I often think about what it would be like if Denver never traded Jusuf Nurkic to the Trailblazers and they had a starting frontcourt of Nurkic and Jokic. Not that they would be a better team, but just that I am a big fan of rhyming teammates. My dream concludes with Denver trading for Bojan Bogdanovic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Cole Aldrich. That team would be itchier than a dog with fleas rolling around in a bed of poison ivy.
Anyway, jumping back to reality, Nurkic makes the lead because of his line last night: 0/27/16/3/0/3. He has been relatively disappointing this season, but lately a double-double and a block or two has been an almost certainty. Not too shabby.
In Thibs We Trust? Tom Thibodeau was hired in April of 2016 to become the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves. Prior to his arrival, the team had not had a winning record since the days of Kevin Garnett. All newude. My favorite commercial of all time. Anyways, defense has been an issue for this team and Thibs is known as a defensive coach. During his five-year coaching stint with the Chicago Bulls, the team was ranked 1st, 1st, 5th, 2nd, and 11th in defensive efficiency. So, of course in Thibs’ first year, the defense got worse. This dynamic reminds me of Brian Billick, a head coach in the National Football League. Billick was known as an offensive guru and got his head coaching job on this premise. “Our team can’t score, so let’s hire a coach that can fix that,” said the owner of the team….probably. Anyways, Billick tried to sprinkle his offensive magic on the team, but you know what? He realized that he is indeed not a magician and that there are things called players. Coaches can put players in the best positions to succeed but, at the end of the day, players make the coach. Billick was smart enough to realize that the strength of the team was on defense, so he placated to that strength and eventually won a Super Bowl as a result. Will Thibs be as flexible? He was out of coaching for a year and travelled the basketball landscape taking notes so….Read on to find out what I think.
When we finally saw the ultimate joker Jason Kidd put John Henson back into the starting line-up a couple of weeks ago, there was some excitement, except we all foresaw a pretty low-minute role. Go-go Gadget, minutes limits! With Greg Monroe playing pretty much like we expect Moose to play, and Miles Plumlee signed on a $50 million deal (more than Monta Ellis!), it didn’t seem like Henson would get enough of a role to be fantasy-reliable. Then after a few starts, the Bucks go back to DNP-ing Henson and pissing away their best center. They [shocker!] lost that DNP-Henson game against the Raps (but admittedly played em close), and Kidd must’ve finally gotten a divine intervention, and realized he should stick with Mr. Muppet. And the rest, as they say, is history! Go-go Gadget, winning streak! The Bucks have gone 4-0 on 4 straight Henson starts (given two against the Mess, but whatever), and Muppet Man has gone 14.8/7.8/1.5/0.5/3.0 over that stretch in 25.2 minutes, shooting 55% from the field. That line got accentuated by 20/7/2/1/2 on Saturday night against the Mess, thanks to solid post play and some sick-ass Giannis diming!
But the real stand out for me is the 3.8-4.5 FT over these last 4 starts, good for 83.3%. He’s at 72.7% on the year, after being a mid-50ish% FT shooter over his career. The stroke looks pretty clean, and I think this could be fairly legit. Go-go Gadget, FT coaching! At multi-blocks in 5 straight and settling into a 25 MPG start, Henson is a must-add everywhere. Go-go Gadget, waiver gold! Hopefully you heeded our “spec add in 12ers” advice a week ago, and you got a must-own big! All we need now, is The Joker to keep from Kidd-ing around with the line-up! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in Fantasy Basketball action:
Hello Razzballers! Welcome to the inaugural edition of the “The Numbers Game”. I know, plain vanilla title but hopefully there will be some interesting golden nuggets of actionable information each week for everyone. And I promise to not make it sound as boring as Statistics class.
This weekly segment will dig a little deeper into some league, team and players stats WITHOUT (hopefully) having to use the words Standard Deviation, Z-Scores, and all those weird stat symbols. Who needs those when we can all exchange friendly banter in the comments section, criticize coaches and go through the roller coaster ride we submit ourselves each NBA season in the comments section.
The season is young and therefore take all of these stats with a grain of salt. Nothing like the lack of sample size to skew numbers as outliers can easily move the numbers. There is also the subjective aspect of it–whether it be a coaching change (did I hear someone say Asshat?) or a major lineup change or even just a relatively higher number of back to back games so far.
So without further ado, let’s get down to the it. This is a grid provided by BBM to its readers. You might want to open it up in another tab as you might want to look back at it while reading further below.
As we prepare for the 2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Season, I’ll be taking a look at each NBA team with their major adds and drops to see if we can pan for any surprise rotational gold. This open is especially witty for the Nuggets. We’ll be counting down from worst NBA regular season to the best, mainly because I’m still figuring out how to rank the Warriors…
Minnesota Timberwolves (29-53)
G Kris Dunn (Rookie)
C Cole Aldrich
F/C Jordan Hill
G/F Brandon Rush
COACH TIBBY TIBS!
G Kevin Martin
Mayyyyybe Kevin Garnett, which would dramatically drop their average age…
Wow, this is going to be one of the most similar looking teams from last year to this season, with their only overhaul at the head coaching position. And yet, I think they’re going to be a popular sleeper playoff pick after finishing 5th worst in the NBA last year.
The Wolves will presumably roll out the same starting 5 that ended 15-16, and it’s a mad fun team. Rubio with the passes, LaVine with dunks, KAT with the post game, Wiggins with the isos, Dieng with the D, lions and tigers and bears, OH MY! And they add into the fold another combo guard who easily looks ready for the NBA, not to mention the Summer League MVP. Plus some underrated vet backups to get this young crew through their run at making the playoffs. Here’s how their roster is shaping up:
Getting through a fantasy basketball season can sometimes feel like everyone in the building is against you. Like you’re John McClane. Once you get into April, you finally have a bajillion options helping you, but your feet are bleeding and your shirt is burnt off! Perils of April basketball. If you’re in a H2H league and your championship stretches until game 82, it’s time to change your league settings! Maybe it’s just sour grapes since it’s looking like we’re gonna come up short in the Yahoo Friends & Family championship. Slim could blame me too, because he wanted to welcome Norman Powell to the Razzball party. Welcome to the party, Powell!
As with a lot of these April guys, Powell is putting up some surprising stats. But he’s been getting better and better when given the opportunity, with an absolutely crazy Friday night with the Raps regulars DNPed going 27/6/4/1/0, but on only 11 shots and 5 – FIVE! – field goals made. He hit 3 treys, and apparently bought all the refs dinner before the game, going 14-19 from the FT line. 19 free throws, after 0 trips to the stripe the two games before it. WTF, mate?! Then promptly left the party last night, playing only 21 minutes for 2/1/1/1/0 in a scrubby game as the starting SF, and you guessed it, yet again 0 FTA. What in the wide world of sports?!
I’ve seen a few comments asking about Powell’s keepability for 16-17, and I just don’t know. He’s 6’4 and definitely a SG (even though he was listed as a SF last night), so you’d imagine they’d have to push DeMar DeRozan to the 3. That wouldn’t be outlandish or anything, but remember we saw a couple huge flashes from Terrence Ross before he turned into a Holiday Armadillo. And I’m lazy and didn’t want to rewrite those last couple sentences – I totally forgot about DeMarre Carroll! He’s signed through 2018-19, so it’s really hard seeing much happen for Powell out of the gate next year. And even for the final two Raps games tomorrow and Wednesday, it’s hard to give him a starting nod unless we know the Raps are resting peeps. With Toronto still alive to sneak into the #1 spot, I don’t see that happening if the Cavs beat Atlanta tonight and lock the first seed. Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops action over the weekend:
Follow the white Babbitt! If you had told me Luke Babbitt would be a critical add over the fantasy finals weekend, I would’ve beaten you to death with a sack full of lucky rabbit’s feet. Would that be a …lucky way to die?
No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke that Babbitt went 22/10/3/2/1 last night. No, it’s a joke he took a team-high (and an absurdly-high!) 25 shots. And no, it’s not a joke that the Pelicans won a game led by Luke Mother F Babbitt! That’s right, a guy with a last night that sounds like how Grey incorrectly pronounces “BABIP” on the Razzball Baseball Podcast is all the sudden a must-own wing over the final 3 H2H days. Such a Velveteen Babbitt! “He said it was because I know you like rabbits, and I know you like cheese…” The Pelicans have no reason not to throw (double negative police!) their scrubbiest of scrubs into the starting 5 and see what wet noodles stick on the wall, so I fully expect him to be a starter for you in most 12-team leagues or deeper on the final Sunday @BKN. Throw him in your Babbitt Stew! OK, enough rabbit puns, as Monty Python would say – “get on with it!” Oh yeah, I shoulda used a Holy Grail reference. TOO LATE NOW! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
The odds of Russell Westbrook scoring 0 points is definitely better than winning the jackpot, but it’s still rare. He was ejected after 15 minutes of playing time with nary a point. Fortunately, he still contributed 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals before departing.
Another rarity: Mavericks big man Salah Mejri came off the bench to post 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block in 25 minutes. Zaza Pachulia and Dirk Nowitzki were rested, but still. Mejri had played a combined 20 minutes all season coming into the game!
Stephen Curry scored 38 points. Not that surprising. Well, how about the Nuggets beating the Warriors? Now that’s unexpected. The Warriors were playing without Draymond Green (scheduled rest day), but the Nuggets were just 14-24 coming into the game! In addition to his 38 points, Curry also added 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 threes, and 3 steals.
Those were some of the stranger games of the night. Here are the rest of Wednesday night’s daily notes:
Wow, big upset last night as the Pistons beat the Gizz 105-95. I had “Grizz” typoed but laughed too hard to fix it…
And leading the way in running the Gizz out of Detroit was Reggie Jackson‘s Goromotaro! Well, not really, 20/20 in Pts/Dimes doesn’t have an official Razzball name… 20 dimes is a double dimebag though! Wait, no one gets those, it goes up to a quarter… Can’t really complain that R-Jax didn’t get to 25 assists, but yeah, focus JB! I wonder what could’ve flared up my ADD!
With my boyfriend Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hitting so many shots (not doing much else though in a 24/0/1/0/0 line), making 10-16 FG and scoring 16 Pts in the 3rd quarter, R-Jax piled up a ton of dimes on jumpers. In the 3rd alone he had 6 dimes on 20+ foot FGM – 4 to KCP. Helps when your fellow shooters are hot! Just ask Stephen Curry how his season is going… R-Jax has certainly had his ups and downs, and didn’t even have a single assist against the Jazz on Saturday! I wanna say it was all due to Rudy Gobert, but if he was D-ing up R-Jax then Dante Exum would be on Andre Drummond! I’m not depending on high-volume dimes here on out, but when R-Jax is in his lows, remember he was a pickup for a lot of his owners. So just thank your lucky stars for last night and enjoy the wave without putting the R-Jax on the pedestal, the underlining message from The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Or else you let the Gizz win! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
Happy St. Patty’s Razzball Nation! Who doesn’t picture Warwick Davis with claws when they drink 15 Guinesses?
For the third straight year, we’ll be having an awesome Razzball Hoops March Madness bracket pool, joinable through the magic of that link-ity link right there. And for the prize, I decided to go with something more desirable than money. Or power. Or fame. Ok, well probably not as good as anyadat, but the winner will get a prestigious spot in the Razzball Elite League! We’ve got a few spots opening up for next season, so the winner of the Bracket will get their first choice of the team to take over. So hop in today, may the cinderellas be with you, and good luck Razzball Nation! Oh yeah, NBA… Here’s what went down last night in fantasy basketball action: