I have never seen JB so shaken up as he was the other day. Everything was completely normal when I walked in. Jude Judy was on like normal. His hands were covered in orange Cheetos residue like normal. A slight hint of alcohol in the air did have me question whether I really wanted to stop by but I risked it anyway. I didn’t get two feet in the door and the first thing he says is, “I can’t believe he’s dead.” It was strange because I couldn’t tell what the emotion was. He was definitely sad, angry too. “How could they just… he’s dead.” Oddly there was laughter in his voice. He could tell I had no idea what he was talking about and he continued, “Bryan’s gone.” I was saddened to hear the news but I had to stop him and tell him I didn’t know anyone named Bryan and NO I’m not going to shake your hand until you clean it off. He explained to me about Family Guy and the dog dying and it all began to make sense. Except for why he cared so much. I watched the show enough to know there was a dog but until then I didn’t know the dog even had a name. He could not accept this so he sat me down, muted the Judge, handed me the Cheetos, and began that days lesson in pop culture.
After hearing the full retrospect I had a completely different reaction. It’s not the dog Bryan that makes it funny. It’s not even a dog. It’s just the couple of seconds of TV time that comes from Seth MacFarlane’s brain that is manifested as Bryan the dog. If he changed the character I don’t think it would be worse simply because it’s different. I think he has created an opportunity to be better. I would like to create that opportunity too. I don’t want any NBA player to get injured. Richard Jefferson is my person nemesis but I still hope he stays healthy. With that said, plenty of unforeseen injuries and trades are coming. Here are a couple of players that I believe have a good chance of getting an expanded role and thriving when it happens.
Dwight Buycks – PG – Tor – Here me now, bo, the world renowned linguist Ali G pronounces Dwight’s name, ‘Buyakasha’, and who am I to argue with a gangster from the West Staines Massif. Buycks wasn’t highly recruited out of high school and began his collegiate career in JuCo ball. After transferring to Marquette he didn’t show enough to get drafted only being able to post a line of 9/3/3 in 28 minutes his senior year. Drafted in the 2nd round of the D-League draft Buycks played 27 minutes in 28 games posting a line of 15/3/3 with 1.25 steals and 50% shooting and for the first time showing the ability to score in bunches. Still without any NBA suitors Buycks went overseas and played 51 games for DCM Gravelines in France. In 32 minutes Buycks went 17/3/3 with 1.5 steals while shooting .466 for FGs and .793 for FTs. In doing so he was twice player of the month, an all-star appearance, all-star game MVP and finally garnering Foreign Player MVP. Yet to show a pass first mentality Buycks was still signed to a multi-year deal in Toronto as a PG. In 27 summer league minutes he finally manages to average nearly 6 assists and 1.7 steals with 53% shooting earning the opportunity to battle D.J. Augustin in the preseason for the right to backup Kyle Lowry. Buycks wasn’t able to win the job but still averaged 7 points and 3 assists in only 18 preseason minutes. DJ Augustin has played 12 minutes per game to start the year and Buycks barely leaves the bench. Something changed on November 9th. Lowry went down with an injury and couldn’t come back in for the second half. Instead of Augustin, it was Buycks who begins the 2nd half at the point. Since that date Augustin has received 4 DNP-CDs and played a total of 11 minutes in the other 3 games combined. Meanwhile it is Buycks who backs up Lowry, and got 12 minutes per game. What has he done you ask? Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. More importantly who is he backing up? Kyle Lowry missed 68 games in the last 3 years and has become known for his fertility. Wait, what? Stupid auto-correct, I mean fragility. Lowry is also in the last year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent next year. With that I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say Buycks will starts at some point this year. And what can we expect if/when that happens? I think he thrives with a line of, .440/.790/1.0/15.0/2.5/5.0/1.2/0/3.0 in 30 minutes per game, aight, respek dat.
Jeremy Evans – SF/PF – Utah – Evans hails from a little town named Crawfordsville, AR. Pop: Less than 500. Maybe that had something to do with him being an overlooked recruit and finally settling for Western Kentucky. As a Hilltopper Evans was never able to top 30 minutes per game but even at 20-25 was able to make an impression. In all 4 seasons he topped 62% FGs, averaged about 1.5-2.0 blocks and 5-6 boards. This production led to him being drafted by Utah in the 2nd round in 2010. The past 3 years Evans has barely averaged 8 minutes per game. In 965 minutes including this year his per-36 numbers are impressive. 13/8/2 on 66% shooting with 1.3 steals, 2.2 blocks and only 1.5 turnovers. With Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap on the team the small number of minutes made sense. Now that those 2 are gone Evans was expected to start the year as the 1st big off the bench and average 20 minutes per game. In the 1st preseason game this year Evans finished 12 points on 6-11 shooting 13 boards and 1 block in 24 minutes and the hype was on. By the 4th preseason game his role was solidified – sadly he strained his rotator cuff, guaranteeing he wouldn’t be ready for the start of the regular season. In the meantime Enes Kanter has struggled enough to find his way onto the bench which leaves Marvin Williams as the default starter. For now the Jazz have a very good reason to start Marvin and Richard Jefferson. They need to play to develop trade value. OK, fine, sure, I will begrudgingly accept it. There is little doubt in my mind that that won’t last all year. Will the Jazz start Kanter again? Probably. Could Evans turn his 20 minute role into a 30 minute role? If he continues to play the way he’s been playing, absolutely. I consider most of my projections to be conservative expectations. For Jeremy Evans it won’t look conservative. In 30 minutes I’m going to say he can give us, .620/.700/0/14.0/8.5/2.0/1.2/2.0/1.5. Egad Brain! Yeaaas Pinky, with this we shall rule the world!
I was trying to think of a way to thank those of you who manage to make it all the way to the end of these. Here is how I would like to do that. If you have a player you would like to know more about, you would like me to research, and write about then leave his name and something you would like to know in the comments. I will write about him for my post next week. Something like, “What do you think about Shabazz Muhammed in a dynasty?” is perfect.