Another week, another weird stat that caught my attention from around the magical world of the NBA. James Wiseman has not enjoyed the best of starts to his career and the injuries that he has suffered have certainly not helped his case. However, the stat is that he is a minus 35 in 5 games in the G League. Not good. He was not a plus in any of those games, joining a very bad company of Haseem Thabeet and Anthony Bennett as the only top 2 draft picks to be sent down to the G League for development purposes. I am not saying that he is a lost cause, but it certainly does not seem very promising. Check out this very interesting video with more analysis on the Wiseman issue.

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You can’t win a championship at the beginning of a season, but you can lose one. Much as it pains me to say, I think I’ve already lost.

After a successful Writer’s League last year that ended against Kostas in the semifinal and a pretty intensive offseason of thinking about hoops, I came into this year’s draft feeling like I was in decent shape to post a good showing again. But this year ain’t last year. Stats and success don’t carry over, and if you’re resting on laurels rather than applying lessons learned, there’s no way to bank Ws on account of “experience.” If you’ve been following Kelder’s weekly recaps, you might have noticed that my team isn’t anywhere in the mix. Indeed, you’ve got to scroll almost the way to the bottom of the table to see my name. A record of 19-34-1 is good enough for 11th and I feel all but certain the hole that I’ve put myself in is going to be too deep to recover from. I’m not quite ready to quit on some other struggling squads, but I think it’s safe to let go of preseason expectations at this point and set a different goal for the remaining three-quarters of the season here in the Writer’s League.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Seven!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchups.  While everyone else is watching the Lions lose, arguing, and deciding how many Breaking Bad box sets they’re going to buy on Black Friday, you can be poring over stat lines and analyzing team builds with me.

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PB and G is the cream of the crop, he rose to the top, he never eats a pig cuz a pig is a……………okay, whatever, I play the guy this week!  Talk about a House of Pain. He is followed closely by JokerSmoker, then a glob of four who are close, then another glob of the rest who are trying to claw their ways up out of the gutter like Elon Musk’s Twitter.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Five!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you down the stretch of your head-to-head matchup.  A number of last week’s recommendations panned out, with no-brainers like Aleksej Pokusevski, Cam Payne, and Gabe Vincent stepping up to provide big production.  This week presents a totally different picture, with a slew of teams playing just two games for the week and one team playing five.  Plus, we have new injuries and illnesses to consider.

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Much to the disappointment of pundits chomping at the bit to argue whether the Lakers play better without LeBron, L.A. lost again Friday night, 120-114 to the Kings, because De’Aaron Fox maneuvered about the roost like the sly creature he is, feasting on chicken defenders and dropping bags of leftover bones through the net left and right. Fox finished with 32 points (13-19 FG, 2-5 3pt, 4-5 FT), 7 boards and 12 assists. He’s averaging about 25-5-6 with a steal and just under 3 turnovers to start the season. His 3-point shooting (36%) has been slightly better than years past, as well as from the line (86%), but it’s inside the arch he’s been lethal, converting 63% of 2-point shots. Also, mark the “Clutch” checkbox next to Fox’s name on the stat sheet, as he led the Kings to victory with 10 fourth-quarter points on 5-of-7 shooting and three rebounds, four assists and a crucial steal.

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Hey Dallas, did you overlook your opponent just because they were 1-9? Was it because they were the Orlando Magic? Was it because their best player this year, Paolo Banchero, was out for the game? You only scored 87 points against a very inexperienced team and 53 of those points came from Spencer Dinwiddie and Luka Doncic. The bench depth as a whole has been a weak point for the Mavericks this season. Outside of Christian Wood, players such as Dwight Powell, Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber really haven’t been producing for them.

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Darius Garland returned to the Cavaliers, putting up 29 points and 12 assists in a close victory over the Boston Celtics. In both games where Garland and Donovan Mitchell have played the Cavs bigs have struggled to score. Jarrett Allen had 15 points last night while Evan Mobley had 14, both were below regular season averages. As for the Celtics, it’s hard to win games when Jayson Tatum shoots 8-21 from the field. On a positive note his defensive numbers were quite solid last night: nine defensive rebounds and four blocks. 

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The Sacramento Kings get their first season victory, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers as the only winless team remaining.
Kings got strong play from rookie forward Keegan Murray, who was finished second on the team in scoring with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field; De’Aaron Fox was also very active on the glass as he led all players with 13 rebounds along with his 17 points.
Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo finished with 23 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in 37 minutes before fouling out.
A notable statistic for the Heat is that while Tyler Herro led all players with 22 shot attempts, veteran leaders Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler only combined for 19 attempts.

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I’ll be honest, my original plan was to have this piece written and published at the end of last season, back when the failed chase for the top spot in the RazzJam was still fresh in my mind. But the NBA season is long and the Playoffs are so good, so when I fell just short of a championship, it seemed just fine to me to put this on the shelf for a bit. So, I sat on this with it being 95% completed and rested instead. Then Middleton went down and the Bucks got beat. The sun came out, the Celtics ran out of gas, and another Golden State summer onto my shores like a warm wave, even though I’ve traded in the Bay Area for Bay View. 

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That’s right! We Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ on forward. The players listed below should round out the first two rounds in most drafts and will be the foundations for teams. In roto, you’re likely trying to build a significant base in particular categoires to cushion later-round selections, but that is dependent on what path you follow. Some of the Son Pods I recorded in the offseason delve into the different strategies employed by some of the top players on the NFBKC streets. For head-to-head leagues, which punt path you venture down should be apparent now and will dictate which players get elevated in value.

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