Last night, we all got to witness a celebration of greatness. And this article is not meant to disrespect that by any means …


With all eyes watching history being made by Lebron James, rookie conundrum-of-names Jalen Williams and Jaylin WIlliams helped the young Thunder team beat the Lakers, 133-130 – in L.A., in front of more celebrities than have ever attended an OKC Thunder home game [fact check maybe needed].

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I’ll start with the TNT game, which I almost didn’t watch because Devin Booker and Kevin Durant were out.

Wait, what was that?  Is that………

Devin Booker’s music???????

Yes, Booker returned with 19 points and six assists and the Suns are whole again.  Torrey Craig has lost what little value he had (3 points in 25 minutes).  Chris Paul did have 12 assists with his 9 points, but the guy just looks slow to me.  He’s thicker than he used to be and seems like he’s a step slower.  Still good, but I’m wondering how long this will last before he craters.  I’d get off him and trade him to someone who isn’t watching.  And what happened to Deandre Ayton?  35 points and 15 boards, keep that going.

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Earlier this week, Mr. Hooper outlined his redemption attempt from a lackluster RazzJam performance with a mid-season 12-team roto league draft (which starts counting stats Dec. 26) that I managed to snag a spot in as well. 

How’s my RazzJam team doing? Oh, well, thanks for asking. Pretty dang well! I’ve been the pace car most the season in my league, currently with a healthy lead over second place Guiseppe Racco. I was in the Top 10 overall for a bit, but have dropped back to 16th in the last few days. Still a long way to go, so definitely not doing any early celebrating. 

But I digress. I thought it would be fun to compare rookie draft ranking in the current draft, making the turn into round 21 of 25 as I write this, to preseason ADP to gauge the market for rookie performances so far this season. I’m using NFBKC for the pre-season ADP and Monster Basketball for current rankings.

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, Mo Bamba had three good games in a row despite not starting and has more than merited a spot in your roster until Wendell Carter returns, while AJ Griffin was a very good streamer that might lose some appeal when the Hawks get back to full strength. Finally, Thomas Bryant had his moment to shine in the two games without Anthony Davis, but is a clear drop now that AD is active.

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I’ve always had the need for speed. Since I was able to reach the pedals, my legs always pushed them to the metal. Video games helped to refine my urges, as the experience of playing countless other driving games gave me the experience and instincts to anticipate potential hazards while identifying slivers of space to maneuver through. For you New Yorkers, I used to pick up a buddy on the Jersey side of the GW bridge then see how fast I could make it to the east side of Manhattan. Sure, that was driving on expert mode, and we should’ve died more than a few times, but we always escaped unscathed. Oh, what a thrill. The same emotion is elicited when I watch the fantasy points rack up for Joel Embiid this season. He’s scored at least 30 points 11 times this season with three over 40 and a high of 59. On Sunday, he did this:

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Eight!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchups.  As the title suggests, I couldn’t help but come up with a bunch of forwards and centers this week, as there are a lot of intriguing options at the moment.  So if you like ’em big, er, this is the post for you…

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, Zach Collins kind of flopped in Jakob Poeltl’s place and with the Spurs having only two games this week he is a drop again. I had high hopes but alas. On the contrary, Kyle Anderson has stuffed the stat sheet since KAT went down and he is a must add until further notice. With 32% ownership in Yahoo leagues, you still have a chance to scoop him up. Finally, Trey Murphy III continues to start and continues to be awesome, ranked 17th in the last two weeks, and has been a matchup winner especially in the steals department, so hopefully he is already on your team.

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At this point, PB & G and Kostas would nab the first round byes.  If I were a better writer I would have put in the first sentence that there are six playoff teams in here.  Kostas killed me 8-1, and Pub G (Remember that game?  It was so much better than Fortnite!  You could hit people with cars!)  had a big win vs. the JokerSmokers (tie last week, loss this week!).  Son continued his rise into the playoff contention with another win.

3 vs 6 would be Kostas vs. Son

4 vs. 5 would be PhilOssie vs. Beats by Dray

There is an impeding Vikings-style shield wall level blood bath for the six spot.  Son, High Risers, and the Infector are all within two games, and the Oracle is two back of that.  Lotta hoops to be played here!

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Following back-to-back years of Top 40 production, Terry Rozier has disappointed so far this season, mainly due to some rookie-level percentages (in fact, his worst percentages since his rookie season as it stands). But he’s just a hot shooting streak away from producing as owners have become accustomed to, and on Friday he helped the Hornets edge the Wizards 117-116. Rozier scored 25 points on 8-of-21 shooting, 2-of-5 from deep, with 5 boards, 8 assists, 2 steals and a season-low zero turnovers. Charlotte has been paying the doctor’s new vacation home so far this season, and Rozier’s percentages should benefit whenever (if ever) LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward return. For the time being, the assists are up along with his usage rate, and he’s a great buy target, especially for those punting the FG% category.

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I really do hate to admit this, but it sure looks like these Atlanta Hawks got my ass again. 

Two seasons ago, wigged out about the pandemic and in the midst of a cross-country move, I volunteered to write for Razzball hoops and agreed to participate in the RazzJam. A true noob, I spent two of my first four picks on Trae Young and John Collins and then spent the winter watching that team be ground into dust and a bottom-20 finish. Never again, I told myself. 

After confusing “never” with “just take a year off,” I once again find myself rostering Young (on another struggling RazzJam team) and Collins and living in a world of hurt. Blinded by the value of threes, points, assists, and elite free throws, I was snagging Trae at the end of the first round with an amnesia patient’s enthusiasm. Collins I was more disciplined about, passing on him in the middle rounds most of the time, but I still bought in during a 30-team dynasty start-up where I now have the privilege of rostering him for at least three years.

The season is still young, no doubt, but it’s not baby-fresh anymore. After 13 games, Collins is treading water as the 52nd-best player in 9-cat while Trae and his grotesque shooting percentage are languishing at 67th. 

Yes, my people, these Hawks got another one over on me, at least for now. But will it last? 

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