Ya know, Brandon Knight and The Dark Knight metaphor work pretty well as a parallel to my time here on Razzball Hoops. In 13-14, Knight was one of my first bolder calls that panned out (hey, it’s easier for me to forget the bad ones OK! …cough, MCW, cough…), exploding onto the scene as the Bucks PG like Batman Begins. I guess that implies I exploded onto the scene, let’s just say I feel like I was better than Batman & Robin, so that’s a plus… Then he was somehow even better for most of 14-15; the rare sequel that’s better than the original in The Dark Knight. In my second season, I was the only ‘pert to have #OccupyDraymondGreen top 100! Take that, Christopher Nolan! Then he was traded to the Suns, and thus far this season, we’ve only seen flashes of the former brilliance. Exactly like The Dark Knight Rises. He got a bigger budget with his max deal, and also got a longer run time. And while Anne Hathaway is hot and all, there’s a lot of things that just didn’t make sense. Only time will tell if Knight can break this analogy, because the next stop for Batman is this horrific looking dawn of justice movie hooblah. Whatever the hell it’s called… Why in the hell is Affleck going from Oscar-winning director to star of a CGI clusterF$*#?!?!?! Not like he needs the money! Knight returned last night (hah!) for 10/2/5/0/1 in 25 minutes off the bench after nearly 2 months out due to a groin. He looked pretty good out there, even though he shot only 2-9. Was cutting hard and ran into a mess of big men to scuffle for a board, so he’s not just coasting until the end of the season. Good timing before the fantasy playoffs! Hopefully you were able to hold; while I think he’s gonna be ho-hum compared to his numbers pre-injury with the Suns tanking, I do think he’ll be must-own. So here’s to hoping he’s finally healthy, and buck the trend of both the Batman franchise, or movies by Christopher Nolan. I have to buck the trend of this analogy too! Now THERE’S some pressure for 16-17 ranks! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Winter might not officially end for another couple of weeks, but Spring looks to have sprung for us up here in the northeast. Temperatures are climbing, the last of the snow has melted, the pretty girls are starting to peel away their heavy winter apparel, and the Toronto Raptors are reminding Canadian hoops fans why it’s never a good idea to buy into the idea that “maybe this will be our year.”
You’d think after nearly blowing a 15-point lead to the Blazers on Friday, and then actually blowing it against the visiting Rockets on Sunday, my Raps would take out some of their frustrations on the woefully bad Brooklyn Nets…yeah, not so much. Thanks to getting outscored 35-14 in the 2nd quarter, they were down 16 at half…to the Nets. The 18-45 Nets. That Toronto came back to win on the strength of 48 points from their All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry (23) & DeMar DeRozan (25) is besides the point. These extended periods of disinterested play against inferior competition are what have caused their early playoff exits each of the past couple years and Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre was just the most recent example of the team failing to learn from their past mistakes. If history is any indication, there’s going to be a lot more where that came from…
Whatever. I’m preemptively upset about it happening again and I don’t want to talk about it anymore, alright? Let’s just move past it.
For variety’s sake, we’ll change up the format again this week and break down Tuesday’s six pack game-by-game with a focus on the noteworthy fantasy performers who are helping and hurting owners as the playoffs fast approach.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m pretty sure Stephen Curry looks at fantasy ADPs. He’s like, “I’m not a runaway consensus #1, and this labradoodle Brow IS?!”
Of course I started writing this open when Anthony Davis was 1-16, then he got red hot AND MADE TWO IN A ROW! Somebody cool him off, he’s NBA Jam on fire! Brow was more uncomfortable with the ball in his hands than watching Scary Movie 2 with your parents last night, wrapping up with a 4-20 FG outing. Might be the worst reference to 420 I’ve ever seen! 10-15 FT helped salvage some points – and he got his 3 swats – but 18/6/2/0/3 with 5 TO and a deathstroke to your FG% is not what the #1 pick ordered. Curry on the other hand treated New Orleans like Hurricane Katrina! Too rough? Fine, then he treated them like BP… Yikes, Nawleans has had a rough ride. Then their NBA team has everyone get hurt! Steph just straight whipped it out (I mean his MVP trophy!) and pummeled the Pelicans and their awful PG for 40/6/7/2/0 on 14-26 FG (5-12 3PTM 7-7 FT). Hey, it’s opening night, and the Warriors are phenomenal at disrupting big men. And the Pelicans had all their PG minutes played by guys on the street a week ago. Hopefully you own Curry in a league or two, and I’m literally about to spam Brow owners as hard as LinkedIn emails. Seriously, I don’t care if some recruiter looked at my profile, I don’t need an email on that ish! No, no, blurb on Ish Smith is later… What an awful Pelicans team… Here’s what else went down on NBA’s opening night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’re a fan of a bad team, you know to expect a spell of the ol’ Lottery Fever that begins every Spring with the race to the crappiest record, continues with the actual Lottery drawing in May and real-deal NBA draft in June, and finally dissipates after fantasy drafts in the fall and the start of actual basketball, when actual orange spheres go through actual steel rims.
Your real-life, garbage-juice-slathered team doesn’t play in Minnesota? Vindication can be yours by reaching for Karl-Anthony Towns as early as possible. Are you a Knicks fan who has already started using “Kristaps” as a euphemism for what happens after you just had some bad Taco Bell? Go get yourself some D’Angelo Russell – who cares if he’s gonna stink as a pro. And everyone who grabbed Stanley Johnson felt real good, regardless of what human team they follow.
But hold it right there when it comes to Willie Cauley-Stein, who should always have something before his name. As in “Bad Bad” Willie Cauley-Stein, or “Wild” Willie Cauley-Stein, or “Old Man” Willie Cauley-Stein.
From a Boards-N-Blocks perspective, I like him for all the reasons everyone else likes him: He’s a 7-footer, he’s athletic, he runs the floor, George Karl said that’s he’s going to start, and he fulfills every fantasy in a would-be porno directed by Jay Bilas (Upside! Yes, baby! Wingpsan! Oh, yeah!).Please, blog, may I have some more?
The NBA really is Jordan Belfort. The Wolf of Fantasy Sports! It’s tantric and never slows down, from the Finals ending less than two weeks before the draft, free agency hitting a week later and we’re already starting summer ball. And the NBA will soon revel in the excess that is the 16-17 salary cap boost with a TV deal that put Seinfeld reruns to shame. I need my ludes to get me through!
Even the Spurs couldn’t avoid the world of excess and massive free agency signings, bringing in LaMarcus Aldridge for a cool $80 million. Loosening up the purse strings! My first thought was, “dammit, Kawhi is never gonna be the guy!” Then again, he got over $90 mil with his extension, so there’s that! But Kawhi Leonard sometimes struggles with the mid-range and long-distance shooting, so L.A. should help Kawhi by opening up some lanes and keeping him in his game. This is going to be a crazy offense, with Tim Duncan moving to center and likely being his solid old self. Which leaves us with what to expect from Aldridge… And, me no likey for fantasy. After being really durable early in his career, he’s had a few bumps and bruises (I know, I know, playing through a torn thumb tendon gets mad props) and the Spurs – as we all know – love to limit the minutes. I also don’t think he quite gets to 20 shots a game like we’ve seen the past few years. I had him 20 in my way too early rankings, but the move drops him a few spots at the least. L.A. in S.A. is not OK! Here’s what else has gone on through the first few days of free agency and rookie ball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Who is the hottest team in the NBA right now? The Pacers are surprisingly playing well and OKC is still winning through injuries, but those Utah Jazz are as tough to score on as the bookish chicks in college!
5-1 since the trade deadline, the Jazz have wins against Portland, San Antonio and now Memphis in that span (their loss was against the Lakers, but we’ll overlook that), and other than that fluke Lakers game, no one has scored over 82 points. And we all know the key to the Jazz D is Rudy Gobert. Moving into the starting line-up, Gobert has been playing unreal with a 15/24/1/0/0 line last night on 6-10 FG and 3-4 FT. He was on a 6-game streak of 3+ blocks, so a random outlier of 0 last night isn’t a biggie especially since Marc Gasol loves his mid-range.
I’ve seen a few comments of owners looking to trade for FG% and a big man boost, and I would be all-in on trying to bring Rudy to those squads. Even his FT% is improving at 11-15 from the stripe the past 3! And the Jazz have that oh so saucy 4/4/4 playoff sched. Yesterday on the Podcast, I asked Slim if he would take Gobert or Hassan Whiteside first in next year’s drafts. It’s really really close and comes down to a points need (Whiteside) vs. steals need (Gobert). It’s crazy that probably the biggest value change during the deadline was just the stubborn Jazz finally unleashing the beast that is Gobert. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, one outta three of the letters in MCW is in efficient… That makes sense seeing as he usually shoots 33%!
In his debut for the Bucks, Michael Carter-Williams looked solid against his former Sixers for 7/0/8/2/0 in only 17 and a half minutes. All with only one TO! Shot 3-5 from the field, did split his two FT, but a mad efficient game in his new colors. Off the toe sprain, I’m not surprised his minutes were kept in check as the Bucks unsurprisingly took it to the Sixers. Full tank! Yesterday on the Podcast, Slim said even a great game wouldn’t have him change his MCW valuation too much, and he’s the logical one. But I’m antsy and loved what I saw! I don’t think he’s suddenly the top-50 guy I thought he’d be, but I think he’ll keep the %s in check with that decent MIL supporting cast, and he won’t make you want to kill yourself. And if that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is…. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
From the depth of 90s video games, crossed with the beastly rancor of Joakim Noah (can you use rancor as an adjective? is that even the right part of speech?!), it’s the Goromotaro! An epic performance of 20/20 needed a name, but ever since Joakim pulled off a few back in the day, he hasn’t scored 20 points in like… a million years. Hasn’t yet this year! Shocking he’s scored double digits in only 2 of the past 19… But I digress…
The way things have looked the past month, Goromotaro might need a name or image change to feature Hassan Whiteside! Dude is hitting the glass harder than Cheech at a bong-only party. 24/20/0/3/2 last night for his first career Goro. Not that he hasn’t been close! Had a 23/16 and a 16/24 in there. Unreal! There’s only been 23 20+ board games this year, and Whiteside is two of them and has only 8 starts! Whiteside has the 7th Goro this year (the others belonging to Kenneth Faried, Zach Randolph, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, Pau Gasol and… you ready for this…? Jason Thompson!), and as good as those guys are (well, minus Thompson), I’d put good money on Whiteside being the first with multiple. He’s also 73% from the stripe his past 13 games! Getting a little unreal out there, and the 4 TO last night were very fluky – especially one on an inbounding violation that was totally Norris Cole‘s fault. Cole tried handing it back to Whiteside after he tossed it in during an odd, weird lack of awareness that cost the Heat the game! I’m pretty sure it was a play ran to perfection from the Larry Drew playbook… Here’s what else went down last night across the NBA:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The race to see who will be the biggest historical figure from NYC named Langston!
In his first career start, another D-League darling in Langston Galloway had a career-high 21 points in a 21/5/3/0/0 line hitting 8-14 FG and 3-6 from deep. Probably the best stat from yesterday is that the Knicks are undefeated in Galloway starts. Kid doesn’t know how to lose! Starting a little bit out-of-position at the 2 guard, the Knicks seem intent on giving him minutes and seeing what they have. He played 31 yesterday to Jose Calderon‘s 23 minutes of rock-bottom garbage and Shane Larkin only popped up for 15. Definitely going Galloway over Larkin, I was on that side of the argument even last week, but is it crazy to roll the dice on Langston over terrible-aroni Calderoni? I would probably take Galloway unless a desperate need for assists-upside. Plus Calderon makes perfect sense as a trade candidate given the Knicks’ direction. Notice how I said Knicks. And not Poppycockers. Because they won a game! I’m giving our New York readers a day of respite… Keep the losses coming, Knicks, I wanna keep doling out the Poppycockers joke the rest of the year! Here’s what else has gone down since we last checked in on Friday in fantasy basketball action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The new year brings us the glorious 2nd coming of the Durantula, again. Kevin Durant looked better than expected going 44/10/7/0/1 with 6 3s and 12-12 FTs. Sure you could argue the stat line was OT aided but just that Durant played 40 minutes after missing 6 games tells me there is nothing wrong with his ankle. I imagine any buy low window is long gone after this game but he might be worth one last attempt to trade for. If you thought this is why I watched this game though you would be wrong. I wanted to see the Steven Adams vs Alex Len match-up. Lurch with 9/7/1/1/0 in 27 minutes and Len with 2/6/0/0/1 in 22 minutes. There is no question Adams is the guy to own. Neither are part of the offense but at times Len looked bored and unsure of what he was supposed to be doing on both ends of the court. That is a sentence I will never write about Steven Adams. His aggression does one of two things. The foul trouble associated will give him a few duds but it will also lead to big games which I don’t think Len has in him this year. There were a ton of huge stat lines in this 137-134 overtime thriller but perhaps the stat that tells the biggest story was the 6 technical fouls. Including two and an ejection for…Please, blog, may I have some more?