I always love when an off night (only 4 games yesterday) yields one of the best NBA games we’ve seen all year. So many story lines, so many stars. And more importantly – so much fantasy goodness!
I guess I shouldn’t have curtsied around it, but there’s no way Chris Paul doesn’t lead the NBA in assists this year. I said in the first recap of the season he would average a bajillion assists and rack up double-digit dimes almost every game. Score two for JB! Averaging 12 a game equates to a bajillion, right? John Stockton is deadpan staring me down right now. Creepy, Stockton! Creepy… J.J. Redick will be a really underrated acquisition if the Clips indeed make a title run with how he helps space the floor with his movement and shooting, and while we all know Chris Paul is awesome, I’m already putting him as the #3 fantasy player right now, leapfrogging James Harden.
I lucked out getting last night’s only late game, making Yahoo highlights for the 137-118 Clippers win. Pretty much everything played out like a video game. Everyone was hitting 3s, the scoring was astronomical, the pace was like a Peyton Manning offense, and finished off with some late alleys for the icing on the cake. Fantasy God #1 really got that L2 + Square alley working out by the end of the game; Fantasy God #2 just couldn’t quite time Harden’s 3-point shot release. Wait, do they even need controllers? We are the controllers! Whoa, too much philosophizing. Let’s just get this back on the rails and go over some of the news and notes from last night:
Chris Paul – Ridiculous. Had 9 assists in the first quarter last night. Actually had 9 not even 10 minutes into the game. It helps the Clips had 34 points at that point too. Man this game was bonkers. And these teams play again on Saturday! Ended with a 23/3/17 slash with two steals. Making him the third best fantasy asset fits CP3 too!
James Harden – Was about the only guy to be cold in this game (save for Darren Collison shooting 2-10), going 6-16 and 0-7 from deep. A paltry 15/2/5 line but at least only 2 TOs. Paul just leap-frogged ya.
J.J. Redick – Had 15 points less than 10 minutes into the game. Helps when Paul is finding ya! 8-15 (2-7 3PTM 8-8 FT) 26/3/3/2/1 without a single turnover for by far his best line as a Clip. Fantasy God #1 had Reddick straight goin’! Plus he’s 15-15 from the line so far this year. I don’t expect big games like this often, but man, this Clippers team is churning out the fantasy goodness.
Dwight Howard – Boooooooooooo! I did that for any readers checking out this piece in LA. Feel free to audibly boo whilst reading – in fact – recommended. That was hilarious last night. As was Dwight playing I think only 6 minutes in the first half collecting 3 fouls. Had his worst night as “Rocket Man” going 13/9 with a block and still tanking your FTs going 5-10. Redick might not miss 5 FTs all year…
Omri Casspi – I felt like Maury Ballstein watching this game. “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” I bought the big preseason and felt he was a good fit as the 3/4 in the Rockets system to get a good amount of minutes and factor into deeper leagues. Loving having the Israeli on my REL at $3. 19/9/4 with 2 steals and three treys, shooting 6-12 and 4-5 from the stripe. He just looked really good too, hit all three 3s in the first quarter, then started driving feeding off the momentum. And I don’t think he’s just a regular ol’ ThrAGNOF. The Rockets looked much better when Omer Asik wasn’t clogging down low with Dwight, and Casspi getting 25ish minutes for a while I totally buy. Worth a look.
Greg Smith – Hilarious. After playing less than 4 minutes in the first three games, got a stretch of 6+ minutes in the 2nd and finished out the game in junk time. Why so funny? Well I just cut him in REL and today was his going away present. Thanks for the delay, Yahoo FAAB/Waiver processing! 6-6 going 12/7 in just over 11 minutes. A per 48 line of 26-26 for 52 points and 30 boards! Hah, just did that for fun. I will say he looked good, but yeah, he’s like 4 injuries from being meaningful in most leagues.
Francisco Garcia – Continues to get minutes. Despite being a multi-cat contributor back in the Kings days, he’s a straight up ThrAGNOF!
Jared Dudley – His best game as a Clip. 6-11 and 3-6 from deep. Not to be denied, ThrAGNOF again!
DeAndre Jordan – Cooling off a little bit. After 11 then 17 boards, down to 8 then 9, with only 8 and 11 points in the last two. He’s fringe ownable in 10-teamers looking for the blocks, but still think when it’s all said and done his EOS numbers will look dandy.
Corey Brewer – I love him. Chase Budinger is still a little while out, and Brewer actually led the Wolves in minutes last night. So no worries about Derrick Williams cutting much into the minutes. Brewer’s shot is still a little cold right now (5-12 0-4 3PTM) but went 13/3/1 with 6 mother f steals last night! Straight G! Eventually a few threes will fall and he’ll keep stealing like he’s one of the Ocean’s 11.
Ricky Rubio – Talk about a shot that’s cold – 0-7 last night. 4/1/5 with 5 steals in a brutal line. But he’s still been good this year, with double-digit assists in his first 3 games, and at least 3 steals in every game. Still happy I was high on him coming into the year.
Andrew Bynum – Played over 10 minutes!!!! Rejoice! Throw a parade! Philly fans throw your shoe! Went a surprising elongated 18:40 and 2-6 10/4/1 with 3 blocks. Only 2-6 from the field but 6-6 from the stripe. I think if anyone got stuck with Bynum like I did in REL, they’re actually happy so far.
Anthony Bennett – This is getting plain ridiculous. 0-3 and now 0-15 on the season from the field. Somebody tell him to stop modeling his shot after Mirza Teletovic! Remember when Bennett was taken before Michael Carter-Williams in the draft? Ok so they didn’t need another PG, but man, tough start.
Tristan Thompson – Never been particularly high on him, and maybe part of that was the (correctly called out) erroneous notion that the front court was too crowded, but led the Cavs in minutes going 12/11 but with 6 TOs and shot 5-13. I think he’s a good athlete, just don’t know how much it develops into a strong fantasy game.
Jeff Green – The other game I watched last night, and Green (shocker) was easily the best player the Celtics had on the floor. Good to see him getting a ton of run (41 minutes) and going 6-12 (9-12 FT) for 22/5/1 and a block. From the broadcast, it sounded like he owned up to the benching from over the weekend and hopefully Stephens is ready to play him big time every game out.
Kelly Olynyk – Needs to spend 40 days in the desert after this woeful performance. In 25 minutes, went 1-8 (and the 1 was a dumb luck set of deflections that got him a dunk) for a 4/4 line with 4 TOs. He got a lot of shots late in this game too, which was presposteroni. Droppable in virtually all leagues.
Jared Sullinger – Looked pretty good and got 21 minutes, shooting 7-11 for 16/5 but no other stats except 2-3 from deep. Worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues.
Vitor Faverani – The flavor-ani of week 1 had another semi-clunker, going 5/6/0/1/1 in 28 minutes. However did flash the perimeter game and swished a rainbow three with confidence early on. If he can get 30 minutes a night and crash the boards like we saw in his first two games, a little bit of 3s action will be nice… Pete Nice! An owner might have already cut bait, I’d monitor his availability in deep 12-teamers and bigger.
Gerald Wallace – Didn’t take a shot, a FT attempt, or even a dribble (OK, not really), in a 0/3/3 line with 2 Stls and 3 TOs. Yeah, I wanted none of that.
Marc Gasol – Still not living up to my, and honestly, anyone’s rank with a 14/8/2 line with no steals or blocks. I will say the Grizzlies looked a lot better when Gasol was taking shots, and he went 6-10 from the floor. The Grizzlies have not been playing well at 2-2, with the two wins being pretty ugly games they’ve had to come back in against the Pistons and lowly Celtics. Expect a lot more rock in Gasol’s manos.
Jerryd Bayless – Caught fire in the 4th and the Grizzlies might not have won this game without it. 6-11 for 15 Pts with 13 of those coming in the 4th. When he catches fire, he can have some nice games for you in the deepest leagues.
Andre Iguodala – Whewww-eee! Did you see that pass?! He was like the Magic Man – “Now you see me, now you don’t!” Played unreal last night against his former 76ers, going 11-18 (7-11 3PTM) for 32/3/3/3/1. I always liked him! Errr, a-cough, a-cough. Yeah still not the biggest Iggy fan for fantasy (love him in real life), but if he gets the proverbial NBA Jam voice in his ear telling him he’s on fire, look out.
Stephen Curry – I feel like maybe I buried the lead, maybe it just got a little buried with the huge Clips game, but Triple Double alert! Scissor me timbers! 18/10/12 with 5 Steals. I saw someone tweet it was the first triple-dub with 5 steals in under 30 minutes of action since 1987. The Warriors rolling out the fantasy love!
Andrew Bogut – Not a scorer, but very usable 4/7/3/2/1 line. What he do!
Klay Thompson – 5-12 15/3/2 and 2 Stls. Sure, not bad, 4 threes is great too – still a glorified ThrAGNOF in my book. Then again, it’s a short book. More magazine-ish.
Michael Carter-Williams – It’s as if you’d expect him to flirt with a quadruple-double every night! Brutal in this game, shooting a horrific 4-17 for a 18/6/4 slash with no steals and 6 TOs. But despite all that and despite the lofty expectations he put on himself after that debut, you’ll take 18/6/4 lines (9-12 FT isn’t too bad) and the horrible FG% and TOs. That’s what the outlook was entering the year and you’ll take it now. And like it!
Evan Turner – Points decreasing in all 4 games, averaging 3.5 TOs per, just gets to take an exorbitant amount of shots. I still don’t think he’s very good. A sell high if anyone is interested in my opine.
Spencer Hawes – Everything was brutal for the Sixers. 1-6 for 5/8/3 in a step backwards. Was a -41 on the court last night. Sheesh. He’s obviously declining too, but I think he’ll be fine.
Next Games: I don’t have any games tomorrow, but throwing down the highlights of GSW @ MIN on Wednesday. Should be a great one with the surprise 3-1 Wolves and the surging Warriors. Good luck in your matchups this week!