me whatsoever that he’s available in leagues across America. We’re talking about a guy with multi-positional eligibility, who’s been unconscious from all over the floor, especially the last week or so, and he’s not virtually owned. Now, maybe, just maybe, the only reason why I have him as my man pots and pans this week is because I wanted to write about my boy Lou from back in the day, but, please, go out and pick up Lou Will asap, because dude is going Jon H-A-M every, single, night.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of my preseason infatuations was Bogdan Bogdanovic. I still believe that, as the season continues, the Euro-Vet will carve out a tremendous role for the Kings and secure his place on fantasy rosters. His teammates are amazed by his poise and demeanor, as if he is a 10-year veteran. On the other hand, I admittedly didn’t think I would be rostering his namesake Bojan Bogdanovic on my rosters everywhere. So yes, they may not be brothers by blood, but how similar of a name does it take to make them say, step brothers. I mean, not only do they have the same surname, they kind of look alike.

Brennan Huff and Dale Doback were officially “step brothers”, but the only thing they had in common was their love for karate and Good Housekeeping magazine. Bojan and Bogdan both play basketball, are from some foreign country or another, and currently play in the NBA for small market teams.

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Everyone has their favorite game when they were a child. You know, back in the good old days when we didn’t have iPads or on-demand. I had a palm-pilot once, but not until I was in 8th grade. We used to go outside and play ball or play those random games that ended in you ripping your school pants and getting yelled at by Mom. We used to play capture the flag, red light-green light, red-rover. I always liked hide and seek. High pressure to find a safe and secure hiding spot in under a minute. Usually having home-field advantage was essential, because no one knows your laundry room better than you. That shady closet in your basement that leads to nowhere? Ya, you’re the only one brave enough to step foot. There was no better feeling than hearing your friends give up on finding you and then deciding whether to give up your place or wait for them to leave, so you can use it again down the road. This may not bring back memories for all of you, but I’m getting goosebumps just wishing I was 7 years old again. 

 

There’s a player hiding on your waiver wire that not only will make you feel old but will also likely get hurt jumping off the monkey bars. Tyreke Evans and his brittle bones is once again fantasy relevant. Some people may even wonder where Evans now plays. Is he back in Sacramento, is he supporting the Boogie & Brow in New Orleans? Boogie & Brow… my next restaurant idea name. Constant blues music and southern comfort food, but the catch is, only people with unibrows are allowed to enter.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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