When I wasn’t watching those plucky underdogs the New York Yankees win the World Series, I was keeping an eye on a full slate of NBA games. By the end of the night, I am not sure which of the two things were more responsible for my ashen state.
Probably the basketball. Okay, definitely the basketball. Like Andris Biedrins again being a non-factor due to foul trouble and Don Nelson trouble. Like Mike Miller injuring his shoulder and being out for 7 to 10 days. Like Jason Richardson being held scoreless at Orlando. Like Troy Murphy not only missing a game but a game against the Knicks.
During and right after my fantasy drafts, I’m on a high that very few drugs can approximate. And believe me, after last night I might try them all. But my point is that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the basketball regular season is one big viewing of Paranormal Activity. The fear never subsides, the dread is around every corner, tingling up my arm when I click on each box score. It’s a horror show.
How do we keep our heads in this climate? For one, I just tell myself that this is still seven to 10 million times better than fantasy football. But I don’t mean to disparage basketball like that. The great games, however few and far between they seem, bring a smile to my face that is occasionally apparent if you are recording me and run the tape back in super slo-mo as if it was the Zapruder film.
So what did we learn last night, other than I’m insane and a little cranky?
I figured Phoenix would struggle at Orlando, and they will probably do so again tomorrow night at Boston with me in attendance. Vince Carter didn’t play with a sprained ankle, and they still cruised without him and Rashard Lewis. But when you can bring in Mickael Pietrus as like your 12th man, I’d say you are doing okay.
The C’s turned in a sluggish effort at Minnesota but still won by two. Oleksiy Pecherov was 9-for-14 for 24 points and I was really hoping to avoid having to type “Oleksiy” in my next RotoExperts column. By the way, Boston’s stars are pretty old and the second of back-to-backs should produce some struggles like this one. This is probably a good thing for fantasy purposes, at least better than a blowout where Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen combine for eight points.
That Tom Lorenzo hasn’t been on this blog to gloat about his Italian man-crushes, Andrea Bargnani and Danilo Gallinari, says a lot about his ability to forget his password. Call me, Tom; I’ll reset it for you.
Gallinari has actually struggled as defenses will now gravitate towards him. This should lead to more ill-conceived shots for his teammates. I’m torn on Larry Hughes as a fantasy factor but the minutes have been there. As long as Nate Robinson is out, you might as well go get him.
Dirk Nowitzki finished with a disappointing 12 and 5 in overtime at New Orleans after his explosion on Tuesday, but this was Jason Terry‘s night (35 pts, 4 3fg). If Chris Paul is upset and surly, his fantasy owners aren’t complaining. The line of the night is probably Paul’s 39 points, 5 boards, 7 assists, 3 threes and 2 steals while shooting 14-23 from the floor and 8-8 from the line. Playing Jason Kidd will do that for you, but wow.
I can’t discuss Golden State without overheating my keyboard, but Monta Ellis went off for 24-7-12 with 5 steals against Memphis. Speaking of, Allen Iverson is back and actually hasn’t murdered everyone’s stats to the degree he’s capable of. He’s working on it, sources tell me, however. O.J. Mayo was held in check, so Mayo and Conley are probably in for the worst symptoms of the A.I. virus.
That’s all I can muster this fine morning. If I can ever get back on solid foods I’ll post more later.