Over the summer, I sauntered….No, I ran to the NFBKC lobby room like a ravenous wild boar, gorging and feasting on draft after draft after draft. I have a couple of teams in contention, but most of them are S. H. I. T. T. Y. The reason? Probably because I suck, but another reason was that I completely faded Brook Lopez. I’m a stupid, stupid man. He was so cheap in drafts (124th player in NFBKC drafts), and those require two centers. There were good reasons, though. He’s 34 years old and was coming off a season in which he played only 13 games due to a back injury. I thought the end was nigh. He did have two seasons early in his career when he played 5 and 17 games, but outside of that, he’s been a relative iron man. This season, he’s played 59 games and put up top 25-ish numbers. On Sunday, he twisted the knife once again to remind me of my stupidity with cannon ball after cannon ball, as I stand sheepishly on the Brook taking the splashes in the face like a man.
Giannis was out for this one, which somewhat explains the robust rebounding and shot attempt numbers. Hey, he still got it, so why not flaunt it? On the season, the 2.4 blocks per game are third in the NBA. He’s averaging 20.4 minutes, 14.7 points, 1.8 treys and 6.6 boards while shooting 50% from the field and 76% from the line. Excuse me as I go bang my head into the wall over and over and over again.
Here’s what else I saw yesterday:
1 shy of Klay’s record for most treys in a game. Donovan Mitchell scored 71 points earlier this season, so Lillard tied that. In the history of the NBA, at least 70 points has been now scored 13 times. At the top of the pantheon is, of course, Wilt’s 100 and Kobe’s 81. Lillard was being drafted at the end of the first round, primarily because of his injury-riddled season last year. Lillard is third this season in treys made at 4.2 per game and second in attempts. He is third in points at 31.4 per game. Oh, he’s also dishing out 7.3 dimes and shooting 91.6% from the line.
What an emotional roller coaster for Gafford owners this season. He started the season playing in the teens, then he received fewer than 10 minutes in six straight. He emerged from those doldrums like a prairie dog after a long winter. The minutes blossomed to around 26 to 28 per game and all was right in the world. Then, like an asteroid that decimated the dinosaurs, the playing time went back to the teens. On Sunday, he played 31 minutes and did what Gafford can do. Unfortunately, this is not the NWO because Kristaps Porzingis did not play in this one. When he returns, the playing time will likely go back into the teens.
Played 12 minute on Sunday at 37 years old. Respect.
The Wizards scored 82 points against the Bulls. No more blurbs for them!
For the Bulls, their triumvirate came through in a big way.
The Bulls have now won two in a row after dropping six straight. The defense has been excellent recently. Over the last 10 games, they are 2nd in defensive rating.
There are two things to consider if you own Bulls players. They currently sit 11th in the Eastern Conference, 1.5 games behind the 10th slot. If they fall out of contention, do they shut down the triumvirate? Even if they remain in the mix, their schedule during most fantasy playoffs isn’t good: 2, 3 and 4 games. The 9 total games is only one more than the Clippers, who have the worst schedule during the fantasy playoffs.
There’s plenty of water under this Bridges, and it’s flaming hot due to Mikal’s scorching play since arriving in Brooklyn. To be fair, he did have two duds, but in the other three contests, Bridges went for 23, 45 and 24 points while contributing across the board like he normally does. The usage rate has bounced around, from a low of 20.6% to a high of 41.4%. It looks like it will be somewhere in the low-to-mid 20s going forward.
This Johnson doesn’t get me Viagra-hard, but elevated for sure. Cam is one of the better 3-and-D players in the league and should continue to play a ton of minutes and get good looks for a top 75-ish finish to the season.
Claxton is 0.2 steals and 1 trey from being a 1/1/1 player! I kid, I kid. He’s been everything and then some for a center available later in drafts. Claxton is averaging 9 boards and 2.6 blocks while shooting 71% from the field. Yeah, he’s converting 51% of his free throw attempts and won’t provide many in the points and dimes categories, but that’s why he was cheap. The one thing I’ve been learning more and more everyday is that, if you build a solid base in the beginning of drafts, the warts of players like Claxton aren’t as apparent.
The treys were not falling for Trae. What a shame! The 20th time Trae has gone for at least 30 points in a game this season. That ain’t bad, yo! The 42% conversion rate on 19.6 attempts for game, though?
I haven’t slid into the DMs for a while now, so it’s good to check in. After a torrid start to the season, Murray has cooled off and settled in. Top 30 to 40-ish player is where he’s at. It’s a far cry from the top 10 numbers he put up last season, but a decrease was expected.
He played 32 minutes off the bench, so that’s encouraging. Only six shot attempts, though. It’s going to be tough for him to be fantasy relevant unless John Collins is out of the lineup. Bogdan Bogdanovic, who went for 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals while shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 5-of-8 from downtown is the microwave off the bench for the Hawks. Bey is redundant.
Ayton has been balling, posting top 15-ish numbers over the last 12 games or so. The scoring and blocks have been fruitful. I worry that when Kevin Durant is brought into the mix, that it is Ayton who will suffer the most. We shall see.
Holiday is so underrated. I think throughout his entire career. Is it because nobody knows which Holiday is who? Anyways, the Bucks paid a lot to acquire Jrue and he helped take them to the Promised Land. He can score at all three levels, pass, and is an excellent defender. With Giannis off the court this season, he sees a 5.9% usage rate bump and is more than capable of being THE guy on offense. Yet, you rarely hear about him. Yo, Jrue. I’ll be your hype man. Yeeeeaaaaahhhh booooyyeeee!!!
In 25 minutes off the bench. Since returning from injury for the second time this season, the Bucks have been careful with Middleton. In 11 games, he’s played over 20 minutes just five times. At some point, I’m thinking the Bucks get him back into the starting lineup and ramp up his minutes in preparation for the playoff run.
Uh, this guy is pretty good. So, I live in LA and I saw AD walking down the street the other day. Some lady accidentally bumped into him and….
When healthy, he’s in the mix to be the number two player in fantasy behind Jokic.
Vanderbilt is such a great piece for the Lakers. He hustles, does all the dirty work and can guard almost every position. He has started the last three games and played 27, 18 and 28 minutes. I have a feeling that he’s going to be getting at least 28 minutes on the regular.
After the Lakers acquired Beasley, he played 17 and 22 minutes off the bench, then entered the starting lineup and received 24, 26 and 34 minutes on Sunday. He’s attempted 11, 11, 7, 12 and 6 shots from downtown since arriving in Los Angeles. Make it rain!! NO, not that rain. We are getting flooded with the wet stuff. Anyways, Beasley is a good defender and a career-38% shooter from downtown.
In 20 minutes off the bench. Over the last seven games, Wood is averaging 18.9 minutes per game. There’s a reason why Wood went undrafted. There’s a reason why he’s played for seven teams. There’s a reason why he’s playing around 20 minutes per game. If you’re a Christian believer, get on your knees and pray. And offer virgin sacrifices.
Jeff Dowtin Jr.
Who? Dowtin is 6-foot-3 and 177 pounds. He played his college ball at Rhode Island and went undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s on a two-way contract with the Raptors but he’s been getting significant run with Fred VanVleet out. Dowtin has played 19, 20 and 18 minutes. It’s been the defense that has allowed him to get run. He’s not fantasy relevant in standard leagues, but someone to keep an eye on for deeper and dynasty ones.
It’s only a matter of time before Mobley blows up and Jack Bauers the entire fantasy landscape.
I figured Mitchell and Garland could coexist, with Mitchell being the alpha, but I never thought he’d take it to this level. Well, as the lede showed, I’m a stupid, stupid man. The biggest increases from prior years have been the blocks and shooting efficiency. He’s doubled the blocking prowess while the 47% field goal percentage is a career-high mark by a wide margin. He had never been above 45% before.
Sabonis leads the league with 47 dub-dubs and has messed around seven times. But, but, but….he doesn’t contribute the D.
Fox was putting up top 15 numbers to start the season. Then things cooled off but, over the last 11 games or so, he’s back at it. Crazy like a Fox. The efficiency gains have been <chef’s kiss> this season, as he’s converting 51% of his field goal attempts and 78% of his freebies.
In 25 minutes off the bench. Slow Mo and Lyles are so similar to me. Has anyone seen them in the room together? Is it time to call Lyles Slow Lo? Naw?
The Kings are 3rd in the Western Conference. They have the 26th defense but the top-ranked offense.
With Shai out, Joe has started the last two games and….
He’s received 36 and 28 minutes of run in the two games. The 76ers released him earlier in the year and the Thunder, not only, immediately scooped him up but signed him to a contract. He’s a career 40% shooter from downtown and his ability to stretch the floor was a perfect piece for the Thunder. Now, we are all witnesses.
Dort missed six games due to injury then was brought back slowly, playing 24 minutes or fewer in three games. Since then, he’s played 36, 36 and 31 minutes. He’s baaaaaaack. Is Dort the best fantasy asset? Niet, as the efficiency is vomit-inducing, but he will provide points, treys, boards and some steals. And he plays a ton of minutes, and minutes are half the battle. Yo, Joe!
In 36 minutes. It ain’t hard to tell that Naz feasts when given the playing time. Rudy Gobert was out. For Timberwolves fans, they could have the center duo of Naz and Kessler. Instead, they have the Stifle Tower that is beginning to look more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
In 32 minutes. In the last six games, Looney has grabbed 17, 13, 15, 14, 13 and 13 boards. Dennis Rodman was Looney. Coincidence? Me thinks not.
In the last game, Klay went for 42 on 12-of-19 from the field and 12-of-17 from downtown. L. O. L. On a pod last week, I questioned whether Klay was just a shooter, albeit a good one, who could be replaced. Obviously, Klay listens to the Son Pod. Respect.
DoDi has been such a great piece for GS. He can space the floor and is a very good defender. He’s been on a heater recently, though, converting over half of his attempts. That will regress back to the low 20s, but he’s a solid contributor in treys, boards, dimes and steals.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
In 13 minute off the bench. The playing time hasn’t been robust and PBJ isn’t fantasy viable now. I wrote him up for his future prospects. The coaching staff and players on the Warriors have been raving about him. He understands the game, which isn’t a surprise since his father is a coach. The J is silky smooth and some have mentioned it in the same breath as KDs, in terms of height of release point. The IQ and work ethic are high and many think he could be a future star. I’m just a messenger so don’t travel back in time and shoot me if that scenario does not manifest.
In 28 minutes off the bench. Why is Eason not in the starting lineup getting over 30 minutes of run a night? The assumption of rational coaching is a dangerous game to play. Shout out to Sigmund Bloom over at FootballGuys for that one.
The Kawhibot 2000 is firing on all cylinders. Over the last 21 games, he’s averaged 36 minutes, 27.1 points, 2.4 treys, 6.2 boards, 4.2 dimes, 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocks while shooting 52% from the field and 93% from the line. Oh, he’s only turning the ball over 1.6 times. Beep boop bop. What the f**k?! That’s been good for the number three player on a per-game basis.
In 25 minutes. He’s still starting, though, and his presence has relegated Terance Mann to a reserve role. Sadness.
The microwave-off-the-bench role used to be Norman Powell‘s. Not anymore. He played 21 minutes last night in an overtime game. Bones Hyland got 14 minutes while Eric Gordon received 25 minutes. The Clippers bench is now like the hoard of Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae.
Michael Porter Jr.
Gotta respect him for staying in his lane: score and grab rebounds. Defense? Que? “Naw, I don’t get paid for any of that. Gotta protect my back, ya know?”
Yawn. Just another day at the office. So, Jokic has 99 career trip-dubs, sixth all time. He’s 99 behind Westbrook. Incredibly, only seven behind LeBron.