I started writing a movie plotline starring Damian Lillard in Canada as a male counterpoint to Stella in the Bahamas, but decided to spare you fine readers that pending trainwreck (and possible violation for racial insensitivity from the Razzball board of directors) and get right down to basketball.  With Giannis taking the night off, Lillard […]

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Ah, the Tuesday game report.  Love the relaxing feeling of watching the scores in a slow night with… Wait. Eleven games!  What in the play in tournament is going on here!  Got me feeling like this: Or this: WTF IS HAPPENING IN THE LEAGUE TONIGHT ?!?!😂😂 this in season tournament got mugs acting different pic.twitter.com/m9qAdMw4cU […]

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Seemed like low-hanging fruit, no? And before we switch out the fruit to something a bit more attuned to my diet (saturated fats?), we obviously have to start with some of the interesting storylines in the NBA, now just in it’s third week of play. First up, mostly because of the title (now with less fruit and more Funyuns) let us talk not just about Tyrese Maxey, but also the so far near-dominant 76ers team. Joel Embiid is doing Joel Embiid “non-playoff” type things, which is still a bummer we have to qualify, but lucky for us, fantasy ain’t played in May, ya know? I’ll talk a bit more about it later for the Clippers, but Harden while not being on the team has created an interesting aggregate feedback loop with a touch of confirmation bias mixed in on some of these wild storylines, but the tangible effect, i.e. giving minutes for Tyrese Maxey to flourish cannot be argued with. My concerns with Maxey during the preseason was based on his ability to run the 5, play-call, ball-handle and continuing to develop his offense while doing all that.

So far? All of these things have been done well, but the best part is that it hasn’t come at the cost of his stats. With a career-high 50 points against a very good Pacers team, he also had 7 rebounds with 5 assists, 3 blocks on 20-32 shooting (7-11 from 3-point). At just 23-years-old, it’s pretty likely he’ll be shedding off the Tyler Herro and Jordan Poole comps at some point this season. But can he get to the All-Star game and perhaps even an All-NBA selection this year? Excited to find out…

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Last night, I got to have the unique experience of watching Nikola Jokic with someone who’d never watched him before, having it on my TV with my wife and 14 year old daughter.   I loved every comment.  It makes you appreciate the Joker’s greatness from a different lens.  A sampling of the comments:

Why are they starting the slow white guy?

How does an NBA player run like that?

He looks so tired.

Wait, that was a really nice move.

How come he’s dribbling up the court if he’s so slow?  Wait, wasn’t that a great pass?

He can shoot 3s too?

They went from laughing to all out appreciation.  I finally told them at halftime that he’s the best player in the world and they should stop besmirching his name.

Oh yeah, he had a 29-13-11 triple double.  Even chipped in a steal and a block to go with 3 treys.  Of course you drafted him number one and he’s a cheat code.

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Most things in life have an ebb and flow to them. Some have steady drumbeats while others are volatile like an illiquid capital market. In order to get to the top of any venture, there is usually a combination of both. At some point, there are breakthroughs and jumps of multiple levels. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was selected by the Clippers with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He averaged 26.5 minutes per game as a rookie and showed that he belonged, putting up 10.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks while shooting 47% from the field and 80% from the line. He was the 141st player for fantasy on a per-game basis. He was then traded to the Thunder in the Paul George deal and immediately played 34.7 minutes per contest. He finished as the 53rd player for fantasy, the first significant jump in his career. He improved in each of the next two seasons, but at a pace akin to the sink filling up, drip by drip, finishing 44th then 32nd. Then 2022 happened, and Shai rocketed up to where he is now, as a top 5 player. Yesterday, he continued to show that he is now one of the best and most well-rounded players in the NBA:

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It’s playoff season, and in standard head-to-head leagues like the Razzball Writers’ League, every waiver wire pickup is critical at this point. Facing Beats By Dray in the first round,  I head into the weekend hoping I didn’t chum the waters on (as in, threw up all over) my chances to advance. 

All week, San Antonio second-year big man, Charles Bassey, has been discussed as a hot wire add for the tanking Spurs. Bassey has been a borderline standard league over the last few weeks, averaging about 8 points, 7 boards, 2 assists a steal and a block a game in 17.5 minutes. 

I’ve been trolling around the Bassey interest all season, which he spent much of tearing up the G League. In 14 games in the minors, he was 3rd in fantasy points (yes, G League keeps track of fantasy points per game leaders on its stats page), averaging about 23-10-2-1-2 on 67% shooting. The Spurs saw enough positives in his development to fully guarantee the former Western Kentucky Hilltopper’s contract for its first two years. With that vote of confidence, and the tank rolling, it makes sense to believe Bassey could be a strong asset for fantasy playoffs. 

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