So this is why preseason wrap ups are tough. News flutters around willy-nilly like that bag that dumbass had an obsession with in American Beauty. And most of the news has about as much meaning…
First there’s Razzball lovebrows Anthony Davis spraining his wrist last night, and Monty Williams held him out as a precaution. Davis wanted to come back into the game, but Monty was like, “nuh uh, girlfriend! Shaniqua don’t live here no mo’!” Not to be out-overreactioned, Russell Westbrook also sprained his wrist on Sunday. Neither are serious, and this is why the wrap-ups are eye-roll fests through preseason. A lot of worthless mud to pan through just to get a fleck of gold. (True story – when I was like 8 or 9 years old, we did a class field trip to pan for gold and a portly kid got a tiny mote worth, the only one to get any. Then I traded him some peanut butter-filled chocolate my mom packed me for lunch for it. Talk about knowing your audience!)
Can you believe we’re a week away from opening tip?! This is the last preseason wrap until next Tuesday to preview the season, and daily from there. Can’t wait for this shizz to start! My final re-rankings will be out tomorrow, we’ll get to meet some new writers, and two final preseason Pods (tomorrow and next Tuesday) before we get some real games to talk about on air. Here’s what else has gone on in the world of preseason NBA action:
Otto Porter – Been saying it all offseason! I thought Porter is athletic enough to play SG, and with Bradley Beal with an actual wrist injury, and Glen Rice Jr. with a pretty bad sprained ankle, Porter is looking at a starting job. But temper expectations as Martell Webster is still in the mix recovering from back surgery. It’s going to turn into a logjam pretty quick. I don’t mind Porter as a last pick in a 12er, but I’m selling high if at all possible if he has a nice debut week.
Kawhi Leonard – Has both eyes infected, making him semi-questionable for opening night. I’d bet he’ll play. Popovich has also stated he won’t let Kawhi watch The Notebook pregame as his pump up movie anymore…
DeMarcus Cousins – One of the more preposterous lines you’ll ever see for a basketball game. 32/11/4/2/1 shooting an unreal 12-14 from the field in 36 minutes. But racked up, count em, 10 turnovers! The last time I saw 10 turnovers was right before Raymond Felton ate them for dinner… Man I’m hoping to get Boogie on at least one team this year, so far I haven’t…
David West – His body went west and his foot went east. He’s been in a boot and told reporters it was a bad sprain, but he’s gonna try to gut it out opening night. As if the Pacers need any other issues to start the year… I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but this sounds Ilyasova-ish.
Ty Lawson – I’ll name a body part, you tell me if Lawson has it injured… Ok, nevermind, scrap that… After very in-depth news came out about his bad ankles, hurt his hamstring on Saturday. The hammy doesn’t sound too serious, but all the sudden people are treating Lawson like he’s Felton! Get your beefy Chapel Hill PGs straight! I’m moving him down a tiny bit, but think he’s still a great value past 30th overall. And drafters are letting that happen.
Larry Sanders – Out with an illness earlier last week, then underwent a “minor outpatient surgery” that the Bucks won’t say what it’s for… Oh man, where to run with this one?! He was out with crabs after visiting the nightclubs again, and itched so bad he had to have an ingrown finger nail operated on… Sounds more plausible than I thought…
Brook Lopez – Going way down in my ranks with a foot sprain, but it supposedly won’t cost him any regular season time. Ol’ clownfoot sure can’t find the right size 26 zapatos to support him! Nets to hire Dr. Scholls to their training staff.
Mason Plumlee – God, why do Duke players have to be intriguing this year?!??!?! Ugh. Just went bonkers last night for 20/17/1/2/1. Given it was a Nerlens Noel-less Sixers, but still, with BroLo looking like a nono on draft day, Plumlee has all sorts of upside for minutes with BroLo’s bum clownfoot.
Marcus Smart – Ugh… In my second RCL league vs. Slim, I actually drafted Marcus Smart… I had to get Rajon Rondo when he fell into the 70s, so he’s a temporary guy at best. The Celtics decreeing Smart will only shoot 3s this preseason is outlandish. He’s an ungodly awful 14-52 from the field in 7 preseason games (26.9%) with 9-39 being his 3-point shooting (23%). 39 of his 52 shots are treys?! He never shot over 30% from deep in a single season IN COLLEGE! WHERE IT’S CLOSER! I don’t understand Stevens trying to make him a player he’s not, plus Smart’s carrying a terrible 33:24 AST:TO ratio. About all the good is he’s racked up 17 steals (2.4 SPG), but man, it’s gonna be a rockier road than Rosie O’Donnell’s freezer until Rondo is back… Rondo is progressing ahead of schedule and might actually be back opening night, or opening week even, putting him ahead of schedule.
Elliott Williams – While he was cold last night (5-15 FG 0-5 3PTM), he’s looked pretty good and I think won himself a sizable role for the Sixers. 3 steals in each of his past two preseason games and was really efficient from the field before last night. A very deep league sleeper, probably going to stay out of the top 200 for re-ranks, but might eke in.
Michael Carter-Williams – The muckraking is out of control! Upton Sinclair is trying to lower his value or something… News is mum except an article saying he’ll be out another 2-4 months that only put that on there for clicks. I won’t get into it… But don’t believe these outrageous timetables. He says he’s feeling great, the extended timetable would have him ready early November – he might miss a couple games but I think he’ll be on the floor early in the year.
Jeremy Lamb – Was going absolutely bonkers this preseason until he reverted back to Lamb-chop, shooting 1-9 for 6/1/1/0/0 with 3 TO last Friday night. He sat out Sunday with a bruised heel, but he’s shown flashes through his career and is an interesting final pick in 12ers for some early season upside until Kevin Durant is back.
Jimmy Butler – Another monster of the preseason, with an unreal 29/5/1/2/2 line last Thursday night without a single TO. But sprained his thumb on Sunday, and while it doesn’t sound serious, it’s serious enough for an MRI today. Holding my breath for this one, but should come out OK.
Denver Big Men – Healthcare.Mozgov is the only guy opted in right now, but JaVale McGee is finally ready to Shaq-a-Fool in a preseason game this week. That doesn’t hurt Timofey Mozgov too too much since McGee, even when 100% healthy, isn’t a big MPG guy, but J.J. Hickson is way ahead of schedule from his ACL surgery and is reportedly close to ready as well. All the sudden there’s a dispensary of C at Shaw’s disposal.
Kobe Bryant – Uh oh, Kobe is back! 27 then 26 points his last two preseason games. Not making me raise him in my ranks, but this is pumping me up for the triumphant return of… Anyone remember…? GUESS THE KOBE BRYANT LINE! Oh man, can’t wait for that to be back. Next Tuesday!
Jordan Hill – Had a 12/14, 2 blocks line against the Jazz last Thursday, but an underwhelming 22 minutes of 7/6, 2 steals on Sunday. Really nothing has indicated he’s not going to have a big role as the starting C and starting to end up on all my teams. Rising up my draft boards.
Marcus Morris – In deeper leagues, Morris is likely going to start the first three Suns’ games at SF for the “super-DUI” suspended P.J. Tucker. There’s a decent shot Morris could win that role though… 14/6/1/1/0 with two treys in 25 minutes in his last preseason action. Becoming an increasingly interesting last pick guy for 12ers as well.
Tobias Harris – Really, really impressing through preseason. Crazy efficient (22 Pts on 10-16 shooting his last game), getting praise from coach Vaughn, I think he’s turning into a big value in the later rounds.
Kyle O’Quinn – Another Magic frontliner playing for playing time. He’s after Frye’s lucky charms! 14/7/5 then 14/11/4 the past two preseason outings. Look at those dimes! I really like him as a player, but Channing Frye has been hurt and they still have to develop Aaron Gordon. I do think I undersold O’Quinn in a comment recently though, they just have to play him 20 minutes a game at this point. With great upside if there’s an injury to Vuc or further issues with Frye.
Greg Monroe – I want to make fun of him, and I surely will, but deserves some praise for playing like a man possessed this preseason. Possessed by a full bladder! A whole sentence I made it without a joke… Anyway, after going off for 24/10/3/1/1 last Friday, followed it up Saturday with a rainbow! 11/8/2/3/2. Still under a block per game this preseason, that’s always been a knock on him as a big, but seems to be playing with a little chip on his shoulder after getting a little drip on his pants.
The Epic D.J. Augustin vs. Brandon Jennings Battle – Looking more and more like there will be no victor. Which means don’t draft Brandon Jennings! Jennings finally hit some shots last Saturday going 5-13 (4-6 3PTM), but is overall laying bricks. He does flash an extraordinarily encouraging 44:8 AST:TO ratio in 6 preseason games… Still, I’m avoiding him and getting DJ late in deep leagues.
Paul Millsap – Had an awful shooting day in that same game against the Pistons last Saturday (1-11 FG, 3-10 FT), but bounced back mightily with a 21/6/4/3/2 rainbow against the Hornets last night. He’s gonna be awesome. I’m not worried about his rusty 3PT stroke, but I do have to mention he’s 1-10 from deep in 5 games.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Rainbow update! 12/11/2/4/2 last Friday night against the Wizards. Hasn’t done as much in the two games since then (10/3/1/1/0 last night), but he’s going to be a huge value to deep leaguers as I bet Razzball is the only site dropping MKG references at this point…
Jameer Nelson – Had a big Friday night putting up 19 points and 4 treys against the Cavs, and while he’s been otherwise fairly quiet, that was the only preseason game he played over 25 minutes. A very encouraging 11/3/6 with a trey in a limited 19 minutes last night. Cheapest decent starting PG on draft day.
Khris Middleton – Another Friday rainbow! 14/6/2/2/2 against the TWolves. He’s a capable player if he can stick in the rotation for backup SF/PF minutes.
Jabari Parker – Rainbowed in the same game! 21/11/2/2/2 in 35 minutes last Friday, flashing why I’m so high on him. I feel like he’s had a little bit of an underrated preseason, albeit only 13/6/1 last night. Did have a big game getting to the stripe going 7-11 FT in that one though.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Almost three rainbows, one game last Friday for the Bucks! “Three rainbows, one game” – the less popular internet video… 19/9/2/1/2 getting 31 minutes off the bench and going 14/7/2 last night. Played pretty well this preseason, minus last week’s debacle starting at PG. He’s gonna be awesome this year.
Warriors Starting SF Issues – There’s been “talk” of starting Harrison Barnes, with Andre Iguodala likely to play a ton with the second unit, leaving Razzball cover boy Draymond Green with continuing uncertainty. But man, people are reaching for #OccupyDraymondGreen in some leagues like crazy! 89th in the Yahoo Friends and Family!? I’m still occupying, but reaching any past my already high rank is factoring in virtually all of his upside as panning out.
Gary Neal – 21/9/7 last night in a game Lance Stephenson sat out with a minor groin injury. No such thing as a minor groin injury! I don’t really care about Neal, but I wanted to mention I think Stephenson is getting a little overdrafted. He was only ranked 111th overall last year in the Yahoo metrics, and I don’t see him improving that much on the Hornets. He’s fun to watch, but went middle of the 5th round in Y! F&F? Ahead of Jrue Holiday? Yeah I dunno…
Gordon Hayward – One of Slim’s favorites due to his ridiculous Jazz-love, had a pretty ridiculous line last Friday against the Clips! 22/6/4/6/0 with 12-12 FT. Six steals?! Hayward has gone out and stolen Slim’s heart as well…
Spencer Hawes – In that same game last Friday, Hawes flashed what he can do as a later pick. 24/6/1/1/1 with three treys in 23 minutes. Both DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin played big starting minutes too… No one seems to be touching Hawes, somehow going undrafted in the Friends and Family league. I have him ranked pretty high given his anemic ADP.
George Hill – West might be the vocal leader, but Hill is stepping up his game this preseason, flirting with a trip-dub Saturday night for 10/9/6. Someone’s gotta do something for the Pacers, right? Right?!
Andre Drummond – 19/17/0/2/3 Saturday against the Hawks. The hype is looking for real, so I’m priced out. Still terrible at the stripe (16-42 = 38% this preseason), and racked up 5 fouls in three of the six Pistons preseason games. Foul trouble and late game hack-a-Drum is going to limit his minutes here and there. I’m fine getting him early third round though, don’t get me wrong.
K.J. McDaniels – Don’t forget KJ on the hype train! Another 4 block game last night in only 16 minutes! Didn’t do much else though… And 8 of his 14 blocks have come in 2 of his 6 games. So averaging 2.3 BPG…. Still awesome, but consistency in a very unknown rotation is still keeping him from being anything but a last or second-to-last round pick.
Shabazz Napier – Put up 25 points last Saturday, with an unreal 12-14 FT. Playin’ with author-it-tay! 25/1/4/2/0 with only 1 TO. In the same mix with Norris Cole, it’s making Mario Chalmers is looking increasingly undraftable.
Jared Sullinger – Jared Sully! I’m trying to think of more Avatar jokes, but I haven’t seen it since theaters, it really wasn’t that good… But Sully has been worth the hype! 21/8/5 with four treys last Thursday night with an encore 21/19/1 three treys on Sunday. I’m not moving him any in my ranks, but I feel like I had him pretty aggressively ranked all offseason.
Rudy Gobert – Monsieur! 8/10 with 4 blocks Sunday. And he’s a decent 14-21 at the FT line (67%) after shooting under 50% in a limited sample at the stripe last year. My Eiffel Tower is turning up towards the French.
Derrick Rose – A 30 burger in only 24 minutes Monday night. But before you shoot him into your second round on draft day, his line was 30/5/3/0/0. Awesome, of course, as he’s still a scoring-first PG which we all know. Good to see no TO too. But given a few preseason appearances he was under 15 minutes, 18 assists in 7 games. He’s like Carlton in Fresh Prince.
Tyreke Evans – Finally playing in some preseason action, and looking like the Reke we saw in the second half last year. 10/4/7 last Thursday then an unreal 10/5/7/5/0 last night. Both in 20 minutes. I still have some hesitation those dimes come around with Jrue back.
Austin Rivers – I know, I know, I kinda talked up Russ Smith a little, but seeing all these Rivers minutes in preseason reminds me that I wanted to hype him a little this year. How’s that for a rewind!? Three straight fantasy-usable lines for deep league players (7/6/3, 11/5/5, 10/5/3) and playing behind Jrue (who should be fine) and Eric Gordon, whose knees are held together by Elmer’s Glue.
Brandon Knight – Another sore groin that sounds unserious. Enter an obligatory O.J. Mayo mention. Played 30:30 last night and scored 24 hitting 6 treys. Didn’t come up with a single rebound. He’s terrible, and Knight should be fine, he traveled with the team – just sat out as a precaution.
Slo Mo Anderson – I knew Kyle Anderson would be a good fit on the old, deliberate Spurs! 17/7/4 on Saturday then 14/5/2/3/1 in a near rainbow last night. Playing time is going to be inconsistent at the very best, but there’s no better team for him.
Rodney Stuckey – A sprained foot means he’ll miss the remainder of preseason, but should be fine for the opener. He’s not Brook Lopez! Had three pretty underwhelming preseason games, but at a very low draft day price, still think he can provide a little bottom-end of your roster value.
Like Stuckey, there will be a lot of guys taking games off this final week of preseason as we gear up for the real deal! Only a week away, let’s get pumped Razzball Nation!