February 7, 2021, 2:03 pm
It’s currently -10 degrees outside in dreary Milwaukee and the mood is not high on this Superbowl Sunday. I’ve barely committed to watching this year’s Superbowl because, between y’all and me, the game is too long, and football is generally… kind of boring to me. Obviously, that also means I watch every Sunday and scream at my fantasy teams. Superbowl preview in 20 words or less: 27-20 Chiefs, Mahomes is really good, Brady also good. Let’s get a cheeseburger.
I always think it’s funny how all the sports have this bit where they get a bunch of games out of the way early because they know no one will watch when the Superbowl is on, even though you easily could because there’s a full quarter of NBA action in each Superbowl commercial break. I can’t think of any other event that they do this for. They should do this for election days too so people go vote instead of watching orange ball. Games tip off only when polls close after using the arena as a polling place. OR, new strategy, if you vote at the arena you get a ticket to the game that’s tipping off there that night. I’ll be here all week thinking of these ideas, thanks for having me.
Week 8 Stream Table
In the stream table, home games are in orange because basketballs are orange. Road games are in blue because blue is not orange. Again, the disclaimer that some of these games will definitely not be played because the world is mad. Also, suddenly there are barely any back-to-backs? What kind of scheduling is this?
Back to Backs
Brought to you by Drake*
Sun/Mon (of Week 7): CHA, PHX, WAS
Mon/Tues: GSW, HOU, SAS
Tues/Weds: BKN, NOP
Fri/Sat: ATL, NYK, UTA
Sun/Mon (of Week 9): CLE, LAC, SAC
Working The Wire
This week’s picks were not the most straightforward bunch. We’re entering the part of the season where we’re really solidifying players who are on the cusp of ownership and perpetually hang out in the 30-45% ownership range no matter what because some leagues aren’t deep enough to accommodate or half the teams have fallen asleep at the wheel.
TJ McConnell: TJ is a full send right now playing almost 30 minutes a night off the Pacers bench. He carries value in assists and steals, averaging 10.5 assists and two steals per game over the last four games. At this point he’s looking like a must-add type of guy.
De’Anthony Melton: Welcome back to the rotation finally. He’s always on the precipice and now Melton has shot up ownership boards because SOME PEOPLE are realizing he’s probably the best non-Ja guard in Memphis.
On the Radar
Malik Monk: Scoring 36 points in a game will get some eyeballs your way, and that’s the case with Monk right now. The minutes seem to be there for now so he could be a points and threes streamer.
Alec Burks: I’m generally not an advocate of dropping players that have sustained success and cemented roles. As of this writing, Burks is the #104 player in 9-cat in the last week. He’s the #104 player in 9-cat in the last two weeks. He’s the #104 player in 9-cat on the season. Nothing has really changed that much except he’s missing some more shots.
Jae’Sean Tate: Looking at a ripple effect here for the Rockets with Christian Wood ruled out week-to-week. Tate is trending up of late anyway, scoring 12 points per game on an admittedly unsustainable 65.2% shooting. If we can’t run with the hot streak now, what are we waiting for?
On the Radar
Kendrick Nunn: Is Kendrick Nunn the most confusing man in America? Do his minutes make any sense? Find out as you read this article on Sunday. He goes from not playing at all to 32 minutes on a Friday night where he drops 25 points.
Desmond Bane: Bane has gotten good run and is borderline top-100 in the last two weeks as an efficient 3-point specialist. Could be worth a look while we dodge the Grayson Allen bit.
Jarred Vanderbilt: What’s inevitably happening here is I’m going to say this is a full go and then KAT will come back and make this look really dumb. Vanderbilt has done well in his limited minutes, but they are just that right now, limited.
Hamidou Diallo: Short term streamer for the Thunder who have half their rotation on the shelf with injury of health protocols. The stat set isn’t great but he can be a higher volume scorer with some steals upside.
On the Radar
Matisse Thybulle: Perpetually on the radar for being a stocks fiend. The minutes seem to be solidifying in the 20-minute area.
Deni Avdija: Cool cat, decent stat set, creative rookie, low usage. There’s something here but we’re going to have to be patient.
JaMychal Green: With Michael Porter Jr. not a popular man in Denver right now for some reason, Green has really benefited with steady time and consistent minutes. In the last five games, he is 63rd in 9-category formats in just 22.8 minutes per game. Should be a good source of rebounds and 3-pointers with decent percentages.
Danuel House Jr.: And just like that Danuel House is on the radar to be an actual add. Top-150 over the last two weeks and has 3-and-D upside. He’s averaging 2.5 3-pointers in four February games and has at least one steal in each contest.
On the Radar
Juan Toscano-Anderson: Juan is out here running around and doing whatever Steve Kerr needs him to do. He’s a coaching staff favorite for his flexibility and he should be involved in the rotation at least for the upcoming week.
Taurean Prince: Late addition because Larry Nance is out at least a month. Meh stat set as usual.
Jakob Poeltl: Good old Jakey P finally getting the run he deserves and he is showing out. Poeltl has always been a per-minute defensive darling, so now that the minutes are sitting there in the 20s and 30s we’re looking at a top-150 player easily unless he misses a million free throws.
Aron Baynes: Much to the chagrin of Chris Boucher and friends, Aron Baynes is the starting center in Toronto. Question the tactics, question the motives, question the upside, but can’t question the role. Baynes is a late-round play in 28+ starter minutes.
The Stream Team
PG: Payton Pritchard – He’s back in the rotation after missing essentially seven games and he’s better than Jeff Teague.
SG: Jalen Brunson – Really surprisingly good 9-cat guard with good percentages and low turnovers in a 20-25 minute role.
SF: Sterling Brown – Pretty interesting as a steals streamer with decent percentages. Quietly top-125.
PF: Isaiah Roby – Could be a good fit in deep leagues depending on the role. He played 34 minutes in a spot start on Friday.
C: Alex Len – Apparently Mo Wagner is no thing and Robin Lopez is a better man than player.
What is the NBA’s deal with the Kevin Durant drama? How can they have a protocol that doesn’t get enforced properly like this? How do they hold Durant out, then let him come in and then pull him again? If he tests positive for COVID now and the entire Raptors team had contact as well, that becomes a disaster. Do we just shut the whole thing down? All of these leagues seem to go between caring a lot and then forgetting we’re still fully in a pandemic in the name of a few dollars. It’s conflicting as a person who loves and follows sports but also feels like we’re pushing the envelope too hard for no great reason.
On that same train of thought, do we REALLY HAVE to do the dumb All-Star game that isn’t even good basketball? There’s no conceivable reason we should be convening for events with no real impact on the schedule just to sell some jerseys and act like it’s for anything less than just the financial returns. Players are speaking out against it as they should because it’s a complete waste of time, energy and resources to make it happen. Giannis just wants to stick around in the beautiful and warm Milwaukee weather.
On the MVP race, there’s no chance the Nuggets would be a playoff team without Nikola Jokic. I was slow on the Jokic love as he was coming up but he’s definitely my MVP if the season ended today (and with the COVID situation, there’s no guarantee it won’t). It seems like he’s competing with LeBron and Joel Embiid right now, but I kind of think that the Nuggets without Jokic are just bad. The Lakers without James still have like… the 4th best player in the NBA? Ben Simmons and Tobi Harris probably keep the Sixers in the playoff race in the weaker East. Let me know your MVP on twitter here. Happy streaming and stay safe out there everyone.