Monday, October 13, 2014

Yay friends! This blog isn't dead

Editor's note: The proprietors of this blog are too lazy to update it. But here's one of our friends with a smart take on Russell Westbrook given news of Kevin Durant's injury! 

This post originally appeared Oct. 12 on Hal Conick's blog

Shiny shirt theory: Westbrook to explode in absence of Durant


Monday, December 16, 2013

YouTube Mix of the Week 12/15

If you haven't already noticed, LaMarcus Aldridge has been playing out of his mind this season, leading the Portland Trail Blazers (full name NPR-style shout out!) to the top of the Western Conference. While obtaining that #1 position so far has been no easy task in the loaded West, LaMarcus has put up a gaudy 23.5 PPG and 10.9 RPG. Those are Hakeem-level stats, and his play on the offensive side is starting to show shades of The Dream more and more.

Big ups to LaMarcus so far this year as he has easily proven he's the best skilled big man in today's NBA. These highlights from the month of November, in which he won the Western Conference player of the month, should give you a quick update if you haven't had the will to stay up late and watch the Blazers play in PDT.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

YouTube Mix Week of 12/8

Ever thought anyone would be excited for a Lakers/Raptors game on a Sunday night in the prime of football season? Yeah, me neither. But the return of Kobe Bryant from his Achilles injury will certainly pull some eyes from tonight's Saints/Panthers game (including this blogger's).

Given Kobe's miraculous quick return from his Achilles injury, there was no way I could choose anything but a Kobe mix to enjoy this week. And boy, I found a doozy. This YouTube mix has all of the elements you are looking for. Awesome dunks? Check. Ridiculous rap song? Check. Unnecessary NBA2k12 footage? Check. And last, but certainly not least, Animal Planet footage of black mambas hatching? HUGE check.

The Fantasy Three Week of 12/9/13

Hot Pick: Robert Sacre, 2% owned, (PHX, @OKC, @SAC)
New starting center in a Mike D'Antoni system? Sacre will be racking up minutes and touches, and hopefully the addition of Kobe over the next week results in better offensive movement and extra offensive rebounds to suck up (have to expect Kobe will be shooting in the high 30's while he gets his legs under him again). Although he only has three games this week, snatching up Sacre now is a solid long-term move.

Take A Seat, Please: Dwyane Wade, 99% owned, (@IND, CLE)
It's very clear that the Heat are going to use Dwyane very sparingly this year in order to save him for the playoffs given that the weak Eastern Conference guarantees them a top two seed. If he doesn't play tonight against Detroit (which seems to be the way Miami is currenly leaning), that will leave him with only start this past week. He's putting up good numbers, but not playing enough to rack up counting stats. If you own Wade, seeking out a trade partner is a smart move in order to find another guard that plays more often.

Old Man Pick: Jarrett Jack, 33% owned, (NY, @ORL,@MIA)
Kyrie struggled this past week, including one game with a zero in the points category and another with seven turnovers, so Jarrett might find himself walking into a little more playing time, which is tough to determine given Mike Brown's strange rotations sometimes. Jack hopefully can pick up some extra minutes during garbage time while Cleveland puts away New York and Orlando easily while getting trounced by Miami. For an Old Man Pick, Jack should be a decent source for points and assists on the waiver wire.

Last Week's Picks:
Hot Pick: Norris Cole (6/10) Avg Pick Rating: 4.0
As predicted last week, Cole had a good game against the Bulls of 12 points and 6 assists (although, not in a Heat blowout, as predicted - OH YEAH). If you were in a deep league, Cole would have been a nice boost for the week, averaging 7.5 PPG, 3.8 APG, and 2.0 RPG on 48.1 FG% for the week. That's a nice boost from a waiver wire guard for the week.

Take A Seat, Please: Kemba Walker (1/10) Avg Pick Rating: 1.0
Kemba had a solid week with zero turnovers. Wowza, any cold player should start using me to bless them with the "Take A Seat, Please" pick in order to boost their production. Two straight terrible weeks of picks for me.

Old Man Pick: Kirk Hinrich (7/10) Avg Pick Rating: 4.5
Hinrich benefited a lot from Thibs' lack of substitutions in Monday night's triple OT loss, putting up 13 points and 11 assists; although, it was a dismal shooting night. The Detroit game was a rough go for Kirk thanks to the Bulls' ineptitude that led to extra Marquis Teague time, but decent week overall for the old man.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Stern Era

Having begun his reign before I was alive, David Joel Stern is to me not unlike the Sun. Say what you will about the man's methods or motives, but you can't deny his ability to adapt and survive. He could outlive even the gnarliest cockroach. The Queen is his only competition. But permanence, or the illusion thereof, does not mean stasis. Stern's ability to sense change when it is just a rumble, assess it, and deftly contain/channel it to the league's benefit is his legacy. One example: After a brief period of boo-hooing companies such Nike for dressing up players to stand out rather than fit in, he embraced the era of personal brand (80s). Think the NFL would ever be as experimental? Nope. In the early aughts, Stern did a reversal of policy — suppressing the fashion stylings of Allen Iverson et al — and mandated business casual off the court. But it has the $ame re$ult. He unleashed the era of nerd-jock fashion. Sure, a part of it might have been an "image problem" aka causing suburban moms to reconsider buying little Bentley and Hunter NBA merchandise. But another big factor is that that period had run its course. Stern isn't about holding on. The NFL and MLB are built on selling tradition. The NBA is built on capitalizing trends. He isn't afraid to severe quickly those things that are on the other side of cool.

So when I saw the new commercial for the NBA's Christmas Day lineup, I was immediately struck by the shadow of Stern they all stood in. Compare it to the awesome video of Nike athletes dribbling. Now, granted, one is a commercial for a company and the other is a league promo video, but the latter is clearly paying homage the former, albeit through a lens that Mr. Stern deems appropriate for right now. Gritty grays and blacks become shiny, colorful uniforms. Stark black background is replaced by white. Nobody knocks anybody out (Rasheed!). 

The crazy thing isn't that Mr. Stern is the mastermind behind changing video #1 into video #2. The crazy thing is that the same guy — David Stern — is completely behind both.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Few men get drafted into the NBA. Even fewer get elected vice-president of the NBA players association.

But there is only one Roger Mason, Jr.

I'm hitting you with this shitty overwriting because I'm bursting with joy over the Bulls lead over the Heat tonight, which as of now stands at 20.

Now seems like the perfect time for the third installment of KNOW YOUR BENCH PLAYER! 

Which will focus on ... you guessed it! Roger Mason, Jr.! 
 (No. 21 in 2013. He did NOT leave New Orleans for this)

ICYMI, Roger Mason's career has resembled a long, twisting arc (whatever that looks like).

A 6'5 guard, he was a 2002 (Yao Ming, Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy) first-round draft pick traded three games into his rookie season and released a few months later. He played in Greece and Israel after posting his best season with the Wizards. He returned to the NBA in 2007 and his many stops along his subsequent journeyman career apparently earned the respect of his peers, who last summer elected him VP of the players union before he even made a roster.

(holy shit, the Bulls are outrebounding the Heat 34-11 tonight. It's the middle of the 3rd quarter)

Anyway, here's something you didn't know about Roger Mason, Jr., which I'm attributing to this blog's favorite secondary source: Wikipedia


(sucks you weren't as good as Jay Williams)

Also, his twitter handle is @moneymase, which is gangster. But I hope he loses tonight.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Fantasy Three Week of 12/2/13

Hot Pick: Norris Cole, 4% owned, (DET, @CHI, @MIN, @DET)
Norris Cole is a huge gamble, but this week should prove to be an easy four wins for a Heat team that is hellbent on steamrolling to a third straight title. These four games should produce a few blowouts for Miami, which means extra playing time for Cole. Plus, he always seems to bring his best game against the Bulls (look out Mike James!). Cole has also been sneaky good this year (6.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.8 SPG on season), and might end up warranting a fantasy roster spot in deeper leagues even beyond this week.

Take A Seat, Please: Kemba Walker, 97% owned, (@DAL, PHI)
Kemba has been struggled as of late, including a 3-10 shooting night with six turnovers at home against the lowly Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. This upcoming week has only two games against one solid team with the other matching up with the lanky MCW. If you have other options, definitely go with them for the week as Kemba is pretty much a lock to put up double digit turnovers with just two games slated.

Old Man Pick: Kirk Hinrich, 33% owned, (NOP, MIA, DET)
Should have gone with Kirk here last week as he has been laser-hot and putting up solid assist numbers without too many turnovers. Great PG pickup for those in desperate need of some assists and FT%.

Last Week's Picks:
Hot Pick: Mo Williams (2/10)
That suspension didn't help much here, and then the other game Mo played last week was a stinker against Phoenix with a 1-8 night from the field with one three-pointer (he has one remaining game at the Lakers today). He also had four assists, which is useful. I still think Mo is a solid long-term fantasy piece, but not his best week.

Take A Seat, Please: Greivius Vasquez (1/10)
Well, whoops, looks like I lit a fire under Vasquez. He saw his minutes come back and has put up a solid game against the Clippers (one more game tonight against the Warriors). If someone followed my advice in your league, snatch him up because he seems to be the PG of choice in Sacramento.

Old Man Pick: Mike Dunleavy (2/10)
Another stinker in an 0-3 week for me. Tony Snell has won Thibs' favor, making Dunleavy irrelevant for fantasy purposes.

YouTube Mix of the Week 12/1

Given the ultra-depressing week it has been for Bulls fans (which has led to some rough moods for our contributors), the number one topic of discussion has been blowing up the franchise and starting over. While I can be counted among those against the idea (Dion Waiters... meh...), the conversations and NBA Trade Machine dreams have been fun.

In honor of those random Bulls roster moves, I wanted to dedicate this week's YouTube mix selection to the vaunted Andres Nocioni era, which include many a hilarious roster (which still often made the Playoffs, proving the difficulty of tanking at times). Nocioni will always be one of my favorites for his hilarious (very) poor man's Dirk Nowitzki-style of play. This week's mix features the stylings of Method Man and Redman, a very fine pairing for vintage Andres.

Please note the great fundamental charge taken at 1:56. Any highlight mix that includes a charge taken is going to be sublime.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Fantasy Three Week of 11/25/13

Welcome to my weekly "Fantasy Three" post in which I will choose three players that could have significant fantasy implications in the next week. Sure, the name of "Fantasy Three" is lame, but you have to like the rhyming ring to it, plus the naming is well-suited for some easy product sponsorship (for example, Doritos are three-sided, and I enjoy any possible Pepsi/Frito-Lay money that might make the "Doritos Fantasy Three Sides" happen... come on Google bots!).

The general layout to the post will be easy - one waiver wire player to pick up (Hot Pick), one player to bench (Take A Seat, Please), and one scrappy veteran to pick up (Old Man Pick). Rules for picking are that the Hot Pick must be owned in less than 40% of Yahoo leagues, the Take A Seat, Please must be owned in more than 70% of Yahoo leagues, and the Old Man Pick must be over 30 and owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. The general idea is to try and find gems that could give you a boost for the week (Hot Pick and Old Man Pick) while avoiding a potential roster clunker (Take A Seat, Please). Picks will be tracked the next week and graded out on a 10 point scale, so that you, the most excellent reader, can determine if I'm worthy of advice giving. (Warning, poor results will not impede me or this weekly post.)

Good? Good. Now let's get down to business.

Hot Pick: Mo Williams, 24% owned, (NYK, @PHX, @LAL)
Despite only having three games this week (generally choosing a someone with 4+ games in a week is a better idea here), Mo has been thriving as the Blazers' sixth man as of late and put up 5+ assists from the bench this past week. Going against three teams this week that lack depth and good guard play should make Mo a solid pick up. The only discredit to picking up Mo has been the recent lack of his patented headband, which makes my Mo fandom sad.

Take A Seat, Please: Greivis Vasquez, 70% owned, (LAC, GSW)
Greivis has been having a tough go lately since his transition to Sacramento. Although he has shown flashes of the brilliance he put up in New Orleans last year, he has been generally crummy as he hasn't been able to stay consistent, contributing only one game of more than 6 assists despite averaging 9.0 APG last year. Add the fact that he only has two games this week, one with CP3 guarding him and another against a Warriors squad that currently ranks 5th in defensive efficiency, and the decision to bench Vasquez this week gets even easier.

Old Man Pick: Mike Dunleavy, 11% owned, (@UTA, @DET, @CLE)
Ugh. So obviously, some playing time opened up in the Bulls backcourt this past weekend. (Has any fanbase ever been so happy to hear of a meniscus tear?) Both Dunleavy and Hinrich both have had their fantasy values see a bump as of late with the injuries to Butler and now Rose. Even though Butler will be back at the end of this awful, awful Circus Roadtrip, I still like Dunleavy's value over Hinrich. Dunleavy provides better 3 point shooting, rebounding, and FG% over Hinrich, plus he isn't made of paper like Kirk, who continually has impressed me with his ability to injury random body parts over the past few years. Obviously, if you are killing for assists, Hinrich will be the way to go, but don't be surprised to see Dunleavy pick up the distributions in Rose's absence either.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Turkish Hammer: A Love Story

(The Big O during simpler times)

Omer Asik was crying the last time I saw him wear a Bulls uniform.

This was during the 2012 playoffs, about a week after Derrick Rose tore his ACL, and everyone in Chicago (Omer included) knew that his late foul on Andre Iguodala was sending a mundane 76ers squad to the second round. Omer was misty-eyed, and I wanted to barf on my coffee table.

Whenever I think about Omer, which is often, I still picture him that way: tears trickling down his face, his palms turnt up, and his mind full of questions as the season slipped away.

What foul?

Where were my teammates when AI was sprinting at my slow ass?

Why did CJ pass me that fucking ball

I still envision Omer that way, not because I hate him, but because I view him as a tragic figure. And because he fouls a lot and still makes that expression.

It's 2013 now. Omer is $25 million richer, and the once anonymous backup is coming off a breakout double-double season with the Houston Rockets.

But he's a backup again. The Rockets have Dwight Howard now, and have already given up on their terrible strategy starting two guys who can't score outside the paint. The Rockets need to trade Omer, but where should the Turkish Hammer go?

Like every great blogger, I'll now totally speculate on possible destinations without any front office access or knowledge of how NBA trades actually work. So here goes:

Trade #1: New York Knicks get Asik and Brandon Knight, Houston gets Andrea Bargnani, and Milwaukee gets Iman Shumpert and Donatas Motiejunas

This comes from fellow 3LB blogger Cooly, who had fun with ESPN's trade machine the other day. I like this trade for all teams: 
--Rockets get a big stretch 4 who will give Howard space and let Chandler Parsons play his natural position at small forward. If Houston is being realistic, an average starting-caliber player is who they're going to get for Omer.
--Knicks get the defensive anchor they badly need with Chandler out along with Brandon Knight, who's more developed offensively than Shumpert. 
--Bucks get Shumpert, who's a better defender than Knight and provides better balance to a backcourt with OJ Mayo. Donatas is a promising young big the Rockets can trade since they have Terrence Jones.

Trade #2: that's it!

I realized I should eat dinner after messing around for an hour on that stupid trade machine. I also realized the Rockets will have a tough time trading Omer's salary ($8.4 mil against the cap) for somebody who makes their team better, since good players worth trading for typically don't get traded.

The Celtics could use an experienced big, but aren't going to part with someone better than Gerald Wallace (I think). OKC could use a more functional center than Kendrick Perkins, but the Rockets aren't taking Perk back. Dallas and NOLA are in the same division with the Rockets. Dwight's not going to get along with another post player like Paul Millsap from the Hawks, and I'm too hungry to figure out who on the Phoenix Suns has trade value.

No, the Bulls shouldn't trade Jimmy Butler for Omer. That would create the most expensive reserve frontcourt since Isiah Thomas ran the Knicks. 

So maybe the new CBA, which the Rockets used to steal Omer away from the Bulls, could be biting them in the ass now.

Omer, I hope to see you smiling soon.
 (Asik and destroy those shoelaces.)