Surprise, I’ve taken over the Wednesday recap this week, let’s get jiggy with it!

Nets vs Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks undefeated 2020-2021 season came to an end at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, December, 30th, but not without some positive signs of progress for this new look roster. At the moment, the Hawks have the second best Offensive Rating in the league at 119.9 and their opponent, the Nets, have the best Defensive Rating at 98.3. I’m not sure if these numbers include the data from Wednesday’s competition, but either way, the Hawks were the team that lived up to their statical billing in this one. The teams went shot for shot through most of the game until Kyrie Irving took over in the fourth quarter and the Hawks suffered enough empty possessions on offense to walkaway with their first L. Both teams broke a hundred by the third quarter and the final score of 141-145 tells you everything you need to know. Neither team played much defense in this game and that end of the floor will remain the biggest question for both teams going forward.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tough week for Spencer Dinwiddie owners after finding he has partially torn his ACL. It was clear his numbers would go down a little bit this season with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving coming into the rotation but Dinwiddie was still a quality fantasy option. With Dinwiddie out, that leaves starting minutes open to multiple players in the Nets rotation that could see a serious uptick in fantasy production.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I asked Son if I could write for Razzball he said I could on one condition: More. Kings. Content.

Regretfully being the man for the job, I accepted his terms and spent much of the days around the holiday soaking up some of that quality Sacramento basketball product. I also caught a few non-Kings games and took notes, opened some gifts (alpaca socks for our first Wisconsin winter), finished watching The Young Pope (quite good), and then looked through my scribblings for a single shard of wisdom. And while I can’t promise that I found any, I do have some thoughts on this first week of NBA basketball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week we have been able to enjoy family time and spread holiday cheer. A time when the most important things are truly made clear. A time of celebration and gift-giving and with that the NBA gifted us as basketball fans the best Christmas present of all: The start of the new NBA season.

Contenders and stars. Big-time matchups and even bigger blowouts. But there can only be two players of the week. To kick off the 2020-21 NBA season the Holiday Hoopers of the Week are Kyrie Irving in the Eastern Conference and Paul George from the Western Conference.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We finally made it! The 72-day wait for the start of the 2020-21 NBA season was excruciating. I kid, I kid. The turnaround from the end of last season to this year was a blur. My head is still spinning like a top, which has been compounded by the fact that Rona has nuked any conception of time that I may have possessed previously. So we’ve been mental masturbating over our drafts and teams for a few months, but now that the season has officially begun and we get to see the players play and stats get displayed, there’s nowhere to go but down. We all had banners flying and trophies hoisted right? With that said, there’s only one team that gets the chip each season. I hope that each of you is fortunate to be a part of the one. The season is a long one so embrace the journey and be diligent in managing your teams. Here’s what I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been running the same fantasy basketball league with roughly the same players for nearly a decade now and a while back we converted it into a keeper league. This past Tuesday we had our fantasy draft. We are like most leagues in that there are a few players nearly always on the top and the rest of the league is a mixture of people who don’t care nearly as much or are just novices trying to learn. If you’re in a casual league, it probably looks a lot like this.

One important thing to keep in mind is that this is a KEEPER league, and as such 41 of Yahoo!’s top 50 players were kept and unavailable to be drafted. You’ll see them pop up in rounds much later, in most scenarios, as they were kept on the cheap. It’s a 9-cat H2H league as well with nothing to play for but a trophy we have engraved every season. We added two more teams this season that did not play at all last season and held an expansion draft before the actual draft, and we replaced one manager who decided to focus on his life instead (which is totally okay and encouraged, btw.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All right fam, I sat on this preview long enough. The season is nigh, and it seems that if James Harden won’t be joining the Brooklyn Nets (prays to the God of Editors that I don’t need to rewrite this), and we’re at a position where we can focus on the Nets’ other luminary players — Caris LeVert and Taurean Prince. I kid! We all know I’m a Jarret Allen stan.

[loads up the the ol’ roster-nator] [giggles at the word “roster-nator”]

How am I supposed to find information on Kyrie Irving? ALEXA! WHAT’S A DURANTULA? 

ENYWHEY, faithful Razzball readers might know me as the pitcher ranker on the baseball side, and the quarterback ranker on the football side (and the guy who writes the Razzbowl fan fiction), and now you get good ‘ol Blair giving you hot taeks on the basketball side for 2020-2021. So, without risking the 24-second clock running down to zero here, let’s take a look at the hottest team in the NBA for 2021.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Entering the season, Jrue Holiday was being drafted as a top 12 player for fantasy. And for good reason, as he finished as the 22nd and 21st player on a per-game basis the past two years. Anthony Davis was gone, so the expectation was that he was going to be the alpha, with the young kids following his lead. That is not how things worked out to begin the season, though. Jrue looked like he was on a Holiday, while Brandon Ingram took the league by storm. Then Zion Williamson returned from injury and the hype was all on him. Now, Lonzo has been Ball-ing with his new shot, which looks excellent by the way, and Jrue became the forgotten man. We are silly humans because Jrue never went anywhere. Last night, Jrue reminded us that he can still barbecue the opposition. Beep. Boop. Bop. You know what always cooks the competition? The Stocktonator.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
37 9 8 1 1 1 3/8 13/20 8/9

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalmost messed around, which would have been the fifth time in his career. Over the past 21 games, Jrue has been a top 25 player. Over the past four games, he’s been top 15. He’s been lurking in the bushes, sniping off Charlie without anyone noticing. But I see you, Jrue! The usage rate isn’t crazy like most stars, as it’s in the 22% range, but he’s playing a ton of minutes for a team that plays at a fast offensive pace, and contributes across-the-board production. The only bugaboo to his game is the 70% free throw shooting.

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Joel Embiid is 7 feet and weighs 249 pounds. There are only around 2800 people in the world who are 7 feet or taller. With 7.4 billion people, that comes out to 0.000038% of the population! Add in the fact that he’s as nimble as a ballerina, possesses the feathery touch of players much smaller than him, and is almost as witty as Grey…..it all culminates in a human that is…..is he even human? Regardless, Embiid is truly a unique breed. Last night was just the most recent display of his uniqueness.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
49 14 3 3 1 4 1/3 17/24 14/15

The #11 player for fantasy on a per-game basis, which is key because he’s missed 16 games on the season. That is the only chink in the armor. It’s a massive one for sure, but things can change quickly. Just look at KAT. On the season, Embiid is averaging 23.8 points, 1.3 tres, 12 boards, 3.2 dimes, 0.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks with 47% shooting from the field and 82% from the line. He literally does it all. Beep. Boop. Bop. You know what literally does it all day in and day out? The Stocktonator. Now, Ben Simmons did not play last night and could be out for a while. Without Simmons on the court, Embiid garners a usage rate of 36.4, and increase of 4.2%. He scores 1.59 fantasy points per minute! Here’s praying for the health of this outlier of a human.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?