So I Googled “crisis of leadership” because, well, it’s been a pretty annoying ride for NBA franchises in Charlotte since the 90s. According to never-wrong Wikipedia, the term was coined about something with Trotsky and Communism, I ain’t goin’ there! It’s been well-documented and scrutinized through the years, but Charlotte certainly seems to make odd decisions behind Michael Jordan. And before that, they moved to New Orleans, brought in an expansion team called “The Bobcats” ([email protected]#?#$%@#%), and drafted Sean May.
While Charlotte’s follies could be it’s own dedicated article, I’m just going to talk about the planning behind PF/C minutes for 15-16.
TANGENT! Speaking of planning, we’re debuting a new part of Monday daily notes this season. The 7 Ahead! After wrapping up the standard daily notes from the weekend, at the bottom will be a weekly planner for the upcoming 7 nights of NBA action. Let me know if you like it! And as always, add any suggestions you commenters have for The 7 Ahead moving forward. If you don’t like it, ya know, not wanting to read such a long effin’ blog post when you’ve got a case of the Mudiays, just let me know!
FOCUS! So the Hornets draft Frank Kaminsky 9th in the draft, passing on in-state product Justise Winslow (who looks great in early run for the Heat) and the undeniably awesome Myles Turner. Part of the argument seemed to be NBA-readiness. But instead of sticking with the decision, or continuing to play Cody Zeller, another high-draft pick, they instead come out and start Starvin Marvin Williams. I mean, if you’re just going to take a no-upside PF/C for bench depth, why not go pure upside of my boy Kelly Oubre?!?! Such a wasted pick and poor planning for the rotation, as now Marvin is running away with the role with a fantastic start to 15-16. Opening the season with back-to-back dubdubs, Marvin went 15/5/1 with 3 blocks and 5 treys last night. They need some speed on D and a perimeter player to compliment Al “slow feet” Jefferson, and it’s put Marvin clearly in the ThrAGNOF category. The blocks were a little fluky, but I don’t think the minutes are. He’s surged to 34% owned which seems a smidge high, but on low-schedule nights, he’ll be a frequent streaming target of mine. And if I sounded unnecessarily bitter, it’s because I had him as a $1 REL keeper and let him walk. Friggin’ Hornets. What a waste of draft picks only to play the low-paid vet… Here’s what else happened over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:
Stephen Curry – Meh, he’s OK. I still think he lives in his dad’s shadow, Dell was always better… Crazy he opens the season with a 40 and 53 Pt game through the first three, yet STILL didn’t become the league leader league in scoring at first. Russell Westbrook did have some OT help getting him to 48 against the Magic, but then again his shot chart had that crazy one from half court! Phenomenal stuff our first weekend. What a pair of beasts. Pair of studmuffins.
Hassan Whiteside – Let’s get Whiteside entered into the short list of studmuffins! After a terrible debut against the Hornets where both squads went really small, Whiteside proved his rank worthy with 11/9/2 6 blocks on Friday and an unbelievable 25/15/1/3/2 last night, hitting 12-15 from the field. Well, I dunno if 7 or 8 alley-oops count as “from the field”… If there’s grass on the field, then play ball! Wait, I’m not sure if I used that phrase right… Anyway, Dwyane Wade had like 4-5 pick-and-roll easy-as-pie alleys going to Hassan himself, plus Whiteside flashed his own refined offensive game last year. He doesn’t even need to use it right now if he’s getting clear dunks! The Rockets all out collapsed in the second half and there was no Dwight Howard, which isn’t to say Howard is any good, but he’d do a better job getting in the way than Chuck Hayes, who inexplicably played a lot…
Goran Dragic – If only you could get points for consistency! 6 AST and 1 TO in every single game this season. Unfortunately he’s not scoring much, and has only 1 3PTM and 2 STL through three games, and lost out in minutes last night to Tyler Johnson. But it was the bench that spawned a ridiculous 65 to 26 second half utter domination of the Rockets, and I don’t know which Houston team is better – Rockets or Texans right now…
James Harden – Ain’t tryin’-a humble brag, but across 6 leagues I only had one losing week – my Harden RCL team. Every time he shoots, it’s like this song. The answer to that lyrical gem’s quandary? I just dunno… If you thought 4-18 was the worst it would get like he shot Friday night, YOU WERE WRONG! 2-15 against the Heat, including 1-10 from deep yesterday. Half of you reading right now could be a better perimeter shooter than Harden right now. He’s 2-32 from deep, which I think has to be a record for a 3-game span… It’s been a mystery how they built the pyramids – I think it was by Harden’s shooting…
Marcus Thornton – Hahahahaha, after barely playing last year and in his first minutes this year, comes in to start in a small-ball lineup and shoots 8-16 FG (5-9 3PTM). Thornton has more than twice the treys of Harden in less than a third of the attempts and games played. The Bayou Bomber better be showing Beard some B.E.E.F. behind the scenes! Score for alteration!
Terrence Jones – Cut his eye and missed last night. No blood no foul! So there better have been a foul… It’s been an injury-plagued offseason/start to the season for Tjones, hell an injury-plagued career, but everything seems to be funky and I’ve seen a few commenters with trades where his value seems to be at an all-time low. I’m shooting some offers today.
Enes Kanter – Who said he wasn’t multi-cat?! 12/10 last night, then stuffed it up with 6 TO! Back-to-back games under 20 minutes for a guy on a max deal… He’s the Western Conference Tristan Thompson! OKC mimicking the Cavs…
Victor Oladipo – RainbOlapido now RainbOMGTripleDoubleAdipo! If it’s more letters than Antetokounmpo, it probably doesn’t work… 21/13/10/3/1 in that OKC game, were he would’ve ended up with the game-winner if not for the God that is RW. 5 TO wasn’t nice, but then goes out and lives up to the RainbOladipo with a 13/3/5/2/3 line and nary a TO. Still a pretty bad 6-24 from deep on the year and I wish he didn’t settle for those as much. But he looks awesome, I should’ve hopped aboard the RainbOrientExpressAdipo hype train.
Elfrid Payton – Only 22 minutes last night as he battled some foul trouble. Skiles put Elfrid on the shelfrid. Sad JB.
Nikola Vucevic – RainbUcevic! Aight, aight, I’m done with that… 15/11/3/2/3, and now multi-blocks in every game this young season with at least 1 steal in each as well. 3.3 blocks per. That’s been the big knock on his game – absence of D-stats – but it’s looking great so far. I remember a commenter early in preseason mentioned Scott Skiles would preach intensity on D and it could translate to adding D stats for Vuc, and man, commenters be smarterer then eye amn!
Jonas Valanciunas – SLIM IS DEFINATLY SMARTERER THEN EYE AMN! 32 mins in the opener for The Luminescent Lithuanian, but Bismack Biyombo fouled out. Then 23:16 and 28:59 over the weekend. Boooooo! And remains stuck at one block through three. The Lithuanian continues to dim and brighten his luminescence so much that we might as well call him The Strobe Light Lithuanian…
Rodney Hood – I got grilled a few times for not ranking him higher, and I cited I just didn’t see the role. Well he’s still starting, but through three games if you take out an outlier 6 dime game and a 4 steal game, his numbers are really pedestrian. I know you can’t cherry pick like that, but you know what, you can call me Cherry Jones because I’m president of this ish!
Jahlil Okafor – Remember when he looked good in his debut? Yeah that was against Tyler Zeller. Against the Jazz and Rudy Gobert? 10/6/1/1/0 on 4-12 shooting, another 2 TO, and 2-4 FT. 50% FT, multi-TO and no blocks I think happens a lot more times than it doesn’t, given this was against the league’s best D.
Marcus Morris – I kept talking about moving him up more(is), but ended up hovering in the same range in my ranks. I’ll take third “highest” expert though! Absolutely flourishing in Detroit going 26/7/2 Friday night, hitting another pair of treys to go 4-7 from deep on the year. James Harden is envious of his shooting…
Stanley Johnson – Yuck. Didn’t even get to 12 full minutes last game out, even with Jodie Meeks on the mend for a few months after foot surgery. Anthony Tolliver played 30 minutes of his excellent brand of stand-outside-the-perimeter-and-shoot-only-if-wide-open basketball in Friday’s OT win. Can you play sad songs on the Banjo? I got blues on the StanJo!
Andre Drummond – Drummo gone Goro! 20/20 Friday night in almost what you’d expect from Drummo, and then he decided to do what you’d expect from the FT line as well going 4-10.
Kent Bazemore – After his terrible debut when we said he could be a good stream, we figured out it takes a few games to warm him up! Tore up the Hornets in two games on Friday and Sunday scoring 19 then 20 Pts. He’s never hit over 65% from the stripe in his career, and had a 6-6 FT yesterday. Certainly back in the streaming discussion.
Kyle Korver – Stick to your guns, JB! I worried he would be pretty off to start the season, but he had a solid second game last Thursday. Then a DNP-rest and 6/2/2/0/0 on 3-9 shooting with no 3PTM was his weekend. I’d give it a few more weeks to fester into a nice toilet wine, then shoot the epic buy lows.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Whoa, I never woulda thought he’d be scoring at least 20 a night this year! Given it’s two games, but you can small sample your face! 27/9/2/3/0 then 20/9/2/0/1 with no TO after a rough 6 giveaways in his debut. Hit a trey in both games and is 11-13 at the stripe. If he hits 0.7-0.8 3PTM a game and over 80% FT, he’s going to be the steal of your draft. Hype might finally work out this time!
Jarrett Jack – Even in all the PG runs we struggled through in RCL drafts, no one wanted to touch Jack. “Wahhhhhhh, but I’m Jarrett Jack!” 16:4 AST:TO his first two games, averaging 13.5 Pts. The low steals/3s with a bad FG% isn’t great, but it sure is a usable dime source.
LaMarcus Aldridge – I watched the whole Spurs/Celtics game on Sunday, and it was vintage LA. I’ve seen a good amount of the Spurs so far, and he never really looked comfortable (and he’s said as much) the first two games, but got hot in iso down the stretch and ended with a 24/14/5/1/1 line. While awesome, I still think the minutes will waffle and after getting to 0.5 3PTM last year, has none thus far.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Whew, just how good is the KAT?! 28/14/2/0/4, 11-19 FG 6-7 FT against the Nugs, but the Nugs are playin’ some scrubs straight from… the tub? I dunno where I was going there, just saying the interior presence in Denver is absent.
Nuggets Big Men – Speaking off, the Nuggets really need a nice masseuse as Joffrey Lauvergne and Nikola Jokic both left last night with back injuries. With Jusuf Nurkic still out, it’s James Cameron’s The Abyss at C for Denver. Darrell Arthur should play a tad more, and they might actually have to play J.J. Hickson, who looked awful in preseason. Maybe Kenneth Faried gets more pure-C minutes, but they don’t have Wilson Chandler either for another week to help stretch them out at F. Yeesh.
Willie Cauley-Stein – After an 8-minute debut, very similar to my sex life (who am I kidding, I mean 8 seconds), 17/9/1/1/3 against the Lakers. Solid, but then back to what you’d expect in a 8/9/0/3/1 outing on Halloween against the Clips. 5-9 FT in those, a rough part of his game. The out-of-position steals are legit, but he’s still in the streaming class for me. Not too dissimilar from Steven Adams.
DeMarcus Cousins – Yeesh, after football claimed a few guys with torn Achilles’ these past few weeks, when Boogie had to get an MRI on his, I was pretty scurred. But it’s only a strain, so hopefully he’s back in a few.
Blake Griffin – He’s a decent scorer. Ripped apart the Kings, which I find funny because George Karl said he didn’t want to start WCS in the opener since it would be too hard guarding Blake. Turns out he was right! Apparently Karl thought WCS got enough seasoning in the one game in between…
Julius Randle – Pretty good debut, then just an awful follow up against the Kings Friday night, shooting 1-4 FG, 1-4 FT, and committing 5 TO while doing nothing else. But then the more-or-less rook went insane on the old Mavs for 22/15/4/4/1 last night in one of the more shocking lines from the weekend. 4-8 FT marred the outing a tiny bit, and it’s weird because he was jawing with Kevin Garnett against the Wolves in the opener, and now hating on the old guys last night. Just imagine what he’d do to the seniors-only pickup game on Saturday afternoon at the Y!
C.J. McCollum – It’s not always about being right or being wrong, it’s just about getting at least 40% of your bold calls knocked down! Which is unlike McCollum, who after that nuts debut is a soul-crushing 13-37 in the past two for 37%. 7:3 AST:TO, only 3-13 from deep, and it’s gotten a little pedestrian again. Gus Ayonin’!
Meyers Leonard – Another Blazer I was trying to cool off, Leonard apparently has numbness in his hand off two pretty bad games. I have numbness in my hand too, but I’m about to do The Stranger. Certainly not written by Camus, but there is definitely a French person on screen!
Trey Burke – After I ripped him in that debut, back-to-back OK games. Still streamer-ish for me in 12ers, but he should probably be owned in any deeper.
Langston Galloway – While still a clusterBuck Williams, is Galloway the G you want in New York? I’m seriously asking, because I don’t have a Bucking Williams clue! 14/7/4/1/1 with 2 treys on Halloween, multi-treys in every game with 8 on the season, 10:1 AST:TO; he’s just a metrics whore right now. Metric whores just wanna Buck Williams!
Lance Thomas – Just to make things more confusing in Poppycockland, Thomas is out-minutesing Derrick Williams and Kyle O’Quinn in the frontcourt. It’s all pretty messy. When 3 of my last 4 blurbs have included The Stranger, Buck Williams, and a Poppycock, it just sounds like a friggin’ Paul Verhoeven movie right now!
Jrue Holiday – I have a feeling no one in New Orleans has any clue what is going on. “No one” abbreviated is the same as New Orleans abbreviated. NO doesn’t have a clue. Holiday apparently is now cleared to play 25 minutes a game, Gentry played him 27 minutes anyway because, ya know, what does a minutes limit mean?!, and this was after he was supposedly on a 15-MPG limit until Christmas just a couple weeks ago. The Pelicans are easily the most injury-prone team, and they can’t even figure out how to manage their healthy players! How their medical staff still have jobs is beyond me. I almost had half of this blurb in all caps; it warranted a trolls-ian response! Oh yeah fantasy, I guess “yay!” if you drafted Jrue for the short-term, but who the hell knows if this is good or bad news long-term. After the joke that was Nate Robinson got waived, they picked up Tone-extra-E Douglas off the street, and now he looks better than Ish Smith. Does anyone know who will get picked up off the street for them by Wednesday? No one has a clue!
Jon Leuer – I just shot FAAB all over Leuer in the REL as I need a boarder, and he’s got 7+ in three straight in a pretty consistent Suns bench role. 3 treys in 3 games, 6:1 AST:TO, he’s a great deep league glue guy.
Chandler Parsons – 12 minutes in his debut, and looked slow. Didn’t play in the second half, and the easing-in appears to be a lengthy process. I’d certainly sit him in weekly.
Deron Williams – Shockingly able to play after there was a report he had a knee sprain. Anything on his injury report is virulent. I wasn’t sure I used that word right, but score one for vocabulary!
Matthew Dellavedova – Here’s the stat oddity of the week! Somehow got a dimebag against the Heat, going 5/5/10/1/0 and has an unbelievable 17:1 AST:TO ratio through three games. Is there anything actionable with that stat? Probably not.
Robert Covington – Lord Covington! Welcome back to your shire! Probable tonight, although will be on a minutes limit. If he played on the Pelicans, he’d go the full 48…
The 7 Ahead
- 4-game weeks: ATL, BKN, CLE, GSW, HOU, IND, MEM, MIA, MIL, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, SAC, TOR
- 2-game week: BOS
- Stream days: Thursday, Sunday
Monday: Unlike some weeks, Monday has a pretty full slate making it a lengthy group of teams with 4-game weeks. HOU, MIL, OKC and SA are all on back-to-backs, so I’m keeping my eye on all your old Spurs to double-check they’re playing. Cavs play at Philly – I’d temper expectations for the starters, and have a feeling Tristan Thompson gets enough run for a double double with a lot of minutes off the bench if you need early-week help up front.
Tuesday: Pretty full slate with ATL, IND, ORL and SAC heading into the front end of back-to-backs. The Hawks actually have two sets of back-to-backs this week, and we’ve already seen Kyle Korver get a DNP-rest this year. He’s certainly someone to keep a watchful eye on as tip approaches. The Nugs play at the Lakers, who have given up some unreal lines to PG including a career-game for Ricky Rubio. I’m playing Emmanuel Mudiay with a lot of confidence, even after regressing the past few games.
Wednesday: Your typical mid-week biggie, only 8 teams are off so your line-up should be more full than Raymond Felton after he hits up CiCis. Always like your guys against Philly who go to Milwaukee, so let’s go Bucks! Blazers are at Utah, so if you’ve got a good scoring line-up, C.J. McCollum and that soul-crushing FG% risk can ride the bench. The Pacers want to be, well, the leaders in pace, but I don’t want much to do with the Celtics and that rotation going against them. OKC, POR, and UTA all head into back-to-backs, but there isn’t a big concern with any of the must-own guys.
Thursday: Our first big streaming day of the week! 5 games with [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] Tony Snell is indeed pretty boring, but he brings a few points and treys with virtually no TO. If you need some swats, Taj Gibson is available in most leagues and Steven Adams is available in even more. You’re probably only using your Heat and Wolves regulars; Nemanja Bjelica could be a deeper league guy for a few boards and treys in his 25ish minute bench role. As in the open, Starvin Marvin’s ownership has shot up, but could still be on your wire by Thursday for some all-around stats. If Deron Williams has yet another injury, J.J. Barea is always a popular stream of mine for assists. Gotta love your Jazz in what should easily be a 20-turnover game for the Nugs. Rodney Hood should be in the streaming class in my opinion, but he’s owned in half of leagues. Like him if he’s out there in your league for that matchup. Gary Harris might be able to nab a couple steals if Wilson Chandler is still out. Obviously if you have McCollum you probably have to use him, but against the Grizz I could see another rough shooting night. Courtney Lee is always a nice ThrAGNOF. DEN and MIA head into back-to-backs, so there could be a Dwyane Wade DNP in here, which might make Justise Winslow and interesting fill-in play. He’s looked a lot better than I thought.
Friday: Back to a full slate, ATL, BKN, GSW, HOU, MIL, NO, ORL, PHI, SAC and WAS all head into back-to-backs. As mentioned above, Korver is likely out one of these. Dwight Howard is again a risk to pick up a DNP like he did yesterday. Wow, Cavs play the Sixers twice. Yet another game to be worried about Cav minutes. The Pelicans have looked awful with their depleted line-up, even on a full slate Dennis Schroder is worth a start. Blowout potential and Schroder looks like one of the best bench players in the NBA.
Saturday: Again a heavy schedule night, no teams are heading INTO a back-to-back, so you just need to double-check on the teams listed on Friday for possible DNPs. The Magic play at Philly so I could see RainbOladipo going nuts, and the struggling Pelicans go to Dallas, so I’d temper expectations on the Mavs vets, especially Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews on a back-to-back. Might be a game they both sit.
Sunday: 5 games, 10 teams going to round out the week. Pacers go to Cleveland – I don’t think there’s anything too crazy going on there. C.J. Miles has been pretty good despite a low scoring game his last time out; he should be streamed if needing a ThrAGNOF. Detroit goes at Portland, this could be a fun one. Stanley Johnson has started pretty slow, I could see him on some wires for an extended run in what could be a blowout. Sadly he’s a streamer play for me right now. Lakers go to the Knicks, ain’t no way you’re touching Calderon. Galloway and Jerian Grant are certainly interesting. Raptors go to Miami; Slim will laugh at this one, but you can get some low end ThrAGNOF with Patrick Patterson! And finally, Suns go to OKC in what should be another fun matchup. Likely just your regulars there, maybe you give Dion Waiters a try as the Thunder could run away with it and let Waiters mop up.
As mentioned in the open, you guys like the 7 Ahead? Let me know in the comments, and hopefully you had a strong week 1! Happy week 2, Razzball Nation!