• Go get Quinn Cook right now- he has 5 freakin’ games Week 5 and though I’ve heard estimates from 2 to 9 missed games for Steph Curry. I can’t image Kerr would bring Steph without at least a week’s worth of rest/rehab.

    After adding him in most of my leagues on Thursday evening, I hopped in the shower Friday morning like Streeeeeeeaaming, Quinn Cooooook for his.5.gam.er thiii-isss weeeek…maaaybe-3 for neeext weeeek, maybe then we’ll seeeee…

    Back to our previously scheduled Rock-n-Roll in 3…2…1…

    All these injuries and random missed games have made me comfortably numb.

    Let’s lift our prayers up to the basketball gods because they’ve been asleep at the wheel lately. As soon as one player comes back from injury it seems another gets hurt. As soon as one player breaks out of his slump, another swoons. Let’s make a heavenly ruckus to awaken them from their slumber ‘cause a dude is struggling.

    With 2-3 IL guys on all but one of my H2H teams plus the random DNP/O games from divas or injured players, I’m still streaming like mad to keep out of the basement so I’m not holding Isaac, Slo-Mo, Collison, Reke but I am holding guys that are actually producing like McGruder and Siakam.

    Let’s make the best of this situation before I finally go insane.

    Week 5 Schedule

    A confluence of random scheduling leaves a quirky Week 5 with a 5-gamer and 1-gamer and several 2-gamers that go back-to-back. Some effective streaming could help make up some ground for an injured player(s). Conversely, your team with Drummond or Griffin may be doing very well, but they ain’t winning you this week. Same goes for Giannis and Kemba.

    5 Games: GSW
    4 Games: BRK, CHI, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOR, ORL, PHI, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
    3 Games: ATL, BOS, DAL, DEN, HOU, LAC, LAL, NYK, OKC, PHO, POR, SAC
    2 Games: CHA, CLE, IND, MIL
    1 Game: DET

    Monday has 9 games: Magic at Wiz, Sixers at Heat, Pels at Raps, Mavs at Bulls, Jazz at Grizz, Nets at Wolves, Suns at Thunder, Spurs at Kings and Dubs at Clips.

    Tuesday has 3: Hornets at Cavs, Rockets at Nuggets and Hawks at Dubbs.

    Wednesday has 11: Sixers at Magic, Cavs at Wiz, Bulls at Celts, Heat at Nets, Pistons at Raptors, Grizz at Bucks, Pels at Wolves, Knicks at Thunder, Jazz at Mavs, Spurs at Suns and Blazers at Lakers.

    Thursday has 3: Warriors at Rockets, Hawks at Nuggs and Spurs at Clips.

    Friday has 8: Raptors at Celtics, Heat at Pacers, Jazz at Sixers, Nets at Wiz, Kings at Grizz, Blazers at Wolves, Knicks at Pels and Bulls at Bucks.

    Saturday has 10: Clips at Nets, Sixers at Hornets, Hawks at Pacers, Lakers at Magic, Nuggets at Pelicans, Jazz at Celtics, Raps at Bulls, Kings at Rockets, Dubs at Mavs and Thunder and Suns.

    Sunday has 5: Grizz at Wolves, Lakers at Heat, Knicks at Magic, Blazers at Wizards and Dubs at Spurs.

    For My Streamers

    *all light schedule days in bold-Tues/Thurs/Sun

    ATL: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    BRK: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    BOS: 3- W, F, Sa
    CHA: 2- Tu, Sa
    CHI: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    CLE: 2- Tu, W
    DAL: 3- M, W, Sa
    DEN: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    DET: 1- W
    GSW: 5- M, Tu, Th, Sa, Su
    HOU: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    IND: 2- Fri, Sa
    LAC: 3- M, Th, Sa
    LAL: 3- W, Sa, Su
    MEM: 4- M, W, F, Su
    MIA: 4- M, W, F, Su
    MIL: 2- W, F
    MIN: 4- M, W, F, Su
    NOR: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    NYK: 3- W, F, Su
    OKC: 3- M, W, Sa
    ORL: 4- M, W, Sa, Su
    PHI: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    PHO: 3- M, W, Sa
    POR: 3- W, F, Su
    SAC: 3- M, F, Sa
    SAS: 4- M, W, Th, Su
    TOR: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    UTA: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    WAS: 4- M, W, F, Su

    Back-to-Backs:

    Sun (of Week 4)/Mon: ORL
    Mon/Tues: GSW
    Tues/Weds: CLE (then they’re done for the week)
    Weds/Thurs: SAS
    Thurs/Fri: none
    Fri/Sat: BRK, BOS, CHI, IND, NOR, PHI, SAC, TOR, UTA
    Sat/Sun: GSW, LAL, ORL
    Sun/Mon (of Week 6): MEM, SAS

    3 games in 4 nights:

    Mon/Tues/Thurs: GSW

    Mon/Weds/Thurs: SAS

    Weds/Fri/Sat: BRK, BOS, CHI, NOR, PHI, TOR, UTA

    Thurs/Sat/Sun: GSW

    Tu/Thurs+: ATL, DEN, GSW, HOU

    Working The Wire

    Point Guards

    Derrick White is back and looks good while Bryn Forbes is still scoring and hitting 3s and Patty Mills has been playing well off the bench. Will they all keep it up, even when Rudy Gay (heel) gets back? The Spurs have 4 games so is anyone is left behind feeling like a gypsy (this week is the first of a four-week stretch of 4-gamers for San-An).

    Shai Gorgeous probably got picked up after dropping 19 (with two 3s and a block) on the Blazers and following it up with 16 points, two 3s, four dimes, three blocks and a steal in an overtime thriller against the Bucks. SGA is now starting for Avery Bradley (ankle) and it looks like he’ll stick. His per-36s makes me wonder about peripheral stats but he’s a rookie so there’s not much of a baseline to start from. What is not in doubt is that the kid can ball.

    Also showing signs of life is Pat Beverley, who had 21 points (five treys) and three assists against the Bucks. We’ll see if he keeps it up with 3 games this week.

    The other rookie point guard here is Collin Sexton who scored a career-high 20 points against the Bulls and added two 3s, four boards and three assists. He usually doesn’t get many threes or steals so his upside is limited but he’ll get plenty of run with George Hill (shoulder) out. He plays a Tues/Weds back-to-back and that’s it.

    Shelvin Mack kept it up last week with 13.5 points, 1.5 threes, 3.0 assists and over a steal in a standard 25.8 minutes a game. He’s hot now so run with him until he cools off. The Grizz play 4 times. Go back, Mack, do it again.

    Jeremy Lin is alternating good and bad games and over his last five games, he’s at 15.2 points, 1.2 threes, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals which looks pretty good. He also shot almost 60% from the field during that stretch which won’t last but you play him til he cools off or gets hurt. Atlanta plays 3 times.

    D.J. Augustin has been low-key playable over the last two weeks with averages of 12.2 points, 1.7 steals and 4.7 assists. Anyone who has owned D.J. knows he prone to swoon at any time but his backup, Jerian Grant, isn’t very good and Orlando has 4 games.

    Frank Nitilikina continues to have his ups and downs as a starter, but it seems he’s put in deep-league baseline with 7.8 points on 35.5 percent, 1.2 threes, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals. If that helps, the Knicks play 3 times.

    Ryan Arcidiacono started for Cam Payne on Saturday (Payne was replaced in the rotation by newly-signed Shaq Harrison) and put up a career-high 15 points and three 3s. The problem was that it was all in the first half. Archie does have 4.4 assists per game on the season so maybe he can carve out some very deep-league value until Kris Dunn gets back. He can’t be worse than Payne, right? The Baby Bulls go 4 times.

    Shooting Guards

    You having fun on David Fizdale’s crazy train yet? Damyean Dotson is still starting but hasn’t been putting up the numbers with Kevin Knox working his way back — Dotson got 10.8 points, 1.0 threes, 4.5 boards and 0.3 steals last week with was top-175ish. He’s looking like a bad facsimile of Jeremy Lamb. Also losing touches is Allonzo Trier, so it just might be time to pull the plug. The Knicks play 3 games if you want to find out.

    Terrence Ross stayed with his top-140ish value on the season, returning 12.5 points, 1.9 triples, 2.9 boards, 2.0 assists and over 1.5 stocks with increasing run. Jon Isaac continues to miss games with SCAS (Steph Curry Ankle Syndrome) and needs a miracle. The Magic play 4 times.

    Wayne Ellington’s still getting up to speed after his ankle injury but has finally broken into the crowded Miami rotation (his shooting makes the game so much easier for the Heat) and has played 37, 23 and 30 minutes over his last three games. He got 20 points (six 3s), three points (one 3) and 16 points (four 3s) in that stretch. The Heat go 4 times so throw him out there if you’re streaming for 3s – like if you’re missing Steph Curry but I already beat you to Quinn Cook haha.

    Jeremy Lamb (groin) is probable for Sunday so Malik Monk probably won’t get a chance to boost his season numbers: 13.3 points, 2.2 threes and 2.1 assists. Also, the Hornets play twice which is muy malo. That means very bad in Spanish and in fantasy and I won’t be streaming him, Miles Bridges or Tony Parker for two games.

    Steady as she goes, Captain! Jordan Clarkson stayed consistent with his top-130 numbers of 14.2 points and 1.3 threes though his shooting really dipped. The Cavs also play twice but maybe you stream him for Tues/Weds i.e. I just want to use your love tonight (and tomorrow).

    Last week Alec Burks hit top-100 value but the fashion in which he accomplished the feat makes me wary of future returns. Burks got hot the first game last week, getting 22 points, two 3s and a block in almost 27 minutes and kept it up his second game with 18 points, four 3s and a block in only 15 minutes. He played 21 minutes the third game but put up a dud of five points and a single triple. He can get hot but his minutes and production all over the place. The Jazz have 4 games this week and the next two after that.

    Small Forwards

    Is T.J. Warren available in your standard league? He probably shouldn’t be.

    Joe Harris’ minutes were slightly down last week (minus-3 compared to his season average) as the Nets get guys back from injury, but he’s still starting and putting up 14-plus points, 2.5-plus threes and shooting it pretty good from the field. DeMarre Carroll is back and hopefully won’t influence Harris’ minutes any further. He gets 4 games to do his thing.

    Kelly Oubre lost his shooting touch but still has top-130ish value on the season. So does Jeff Green. The Wiz go 4 times if you want to throw either out there.

    E’Twaun Moore had an off week last week, but is still top-120 over the last two weeks. Now that Brow is back, it seems he might just not get enough to be more than a low-end guy. Nawlins goes 4 times.

    Evan Turner is still chugging along with usable 14-plus numbers: 10.1 points, 4.3 dimes, 5.0 boards and 0.9 steals on the season. That would look a lot better if his FTs (65.2 %) weren’t abnormally low. That’ll take a return to the mean. The Trail Blazers go 3 times this week.

    Kevin Knox finally got some minutes (24) in his third game back from a sprained ankle and got 12 points, two 3s, two boards and a block. His efficiency is simply terrible — he’s like a worse Cedi Osman (who I’m not holding btw) — but might put up some points and threes. NY has 3 games.

    DeAndre’ Bembry still has the money counters (0.9 threes, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks) but the seemingly worse efficiency drags his value outside the top-200. The Hawks play 3 times and you can find better options in standard-sized leagues.

    Power Forwards

    Nemanja (pronounced Neh-min-yuh) Bjelica really cooled off and if that keeps up you might start see him and his owners going separate ways.

    Noah Vonleh kept his fouls in check this week and thus returned to returning value. After two 10-minute duds to end last week, Vonleh has put up 9.0 points, 1.0 threes, 10.7 boards, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals in over 30 minutes per game, good for top-90 value. He hasn’t done a whole lot in his career to make me trust this but he’s usuable as long as he’s contributing. …New York plays 3 games.

    PJ Tucker stayed doing what he does — 3s, steals, some boards and actually wearing his expansive shoe collection unlike many sneakerheads. The Rockets play 3 times.

    The most notable thing about Al-Farouq Aminu last week was that he hit 47.6 percent of his FGs which put him in the top-60 last week. It’s a shame because when it fades he’ll go back to top-100ish value. Portland plays 3 games.

    Jerami Grant is still starting and has gotten 13.4 points, 1.1 threes, 5.1 boards and over 2.5 stocks and he started hitting his free throws. We’ll see if that holds. OKC goes 3 times.

    Justise Winslow has been starting and putting up counting stats like James Johnson lite — 11.0 points, 0.8 threes, 4.8 assists, 3.8 boards and 1.0 steals last week — but his shooting (34.6% from the floor, 62.5% from the stripe) leaves him outside the top-200 in 9-cat. Kelly Olynyk actually has better 9-cat value because of his efficiency and multi-cat contributions but his bad defense and a healthyish Hassan Whiteside leaves his inconsistent minutes. Miami plays 4 times.

    Wilson Chandler just got a lot of space carved out for him with Robert Covington and Dario Saric being traded to the Wolves in the Jimmy Butler deal. He’s still on a minutes limit as he works his way back into shape after an injury. He should eventually get the start but his injury history and lack of usage doesn’t make him anywhere close to a must-add for me.

    Rookie Omari Spellman has been starting the past few games and in his last two he got 18 points and 10 boards, then 14 points and 10 boards while adding five 3s, two steals and three blocks over that pair of games. He won’t be getting that run when John Collins gets back (hopefully this week) but he’s an intriguing add for deep-leaguers. The Hawks go 3 times.

    Centers

    Derrick Favors is helpful if he’s available as he’s pretty much replicating last season. 11.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 is usable for a lot of teams, especially in H2H. I don’t think this changes much. The Jazz go 4 times this week.

    Zach Collins cooled off and might have found his way back to your wire. His 3s and blocks fell of last week but he’s still holding top-120 value on the year. He was bound to cool off but he’s only rosterable because of his blocks and 3s. He has 3 games to turn it around.

    Mitchell Robinson continues to start and had top-150ish value last week with 4.8 points (on 53.8% from the field), 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 0.8 steals. I know the FT shooting and lack of boards sucks, but where else are you going to find a guy on the wire capable of around 2 blocks per game? He’s a hold in my book (or an add if he becomes available). The Knicks go 3 times.

    Over his last four games, Boban Marjanovic, sometimes starter, got 10 points and 11 boards in 23 minutes, then 10 points, 9 boards and 2 blocks in 18 minutes, then 4 points, 4 boards and 2 blocks in 13 minutes , then literally defended an in-bounds play and officially recorded Zero minutes (0.3 seconds left). I’m not picking him up because although he still has some value, his stats are all over the place, basically 25 or 6 to 4.

    Alex Len was a tad worse last week — 8.5 points, 0.8 threes, 3.5 boards and a block — and is on the border of top-200 value in 9-cat on the season. The Hawks go 3 times.

    Tristan Thompson is averaging a low-end double-double on the season with 10.2 points and 10.3 boards 8.9 rebounds plus a stock. That’s certainly usable for some teams even with the low-volume 52.6% from the line. Cleveland plays twice but it’s a Tues/Weds back-to-back.

    Ed Davis is averaging 7.8 rebounds in 17.3 minutes which makes rebounding specialist in deep leagues. He plays 4 times.

    Tyson Chandler played 23 minutes in his first game for the Lakers and 23 in the second and over those two games he’s averaging 2.5 points, 10.5 boards, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. It seems coach Luke likes his defensive awareness, so he might be establishing some usable rebounding numbers. The Lakers play 3 times.

    Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell haven’t been world beaters, but guys in deep-league H2H and no-games limit roto (yes, that exists) can take a look as the Warriors play 5 games this week and the volume of very-low end stats and good efficiency might just work better than other options if your wire is dry. I know, it feels a bit like a long distance run around.

    Random Observations

    This is the rock edition, so I can let it wrap up without sharing some more shredding — check out the following guitar solos: November Rain (solo at 4:12) — Slash was always one of the best at making the guitar sing, and this Pink Floyd cover by Finnish operatic metal band Nightwish (dope fingerwork at 4:40) — pretty sure Lauri Markkanen gets pumped for rehab to this.

    The Jimmy Butler situation is apparently taking a toll on Tom Thibodeau, too. I’m not hearing the extremely loud, gruff exhortations from the sidelines as much or as loud as before. Maybe he’ll ramp it up now that Jimmy’s in Philly.

    Speaking of dysfunctional teams, Carmelo Anthony missed Saturday’s game vs. the Spurs (a loss) with “an illness” but he’s really been meeting with Rockets brass to talk about his role with the team. Is it possible he’s on his way out? At his age he doesn’t quite have the cache of a Jimmy Butler to be sitting random games on a whim.

    Dear guys I’ve been trying to work trades with, come on, be reasonable. Let’s make something happen. I’d love to do it and you know you’ve always had it coming.

    Working the trade market in H2H has been exceptionally slow this year. It’s not even that deals won’t get done; it’s that guys won’t even counter-offer you or engage in dialogue (I am actively talking to one, ONE guy in my home leeg — and we’ve agreed to let the season settle in a bit for now — everyone else either rejects outright, considers for a few days then rejects, or counters with some crazy BS because he’s soulless and casts no shadow.

    We might just have to try harder and for lower targets — try to improve on the margins instead of throwing all our eggs into the home-run basket. It’s a true grind so don’t throw a few offers out there and then quit. Keep at it. Do not submit to a lesser offer. Do not panic. Do not fear the reaper.

    Since the inception of rap and hip-hop, basketball has long had a fan among the music community. California guys might be the exception since Anthony Kiedis and Flea are often see courtside in So-Cal. Much lesser know is that the band Pearl Jam’s original band name was Mookie Blaylock. Their hugely successful debut album 10 was a shout out to their original name — Mookie’s jersey number was 10.

    If you haven’t been checking your wire on a near nightly basis, you got a job to do. You never know who could be floating around out there. This song was on the corporate soundtrack when I heard it five times a day at the Timberland store when it used to be on Michigan Ave. Like every other song on that corporate album, I hate it, but if you actually listen to the lyrics, it’s Phil Collins talking about pulling a hit on somebody. LOL. At that time, it was rough for Genesis — after finding success in the Peter Gabriel era, they struggled to find a sound when Peter left, leaving a reluctant Phil to lead the band as prog-rock was falling out of style. Collins and the band had its ups and downs, eventually established his vaguely proggy pop sound, then went solo, went straight pop, and sold a billion albums in the process. He also won an Oscar over Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Blame Canada, and got roasted for it.

    Chris Webber retired in 2008. Wow, already 10 years gone. It paradoxically feels like not that long ago, yet even longer. That’s a sign I’m getting old — the paradoxes are more apparent. Still, C-Webb, a horribly officiated Game 6 and an epic collapse for Game 7 short of a ring. A rang. Instead he’s more remembered as the dude who called the non-existent time-out (I literally cried as a kid when Michigan lost that game) and got booster money and the guy who always came up just a teensy-weensy bit short except in his love lifethat was Tyra Banks fool! All that said, Webber not being inducted into the HOF is assuredly a snub. He should be there and, in my estimation, it’s a stain on the HOF Induction Committee for keeping up appearances. Get Webber in there.

    Ten years gone,
    Chef

    You can find me in the Hoop-Ball forums with every week with my Tuesday Chat but you can submit questions as soon as the post goes up on Sunday or Monday.

    I’m also around.

Fantasy News

  • Torrey Craig - F - Denver Nuggets

    Torrey Craig will start Saturday's Game 4 over Will Barton.

    This was somewhat expected as Barton has disappeared so far in the playoffs. Craig will give the Nuggets a lot of defense in the starting lineup and will hopefully let Barton do his thing off the bench.

    Source: Harrison Wind on Twitter

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Jared Dudley and Jimmy Butler have been ejected from Saturday's game after instigating and escalating a fight in the third quarter.

    Joel Embiid blocked Jarrett Allen and form Dudley's angle it appeared Embiid whacked Allen's head. He got mostly ball, but Dudley pushed Embiid after the play, which led Butler to push Dudley, which led to a full on fracas that bled into the front row on the baseline. If Embiid had not gotten a flagrant foul on Allen earlier in the series, this whole ordeal likely doesn't happen. Dudley finished the day with eight points in 20 minutes after drawing the start.

  • Nicolas Batum - G/F - Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets do not yet know if Nicolas Batum will be a starter or a reserve next season.

    Batum is owed over $25 million in 2019-20 and $27 million in 2020-21, meaning it would take multiple picks or young players to move him, or taking on an equally bad contract. When healthy, he obviously has talent on both ends of the floor, but we haven't seen that in a few years. With Batum's uncertainty already being talked about, Miles Bridges could be a regular starter next season, which would do wonders for his fantasy value.

    Source: Rick Bonnell on Charlotte Observer

  • Chris Boucher - F - Toronto Raptors

    Chris Boucher (back spasms) is not listed on the injury report on Saturday.

    Boucher is unlikely to see any minutes, but he's in the mix for emergency center if needed.

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Moments before Game 4 tipoff, the Nets unveiled that Jared Dudley and Caris LeVert will start over Rodions Kurucs and DeMarre Carroll.

    Carroll has been struggling mightily with his shot this series at 28.0 percent and Kurucs has been equally unimpressive so coach Kenny Atkinson will make a change. Dudley played 28 minutes during the Nets Game 1 win and LeVert has been arguably their best player so far this series.

    Source: Serena Winters on Twitter

  • Joel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) is a go for Game 4 against the Nets on Saturday.

    Embiid averaged 22.6 minutes per game in Games 1 and 2 while missing Game 3 and his minutes will likely continue be monitored. This bodes as bad news for the Nets who have gotten used to being decimated by opposing centers all season. Perhaps that ends today with with legendary enforcer Charles Oakley seen speaking with Jarrett Allen during pregame warmups.

    Source: Kyle Neubeck on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets

    LeVert is expected to play more in Game 4 than the 23.7 minutes per game he has averaged this series.

    LeVert played 28 minutes last game, putting up 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block and three triples. He exceeded 30 minutes only once in the Nets' last 13 games but with the team in danger of falling into a 1-3 hole, giving him more minutes may not be a bad idea as he has arguably been their best player so far this series.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Joel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) is a game-time decision for Saturday's Game 4 against the Nets.

    With just a little more than an hour left before tip-off, Embiid's status is still in the air. Embiid missed Game 3 after playing in 1 and 2. He played only 22.6 minutes per game in those first two and the minutes will likely be monitored again if he does suit up. Coach Brett Brown said that Greg Monroe will draw the start again if Embiid cannot go. Monroe shot only 4-of-13 from the field in his Game 3 start and ended with nine points, 13 rebounds, a block and a steal in 25 minutes.

    Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter

  • Tony Snell - G - Milwaukee Bucks

    Tony Snell (ankle) would be in an "emergency role" if he does play on Saturday according to coach Mike Budenholzer.

    Snell is still progressing according to the coach but he will not be rushed back after missing almost a month of action. The Bucks have routed the Pistons in each of the first two games in their series while Pat Connaughton and Sterling Brown should not be affected by Snell's return just yet.

    Source: Matt Velazquez on Twitter

  • Juwan Howard - Team - Miami Heat

    The Lakers will interview Juwan Howard on Tuesday for the vacant head coaching position.

    Howard, an assistant coach with the Heat since 2013, will be the third candidate the Lakers interview after Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams. It has also been reported that Lue and Williams will both return for second interviews that include Jeanie Buss and other senior management. Howard is the only one of the three without head coaching experience but his extensive tutelage under Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra should pay dividends and he does have the most playing career accolades.

    Source: ESPN.com