Being in the middle is…..

Bad for a sports team, as perpetual mediocrity permeates. No chance at the trophy and no possibility to draft a franchise-changing player. Bad if you are a piece of lettuce or meat between two slices of bread. I guess everything in that situation sucks as they all get eaten. Bad if you’re an avid surfer that lives in Nebraska. There’s good, though. You ain’t poor. Malcolm did alright. You’ll never be first or last. In the NBA, being a part of the bourgeoisie is great. You’re not the worst of the 1% of the ballers on the planet. But, imagine if you are a part of the 1% of the 1%? Kyrie Irving doesn’t have to imagine because he’s living the dream. Yesterday, he went:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 40 7 5 0 1 1 5/7 14/23 7/8

The Celtics lost to the Magic, 103-95. That should’ve been grounds for automatic disqualification from being the lede, but….a 40-burger is a 40-burger. You drop one of those and you’re always going to be a contender. Now, it’s felt like Kyrie has been a relatively quiet member of the fantasy elite, as he hasn’t been messing around or going nuts on a nightly basis. He’s the 14th player for fantasy and his numbers are almost identical to last year. Imagine if he was on a shitty team that didn’t play any defense?

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jordan Clarkson drops 33 points as Lakers “Breakaway” from the Pacers on Friday night. Clarkson, “Because of You” Lakers were able to win a game while shooting 14.3% from the free throw line; an NBA record for lowest FT% in a win.  Clarkson was the only Laker to actually make any free throws (2-for-3), while the rest of the team went 0-for-11.  Despite this weird anomaly, the Lakers were able to “Walk Away” with a a victory against a pretty good Pacers team. The Pacers were coming off a back-to-back, but the Lakers have now won five of their last seven after a really rough stretch.

Anyway, here’s what else happened on Friday in Fantasy Hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you have been reading my recaps this season, then you know one of my favorite terms is: Waiver Wire All-Star. I use this to refer to players who started the year undrafted in almost every fantasy basketball league out there. Even in my deeper leagues Tyreke Evans was sitting there just waiting to be added by some lucky owner who is probably competing for a championship right now.

A great draft is super important, don’t get me wrong, but it is these savvy waiver wire pick-ups that win leagues. ‘Reke has not only been a good pick-up, but he is returning top 40 value in most leagues. That means that a third or fourth round (depending on your league size) pick was just hanging out, playing video games, watching Netflix, waiting to get the call to the big show.

Last night Tyreke Evans went off again and almost messed around for the second night in a row putting up this juicy slash: 2/23/6/10/1/0. So congratulations if you snagged ‘Reke in your league. Here is what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kris Dunn- 4-32-2-9-4-0-4. Four steals last night and is second in the league in steals per game behind Paul George. If it wasn’t for his poor FT%, he’d be a top 40 player in fantasy. That being said, the Bulls have been way ahead of schedule, especially since Mirotic has returned. I doubt they’ll make any noise in the East this year, but they have some young pieces in place to do so in the near future.  Zach LaVine’s imminent return may put a damper on Dunn’s numbers, but you have to think he’ll maintain a decent role through the end of the season.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy hoops last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Remember Carlos Boozer? He of the lead feet on defense, yelling “HEY!” every time he missed a shot in hopes of getting a foul call? At least that’s my recollection of him during his Bulls years. He actually did play decent enough team defense to not hurt the team much while putting up 15 and 10 many nights with his no-jump fade-away rainbows. Anyway, sometime around the end of his Bulls tenure, I remember finding out that this old man on the decline was younger than me. So, I guess I couldn’t really call these NBA players that were considering retirement “old” any longer. Over the years, I’ve even embraced these guys and found that veteran players can be fantasy steals because of our ageist tendencies. And if you play in a dynasty league, they come even cheaper, of course.

Of course it’s fun to pick, trade for, and add young players right before they break out. We all want upside. But I think a lot of us don’t realize that older, boring players do have upside because of their depressed draft values. Let’s see how the NBA’s advanced age players are doing on the ESPN Player Rater compared to their Average Draft Position. I do this to hopefully show that you can win with old reliable dudes, even if they’re on the decline. You can even take this information to help you figure out who to target in trades for young, upsidey players.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Who am i? My name is Ish

On my hand I have a dish.
I have this dish to help me wish.
When I wish to make a wish
I wave my hand with a big swish swish.
Then I say, “I wish for fish!”
And I get fish right on my dish.
So…
If you wish to make a wish,
you may swish for fish with my Ish wish dish.”

– The Good Doctor Seuss

I remember reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish when I was a little kid. The Good Doctor was indeed a genius. I had forgotten all about the book until I had kids of my own and decided to participate in the circle of life. Always puts a smile on my face when I read it to them. Anyways, Ish Smith first made us smile back in 2014 when he played for the 76ers and flashed potential. Unfortunately, he’d disappear, then flash. Disappear, then flash, until we pushed him to the side and forgot about him. Well, he’s baaaaaaaaack. With Reggie Jackson out 6-8 weeks with an ankle injury, Ish will be taking over the reigns at point guard for the Pistons. If last night was any indication, we may not have to wish for a dish. Rather, we may get lots of swish swish.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 18 7 5 1 1 1 0 9/18 0

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Player Rater is a tool to evaluate the performance of a player with only one number. This is not a perfect tool and will not guarantee victory in fantasy, but this is useful to help improve and evaluate your team.

In each category of scoring, a number is calculated to represent the average total in that category. If a player has the average, his rating in that category is 0.00. The numbers represent how much a player is above or below the average.

If the rating is positive, that player is an above-average fantasy player in that category. If the rating is negative that player is below-average. The sum of all ratings in each category gives us a number (the PR), and then we rank the players accordingly.

I have not included turnovers, as the evaluation in PR is very controversial in my opinion, so if you’re in a league with turnovers, you must keep in mind this.

If you have any question let me know.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have no problem going to the movie theaters alone. I can eat at a restaurant by myself. I don’t mind playing NBA 2K against the computer. I can exist as a lone wolf if I chose to. Ah wooooooooo! But I choose not to. There are many things that are only possible with a +1. I have two kids. Even if I wasn’t married ( I am), the process would technically require a +1. Going to an event after checking the +1 box, requires a +1. Once you check that box, you’re an a**shole if you don’t find/beg/pay someone to fill the role. Singing love songs on my guitar while strolling the beach to wait for the sunset. Requires a +1. By the way, I do not play the guitar. There are just some things that bring perfection. Off the top of my head, it was sitting with my wife on the beach as the sun rose in Santa Barbara. For Tobias Harris, all he needed was a +1 for perfection in last night’s game against the Pacers.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 30 6 1 1 0 1 7/8 10/11 3/4

He played 29 minutes, so +1 would’ve given him a perfect minutes-to-points ratio. +1 in the blocks department would’ve given him a 1/1/1/1 (assists, steals, blocks, and turnovers) line. And, of course, +1 in the 3PT, FG, and FT categories would’ve given him perfect shooting percentages. Not bad, Tobias. Not bad. After a torrid start to the season, Tobias had cooled off. The last two games, though, he’s scored 24 and 30 points. He may be heating up again. Regardless, he is still a top 50 player for fantasy. He provides threes, rebounds, low turnovers, and good shooting percentages.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Good morning, and welcome back to another edition of Any Given Saturday. A huge slate of games last night, but the most impressive performance of them all came from The Rocky Horror Victor Show himself, Victor Oladipo. Our boy put forth a pristine 38/4/6/1/1 on 13-for-23 FG (2-for-8 3P, 10-for-10 FT) and no TOs, as he led the Pacers to the overtime win over the Nets. Dipo has been a top-10 guy in 9-cat so far and it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down any time soon. I was higher than most on Dipo coming into the season, but I don’t think anybody predicted a season like this. If you got him near his ADP, you’re laughing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was very surprised when I Googled Triple D’s. Triple D’s Place, a Jamaican restaurant and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Where were the big, beautiful breasteses? We have truly advanced as a society. Anyways, it’s bad if you get a D in school. Mcy D’s is good when you are hungry. How about for fantasy? Double D, DeMar DeRozan, has been a valuable fantasy player for quite some time. He has averaged over 20 points per game in each of the last five seasons. He has grabbed around 4.5 boards, dished out close to four dimes, 211’d around one, knocked down 82% of his free throws, and shot 45% from the field. The two areas that he lacked in were blocks and threes. Well, last night, DD was lighting it up from three-land.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
45 5 3 2 1 2 6/9 13/21 13/15

It’s only appropriate that he shot 6-of-9 from downtown, huh? The Universe is awesome. Now, before you start getting all excited, DD’s season high for threes was only three. On the year, he’s making 0.7 on 2.5 attempts. Well above his career average, but fewer than the 0.8 on 2.7 attempts back in 2013 season. Last night’s game was more than likely an outlier, but we can all dream. I guess that’s the only thing one can do regarding Triple D’s. Unless you like Jamaican food and Guy Fieri.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?