If you have been reading my recaps this season, then you know one of my favorite terms is: Waiver Wire All-Star. I use this to refer to players who started the year undrafted in almost every fantasy basketball league out there. Even in my deeper leagues Tyreke Evans was sitting there just waiting to be added by some lucky owner who is probably competing for a championship right now.
A great draft is super important, donât get me wrong, but it is these savvy waiver wire pick-ups that win leagues. âReke has not only been a good pick-up, but he is returning top 40 value in most leagues. That means that a third or fourth round (depending on your league size) pick was just hanging out, playing video games, watching Netflix, waiting to get the call to the big show.
Last night Tyreke Evans went off again and almost messed around for the second night in a row putting up this juicy slash: 2/23/6/10/1/0. So congratulations if you snagged âReke in your league. Here is what else I saw last night:
Whatâs up Razzballers? We had a doozy of a game last night in Toronto between the Raptors and the Warriors. I donât typically like to give the lede to players on the losing team, but this was the best game in a night of great games, and DeMar DeRozan was the star of the show. He was a big reason the Raptors were even competitive as he went for 42/5/3 on 17-for-31 FG (0-for-4 3P, 8-for-10 FT) and two TOs. This was in a game the Raptors lost by just two after being down 81 to 54 (!) at halftime. The end was a big clusterfrick too. No other RaptorÂ played more than 30 minutes, as the almost-comeback was mostly led by DeMar and the bench sinceÂ Kyle LowryÂ was out with injury. Anyway, hereâs what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball:
First, we lost Gilligan’s Island. Then, Fantasy Island met it’s doom. Now, the unthinkable has happened. Waiters Island has been shut down for the season. Dion Waiters is expected to have season-ending surgery on his left ankle, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo.com. The Heat can go in many directions. Tyler Johnson can start at shooting guard with Josh Richardson at small forward and Wayne Ellington the main guy off the bench. Or, Derrick Jones Jr. could start at shooting guard, which would keep Tyler Johnson in a reserve role to back up Goran Dragic. Since Waiters hasn’t played since late-December, the preferred lineup has been Dragic at the point with Johnson at shooting guard and Richardson at small forward. Ellington has been the main scorer off the bench and should continue to be an excellent source for 3s. It’s safe to drop Waiters if you haven’t already. I’m going to miss the antics of Waiters for the remainder of the season, but at least he should return next season, unlike the other famous islands of tv past.
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.
âIt’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get upâÂ (Vince Lombardi)
Sports in the 20th century inspired many dramas, thrillers and comedy films.”Rocky”, “Raging Bull” and “Slap Shot” became instant classics. Now in the 21st century, we have many dramas, many many thrillers and some comedy in our leagues. Injuries are a drama, and we have a lot this season, one after another. Players with O (out) and GTD (game time decision) are usual on any team, and if youÂ drafted Willy Hernangomez or acquired Jahlil Okafor in the waiver… no more words.
Â Here is how the action went down in Week 11 across our 12 RCL Leagues:
First things first. Happy New Year to everyone! For myself, long gone are the days of trying to time orgasms with my wife at the stroke of midnight. Now, the orgasm comes from getting the kids to sleep. There’s no mess or slipping one by the goalie! Anyways, I hope you all had a good holiday season and are ready to usher in 2018. Wishing you all prosperity for the new year. With all that said, let’s get it on!
I flew to the Wrong Coast for the holidays. To this day, it still boggles my mind that we are able to fly in the air. Keep in mind, that I still can’t fully comprehend how a bunch of 0’s and 1’s allow me to do what I’m doing right now. So, flying to outer space? Fugget about it. I even watched a ton of Robotech as a kid and still….As a result, whenever I hear or read about the Apollo 13 mission, my brain pretty much explodes. A spacecraft was launched back in 1970! To fly to the moon! But a few days after launch, there was an explosion that crippled the craft, which prompted the “Uh, Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Only by channeling their inner MacGyver, were the crew and craft able to return safely to Earth. James Harden of the Houston Rockets boggles my mind. He mesmerizes defenders with his dribble like what snakes do with their prey, and always gets them to reach so he can blow by them. His step back J allows him to get his shot up over any defender. Last night in a double overtime game against the Lakers, Harden went:
PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
40 2 11 2 2 1 3/8 10/20 17/21
Mind boggled. But….”Uh, Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Harden left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. Ruh oh. We will have to keep an eye on the situation, like “CSI at scene” eye. Chris Paul should see a massive uptick in usage, while Eric Gordon and newly acquired Gerald Green should both see more minutes.
When watching Kyle Kuzma play basketball, all I can think about is the Notorious B.I.G. One of my favorite songs is Juicy.
Many in the NBA thought Kuzma wouldn’t amount to nothin’. Now he’s in the limelight ’cause his hoops game is tight. Now honies play him close like butter played toast. Ha! What a line. Biggie Smalls was the illest. Anyways, Kuzma went from negative to positive and it all started when he was drafted 27th overall in the NBA Draft. The Summer League followed, where he dominated and led the Lakers to hoisting the trophy. Then the regular season started. He scored double figures in five of his first seven NBA games. It was on, baby bay-bee. In fact, there’s only been one other game in which he failed to score double digits. What’s even more remarkable is that he’s played 27 games, yet only started 11. Kuuuuuuuuuuuz! It all came to a culmination last night against the Rockets.
This is no fluke. Kuz has been balling from day one and is only going to get better. It’s on, baby bay-bee!
Back in the 80’s, Hasbro came out with My Buddy, a doll marketed for boys to teach them about caring for their friends. It was controversial at the time because dolls were traditionally for girls. Yep, took until the 80’s. Anyways, there were two things that always stuck with me regarding My Buddy. First, the catchy commercial song. Second, the fact that My Buddy eventually morphed into Chucky from Child’s Play. In a way, it perfectly captures the duality of the world, which segues perfectly to Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings. Selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, big things were expected from the guard out of Oklahoma. Even bigger things were expected a year later when he was a fundamental piece in the trade for DeMarcus Cousins. Vivek Ranadive, owner of the Kings, said, “Buddy Hield has Steph Curry potential.” As my momma always told me, “potential don’t mean shit.” Buddy had some ugly shooting performances: 1-for-10, 2-for-10, etc. As a result, he was allotted 30 or more minutes in a game just twice. Every time he sucked, we threw him into the proverbial trash and eradicated him from our memories. But….he kept resurrecting. Just like Chucky. Last night in Philly, Buddy helped the Kings best the 76ers 101-95. Buddy went:
Until I see the Kings actually commit to Buddy, I’m hesitant to trust him. He can get hot, for extended stretches of time, but he will just end up disappointing you. Then you will throw him in the trash and the circle of life will resume once again.
In all walks of life, we yearn for predictability. How long will the commute take? Is it going to rain tomorrow? Will the Big One occur tomorrow (I live in Cali)? What if we could predict the stats for every player on a nightly basis? That would be a good thing, right? Ever do a fantasy draft in NBA 2K or Madden against the computer? How about a fantasy basketball mock draft against the AI? What if your significant other did the exact same routine under the sheets every single time? Life would get boring and mundane. Imagine a world with no surprises. Imagine a world with no highs and lows. Just a living flat line. Fantasy sports would become an efficient market with everyone valuing players the same. I bring all this up because Victor Oladipo‘s career has been anything but predictable. Selected by the Orlando Magic with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, greatness was expected. And why not? At 6’ 4″ 210 pounds with a 42″ vertical jump, Oladipo had the physcial tools. Judging from his production at Indiana University, he also had the skills. But then life happened. After three seasons in Orlando, the team traded him to Oklahoma City. After one season in OKC, he was shipped off to Indiana for Paul George. Maybe he wasn’t ready. Maybe he didn’t gel with his teammates. There are so many factors to consider, but one thing is certain: He’s found a home with the Pacers. Oladipo is scoring almost eight more points than last year on four more shot attempts, the shooting percentage has increased substantially (from both the suburbs and downtown), the rebounds are up, assists are up, steals are up, and blocks are up. I guess I could’ve just said every statistical category has improved, but I like the dramatic effect of spelling everything out. He’s the 14th overall player right now!!! Anyways, yesterday against the Nuggets, Oladipo played 45 minutes in an OT game and went: