It was a bit of a light week for watching games here in the Hooper house. I know this is a fantasy corner of the internet, but reality always manages to find a way in. The ratio of news to NBA games got flipped in the middle of the week, so instead of longer, deeper looks into one or two specific teams, this edition of Hangin’ will feature check-ins on past (incorrect) statements and some quick hitters on what I was able to catch this week. I’m aiming to get back on track this week — aren’t we all? — so hopefully next time will be less doom and gloom and more dimes and dunks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Friday Night Lights are known to bring the best out of athletes. Big-time performances, breakout players, and competitive scores are all things that make Friday Night games the best. On a Friday full of high scoring finishes, franchise record-breaking feats, and careers highs, these games may have given us some of the best performances of the season far. From the Battle of the Ball Brothers to the offensive clinic put on by Bradley Beal and Caris LeVert in losing efforts, the individual performances highlighted some potential All-Star worthy players we all need to keep tabs on. The Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors also SHOT THE LIGHTS OUT in big-time wins where they shot historically well from three. On a night full of great moments, it is hard to sum it all up in one place and really put it into perspective…Oh that is right, I did all that and more for you down below as we look at the NBA’s Friday Night Top Performers!

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Wall continued to look rejuvenated posting this line over 37 minutes, and if I bet you $5 that his usage rate was over or under 37.5, you’d probably take the over and ask me for my Venmo as it was 35.8. It was a bit maudlin for Rockets announcer Bill Worrell to repeatedly claim last night that the 2010 no. 1 overall pick looked like he was still in high school, but Houston must feel slightly better paying him $40-plus million the next three years with this level of production.

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Rookies are traditionally seen as volatile fantasy assets, and for good reason—every year there are some duds and some studs. Last year, the perceived cream of the crop and number one overall pick on Draft Night and in our hearts, was none other than Zion Williamson from Duke University. He wound up playing only 24 games, but the per-game numbers lacked across-the-board production, landing him just outside the top-150 for fantasy value. Meanwhile, his fellow Blue Devil teammates, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish were unrosterable in category leagues. Even runaway ROY Ja Morant was just a mid-rounder when all was said and done. On the flip side, you had a guy like Kendrick Nunn who, when given the opportunity produced similar value to Zion but went mostly undrafted in fantasy leagues.

Every Friday I’ll be checking in on the 2020-21 Rookie Class to see where they stand with respect to their peers and the rest of the Association. The season is young but I like what I’m seeing from a rookie crop that had been dismissed as historically weak.

For now, I’m sticking to rooks who play 20+ minutes, as where there are minutes, there are opportunites.

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I try not to write up the same player in the top blurb two days in a row for a variety of reasons. It’s good to change it up. My wife and I are on page 360 of the Kamasutra book that we “read” every night before bed. Ha! Who am I kidding? I’ve been married for 12 years and have two kids. Page 360. Ha! It’s nice to show love to everyone, as there is so much skill in the league, and every night greatness is produced by many. But sometimes, a string of performances is so great that there is nothing to do but bow down and pay homage. In my many years at Razzball, I think I’ve only written a player in back-to-back nights maybe four or five times. Now, this is not a back-to-back, but it’s damn close. On Sunday, Julius Randle went 29/14/7 against the Bucks. After meditating and correcting his issues, Randle came back the next game and went HAM….

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When I asked Son if I could write for Razzball he said I could on one condition: More. Kings. Content.

Regretfully being the man for the job, I accepted his terms and spent much of the days around the holiday soaking up some of that quality Sacramento basketball product. I also caught a few non-Kings games and took notes, opened some gifts (alpaca socks for our first Wisconsin winter), finished watching The Young Pope (quite good), and then looked through my scribblings for a single shard of wisdom. And while I can’t promise that I found any, I do have some thoughts on this first week of NBA basketball.

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The consensus no. 1 fantasy draft pick (despite the over-40 rec-league bod) may have frustrated owners early, but it was Second Christmas last night, with a stat line as beefy as Harden’s mid-section. While he had a chance at a game-winner, the Christmas Spirit must have bubbled over as he actually tried to pass (right to new Blazers F/C Robert Covington), Harden produced over 44 minutes what fantasy owners paid for in his debut.

Please, blog, may I have some more?