There was no Batman in Boston last night, as Aron Baynes ran roughshod over the team from Tinseltown. 21 points, eight boards, and three dimes in 23 minutes. The 21 points were a team and career-high. Baynes was drilling jumpers from the elbow, dunking over hapless defenders on the baseline, setting screens then pinning smaller defenders onto his buttocks, jump hooking with the right, jump hooking with the left, and skying through the air for putback dunks. It was quite the performance. Thanks Batman. Signed, Lakers fans. Now, Baynes played a prominent role because Al Horford missed the game due to a concussion. Horford missed nine games last season due to a concussion, so there’s a chance that Baynes continues to wreak havoc on the league. Interestingly enough, Charlotte, a team that supposedly has a Superman, is next on the docket. In two games, they travel to New Jersey, which is a hop and a skip from Gotham City. DFSers heeded the signal and played him last night. He’s worth an add for the quickie, as the Celtics are super-thin in the front court.
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.
FIVE… DAYS. The NBA “offseason” has kept us almost constantly entertained with a loaded draft, free agency rumors, the best summer league ever, and multiple superstar trades. But, it’s time for some real, official action. And by that, I mean actual stats that count in our fantasy leagues, of course. This season, more than any other, I’m just a huge fan of the entire NBA and my fantasy teams. You see, I’m a longtime Bulls fan. And while I’m an optimist that’s been quite obsessed with the Sixers rebuild and their amazing potential, the Bulls have messed up their tank job in half a dozen ways prior to even getting it off the ground. So, I’m really itching for some Lonzo outlets, CP3-to-Capela lobs, and an unexpected six-steal game from my most recent free agent acquisition. Let’s get going already with this new crop of talent!
Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Last week, I talked about ways to find advantages by removing certain stats your team doesn’t need for various reasons and shuffling up player values so you have a better idea of who’s actually the most helpful for your team during drafts. That’ll be a theme as the season goes on, because it really leads us to trades that can help us a ton, while helping the other team enough that they pull the trigger. But we’ve got another weekend of drafting to go, so I’ve compiled a list of a few more places to take advantage of what I see as market inequities. If you’ve already drafted, maybe this can spark some trade proposal ideas, too.
The Wicked Witch from the West, Phil Jackson, is gone! Oompa loompa doompety doo! The one thing that he did well was to draft Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Of course, the Knicks figured out a way to make KP a spot up, three-point shooter. Such a Knicks thing to do. Anyways, he gave Joakim Noah a four-year, $72 million contract and re-upped Melo for five years, $124 million, with a no-trade clause. Brilliant! Let’s not forget about trading away Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Hawks, which the new regime just re-acquired for four years, $71 million. He also signed Derrick Fisher and Kurt Rambis to be head coaches. Someone explain to me why Rambis has been a head coach in the NBA for three different teams? His career win percentage wouldn’t even make him a good baseball player. He must suck….I better stop there. It is said that the success of an organization always start at the top. Well, James Dolan is the man up top and his team is #1 on Forbes’ team value list. Grandmaster Flash knew what was up….
JB be California dreamin’! Sorry for the later notes today, as I wrap up my West Coast trip and head for sunny Florida tomorrow. I’m so discombobulated with my jet lag and California culture, I thought the Jamal version of Crawford got traded to the Pelicans or something! But nooooooo, Jordan Crawford is back in the NBA ladies and germs!
In a game where the Pelicans were unsurprisingly stagnated by the Jazz D, Jordan of the Crawfords kept it close with a bench spark, going 19/1/3/2/0 with 3 treys on 8-15 shooting. All that in 20 minutes too! Did the Pelicans expect the ridiculous offensive prowess of E’Twuan Moore and Solomon Hill would provide some bench wing scoring?! It isn’t shocking that a 28-year-old Crawford was slaying the D-League with nearly 24 points a game, and isn’t surprising to see him be a good bench scorer on the right squad. Maybe you give him a look in the Michael Beasley/Derrick Williams sort of way as a deep league scorer, but this is likely one of his best lines on the season. Not like he can gel with the twin tower USG-whores in the starting 5 – he’s gonna be the bench scorer like we’ve always seen from Jamal Crawford. Wait, I mean Jordan Crawford! Ahhhhhhhhhh! Here’s what else went down last night in NBA action:
…comin’ for to carry me OUT of my fantasy playoffs! Brutal news yesterday that Kyle Lowry has to undergo surgery on his right wrist – his shooting wrist – to remove some loose bodies. Should’ve kept those bodies in a well, like Buffalo Bill! “It puts the lotion on the skin!” Without an IL spot, you’re cutting him in your redraft leagues, even with the prospect he gets a couple games in right before the playoffs. The timeline is “hopeful to return in 4-5 weeks”, which would put us in early April. Plus he’s a shooter, and gonna have a rusty wrist. Hah, that sounds like a sex thing… Moving on!
In his place, it’s time for the Cojo mojo! 11/1/6/3/0 then 14/1/6/1/0 over the weekend for Cory Joseph, with only 2 combined TO, showing what kind of sexy roto-asset he could be. But thennnnn, struggled last night – as did the Raps as a while – to knock off the Poppycockers in a 1-point win, going 6/3/4/2/0 with 2 TO. Still got 33:30 minutes, but he’s more in the fringy starting PG class (your Brogdon, McConnell, et ceteras) than in the most-own zone. You could say he’s in the friendzone. Although dudes don’t really have a friendzone, it’s only chicks that apply that logic. The friendzone is a very sexist area! After this dunk in the 2014 Western Conference Finals (back when he was on my REL team), Cojo could have his way with me any time he wanted!
Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
I don’t typically do this, but I’m going completely off-script for the open today, after we got the awful news Bill Paxton passed away in his early 60s due to complications from heart surgery. Isn’t it weird how attached we get to actors we obviously don’t know in person?! Especially more a character guy like Bill, but this one hit me hard for some reason! Who doesn’t love True Lies? Aliens? The GOOD James Cameron movies?!
And for this to happen on Oscar weekend too, just a real shame. Alas, it’s been a busy-as-hell weekend across the association plus I finally wrapped up my Pitcher Rankings over on baseball that’ll be out this afternoon or tomorrow. Weekend of writing! That’s what really pulls me through man, getting to write about sports for all you wondrous people in Razzball Nation. The game will never be over, there will always be basketball and baseball! Tackle football…? Eh, maybe not-sa-much… Here’s what went down over the busy weekend – the first after the break with a lot of fresh faces in new places – in fantasy basketball action:
Y’all think he got out of it? I mean, c’mon…it’s Razor offing Ramon! I bet he walked over, grabbed his toothpick and flicked it straight at Scott Steiner’s eye. The glory of that gif. The mullet. Sorry, the sweaty mullet. The stubble chest hair. The shaking hamstrings. The black leather leotard. The metal print banner of WCW Monday Nitro. Goodness, take me back to 6th grade already!
No, don’t do that. I don’t want to be 12 again. However, that was the first time I ever played fantasy basketball. But I’ll quit reminiscing and focus on what’s really happening in that gif: the full nelson. Change the faces around, time travel to today and make that a basketball court in Denver and you’d see the story of Jameer Nelson and Emmanuel Mudiay: the young’n with the death grip on the PG position to start the year, but, wait for it…the wily veteran shaking free of his bonds on the bench to reclaim his rightful place running the team! Is it a stretch? Sure, but look at that extension through his obliques. Clearly, this is a great move to increase flexibility.
Ok, are we talking about wrasslin’ or fantasy basketball? I’m all befuddled now. Must be the mullet.
All we needed is a royal event! Unfurl the red carpet, roll it out in the The Colonies’ biggest city, and The Duchess will grace over his royal territory! Wow, I just made a Brooklyn Mess game sound like a big event. FOOL YOU!
As we continue to see Khris Middleton get his minutes ramped up, this was maybe the most encouraging game of the night for me yesterday, as he gets the ASB to rest up and looks ready for a big second half. Even though it’s more like a big final 1/3, but ya know, NBA… 20/3/7/3/0 for The Duchess K Middleton, with only 1 TO and shooting 7-13 with a trey. His most minutes thus far (played 26 off the bench) and I just loved this little glimpse of chemistry with Giannis Antetokounmpo with the big highlight from this game:
Guys are looking N’Sync! I would totally watch The Duchess and Greek Freak lead a boy band… Through his 4 games back, Middleton hasn’t looked like he’s lost anything, with a stellar 18:4 AST:TO, is shooting 47%, and has two 3 steal games. With Jabari Parker out and a line-up that will need a playmaker next to Greek, this could be a really fun upcoming stretch. Kudos if you were able to stash him all season on your IL, and get ready for a royal finish! Here’s what else went down on the last busy slate of action before the All-Star Weekend:
With the regular season drawing to a close, the waiver wire is starting to get pretty sparse, so today I’ll just talk about a few highlight players, and you can ask me about individual situations in the comments below! As a bonus, feel to ask me anything else you feel like – basketball or non basketball related. I’m an open book for today!
Terrence Ross – I’m not quite sure how he’ll blend into the Orlando rotation, but I could definitely see some major playing time as the team kicks his tires a bit. A nice speculative add in the wake of the Serge Ibaka trade.