I am no Picasso or Rembrandt but nonetheless, allow me to paint a vivid picture the best I can.
Wet feet, inside of soaked socks, sliding around in drenched boots, walking uphill through mud that hits your knees. The clouds so low and dark, like overfilled water balloons.
This is my attempt at describing what the final stretch of the season begins to feel like. Unless you are sitting pretty with a sizeable lead in your league, you are likely counting down the days until the final buzzer of the season. Perhaps you are like me in a couple of leagues where a shot at first place is within reach and these last set of games could prove pivotal in your quest to the ship. Either way, I am here to offer you some last-minute advice that may provide the slight edge required at this stage of the season.
“ Not a lot baby girl just a lil’ bit, we can head to the crib in a lil’ bit, I can show you how I live in a lil’ bit”
I know 50 Cent was talking about a young woman he whispered sweet nothings to into her ear at the club one fine evening back in 2005. Over here though fam, we are talking about the lil’ bit you need to make your final push towards the finish line. The tree is not bountiful with ripe fruit I have to be honest with you.
Do you remember bars and clubs? Do you remember the end of the night and scoping out who still remained? Well, this is somewhat like that and if you remember those wild and crazy times where you could be inside of places with strangers sans mask then you also know that even what seemed the most decollate of nights, a beacon of light could present itself and guide you home.
This week we dissect the…
Yes, this week’s Underperformer of the Week arrives in the form of an entire squad.
We are long past the stage of discovering one player at a time that is not playing up to snuff. No, my friends, we are now watching teams tank like Master P and his No Limit soldiers, “let me here you say ungh, na na na na”.
While the new play in format has certainly kept the end of regular season race more competitive than in years past, the teams with no hope of post-season life have already begun to pull the chute on this season. With that, comes opportunity off your wire with unlikely heroes being offered an opportunity for 15 minutes of fame. In the Motor City, all of the regular starters have been sitting for the past week with various made-up ailments in order to avoid a fine by the league but the truth is, it is shut down city in the D.
This is why a player like Isaiah Stewart should be picked up nearly everywhere, as Mason Plumlee will not see the court again this season. While Stewart is likely already stashed on a majority of teams, another player that should interest you is Frank Jackson. He has also benefitted from the Pistons shut down and while he is not starting, he is getting minutes off the bench and being productive in his time on the court. In the past week, he has averaged north of 30 minutes per game while averaging 19 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 threes. Those numbers are accompanied by a respectable 44/87.5 slash which is enough to raise eyebrows for a player who is floating around on the wire.
It is safe to drop players like Jerami Grant (in a redraft league), Mason Plumlee, Corey Joseph, and Wayne Ellington as the Pistons are clearly giving their young bucks the rest of the season to get their feet wet. We are in silly season territory, so think outside the box and stay ahead of the curve on your way to the podium.
As always, hit me up in the comments section, be safe and good luck.