This Bucks team reminds me alot of the early Shaq/Kobe Lakers teams. Those Lakers teams won plenty of games, but could never get over the hump. Then Phil Jackson came along and….KaPow! Back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Oh, what could’ve been. Anyways, I’m not saying that the Bucks are going to win the title or anything, but replacing Jason Kidd with Mike Budenholzer is an obvious upgrade and could make the Bucks serious contenders in the East.

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The Portland Trail Blazers are an odd team for fantasy basketball. They are a good regular season team, but for fantasy there are only two stars and Jusuf Nurkic, a borderline top 100 player. They’re in a tough spot because everyone knows they’re not going to compete for a championship, big free agents are hard to lure to Portland, Oregon, and the team is too good to get a high draft pick. Damian Lillard is locked up, for this year and the next, before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2021. He has gone on the record stating that he’d like to stay in Portland, but if the Blazers front office doesn’t do something drastic, this team is going to be on the proverbial treadmill for years.

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I was giddy when I watched Bam Adebayo during the Summer League. I knew he could rebound and block, but the Eurostepping and skill shown in the open court had me salivating like a submariner pulling into port after a six month deployment. I didn’t expect much from him this year, as he was buried on the depth chart, but then Miami turned into MASH and Hassan Whiteside missed 18 games due to injury. As a result, Bam played in 30 games and started 10. While the stats haven’t been great, he managed to compile two double-dubs. Not bad, but last night Bam went HAM and made me feel all tingly again.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
16 15 3 0 5 0 0/1 8/14 0
He played 33 minutes and definitely benefitted from the ejection of James Johnson. When JJ returns, Bam will probably slide back to the bench, but…but…but….Did I stutter mother f**cker? Actually I did. My bad. Anyways, he’s not a must pick up. Just keep him in mind if any of the bigs in Miami go down, as he’s shown more than capable of going HAM.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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A little over a week ago, I had DeMar DeRozan as the lede, which you can conveniently read HERE. I got no shame in my game for clickbait. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I try not to write about the same players, but sometimes it’s an inevitability. Especially on a four game slate. Now, last week DeRozan scored 45 points and went 6-of-9 from downtown. Due to the three-point shooting prowess, I labeled DeRozan Triple D and proceeded to do what any normal human being would do….Google it. To my surprise, I did not see big breasteses, but instead saw links for a Jamaican restaurant and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. At the time, I was kind of disappointed, but like with most things in life, it takes time for things to come together. Last night against the Bucks, Triple D dropped a 50-burger. Nom nom nom. Guy Fieri was so impressed that he got DeRozan’s face tattoed onto his forehead.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 52 5 8 1 1 2 5/9 17/29 13/13

I still don’t think the shot from downtown is a staple in DeRozan’s game just yet. Including the two nine-shot attempt games, DDD is only averaging 2.9 a game. Let me take away one of those D’s. Granted, that number is well above his career 1.5 mark, but he did have a season back in 2013 when you attempted 2.7 threes a game. Currently, DD is a top 40 player for fantasy. If he can incorporate that three-point shot into his arsenal on a consistent basis, it’s going to open up the rest of his game and have him shooting up the rankings. 52 and 45 points scored the last two games he’s attempted nine downtowners. Seems like a logical path to take.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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Off the court, Russell Westbrook is a goofy, fun-loving guy. He jokes around and dons himself with whimsical articles of clothing. Get him to the arena, though, and he transforms into a raging, psychopathic maniac. He dunks like Thor whomping his hammer downwards. The millions of people affected by Colonialism and Imperialism have a voice when he Euro-steps. Barreling down the court on a fast break, there is no game of chicken. Only mincemeat. So, it’s no surprise that he messed around last night.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 34 13 14 1 1 7 2/9 12/25 8/9

I agree that the triple-dub is an overrated stat, but it is what it is. After last night’s performance, Russ now has 86 for his career. 1 more gets him to 87. 187. Damn, the Universe is too good. Anyways, Russ got off to a slow start this season, as he kind of did the Kobe. You know? Where he chills out the first couple of quarters and tries to let his teammates do their thing. With the Thunder 11-12 on the season, Russ has hit the switch to make the ass drop and will be freakin brothers everyway like MJ. Every day will be a good day the rest of the way. At least for fantasy owners.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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After opening the season with a two-game appetizer, the NBA provided us with an 11-course meal on Wednesday. No low-carb dieting here, as fantasy manna was raining down from the heavens. All you can eat, baby! There were some impressive performances, as Hassan Whiteside went 26 and 22, DeMarcus Cousins went 28 and 10 with seven blocks, while teammate Anthony Davis went 33 and 18. On a side note, the Pelicans still managed to lose by 12. Trade alert already? Of all the performances, there was one that rose above the rest. Giannis Antetokoumpo went 37 and 13 with three dimes and three pilfers. The number one fantasy pick in many leagues, G showed why and looks poised to carry teams to the Promised Land. As Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and climbed Mount Sinai to raise two tablets above his head, so shall G lead fantasy owners across the barren landscape and up the mountain so that they may lift the trophy and bring glory to those that had faith in him. So it was written by Missy Elliot 0:58….to Get Ur Freak On.

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Even though I’m a Lakers fan, I’ve always had an odd fascination with the Trail Blazers. Is it the logo? If you look at it long enough it starts to spin, move, and slowly suck you in. Is it the fact that they drafted Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan? You know when you drive by someone that got into an accident? Is that from a state of concern or morbid curiosity? I think those two things had something to do with it, but it’s the 1999 “Jail Blazers” that always fascinated me. The Lakers beat them that year in the Western Conference Finals, but that team was so stacked and truly had a DGAF attitude. Greg Anthony and Stacey Augmon from UNLV. Brian Grant. A young Jermaine O’Neal. Scottie Pippen, granted the expired version but still drinkable. Arvydas Sabonis. Really wished he had come to the states in his prime. He was Jokic before Jokic. Detlef Schrempf and Steve Smith. Deadly shooters. Damon Stoudamire aka Mighty Mouse. Rasheed Wallace was unguardable. The height extension he got on his shot made it unblockable. Bonzi Wells. So strong, both mentally and physically. A straight bull in a china shop. I loved how they never backed down and were tough as shit. They smoked weed. Seriously, what’s wrong with that? When I smoked weed, the basket looked like it was 10 feet wide. Isn’t that a good thing? The worst thing I did on weed was buy too many twinkies. Anyways, I apologize for that trip down memory lane. Both myself and the Trail Blazers have come a long way since those days.

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