Regarding last week’s suggestions, Jalen Duren had an OK, if uninspiring week, while both Brandon Clarke and Xavier Tilman were serviceable and will continue to be with Steven Adams sidelined. The highlight of the suggestions though has to be Deni Avdija, who took advantage of the increased opportunity in the last four games, despite not starting, and produced a top 35 week. Kristaps Porzingis is back and Daniel Gafford will not be sidelined for long but I would hold onto Avdija to see where his usage is headed.

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I mean, you can, but would it be allowed in modern English? Perhaps, perhaps not. Am I supposed to know English? But let’s go deeper, something your mother enjoys all the time. In this regard, one might ponder not just about your mother, but also the fact that you can’t spell “luck” with Luka because the dude is just pure talent and skill. Luck is the last thing he needs. And don’t look at me, I’m not a Luka Doncic fanboy either, I’ve honestly never seen so much basketball talent executed in the slowest way possible. Man moves like the most agile molasses I’ve ever seen and I swear it takes roughly 18 minutes to wind up his shot. And the constant chirping… sure, I understand he doesn’t get the same calls like Steph does, but 18 technical fouls per quarter can sometimes be exhausting to watch.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 13!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  If you saw last week’s post, I hope you benefitted from investing in the Marshall Plan – Naji Marshall, that is.  He was a far better investment than Patrick Beverley, who promptly ceased to produce after I thought it was safe to promote him again.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 12!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help your head-to-head matchup.  I’m writing this from Barcelona, Spain, where from 1936-1939, General Francisco Franco received material support from Germany’s government to aid his side of the Spanish Civil War.  The conflict served as a precursor to World War Two, in which much of Germany was razed, setting the stage for the comprehensive infrastructure restoration effort known as the Marshall Plan.  Does this way-too-broad history lesson have a point?  Well, I could try to tie it in to the Pelicans’ injury woes and the need to introduce a Marshall Plan of their own, but that would be a stretch!

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Or at least the front offices of the Association are. I just want the regular Winter Wonderland. You know, the one that comes with snow? Now, I know the weather, I see the report, and a large swath of the country is due to be beat down by climate change at the end of the week, but not I. Nope, just rain. And more rain. I lived in Seattle folks, why am I here with the rain? But who cares, because we have the Raptors (Rapture? harhar) to talk about and it’s not looking good. Toronto has now lost six in a row and nine of their last 11. Of course, the reactionaries are ready to tear this team down and reset, especially since one of those losses was against the Magic (Apologies Orlando). There are theories out there that the Raptors should go the opposite direction and shed assets for a star to line up with Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes, but I’m not sure what assets they have. While I personally think its too early to have such thoughts, even after coming off a loss where aforementioned Siakam went HAM against the Sixers with 38 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists in 47 minutes. Then again, can you imagine the Mavericks with Siakam? Scary. Almost as scary as Siakam and Fred VanVleet having a good game together! Here’s what else I saw during last night’s slate of games:

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In this life, do-overs are rare. The opportunity to go back and change the mistakes of the past is reserved for science fiction plots or melancholy discussions over a pint in dimly-lit watering holes. But over this last week, I was presented with an opportunity to do just that – to go back with the knowledge of hindsight and fix where I failed, to atone, to set things right. I had screwed up once and now I was gifted a second chance. Please, I told myself, don’t blow it again. 

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Four!  In this post, you’ll find widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.

The past few days have provided plenty of intrigue, with Kyrie Irving and the Nets taking center stage.  After Brooklyn handed Kyrie a minimum five-game suspension, Jaylen Brown told media outlets that senior members of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) viewed the punishment as too severe.  Their objection is based on the lack of guidance governing social media conduct in the league’s collective-bargaining agreement.  Though Brown indicated that the NBPA would seek to appeal the suspension, no appeal is filed as of this writing.  Brown mentioned that the outcome of a Tuesday meeting between Irving and Adam Silver would influence the NBPA’s decision to move forward with the appeal, so it’s possible that the reportedly positive meeting compelled the union to stand down.  Inaction on the part of the NBPA suggests that Kyrie’s suspension will not greatly exceed the five-game minimum, but it’s equally possible that I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Either way, Brooklyn players who have picked up the slack over the past four outings are due for at least one more game of elevated run.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Two!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  If this is your first brush with midweek guidance, check out the intro to last week’s post to get some insight on my groundbreaking methodology (it’s not groundbreaking).  The dust is settling on the initial rush to grab surprise successes like Santi Aldama, but there is still a lot of rotation churn in the NBA as teams try to find the best way to win (or lose).  Unsurprisingly, we’ve already seen multi-game injuries and/or load management issues with big names on the Pelicans, Cavaliers, Clippers, Thunder, and Hornets, so there are potential opportunities on those teams as we look for streaming candidates to cycle through with that final roster spot.

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The Los Angeles Lakers are held to a higher standard. For this reason, last year was a failure of epic portions. A losing season and missing the playoffs is not the end of the world for most professional organizations. It sucks, but not the end of the world. By Lakers’ standards, making the playoffs is supposed to be a guarantee.

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On a recent podcast with Son, I let slip, “If you’re a center that doesn’t get blocks, I don’t think I have any use for you.” It was a knee-jerk line, one that I hadn’t much considered before it fell out of my mouth, and I’ve been wrestling with how true that might actually be ever since. For most of the summer, I’ve been vexed by the center position because, outside of the elite guys, the shortcomings of the position are obvious and numerous. For many, their usefulness in category leagues extends only to rebounds, blocks and FG%, and oftentimes those few spoils are sacrificed at the altar of points, dimes, triples, and free-throw percentage. Drafting a center that doesn’t, it’s a steep tradeoff in the best of circumstances, so when looking at someone like Deandre Ayton – a top-50ish, center-eligible player who produced exactly enough swats last year to break even in the category by z-score – I began to wonder what exactly the point was. 

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The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Brooklyn Nets 119-110 to remain ahead of the Nets in the Eastern Conference standings. The two teams have identical 39-36 records, but with this win, the Hornets move to 2-1 against the Nets and secure the tiebreaker. Led by LaMelo Ball’s hot shooting, the Hornets spoiled Kyrie Irving’s home debut. Ball finished the game with 33 points (10-21 FG, 7-12 3PT), seven rebounds, nine assists, and three steals. Miles Bridges added 24 points (9-24 FG, 3-6 3PT), eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal. P.J. Washington tallied 18 points (8-12 FG, 2-3 3PT), 11 rebounds, and five assists. Terry Rozier notched 14 points (5-12 FG, 2-5 3PT), seven rebounds, four assists, and one steal. If the Hornets are making their threes they can be tough to beat and that was the case in this game. They shot 42% from the field as a team, but they shot 53% from three (17-32). As things currently stand, the Hornets would match up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament, rather than the Nets. That’s unfortunate for us, the fans, as the pace of play and lack of defense on both sides would make a Nets vs. Hornets matchup must-see TV. Then again, there likely won’t be much defense in a Nets vs. Hawks series either.

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