“Champions keep playing until they get it right” (Billie Jean King)

The trade deadline offers weird results, with teams in both fantasy and reality changing rosters. The biggest moves over the past week in the RCLs involved those players that moved in real life; Larry Nance Jr., Jae Crowder, Rodney Hood, George Hill, Emmanuel Mudiay and D.J. Augustin.

I’m happy to announce the creation of a Champions League for next year, which will pit all of this year’s league winners and some Razzball writers against each other. I will keep you all informed as things progress.

 

Here is how the action went down in Week 17 across our 12 RCL Leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What’s up Razzballers? We had an epic standoff last night between two of the league’s best teams, the Celtics and the Warriors. And this game didn’t disappoint. The Celtics pulled out to an early lead, but Steph Curry simply proved to be too much to handle as he led the the Warriors to the big win. On the night, Steph put forth 49/4/5/2 on 16-for-24 FG (8-for-13 3P, 9-for-10 FT) with only one TO. This guy is a cheat code. Anyway, here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know those days when everything just flows perfectly? You’re driving to work and exit the freeway because there’s too much traffic. For you East Coast folk, a freeway is a toll way except that it’s….free. Anyways, while traversing the local streets, you notice that all the lights turn green and you don’t have to stop once until you reach the office. What a feeling. Well, I had one of those days yesterday. I work from home so it wasn’t the scenario I described above. Rather, it went a little something like this. I was scrolling through Twitter when the Player’s Tribune account tweeted out an article from last year: Sharpen the Arrow by Jamal Murray. In the description was the quote, “I grew up in a kung fu house. It wasn’t until I got older that I discovered that most families didn’t talk about the Shaolin Temple.” I’ve always loved kung fu and that’s a freaking unique story. Then I received a notification that Garrett Temple scored 34 points.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 34 2 5 0 0 2 4/7 14/17 2/2

Garrett Temple. Shaolin Temple. My mind took me to The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, which took me back to my youth and put a smile on my face. Then that got me to think about Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which made me look like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. The Universe is a beautiful place sometimes. So, how did your day go? As for Temple, he’s not fantasy relevant. At least not on a consistent basis. He averages around seven shots per game and 25 minutes. He plays for the Kings, so he can get 15 minutes one game or 40 minutes, which he got last night. He can shoot the 3 and chip in across-the-board stats. He’s scored double figures in 16 out of the 43 games he’s played and hoisted up at least 10 shots in eight games. If you can predict when those games happen, then you deserve your own 976 number.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Being in the middle is…..

Bad for a sports team, as perpetual mediocrity permeates. No chance at the trophy and no possibility to draft a franchise-changing player. Bad if you are a piece of lettuce or meat between two slices of bread. I guess everything in that situation sucks as they all get eaten. Bad if you’re an avid surfer that lives in Nebraska. There’s good, though. You ain’t poor. Malcolm did alright. You’ll never be first or last. In the NBA, being a part of the bourgeoisie is great. You’re not the worst of the 1% of the ballers on the planet. But, imagine if you are a part of the 1% of the 1%? Kyrie Irving doesn’t have to imagine because he’s living the dream. Yesterday, he went:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 40 7 5 0 1 1 5/7 14/23 7/8

The Celtics lost to the Magic, 103-95. That should’ve been grounds for automatic disqualification from being the lede, but….a 40-burger is a 40-burger. You drop one of those and you’re always going to be a contender. Now, it’s felt like Kyrie has been a relatively quiet member of the fantasy elite, as he hasn’t been messing around or going nuts on a nightly basis. He’s the 14th player for fantasy and his numbers are almost identical to last year. Imagine if he was on a shitty team that didn’t play any defense?

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

According to our good friends at Wikipedia, the word leprechaun is thought to come from “the Old Irish luchorpan, a compound of the roots lu (small) and corp (body). Looks at depth chart for the Boston Celtics. Nods head. Looks at mascot for the Boston Celtics. Nods head. The glove fits. Looks at OJ nodding his head vociferously from side to side. So, this iteration of the Celtics is perfect for the new-age positionless basketball, but it’s one that makes Celtics old timers cringe. Bill Walton. Dave Cowens. Robert Parish. Bill Russell. All big men that brought the pot of gold to Boston. Now, the 2017 Celtics are 34-12, the second-best record in all of basketball. Brad Stevens for President! But, a huge glaring weakness is facing off against dominant big men. Over the past two weeks, Anthony Davis went 45/16. Karl-Anthony Towns went 25/23. Even Tristan Thompson went 10/11. Tristan Thompson people! Which brings me to Joel Embiid. Last night, Embiid went:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 26 16 6 1 2 4 0/1 10/19 6/7

He was a true Sixer: 6 free throws made. 6 assists. 16 boards. 26 points. Nods head vociferously like OJ. Ok, back to reality. You don’t need me to tell you that Embiid is awesome. What would be of interest, though, is that the 76ers may allow Embiid to play in back-to-back games. He’s a top 25 player for fantasy right now. If he starts getting full run, that might get OJ to nod his head vociferously up and down.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All units. All units. Be advised. We have reports of a 187 at 7000 Coliseum Way. Subject is armed and considered dangerous. Over. 

Lou Williams is a bad, bad man. No Blake. No Milos. No Rivers. No problemo.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 50 2 7 0 0 4 8/16 16/27 10/10
Armed with but a jump shot, Lou single-handedly took down the Warriors, 125-106 in Oakland. Five-Oh. You know what sound that is. Now, he played 35 minutes and had a 39.4 usage rate last night. Here was the rest of the Clippers starting lineup: Jawun Evans, CJ Williams, Wesley Johnson, and DeAndre Jordan. That usage rate seems a little light to me. Obviously, Lou isn’t going to bring out the men in blue every night and Lou will transition back to the bench when the team gets healthy. Regardless, he’s a professional scorer of buckets and will flourish in any capacity. It wouldn’t surprise me if the men in blue make a few more appearances before the end of the season.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What’s up Razzball Nation! Welcome back to another edition of Any Given Saturday. I just feel like I haven’t talked about LeBron James enough. The man just turned 33 and is putting up MVP numbers. Hell, with James Harden injured, LeBron is probably the frontrunner. This season he’s putting up career-highs in assists, 3PM, FT%, and he’s even putting up 1.0 blocks, the most since his first Cleveland stint. He was built in a Nike laboratory to be the perfect basketball specimen. Anyway, against the lowly Magic on Sunday, LeBron messed around and almost got a quadruple-double, going for 33/10/9/6/1 on 12-for-23 FG (4-for-7 3P, 5-for-7 FT) with three turnovers. His usage might go down with the return of Isaiah Thomas, but it’s not like Kyrie Irving dug into LeBron’s stats in previous years. LeBron might even average more assists and be more efficient with IT in the fold. Good lord. Anyway, here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Although kinda late due to the fact it’s a Wednesday column, I wish to all you Razzball readers a Happy New Year! May all your wishes come true and your fantasy teams win it all this year. Except if you play in one of the leagues I also play…. If you do, I wish a happy Second Place and a great drafting position for next year’s draft.

Imagine an extra circle above the last zero in Chuck’s glasses because I lack the Photoshop skills to put it there myself and let’s review last week’s calls. Both Ish Smith and Bismack Biyombo have been on fire since getting the starting job, with Biyombo especially returning top 25 value during these games making me very happy for the calls. They were in fact so much on fire as Vangelis Ioannou, a Greek sportcaster, suggests in the video.

Jaycee Carroll’s face says it all…I admit we Greeks are not world-renowned for our English pronunciation skills. Moving on, Jordan Bell and Willie Cauley-Stein were also productive and look to maintain their value going forward. Finally on the sell front, Jonathon Simmons has seen his usage decline and has taken a backseat to Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier, while Dirk Nowitzki was solid but I still stand by my advice to sell. Let’s take a look at this week’s candidates now…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A little over a week ago, I had DeMar DeRozan as the lede, which you can conveniently read HERE. I got no shame in my game for clickbait. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I try not to write about the same players, but sometimes it’s an inevitability. Especially on a four game slate. Now, last week DeRozan scored 45 points and went 6-of-9 from downtown. Due to the three-point shooting prowess, I labeled DeRozan Triple D and proceeded to do what any normal human being would do….Google it. To my surprise, I did not see big breasteses, but instead saw links for a Jamaican restaurant and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. At the time, I was kind of disappointed, but like with most things in life, it takes time for things to come together. Last night against the Bucks, Triple D dropped a 50-burger. Nom nom nom. Guy Fieri was so impressed that he got DeRozan’s face tattoed onto his forehead.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 52 5 8 1 1 2 5/9 17/29 13/13

I still don’t think the shot from downtown is a staple in DeRozan’s game just yet. Including the two nine-shot attempt games, DDD is only averaging 2.9 a game. Let me take away one of those D’s. Granted, that number is well above his career 1.5 mark, but he did have a season back in 2013 when you attempted 2.7 threes a game. Currently, DD is a top 40 player for fantasy. If he can incorporate that three-point shot into his arsenal on a consistent basis, it’s going to open up the rest of his game and have him shooting up the rankings. 52 and 45 points scored the last two games he’s attempted nine downtowners. Seems like a logical path to take.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up” (Vince Lombardi)

 

Sports in the 20th century inspired many dramas, thrillers and comedy films.”Rocky”, “Raging Bull” and “Slap Shot” became instant classics. Now in the 21st century, we have many dramas, many many thrillers and some comedy in our leagues. Injuries are a drama, and we have a lot this season, one after another. Players with O (out) and GTD (game time decision) are usual on any team, and if you drafted Willy Hernangomez or acquired Jahlil Okafor in the waiver… no more words.

 

 Here is how the action went down in Week 11 across our 12 RCL Leagues:
Please, blog, may I have some more?