There are some things in life that we can’t refrain from doing. When you text a crush and you see the reply bubble, you writhe with anticipation. When you drive by an accident and talk shit about all the people rubber necking, of course you gawk because traffic has slowed down anyways. When you buy a lottery ticket, you mental masturbate about what you would do if you won. When James Harden plays basketball, no matter how many times I’ve written him as the lede, I have to do it again because he keeps doing ridiculousness.
In 34 minutes! With a supporting cast of P. J. Tucker, Daniel House Jr., Nene Hilario, and Austin Rivers!! Harden had a usage rate of 57.5 last night!!! His true shooting percentage was 69.6!!!! Exclamation points are no longer sufficient to capture the essence of what he’s doing. You ever seen the movie Boomerang?
That’s where we’re at with Harden. He’s making it difficult for NBA defenses. He’s making it difficult for me not to write him as the lede every night. He’s making it difficult for us to even comprehend what he’s doing. Harden difficult indeed.
Deja vu much? Maybe so. As I said in the Celtics preview, one game away. That’s how close I was to being right in predicting the Celtics and Rockets in the finals and basking in that glory. The Rockets, in my opinion, had the best shot at beating the Warriors last year, and I think we will see them in the Western Conference finals once more. This time going the distance and winning the championship. This is a fantasy-friendly site and fantasy-based article, so I can leave my hot takes at the door, but I think the Rockets got better with their additions, and I look forward to watching their success this coming year.
Top o’ the morning, Razzballers. It was a battle of the past versus future down in the Garden last night, with the Knicks besting the Thunder. Unfortunately, Kristaps Porzingis sat with a knee injury. Fortunately, Michael Beasley gifted us all a gem of a game in his place, going for 30/5/4/0/2 on 11-for-18 FG (2-for-2 3P, 6-for-7 FT) and only turning it over twice. Beas has put up some nice fantasy lines when given the minutes, but that doesn’t happen too frequently. Next time Porzingis misses time, keep Beas in mind for the stream. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy basketball:
The Houston Rockets made a ton of moves in the offseason. The one that best exemplifies this squad, though, was……..
Ha! The 80s. Anyways, the Rockets did re-sign a Bobby Brown to a $1.5 million contract. This Brown is a 33 year old point guard that played his college ball at Cal State Fullerton and actually played in 25 games last season. Now, he will make no impact from a basketball perspective. Maybe he’s a good dancer and can provide energy on the bench perhaps? Maybe he performs on the court during timeouts and halftime? It would be an efficient use of resources. Honestly, the only reason I mention Bobby at all is because I chuckled when I saw his name on the depth chart and immediately thought of the song above. It’s an apt song, if you don’t take the lyrics literally. EVERY. LITTLE. STEP. I grew up playing Kung Fu on the NES. Basically, you start on a floor, kick and punch a bunch of things, then climb a set of stairs….rinse and repeat until you get to the top. That’s how I view this Rockets team. They’ve made improvements and EVERY. LITTLE. STEP. will be spent towards one goal. How quickly they can figure out things and traverse the landscape will determine how high they can go.
And so I face, the final curtain. My friends, it’s been a great season, but unfortunately, this will be the last RazzWired article of the season. I know this is a painful realization for my three devoted readers, but I have confidence that you three can find some other content or substance to fill the massive hole in your lives. That all being said, I shall try to leave you with a few players, in case you are among the few players still battling in the championship round. Or, if you’re the asshole that still picks up players, so that the top teams can’t get them…
I was struggling to come up with a title to this week’s post. I thought the other four roster positions articles had decent and easy to understand title. My initial thought went something like Big Men + Stretchies. Being that this site already coined “EmBIIIIIIIIIIIID”, I don’t want to further go down that Phallic symbol route.
We’ll end this Numbers Game-by-position series by looking at the PF position. The game has evolved to the point that most teams now employ some sort of stretch four which is typically a PF (or a SF that plays the PF position on small ball lineups) that can consistently knock down the outside shot. Some teams still employ the 2 Bigs lineup–think MEM, UTA, TOR sometimes (with JV and Bebe) and SAS, albeit both their bigs aren’t really the traditional big men that likes to operate down low in the post.
Half man, all amazing. Or something like that. 49 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Oh yeah, he also went 8-15 from deep. He had 5 TOs, but I feel like we can forgive him with all of the extra 3s tonight. The assists and boards have been off his triple double place, but man can this guy ball.
Jeff Teague – Absolutely slaughtered the depleted Nets backcourt with 21 points and 15 assists. Throw in 9-13 shooting, and this tells you more about the bad defense than the good offense.
Myles Turner – Also dominated with a 25/15/0/1/5 line. It’s sweet, but expected. Dude is a beast.
What’s up Razzballers?!? I’m back and will be handling the daily recaps from Tuesday night this season. We had a total of 9 games so let’s get to it!
Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James – Whenever the Rockets are in town, you know that fantasy stat lines are going to be great for both teams, with the increased pace of play. The Cavaliers were the beneficiaries of the Rockets’ matchup and all the main guys delivered. Kevin Love posted 24 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block; Irving scored 32 points with 4 threes; and James nearly messed around and got another triple double, finishing with 19/13/8. They played almost as well as their costumes from James’ yearly Halloween party. Don’t forget the shoutouts to the Warriors!
J.R. Smith – Smith knocked down 5-11 from downtown to finish with 15/3/2. Iman Shumpert (8 points, 2 steals, and 2 threes) seems to after suffering a concussion from opening night, but the steals just aren’t enough to help fantasy owners, except for the deepest of leagues.
I’m all for switching it up and trying something new to win. And while I think Hack-a-Shaq can work in the right situations, the Rockets took Hack-a-Whoever way too far. The Rockets fouled Andre Drummond repeatedly, giving him 36 free throws! At one point, K.J. McDaniels intentionally fouled Drummond 5 times in 9 seconds! (McDaniels finished the game with a very Jan Vesely-ish line of 1 minute, 5 fouls).
Drummond made only 13 of his 36 free throws, but it didn’t matter, as the Pistons still defeated the Rockets by 9. The 23 missed free throws was an NBA record for the most missed free throws in a game.
So you’re telling me the intentional fouling was effective in limiting the Pistons’ possessions, but somehow the Rockets still lost? How? The Rockets are definitely one of the biggest disappointments of the season and really need to turn it around if they’re going to make a splash in the playoffs.
While Drummond owners will be screwed in FT%, he still managed to post 17/11 with 1 steal and 1 block. Now onto the other highlights from Wednesday night’s games:
It’s great to have NBA back; I hope everyone had a chance to read the staff picks. Who was the only person to pick Greg Monroe and C.J. McCollum? Yeah this guy. Ok, enough bragging. Since it’s Halloween, we are going to have some tricks to stay away from and of course some treats. So let’s get on with this small 6 game slate:
Disclaimer: James Harden, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Demarcus Cousins should always be considered.
We have four PG’s above 9k: Steph Curry, Chris Paul, John Wall, Damian Lillard. All are fine plays. Then we don’t find a PG in the 8k or 7k range.
C.J. McCollum (6,600) is a plug and play at this price. He will be in the 8k range this time next week or he should be IMO. McCollum is a flat out scorer. He hasn’t met a shot he hasn’t liked. On nights that his jumper might be off, he has the ability to drive and get to the foul line. He’s the lowest I am willing to spend at PG on Saturday night.
On Halloween don’t be tricked into playing Rajon Rondo (5,600). Personally I think he is trash and I wish he was cheaper so the masses would play him.
Jrue Holliday (4,900) does have a nice price but don’t be fooled. He is coming of a major injury and is on a minutes limit.