I love music. Fortunately, my young daughter does, too. We started her early on all sorts of stuff, but she eventually started requesting almost exclusively “girl songs.” So, I started combing through my CDs and mp3s for our daily drive to school, finding a decent amount of great female singers, mainly from the 90s. She really took to some (Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain), but not as much to others that I’d hoped she would (The Cranberries, Veruca Salt). We added in some more current stuff that she loves (Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor), and we have a great time. Now, I know there’s a good chance this isn’t resonating with you as much as it would if I said I’d kept trying to slip in more funk (she likes “Car Wash” and “Jungle Boogie”, at least), rock (Down on the Corner is popular with her, but there are only a few songs by Disturbed that are appropriate for four year-olds!), and rap (“Tricky” was a favorite for a while, fortunately), but stick with me, please. Because, I found something very enlightening when I introduced the very, very 90s classic, “Stay”, by Lisa Loeb. Was it that we only hear what we want to? That we won’t live forever? No, it’s this powerful line:
“You said you caught me ’cause you want me, and one day you’ll let me go. You try to give away a keeper, or keep me ’cause you know you’re just so scared to lose.”
It’s like a record scratch every time I hear that line. YOU TRY TO GIVE AWAY A KEEPER??? She was brilliantly pointing out that YOU DON’T JUST GIVE AWAY A KEEPER! But at the same time, you don’t keep a player only because you’re scared to lose! Such wisdom. For decades, I swear I didn’t know that lovely song was about fantasy basketball keeper leagues.
Lisa Loeb. Fantasy Oracle.
While we’re still quite a few games away from a large enough sample of current season stats to really trust them, let’s talk keeper/dynasty strategy (dynasty being a league in which you keep a large amount of your team for next season). I thought I’d share some tips and have some fun looking back at what we thought of past rookies so that we don’t get overly excited about these 19 year-olds that we’re currently trusting to save our teams.
What a game in London! One of the biggest franchises in the NBA, losers of 15 straight heading into yesterday’s international soiree, were the heavy underdogs to the Bucks. Yikes.
Best player in the game? Probably my boyfriend! Brandon Knight went all Guy Ritchie on the Knicks for 6 Snatches and a 20/5/6/6/0 line. Hit two threes and continues to be a FT% beast with 6-6 from the stripe. Really the only annoying thing about Knight right now is he only had one game this week! Friggin’ Brits. Stealing our ideas like “sovereignty” and “not beheading people”. Black Mirror is pretty dope though! There is one thing about Knight that is actually a little concerning – papi no likey el TO! 3.4 per game with another 3 yesterday. But so far in Janurary – very small sample bias – they’re down a tad. Really like Knight ROS, and as a possible husband. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
[NOTE – I’ll be out of town Monday, so I’ll be back with the weekend/Monday recap on Tuesday!]
In case you missed it (and let’s face it, who’s watching Bobcats games?), Kemba Walker had a scary ankle roll Saturday night and will miss 10-14 days. He’s gonna need a walker for a while after that! Cricket cricket, cricket cricket. “That’s not funny JB, it’s just cruel…” So what if I have Cruel Intentions?! Now I wanna make out with Selma Blair… So what if I’m not Sarah MG (I didn’t even want to bother Googling that be sure I had it spelled right…)?! This is way off the rails… Back to Walker, he’s a guy that relies on speed and explosiveness, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the full two weeks and even more. Cue the Ramon Sessions puns! As a North Carolinian, I guess I am more a Hornets Bobcats fan than any other team, so I may be biased, but I like Sessions and think he can be a decent stream the next two weeks in 12-teamers that need a desperate solid starter. He’s an emergency Sessions! Hey that’s the title! In 38 minutes against the Heat, Ramon went 16/3/5 shooting 6-10 and 4-4 from the stripe. The 5 TOs are no fun, he does turn the ball over a tad too much, but I think the underrated aspect of his game is he constantly gets to the stripe and shoots good FT%. He’s at 3.4 makes a game at 79% this year, after being at 83% the previous two seasons. And last year when he was at 27 minutes a game (22 per thus far in 13-14), he hit 4.8 FTs a game. He’ll easily get low-to-mid 30 minutes per contest while Walker, Texas Ranger is out, so if you need some scoring, dimes, and that sweet boost of FT shooting in a tough matchup this week or next, or to pad those stats in roto, Sessions is in sess… Eh, well you get it… Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy basketball:
I’m sure we’ve all experienced a day in our lives that through some kind of grueling experience we somehow came out victorious. On the inside all we cared about was the instant satisfaction of winning but on the outside we appeared broken and defeated. Not so long ago I had such a night. It’s not the shame that makes it so difficult to talk about, but the shame that there’s a sense of glory and accomplishment that goes with it. JB and I decided a few drinks were in order one night and we decided, while watching some NBA action, to have ourselves a little drinking game. Sure I thought, I’ve had a few already how bad can this be? The deal was that we would pick a player and for each assist that player had the other person would have a drink. JB wanted it to be field goals made but I managed to talk him into assists, or so I thought. “Chris Paul“, I said without hesitation. Looking back I probably had a really stupid smirk on my face. JB calmly ordered himself another, then he ordered me an appetizer – which looking back may have saved my life. With a perfectly calm demeanor I got to hear words that will still cause me to cringe, “Kendell Marshall“.
Man! I was loving that game! Through three contests (the inaugural one in the comments then when adopted into the piece), I didn’t get a single win! For shame… At least now with Kobe Bryant missing 6 weeks, we’ll be brimming with excitement to relaunch the game! I never ended up with Kobe anywhere, so I’m downplaying the real fantasy impact here… Kobe owners are asking should I hold or should I let go? I think he is probably a hold in almost all leagues if you can, but man, these top-end injuries are killin’ out there! Plus we have to remember it’s a fractured knee and a re-sewn up Achilles. And he wasn’t setting the world on fire anyway. Kobe is turning into Jeter from last year! Bryant is a medical marvel though, he can jump over cars going 40 MPH and come back after bone spurs a game later. So he’s worth the stash unless it’s a very shallow 10-teamer or smaller, or you’re just a triage of injuries. Here’s what else went down last night across fantasy hoops:
As my good friends at Mr. Show previously theorized, 24 was thought to be the highest number. “What about 30?!” And then NBA scorers were pulling exactly what happens in that skit. “What about 31?” “What about 32?” “I gotta ask, what about 33!” Then Gilbert Arenas was like, “if people keep scoring like this, I’m gonna have to shoot em with Crittenton’s .45!” It wasn’t necessarily that many guys going off, just a few you wouldn’t have guessed. I’m trying to pick the most off the rails 30+ point night, so I think I’ll go with Alec Burks, who just looked awful in the two games before last night. 7-25 his past two outings, but goes 12-17 last night for career-highs in both points with 31 and dimes at 7. Added three boards and four steals with two treys for good measure. Burks has always looked like a good athlete out there, but never like a guy who could take over like that. I think a good debate is Burks or Terrence Ross. I’ll lean Ross, but very close, I just think Burks is too inconsistent. Here’s what else went down last night in hoops:
Pretty much anyone involved in the big Rudy Gay trade has gotten nothing but positive return except Greivis Vasquez. Poor Vasquez… And easily the biggest winner right now is Isaiah Thomas just going off with the backcourt to himself, going 29/6/2 on Friday night and 19/2/8 last night. With both PGs there in Shaq-ramento to start the year, it was like the first Terminator, then IT2 got flipped into the main good guy and it’s movie magic in the sequel. Coach Mike Malone even came out and said Thomas is gonna lead the NBA in minutes. Iron man! Well I guess it would be hyperalloy combat chassis covered by living human tissue man… I wish Vasquez had never gone to Sacramento, because as I mentioned last week, I aggressively ranked Thomas early in the summer. I love this kid. He’s going to be extremely tough to go out and trade for right now, and I certainly would not be selling. He’s got both Gay and DeMarcus Cousins to dish to, plus he’s a fantastic scorer. I have all sorts of IT2 regret now since he’s not on any of my teams… Womp womp… Here’s what else went down over the weekend:
I hate you Larry Drew. First you go and make your son Larry Drew II feel like he’s some sort of special talent and have him quit UNC, then you take over a Bucks team that all want to leave too. Why do I have so much invested in the Bucks?! I hate the Bucks! In a game where the Spurs doubled Milwaukee’s points in the first quarter (32 to 16), then went up by 23 at halftime, then after 3 were up 38, Drew decided to kill fantasy teams by playing their F-team virtually the whole second half. As in, a D-League team could beat those guys. Brandon Knight got 18 minutes after an impressive game two nights ago. John Henson got 21 after the huge breakout. O.J. Mayo, yes that terrible, horrible, not gelling on this awful team O.J. Mayo led the starters with 22 minutes on a 3/0/0/0/0 line with a TO. Ok, ok, so Drew let his scrubs play in the blowout, good to see Giannis Antetokounmpo get some development time at just over 33 minutes, but the icing on the cake was Drew gave Ersan Ilyasova, a guy that looks like a humanoid Turkey, 39 minutes?! How is that developing young talent?! Ersan goes out and shoots 3-16 for an 8/6/2 game. The Bucks are the worst. You’re holding Henson obviously and Knight I think you stick with, but I don’t want any of these other guys on a 12-teamer. I know I like Khris Middleton, but he was part of the starting mess and I just dropped Mayo in some sort of RCL travesty I should probably take my name off of. I still think Knight, Mayo, Middleton and Henson are locked in as starters for now, but man, I really hope they look good facing the even worse Bulls again on Friday. Enough ranting from me! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:
In what was some brutally bad basketball last night, John Henson led the woeful Milwaukee Bucks into Chicago against a Bulls team more battered up than a candy bar at a state fair… and the Bucks actually won! It’s horrifying to think in today’s NBA that a guy like Henson might have been the most polished offensive player on the court for EITHER TEAM. It was brutal. This was the game I made the Yahoo highlights for, and man, it was more of a wreck than if you went out partying and decided that Lindsay Lohan would be your DD. But for fantasy, whew-ee if you’re a Henson owner! Huge rainbow line of 25/14/2/3/6. It was so good from the big man that Larry Sanders punched a wall. But the icing on the cake, was this preposterous rainbow shot to close out the rainbow night. I love the Bulls announcers reacting to that. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Good thing he didn’t take that shot in Cowboys Stadium, that mighta hit the scoreboard! It feels really good seeing Henson going off, as he was a guy I ranked really high (#100 exactly) and have recommended him over a lot of fringe-wire adds through the young season. His stats are helping fill all the Andre Drummond voids I have! Win some, lose some… Henson is obviously a must-own in all leagues, and I think can maintain solid production playing at the 4 when The Colonel is back. Here’s what else I saw last night in hoopsland:
Now I’m not sure about this, but when Taj Gibson had a couple good games over the Thanksgiving week, I probably recapped and gobble-gobbled at it. My jowls flapped around like Boss Nass bein’ all “Hmmpphhherr Rumpity-Doooo, Taj Gibson, rabble rabble rabble!” At least that sounds like me… Now you see what I deal with in my inner monologue! It’s like I battle a drunk Kenny Rogers. Which is to say, I battle Kenny Rogers. Gibson has been a scrate-up beast the past four, going 23/8, 18/4, 26/14 5 blks, and 19/6/0/1/1 last night. Bringing big time energy to that front line as the main big off the bench, he’s playing insane out there, shooting 67% from the floor in those past 4. I watched the game last night and was impressed with his spark, but then again, the Heat bigs are awful. They got out-rebounded 49-27 last night! Back in the day, I used to love Taj when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah battled injuries. But now… it took some time and four in a row to buy it. I think it’s because the Bulls are my least favorite team. Sorry Bulls fans! Boozer & Noah just yell on virtually every rebound and definitely every single putback attempt. It’s unreal! It’s like Maria Sharapova is rebounding. And Gibson does it at least 50% of the time. He’s becoming the Bulls Sex Panther. “50% of the time he’s yelling… every time!” But regardless of how annoying he/the Bulls bigs are to watch/listen to, he’s playing like a must-own in all formats. At 33% owned in Yahoo and 24% in ESPN, he’s hot while a lot guys are not. I don’t think he’s going to turn into a set-it and forget-it guy the rest of the year, he doesn’t do enough of anything else besides score and board (if not for that 5 block game, he’d be under 1 in Asts, Stls & Blks on the year), but I think he’s a ride the wave kinda add right now. Here’s what else I saw on the light Thursday slate of games and a few updates for tonight: