|(Illustration courtesy of Terry Fan)|
So... what do you think? Come on, be honest! What, you don't know? You seriously can't tell? Eh, I guess only I would notice.
I made a very, very minor adjustment to this blog the other day, so minor in fact that it probably doesn't even warrant mentioning, but screw it, I'm doing it anyway. I changed the font. Before, it was "Times," a custom Google font that I thought looked cool back when I launched this crazy thing earlier in the year. The problem with Times is that for some strange, unclear reason, Google fonts look absolutely terrible in Chrome, which seriously makes no sense because Google freakin' owns Chrome! But anyway, every time I'd view this site on Chrome, I'd be stricken with the urge to vomit because the text would look like absolute ass. At first I was willing to ignore this, but as time went on, and I realized that the majority of my visitors (yeah, I get some every now and then) were using the Chrome browser, it became clear that I needed to make a change.
So yesterday, I swapped out Times for "Georgia," a fancy 'lil font that you can find on sites like Deadspin and Grantland (because I'm nothing if not derivative). You probably didn't need this information in your life, but there you go!
Oh, and speaking of Deadspin, I have some news about Broken Leagues. A few weeks ago, I posted an article about Mariano Rivera and MLB 13: The Show that the dudes at Deadspin were super-cool enough to actually link to it. I got a huge influx of traffic from that one link, and oddly enough, one of the people who saw my article because the Deadspin link was an editor at Sports Illustrated who happened to like my writing. We got in touch, and just like that -- literally from this one article, and because Barry Petchesky posted a link to it on Deadspin (I love you!) -- I'm now writing for the Extra Mustard section of SportsIllustrated.com.
So yeah, I'm pretty fucking stoked -- if you don't mind me swearing for once. They republished my NBA 2K14 post from a day ago, and from now on, all of my big, giant manifestos are going to appear on Extra Mustard... if they want them, that is. (I have a tendency to produce crap now and then, as evidenced by my just awful Breaking-Bad-fantasy-basketball-team-name post, which was good in concept and atrocious in execution.) Broken Leagues is still going to exist in the form of these Dailies, but don't expect to see another big video game article on here.
Anyway, to help celebrate my relationship with Extra Mustard, the image adorning this article is of a heroic hamburger flying through the air. Now, yes, it doesn't appear that there are any condiments on this burger, but I'd like to think that underneath the pickles and cheese and tomatoes is a nice, healthy layer of mustard -- mustard so good that it's literally giving this burger the ability to levitate off the ground and into the air, where it will no doubt meet its swift demise as a horde of seagulls surround the unsuspecting piece of meat and tear it to shreds, mustard and all. (Not sure where I was going with that.)
Honestly, I've never really liked mustard all that much. I dunno, it's the smell or something. Give me a spicy chicken sandwich with ketchup or barbeque on both sides of the meat and I'm a happy camper. Slide a little mustard onto it and there's a strong chance I'm going to ask for a new sandwich. I'm picky that way.
As much as I'd like to talk about food all day, there's something else I'm dying to sink my teeth into right now, and that's some good ole tasty fantasy basketball talk! Shall we commence?
- Monta Ellis had a much weaker showing in his second game of the year, putting up 20 points on 7-19 shooting with 5 turnovers and only 1 assist. Ah, now this is the Monta I know and don't love. When he's concentrating on getting into the lane, he's fantastic, but Mr. Outside Shooter Monta is ragingly inconsistent and prone to performances like this. He's going to be good all season, but until he reigns in his shot control, he isn't the elite option he was when he was with the Warriors.
- Michael Carter-Williams came down to earth a bit on Friday, earning 14 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds -- not awful numbers, but numbers that pale in comparison to his astounding debut against the Heat. Like I said then, I'm all in on Carter-Williams. That Philadelphia bench is as pathetic as any I've ever seen, and with all his talent, he's bound to have a successful first year. Whether he can be more productive than Victor Oladipo, who I have an absolute man-crush on, remains to be seen, however.
- Spencer Hawes had a terrific night: 16 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists. Like I just said about MCW, Hawes -- despite his faults -- is likely to be a nice source of stats this year, if only because the 76ers have bums off the street waiting in the wings behind him.
- Wow has Trevor Ariza been good through two games. Last night, the ex-Laker/Rocket/Magic forward got 12 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists, which is sensational production for a guy who was widely available on the waiver wire just a couple days ago. Considering Otto Porter is a ways away from joining the lineup and challenging Ariza for playing time, Ariza is a must-own right now.
- Playing just 15 minutes because of foul trouble, Omer Asik still came away with 6 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out. Coming into the year, he was slated to come off the bench for the Rockets thanks to the addition of Dwight Howard, but so far, the Rockets have been utilizing both bigs in their starting lineup. Asik, per minute, is one of the best rebounders in the league and will continue to produce off the boards so long as he keeps getting playing time. It's a surprising turn of events, but right now, Asik absolutely needs to be owned.
- Jeremy Lin was mediocre in his return to the starting lineup, getting 14 points, 4 assists and 6 turnovers (yikes). More importantly, he only racked up 30 minutes of playing time. He should be the Rockets' starting point guard for the next two weeks with Patrick Beverley hurt, and if he doesn't make an impact in that timeframe and is sent back to the bench, it might be time to start fielding offers for him. He has tremendous name recognition and we all know his potential, but he's in a very cloudy fantasy situation at the moment and is far from a sure thing.
- DeJuan Blair had a nice outing for Dallas: 11 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes. With Samuel Dalembert in front of him, he shouldn't be on your radar however.
- Xavier Henry was dismal against San Antonio, recording 3 points by going just 3-6 from the foul line while missing all 6 of his shot attempts. He's getting regular minutes off the bench for L.A., so keep him on your watch list, but it's doubtful he's going to help you that much until/if he can beat out Shawne Williams for the starting small forward job.
- Steve Blake shot a putrid 2-12 from the floor for the Lakers, but he still produced 6 points and 9 assists. This is interesting. Steve Nash -- the oldest man in the NBA -- isn't going to play on back-to-backs this year and looks rather wizened even when he's out there. (In fact, let me just apologize right now for thinking Nash would have an okay season, because wow do I think I got that wrong. But anyway...) Blake is already starting at shooting guard for the Lakers, so even when Nash is in there, Blake should play enough minutes to be a low-rent producer of assists for however long it is until Kobe Bryant returns. (If he returns.)
- Holy crap has the Tyreke Evans sixth man experiment gotten off to an atrocious start. Through two games, Evans is 2-15 from the floor and has amassed 4 points, 3 rebounds and 5 turnovers. Yeah, he's going to get better, but Evans was a horribly-flawed fantasy option even when he was getting big minutes for the Kings, and that's even truer now that he's just a role player on the rapidly-ascending Pelicans. Baring an injury to Jrue Holiday or Eric Gordon, I want absolutely no part of Evans this season.
- Aaron Afflalo had a sexy night, putting up 30 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 three's in 35 minutes. Since his presence is absolutely unnecessary in Orlando -- what with Victor Oladipo waiting in the wings -- Afflalo is likely to get moved at some point, making this the absolute perfect opportunity to sell high on him. Seriously: Afflalo is the type of player who puts up dud stats on a fairly consistent basis, making him hard to rely on. Sure, he's not bad at all, but that guy that he was on Friday? Well, he ain't gonna be that guy for you in March and April.
- Oh, and speaking of Victor Oladipo: 10 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks 31 minutes off the bench. This guy is going to be a MONSTER when they jettison Afflalo and he gets to be Orlando's starting two-guard.
- Eric Bledsoe was terrific for the second straight game, this time emerging with 18 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds -- not to mention hitting a game-winning three, though that doesn't matter for fantasy purposes. He's a rock solid fantasy option this year.
- Miles Plumlee had another double-double for the Suns: 13 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks. This could either be a Nikola Vucevic situation, where he's going to put up numbers like this on a nightly basis only because no one else is around, or it could be just a couple nice games strung together at the start of the year. Either way, he absolutely needs to be owned in fantasy leagues right now. Own him, you bastards! Damn it, why aren't you listening to me? Own him! Do it now!
- Gordon Hayward had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists last night. He's the only Jazz player who can create his own shot and he's a nice rebounder to boot. He's going to be a beast all season long.
- Isaiah Thomas erupted for 29 points on 9-13 shooting for the Kings against the Clippers. He's visibly better than the current Kings starting point guard, Greivis Vasquez (who had 8 points and 4 assists), and is bound to maintain value throughout the season, particularly if/when he surpasses Vasquez and becomes the starter. Pick him up if he's still available.
- Javale McGee only got on the court for 12 minutes on Friday, finishing with just 6 points and 3 rebounds. Oi vey. New coach, new doghouse I guess. I love McGee's prospects of being a fantasy beast at some point this season, and if you're in the market for blocks/rebounds, this is a brilliant opportunity to buy low on him. If you own him, however, I'm sorry dude. Depending on who's available in your league, you may have to put up with him for now.
- Will Bynum was good again for the Pistons, tallying 18 points and 6 assists on 7-11 shooting. Right now, Chauncey Billups is the hot fantasy grab in Detroit thanks to Brandon Jennings' injury, but I'm going to tell you that Billups is just fool's gold. He's old, guys; he has no ceiling. Bynum, on the other hand, has the potential to be a real force in fantasy (in the short term, at least). We've never seen him in a prolonged stint at point guard before, and through two games with the job, he's been terrific. My advice: pick him up, and then -- if he keeps doing well -- start to shop him around in a week or two. The moment Jennings returns is the moment the Will Bynum fun train comes to crashing halt.
- Kevin Martin had just 9 points on 4-11 shooting in Minnesota's blowout victory over the Thunder. I'm secretly thrilled by this, just because my prediction that he'd be lousy this year looks noticeably better today than it did two days ago.
- Ersan Ilyasova was putrid against the Celtics, producing only 5 points and 4 rebounds in 23 minutes of action. I've never been a big Ilyasova fan. (Okay, I temporarily loved him after he had that flukey 25-rebound game a while back, but not since.) Still... he is an interesting buy-low candidate. No, he's never in a million years going to approach what ESPN projected he'd do this season: 17 points and 9 rebounds a game LOL ZOMG!!!! But he can still be a decent utility fill-in. Just, for the love of god, don't have visions of him being an All-Star or something like ESPN did coming into the year.
- Vitor Faverani was fantastic against Milwaukee, putting up 12 points and 18 rebounds. Kris Humphries, meanwhile, got a DNP. Hmmm... Faverani, much like Plumlee, is locked into being a nice fantasy option almost by default. I have absolutely no clue what to expect from this guy. (Hey, just being honest.) But if he keeps getting 37 minutes a night, he's bound to be productive on this truly ghastly Celtics roster.
- Jeff Teague had 17 points and 12 assists for Atlanta, and is looking like a tremendous steal considering where he was ranked in most fantasy drafts.
- Bismack Biyombo filled in admirably for Al Jefferson, who was out of action for the Bobcats with an ankle ailment. Biyombo had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. Nice production, but he's mostly useless with Jefferson and now Cody Zeller around.