Razzball Nation, welcome to the fourth quarter of the NBA season. Most of you playing in points leagues are in your fantasy playoffs with hopes of being crowned champion in the next few weeks. For those of you in rotisserie formats, you are here until the bitter end, which will surely include some silly season heroics, and I will be with you for all of it.
Trade deadlines have come and gone for a vast majority of leagues, which left me contemplating how to pivot this post for the final stretch of the season. The answer is and always will be in finding value and making that value work best for you. That is why this week, I am looking at an entire team and leaving it up to you to roll the dice on a few options that may be readily available on your wire or perhaps sitting on your bench in deeper leagues waiting to be deployed.
Get your motor running…? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tim Hardaway Jr. is looking much more comfortable as a starter. After busting out of a horrific shooting slump in his last game with 22 points and five treys, THJ one-upped himself with 26 points and six triples on Thursday, even tossing in two steals and a block for good measure. Hardaway is the definition of streaky, as these last two offensive explosions came on the heels of a four-game rut that saw him average a paltry 3.5 PPG and 0.5 3PTM. However, the change in role may be a catalyst in turning his campaign around. If he keeps knocking down shots he should stick as a starter, and be a major source of points and treys. If you’re in need of help in those two categories, he’s still available in about two thirds of standard leagues (37 percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues). Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome back indeed! Draft season is okay, but it feels so good to have basketball back. Roster speculation and divination is no substitute for actual games and real rotations. Considering all my fretting about what to do with Centers, it should come as no surprise that I’ve still got my eye on how some of these uncertain situations are coming together in this first column of the season. Granted, it has only been a week, but some telling decisions have been made now that we’re off and running. Eventually I’ll give some love to guards and forwards, but for now I’m hung up on the big guys. Here’s what’s caught my eye thus far. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 21! The playoffs are in full swing across the fantasy hoops landscape, meaning it’s time to cut injured players who are acting as proverbial millstones around your team’s neck and go streaming! This post will help you do just that, with recommendations for widely available players who can backfill those injured drops and contribute to your victory. If you’re in the enviable position of having a fully-healthy team, two things: 1) I hate you 2) You can still benefit from these suggestions, because you should be using at least one roster spot to cycle through players and maximize your games played for the week. Please, blog, may I have some more?
My man had 41 in the first half en route to a career-best 60. Kyrie is a wizard with the rock and when he gets going it’s hard to take your eyes off him. The extra rest he’s enjoyed this season practically jumps off the screen (not that he or Brooklyn necessarily needed it to get by a pretty bad and pretty checked-out Magic team), especially here in the doldrums of the season. He’s a first-round talent when he’s out there, but of course we know that he’s not always out there.
This begs the question: Wouldn’t you rather only have 50 games played by the best players in the world who aren’t visibly fatigued instead of the 82-game marathon that routinely eats some of its young by the time the season’s over? I may not agree with everything Kyrie says or does, but the point he’s making by showcasing the value of fresh legs could be a silver lining if the league ever moves away from an oversaturated product and finally pares back their slaughterhouse of a season. Irving looks unbelievable out there. Imagine if everyone was this fresh.
Here’s what else I saw on a quiet Tuesday night in the NBA… Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s be honest, the Detroit Pistons are currently a bit of a dumpster fire. But even dumpster fires can be beautiful. Ask anyone involved with the production of “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.” Side note: That only came out a year ago. I know, it feels like five years ago. We’ll never survive this, but I digress.
There’s actually plenty to like if you’re a Pistons fan for the long term with newcomer Cade Cunningham along with returning players Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart. They are going to have their growing pains no doubt, but they should be competitive in most games. They’ve been relatively competitive ever since Dwayne Casey was named head coach in 2018 and the front office has done a decent job giving the roster some sort of direction.
But how long will it take this young core to gel? Will they be interested in winning all season or turn on the tank in the end? And where the hell does Trey Lyles fit into all this?!?! Please, blog, may I have some more?