Sorry for the delay in content here from yours truly, as I’m still without power due to downed power lines from Hurricane Matthew. After all our silliness on the Pod, turns out I got it worse than Slim! But at least we had no damage and no broken bones unlike Gordon Hayward. Man this one sucks! Apparently Rodney Hood decided to talk about it in Game of Thrones vicarious detail, revealing the bone popped through the skin. Injuries in preseason make me want to gouge my eyes out like The Mountain vs. Viper! He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which will only claim about 2-3 weeks of the regular season. I’m likely to move him down a few spots in my Top 200 Ranks, but nothing substantial. I think Hayward’s fans already overrate him a little bit, but if you trust the Gordon’s fisherman, then you have a discount situation on your hands! Just don’t go reaching too hard too fast, or else you might see part of your pinky bone sticking out… In the meantime, vault Joe Johnson up your deep league boards. I already thought he’d be pretty usable in his bench role leading the 2nd unit, and now he gets a few weeks with starting minutes. Here’s some other news and notes around the NBA during this preseason:
Jusuf Nurkic – The cock of the walk! The talk of the town! The… skinny Bosnian dominant! I dunno, I’m running out of superlatives with this preseason! Has dubdubbed all 3 Denver scrimmages, going 21/16/3/0/0 in his latest run against the Lakers. Minutes have gone 23, 27, then 31 in that contest. His awesome game before that? Also against the Lakers. That said, his iffy FT% concern is getting massively assuaged by hitting an absurd 24-28 at the stripe in these 3 preseason games. He’s easily been the most talked about in the Razzball comments, but as I’ve linked ad nauseam, I’m still in the 60s with his rank vs. all experts having him outside their top 100… Love his game, but I was highest on him last year and injuries kept it from working out, so I still have minutes concerns. Remember there’s a big time gap from this preseason run before the season; let’s not all assume he’s going to play 30+ MPG now…
Gary Harris – As reflected in my ranks, is likely to miss a week or two of the season with a groin strain. I wasn’t drinking the Harris Kool Aid that Slim has been doling out in a cult-like ceremony complete with white robes and a punch bowl, plus Harris has had groin issues in the past. I know you might scoff at this next sentence. Wilson Chandler is healthy. And paid. Went 15/8/3/1/1 against the Lakers in his last outing on Friday night, and just putting him on the radar. Likely going to add him to the ranks in the next update.
Ish Smith – I remain bullish that he can be usable during Reggie Jackson’s (knee) time on the pine, but shooting 3-13 with 8 AST:5 TO and only 6 points over 51+ minutes in two games isn’t inspiring any confidence. Hey Ish, just pretend everyone around you is an awful basketball player like in Philly, then you can be good again!
Patrick Beverley – Continuing to sit out preseason games with a knee issue. Usually we only think about injuries piling up for the big boys, but P-Bev can never stay healthy. I moved him down the ranks in the last update, and I think I need to move Eric Gordon up. I’m still not putting Gordon in my 12er draft-worthy bin, but he certainly looked like a quality scorer going 24/1/1/1/0 Sunday night with 5 treys next to Harden.
James Harden – Speaking of The Beard, 26/7/15/2/0 in that win against the Pels, with 8 TO. D’ANTONIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!
Chandler Parsons – I’m standing firm with my huge Chandler love, because he’s the funniest one of my Friends! I understand why he crushes on Jennifer Aniston… Anyway, Grizz coach David “Plop, Plop, Fizz” Fizdale said he wants to use Parsons like how LeBron James was used in Miami. Did you plop in an Alka Seltzer, or an ecstasy pill?! Parsons’ knee remains a question mark, but my love for him doesn’t.
Josh Richardson – Positive news he might actually be ready for the opener off his MCL tear. The opportunity is certainly there, but I still worry it will be rough waters out of the gate as he is incorporated beck into the grind. Last thing we need is the new J-Rich having knees like the old J-Rich!
Jerryd Bayless – I’m not sounding the panic bells yet, well I am for the Sixers as a franchise, but I’m still hoping JB can get this wonky wrist right (say that 3 times fast!) before the season. It has been lingering a bit too close to opening night, so I likely need to dock him a round or two for the concern. If he misses time, T.J. McConnell and Sergio Rodriguez would likely be the boring ass PG timeshare. It’d be like buying a time share in Vermont.
Joel Embiid – Sticking with the Sixers, and thankfully avoiding another injury blurb, Brett Brown said Embiid will be the focal point of the offense. Well, half of the focal point, as he’s likely only playing 20-24 MPG to start the season. He’s still only maxed out at 13 MPG this preseason, and while he has 4 blocks in 3 games, not much else it that enticing. 2.0 TO/per as well, and shooting 8-22 from the field. Don’t get me wrong, if he can stay healthy, he’s uber-talented, but I’m not letting this amp up his draft day stock from anything but a late-round flier.
Jerami Grant – The sleeper you want in deep leagues in this Sixers mess. No one is talking about him, and he’s off a rainbow 13/3/6/2/2 line in 26 minutes against the Cavs last Saturday. Sure he only hit 3-13 from the field, but he did make 7-8 FT, giving him a 14-18 clip at the stripe in preseason, a small hole in his game through his first two seasons. He also continues to take 3s shooting 2-5 thus far from downtown, and has a 12:2 AST:TO. Brett Brown said he wants Grant to shoot more to possibly play SF, so I’m getting more and more interested here.
Had an epicly-hot preseason for the Mavericks only to barely play in the regular season. There’s just too many guards there that are going to play, and Curry is so ThrAGNOFfy, that I’m still keeping him outside my top-200 despite him hitting 8 treys in 3 games and scoring 14.3 PPG in under 20 minutes…
Kelly Oubre – Had his hot preseason come to a screeching halt Monday night, by going 10/7/1/3/0 but with 6 TO. After scoring 40 in the first two games, it’s not surprising to see this crashing back down to earth a little. Multi-steals in all 3 games has been nice though! However, I still think Otto Porter is going to be deployed as usual…
Ivica Zubac – Barely playing. A crying shame. I gotta take him out of my ranks. I hate the Lakers.
Lou Williams – Continuing to start, and playing pretty well next to D’Angelo Russell. Of course D Barksdale gets the headlines for scoring 33 against the Nugs on Sunday, but I think Sweet Lou is the interesting development. 25/3/2 in that game with 4 treys, and is bringing his ridiculous FT volume to the preseason: 18-20 through 3 games. Plus he never turns it over, with a 7:2 AST:TO ratio. Walton has kinda hinted Jordan Clarkson could be the 6th man, and I’m starting to think so too. It might not change too much since Clarkson should have great USG with the second unit, but I’m tempering expectations and might indeed drop him a little lower…
Rudy Gobert – Other than his ridiculous 13-14 FT performance against the Suns last week, he’s 5-8 in the other two games. I still think he’ll be better than last year at the stripe, but preseason noise can sometimes overwhelm us!
Devin Booker – Going to start at SG and is off a monstrous 34/3/5/3/0 line against the Blazers last Friday night. Shot 15-23, hit a trey, and while he did commit 4 TO, this is mad encouraging. In under 30 minutes too!
Brandon Knight – Ya know, I actually kinda LIKE this move to the 6th man role for Knight. He’ll be an absolute USG monster, upside for more diming, and really all I see it hurting is the overall scoring. I doubt he gets to 19.6 again if everyone stays healthy…
Cody Zeller – Still ailing with a bone bruise in his knee. The fact that he might lose a starting C role to Roy Hibbert will bruise his ego as well…
Frank Kaminsky – Frank the Stank! After going 0-13 from deep his first 3 preseason games, finally had chicks dig his long ball hitting 4 treys against ‘Sota on Monday night. Getting a mention due to possible minutes being there with Cody ailing and he has scored in double-digits all 4 Hornets scrimmages. Still not a huge fan though…
E’Twaun Moore – Having a surprising preseason, shooting 22-36 from the field in 3 games good for 61%, and averaging 17.7 PPG. Has 8 treys, 5 steals, and 7:1 AST:TO in over 70 minutes of action. With all the Pels injuries, Moore can be a band aid over several positions. I’m going to move him up a good bit in the next re-rank.
Zach LaVine – Went nuts against the Hornets for 30/4/1 on 13-20 shooting with 4 treys Monday night. LaVine the dream! LaVine la vida loca! Will be a fun scorer if you need some-a-dat in the late-mids.
Dwight Howard – Goes 26/8/2/1/2 in only 24 minutes Monday night, but against a D-League set of Cavs reserves and guys who might not make the team. As preseason as it gets right there.
Anyone else you’ve been keeping an eye on during the preseason? Shoot your thoughts below, and get pumped for NBA tip-off, now just under 2 weeks away!