Well, I do keep my eyes open all the time, and if you’ve been reading my thoughts on Jeremy Lin the past few weeks, you’ve heard me repeatedly say that I’m worried about lingering/long-term injury with this bad hammy strain earlier in the season. The deathblow – for me – was when after coming back from the hammy, Lin suffered back issues, which I mentioned I had seen time and time again in baseball as a lingering effect from not having your upper leg base. And here we go again with another hammy strain last night, again to the left hammy, the same hamstring he pulled in early November (emo band alert!). On a VERY friendly 3-year deal in today’s market at only $38 million (thanks Razzball player pages!), I see no reason the Mess wouldn’t just shut him down another extended period of time with the injury to the same hammy, so hopefully you sold in these past couple weeks when you could. In his stead, look for Sean Kilpatrick to play some PG again, which actually hurts his value in my eyes. He wasn’t thriving the same way as his SG run, as he’s not a great facilitator and it jacked up his TO rate. For deeper leagues, it puts Isaiah Whitehead back on the radar, although he will hurt your FG% and TO in some games (9/2/3/1/1 last night, but with 4 TO in 16 minutes). Thankfully Whitehead was able to come back at exactly the right time after a few games off due to foot soreness. And that’s not even mentioning Randy Foye and his “epic” 3/1/2 line last night, with his only FG being this one:
Hah, your final shot goes to a guy who was 0-1 in 21 minutes up until that touch. Yeesh, this team is certainly really close to the creamy nougat center of Dante’s Inferno, on maybe the 2nd or 1st Ring of Fire… Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:
Because it was time to play defense and nobody #%*%#%@ wanted to!
Yeah, I’m looking at you Cavs, Rockets, Warriors, and J.R. Smith.
Anyway…. Outside of that cheesiness, it was a fairly interesting Thursday evening, but many of the games were just irksome. It’s ironic that the Utah/Miami game deserved to be on TNT over the Cavs and Clippers. I don’t think anyone would’ve guessed an LA blowout win after that 70 point dud in Indy, but that’s pro sports for ya! At any rate, let’s get into it! At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll cover the whole Rockets – Warriors game, but I can already tell you that the winner scored over 120, and it was a race to see who could jack up more 3s. It’s entertaining, but it isn’t basketball, in my humble opinion.
As we prepare for the 2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Season, I’ll be taking a look at each NBA team with their major adds and drops to see if we can pan for any surprise rotational gold. This open is especially witty for the Nuggets. We’ll be counting down from worst NBA regular season to the best, mainly because I’m still figuring out how to rank the Warriors…
Brooklyn Nets (21-61)
G Jeremy Lin
F Trevor Booker
G Greivis Vasquez
F Luis Scola
F Anthony Bennett
G Chris LeVert (Rookie)
C Justin Hamilton
G Isaiah Whitehead (Rookie)
F Thaddeus Young
G/F Joe Johnson
G Jarrett Jack (wahhhhhh!)
G Shane Larkin
G Donald Sloan
The Fountain of Youth
Ewwwwww, the Nets. I still can’t fathom how anyone could be a fan of this team. It just exudes boredom. Nothing exemplifies this better than what they did at PF, but we’ll get there.
While you’d expect a team this bad to overhaul they A) traded all their picks in that horrific Celtics deal and B) gave big contracts to Brook Lopez and Thad Young last year, apparently happy to stay in the status quo. If there was ever a team that looked stuck in the mud, it would be this one. Get ready to start yawning!
Perhaps no player since the great Oscar Robertson has felt like such a nightly threat to record a triple-double than Russell Westbrook. Lately, when the Thunder point guard takes the court on any given night, you’re expecting huge production. You can just tell how much he wants it. He is a special player with an unparalleled combination of aggression and talent…and it was on full display on Tuesday night.
For the third game in a row and the sixth time this month, Russell Westbrook poured in double-digit points, grabbed double-digit rebounds, and handed out double-digit assists. He finished Tuesday’s home win with 21, 13 & 15.
After Tuesday’s game, Westbrook now has March averages (11 games) of: 20.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 11.4 assists.
The remarkable thing though, is that Russ is ranked 54th for 9-category per-game fantasy value this month, due in large part to 4.7 turnovers per game and a high-volume .408 mark from the field. This is a perfect illustration of how eye-popping numbers can be misleading when gauging a player’s actual value to your team. In contrast, Kawhi Leonard is a full 50 ranking spots ahead of Westbrook this month with more modest averages of 22.7/7.4/2.9. But when you add in a .495 shooting percentage and only 1.6 TOs, the valuation swings wildly in his favor.
So while Russell Westbrook is posting trip-dub after trip-dub, it’s prudent for fantasy owners to keep in mind exactly what goes into the making of a star in the real world versus the fantasy world as this 2015-2016 season comes to an end.
Let’s take a look at some of the other note-worthy performers on a quiet four-game Tuesday night in the NBA…
Wow, we certainly got polar opposite trade deadlines the past two years!
With shocking move after shocking move around 3:00 PM last year, 2016 was a nice afternoon siesta, putting the “dead” in Trade Deadline. This is why it’s impossible to predict trades! I might use this year’s deadline as a response to “who is most likely to be traded” quandaries. Is there a shrug emoticon?! Because in 2016, every NBA GM was too busy playing Candy Crush to make phone calls to other teams!
Really the biggest trade had very little fantasy impact too… Markieff Morris comes to the Wizards, and just like Archie Goodwin‘s neck, he puts a stranglehold on the PF position. Watch me whip! Watch me Nene! …watch me never play again 🙁 Even though Nene started last night over Jared Dudley (and had a decent game too), I think that’s more about having him be a placeholder to get ready for the new Wiz rotation once Kieff gets there. I just think Wizards fans should be happy Gilbert Arenas isn’t still there, that locker room might get fiestier than in Memphis! We’ll get to that later… Kieff should’ve been owned in all leagues already, and you can happily drop Dudley in almost all leagues. That was my first text to Slim! Pssshhh, Slim arguing to hold Dudley… On the flip side, Phoenix got trash and roster dumpage, with Kris Humphries mayyyyybe playing some backups kims. I mean mins. The big takeaway is Alex Len should be nabbed in all 12ers, and when the news broke, he was owned in only 30% of leagues (and still is at 30% apparently)… He should get a nice boost in consistency, minutes wise. Here’s what else went down over this snoozer of a deadline, plus the Daily Notes from last night:
Congratulations to Dirk Nowitzki. He passed Shaquille O’Neal for number 6 on the all-time NBA scoring list.
While Kobe Bryant gains the headlines in his last season, Dirk and Tim Duncan have quietly shown how to adapt their game for the team’s sake, taking less money and adding more wins to their already impressive résumés.
At 37, Dirk isn’t the same fantasy monster that he used to be, but is still valuable. He’s scored 20+ points in three straight games and so far has posted better overall numbers than last season. His game is much different than Kobe’s, with much less wear and tear on his body, allowing him to remain relatively healthy later in his career. Personally, I don’t see any reason why Dirk has to tie the sneakers up anytime soon.
In addition to passing Shaqtus, Dirk hit the game winner in the Mavericks’ overtime win over the Nets. He finished with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Not bad for a 37-year-old.
Overtime basketball is free basketball and it usually means great stat lines for everyone involved:
On an unusually quiet Tuesday night in the NBA that saw only four games, the most remarkable item is just how unremarkable everything was. Truth be told, I watched a lot more of the Republican debate on CNN than I did professional basketball. (I’ll withhold political commentary for the most part as Razzball isn’t the appropriate forum, but holy heck is the RNC ever in a pickle.)
The usual suspects (James Harden, LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins) were all solid for their owners, but it’s not like somebody dropped a 40-burger. Nobody poured in a ton of 3-pointers or threw a massive block party. There were no catastrophic injuries (thankfully) and no statement performances. Just a whole lot of “meh.” You can actually count on one hand the number of players who even saw 36 minutes.
Each of the two early games were decided by a dozen points and offered little in the way of drama or uncertainty about the outcome. The late games followed suit as the Greg Monroe-less Bucks got creamed by the Los Angeles Kobes, while Sacramento took care of Houston by 10 in a matchup of what might be the two most unhappy rosters in the league. Only four of the eight teams even managed to hit the century mark.
I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is that nobody on Tuesday jumped up and said, “Hey Matty! I want the lead. I deserve the lead!” So take notice, NBA – the lead is not simply given, it must be earned. Be better than Donald Trump, basketball.
Man, there could not have been a more epic high or more epic low last night comparing our elite facial hair aficionados! Well of course, #1 is Grey, he looks like the worst player at the Saturday afternoon Y pickup game, then goes for 40/15/15 every time!
The tanking Nugs got absolutely bludgeoned by The Beard last night, with James Harden going 50/10/4/1/0 on 12-27 FG (4-12 3PTM 22-25 FT). Lay off the fouls, Denver! Maybe they were like hippie Rastafarians just enamored with his majestic beard, “Oh I must rub your luscious hair, mon!” Most surprising amongst the odd stats (like scoring 50 whilst shooting under 50%, on only 12 makes, etc.) is that Harden had never scored 50 before! And Corey Brewer had! Hah!
Then to the ugly. Skipping the bad. Anthony Davis tweaked his ankle in drills yesterday morning and wasn’t able to play. That might cause some playoff losses this week! All I can say is that I couldn’t get Brow in any leagues after my contrarian #1 overall rank, so he hath not scorned me! Maybe burning all his owners late with this one will help him be a discount for me in 15-16. So what is it, Brow or Beard first in next year’s drafts?! With the ridiculous emergence of Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside, kinda leaning getting one of those bigs later if given the choice and it’s tipping towards Harden. 7 dimes a game! Plus scoring 50 every night! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
Happy St. Patty’s Razzball Nation! Who doesn’t picture Warwick Davis with claws when they drink 15 Guinesses?
For the third straight year, we’ll be having an awesome Razzball Hoops March Madness bracket pool, joinable through the magic of that link-ity link right there. And for the prize, I decided to go with something more desirable than money. Or power. Or fame. Ok, well probably not as good as anyadat, but the winner will get a prestigious spot in the Razzball Elite League! We’ve got a few spots opening up for next season, so the winner of the Bracket will get their first choice of the team to take over. So hop in today, may the cinderellas be with you, and good luck Razzball Nation! Oh yeah, NBA… Here’s what went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
H2H Playoffs are here! But geez, the amount of DNPs for minor injuries and general soreness (General Soreness!) over the weekend was infuriating! Unless they hit your oppo harder than you, then they were infatuating! I certainly almost lost a playoff spot to the former…
I guess our main stop on the DNP bandwagon would be the Atlanta Hawks and that darned Coach Butthole. I imagine we’ll be using that nickname for Budenholzer a ton down the stretch! The Hawks sat Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap (who had a nasty 23/9/3/3/3 rainbow Friday) last night, then had Kyle Korver break his nose and have to leave early on top of it. Korver was already set for a DNP tonight, so there’s that, and Al Horford owners will have to start the week with a DNP-rest. What a shizz-show! Which kinda sounds like Szechuan. Which makes me hungry… About as hungry as Dennis Schroder looks when he gets starts, ripping apart the Lakers in a 24/3/10 line hitting 7-16 FG (1-5 3PTM 9-11 FT). Even if you’re not a Teague owner, I think it’s impossible to leave the German on the wire. It would just improve The Lives of Others! And Coach Butthole has learned from Pop himself to sit everyone any chance he gets, with that line of thinking infecting the entire league this weekend. It already feels like the last week of the season, doesn’t it?! Maybe the playoffs need to start in week 10… Sheesh… Here’s what else went down on DNP Weekend in fantasy basketball: