One of my big sleeper calls last year (which was, only, kindasorta right), I again came into this season with Knight well ahead of the consensus (six spots ahead of the next highest among 25 experts – the only one in green!). And while his knight (womp womp) was still redonkulous, there was more to like than only the stat line. Went 22/8/13/0/1 with 2 treys and 10-10 FT. But what’s to salivate over is he led the Bucks in minutes, clearly started the game as the PG, and both Kendall Marshall and Nate Wolters didn’t get off the bench. Jerryd Bayless was the only backup PG to get off the pine for a measly 14 minutes. I think a big hesitation for fantasy owners was if Knight was going to play more SG like he did down the stretch last year, having his dimes eaten away like Raymond Felton at a CiCis. Certainly looks like that won’t be the case, and when I face opposing fantasy teams, Knight is going to be my Public Enemy #1. Here’s what else went down in our first big slate of games for the 2014-15 season:
Tony Wroten – Murder, She Wroten! Looked really good last night, with only one (FT%) of his two knocks (TO the other) hurting you, clanking in 3-8 FT. But you love the 22/8/7/3/0 line. Yeah, I’d have to pick him up where I could, but remember this was against cobbled together Pacers’ PGs. Then again, the Sixers offense looked as discombobulated as the movie Southland Tales. Wroten is gonna have a huge usage rate until MCW is back.
Alexey Shved – 18 minutes off the bench. Go ahead and take a shot of vodka, Russian fans! It’s like, afternoon there by the time this published I think! He could be useful in really deep leagues as the main PG backup to Wroten for now.
Nerlens Noel – % killer! Shaving off your % wiggle room like the side of his flat top. 2-11 FG and 2-6 FT, but at least went 6/10 with 3 blocks. If anyone is uber-reactionary, I’d buy low.
K.J. McDaniels – He might be good at blocks, but Brett Brown is the ultimate cock-blocker! Didn’t even play K.J. 20 minutes while some absolute scrubs (cough, Chris Johnson) got a ton of PT. K.J. got a block, so if you’re desperate there in a 12er I might hold, but I dunno…
Roy Hibbert – Maybe I let last year get too big a craw in my soup. 22/8 with 7 blocks. But this was the Sixers, who played just horrific scrubs (cough, Brandon Davies, cough cough Malcolm Thomas) decent minutes. If his next game is akin to this one, I’m selling higher than Bob Marley on an April 20th Wailers show in Denver.
Donald Sloan – Worth an add in a Tony Wroten sorta way; I watched some of this game and he looked pretty good. 16/10/6/1/0 with a trey. 4 TO, but that won’t stop you from wanting to bone-a-Sloan.
Rodney Stuckey – I was chattin’ with Slim last night, and I said I thought Stuckey looked like the Pacers’ best player. Only 16 minutes off the bench, but had back-to-back and-ones and went 16/3/5 with two treys as well. I have a feeling his lingering foot injury was a big factor in Vogel’s rotation. Like a Men’s Wearhouse (It blew my mind when I realized it was “Wearhouse”, not “Warehouse” only a few years ago… Same epiphany as realizing the FedEx logo had an arrow in it!), really liked the way he looked. Parentheses killed the punchline!
Giannis Antetokounmpo – When one Buck hits, another one misses… Only 24 minutes, and nothing is a bigger slap in the face than your coach telling you Jared Dudley is starting over you… I’d run straight to the Chobani if I heard that! Played decently though, going 10/5/1/0/1 with no TO, shooting 3-6 (1-1 3PTM 3-3 FT). Hold ya Greek!
Jabari Parker – 8/4/1/1/0 shooting only 3-9. But played 37 minutes (given a little bit OT-padded) and looked like a pro out there with no TO. Another slower game or two and I’m floating the buy lows.
John Henson – This one hurts… I think one of the Muppets touched Jason Kidd as a child… Only 12 minutes in a game Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova racked up 5 fouls each. And even with the low minutes, made em count giving you 2 blocks. I’ve already dropped Henson in one league to stream, but I’d hold in most 12ers and deeper.
Khris Middleton – Continues to defy all odds and starts opening night for the second straight season. Took 15 shots, but missed a potential game winner. 17/6/2/0/1, did have 4 TO, and I don’t know if I trust anything Kidd does yet. Maybe after this heartbreaking loss to the Hornets, Kidd puts all his players’ names in a hat and Larry Drew’s us. Still, the Dutchess K Middleton is starting and playing big minutes in 100% of the Bucks games so far, so worth an add in maybe 14 team leagues and beyond.
Kemba Walker – Won it for the Hornets! But ravaged your %s with 9-26 FG and 5-11 FT. The FG% was a concern coming into the year, but he should be better from the stripe and his 26/6/5/1/1 line with not a single TO is pretty nasty.
Lance Stephenson – Just like Walker, was horrible from the field (3-12) but approached that trip-dub for 7/13/8. Must be pretending every loose ball is LeBron’s nose.
Al Jefferson – Rainbow line! 14/10/2/2/4. Coming into this year healthy, he’s gonna be a beast.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – A-thank you! Talked him up a ton towards the end of preseason, and had a fantastic game last night. 17 points (6-8 FG, 5-6 FT) 8 boards 3 dimes, but those so-so sweet 3 out-of-position blocks. Rather him over McDaniels! Not quite a must-own in 12ers, but he’s way up the list now.
Rajon Rondo – What a debut! Well, it was vintage Rondo, but to get that on opening night when you thought you were without him the first two weeks! 13/7/12/1/1, but his hand brace is making him look like Dwight Howard at the FT line! 0-4 with the freebies. When you have one good hand and one busted like Scary Movie 2, FT might be tough…
Evan Turner – Eh. 10/7/5/1/1 in 24 minutes. Brooklyn looked awful. Really, any time you lose to the Celtics you have to look awful, but to give up 121 points?! Yikes. Turner just got caught up in the right game.
Mirza Teletovic – 23 minutes off the bench for 20/6/1/0/2. The blocks are surprising, but the 4 treys aren’t! ThrAGNOF!
Mason Plumlee – There’s no reason to have 4 fouls in under 12 minutes against the Celtics. Got the start, but man… Kelly Olynyk isn’t that good! We got a glimpse of what Plumlee can do going 4/4 with 2 blocks, but yeesh. I though you had to be smart to go to Duke…
Otto Porter – Benched for Garrett Temple who started at the 2. My temples hurt! “Well now your fingers are gonna hurt, because you just pulled landscaping duty!” Otto for 13/4 with a steal is fine, but Glen Rice Jr. is about ready as well. Moving on from the Porter, going more for the high-volume IPAs.
Drew Gooden – Just continues to be able to play basketball, when everything logical in life would make you think he can’t! 18/5/1 shooting 8-11 and started at PF with Nene out for the 1-game suspension. 34 minutes too! I think he could be a deep league usable guy.
Chris Bosh – Looks hungry. Like a Brontosaurus! 26/15/4/1/1 with 3 treys in a big Heat win. It’s easy to rebound when you weigh 20 tons and have a 30-foot long neck. I wonder if he swallows rocks to help digest the rebounds. Not a drug reference, I promise!
Norris Cole – What the?! 23 points as the starter. Mario Chalmers played decent as well going 8/4/4 and neither guy played over 28 minutes. Just don’t want anything to do with this backcourt.
Mike Scott – Mr. Emoji! His stroke makes me wanna stroke. 20/4/1 with 4 treys. ThrAGNOF!
Al Horford – Man, he looked good. Like, huge smiley emoji good. Get that as your next tat, Mike! 12/13/3/1/3 shooting 6-15 after starting cold from the floor.
Kyle Korver – Did his normal ThrAGNOF thing with 6 treys, but got 3 blocks! That’s 3 replays that players are going to get clowned for in the Raptors film room tomorrow…
DeMar DeRozan – You don’t draft DeRozan for points, do you? Looking about as complete a player as a pair of DDs in a tank top! 15/11/3/6/0, salvaging a 4-16 shooting night.
Kyle Lowry – “I’m Kyle Lowwwwwwwry!” Shut it, Lawrence! 11/6/10. Stay healthy my man! Woo-sah!
Amir Johnson – 16/10/2 with 4 swats. “I’ll show Razzball true Luminsence!”
The Luminescent Lithuanian – Got hacked like a Home Depot last night! Only 21 minutes, but 9-10 FT. 17/8/0/0/1 shooting 4-5 from the field as well. You’d hope for more minutes, but awesome start for Valanciunas.
The Knicks Are Terrible – Ouch.
Jose Calderon – Mi jamon-string es muy mal! I didn’t even look that up on Google Translate! Pretty sure that’s grammatically correct – – Dammit! It’s actually his calf bothering him, but I’m too proud of my Spanglish effort to change that. The Knicks said he was active, but must’ve tweaked something shooting around in his sweats. He’ll be participating in warm-ups in the nude from here on out; get everything all loosened up.
Taj Gibson – Huge game off the bench for 22/8/1/1/1 shooting 10-12. The Knicks frontcourt past Melo is just so so bad.
Derrick Rose – Only 21 minutes in his return for the Bulls for 13/3/5/2/0. They just didn’t need him at all, dream scenario for Chicago to ease him in.
Gorgui Dieng – Survived a slight scare with a thumb injury that sent him for X-rays, but it came back clean, he got taped up, and got back out there. Makes me like the Gorgui Apparatus even more. 19 minutes of 6/8 with 3 blocks. Probably would’ve played more minutes too if he didn’t get his thumb booboo.
Andrew Wiggins – Looked like a spicy tuna roll out there. I.e. – raw. 6/3/1/2/0 in 18 and a half starting minutes. Not a great argument for deserving big minutes when Kevin Martin is back (sat out with a bad ankle).
Thaddeus Young – Great debut donning his new colors. 26/4/4/2/0 and you love seeing the 2-3 from deep. He should be a very reliable scorer while on the Wolves.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – While he couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn last night (3-19 from the field. Yup, labradoodle city!), played a lot of minutes and I think it shows StanVan is gonna play the rook until he falls over. I’m actually pretty encouraged with the 36 minutes he played, and a little rust is understandable since he’s barely played for a few weeks with that knee sprain.
Brandon Jennings – Only 20 minutes to D.J. Augustin‘s 28. BJ did have a sore Achilles towards the end of preseason, but now he’s gonna have a sore tooshie with all that time on the bench. Neither PG played exceedingly better than the other, but I think this is the headache you’ll have to deal with and why I was so anti-BJ. Just like those hoodish girls. I mean “bookish”, it autocorrected.
Josh Smith – Solid game (25/5/3/1/2), but seriously, get this guy some sort of shock training to stop shooting 3s! 0-3 from downtown. Was decent with 7-11 FT which is usually another bugaboo, but don’t forget Greg Monroe was out (2-game suspension) and I don’t know if Smoove is going 36 minutes a lot of nights. A second straight big game and I’d sell high.
Kenneth Faried – 22/17/4 in a near-Goromotaro. Played only 28 minutes and could’ve gone 30/25 if he got more run. He’s so good.
Tina Fey Mozgov – 13/11 with 2 blocks. He’s trying the deep ball too! 0-2 3PTM, but he has a pretty good shot, he’s not Josh Smith out there. JaVale McGee only played 9 minutes as he’s eased back into action, so Mozgov is looking like an early-season main contributor for your big man stats.
Jusuf Nurkic – 13 minutes as the other reserve C to play for the Nugs (J.J. Hickson got a DNP, probably slowly going to be eased back as well), and went 5/7 in 13 minutes. Looked pretty good out there! If these Denver brittle bigs go through some injuries, yeah I’d order my sandwich with Au Jus!
Ty Lawson – Welllll, that didn’t go so hot! 3/0/5/0/0 shooting 1-7. All the injury issues swirling around might make owners think this is the beginning of the end, but played 33 minutes and I think will be fine. Buy low police!
Patrick Beverley – Strained his hammy late last night… Ruh roh! While Jason Terry is playing a lot more minutes than Isaiah Canaan, I don’t think they’d start Terry, they’d probably go to Canaan if PBev misses any times with StrainedH.
Dwight Howard – Yesterday it was the FT, today he kills you with his other fault in his stars. 6 TO. 22/10 with 2 blocks is solid, but he’s still 9-19 from the stripe this year averaging 3.5 TO through these first two.
Kosta Papanikolaou – While he’s still only the 2nd most famous Papanikolaou, this Dr. Pap is gaining momentum going 12/2/4 in 22 minutes last night. With 4 treys! Add that to your deep league bagel with lox and schmear.
Gordon Hayward – Another guy that approached that elusive trip-dub last night (8/7/8), the king of labradoodles didn’t disappoint shooting 3-11.
Derrick Favors – Mo’ fouls, less problems! Early foul trouble kept him only at 27 minutes, but that doesn’t stop Favors from rainbowing it with a 16/7/2/3/4 line. Geez, he’s a beast. Razzball love affair!
Kobe Bryant – Oh, there’s the 30 point game! 31/4/3 in only 28 minutes, despite the Lakers getting bludgeoned again. Makes JashFath the winner of Guess the Kobe line! 31/6/4 was about spot on. As was the underplaying Jordan Hill guess! Only 25 minutes of solid 6/11/2 ball. And my bad everyone for initially forgetting the Lakers were on a back-to-back! Out of practice, we’ve only had like, 6 of these! Haha. I won’t forget to put it in tomorrow for the Battle of Los Angeles Friday night.
Ed Davis – Rainbow alert! And by far led the Lakers in minutes with 33. Up from 14-16 team worthy to 12ers. 14/9/3/2/2 without a single TO. Yeah, I think I’m switching him with that other lanky Chapel Hill dude, Senior Henson.
Carlos Boozer – How does a vet PF play 23 minutes and rack up 8 turnovers?! What a bad team…
Brothers Morris – Marcus for 21/1/1/1/0 and 5 treys and Markieff 12/3/2/1/0 with only 1 trey. A little empty scoring from both, but when Carlos Boozer is throwing the ball like Geno Smith and it goes out of bounds every time, it’s tough to get steals and blocks.
Suns 3 PG – Isaiah Thomas! A value! 23/1/3 shooting 9-11 (5-7 from deep), while Goran Dragic goes 18/5/2 and Eric Bledsoe has the big one of 16/6/9 with 3 treys. So much fantasy goodness! Even if Goran was a tad underwhelming.
DeMarcus Cousins – Man, what happened to the Kings last night?! 77 points against the Warriors?! Boogie did his normal shebang of 20/11/1/1/0 and the big 6 TO. 12-18 FT though! Hacked more than the Playstation Network! Well, I’ve killed that hack schtick for the year now…
Darren Collison – Awesome, awesome debut from one of our big calls. 13/4/8/5/1 with a trey. A little weird to see Ramon Sessions play only 10 minutes, and even weirder to see him play so bad with 4 TO. Did Collison get two or three of his steals off Sessions?
Stephen Curry – I didn’t draft you for the rebounds, you schlub! 24/10/5/6/0. Oh, there’s where Sessions’ TO went! Pretty disappointing from Steph to see all those rebounds and only 5 dimes and 6 steals… Very disappointing.
Draymond Green – No David Lee with a bad hammy meant it was hardcore #OccupyDraymondGreen night! 12/10/3/1/0 shooting 4-7 (2-2 from downtown) in 34 minutes. Maybe a little less than you’d hope, and he’s gotta start reigning in the TO. Had 5 last night after being a little butterfingery in preseason.
Russell Westbrook – Durant is out which means Westbrook is going to be a bigger ball hog than J.R. Smith at a rec league game. 11-26 for a big time 38 points, giving me the first point in the JB vs. Slim 30 point challenge! You’re going down, Slim! 38/3/6/3/0 while the rest of the Thunder O looked pretty anemic.
LaMarcus Aldridge – First bucket of his 27 point night was a trey. Hit that only deep ball attempt, and looked unguardable for 10-19 FG. If he makes a trey or two here and there, he’s looking more like a top 12ish guy.
Chris Kaman – He should get Robin Lopez to donate him some of RoLo’s hair. Locks of Love for Kaman! Kaman is really underrated and looked solid for 12/6/2/0/1 shooting 6-10 in 21:30. Lopez… Sadly… Looked good too. I admit it. 11/10/0/1/2 in 32 minutes. Westbrook tried carrying the Thunder, but man, the Blazers were unstoppable in the 2nd half.
Some big games, some lulls, but with anyone you drafted fairly early, don’t overreact! Any add/drop questions you have, shoot below as always, and cheer on my Panthers tonight in a big one against the Saints!