I love craps. Not the sitting on the toilet kind, but the rolling of them two dice. It’s the one game that feels like I have some modicum of control. I shoot the dice, can decide when and where to bet, move chips around, and finally take money off the table if I so choose. It’s all an illusion, though. Yes, money management can always help, but the numbers are not in my favor over the long run. The probability of rolling a 7 is 16.67%. 13.89% to roll a 6 or 8, 11.11% to roll a 5 or 9, and 8.33% to roll a 4 or 10. The hardway bets? 2%. Even though I know the numbers, the game is too freaking fun. And I have those stories when I was down to my last chip and proceeded to go on a crazy heater, hitting multiple points, and making everyone jump around. It’s those times that keep me going back to the tables to replicate that feeling. That is what it must be like to own Tim Hardaway Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 37 5 1 2 0 3 6/9 14/24 3/3

Every once in a while, he will go on a heater that gets you all excited. More often than not, though, he will shoot 4-of-13 and make you cry like that guy in the casino bathroom that just lost the proverbial house. Since the Knicks lost Porzingis, THJ has seen usage rates of 29.4, 21.9, and 28.3. The high usage rate and minutes should continue to be plentiful. But like my experiences at the craps table, the likely scenario will be “7 OUT!” As long as you keep expectations in check, THJ will have some value. Just beware of emotionally point-chasing the performance from last night.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With less than a third of the season remaining the battle for a playoff spot in the West is fiercer than ever. Utah’s latest winning streak has complicated matters even more and currently six teams are separated by just three wins.

Presumably, the Pelicans are the odd man out with DeMarcus Cousins done for the year, but anything can happen in the remaining games so I wouldn’t bet against any team. I’m very interested to see in the comments your own predictions about the final standings in the Western Conference. The commenter with the best prediction will win my eternal love, as it’s Valentine’s day today, and a Brian Scalabrine bobblehead. The last part is a lie, because if I ever get my hands on such a bobblehead I’m never giving it away….

Moving on to last week’s calls, Michael Beasley unsurprisingly took a big chunk of Kristaps Porzingis’ usage and during the last week averaged 19.7 points with 8.3 rebounds. Hope you were quick enough and scooped him off the waiver wire, as he can be a game changer for the fantasy playoffs. Josh Jackson also had a good scoring week and, if you can offset his bad percentages, is a great keep as the youth movement continues in Phoenix. Finally, Tyrone Wallace’s minutes are on a free fall and you can safely move on if you haven’t already, while Isaiah Thomas was one of the victims of Cleveland’s deadline frenzy and will close the year as a Laker. I think his outlook improves with this move, as he will try and prove he deserves the max deal he craves, but is bad news for Josh Hart’s ROS outlook. It will be interesting to see how Luke Walton tweaks his rotation when Lonzo Ball returns and if Thomas can embrace a sixth man role for the young Lakers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Champions keep playing until they get it right” (Billie Jean King)

The trade deadline offers weird results, with teams in both fantasy and reality changing rosters. The biggest moves over the past week in the RCLs involved those players that moved in real life; Larry Nance Jr., Jae Crowder, Rodney Hood, George Hill, Emmanuel Mudiay and D.J. Augustin.

I’m happy to announce the creation of a Champions League for next year, which will pit all of this year’s league winners and some Razzball writers against each other. I will keep you all informed as things progress.

 

Here is how the action went down in Week 17 across our 12 RCL Leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I love watching National Geographic, Animal Planet, etc. Always so fascinating. Sometimes you see why many think God exists. Other times you see where the inspiration for man-made objects came from. All the shows, all the channels….everything, though, comes down to survival. One particular video that’s always etched in my brain is the one where 30 Japanese hornets kill 30,000 honey bees. Crazy. I immediately pictured that video when I saw what Kemba Walker did in Portland.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 40 1 3 4 0 3 6/11 13/26 8/8

Kemba was an All-Star last year, and his numbers are almost identical this year, so it’s only appropriate that he is filling in for Porzingis. Kemba does it all. 2.8 downtowners, 3.4 boards, 5.8 dimes, 1.1 steals, and 22.6 points. The only thing he doesn’t contribute in is blocks. That just makes him the most thick-skinned person on Twitter.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Another week, another gruesome injury in the NBA… Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL last night and will be out for the next 9-12 months, meaning he will miss a portion of next season as well. Seems like every week an all-star goes down these days. I can’t remember a season with more replacements needed for the all-star game. Get well soon Unicorn!!

A quick note before moving on with last week’s calls recap. During the aforementioned game, Giannis Antetokounmpo channeled his inner Vince Carter and did this:

Wow…Tim Hardaway Jr. looks so small right there. I just hope the coaching change and Jabari Parker’s return helps the Greek Freak lead them to a deep playoff run. Yes, I’m biased towards a compatriot but he has developed through hard work into a superstar and deserves more team success.

Moving on to the usual review of my suggestions from last week. Reggie Bullock solidified his place as the starting SG in Detroit with 35 minutes and 2.3 triples per game, while Boban Marjanovic is completely out of Doc’s rotation. Rumors about a DeAndre Jordan trade are heating up with Portland reportedly being added to the list of potential suitors, but Boban is a luxury stash for the time being and can be safely dropped if DJ is not dealt. Tomas Satoransky proved the better PG add in Washington, as predicted, and is providing solid production with 10.0/0.8/2.5/4.8/2.0/0.0/1.5 since starting. However, the best call must have been Terry Rozier, who posted a 11-10-17 triple double and followed it up with a 31-point performance against the Knicks. Finally, Bismack Biyombo’s minutes remain too low for my liking and I haven’t regretted the decision to cut him last week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was a big subscriber of superstitions and curses in my younger days. Sports team I root for wasn’t playing well? Had to move to another seat, like I was some antenna made out of aluminum foil. Never drafted a player in fantasy football if he graced the cover of Madden. I mean, come on. Without fail, either a player got injured or production fell off hard the following year. We have grown as a society, though. I have grown as well. We now utilize our brains to explain things that were previously unexplainable. For the Madden Curse, a logical explanation was that players are celebrated by being on the cover of the videogame because they have reached the pinnacle of their careers.

pin·na·cle
ˈpinək(ə)l/
noun
              “he had reached the pinnacle of his career”
There’s literally no place to go but down. Add in the age factor and number of games played, and the “curse” doesn’t seem so mysterious after all. How things have gone down the past couple of weeks in the NBA, I’m beginning to reevaluate my stance on the issue. In late January, LeBron James and Steph Curry particiated in the All-Star Draft.

First, DeMarcus Cousins went down with injury. Then, Kevin Love. John Wall. The latest victim? Kristaps Porzingis. Last night, he tore the ACL in his left knee after this. I will think of you everytime my 2-year-old daughter puts on My Little Pony. Michael Beasley is the obvious get, but he’s probably been rostered already. Kyle O’Quinn is also an interesting pickup, as he would be the big off the bench to give either a break. Yo, LeBron. Whatever you’re doing? STOP!!!

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Most are familiar with chapter 3, verse 16 of the Gospel of John: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son <Hey! That’s me!!!>, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Before storm clouds gather up above and lightning fries my plump physique into a mush of cooking oil, I was just joking God. Ha ha. I’m probably fine because I’m sure he/she/it was overloaded yesterday, but….out of respect and….juuuuust in case. Anyways, because we go next level here at Razzball, I want to mention chapter 3, verses 18-19 of the Gospel of John: Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. <Hey! It’s me again!!!!> This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Yesterday, the fervent followers and believers of the NBA were graced with a sermon from the Book of John Henson, chapter 3, verses 18-19.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
19 18 3 0 2 0 0 8/14 3/5

Granted, it was against the Brooklyn Nets, a team that is atrocious against the center position. With that said, since Jason Kidd was fired as coach of the Bucks (seven games), Henson has averaged 29.4 minutes, 12 points, 7.57 boards, 2.42 dimes, 0.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks. As long as the Bucks do not trade for a center at the deadline, have faith in the Henson. Is it any coincidence that I am Son and John is a Henson? I thinks not. See the light and come out of the darkness. If the Bucks trade for DeAndre Jordan or any other big man, then you can tear the Book of Henson out, get on your knees, and scream to the heavens: Why have you forsaken me?

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jarrett Allen had a breakout game last night going 20-5-0-2-1-0 in 24 starters minutes. Not to be confused with the fantastic retired defensive end and sack maestro Jared Allen, Jarrett looks to be in the genesis of a really good career. If he’s still floating around on the waiver wire some how, stop what you’re doing and grab him. He looks to have figured it out and Kenny Atkinson is starting him. Like so many rookie big men before him, if he can just stay out of foul trouble, he can put up some big lines and get you those ever-elusive blocks while not killing your FT%. He’s at 75.3% on the year in case you were wondering.

It was another big Friday schedule so let’s get into what else went down last night in fantasy Bball land:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Being in the middle is…..

Bad for a sports team, as perpetual mediocrity permeates. No chance at the trophy and no possibility to draft a franchise-changing player. Bad if you are a piece of lettuce or meat between two slices of bread. I guess everything in that situation sucks as they all get eaten. Bad if you’re an avid surfer that lives in Nebraska. There’s good, though. You ain’t poor. Malcolm did alright. You’ll never be first or last. In the NBA, being a part of the bourgeoisie is great. You’re not the worst of the 1% of the ballers on the planet. But, imagine if you are a part of the 1% of the 1%? Kyrie Irving doesn’t have to imagine because he’s living the dream. Yesterday, he went:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 40 7 5 0 1 1 5/7 14/23 7/8

The Celtics lost to the Magic, 103-95. That should’ve been grounds for automatic disqualification from being the lede, but….a 40-burger is a 40-burger. You drop one of those and you’re always going to be a contender. Now, it’s felt like Kyrie has been a relatively quiet member of the fantasy elite, as he hasn’t been messing around or going nuts on a nightly basis. He’s the 14th player for fantasy and his numbers are almost identical to last year. Imagine if he was on a shitty team that didn’t play any defense?

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?