We are at the midway point of the NBA season and I’m sure team strengths and standings are beginning to solidify in your league. It’s a great time, especially in roto leagues, to check if you are way ahead or behind in a category and plan your trades accordingly. And for God’s sake, don’t invite the guy that traded Jimmy Butler when he was slumping for Darren Collison or the other inactive guy that hasn’t changed his lineup since Carlos Boozer’s hairline looked like this: If you look closely you can see the reflection of the ceiling scoreboard…Talk about a bad hair day…or should I say a bad hair dye… Ok, enough with the Boozer bullying, let’s look at last week’s suggestions from the past week. Tyus Jones has been kind of a disappointment, as he never got it going as a scorer and facilitator during Jeff Teague’s absence. On the other hand, Trey Lyles continued his excellent form with four great games and looks like the real deal. Marquese Chriss and Caris Levert suffered minor injuries so they didn’t play enough and Nicolas Batum had only one game this past week. I still believe in him, as you will read in a bit for this week’s new suggestions…
Remember Carlos Boozer? He of the lead feet on defense, yelling "HEY!" every time he missed a shot in hopes of getting a foul call? At least that's my recollection of him during his Bulls years. He actually did play decent enough team defense to not hurt the team much while putting up 15 and 10 many nights with his no-jump fade-away rainbows. Anyway, sometime around the end of his Bulls tenure, I remember finding out that this old man on the decline was younger than me. So, I guess I couldn't really call these NBA players that were considering retirement "old" any longer. Over the years, I've even embraced these guys and found that veteran players can be fantasy steals because of our ageist tendencies. And if you play in a dynasty league, they come even cheaper, of course. Of course it's fun to pick, trade for, and add young players right before they break out. We all want upside. But I think a lot of us don't realize that older, boring players do have upside because of their depressed draft values. Let's see how the NBA's advanced age players are doing on the ESPN Player Rater compared to their Average Draft Position. I do this to hopefully show that you can win with old reliable dudes, even if they're on the decline. You can even take this information to help you figure out who to target in trades for young, upsidey players.
Lady and Gents! The time is here! Time for me to expose myself to the ridicule of the internet by laying out my somewhat conservatively outrageous predictions for the 2016-2017 NBA season! All positive input would be greatly appreciated. All disagreements will result in heated comment debates with no one actually being right, since the season hasn't even started yet... Last preseason, I had some solid predictions that were quite controversial! Namely, that Isaiah Thomas would break out, and that Greg Monroe would be a complete bust. Ironically, the uncontested predictions were the ones that didn't fare so well... Primarily due to injury, but what can you do about that? Clearly, nothing, if you're the Pelicans medical staff that is. A little note before hand, my bold predictions will be made relative to the fantasy pros consensus projections. Lets get this party rockin!
Basketball season is approaching quickly, as signaled by the start of our Razzball Basketball Commenter Leagues! The RCL leagues are a ton of fun, so make sure to get in one of those. I'll be hosting at least one or two in the near future, so if you join one of those, just think of this as a list of guys you should let me draft! We're starting to get into the more interesting sleepers as we work our way deeper into the rankings. So lets get into it!
...Well I dunno what he woulda snitched about, but ya know... The injuries and tanking DNPs continue in one of the most utterly annoying final months to the NBA in recent memory. There will always be guys getting hurt, but we've lost yet another with Hassan Whiteside tearing up his hand and needing 10 stitches last night after jamming it up against the rim. Right in the webbing! Between the fingers! Youchie. After the game he said he couldn't feel it. I'm no doctor, but none of that sounds good for his status tonight! I mean, sometimes losing all feeling in a hand can be good like in The Stranger... Certainly sounds like he'll take at least a game off, unless they can fit him with one of those oven mitts they give guys in the NFL when they play with broken hands. It might end up being a good thing, because if Kelly Olynyk says something about Whiteside's mama, we could see an even longer suspension! Here's what else went down last night in another "dropping like flies" night of fantasy basketball action:
It's always nice to see the deep league guys you love turn into Mr. Planters and go nuts! After 22 minutes, many of which trying to play through it, Jimmy Butler finally waved the white flag and checked out with a shoulder injury. He first hurt it last Sunday, and that black tape stuff (that I still don't completely understand how it works) didn't keep Buckets' shoulder together. Maybe the black tape is more a statement. Like, "Yeah brah, I got a jacked up shoulder but I'm still gonna go ham!" Either way, it opened up some huge run for Tony Snell, playing 41 minutes. And they were 41 heat check minutes! Made his first 6 from the field including 4 treys, ending up with a career-high 24 points in a 9-11 FG (4-6 3PTM 2-2 FT) 24/2/2/1/0 line with no TO. Snell going full Mr. Planters! Even with Mike Dunleavy returning after nearly a month-and-a-half off, you can't suppress the sense of Snell! I keed of course, this is an anomaly type of game, but Butler could easily get tomorrow night off against the Cavs to rest that shoulder through the ASB making Snell a very interesting end-of-the-short-week streamer (only the one game Thursday night). Here's what else went down last night in fantasy NBA action:
From the depth of 90s video games, crossed with the beastly rancor of Joakim Noah (can you use rancor as an adjective? is that even the right part of speech?!), it's the Goromotaro! An epic performance of 20/20 needed a name, but ever since Joakim pulled off a few back in the day, he hasn't scored 20 points in like... a million years. Hasn't yet this year! Shocking he's scored double digits in only 2 of the past 19... But I digress... The way things have looked the past month, Goromotaro might need a name or image change to feature Hassan Whiteside! Dude is hitting the glass harder than Cheech at a bong-only party. 24/20/0/3/2 last night for his first career Goro. Not that he hasn't been close! Had a 23/16 and a 16/24 in there. Unreal! There's only been 23 20+ board games this year, and Whiteside is two of them and has only 8 starts! Whiteside has the 7th Goro this year (the others belonging to Kenneth Faried, Zach Randolph, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, Pau Gasol and... you ready for this...? Jason Thompson!), and as good as those guys are (well, minus Thompson), I'd put good money on Whiteside being the first with multiple. He's also 73% from the stripe his past 13 games! Getting a little unreal out there, and the 4 TO last night were very fluky - especially one on an inbounding violation that was totally Norris Cole's fault. Cole tried handing it back to Whiteside after he tossed it in during an odd, weird lack of awareness that cost the Heat the game! I'm pretty sure it was a play ran to perfection from the Larry Drew playbook... Here's what else went down last night across the NBA:
Well, yet another example of why a starting nod doesn't equate to production, even for seemingly good players... The Bulls got embarrassed last night in LA, with Nikola Mirotic getting the start at SF. It was disastrous before, and twas disastrous again! Only got 12 minutes and did nothing other than get a steal and a turnover, and it looks like old Tibs wasn't too happy. The ghost of Carlos Boozer shoved Mirotic around on a layup and he just isn't a good defender - why we saw another healthy dose of Tony Snell. Even in a 2OT game, Tibs didn't let Mirotic off the bench! Went small instead with Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks picking up more PT late and in the OTs. And ultimate insult to injury - the Bulls still lost. But it was really Derrick Rose's fault as he continues to lay brickhouses on top of batches and batches of turnovers. He's like a Martha Stewart version of The Big Bad Wolf! And the Bulls should've pulled this one out since the Lakers continually refuse to play their best player... Tarik Black! Outrageous! Egregious! Opprobrious! (thank you Thesaurus) Black is an MVP waiting to happen... Here's what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
I've never been a huge fan of his, but at least Mo Williams makes it really easy to have a punny title... I would've said you're as high as Busta Rhymes if you told me Mo Will was about to drop 50 last night. What a crazy, crazy world we live in where the T'Wolves finally break out of their 15-game losing streak behind a franchise record 52-point game. Some really weird biguns for the Wolves, remember when Corey Brewer put up 51 last year? So both of those guys stay in the franchise record books as better scorers than Kevin Love or Kevin Garnett. Go figure. Makes me wanna headbutt something! Mo with an unbelievable line of 52/4/7 hitting 19-33 FG (6-11 3PTM 8-9 FT). Where to even start with the crazy?! Mo hadn't scored 30 since MARCH 2012 (!!) according to our friends at Rotoworld. I would look at his game-logs to fact check, but we don't fact check! And as good as this game is, he's not even a good pickup! I think that's the craziest thing... Ricky Rubio is almost back to retake the PG minutes, and even if Flip wanted to run some combo guard lineups out there, Kevin Martin (so many Kevins in Timberwolves history!) is almost back. Plus this game should make him easier to sell in the NBA. Might get the Wolves a first rounder. So while Mo is maybe worth an add for the very short-term (only 32% owned on Yahoo late last night), I'm certainly not losing anyone of value for him. Here's what else went down on a crazy and injury-riddled night of NBA action:
Happy 2015 Razzball Nation! I for one am elated the Holidays have wrapped up (big thanks again to Slim for his recap at the end of last week!), and ready to buckle down for the second half of the fantasy regular season in H2H. My new year's resolutions have been made - use Twitter more, swear a little less, work out a lot more... But this gosh darn knee! Eh, I'm pretty flippin' flabby anyway... Fiddlesticks! Might as well shut it down... And the talk for Carmelo Anthony's shutdown continually grow like a wave across the second level at Madison Square Garden. Not like they have anything else to do... Next new year's resolution - less dot dot dots! The 5-31 Knickerbockers (I'm calling them The Poppycockers the rest of the way) have been worse than even Spike Lee could have imagined after reading reviews of his Oldboy remake. "Brooooooo - Liiiinnnnn!" Some dude named Bondy (shakeny, not stirredy) from The New York Daily News reported Melo's knee will need a minor surgery, so it's not like Melo is just playing through general oldboy-ness. He's missed the last few after being awful for two straight to end December, so trading him off in fantasy leagues is redonk tough. Last we checked in (mostly through comments), I've maintained I'm not giving him away, but it's fairly close. He's about at the "leave on the curb" status rather than "driving him all the way to the dumpster." My best advice would be to find a need for your team, and go for a guy that hits that need without a huge overall rank - i.e. Trevor Ariza for some steals and treys. Might not get Ariza these days, but yeah, something like that. And I still think you gotta try and hold out until Melo plays a few in a row - he's traveling with the team for the next two games so he's likely to suit up at least once. Here's what else went on in fantasy basketball since we flipped the calendar: