Fantasy NBA Daily Notes: C’s and Rockets continue to struggle on offense


“Jimmy Buckets” is headed to South Philly while “Jimmy” Harden might just have broken Houston out of its sustained funk in what was yet another wild weekend in the nike nfl jerseys from china

Moniker aside, Jimmy Butler’s shift to the Philadelphia 76ers signals an important series of fluctuations in fantasy value, as ESPN’s Andre Snellings deftly details. For some context to the magnitude of the move, Butler was 11th in the league last season in offensive win shares — an estimate of wins added by a player on offense — and 12th in offensive box plus-minus, an estimate of the offensive points per 100 possessions a player contributed above a league-average player translated to an average team.

As a Sixers fan, I can confidently say this is the team’s most significant trade acquisition since Moses Malone in September of 1982 (no offense to Dikembe Mutombo). Eventually going “fo, fo, fo” would be great.10

Robert Covington, dealt to the Timberwolves for Butler along with Dario Saric, was the only player last season to make at least 200 3-pointers, block 70 shots and swipe 130 steals. Somehow, Covington is available in the majority of ESPN leagues as of Monday morning and is the premier endorsement in this week’s edition of free-agent finds.

Saric, meanwhile, produced just the fourth season in NBA history for a player 24-or-younger to average at least 14 PPG and six RPG while making 39 percent of at least five 3-point attempts per game in 2017-18. Essentially, precedent reveals the profile of a solid stretch nike jerseys cheap china

Both the real and fantasy results from this blockbuster trade should prove riveting to watch unfold. It will be comparably intriguing to watching the Houston Rockets climb from a glaringly sluggish start to the season. After all, they rank just 23rd in offensive rating, and on Sunday, they broke a four-game snap of scoring fewer than 100 points. Houston also delivered its first double-digit win this season (incredible for a team that led the league in net rating last season).

James Harden scored 40 points on 20 shots last night, while Chris Paul, apparently dealing with right elbow tendinitis, scored 26 points on 13 shots in an encouragingly efficient outing. Finally netting some momentum, the status of Clint Capela, which I discuss in the injury section below, will prove important for Houston’s success in the coming games.

Fantasy hoops roto rankings: Kyle Lowry reaching new heights


Anyone who has played fantasy basketball during the past decade knows Kyle Lowry and knows him well. They’ve seen him develop from a defensive-minded player without a jump shot in his early days to the well-rounded scorer and playmaker that he is now.

Still, it’s safe to say none of us have seen this Kyle Lowry, the 32-year-old version who in his 13th NBA season is playing the best ball of his lengthy nfl nike jerseys free shipping

He enters Week 5 of the fantasy basketball season as the NBA’s leader in assists with 11.0 per game while maintaining a healthy 17.2 PPG scoring average. He also is shooting 49.7 percent, averaging 2.5 3-pointers per game and chipping in defensively as well with 1.5 steals a game.

How much have people taken notice in fantasy leagues?9

Let’s put it this way — this week in one of my leagues, I offered Ben Simmons for Lowry in a trade with fellow league manager who knows his stuff. Two hours later, the trade was rejected and there was a counter offer. Simmons wasn’t enough. He wanted Giannis Antetokounmpo.

I wasn’t willing to go that far, but it’s safe to say that Lowry’s stock is on the rise. I’ve bumped him up to No. 11 this week, just ahead of Damian Lillard, who is having a terrific start to the season as well.

Other notables working their way up in the rankings this week include Lowry’s former teammate, DeMar DeRozan (22), as well as Kyrie Irving (31), Zach LaVine (37), Trae Young (47), Enes Kanter (50), Lonzo Ball (65), Serge Ibaka (66), Buddy Hield (76), Lauri Markkanen (85) and Brook Lopez (88).cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Some of these are overdue adjustments — such as Hield, Kanter and Ibaka, who were too low in previous rankings — but some are for other reasons.

Fantasy NBA Daily Notes: Don’t sleep on Raptors and Bucks


For all the talk of the power imbalance between conferences in the NBA, this past weekend of action confirmed two of the league’s truly elite teams in both real and fantasy terms reside in the Eastern Conference.

With no offense [Editor’s note: pun intended?] to Boston and their top-ranked defense, ranking 27th in offensive rating isn’t exactly favorable for fantasy purposes. cheap nfl nike jerseys from china Instead, I’m talking about the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, two Eastern powerhouses who have a combined record of 17-2 and rank third and fourth, respectively, in offensive efficiency.

Even with Kawhi Leonard missing Sunday night’s game at the Staples Center with a sore foot, the Raptors drubbed LeBron James’ Lakers. The Lakers trailed by as many as 31 points in the first quarter, becoming the first team in the past 20 seasons to trail by at least 30 in the first quarter at home. Kyle Lowry likely could have tried to chase Scott Skiles’ 30-assist opus from 1990, given he had a career-high 12 dimes at the half against the Lakers, but settled for 15 in the convincing win.

The Bucks trounced the otherwise surging Kings on Sunday afternoon via scoring 144 points, their most in a non-overtime game since 1979 against the Spurs. Giannis Antetokounmpo produced his 11th career triple-double in the victory — and his first accomplished within three quarters — snapping the Kings’ five-game winning streak.9

We already knew Lowry and Antetokounmpo were impact fantasy contributors, but how about finding affordable paths to shares of these elite rosters?

For the Raptors, we find Serge Ibaka surging statistically as if he were a young member of the Thunder again. Ibaka delivered a career-high 34 points (15-17 FG) against the Lakers and started the game by hitting his first 14 shots from the field — the most consecutive field goals made to begin a game since Shaquille O’Neal made his first 14 back in February of 2006 against the SuperSonics, per cheap jerseys nike

Ibaka joins Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns as the only players averaging at least 18 PPG and 1.4 BPG this season and yet is available as a fantasy free agent in nearly half of ESPN leagues.

If Ibaka is already scooped up in your league, how about Pascal Siakam? The defensive-minded forward earned an endorsement in my recent waiver wire update thanks to averaging 1.7 combined blocks and steals while producing solid rebounding results and efficient scoring production. Siakam has averaged a rewarding 33.1 MPG the past five games, all starts, and merits to be rostered in more than 12 percent of ESPN leagues.

Fantasy hoops roto rankings: Wendell Carter Jr. among bigs taking flight


What his four points against Cleveland Thursday and seven points two nights later against Utah reinforced, however, is that Jokic shouldn’t be ranked as high as a player like Joel Embiid who is just as versatile and averaging 20.7 shots a game compared to Jokic’s nike jerseys for cheap

In a week with minimal movement in the top 15, this is one of the notable changes, as Embiid moves up to No. 7, Russell Westbrook comes in at No. 8 and Jokic slides a couple spots to No. 9.

Take away Jokic’s offensive struggles, and it’s difficult to find too many other big men who under-performed the past week. In fact, most shined.8

Karl-Anthony Towns (10) recorded three double-doubles since last Monday and put his early-season struggles squarely in the rear-view mirror, raining down 13 3-pointers and making major contributions on defense with six steals and nine blocks during the past five games.

Rudy Gobert (14) showed his usual strengths as one of the league’s most efficient players, rebounders and shot-blockers.

And then things got interesting, as Nikola Vucevic (19), Marc Gasol (27) and prized Chicago rookie Wendell Carter Jr. (55) each jumped up considerably with eye-opening numbers and tremendous consistency.

Vucevic is more of a double-double threat than Gasol at this stage because Gasol doesn’t pull down the rebounds he once did, but Gasol takes and makes more 3s. Both rack up a lot of assists. Vucevic gets more blocks. Gasol gets more steals; in fact the Grizzlies’ center has averaged 2.8 SPG during his past five contests!cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The week kind of belonged to Carter, though, if we’re being honest. On the waiver wire in many leagues when last week started, Carter stepped in to play more minutes than usual with Bobby Portis out and showed the poise of a five-year vet. In four games, Carter averaged 17.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 2.0 BPG, 1.8 SPG while going 16-of-18 from the free throw line.

Carmelo Anthony: Perception of Knicks hurt team in free agency


Carmelo Anthony believes the perception of the Knicks during his tenure with the club had a negative effect on its chances to land a top free agent.

“I think just the business. Everything that was going on. The perception of New York Knicks … not basketball but the organization,” Anthony said Thursday when asked what kept the Knicks from landing a top free agent when he was there.

“I think it probably scared a lot of people away. Scared some people away. Not knowing the nuances and the ins and outs of kind of what was going on, who is in charge, who is not. So it was more than just basketball when it came to people making those decisions,” he nike nfl jerseys wholesale

During Anthony’s six-plus seasons in New York, he played under four different team presidents/general managers and four different full-time head coaches.10

After team president Phil Jackson signed Anthony to a max contract in the summer of 2014, the Knicks had a chance to add a significant free agent in the summer of 2015 and the summer of 2016.

But New York couldn’t get a top-tier free agent to sign in either year. In the summer of 2016, the Knicks didn’t get a meeting with free agent Kevin Durant, and signed Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72 million contract after trading for Derrick Rose, his teammate with the nfl jerseys cheap paypal

During Rose and Noah’s first season in New York, the relationship between Anthony and Jackson publicly deteriorated, leading to a negative perception of the club among some NBA players. Anthony was traded to Oklahoma City prior to the 2017-18 season by president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.

Mills believes the perception of the Knicks has changed recently. The club plans to pursue a top free agent in the 2019 offseason. Anthony, in Brooklyn on Thursday to practice with the Houston Rockets ahead of Friday’s meeting with the Nets, was complimentary of first-year Knicks head coach David Fizdale.

“I think we all have to start from somewhere. And I think what Coach David is doing over there, he’s getting it right as far as mindset goes,” Anthony said. “The talent will come, but I think the mindset of how he approaches the game trickles down to the organization, how serious he takes the game, his approach to the game. You could just tell by the energy he brings.”

Gordon Hayward ‘a bit sore’ but pushes through to help Celtics win


When Gordon Hayward went up to attempt to block a layup try by Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton midway through the second quarter of the Celtics’ 117-113 victory at TD Garden, it looked like simply one moment among many in what easily was Hayward’s best game of the young nfl nike jerseys china

But after Hayward was called for goaltending on the play, he landed fully on his left leg — the same one he suffered a gruesome injury to last season just six minutes into his Celtics debut, costing him the remainder of 2017-18. Unlike that play, however, Hayward on Thursday night felt only a momentary flash of pain — and then got up and kept playing.

By the end of the game, he’d not only put up an impressive stat line — a season-high 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting overall, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range, plus 4 rebounds, 5 assists and a block in 27 minutes — but he’d also checked off an important box in his attempt to return to his pre-injury level of play.8

“I can feel it right now,” Hayward said afterward. “It’s definitely a little bit sore … something new that I haven’t done in a while. Those are things I just have to work through, maybe some scar tissue that I can grind out a little bit. It did feel a little bit sore, but I think it held up just fine.

“I have to get knocked down. I have to land on that one foot a little awkwardly, just so mentally I know I can do it, but also physically I can hold and be strong.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

This was a night that not only saw the Celtics finally break out of a sluggish start to the season offensively in a big way — they went 24-for-55 from 3-point range as a team, setting a franchise record and coming within one triple of tying the NBA record — but also saw Hayward give Boston glimpses of what he can do when he’s right.

Hayward opened the scoring for Boston with a 3-pointer, then followed that up with a block on a drive by Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon and a driving layup against him at the other end. It was a sign of things to come for Hayward in a game that saw him show the kind of ballhandling prowess that gives the Celtics another option on the perimeter to create shots. That, in turn, allows Kyrie Irving to hunt for shots off the ball. Irving had a second straight strong shooting game with 28 points on 10-for-20 shooting, including 6-for-12 from 3, to go with 7 assists.

“It started off with a good start,” Hayward said. “Just was out there competing, playing. … I’ve said it before, but game by game there’s different things [I’m improving on]. I’m getting more and more comfortable. Had some open looks from three that were good and was able to knock them down, and tonight was good for me.”

Rajon Rondo’s bid for a tie fails as Lakers fall to Spurs


However, San Antonio’s defense didn’t bite, and LeBron James was unable to knock down a contested, overtime-forcing 3-pointer for the second time in a week against the Spurs. San Antonio won another nail-biter over the Lakers 110-106 on Saturday at AT&T Center.

After the Lakers (2-4) had their two-game win streak snapped, Rondo and the Lakers explained what happened when they were down three with a chance to cut the lead to one and foul or tie the nfl jerseys cheap china

“We didn’t have any more timeouts,” Rondo said. “You know, I thought I could probably suck somebody in [on the Spurs’ defense off the Lakers’ 3-point shooters], but they did a great job of staying home. The layup would have gotten us one point closer. We’d still have to foul, but we didn’t have any timeouts, so maybe … I just made a split decision, and we didn’t get what we wanted.”

The Lakers thought they let one get away in San Antonio after leading by 11 with 2:32 remaining in the third quarter. They fell behind by eight with 1:34 left in the fourth but scored seven straight points.10

After DeMar DeRozan (30 points) scored to push the San Antonio lead to 108-105, James hit a wide-open cutting Rondo. Rondo, who had just returned from a three-game suspension for his role in a fight with Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets a week ago Saturday, then opted to turn down a layup. As he went to pull the basketball out of the paint, he nearly lost the ball before passing it to Josh Hart. Hart, covered by DeRozan, immediately fed James, who missed a contested 3.

Hart was able to draw a foul while crashing the glass, and he made the first free throw before saying he intentionally missed the second.

James took an inadvertent elbow from Pau Gasol to the neck as they went for the rebound. Gasol got the rebound and was fouled before making both free throws to seal the nike nfl jerseys wholesale

James, who poured in 35 points and 11 rebounds, saw what Rondo was trying to do.

“I was looking for a 3 and then ‘Do opened up wide-open, and I put the ball in his hands to make a play,” James said. “And sometimes when you drive it, you kind of mess with the defense, and they start to shrink in, and you’re able to get a 3, and that’s what ‘Do was thinking, trying to get Josh Hart one. But they stayed home and got it back to me, and I took one that missed.”

LeBron James not shying away from MJ’s challenge: ‘I’m ready!’


LeBron James served up a tweet late Sunday night that, if the stars align, could serve as a flash point to one of the greatest, most anticipated modern-day duels in history — a one-on-one with Michael nfl nike jerseys from china

Or maybe not. But James’ sarcastic reply to a tweeted NBC Sports promotional video featuring Jordan teasing about solving the GOAT debate — about Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers — could go a long way toward stirring the pot.

The jest came just a day after James continued to climb the career scoring list, passing Dirk Nowitzki for sixth place in the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Nowitzki told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that James will end up as the top scorer ever to play the game.9

It was also James’ 432nd career 30-point game, which passed Kobe Bryant for fourth on that list and evoked a number that Jordan fans knew well with a season-high 35 points, putting his career total at 31, nfl jerseys cheap china

James has Jordan’s 32,292 points for fourth place in his sights and could pass it this season.

But James would have a tough time catching Jordan in career scoring average — James boosted his to 27.2 after Saturday’s game, with Jordan at 30.1 — and of course NBA titles, with James holding three to Jordan’s six. James does hold the edge in rebounds, at 7.4 vs. 6.2 per game, and assists, with a 7.2 average vs. Jordan’s 5.3.

In the end, Dodgers’ talent trumps Brewers’ moves


That’s the lingering feeling from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in Saturday’s Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. The best of the best of the Brewers can hang with anybody on the Dodgers. But in a matchup between teams that rely on depth and matchups more than any other teams in baseball, that’s a battle fought on the Dodgers’ turf.

“We definitely are going to tip our cap to the Brewers,” NLCS MVP Cody Bellinger said, while sitting behind the comically large statue he had just won. “They were a great team. Obviously, they put up a really tough fight. Like I said, we’ve been there, we’ve done that.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

We know it didn’t have to end this way. The better team doesn’t always win in baseball. If fact, it often doesn’t. It’s what makes baseball unique among the major sports. Unsung players get hot, superstar players slump, Lady Luck pays a visit and teams get kneecapped by a poor decision.10

Even in Game 7, which was never really in doubt after the middle innings, the Brewers were inches away from snapping a 36-year pennant drought.

Chris Taylor, who according to unimpressive catch probability readings from Statcast, turned what apparently should have been a ho-hum play into a highlight catch. Well, sorry Statcast — that was a highlight catch.

The drive Taylor caught, off the bat of Christian Yelich, came in the fifth inning, with Lorenzo Cain dancing off second base and the Brewers still trailing by just a run. Taylor raced over from left field and laid out to snag the ball in the webbing of his glove, while Bellinger leaped over his tumbling nfl nike jerseys from china

“That was the catch of the year,” Bellinger said. “I don’t know what would happen if he doesn’t make that catch. It would have been a tie game, who knows. That was an unbelievable catch. And it was really cool to see it firsthand.”

The next inning, Yasiel Puig’s three-run homer broke the game open. The ball was a laser beam that reached the fence so quickly that even Cain could not track it down for one of his signature home run robberies. The ball had a launch angle of 9 degrees, according to Statcast, the lowest homer Puig has hit since these measurements began. The ball actually skipped off the top of the fence.

LeBron’s L.A. debut comes crashing to a reality-show-level halt


So said Ice Cube as he concluded the opening invocation that greeted fans on the video screen as they filed in from the buzzy concourse into the bowl at Staples Center. Among the promises offered to those in attendance were “the dawn of a new kingdom” and the restoration of Showtime. The monarch in question, naturally, is LeBron Raymone James Sr. And with his arrival in Los Angeles, basketball’s most prominent star is now the face of the NBA’s premier nfl nike jerseys from china

For about two hours on Saturday, the electric current pulsating through the arena during James’ regular-season premiere in a Lakers uniform appeared to be the NBA at the height of its cultural power. If the league could order up a custom product for the global masses, might it be a rapid-fire shootout featuring its global star on its global team, facing an opponent with a presence such as the Rockets, led by the reigning MVP?9

Then, with just over four minutes remaining in a one-point game, the Lakers’ welcome wagon was hijacked by fisticuffs. In a league whose players reputedly never truly want to fight, this game was abruptly rattled by a melee that saw three players land close-fisted punches: Brandon Ingram (who started the brawl with a shove of James Harden) and Rajon Rondo of the Lakers, as well as Chris Paul of the Rockets. After players were separated multiple times as emotions continued to run hot, officials took several minutes to adjudicate the incident. All three players were ejected and face certain suspensions.

If James started the night as the game’s honoree, he ended it as its peacemaker. While tempers festered, James could be found with his arms around his close friend Paul in an effort to de-escalate the madness. LeBron has always thrived in chaos, but Saturday night’s delirium was a little too much drama even for nike jerseys for cheap

As is so often the case in today’s NBA, the scripted events on Saturday night were subsumed by the spontaneous and the absurd. No league in recent memory has generated more excitement from its unrehearsed, reality-show escapades. The Lakers tried to orchestrate a showcase of their showtime revival, but the garden party was crashed by vagrants. The Rockets pulled away in the moments following the fracas for a 124-115 win, dropping the Lakers to 0-2.