Yesterday was Martin Luther King day. It’s a day that many take for granted. Many focus on the fact that there’s basketball all day or that there’s no school or work or something about someone having a dream. MLK day is about celebrating the greatness of a man. Who called out the establishment. Who stood up for the rights of the oppressed. Who wanted to “transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” The King was truly a great man, which brings me to the King of the NBA, LeBron James. Last night, the LeBrons faced off against the Warriors and lost 118-108. In defeat, James went:
I almost did not make him the lede for this post. There were players that scored more points. There were players that collected double-dubs. There were multiple players who almost messed around. There were players that led their team to victory. I almost overlooked LeBron, but then I came to my senses. Look at that line! It’s freaking amazing. Ok, the turnovers aren’t great but I said he’s a King, not God. Anyways, sometimes we don’t truly appreciate the greatness of LeBron. We hold him to such a high standard that we expect more. The crazy thing is that “more” is usually attainable. Think about that. Anyways, it’s only appropriate that I made the King of the NBA the lede for a post on the day after Martin Luther King day. Both are great, yet both are underappreciated at times. Let’s never forget either.
Here’s what else I saw yesterday:
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Owners have been starvin for some production from Marvin all year. The 21 points were a season high and he’s now scored double figures in five of the past six games. Beware, though, as he’s shooting 59% during that span. I see a period of fasting arriving soon in Williamsville.
Since the start of the new year, Dwight is averaging 13.8 points, 12 boards, and 2.2 blocks. No wonder he’s always smiling. But, he’s shooting 38% from the free throw line. Wipe that smile off your face and get in the gym and practice!
The numbers are way down from last season. I’d attribute most of that to the elbow injury he sustained earlier in the year. Batum is starting to contribute in the periphery categories and he’s chucking up shots. Unfortunately, he’s only shooting 39% from the field since the start of the year. Batum could be primed for a nice second half.
I had a dream. That one day, Ish Smith would drop a double-dub. I had a dream. That one day, Ish Smith would make a three-pointer. I had a dream. See, boys and girls. Dreams do come true. Smith notched his first double-dub of the season and knocked down his first three-pointer in 25 games.
The sparkle from Dwight’s teeth was blinding! Maybe it was the two heads that Dwight has as shoulders that contributed to the poor shooting night for Dre. Three heads equals three mouths which would be a lot of trash talking. Plus, it would be comically distracting to see/hear two heads as shoulders talking.
Has scored at least 20 points in four of the past five games. He’s had fewer than 10 shot attempts in a game just two times all season. While he won’t go nuts in the periphery categories, he shoots a high percentage and doesn’t turn the ball over. Top 50 player for fantasy right now.
Played 35 minutes. It seems that SVG has finally had enough Johnson, as Stanley was a DNP-CD. He’s flipped and is enjoying some Bullock now. Does he sit at his desk and wonder why the T’s haven’t been crossed? Bullock is a good shooter and will get his 211 on. Per 36, you could expect around 3 boards and 1.5 assists.
Played nine minutes. Was Recep Tayyip Erdogan a guest in James Dolan’s box? What else could it be?
Played 23 minutes. Per 36, O’Quinn is a freaking monster. 14.6 points, 12.6 boards, 4.2 assists, and 2.2 blocks. Unfortunately, we have no idea what Hornacek will do with his center rotation.
Holy f’ing shit balls! Played six minutes. Hornaceck must’ve had a dream last night….one in which Willy wasn’t having relations with his daughter.
Played 29 minutes while New Jack City played 13 minutes.
Played 29 minutes. Has been playing at power forward alongside Porzingis, which would explain some of the center conundrum for the Knicks. When he plays, he balls out. Unfortunately, he’s tough to count on, as his minutes widly fluctuate. In his past four games: 29, 9, 16, and 39 minutes.
Played 26 minutes. Was it Ron Baker Day and someone forgot to tell me? Still don’t understand why he even plays at all, but props to him. Maybe Hornaceck views him as a potential son-in-law?
Played 30 minutes and led the Nets in scoring. It’s always the season with DeMarre. Fa la la la la. He won’t ever win a week for you, but he gives a little something something across the board. What a guy.
Played 30 minutes and led the team with 20 shot attempts. Out of all the guards on the Nets, LeVert is the one I want. He can drive, shoot from outside, and most importantly, gets to feast on second units. His usage rate the past 10 games: 33.6, 25.8, 26.2, 24.5, 24.6, 34.1, 22.6, 24.1, 27.3, and 20.8.
Played 20 minutes. Robin Lopez was on the other side, so it’s understandable. See that cluster of missles in the sky? They were launched from Sarcasm, USA. It’s disconcerting that Whiteside often sits in the fourth quarter of meaningful games. Regardless, he is still a nightly double-dub threat and will get his block on regardless.
Started at small forward and played 35 minutes. There were concerns that the return of Lavine would relegate Holiday to the bench. Concerns denied. Now, the shot attempts are something to keep an eye on, though. He had 15 yesterday and I’d expect him to get over 10 a game, but you never know how these things play out. Keep an eye on things, like “old lady with the neighborhood watch sticker on house” eye.
Denzel Valentine played 28 minutes off the bench. The biggest loser from the return of Lavine is David Nwaba, as he only received 13 minutes of run.
Only played 20 minutes but had a 33.1 usage rate! In two games back from injury, LaVine has played 20 and 19 minutes a game. I think the Bulls will keep him at that level for a while. Maybe ramp him up to the mid-20s down the road. It’s early, but I may have been wrong on LaVine. I’m usually hesitant to buy in on players right after injury. With that said, he’s looked really good, but I’d be cautious in expecting numbers anywhere close to last year. Next year? More than likely, but let’s get through this year first.
Played 33 minutes. Outside of Nwaba, the biggest loser from the return of LaVine may be Dunn. His usage has slipped to 17.6%. Now, it’s only been two games but it’s something to keep an eye on. With that said, he still has a high floor due to his defensive prowess and ability to contribute in the periphery categories, so he’s far from Dunn.
Per 36, Mirotic is at 25 points and 10 boards. Too bad he only plays around 22 minutes a game. He’s the main scorer off the bench and he had a 28 usage rate yesterday. I wonder how he will perform on a different team….unless he and Portis are traded together. If he’s traded a la carte, how could he replicate the motivation Portis provides? “Yo, Nikola. You better ball the F out tonight or I’m gonna F you up.”
With no Kawhi Leonard on the floor, LMA has a 31.5 usage rate. That is no laughing matter.
Was his second game back from injury and played 28 minutes. Green is inconsistent, but he can get hot and provide threes, some boards, and an assist, block, and steal per game. Green is often the color the money, but remember that’s not always the case.
Manu Ginobili only played five minutes due to a thigh contusion. Hmmm, funny how that happens now that Green is back.
Played 24 minutes. The range of outcomes is so wide for Bertans. He could get 17 minutes and shoot two times or play 31 minutes and go 11-for-15 from the field and score 28 points. Bertans is a big man that can shoot the three, so he’s someone to keep an eye, especially during those Spurs Siestas.
Dennis was definitely a menace for the Spurs, as he led the Hawks to a 102-99 victory. He’s a fringe Top 50 fantasy player who will contribute in everything but blocks. Wouldn’t that make him a gentleman instead of a menace?
Played 26 minutes and notched his first double-dub since returning from injury. Don’t sleep on Dewayne and be a Dedmon, as he is a nightly double-dub threat, will get his block on, and shoots well from the free throw line (74%), the field (58%), and even from downtown (41%).
Which would you choose? Peaks and valleys or a predictable line? Well, if you’re in the hospital, you better hope that machine is showing peaks and valleys. If you’re logged into your Etrade account, a predictable line would be best for the heart…..unless it’s going straight down. For fantasy? We don’t like peaks and valleys, which is what Ilyasova provides. He will shoot 15 times and score 20 points one night, then put up 6 shots the next game and score 6 points. If you want to feel alive, I guess Ilyasova is your guy.
Played 22 minutes, which is a good sight to see, as he had received 15, 17, and 8 minutes of run the prior three games. I had high hopes for Collins, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to get enough run to make an impact. An Ilyasova trade would change all of that, though. There have been some rumors that the Hawks would accept a second-round pick for him, so there’s hope.
G’s first 20/20 game of the season. ABC is easy as 1-2-3. You know who knew it’d be easy? Stocktonator knew. Stocktonator always knows.
I want a check on Khris’ birth certificate. Are we sure it doesn’t say Eddy? As in Steady Eddy Middleton? Remember what I was saying in the Ilyasova blurb? If you don’t, you better go to the sauna and sweat out all that THC in your brain. Well, Middleton is the straight line. Not going down or flat lining. A line that just hovers in the Top 50 area for fantasy.
Everytime I watch Bledsoe play, I just think that he’d be an awesome running back in the NFL. Am I tripping? Anyways, a career-high 2.1 steals!
Kelly Oubre Jr.:
Played 35 minutes. Oubre has scored in double figures each of the past five games. He’s played 35, 29, 29, 25, and 31 minutes during that span. Coinkidink? Me thinks not.
The front court shituation reared it’s ugly, stinky head for Toronto again. Jonas Valanciunas played 14 minutes, Pascal Siakam played 29 minutes, Serge Ibaka played 17 minutes, and Jakob Poeltl played 27 minutes. It’s Dwayne Casey’s world and we are just living in it.
Played 20 minutes. With Kyle Lowry back, he will probably get no more than 20 minutes a game. With that said, he has the ability to explode offensively any night and does contribute across the board, so the floor is relatively high for a guy off the bench.
It wasn’t Dwayne Casey that turned the Toronto front court into a shituation. It was all Embiid’s fault! It was as if Embiid whispered in each of their ears, “Are you going to sex Embiid tonigt?” Predictably, they all said no and scurried away. Which is exactly how it transpired on the court. Therefore, can my theory be completely dismissed? I think not.
Ben Simmons shot 5-of-10. So did JJ Redick.
The Sixers are taking this team work thing to another level.
Played 32 minutes. I can totally picture TJ running the Rocky steps every morning. Without the hoodie, of course, because that would cover up his beautiful hair. At the top of the steps, he lifts both arms into the air and screams, “I shall not be denied!!!” You keep doing your thing, TJ.
Got the start at small forward and played 33 minutes. If you read Tony’s RCL recap, you would be the proud owner of KCP. If you haven’t been reading Tony’s RCL recap, you must not be able to read. That is the only explanation that I could fathom.
Even though he received the start, Ennis only played 17 minutes.
Love Hart. Played 32 minutes. Can shoot and get physical.
Played 17 minutes. Clarkson was the Microwave for the Lakers earlier in the season. Now, he is just a conventional oven that is soon to be placed outside for a garage sale.
Gary Payton II played 12 minutes, while Alex Caruso played 13 minutes. We got ourselves another shituation here. I do like Caruso. Can shoot, handle playmaking responsibilities, and has some moxy to his game. With that said, he just won’t get enough run.
Played 29 minutes. What’s really encouraging to see is that Kuzma is beginning to show all aspects of his game. Since the start of the year, he’s averaging close to 1 steal and 1 block per game (8 games). Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuzma.
Larry Nance Jr.:
That’s what I’ve been talking about. Actually, that’s what I’ve been dreaming about. I had a dream. That one day Nance would double-double and get his 211 and block on. I had a dream. That one day Nance would get 30 minutes of run and be the center for the Lakers. Ok, still dreaming, but it’s not that far removed from reality. I don’t think Nance will become the starter any time soon, as Walton still insists on playing Brook Lopez at center and Julius Randle is still in the mix. With that said, I will continue to dream.
Played 27 minutes. Brooks has been so meh since his 19-point opening day performance. He starts and gets minutes, but he doesn’t hoist up enough shots or contribute in the periphery categories to be of much value.
Tyreke Evans almost messed around.
So, the owners of Tyreke have probably been looking to sell if they could. There have just been no buyers. At some point, though, Tyreke owners will refuse to sell and buyers will pop up. Have we transitioned to that point?
Played 40 minutes! Yes! Free Willie!
Got the start at power forward and played 28 minutes. Terrible shooting night for Skal, but maybe that will get him more playing time, since it’s basically Bizarro world in Sacramento. It’s tough to trust Skal. Zach Randolph was a DNP-CD, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he got 30 minutes of run next game, pushing Skal back to the bench. Like I said, Bizarro world.
The only thing I care about in Sacramanto is the Trading Places bet between Vivek and Vlade.
I think this is the only thing that Vivek and Vlade care about as well.
Russell Westbrook almost messed around.
10 turnovers! Awesome if I’m high in a pastry store. Not good for a basketball player. 3-of-7 from the free throw line? Maybe RW was high and really was in a pastry store. Anyways, the crazy thing is almost one year to the day (January 13, 2017), Russ did mess around: 21 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds…..with 10 turnovers. Maybe it has something to do with the new year and resolutions. Turnover a new leaf to leave the past in the past? Or something like that?
13 points. 13 rebounds. 3 assists. 1 block. 2 turnovers. 3-of-12 from the free throw. Numerologists across the world just ejaculated in unison. Maybe it’s a sign of the Illuminati. Maybe there was an agent of the Illuminati standing underneath the basket where Adams was shooting free throws with a picture of his family making the throat-cutting gesture.
Melo led the Thunder in scoring, but also in shot attempts. Even Kobe was like, “Chill bro.”
Draymond Green almost messed around.
Draymond is making me think that all money is indeed Green.
With no Zaza Pachulia, Jordan Bell got the start at center.
Only played 14 minutes. Why do I get the feeling that the Warriors are sand bagging it with Bell? Only to unleash the beast in the playoffs.
Played 32 minutes. Hmmmph. Screw the ramping him up business. This will either get him up to speed faster or cause him to break. Why is Dolph Lundgren in my head whispering, “I will break him.”
Played 36 minutes. Young has now scored double figures in five straight games. How does he only shoot 58% from the free throw line, though? What’s the equivalent of that in the real world? An optometrist that can’t read the letter chart? A truck driver that can’t open the doors to the cargo bay? A doctor that can’t insert the knobs of the stethoscope into his/her ears?
Arvydas lives! I wonder how the real Domantas enjoys chilling in Arvydas’ body. Lots of drinking I imagine.
Oladipo Ho! Oladipo Ho! Oladipo Ho!
Played 20 minutes. Oh so close to the elusive binary code line.
Derrick Favors got the start at center and played 29 minutes.
Favors had like 10 points in the first quarter. You do the math.
Jonas Jerebko got the start at power forward and played 22 minutes.
He kind of sucks, although he will drain the occassional three.
My baby boo. He is so damn good, that I feel like a fool. For ranking him so low in the queue. They should lock me up in the zoo. And force me to stew. Then bid adieu.
Played 21 minutes. The rookie is carving out a nice little niche for himself. He had a 22.7 usage rate last night and has played 21, 19, and 14 minutes the past three games. The coaching staff seems to like him so keep an eye on his minutes going forward.
I’m kind of surprised that Paul didn’t have a bigger game, considering Milos Teodosic was guarding him and getting abused. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Regardless, the Clips beat the Rockets 113-102 in Paul’s “homecoming.” The Clippers were not good neighbors.
Played 34 minutes and led the team in shot attempts. Since the start of the new year (7 games), Gordon is averaging 6 assists, 3.8 boards, and 1.3 steals. An interesting development, considering he’s been known as a 3 & D player, without the D. I don’t think he sustains that production, especially when James Harden returns, but if he does, then his value obviously Rockets up. How fitting.
Played 24 minutes. It’s going to be interesting to see how things play out when Harden returns. Until then, enjoy the ride.
Blake…..I mean Lake Griffin had been struggling, as he had shot under 38% in the prior two games. Then, People Magazine wrote that his romance with Kenall Jenner was “cooling off.” Coinkidink? Me thinks not.
With no DeAndre Jordan, Willie Reed got the start at center and played 10 minutes.
Thanks for playing. See that squadron of jet fighters? They were launced from the USS Sarcasm.
Played 32 minutes. It’s not how you start, but how you finish. Wiser words have never been written.
That is the greatest honor one can bestow. No hyperbole. Just a simple chant of the name. That’s when you know you’ve made it. I have a dream. That one day I shall hear or read “Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon.”