I can not wait for the Cleveland Lebrons to start the season. There is going to be so much pettiness, so much drama, so much F U-ness, and….so many wins. The Lebrons went 35-47 his rookie year. The next year they improved to 42-40. Those were the only years the Lebrons did not make the playoffs. Including those two years, the Lebrons went 349-225 (61% win percentage) with two 60+ win seasons and two 50 win seasons. Then, the Decision happened. The Cavaliers proceeded to go 97-215 (31% win percentage) with only one season above 30 wins. When Lebron returned, 161-85 (65% win percentage) with three seasons above 50 wins and the team’s first NBA Championship. I truly believe that this is Lebron’s last season in Cleveland. Remember this? I remember Lebron saying, “Even my wife was like, my momma and my wife was like, ‘I’m not with that.’ My mom was definitely like, ‘[expletive] that, we ain’t going back.“As I said on the pod, the only way Lebron returns to Cleveland is if Dan Gilbert sells him the team. As a result, he’s going balls to the wall this season. That Brooklyn pick? Lebron is going to use that to get someone. He’s pushing all the chips into the middle of the table to make one final last run. Even if management doesn’t sign off trading the pick, Lebron will morph into Kayser Soze….
[We’ve got the Trade Deadline Podcast up! Slim and I react to all this hooblah as this post continues to be updated – you can find the Pod the post below this one as well as that link.]
The Trade Deadline is nigh, which is to say, soon. Can I trade the start of this open with a different one…? “Did you hear the one about how the Hawks got nothing for the broke ass of Josh Smith last trade deadline?!” Imagine the Hawks with a lottery pick as well… I guess as fortune-tellers, they knew they didn’t need anything for Smoove!
The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline will pass at 3:00 PM EST, and up until the closing moments, I’ll be updating this post as each trade moves across my virtual news desk. Fantasy spins galore! That’s the younger sister of Pussy Galore… So be sure to constantly ping that refresh like Goldfinger on Kitco! Here’s what’s gone down so far:
Oh man, not a fun night for Mark Cuban unless he’s also invested in the Dallas area sports medicine clinics. The way the NBA has gone this year, it’d be a smart investment!
First into the Shark Tank was Tyson Chandler, who sprained his ankle a minute and half in and couldn’t return. He had an earlier ankle sprain and it didn’t cost him any time, so even though it looked bad, ol’ Tyson is no Chicken. Then a mere couple minutes later, Monta Ellis hurt his hip and only played 3 and a half minutes. As Kevin tells us in The Office – “That’s Dallas!” Man, good thing the All-Star Break is right around the corner! Even if both guys say they’re 100%, I see no reason why the Mavs would push em for their game tomorrow night hosting the Jazz. While they’re out, we’re a bunch of preying sharks circling the bloody waters like Mr. Wonderful and Herjavec! And last night it was the hairless ghost (wait, ghosts usually don’t have hair right?) of Charlie Villanueva who piled up some junky stats hitting 9-13 from the field for 26/5/1 with 5 treys. Was awful other than points and treys with 3-6 FT and 4 TO. Big man ThrAGNOF! But for me, the big winner for tomorrow night is Mark Cuban’s own (seriously, kinda seems like he’s his dad – Shawn Marion comp?) Al-Farouq Aminu. Only 19 minutes last night, but hit all the cats for 5/6/1/1/1. Mark Cuban Jr. is only owned in 10% of Yahoo leagues, and in a shortened week where every steal and block will count, he should be one of your first calls on the wire in what should be a spot-start. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:
Oh boy, more injuries to studs and more teams scrambling…
Sometime before the weekend, Blake Griffin had a fairly routine (and he’s had a few) elbow draining. Blake’s draining jumpers, the team docs are draining elbows! But over the weekend the elbow developed a staph infection, and he’ll have surgery and won’t be evaluated until after the All-Star Break. Blake is firing off jumpers and the team docs are about to be fired! Reports are saying it could be a 4-6 week sort of thing, but with staph infections you never know. Either way, he’s an obvious hold in all leagues. While Blake goes all Leo McGarry on us, Samurai Spencer Hawes and his little hair bun went 17/1/0/0/1 on 7-16 shooting with two treys in 35 minutes. Samurai Spence should be an add in virtually all leagues, as his mix of scoring/treys/blocks can help a lot of teams. Sure he won’t board almost at all for a big with DeAndre Jordan swallowing em all up, but we can ignore that. Kinda like how Denis McDonough ignored that second “n” in his first name. What is it with “Mc” real-life and fictional Chiefs of Staph?! I bet the Oval Office whisky is well stocked… Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:
As we gear up for the All-Star break next week, owners should pay extra attention to their daily lineups. Guys that are typically playing through minor injuries could miss a game or two, as teams try to give them some extra rest before heading into the second half of the season.
There are already quite a few guys who have played their last game prior to the All-Star break. Sidelined for the last five games, Rockets’ center Dwight Howard is expected to miss about a month after undergoing a bone marrow injection in is right knee. The Rockets plan to reevaluate him in four weeks, in hopes that his knee responds well to this treatment. Howard just can’t catch a break. He’s only played in 32 of the Rockets’ 49 games this season.
The Rockets frontcourt is very crowded, but Howard’s injury should help alleviate some of the playing time issues. Joey Dorsey and Donatas Motiejunas should continue to start, while Terrence Jones and Josh Smith will see plenty of time off the bench.
The injury gods were working overtime this weekend, as big ol’ Roy Hibbert landed funky on his ankle and left very early in the Pacers’ game Saturday. The bad news continues to floweth down the bad news river in Indianapolis. Drown your sorrows in onion rings, Pacers fans! Not gonna have any other rings any time soon. “That was mean, JB!” I’m rooting for Paul George to come back healthy next year and shock the Cavs in the playoffs, don’t you worry. But back to the issue at hand, when Howard Cosell made the call “Down goes Hibbert!” I immediately had something bubbling up inside [Mahin]me. Certainly not one of the premiere backup Cs in the NBA, but Ian Mahinmi is passable, and a solid short-term add for some early-week big man upside. Mahinmi carried the torch with the starters for an all-leagues usable 12/10/1/3/1 line in only 26 minutes, without even finishing down the stretch as the Suns went full supernova to the Pacers white/brown dwarves (I don’t wanna say one or the other, might get into trouble…). The backup Frenchy could easily go 10/10 with 2 swats in a few starts early this week. Tonight is against a gimpy Tyson Chandler who tweaked his kankle, then Wednesday against a Spurs team who have struggled to handle bigs since Tiago Splitter has been in a siesta. So while I Mahin-Me, I hope while reading this there is time to Mahin-You! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball:
I don’t know why JB would do this to me. Do you know what he told me? He told me I didn’t fit in. He told me my only chance of being accepted was for me to join some program he was calling, “Avatar”. I believe his exact words were, “Yeah we can change your avatar, what were you thinking?” Wait… this was my idea? Was it me who asked him to take my sexy, bearded, aboriginal face and join it with my real life sexy, bearded, non-aboriginal face? I can’t tell what is reality and what is a dream anymore. All I do know is that in this world of mixed mediums, my body, or as JB keeps calling it, my “Avatar”, is merely a shell for my one track mind. A mind dedicated only to fantasy basketball; unfortunately sometimes this mind can wonder. Wonder back to yesteryear when Patrick Beverley was a sleeper or when Alec Burks was supposed to start for the Jazz. In an attempt to relieve those nostalgic days, I present to you my beginning of the season All Under-Owned Team. My cutoff was 30% owned in Yahoo leagues and hopefully with season-long appeal.
Ahh, it’s good to be back. I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation. Except it’s the fall, not the spring. And I’m fatter, not thinner… Ok, it’s a terrible simile. Just shaking off the rust. But it appropriately illustrates what you should expect from the following cerebral voiding.
This is my bold predictions article, my writing equivalent to a Dubbya Bush “going with my gut!” moment. You want facts, stats, metrics? Keep walking, fella. This here piece is chock full of conjecture, fact-glossing best guesses, and shockingly basic deductive reasoning. Slim and JB are the fact finders, and, let’s face it, the guys whose advice you really should follow. BUT FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BOLD! And if nothing else, the following moves would certainly be considered bold. What I hope you take away from this, good reader, are reasons that I think a few players may be under valued, and therefore grabbed, or higher than they should be, and not reached for.
We’re wheeling and dealing here folks, no reasonable offer refused, so come on down to the lot, there’s a clown making balloon animals for the kids! Take a gander:
What a night, what a night! While we didn’t see the fireworks of say, a QB drafted by San Diego saying he’d only play for the Giants, but we had some interesting reaches, some surprising fallers, and one very happy/newly re-acquainted Hornets fan!
The crew and I had a blast tweeting through the draft, so I have a few other thoughts sprinkled in the first round recap below. It didn’t go quite (read: at all) like Slim and I’s mock draft, but here’s how the draft went down, with a fantasy outlook for these rookies for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season:
Razzball Nation! We’re here on a special weekend wrap-up where Slim (this is JB speaking) got to the action and JB just snuck in the beginning. And snuck in the end! I’m like Brad Pitt at the Oscars. “Wait, why is he winning best picture! So confused right now…” Tomorrow I’ll proudly illustrate what I did over the weekend, but a nice defining touch hoops-wise was another great one from my boy Mike Scott, who while posting great lines, isn’t helping the Hawks win… And that’s a problem! Especially with Paul Millsap assumedly back sometime soon this week. But I thought Gravity mighta gotten best picture too! After a really rough send-off last Monday, went bonkers on the Suns for 20/5/2/3/0 with three treys and not a single TO. I bet Philly sports fans wish they had no TO. BOOM! Double sports joke. The main number that got my emoji tats all excited was the 40 mins played. Millsap is going to travel with the Hawks as they migrate on a 5-game road trip, but very easily could miss the first few making Scott a solid short-term add. So beam him aboard, win a big week as we near playoff time, and don’t forget to yell over the music if those pompous mf#@*$ng PA guys at the Oscars wanna condescend you by playing the music. And here’s Slim with what he saw over the weekend: