It was a bit of a light week for watching games here in the Hooper house. I know this is a fantasy corner of the internet, but reality always manages to find a way in. The ratio of news to NBA games got flipped in the middle of the week, so instead of longer, deeper looks into one or two specific teams, this edition of Hangin’ will feature check-ins on past (incorrect) statements and some quick hitters on what I was able to catch this week. I’m aiming to get back on track this week — aren’t we all? — so hopefully next time will be less doom and gloom and more dimes and dunks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Okay, so first thing’s first, this post will not cover Vanderbilt University nor its fight song, but I only wanted to mention the amount of work I put in to take a player in Jarred Vanderbilt, Googling the lyrics of the Vanderbilt University fight song, and then combining the two for a relatable and cohesive title. Look man, I care. Regardless, the cat is out of the bag (who put the cat in the bag though?) and we’ll obviously be focusing on the humble emergence this Timberwolves player, someone who is currently one of several players in the leagues who are emerging through the expansive and growing amount of minutes available due to rosters performing a unique form of seppuku.

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If you haven’t heard of statistical scarcity before, it’s a pretty simple concept. Basically, the less of a statistic available in the pool of rostered fantasy players, the more valuable it is. It’s important to keep in mind that this is comparative scarcity as well. So even while league wide there may be rebounds being grabbed, we’re going to look at the top 188 players in 9-cat according to Basketball Monster and see where their production lands.

Sure, Dwight Howard has grabbed 6.8 rebounds per game this season, but he doesn’t do enough to warrant being in the top 188 for fantasy value and he’s only rostered in 12% of Yahoo! leagues as of the writing of this article, so he’s probably not producing that for many teams. Make sense?

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Should I just call it the ‘Rona Roundup? Sheesh. Like half of my fantasy rosters and half of my beloved Celtics can’t hoop at present because of this scourge. My ability to marginally function during all this madness right now largely depends on access to NBA hoops and steak. You mess with that? I get cranky and mouthy. Even though some players are ineligible right now who would otherwise be available in normal times, I’m focusing on the positive: Most players are active.

And I can say negatives things about them to soothe myself.

So you know what? I’mma try something new this week with my round-up: Two players from each team, one of whom did the Best Work, and one who is the Biggest Jerk and probably killed your fantasy team (as long as they played).

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Talk about putting the squad on your back! This week we got a handful of performances from star players that most would define as “Herculean Efforts.” 30-point games, 60-point games, big time comebacks, and one-possession games.

In a week filled with thrillers and big-time performances on a nightly basis, it was so hard to choose one guy from each conference that really stood out over the rest. Nonetheless, I narrowed things down and the themes of the week is “Putting on Superman’s Cape!”

The players that fit this description are guys that not only balled out, but guys who were the SOLE REASON their team was even competitive in the games played this week. So, with that, the Players of the Week are Bradley Beal in the Eastern Conference and Stephen Curry in the Western Conference. I also sprinkled in two honorable mentions just because this week was such a toss-up!

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Friday Night Lights are known to bring the best out of athletes. Big-time performances, breakout players, and competitive scores are all things that make Friday Night games the best. On a Friday full of high scoring finishes, franchise record-breaking feats, and careers highs, these games may have given us some of the best performances of the season far. From the Battle of the Ball Brothers to the offensive clinic put on by Bradley Beal and Caris LeVert in losing efforts, the individual performances highlighted some potential All-Star worthy players we all need to keep tabs on. The Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors also SHOT THE LIGHTS OUT in big-time wins where they shot historically well from three. On a night full of great moments, it is hard to sum it all up in one place and really put it into perspective…Oh that is right, I did all that and more for you down below as we look at the NBA’s Friday Night Top Performers!

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More time has passed in the Eastern NBA world, but it still remains a little off to say the least. The New York Knicks are actually still good? The Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer undefeated but are still over.500 at the time of writing and the Toronto Raptors are occupying one of the bottom positions amongst the Detroit Pistons and the Charlotte Hornets. Normalcy has not yet been restored and I kind of hope it doesn’t. This added level of surprise and unexpected things happening gives a different flavor to the magic of the sport we all love. At this point in time, we find the Philadelphia 76ers being on fire and leading the East with a 7-1 record followed by the Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers. But for me, the story of the week is at the bottom. The Toronto Raptors have been far from their best. So, what is the problem in Toronto (or Tampa Bay now) and what assets can we expect to pick it up or stay the same? 

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Shake Milton stepped into Seth Curry’s starting spot and showed out, leading the team with 24 points and seven assists on outstanding efficiency. With reports of a positive Covid test for Curry coming in, Milton is a hot pickup as a short-term upside play (31% owned in Yahoo leagues). When he returns to the bench, Philly’s sixth man is still a decent streaming option with top-150 value.

Please, blog, may I have some more?