The holiday season is here Razzball nation; a magical time for all and especially us NBA fans. Presents, Christmas dinner, time with family, and if you’re lucky some time to feast on a bunch of ball whilst digesting a drink or two. Fantasy football season might just about be over, but hoops is really starting to heat up and 2017 promises to be one bumper hamper for fantasy basketball fans.
So what do we have look forward to in 2017? Well for one the appearance of number 1 overall pick Ben Simmons and the promise of PG duties for the point forward; an MVP race where from a fantasy standpoint just bewilders the mind; and of course an upcoming draft class that is touted as one of the best freshman classes for a long long time.
So sit back and relax, open a bottle of Vino, and let me guide you through some of the significant happenings in the last 7 days for those developing their game to one day become a household name of the NBA:
- 12 hours after my aggressive rank of 5 for my college rankings, Malik Monk produced his best efforts lighting up North Carolina for 47 points in a powerhouse Kentucky vs North Carolina matchup. What Monk lacked in counting stats he sure made up for with efficiency, going an incredible 8-12 from 3 point land. Monk demonstrated his elite ability to create space for his shot off the dribble and continued to demonstrate that he is one of the best athletic shooters in the game.
- In the same game De’Aaron Fox continued to improve his stock. The lightning quick point guard made it difficult for the North Carolina defense to stay in front of him and facilitated Monk outstandingly to the tune of 24 points, 10 assists, 2 steals and 4 rebounds with just two turnovers. Those turnovers are ultra impressive when you consider the speed at which Fox plays the game. Fox has little trouble getting to the rim because of the lightning speed, but his jump shot has a lot of work to do. Already considered one of the elite PG’s of this strong freshman class, Fox’s stock keeps rising, especially after a strong outing against Louisville.
- Also in the same game , Justin Jackson (Yes Justin, not Josh) improved his draft stock tremendously putting up 34 points, in a 10-17 shooting performance, including going 4-7 from deep. More performances like this from the Tarheel is surely going to help his case of being selected in the first round, and this performance against elite competition certainly opened a few eyes.
- High school phenom Harry Giles made his long anticipated debut for Duke after being out of basketball for an entire year due to injury, and managed 10 minutes of court time this week in his two games played. It is clear that it is going to take some time for the phenom to get up to speed as he looked rusty and tentative in the court time he had. Giles however has significant talent and his progress is worth monitoring closely.
- Did anyone have a better week in college basketball than Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan? If going 26/10 with 4 blocks against ranked Notre Dame wasn’t enough, he then followed that up with a 21/21 (points/rebounds) performance against Western Illinois and a 32/20 performance against Norfolk state. Yes the competition in the latter two games might have not been the most impressive, but if you like your hard-nosed bigs, then ‘Biggie’ Swanigan is a name to keep an eye on. Looks a lot like a Z’Bo clone to me. Let’s see if he can keep this momentum moving forward.
- My number 1 overall in last week’s rankings Markelle Fultz had a game to remember on Sunday night, nearly triple doubling against Western Michigan to the tune of 27 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds and a block which included a highlight reel dunk, exploding to his right to beat two players. Fultz is a special talent among special talents and boy as fantasy owners do we get excited about ‘do it all’ PG’s.
- Talking of doing it all, Indiana’s OG Anunoby had one of ‘those’ performances on Monday off the bench against Delaware. The sophomore forward made the most of those 19 minutes by putting up an astonishing 19 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals at an incredibly efficient 9-11 shooting (including a trey).
- Moving over to Europe for one minute, Ante Zizic had himself yet another efficient performance on Wednesday night in a blowout loss to Sidigas. One of only two players on his team to score in double figures, the big Croatian center put up 16 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks on 8-12 shooting in just 24 minutes. The Celtics draft and stash now has a FG% of 70% on the season and FT% of nearly 80% in domestic basketball and given that he is probably the best big in Europe in the transition, looks more and more destined to be a part of the Celtic’s rotation for the 2017/18 season.
That’s a wrap from me, enjoy your festive cheer, your festive beer and I will catch you soon for more Hoops soon.