It’s been just over a week since a friend of mine pointed me toward the Kevin Durant/Michael Rapaport beef that had bubbled up on social media. At the time, I somewhat gleefully read through their back and forth until I felt my emotions start to turn. KD, from all the stories I’ve heard and books that I’ve read, does not strike me as a happy man. The texts he sent to Rapaport support this. Then I saw the follow-up video that Rapaport put out that provide additional context for his spicy IG chat with Durant and I felt even worse. KD might be unhappy, but Rapaport strikes me as something far more distasteful than the aloof ennui of the unfathomably talented. After eating my fill of online garbage, I sent the following text to my buddy:

I wish I could get that time back. 

I can’t, obviously. None of us can. But what we can do is make up for the time lost, and Durant did just that in his return to NBA action on Wednesday night. All told, the Nets played 23 games since KD was last in uniform, but you wouldn’t have known that by watching him.

Kevin Durant

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 7 5 0 1 2 5/5 5/5 6

Talk about an @easymoneysniper. KD’s first bucket came off a pin-down and the rest was history. If only his insult hit rate looked this good. Regardless, happy returns to Durant and those that roster him. Put that phone down and get back to work!

 GIF

Or not.

Here’s what else I caught in the NBA on Wednesday…

Karl-Anthony Towns

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
32 12 6 0 1 2 12/17 6/8 4

Player numero uno in the 9-cat game for the last week. Unless you’re new here, you’ve already heard me grumble a bit about the Wolves shutting things down early this season. With a record of 13-39 and a potential draft pick disaster looming, it’s certainly still on the table. But the way KAT has been playing of late and the desire for Coach Finch to see how Towns and Russell fit together could keep the stud big man on the floor as we come down the home stretch. Fingers crossed this comes to pass. Dude is a phenomenal offensive talent.

Anthony Edwards

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 5 3 1 0 2 11/21 3/5 2

Is the recent surge in efficiency (north of 43% FG over the last month) going to be enough to propel Edwards past LaMelo for ROY? Better question: are there enough viewers of late-season Wolves basketball for it matter? Only time will tell.

Ricky Rubio

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 5 7 3 0 1 4/11 8/9 0

D’Angelo Russell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 1 5 0 0 2 5/15 5/5 1

Rubio drew the start and played about five more minutes than D-Lo, though neither guard shot it well. Getting Russell and Towns to work together is the raison d’etre for this particular Minnesota group. Expect Rubio to continue to cede duties to Towns’ good buddy.

TJ McConnell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 3 15 2 0 1 9/12 0/0 4

Indiana had nine players log more than 20 minutes tonight, resulting in some pretty uniform numbers. Despite the egalitarian split of minutes, McConnell was the only Pacer to register a double-double. The triple is the hidden gem of the line, as he attempting only 0.5 a game this year. Scoring is a bit of a roller-coaster, but the dimes are real and they’re spectacular.

 boobs real seinfeld fake jerry seinfeld GIF

Caris LeVert

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 5 4 1 0 0 8/16 2/3 1

“You think when you wake up in the mornin yesterday don’t count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days it’s made out of. Nothin else.”

LeVert’s season averages: 17.3/4.3/5.3/1.4/0.3/2.

Justin Holiday

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 4 3 0 0 5 8/13 0/0 0

Aaron Holiday

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 1 3 0 1 4 6/8 6/6 2

Contrary to what this line would lead you to believe, Justin and Aaron are not twins.

Bradley Beal

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
26 1 5 1 1 4 11/19 0/o 2

First game back after missing five in a row for a bum hip. He didn’t look super comfortable out there, as cameras caught him grimacing a couple of times. Zero attempted free throws speak to his reluctance to crash his body into the trees in the paint. Given where we are in the calendar, it’s kind of hard to blame him.

Russell Westbrook

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 14 15 0 1 3 8/11 4/4 5

Sure, you think to yourself, I’ve seen this line from Russ before. And of course, you have, the triple-doubles are conspicuous, but look at that efficiency! Shades of the guy who looked off Durant in OKC. Westy has played 43 games this year and this was his 20th triple-double. Not bad.

Davis Bertans

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 1 1 1 0 6 6/11 4/4 1

He didn’t do much other than cash deep balls tonight, but that’s three games in a row where he’s hit 3+ triples. It’s unclear if he’s still on a minutes restriction or if it’s the 13-man rotation that’s capping his time, though I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

Terrence Ross

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 6 3 0 1 3 8/11 4/4 5

Why is this man still playing?

Mo Bamba

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 8 1 1 2 3 7/12 2/2

In 25 minutes. Look at those triples! He hit two the night before, so this is officially a hot shooting streak. Even coming off the bench, Bamba dramatically outplayed Wendell Carter Jr. (15/4/1/1/0 in 23 minutes) who started. Khem Birch soaked up 15 minutes too, but it’s Bamba who is doing the most with what he’s given. Hopefully, they’ll open the throttle on him a bit down the stretch.

RJ Hampton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 6 1 0 0 3 5/10 1/2 0

Cole Anthony

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 1 7 0 0 2 5/14 1/2 0

Both played less than 30 minutes off the bench behind MCW and Ross. I can’t imagine that holds up for the remainder of the season though. This was Anthony’s first game back since early February. He came up a little short of Durant’s return, but we’ll put a positive spin on it by saying that he “left himself room to grow.”

Julius Randle

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 9 6 3 1 2 9/23 2/2 3

RJ Barrett

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 5 2 0 0 6 10/14 3/4 3

A pretty gross game, tbh. Boston and New York came into this one with identical sub-.500 records and only one side cracked triple-digit scoring. Barrett hit some big threes, but other than an inefficient effort from Randle, there really wasn’t much else to say for this one.

Jaylen Brown

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
32 10 3 2 1 5 12/26 3/7 2

Jayson Tatum

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 10 5 1 0 3 10/21 2/2 8

Marcus Smart

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
17 4 9 1 1 3 4/11 6/6 2

This trio was the only Celtics to play more than 30 minutes. The less that’s said about this one the better.

Eric Bledsoe was the only Pelican I considered giving a blurb. Then I realized that if Bled was the top dog in a game that featured Zion and Lonzo that my time was better spent elsewhere. The Pelicans melted after KD checked into the game in the second quarter. The final was 139-111 and it wasn’t even that close.

Kyrie Irving

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 2 6 0 1 4 7/14 6/6 1

It’s crazy watching how many wide-open looks Kyrie gets in Brooklyn. It feels like he has 17 points and a handful of threes by halftime of every game he plays. The work situation is pretty sweet these days for Kai.

LaMarcus Aldridge

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 3 2 0 2 2 8/12 4/4 2

LMA’s biggest scoring total since leaving the Lone Star State. He’s blocked multiple shots in the last three games and has sent at least one back in four straight. It’s been a good week or two to roster LMA, as he’s been a top 50-ish player during that stretch.

Grayson Allen

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
30 4 3 0 0 3 10/18 7/8 0

Tip of the cap to those of you who streamed Allen tonight. He pops off like this from time to time, but figuring out exactly when that will happen is a task for the real soothsayers.

Ja Morant

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 7 7 0 0 2 8/13 1/2 5

Let it be known: Ja rules. He’s an electric watch, I love his swag, and last night’s near trip-dub was maginifique. That said, zero stocks? The five giveaways are also a bit of an albatross.

Kyle Anderson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 9 6 2 1 3 6/11 1/1 0

In 28 minutes. Are we sure Slo-Mo wasn’t working in turbo mode? That’s some stat stuffin’.

Bogdan Bogdanovic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 6 3 2 0 4 9/20 2/2 2

It has been a long time coming for Bogi, but my guy is rolling now that he’s fully healthy and eating full portions of minutes. A top-20 play over the last two weeks, Bogi’s averaging 20/5/5/ on 54% shooting.

hot humphrey bogart GIF by Warner Archive

Trae Young

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 5 11 0 0 0 6/17 2/2 2

Zero threes. Sheesh, man. Spoiler alert: I have some big-time regrets about how my first year of the RazzJam went down. Trae as my first rounder definitely played a role in sinking my ship. Come season’s end, I’ll be going back through that draft to see how things look in hindsight. It will be a grim examination, but you’re invited to gawk at it with me if you’d like.

Onyeka Okongwu

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 11 1 0 2 0 6/12 1/2 0

Another soul aboard my ill-fated ship, but at least there’s some good news here. Okongwu drew the start with John Collins and Clint Capela on the sidelines and he took full advantage. Career highs in minutes (32), points, and boards. I wouldn’t get too excited about the Hawks turning him loose, as they’re the 5-seed out East (lol) and not quitting yet.

PJ Washington

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
12 7 2 2 3 2 3/13 4/4 1

He did it all well except put the ball in the hole. I feel like this is a trick question of sorts. “You say 1/1/1 players are valuable. Well, what do you do with a 2/2/2 player who cannot stop bricking it?” If you’ve got an answer for this Sphinx let me know.

Jalen McDaniels

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 6 3 2 0 3 9/14 0/0 0

Borrego went small and started the enigma that is PJ Washington at the five, opening the door for McDaniels to draw his second start. Jalen has spent about half the season glued to the bench (26 GP), so you’re excused if you’ve missed him until now. What future lineups look like while GH is sidelined is anyone’s guess, but Biz and Cody Zellar are known quantities, so maybe Jalen gets a look. I scooped him up in a 12-teamer, but I’m ready to bail at the first sign of trouble.

Devonte’ Graham

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
15 4 5 3 0 3 6/14 0/0 0

Decent shooting and zero turnovers out of Graham is a real boon. He’s been a top-60 player for about a month now despite a FG% hovering in the low-40s. Congrats to those who bought low following Ball’s injury.

Aleksej Pokusevski

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 9 4 0 0 7 9/14 0/0 3

Similar to McDaniels, Poku was also a guy I snatched up after they popped off once. Kid was money tonight, as the triples and points were both career bests. Evidently, he fell weird following a dunk and banged his hip. It doesn’t sound too serious, thankfully, because Aleksej hasn’t played fewer than 30 minutes since March 21. Giddyup!

Théo Maledon

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 5 5 0 2 3 9/18 4/4 6

Like his teammate Pokusevski, Maledon has bellied up to the minutes’ buffet in Oklahoma City and the eats were pretty good tonight. I wouldn’t get used to the blocks, but there’s a real floor for rebounds (as a guard) and threes here. The shooting and helpers come and go, but this is a teenage point guard we’re talking about here.

Kristaps Porzingis

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 12 1 0 1 2 10/19 1/1 1

Luka Doncic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 9 5 1 1 1 9/26 4/5 5

If you just looked at these two lines and knew that the opponent was the Rockets, you’d think the Mavs probably cruised. And they did, right into a brick…

John Wall

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
31 3 7 4 1 4 12/23 3/6 1

Wall! Back from a bad knee, the former All-Star looked engaged and hungry. Logging 34 minutes, he sure didn’t seem to have a playing time restriction on him. That could be coming to an end though. With a back-to-back to end the week, expect Wall to be limited in at least one of those contests.

Kelly Olynyk

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
10 18 3 2 2 1 4/9 1/1 2

Can’t stop Kelly! O-Canada has been on a top-30 tear for about a month now. Points, boards, triples, percentages, blocks, steals — Olynyk helps in every way except for dimes, and he even chips in a bit there. He’s the player I was hoping to get when I drafted…

Christian Wood

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 10 1 1 0 5 8/17 1/2 0

I guess the upside here is that Wood has double-doubled in three out of his last four games and he’s playing more than 32 minutes most nights. The downside is he hasn’t blocked a shot in the month of April and the shooting percentages are ghastly. Maybe he finishes with such a dud that the asking price for buying back in next year won’t be too high.

Dejounte Murray

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 5 6 2 0 2 8/18 0/0 0

Derrick White

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 4 2 0 2 1 7/15 3/3 4

Twins for the…well, not win, as the Spurs were one of the six teams that failed to crack 105 points and took a ten-point L from Denver. Both guys did enough to maintain their top-80 status (top-40 for Murray) despite Pop playing all 13 guys.

Nikola Jokic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 9 10 1 0 0 11/18 3/4 6

MVP is in the bag.

Michael Porter Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 10 1 1 1 1 7/14 3/3 1

A top-25 player, MPJ is a scoring machine. He’s shooting 54/45/75 during the same season he caught coronavirus twice. Second rounder next year. Some would quibble about him passing the ball or recording assists, but I am not Some. Why give it to someone else to score when you can do it yourself?

Donovan Mitchell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
41 8 3 0 0 4 16/35 5/7 1

In one of exactly two competitive games across the league, Mitchell did everything he could to hold off the Suns, including hitting a gutty 3 to send this game into OT. As someone trying to find something to enjoy about these dog days of hoops, it’s hard not to love his spirit.

Rudy Gobert

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 18 2 3 0 0 7/7 2/2 3

I can pass on Rudy, Mr. Hooper thinks to himself in the third round of the RazzJam. Gimme John Collins and Mitchell Robinson instead. Regrets, my friends, I have a few.

Chris Paul

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 4 9 1 0 3 12/24 2/2 5

Devin Booker

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
35 4 3 1 0 0 13/31 9/10 6

Deandre Ayton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 12 1 2 3 0 9/16 0/0 2

Every time I do a recap, I find myself looking at a Suns box score and nodding my head. When these three guys do what they did tonight, Phoenix wins. Then I check the standings and, yep, turns out these guys are doing their thing on the regular, and Phoenix is a game and a half out of first in the West. Round 1 of the playoffs is going to be a bloodbath. I can’t wait.

  1. Eddie says:
    (link)

    3 guys i believe can be league winners the rest of the way. BOG bog, mo bamab and chuma okeke.

    Love your take on BOG BOG . I believe hes gona continue to go off. Hes gonnan get the minutes seems like macmillan likes him playing next to tray and taking more of a job with ball handling duties. Hes an all around fantasy contributor and his percentages are good.

    Mo bamba is only 22 years old and hasnt get a chance to break the rotation. He might have some bumps but the dudes a freak He has a 7’10 wing span and hes 7 feet tall. about the same size and length as gobert. Bomba can shoot 3’s i think his numbers will increase as he gets more minutes. Played 25 minutes and he put up 19 and 8, 2 blocks. before that his minutes were in the teens. He can be a league winner, i am about to drop nurkic for him. Yes i said nurkic.
    khme birch is 27 years old i think carter and bamba are gona get the bulk of the minutes going forward.

    Chuma okeke didnt get a fair shot he was injured and played in the g league, hes a really good defensive player and can shoot the 3 and has a solid jump shot . DOnt wana jump the gun but he loooks lieke he can be an elite defender in the league. if you need steals and blocks this is your guy. hes not gona light it up wit points. I think he will put up better numbers than brandon clarke going down the stretch.

    • Mr. Hooper

      Mr. Hooper says:
      (link)

      Eddie with some heat! I love how you’re seeing things.

      After watching Bogdanovic grow in Sac, it’s awesome to see him put it together down the stretch and salvage what looked a lot like a lost year.

      Bamba seems to be limited only by minutes at this point. If he can get Okeke levels of PT then we definitely have a player on our hands.

  2. Joe Beisbol says:
    (link)

    [Mr. Hooper sighs as he realizes the question includes Harris again]

    I have two adds left this week and $26 in the bank account. Had to drop Lowry and Nance after I was fading from the playoffs due to injuries. In toying with dropping Harris and Moses for McConnell and Slow Mo Anderson. KD is back and Harris isn’t getting the same number of touches and shots as before. And Moses would be a great keeper but right now I’m in the playoff hunt and he doesn’t get minutes when OKC gets blown out, which is often. Do you advise against this? It’s more TOS plus I lose some 3s – though maybe not as many with Harris shooting less – and maybe some points if Slo amo slumps but I’d gain assists and D stats.

    Team in 12-team, h2h, 9-cat mixed
    Sato, Smart, Lamelo, D-Rob, Harris, Beal, Okeke, Jokic, Wood, Vala, Moses

    (Lamelo is a 7th round keeper, Wood is 10th round, and Okeke and Moses are 11th round, but I can only keep 3)

    • Mr. Hooper

      Mr. Hooper says:
      (link)

      Ha! You can’t drop Harris, Joe. If you do, what would we ever talk about?

      I don’t think you should be shy about running down a chip this season. Moses has down the road appeal, but it’s not like the job is his alone going forward. Tony Bradley is young and playing good ball, Al Horford is under contract for the next two years, Roby is around. I wouldn’t sacrifice winning this year to move on from Moses. Plus, Okeke in the 11th is also worth hanging onto as well.

      I like the Anderson pick up. He doesn’t hurt you anywhere and has been hitting a few more threes of late. I’d ride the wave if you can get him. McConnell we’ve also talked about before, I think, so you’re coming into this with your eyes open. There will be some swings to his game, especially as Malcolm returns. Overall, I think these are good moves though.

      I would keep an eye on the 3s going forward. Duncan is doing his thing (another one of our guys), and Sato is kicking in some now too. What’s worrisome is if Beal or Wood gets shut down. Washington seems less inclined to screw around with Brad than Houston does with Wood, but I would be nervous of the Wizards bailing if this hip issue lingers. Since you’re already carrying Melo’s dead weight, the margin for you is thinner.

      Keep doing your thing. We’re rooting for you.

      • Joe Beisbol says:
        (link)

        If Beal goes down then maybe I’ll have room for Harris again on my way to 5th place *laughs* *sobs*

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