I maintain, that when Steph Curry gets going, he’s the best show in the NBA. There are certainly other contenders for the NBA’s best show on hardwood, but Curry’s blend of fundamental and evolutionary NBA skills are what separates him from the competition. Curry walked into the league as an offensive engine in the mold of Reggie Miller, who shot 35.5 percent from three in year one and 40.2 percent from three in his second season in the NBA. Curry shot 43.7 percent from three in his first season. As a young player, Curry was not the statistical outlier he has become, as he only attempted 4.8 threes a game his rookie year. Miller took 2.2 threes as a rookie, but he was up to 4.4 attempts in his third season. Curry’s early career numbers were the result of the game’s natural evolution and increased acceptance of the three-point shot. In Curry’s early years, he did a lot of his work off-ball, running off screens and mirroring more traditional shooting guards like Miller and Ray Allen. It’s part of the reason many people insisted Curry wasn’t a true point guard. His conditioning allows him to run around for part of or even the entirety of some possessions. This non-stop movement draws a lot of attention and fatigues the defense, both mentally and physically—hence all the back-cut layups for Curry’s teammates. Check out this illuminating breakdown from the 2018-19 NBA Finals by Ben Taylor.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dirk Nowitzki became the 6th player in NBA history to reach 30,000 points, becoming the first international player to hit 30k and one of three players to score all 30,000+ points with one team. It’s been a truly impressive career for the future hall-of-famer. As Steve Nash joked, what’s German for ball hog?
20 points shy of the milestone heading into the game, Nowitzki wasted no time, knocking down and a fadeway early in the second quarter:
Scoring 18 points in the first quarter, Dirk finished with 25 points (all in the first half), 11 rebounds, 1 block, and 3 threes for his third double-double in the last four games. His fantasy days are numbered, but after a slow, injury-filled start to the season, Nowitzki has given patient owners plenty to smile about since the start of the New Year.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Listen, as a Hawks fan I have a special place in my sports heart for Joe Johnson. It’s special because of this strange dichotomy I call reluctant gratitude. The Hawks sucked. Hard. For years. And gave up far too much to get him, but once Joe Johnson arrived in Atlanta back in the ’05-’06 season the Hawks became a legit playoff team, with Johnson ascending to perennial All-Star level. Yet that damn contract (only to be rivaled by Allan Houston from 2001 as potentially the worst of all-time) handcuffed Atlanta into the nothingness that is the perpetual second-round, upper-middle tier of the NBA. It was awful.
However, Brooklyn came along and washed our bored tears away when they gulped down his albatross contract to usher in the new era of Atlanta basketball (still perpetual upper-middle tier, though). But when you think about it, that’s just what Joe does: usher in the next chapter for a franchise. Well, that and play incredible (dribble) ball-stopping (dribble) isolation (dribble) basketball (five more dribbles, contested shot with 3 second left). It started in Phoenix as Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash began their revolutionary 8-second offense, then shifted to Atlanta for the next seven years where he made six All-Star teams before becoming the epitome of the catastrophe that was the Brooklyn Nets post-prime project alongside Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. And now? Smack dab in the middle of the Rockies, Joe’s the biggest free agent signing the Utah Jazz have locked in for the past 10-15 years. At 35 years old he’s shooting 49% in 31mpg during their first five contests. Could it be that a new era is beginning in Utah with all of their young talent (and without Gordon Hayward as of yet)? They just crushed both the Spurs and then the Mavs, and I’m getting quite jazzed about the makeup of this team. Could they reach the playoffs for the first time in 5 years? Well, probably. Joe’s there now. It’s time for a new era.
And for this week…four games for the Jazz. Here’s the 7 Ahead for Week 3!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Monday night’s heavyweight match between the two best teams in the league mostly disappointed. Sure, Stephen Curry and the Warriors were fun to watch, but the Spurs were mostly a no show, losing 120-90.
On Wednesday, the Spurs returned home to host the Rockets. They took all of their rage out on the self-destructing Rockets, destroying them 130-99. Do you think the Spurs were mad about losing by 30 on Monday night?
Scoring only 5 points on Monday, LaMarcus Aldridge rebounded to lead the Spurs with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Danny Green knocked down 6 threes to post 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. That’s more like it Aldridge and Green!
Kawhi Leonard (18 points) and Tony Parker (15 points, 7 assists) got in on the fun too, as Tim Duncan sat another game, while the Spurs await the MRI results on his knee. If Duncan misses substantial time, the Spurs will roll with a combo of Kyle Anderson (7/3/1), David West (4/2/2), and Boris Diaw (0/2/3), depending on matchups.
I would really love to see more of Boban Marjanovic, but I think he’s a little too big to see much more than 20 minutes a night. The dude’s 7’3” and weighs 290, with ears that give Barack Obama a run for his money, but his hands are crazy big. They make normal people’s hands look worthless, Ray McCallum’s head small, and a gallon of ice tea look like a juice box. Thanks to the blowout, Marjanovic posted a 13/10 double-double in 17 minutes.
Now onto the other nightly notables:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’ve ever had the chance to read any of my articles here on Razzball, you may have gathered that I’m irreverent, satirical, and basically a ham, bumbling through jokes while trying to deliver the highest mid-range quality fantasy advice to anyone who will read it, but I have to say this without any underlaying humour whatsoever: Martin Luther King is an absolute hero to me, full stop.
That said, I still am a ham, so while Dr. King had a dream, I have a fantasy: and that is that one day a Steve Nash and Goran Dragic can stand next to a Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry in fantasy basketball terms. That we finally realize that white men can jump, although a good example is escaping me at the moment, and anyways, it really doesn’t matter in fantasy. That a JJ Reddick is as valuable as a Khris Middleton on the fantasy basketball stage. And finally, we let the fantasy talent speak for itself, regardless of creed, colour or gender, even though it’s a men’s league, so that last one is more platitude than anything, really. In saying that, we will take a look at the best in the league, regardless of anything other than talent and value:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For those of you who didn’t watch the Sixers vs Lakers game on Tuesday, you really missed out on something special. It was Kobe Bryant’s final game in Philly (where he played high school ball), and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. Kobe led off the game by draining 3 treys in his first four shots, with fans cheering every time he touched the ball. Unfortunately, the adrenaline could only take his aging body so far, and the inefficient Kobe of this year, soon took over. There were flashes of former glory throughout the game, but it’s clear that his brilliant career is coming to an end. “There’s so much beauty in the pain of this thing,” Bryant said of his struggles on the floor. Thankfully, he is playing the season out, and giving his fans a last chance to say goodbye.
Kobe has given us some incredible moments over the years, and like him or hate him, you have to respect him. He is one of the greatest competitors in NBA history, and he plays with as much intensity and heart as anyone that I can remember. Bryant always put 110% into the game, and that constant strain is likely what wore his body out. However, it’s also what makes him one of the greatest to ever play the game.
It’s going to feel very odd watching a Laker team without Kobe Bryant. I suppose all stars come and go, but Bryant just seemed to defy all odds up until this year. It’s even stranger to see Kobe starting to show up on some waiver wires. As for me, I own him in a couple leagues, and will be holding him for the duration of the season. Just for the principle of the thing.
Kobe is among the last of the old guard, with veterans and retired players like Pierce, Allen, Garnett, Duncan, Nowitzki, Nash, and Shaq. New players like Curry, Harden, Westbrook, Leonard, Durant, Davis, and George, have risen to take their place. It’s a pretty incredible cycle if you think about it.
Ok, enough of the nostalgia, lets get into the waiver wire for this week!Please, blog, may I have some more?
In a jam-packed weekend with all sorts of big news and Anthony Davis putting up a career-high, I figured why not start as off-the-fantasy-radar as possible! Well, that’s a lie, my Steve Nash open about him being a malnourished librarian turned out to already be a commercial…
The injury gods were working overtime this weekend, as big ol’ Roy Hibbert landed funky on his ankle and left very early in the Pacers’ game Saturday. The bad news continues to floweth down the bad news river in Indianapolis. Drown your sorrows in onion rings, Pacers fans! Not gonna have any other rings any time soon. “That was mean, JB!” I’m rooting for Paul George to come back healthy next year and shock the Cavs in the playoffs, don’t you worry. But back to the issue at hand, when Howard Cosell made the call “Down goes Hibbert!” I immediately had something bubbling up inside [Mahin]me. Certainly not one of the premiere backup Cs in the NBA, but Ian Mahinmi is passable, and a solid short-term add for some early-week big man upside. Mahinmi carried the torch with the starters for an all-leagues usable 12/10/1/3/1 line in only 26 minutes, without even finishing down the stretch as the Suns went full supernova to the Pacers white/brown dwarves (I don’t wanna say one or the other, might get into trouble…). The backup Frenchy could easily go 10/10 with 2 swats in a few starts early this week. Tonight is against a gimpy Tyson Chandler who tweaked his kankle, then Wednesday against a Spurs team who have struggled to handle bigs since Tiago Splitter has been in a siesta. So while I Mahin-Me, I hope while reading this there is time to Mahin-You! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Young players Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo returned to their respective teams last week, after missing the first few weeks due to injury. This week, the Washington Wizards welcomed back shooting guard Bradley Beal. He came off the bench to a standing ovation (or rather, the 25 fans in attendance stood up and cheered), but impressed in his first game of the season. In 26 minutes, Beal scored 20 points, with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 3PTM. It was only one game, but expect Beal to put up similar lines all season. He averaged 17.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 3.3 apg last season and I expect those numbers to rise slightly this year.
Now that Beal is back, owners should move on from Garrett Temple and Otto Porter. Garrett Temple started off hot, but has since cooled off and will go back to being a reserve and defensive replacement. In Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks, Temple threw a 3-pointer off the side of the basket and then air balled another three on the same possession! Porter is more offensively gifted than Temple and will have a good game off the bench here and there, but look elsewhere for more consistent production.Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s finally here! “The lockout is over!” You’re like, “wtf, a lockout?!” I’m quoting a Dave Cowens commercial! And after the 98-99 Lockout at that! Anything vintage Hornets is nostalgic gold right now. Ridiculous amounts of bonus points to readers who are Hornets fans and remember that commercial and/or can find the video. Because I couldn’t!
The return of the Hornets is one of the many things I’m looking forward to this year. Getting past my horrific Jonas Valanciunas love, finally changing the page to a new season, is another. But one of the biggest is a healthy (for now) Kobe Bryant and the return of the “Guess Kobe Bryant’s Stat Line”! Even if you’re a long-time reader, you might not know this one! It’s like the NBA scheduled the Lakers on a light opening night just for this momentous Razzball event, not because the Lakers are a widely popular team or anything…
I don’t remember exactly what spawned this prestigious contest, but as with everything that is oddly conversational in Razzball, traditions can start any time! Like how we all guessed what Kobe would do, the like, 5 games he played last year. So in order to carry this tradition, and to accurately-ish credit the winner, guess the Kobe line will be limited to the PTS/REB/AST projection to determine the victor. Feel free to guess more stats than that, but when we did it last year with steals and blocks and turnovers, it was hard to say which commenter was closer than another. The winner gets a shout out in the recap the next day, along with the jealous ire of all other Razzballers… I think Kobe has a big one in the opener vs. Houston… I’m going 31/5/6. Shoot your guesses below, and happy return to Fantasy Basketball! We’re pumped for our biggest season to date here at Razzball, and thanks to everyone for checking us out through the offseason!
Here’s some other news and notes since the last wrap-up, and what I’ll be focusing on for opening night (and we’re daily every weekday with the wrap-ups here on out!):Please, blog, may I have some more?
…And we’re here! Finally wrapping up a recap of the top 100 and how much I hated Andre Drummond coming into the year. It’s not my fault! He still can’t hit free throws! Aherm, cough, I think I’m going to miss today’s class with the flu.
So far, and I’m not just saying this for my ego, I think I did the Nation better than I expected. Sure there were swing-and-misses – I’m not Biff from Back to the Future Part II! But it’s been a great learning experience recapping my ranks, and our loyal, bearded Slim comes in with his grades. Rankings are based on my final updated top 200, comparing them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues on the season. Slim then recaps JB’s best ranks in the 101-200 range and worst. Giannis Antetokounmpo for MVP! To keep it unbiased, Slim picked the best 4 and worst 4, so we’ll have to see who he goes with… Here’s a look back at the Top 100 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:Please, blog, may I have some more?