Two days ago, Ben “Fresh Prince” Simmons was the toast of the fantasy basketball world after posting his first career triple-dub. He got the title, picture, and intro paragraph for my nightly recap post. The amount written about him required six scrolls of the mouse. Now, my computer monitor is 12″ in height. I use Google Chrome, so the post without the ad at the top is nine inches in height. Each scroll of the mouse moves the page one inch. That sounds much more impressive than the 387 words I actually typed. Anyways, last night Lebron “King” James reminded us that he’s still one of the best basketball players on the planet. You don’t know how many times I clicked the back arrow. Is he the best or is he one of the best? I initially went with best, but eventually settled with one of the best because Lebron is not blemish-free and there are a couple of players that are in the vicinity. Anyways, 29 points, 10 boards, 13 dimes, and four blocks in 41 minutes of run last night. He shot 12-for-20 from the field and 1-for-2 from downtown. This came against the Brooklyn Nets and he did turn the ball over eight times, though. In addition, 4-for-8 from the charity stripe. Whatever.
Any excuse to post some Run DMC. Now, Lebron may be in store for an epic, epic fantasy season. Key word being may. It’s early in the season, but the Cavs may not waltz through the Eastern Conference this year. Look at the roster. Outside of Kevin Love, who’s getting buckets? Jeff Green? Dwayne Wade and Derrick Rose? They will contribute in spurts but can they be counted on consistently? The Cavs just lost to the Nets in a game Lebron went HAM. Granted, it was on a back-to-back. Cavs are now 0-2 on back-to-backs by the way. That just makes the probability of Lebron going bonkers this season even higher. We all know he’s gone after this season. At least I know. This will be Lebron’s Last Stand. On a side note, why is Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer of Custer’s Last Stand so revered and famous? Didn’t he and his men get slaughtered? The FT% will hold Lebron back in fantasy, but the counting stats could be of epic proportions.
Sorry for the long intro paragraph. I just wanted to make sure it was 388 words long.
The new season began and god, I couldn’t be happier. All the watching and analyzing of meaningless preseason games, all the theory-crafting of the rotations and playing time belong in the past. The real deal is here. Let the fantasy season officially begin. This weekly column will be divided into two separate parts. The Buy column will contain players that are either sitting on the wire in most standard leagues (and they shouldn’t) or you have a good buy low opportunity, as they will outperform their current value for the rest of the season. On the other hand, the Sell column is dedicated to players that are either hurting your team and you need to flat out release them or players that are playing at a higher level than they will for the rest of the season (so it would be smart to sell high on them). I will point out that since it’s the first week of the season there are clearer buy than sell opportunities. Patience is a virtue and you might want to give some of the players at least another week before making any decision which you will regret later (Jokic last year anyone?).
Without further ado lets dive into the Buy/Sell for the first week.
A commissioner is a powerful person. They are elected to oversee or regulate an entire entity. I’ve always fronted on them, though. As a little kid, I always thought Commissioner Gordon from the Batman comics was a little [email protected]#ch. Always running to the rooftop to send the Bat Signal when a problem arose in Gotham City. I always likened it to a little kid running home and screaming, “Moommmmmmy….” Then, my metabolism started to slow down, I began to grow sideways instead of vertically, and my mind no longer viewed the world through pure lenses. Roger Goodell showed that a commissioner is often just an employee. A puppet so to speak. But last night, the NBA’s Commissioner Gordon (Aaron Gordon) brought everything together for me. A commissioner is not a [email protected]#ch. Jim Gordon may have summoned the Batman via searchlight, but he did deputize the Batman making him the [email protected]#ch. A commissioner is not a puppet. Roger Goodell proved that when he pulled a Brutus and stabbed Robert Kraft in the back and went after the NFL’s Golden Boy. A commissioner is a boss and Aaron Gordon proved that as he scored 41 points, grabbed 14 boards, and dished out two dimes on 14-for-18 shooting (5-for-5 from three-land). He’s such a boss that he doesn’t need a searchlight to transpose his symbol in the air. He just jumps.
The first week of the season is always difficult, but this one can be summarized in three words: injury, injury, and injury. If you have Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard and, especially, Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Lin, this is a tough start. With the addition of a big number of players with troubles like Miles Turner, Milos Teodosic, Jonas Valanciunas, and boxing time in Chicago.
Rosters with those players have suffered this week, making the start to the season a difficult one. As much as statistical analysis has advanced in the game of fantasy, luck still remains a key component.
Otherwise, those blessed with extraterrestial performances from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry,or Anthony Davis have done well:
Mike James. Talk about a blast from the past. This guy was the ultimate backup PG with some random, formative, fantasy friendly seasons. From 1998-2015, James played for 10 different franchises including two stints with the Bulls and Mavericks. 12 teams in 17 years. If I had a poster child for steroids in the NBA, Mike James would be my man. He never averaged over 11.8 PPG and 4.2 AST. He literally was the perfect backup. Come in for 20 minutes a game, play off the ball at times, start 10+ times per year due to injury or rest. Scratch that, only the pansies of this decade take games off for rest. But for one single season in 2005, playing across the border for the Raptors of Toronto, Mike James not only started 79 games, he averaged 20.3 points with 5.8 assists at the ripe old age of 30. If that’s not the Barry Bonds of basketball, I don’t know what is. This wasn’t in the era where everyone was hitting 20 homers, or rather averaging 20 points a game, but rather during a time where defense was still being played, a ton of draft picks were at least 2 year college players, or Lebron James, and Dwight Howard was the next big thing, besides Lebron James. So Mike James, take a bow, because no one has uttered your name since that blurb about you playing in Turkey in 2011… until now.
Take a bow, Mike
When you google Mike James NBA, two wikipedia pages pop up. Mike James (basketball, born 1975) and Mike James (basketball, born 1990). The Mike James I want to discuss is the 27 year old PG for the Phoenix Suns. This Mike James was one of the best high school players in Oregon his senior year yet found himself stuck at DIII East Arizona College. He then found his way to Lamar University. No relation to Lamar Odom, or any of the Ball brothers, although I would not be shocked if Lavar had something do with Lamar Odom and his University. He actually had a fantastic senior year, but from the years 2012 until now, James, Mike James, has played in Croatia, Israel, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Five countries in three years. Now, who has two thumbs and finds himself on the verge of being on your fantasy team?
Ben Simmons became the first player, since Hambone Williams in 1967, to post a triple-dub within his first four career games last night (stat courtesy of ESPN Stats). Freaking Oscar Robertson put up three triple-dubs in his first four career games. GOAT. Anyways, the final stat line for Simmons: 21 pts, 12 boards, 10 dimes, and one steal on 8-for-11 shooting. So this is what everyone’s been talking about! Before he even played a professional game, the City of Philadelphia nicknamed Simmons the “Fresh Prince.” After last night’s performance, it may be an apt nickname but….let’s not completely dismiss the OG Fresh Prince.
Did Ben ever grab the opening tip and drain a half-court shot before his feet touched the ground? Did Ben ever cut across the lane, catch the ball at the left elbow, then scoop it underhanded without turning to face the bucket? And banking it in? Huh? Huh? So, before we go crowning his ass, let’s pay some respect to the OG. I’ll be honest. I had some doubts regarding Ben coming into this year. I did think that he would grab boards and drop a ton of dimes, but would his lack of outside shot hold him down? After watching him play, he can get to the rim at will. He is so long and such a graceful strider that resistance is futile. He kind of reminds me of Giannis in that aspect. Ben has trouble finishing strong, though, while Giannis….uh…uh….oh my…..awwwwwwwwwww. Sorry, I just had to “take care” of something real quick. I also had some concerns that the Sixers would be conservative with Ben. Well, he’s playing 34.6 minutes on average over the first four games. Concern eradicated. He’s shooting 49.1% from the field, grabbing 10.8 boards, dishing out seven dimes, and pilfering one a game. There are no threes in his game with very few blocks (0.3). And he’s turning the ball over three times a game, but Ben is going to improve as the season rolls along. Who’s better? Will Smith or Ben Simmons? Will has a more diverse and explosive offensive game. He straight up clowns his opponents, but gotta knock him for level of competition. I gotta go with Ben here. It’s just no fun playing with Black Holes.
Are you ready for some Foot… Sorry, force of habit.
Welcome, to the inaugural edition of The Gospel (Sunday NBA recap on the Razz). Chalk full of recapping goodness from the Sunday that was in the association. Each week I’ll hope to give you guys a little something something for fantasy teams to take note on what transpired every Sunday. This weeks of course being dedicated to Minnesota’s modern day superhero Maple Jordan (MJ) – more on him later. Before we get started, a little about myself… I’m an avid sports fan from Canada, including all major North American sports (including my much beloved professional wrestling affliction – so expect a few anecdotes here and there). Been playing fantasy for about 15 or so years now and recently over the last 4 years have been doing DFS – with moderate success at that. Alright now onto the goods. We had a 3 game sched last night, that had a little bit of everything despite the light sched.
The season has come. I started by feeling excited and anxious during the day on Tuesday, knowing that my favorite past time was about to start. The clock struck midnight (living in the UK I am five hours ahead of EST), my Astros were leading 4-0 in game 3 of the ALCS, life felt good, great in fact and then……………………………. BOOM!!
Quicker than you could say Georgios Papagiannis my whole world came crumbling down. Not only did I see my Astros blow a four-run lead, but simultaneously witnessed the potential career-ending injury of Gordon Hayward (of which I can gladly say, he is expected to make a full recovery).
Sport has it’s funny ways, and Tuesday provided one hell of an emotional roller-coaster. Wednesday was no different. Armed with some expensive gourmet shit (as Samuel L Jackson would say) and NBA.TV I felt like a kid on Christmas, not knowing which game to watch at any given time, attempting to watch four at once. Not well I might add.
So, to reestablish order, let’s take a few deep breaths and go back to my bread and butter, Dynasty Deep Dive style and take a look at next years top-heavy draft class.
What’s up Razzball Nation? A new era has dawned in the Razzball fantasy basketball era. JB has decided that having a family is more important than writing about fantasy basketball. What a sellout… Just kidding, obviously. Shout out to JB, been reading him for years, will definitely be missed. Also, got to shout out Son for giving me this opportunity to share my fantasy hoops knowledge with you guys. Definitely drop a comment if you have a question, suggestion, etc. Without further ado, the Friday NBA Daily Notes!