Full disclosure – the entirety of this post was written before Sunday afternoon. I know that either A – I would be too drunk to try to finish this if the Panthers win the Super Bowl, and my writing would be as incoherent as the screenplay of Southland Tales. Although to be fair, I actually kinda liked that movie! It was a mess; but a weird mess! A little JT before he went full movie star! And Amy Poehler before she, ummmm, fired her agent. And Cheri Oteri! Before she, ummmmm, was never heard from again. Or B – I would be too depressed to write anything about basketball.
As we chug along into the All-Star Break, one train is certainly doing the Ozzy Crazy Train right now! Gorgui Dieng just tore apart the Bulls, going 24/14/7/0/1 in 41 minutes, hitting 10-13 FG and 4-4 FT. And you’ve been benching this guy for Kevin fuc$*$*$&#*#*$$ing Garnett!? Even Ricky Rubio is like, “wait, he got more assists than even MI last game!? Ay dios mio!” The Dieng Train is on an absolute tear the past 7 games, and Coach Sam Mitchell said “he might be willing to find out” if Dieng can play 40 minutes a night. Hey Mitchell, I might be willing to bitchslap you if you play KG at the starting 4 again! I might go so far as saying Dieng is a top-50 option ROS, which is as disheartening as it gets as I own him nowhere. I was late for the Train! The conductor was like “All Aboard!” and I was like, “F that, Mitchell isn’t playing him enough!” Kudos to you if you hopped aboard anyway right before this run. Here’s what else went down over the weekend, plus the 14 [kinda] Ahead for Week 16:
Lance Stephenson – I know how to engage the fantasy hoops community, and that’s with a strong start to the player analysis and opening with Lance Stephenson! 13/1/3/1/0 hitting 6-6 FG and his only freebie for his second usable-ish game in the past 4. Deep leaguers should actually keep an eye out, wing minutes have been going to some real scrubs for the Clip this year.
John Wall – Trip-dub me! 18/13/10 Friday night, followed by 23/6/10 Saturday. Sure the TO and FG% at times have driven you up a Wall, but he’s been solid at draft-day price.
Hassan Whiteside – Wait, trip-dub ME! After a nice return against the Mavs last week (10/9/1/1/5), came off the bench again against the Hornets, going 10/10/0/0/10 including this block that reminds me of playing with a tiny foam ball on a Fisher Price goal. No room for error in that tripdub! I love that Slim last year said he didn’t think Whiteside would get triple-doubles again, and he’s had 4 since then!
DeMarcus Cousins – Dammit, TRIP-DUB MEEEEEEEEEE! Boogie is the whiniest of the 3 on the court, so it makes sense he’s the last to be called out… 24/10/10 against Brooklyn, and a few months ago I worried about all the hits and falls he takes, but he’s been healthy *crosses fingers*.
Rudy Gay – Took some of the injury karma away from Boogie by picking up a kankle Friday night. Missed yesterday, and a good chance he’s out until the ASB, at least I’d assume. Although you know what happens when you assume! You make an ass of your organization by continually having George Karl rumored to be fired…
Marvin Williams – When shots aren’t grabbed out of the air by the Greek God Whiteside, went 27/4/2/0/1 against the Heat, and followed it up with a 13/10/1 line Saturday night. He’s been on a decent enough run here with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist not cutting the cheese too much in his minutes.
Evan Turner – Ello, Poppet! Miss Turner for 19/12/6/0/1 against the Cavs, and hopefully something good yesterday afternoon, because I got this done before any games tipped! Super Bowl fever! I think he probably needs to be owned in all 12ers, which is nice n’ saucy after calling him one of my streams at only 26% owned last Monday morning. Take that, Keira Knightley!
Tyler Zeller – Ewwwwww, really JB?! Well, 3 straight usable games, that could either become 4 straight if he did anything yesterday, or if he goes back to barely playing you can just read over this part…
Kevin Love – Awwwwww, got a booboo on his thigh! Mommy couldn’t kiss it fast enough, so he sat Saturday with a thigh bruise. “Sing me soft kitty!”
Joe Johnson – Monster Friday night going 27/6/11/2/1 with 5 treys. But because it’s Joe Johnson, he had to disappear the following game on Saturday. To be fair, that Friday game was against the Kings, who are fantasy’s go-to matchup against right now.
Matt Barnes – It’s been a little rocky, but had a nice one against the Mavs Saturday night for 17/11/5/0/1 and 5 treys. He probably should be owned in most 12ers, but there’s a lot of interesting wings out there.
Kristaps Porzingis – After an atrocious Thursday night performance against the Pistons, The Poison Goose got the toxicity way back up for 17/10 and 6 blocks against the Grizz, with 3 treys. 3 treys and 6 blocks?! That’s like a Serge Ibaka game! Well, Ibaka of last year or 13-14, not the Ibaka that had 1 trey and no blocks last time out…
Khris Middleton – The Duchess coughing it up like it’s some London Pea Fog outside or somethin’! 18/6/2/3/0 at the Jazz, but 9 TO. That’s actually 19 TO last 4 games now. He needs to stop practicing with MCW, I think that’s the issue…
Rudy Gobert/Derrick Favors – Had some crazy D stats Friday night, combining for 7 STL and 8 BLK. Didn’t get as much done against Phoenix on Saturday, but I blame that on the Suns guards turning it over before they could even get to the lane…
Stanley Johnson – One of the buzzier players of the past week, StanJo went 14/10/3/1/0 against the Pacers in another fill-in for KCP. Now, KCP will be back right after the break, so you’re only getting 2 more starts outta him. He’s likely owned in most active leagues, but if you don’t have a great asset and want to start this 2-week ASB matchup with a nice boost, I would nab him. But it’s not a long-term asset to me.
Nicolas Batum – 26/11/9/1/1 leading a huge comeback win for the Hornets against the Wiz. The Wiz! used to be Live, but now they’re dead! If Batum can keep his toes from falling off, he should have a nice finish.
Norris Cole – Against his former teammate BronBron (but now both on different teams than the Heat!) 26/2/5 with a couple of treys for everyone’s favorite flattop. My red underline isn’t there, meaning flattop is a word. It looks weird! About as weird as if I had a flattop…
T.J. McConnell – Ish Smith tweaked his kankle late Friday night against the Wiz, giving McConnell a start and leading the Sixers to a win against the Nets Saturday. 17/2/6/2/0, letting Brooklyn known TJ must Protect This Houshmandzadeh!
Bobby Portis – 20+ min if 4 straight now, and 18:25+ in 6 straight. It’s still not quite enough, but at least it’s more consistent. 15/3/0/1/1 against the Wolves Saturday night for ol’ Crazy Eyes.
The 7  Ahead
- 5-game week: ATL, BOS, CHI, DEN, LAC, NO, ORL, SA
- 3-game weeks: DAL, HOU, NY
- Bi-Weekly League Streamers (by Y! ownership percent/games this week): Dennis Schroder (27%/4), Gary Harris (21%/5), Wesley Johnson (13%/5), Norris Cole (28%/5)
Overall Thoughts: In RCLs and hopefully in your H2H leagues, it’s a 2-week ASB matchup. So some changes to the normal format to accommodate the ASB, and I’m only going to break down matchups day-by-day until this Thursday, and then pick it back up next week to preview games ending next week after the break.
All teams have between 3 and 5 games, so all teams unlisted have 4 game weeks. Makes it pretty easy to pick your streaming teams, and you’re only weighing start/sit with the Texas teams. You gotta play James Harden (even if he is turning it over 10 times a game!), maybe you’re stuck with Dwight Howard if you need a big, but other than that you’re likely sitting everyone on those teams. For my streamers, sheesh has there been a week where Schroder hasn’t been on the list?! The Hawks will finally make up all these nice scheduled-weeks with the bad playoff sched… Slim’s boyfriend Gary Harris gets a nice slate and is low in TO so is a nice stream, and you gotta love Wes J’s defensive stats. Matt Barnes Jr.! Which is ironic, since ya know, he’s playing the Barnes role… Kinda… And while Cole might be a hold in a lot of leagues, I dunno if I trust the role. But I do enough to roll the dice on his 5 games than play a fringy 4-gamer.
Monday: Pretty full slate to kick off the 2-weeker, with 20 teams in action. ATL, DEN, LAC, ORL and SAC come in on b2bs, so be sure and monitor any banged up guys or vets from those squads. As mentioned above, the Kings are your NBA punching bag, so your fringy Cavs definitely deserve a look. If no Love, Tristan Thompson should see a few extra shots. Not that he’s that high end or anything.
Tuesday: 5 games on Tuesday, with the schedule keeping anyone from starting the week on back to backs. But BOS, GSW, HOU, SA and UTA go into Tue/Wed b2bs, so keep an eye out there – of course we’re looking right at you, Pop! GSW should completely dismantle the Rockets, so temper expectations on high-minute starters there. [email protected] should have some nice pace if there’s some available guys there you’d like to stream, and to be honest, all I really want to see Tuesday is Whiteside go up against Boban Marjanovic for a few minutes. That would be AWESOME to see!
Wednesday: Huge Wednesday slate, with only 6 teams off. Only NO has a b2b, making Cole an interesting daily moves stream if your Wednesday lineups isn’t full. In the epic matchup of fantasy-punching bags, SAC goes @PHI. Might as well expect a 130-120 game with no defense!
Thursday: We wrap up part 1 of the 2-week ASB matchup with only two games: [email protected] and [email protected] As mentioned above, Norris Cole is a good stream if you’re using an early move there, but after this one, NO gets PHI next Friday. Only 2 teams are off next Friday, so you might not be playing him that one, and might move on in daily moves leagues. However, both WAS and MIL for pickups is interesting in limited-moves leagues like the RCLs, in that both teams suit up next Saturday when there’s only 4 games. So your fringy guys on those teams are worth streams if you’re planning ahead for next week… Your team should go to Jared! Jerryd Bayless and Jared Dudley headline the streaming options there.
Well, let’s hope this Super Bowl goes as well as I think it does! Remember I’m a big softy, any Broncos fans trolling in the comments will not be answered! Haha. I hope you had a great week of fantasy hoops, and looking forward to a little breather during the ASB!