I love craps. Not the sitting on the toilet kind, but the rolling of them two dice. It’s the one game that feels like I have some modicum of control. I shoot the dice, can decide when and where to bet, move chips around, and finally take money off the table if I so choose. It’s all an illusion, though. Yes, money management can always help, but the numbers are not in my favor over the long run. The probability of rolling a 7 is 16.67%. 13.89% to roll a 6 or 8, 11.11% to roll a 5 or 9, and 8.33% to roll a 4 or 10. The hardway bets? 2%. Even though I know the numbers, the game is too freaking fun. And I have those stories when I was down to my last chip and proceeded to go on a crazy heater, hitting multiple points, and making everyone jump around. It’s those times that keep me going back to the tables to replicate that feeling. That is what it must be like to own Tim Hardaway Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 37 5 1 2 0 3 6/9 14/24 3/3

Every once in a while, he will go on a heater that gets you all excited. More often than not, though, he will shoot 4-of-13 and make you cry like that guy in the casino bathroom that just lost the proverbial house. Since the Knicks lost Porzingis, THJ has seen usage rates of 29.4, 21.9, and 28.3. The high usage rate and minutes should continue to be plentiful. But like my experiences at the craps table, the likely scenario will be “7 OUT!” As long as you keep expectations in check, THJ will have some value. Just beware of emotionally point-chasing the performance from last night.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I was younger, much younger, I used to consider myself a fairly athletic guy. Played competitive volleyball and could hang when I hooped at most courts. Then the Summer of ’96 happened. I was playing tackle football, when one of the guys brought his friend to play. The new guy was a third string cornerback for the University of Maryland and he said, “No tackle for me guys. Just two-hand touch.” Didn’t matter because no one could get one hand on the guy. Ok, I’m exaggerating. One hand was possible, but two hands? Fuggetaboutit. 3rd stringer for a Division 1 college team. I couldn’t even imagine the level of what a professional player would be at.  Which brings me to TJ McConnell. Myself and many others clown him that he should be playing at the YMCA, but let’s not forget that he’s in the top 1% of ballers on the planet. Last night, he reminded us all as he messed around.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 10 10 11 6 0 2 0 5/11 0

Played 37 minutes off the bench. The last time TJ received 30 minutes of run in a game was on January 20th. More than likely, TJ will get around 24 minutes a game, but does have the capacity to contribute across the board. Just don’t expect 6 steals and for him to mess around on a nightly basis. More often than not, I’m going to talk about his hair. Every once in a while, though, he’s going to remind us that it’s fun to stay at the YMTJ.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was a big subscriber of superstitions and curses in my younger days. Sports team I root for wasn’t playing well? Had to move to another seat, like I was some antenna made out of aluminum foil. Never drafted a player in fantasy football if he graced the cover of Madden. I mean, come on. Without fail, either a player got injured or production fell off hard the following year. We have grown as a society, though. I have grown as well. We now utilize our brains to explain things that were previously unexplainable. For the Madden Curse, a logical explanation was that players are celebrated by being on the cover of the videogame because they have reached the pinnacle of their careers.

pin·na·cle
ˈpinək(ə)l/
noun
              “he had reached the pinnacle of his career”
There’s literally no place to go but down. Add in the age factor and number of games played, and the “curse” doesn’t seem so mysterious after all. How things have gone down the past couple of weeks in the NBA, I’m beginning to reevaluate my stance on the issue. In late January, LeBron James and Steph Curry particiated in the All-Star Draft.

First, DeMarcus Cousins went down with injury. Then, Kevin Love. John Wall. The latest victim? Kristaps Porzingis. Last night, he tore the ACL in his left knee after this. I will think of you everytime my 2-year-old daughter puts on My Little Pony. Michael Beasley is the obvious get, but he’s probably been rostered already. Kyle O’Quinn is also an interesting pickup, as he would be the big off the bench to give either a break. Yo, LeBron. Whatever you’re doing? STOP!!!

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?

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?

“Who am i? My name is Ish

On my hand I have a dish.
I have this dish to help me wish.
When I wish to make a wish
I wave my hand with a big swish swish.
Then I say, “I wish for fish!”
And I get fish right on my dish.
So…
If you wish to make a wish,
you may swish for fish with my Ish wish dish.”

– The Good Doctor Seuss

I remember reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish when I was a little kid. The Good Doctor was indeed a genius. I had forgotten all about the book until I had kids of my own and decided to participate in the circle of life. Always puts a smile on my face when I read it to them. Anyways, Ish Smith first made us smile back in 2014 when he played for the 76ers and flashed potential. Unfortunately, he’d disappear, then flash. Disappear, then flash, until we pushed him to the side and forgot about him. Well, he’s baaaaaaaaack. With Reggie Jackson out 6-8 weeks with an ankle injury, Ish will be taking over the reigns at point guard for the Pistons. If last night was any indication, we may not have to wish for a dish. Rather, we may get lots of swish swish.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 18 7 5 1 1 1 0 9/18 0

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have no problem going to the movie theaters alone. I can eat at a restaurant by myself. I don’t mind playing NBA 2K against the computer. I can exist as a lone wolf if I chose to. Ah wooooooooo! But I choose not to. There are many things that are only possible with a +1. I have two kids. Even if I wasn’t married ( I am), the process would technically require a +1. Going to an event after checking the +1 box, requires a +1. Once you check that box, you’re an a**shole if you don’t find/beg/pay someone to fill the role. Singing love songs on my guitar while strolling the beach to wait for the sunset. Requires a +1. By the way, I do not play the guitar. There are just some things that bring perfection. Off the top of my head, it was sitting with my wife on the beach as the sun rose in Santa Barbara. For Tobias Harris, all he needed was a +1 for perfection in last night’s game against the Pacers.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 30 6 1 1 0 1 7/8 10/11 3/4

He played 29 minutes, so +1 would’ve given him a perfect minutes-to-points ratio. +1 in the blocks department would’ve given him a 1/1/1/1 (assists, steals, blocks, and turnovers) line. And, of course, +1 in the 3PT, FG, and FT categories would’ve given him perfect shooting percentages. Not bad, Tobias. Not bad. After a torrid start to the season, Tobias had cooled off. The last two games, though, he’s scored 24 and 30 points. He may be heating up again. Regardless, he is still a top 50 player for fantasy. He provides threes, rebounds, low turnovers, and good shooting percentages.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?