Nellie finally got the record. Last night, Don Nelson broke the long-standing mark for most random fantasy stars created from nothing in one career, breaking Mike Shanahan’s heart. And on top of all that, Nellie is now the all-time wins leader in NBA history, a feat that necessitated a “champagne” bath with replacement beverages of Sprite and Mountain Dew, according to Anthony Tolliver. How fitting. Tolliver played 45 minutes and poured in 34 points in Golden State’s 116-107 win at Minnesota and is the latest of unlikely Nelson scrap-heap stars to carry fantasy owners in their time of need (April).
At various points during this year, Tolliver, Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, C.J. Watson, Corey Maggette, Reggie Williams, Anthony Morrow and Leonard Zelig have been the best fantasy guy on the Warriors, and it’s a testament, I suppose, to Nellie’s ability to make the most out of his bizarre ingredients. It hasn’t always been chicken salad, but at times it’s been edible.
From a fantasy standpoint, us roto geeks are ready to put Nelson on the Mount Rushmore of coaches, but we’d prefer to literally chisel his head into the side of the mountain. Owning Warriors in fantasy over the last several seasons has led to a boom in the psychiatric industry and caused advice pushers like myself to question our very place on this planet. Nellie keeps us humble.
As the lucky recipient of a Stephen Curry prize in the 14th round of the Damn Lies draft, I’m pouring Mountain Dew over myself this morning after Curry’s 27-8-14 last night that featured seven steals and three three-pointers. This is why we put up with Nellie, why we continue to start our Warriors every week. Of course, Maggette owners (8-2-2 in 17 minutes) are as frustrated as Tolliver owners are ecstatic (34-8, 14-22 FG). And Saturday night, when Golden State plays the Clippers, the roles could easily be reversed.
Many will now speculate that Nelson will retire after this year, leaving behind a legacy of frustration, bewilderment and fleeting joy in the fantasy community. One thing’s for sure: this game will get a lot more boring.
It was another huge slate of games in the NBA Wednesday night (13 to be exact), and Damn Lies is here to break it all down.
The Earl Barron Reunion Tour continued to roll through the U.S. as Barron put up a 15 & 9 at Indiana. Weird. Also, Chris Duhon continues to start at point guard, but Toney Douglas continues to out-play him. It’s a strange time to have to count on Knicks in fantasy, but at least David Lee (16 & 16) is doing his thing with consistency.
Chris Bosh will miss the rest of the season with a (cringing) broken face. A shame. Toronto fell to Boston last night unsurprisingly, 115-104. Sonny Weems had 21 points for the Raptors and that about sums things up.
Orlando yawned its way to a 121-94 win over Washington. Desperate fantasy owners could do a lot worse than Nick Young right now. Young is averaging 22 points over his last three. All Magic players other than Dwight Howard are risky plays as Orlando rests guys for the playoffs, but it was nice to see Rashard Lewis break out and have what seemed like his best night of the season with 10 points and three rebounds.
Sam Dalembert asked in to the fantasy playoff party with 19 points, 16 boards and four blocks in Philly’s 99-95 loss at Miami. Sammy contributed a 4 & 4 in his previous game. It seems like every time I open a Heat box score Dorell Wright is doing something interesting. He had 17 points and four threes last night.
The Bobcats – yes, the Bobcats – secured a playoff berth with a 104-103 nail-biter over New Orleans last night. I’d mention that Tyson Chandler had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks last night but nobody’d believe me. Marcus Thornton, who by now has secured a spot on the All-Waiver Wire team for the whole season, was a monster with 36 points and four connections from beyond the NBA regulation three-point line (I’m tired of calling them threes and I refuse to call them “triples”).
Elsewhere: Kentucky teammates John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins put their names in the NBA Draft yesterday to nobody’s surprise. Does a LeBron-Wall-Brook Lopez trio intrigue you?… Manu Ginobili signed a four-year contract extension with the Spurs after proving over the last month or so that he has few peers at the shooting guard position… Chris Paul and Al Harrington join Bosh as stars shutting it down for the season… King James will be playing only intermittently the rest of the way. He will probably sit out Friday’s game.