As I try to do in my opens, I pull in some real-life news or experience to try and humanize the open. No one wants robot reporting! Just ask Mark Cuban. And that whole situation seems like such a cop out, “I’m going to ban reporters, and the reason why is that I want more human reporting!” Something else is going on there…
Anywho, for this open, I actually have relevant life experience! As previously mentioned regarding Derrick Favors, I too have suffered from IT Band Syndrome. It’s an inflammation of a thin band of nerves that connect from your hip bone on the outside of your leg, past your knee, and connected to your lower leg. Sometimes it can manifest itself in a mad sore hip, but usually it impacts the outside of your knee. When it flares up, it feels like a bone-on-bone “catching” on the outer part of your knee, like you have some horrific scar tissue from a torn meniscus (something I’ve also had). The real annoyance of the injury is you can feel awesome for a few days, then it flares up out of nowhere. You’re just walking normal, and all the sudden that “catch” makes your knee feel like you re-tore something. It’s pretty friggin’ frustrating.
So when I heard Favors was starting last night despite a flare up of knee soreness again on Saturday, I wasn’t the most surprised. I bet it felt great in warm-ups! Then at some point, I’m guessing he felt that same nerve irritation, and he ended up leaving early. I know his frustration. As a nerve thing, this isn’t really a consistent pain-tolerance thing, or a sprain to play through. It feels fine, then a sudden flare up makes your knee feel unstable. I didn’t watch any of this game, but he apparently didn’t look right, and went only 6/2/0/2/0 in 21 minutes. As I mentioned on the Pod, I nabbed some shares of Trey Lyles on Sunday given Favors’ knee issues and knowing this could be a long-term thing, getting rewarded with an 18/5/2/2/0 line with a trey. A trey from Trey! With leaving games early a persistent issue now, I wouldn’t be surprised if Favors gets treatment for a few weeks, and I would take the flier on Lyles where I could. It took me about two months of rehab and a session of dry needling to stimulate the nerves to finally shake my IT issues. Don’t watch if you don’t like needles! Here’s what else happened in fantasy hoops action last night:
Serge Ibaka – After hoping that a game-winner against his former Thunder would jump start his season, 6/13/2/0/0 on 3-13 shooting last night. To be fair, Orlando had a complete lack of Magic for this game, scoring under 70 points.
Aaron Gordon – SKIIIIIIIIIILES! Wait, what?! Dammit! The Skiles residue is still there! Moves to the bench in favor of mother F Jeff Green (3/2/0/0/0 of nothingball from Green), and A Gor went 11/3/1/0/0. It’s been his third game off the bench now, and not much has changed, good or bad. Remember when Vogel said he wanted to use Gordon like Paul George? Coaches are two-faced liars.
C.J. Miles – Went from the bench, to starting, to back to the bench before this game in the span of an hour due to Nate McMillan shuffling up his deck a few times, but no matter where you put him, he’s becoming a mad consistent asset and slightly beyond just a hot ThrAGNOF! 16/4/1/2/2 with no TO and 4 treys. Obviously the stocks won’t get that crazy on most nights, but he started over Monta Ellis Friday and get another start Saturday when PG13 sat with a kankle, so it’s good to see another big game off the bench. Chameleonic with his roles!
Kevin Seraphin – Got extra run off the bench with this being a blowout (19 mins 6/10/3/1/1), as Nate McMillan decided to rest Al Jefferson for all but 5 minutes, to help the tread on those tires. Makes sense, not much to see here for deepers.
Russell Westbrook – Continues to do Westbrookian things, going 33/15/8 with 7 TO. I don’t feel like his defense has been bad, but only 2 steals the past 5 games. Hopefully those bounce up from 1.1 to the 2.0 range we’re used to. I watched a lot of this game, and this technical foul made no sense. I don’t have REL bias either, since I own Kentavious! Westbrook is clearly trying to draw a foul, but there’s no way he can aim his kick unless he has eyes in the back of his head!
Pulled a Draymond and a nice swift kick to the KCPs, but that doesn’t look intentional at all. What do you think?
Jerami Grant – Had a sick block on Boban Marjanovic, ending up on a 11/5/0/2/2 line with a trey. Led the second unit in minutes as well. I’m keeping him around in some RCLs, those sweet sweet blocks call to me!
Steven Adams – Even with no Andre Drummond, only 4/11/0/1/1 with 3 TO and finally the FT pixie dust is wearing off, hitting 2-4 FT. 2 blocks and 2 steals the past 3 games. Not much actionable to it, but I’m feeling better on this debate.
Aron Baynes – Even with his giant Bane mask, took a Westbrook side-swipe (also not intentional, he was swiping at the ball) and re-broke his nose. Well, I don’t know if that’s confirmed, but it was running some good blood and he had surgery on it in October. Knowing his toughness and that he already wears a mask, he might not miss time, and changed his jersey like he might come back in (happened in the last 2 minutes or so, with a double-digit lead, so he ended up staying out). Anyway, with Drummo out with a kankle, a surprising 20/8/1/0/0 from Baynes, on a mad efficient 8-13 FG and 4-4 FT. I really want him back to see old man hook shots like this:
Jon Leuer – Baynes got 34 minutes as they wanted to stay big out there, but Leuer still got his run with 29 minutes of 8/9/4/0/1. Staying pretty low-end useful, I guess…
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Even if he can’t have kids anymore, I’m still addicted! Later in the game he hit this shot.
NBA highlights dared to call that lucky! That was all skill, ya ponces! Sorry I’m a little highlight happy, this game made me so happy in REL! I own Westbrook, KCP, Baynes, and Semaj Christon. Christon was whatever, but it was fun for the others! 17/3/4/1/0 for KCP.
J.J. Barea – I’m not sure who looked worse last night, the Magic not scoring 70, or the Mavericks scoring 77 and getting blown out by the Poppycockers… At least Barea showed up, going 17/1/4 with a trey and no TO. Hopefully you held him through the Mavs big lull in games since last Wednesday.
Wesley Matthews – Mark Cuban’s strategy of signing old guys and hoping to get lucky in the playoffs looks like it’s coming to an end. 8/5/1/2/0, at least multi-steals the past 3, but it’s been bad. I’m likely still holding in RCLs, but not happy about it.
Dirk Nowitzki – Went through warm-ups and things were looking up, but then decided to sit, and said his Achilles was still sore. With the Mavs 2-7, this is looking really annoying. I had two IL guys in one RCL and dropped him last week, thinking that mighta been a n00b move. Not thinking that any more. But if you have IL spots, you’re def just stashing.
Justin Holiday – Started the second half, with the score DAL 39 – NYK 36 at half. Then the Knicks put up a 31-12 3rd quarter. Gave Holiday a +30. Courtney Lee still played 32 mins, so looks like they just went small. Joakim Noah beasting with his 15 minutes of blahhhhhh. Anyway, 16/4/2/2/1 for Holiday on 6-7 shooting with 2 treys, and if there’s a team that likes to go small on the docket, maybe you can make a deep league stream. Hasn’t been very consistent though…
Isaiah Thomas – The glass is more like 4/3 full than 2/3 full! 37/3/7/1/0 on 13-29 shooting with 3 treys. Had a bunch of and-one layup opportunities that he had clear looks at, and barely missed. Can’t believe the C’s dropped this one in Nawleans, they need Boston Clam Crowder back ASAP!
Avery Bradley – The rebounding continues! 10 boards, but only a 19/10/1/0 line with 3 treys. Pretty telling though, that that line is an “only” for Avery B these days.
Kelly Olynyk – Another start for Al Horford (concussion), but Olynyk of Nazaerth didn’t turn the other cheek and fouled out. Did so in 35 minutes though, it just was a pretty awful 5/8/1/0/0 line on 1-8 shooting. It should get a little better if he picks up another start or two for Big Al.
Anthony Davis – I’m not so good with the advanced metrics, but I think 0 AST to 7 TO isn’t very good… But the Pels won a game!
Tim Frazier – Still holding down the fort admirably, going 10/3/6/1/0 on 2-5 shooting. Alvin Gentry confirmed Jrue Holiday will be back within a week, so the timetable is shrinking. That said, there should be some rust to shake off for Jrue and he’ll likely come off the bench the first few games, so no rush to immediately drop Frazier. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know when you can “Down Goes Frazier!”
Terrence Jones – The NBA walking enigma goes 15/10/1/1/2 off the bench on 7-12 shooting with no TO. 1-3 FT is still his Achilles heel, and well, playing time is the other, but 30 minutes last night and the seesaw continues. Worth holding in most 12ers, but it’s not a must.
Robert Covington – Just when we thought things were getting better, in a dream matchup against the Rockets, goes 7/1/0/0/0 in only 14 minutes due to early foul trouble. Lord Covington ain’t ruling nothing anymore!
Joel Embiid – The TO are getting out of control for EMBIIIIIID. 13/10/1/1/2 last night, but 6 TO getting him up to 4.7 on the season. That’s absolutely absurd. At least 8-cat owners are happy!
Clint Capela – Pretty much the best game we can expect from Capela. 8/13/1/0/5, no TO, and 2-3 FT in 26 minutes. If he can do that night-in, night-out, he’s gonna be a monster!
James Harden – Don’t worry, he’s not forgotten! 33/7/9/1/1 and doing what we pretty much expected. Put up 23 of those points in the first quarter, to be sure the Rockets didn’t fall into a trap game. At 6-4, they look like a better team than I thought!
Hassan Whiteside – More studs doing studly things, with Hassan dropping 23/17/1/2/2 on the Spurs. As we talked about on the Pod, the 5-9 FT last night and his 55.1 FT% on the season is mad frustrating. I might throw a ‘bow at him if I ever meet him! Strike that, he’s a big guy, I’d probably go down in one shot…
Dion Waiters – Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson owners are like, “wtf Dion?!” 12-26 from the field, while TyJo and J-Rich both only got 9 attempts. But Dion made it happen with a rainbow, going 27/2/3/2/3 as the Heat hung in there against the Spurs before losing by 4. Waiters’ previous game was 4/1/2/0/0. I’m not buying too much here.
Derrick Williams – Moved into the starting line-up for Luke Babbitt (who looks like has fallen mostly out of the rotation with only 7:32 last night), but D-Will only gets 16 minutes of 5/1/0/1/0. James Johnson is clearly the PF to own of this mix, going 7/4/0/1/2 with a trey in 18 minutes last night. Only a situation for deepers.
Pau Gasol – Continuing to be better – and useful – for 12/8/2/1/1. Missed both his FT uncharacteristically, but another 31 minutes is encouraging.
Danny Green – Tweaked his groin, but it sounds minor. That said, Green might run out of leg muscles at this rate!
Joe Ingles – Rodney Hood sat with the sniffies, so Ingles got a start and career-highs with it! 20/4/4/0/1 on 7-11 shooting for a career game. Not much to take out of this though, with Hood only out with a cold.
Shelvin Mack – With George Hill still out with a strained hitchhiker, Mack took the alpha PG role, going 17/3/4/0/0 on 7-9 shooting, while Dante Exum took the outback role, going only 9/3/2/0/0 in more minutes. I’m surprised this thumb thing has lasted this long for Hill, as he’s been questionable every time and it never sounded serious. Hopefully he’s back this week.
Chandler Parsons – We knew it would be slow sledding, but damn if this isn’t annoying! 9/4/1/0/0 on 3-6 shooting in only 23 minutes. At least we know the Grizz have faith in him to get the minutes way up fairly soon, because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t burn out Vince Carter like this! Vinsanity is back! 20/7/2/1/0 with 3 treys in 31 minutes from VC, for his best game since 2006.
Brooklyn Mess – Coach Asshat continues to sit Brook Lopez for no apparent reason on b2bs, and the team looked awful. Minutes were all over the place due to junk time run. Justin Hamilton was awful if you spot started him…. RHJ went back down to his October form… At least Sean Kilpatrick tried, going 14/5/1/1/0, but continues to struggle out of position at PG (5-17 shooting, 5 TO).
Austin Rivers – The Clippers usually play late so they’re at the end of the Daily Notes, and I just can never think of interesting things for them! They’re so status quo. So I guess my takeaway is Rivers having 4+ dimes in 4 of the past 5 (3/3/6/1/0 last night). Deep league AST source! Only nugget I got! Clippers look goooooood. Mess look baaaaaaad.
I hope everyone got off to a good start in their week 4 matchups, and I’ll catch you on Thursday, Razzball Nation!