I think we can all agree that NBA athletes have said some wild things throughout the years. Sometimes it is trash talk that gets out of hand, others it is baffling comments regarding the actual game and some other times, my personal favorites, are quotes that have nothing to do with their job but are […] Please, blog, may I have some more?
The end of each year is now deemed “Silly Season,” when resting vets on contenders and breakout youngsters on tanking teams play havoc with lineup decisions. Three weeks into the season, I now declare this time of the year “Wacky Season,” with Wednesday night a perfect example. There are players who started injured coming back, […] Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hello Razzball Nation! I am the self-proclaimed BBall Oracle (results may vary) here to provide you with my picks and insights for NBA DFS this season. We’re kicking off this year with a massive post-election day 14 game slate. On a slate this large there are so many viable plays that you don’t need to intentionally get different with ownership. Play the guys you think will score the most points even if you think that guy might be chalky.
My number one piece of advice for NBA DFS in general, but especially on a slate this large, is to be on top of injury updates. Contests are won and lost on backups becoming starters and starters getting increased usage from injuries. In the NBA random injuries happen every night, players get rested for no reason despite the NBA’s best efforts to deter it, and tank-itis is a horrible disease that will luckily not rear its ugly head for another few months. You need to be on top of your lineups up until lock and to give yourself the best chance to win even after lock to monitor late scratches and lingering questionable designations. There will be injury plays that open up with news tomorrow that we just don’t know yet.
That being said, with our current knowledge of injury news (Tuesday night) let’s get down to it. Pricing is always (Fanduel/DraftKings). I play tournaments and my picks will always bias towards volatility and upside. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Did you know that the title for every episode of the USA series “Monk” started “Mr. Monk …” As in, “Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus”; “Mr. Monk Joins a Cult”; and who could forget, “Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus”?
I feel like the Kings should be working up a cross-promotion deal to revitalize the series (originally set in the Bay Area), but set up the road in Sacramento and with Malik Monk casted as Tony Shalhoub’s sidekick. Or maybe that’s just the cabin fever settling in since I am in Oregon, where anything more than 3 inches of snow causes mass hysteria and shuts everything down. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Denver made a couple of moves on the margins. One was to shore up their backup center spot with the acquisition of Thomas Bryant. While that may help the Nuggets a smidge, it has no bearing in the fantasy realm. Bryant was a hot pickup when he took over the starting center role for a few weeks in LA, but he won’t get enough clock to matter behind Denver’s two-time MVP. Meanwhile, Denver shipped off a disgruntled Bones Hyland, opening up a backup point guard slot. Ish Smith filled in last night (technically as the backup to the backup with Jamal Murray sidelined) and scored 0 points with five assists. The main beneficiary will probably be Bruce Brown, who has been quite useful in spurts this season. Brown (56 percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues) has done a little bit of everything, but may get a couple more shots and assist chances if he gets the ball in his hands a bit more. Sliding into the starting lineup last night, he finished with a quiet seven points, three assists, two steals, and a block. He’s still a solid pickup in the almost half of leagues he’s out there in. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Suns’ off-season produced enough fireworks to sustain Kenny Powers on the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, if you’re a Suns fan, the drama was less of the blockbuster trade or free agent acquisition variety, and more front-page-of-the-tabloid variety. For starters, majority owner Robert Sarver is putting the team up for sale after being suspended for the entire season. The news unleashed a circus of speculation surrounding the identity of the next owner, with Bob Iger, Shaq, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. being mentioned as candidates with varying levels of seriousness. The Suns are also trying to deal a frustrated Jae Crowder, who capped off his summer of discontent by sitting out training camp and pre-season while the franchise works out a trade. Speaking of pre-season, the Suns got off to an inauspicious start when the Adelaide 36ers came from Down Under and handed Phoenix a loss on their home court. We all know not to read into pre-season too much, but between distractions at the top, the cloud hanging over Crowder’s exit, and simmering tensions between coach Monty Williams and Deandre Ayton, one gets the feeling that the turmoil from their disastrous second round ouster may extend into this season.
Whatever happens, there is still fantasy goodness to be mined from this fast-paced squad. Here are my assessments as we near the start of the action: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Same format as last week, with one readily available player per game and some additional insight into the game. I’d imagine that most fantasy leagues have either wrapped up or are in the finals, so take my picks this week as desperation moves. Not a single pick this week is meant for a dynasty league, as this week is all about making that final pickup to win this season. Let’s get right into it. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Brooklyn Nets 119-110 to remain ahead of the Nets in the Eastern Conference standings. The two teams have identical 39-36 records, but with this win, the Hornets move to 2-1 against the Nets and secure the tiebreaker. Led by LaMelo Ball’s hot shooting, the Hornets spoiled Kyrie Irving’s home debut. Ball finished the game with 33 points (10-21 FG, 7-12 3PT), seven rebounds, nine assists, and three steals. Miles Bridges added 24 points (9-24 FG, 3-6 3PT), eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal. P.J. Washington tallied 18 points (8-12 FG, 2-3 3PT), 11 rebounds, and five assists. Terry Rozier notched 14 points (5-12 FG, 2-5 3PT), seven rebounds, four assists, and one steal. If the Hornets are making their threes they can be tough to beat and that was the case in this game. They shot 42% from the field as a team, but they shot 53% from three (17-32). As things currently stand, the Hornets would match up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament, rather than the Nets. That’s unfortunate for us, the fans, as the pace of play and lack of defense on both sides would make a Nets vs. Hornets matchup must-see TV. Then again, there likely won’t be much defense in a Nets vs. Hawks series either. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Indiana Pacers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 129-98. In a rarity for this version of the Pacers, they were the more veteran team. Oshae Brissett spearheaded the Pacers’ attack, as he tallied 24 points (8-10 FG, 2-3 3PT), nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal. His day also included a highlight reveal reverse dunk in transition which came off a behind-the-back pass from Lance Stephenson. Have I mentioned that the Pacers are fun now!? Justin Anderson added 18 points, six rebounds, four assists, and one steal. Jalen Smith notched 17 points, five rebounds, and one block in just 17 minutes of play. I’m not sure if Smith will ever become the player the Suns hoped they were getting when he was drafted with the 10th pick in 2020, but he has at least grown into an intriguing prospect. He was 2-of-3 from behind the arc and also whipped out a Dirk-esque step-back off the dribble in the midrange. Terry Taylor (17) and Duane Washington Jr. (13) both had solid games as well. The Pacers led wire to wire and the lack of competitiveness of the game is reflected in the lower minute totals for Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield. Haliburton finished the game with 10 points, four rebounds, and seven assists. Hield tallied nine points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Finally, Lance Stephenson scored just two points, but grabbed six rebounds, dished out 11 assists, and swiped three steals. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Nets defeated their in-state rival Knicks 110-107, behind a statement performance from Kevin Durant, who finished the game with 53 points (19-37 FG, 4-13 3PT), six rebounds, nine assists, and two steals. The 53 points were a season-high and just a point shy of his career-high. Andre Drummond added 18 points, 10 rebounds, and one block on a perfect eight for eight from the field. Bruce Brown, whose value and strong play has grown consistent of late, finished the game with 15 points (7-14 FG, 0-1 3PT), seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Nic Claxton contributed off the bench, compiling 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block. Seth Curry was a late scratch due to an ankle injury. The Nets have now won three in a row after losing four in a row. During this winning streak, Durant has reminded everyone in the league and everyone watching at home just how dominant he can be. The spiciest and most hilarious result of a late-season Nets winning streak would be a 76ers vs. Nets first-round matchup—one can only hope! Please, blog, may I have some more?
Moving on to fantasy, I’m pretty pleased with last week’s suggestions as both Chuma Okeke and Grant Williams have been solid, while Jae Crowder has been very good and will continue to be must roster with Cameron Johnson still sidelined. Montrezl Harrell on the other end of the spectrum did everything he could to validate the “Sell” label and is a drop in all leagues. Please, blog, may I have some more?
One team in this matchup projects to be a difficult and gritty playoff opponent and a sneaky conference finals contender; the other team in this matchup is the Brooklyn Nets. The Boston Celtics defeated the Brooklyn Nets 126-120, behind a historic 54-point performance from Jayson Tatum. It was Tatum’s fourth 5o-point game, tying him with Larry Bird for the most 50-point games in Celtics history. Tatum finished the night with 54 points (16-30 FG, 8-15 3PT), five rebounds, three assists, and it was his hockey assist that led to a dagger Jaylen Brown three to stamp out all hope for the Nets. Jaylen Brown added 21 points, four rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Marcus Smart finished the game with 14 points, three rebounds, nine assists, and one steal. Al Horford finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block. Robert Williams III tallied 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, and five blocks. Please, blog, may I have some more?