“BaseLINE of the Night”

For those of you who don’t know, this is a post I do every day or night that pays homage to the guys out there ballin’ hard and making their fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. With 9 games on the slate tonight, it was pretty nice Tuesday to get back into the swing of things after All-Star Weekend. Here’s the latest edtion of “BaseLINE of the Night” for Tuesday, February 28th, 2012.

The Durantula was off tonight so I guess someone else can win the award. We’ll see if he can pick up where he left off tomorrow night against the 76ers though. Tonight though, we have a first time winner. When you think about this guy, it’s not a guy that would come to mind pretty much ever when thinking of a top-line producer. He plays for the Milwaukee Bucks and isn’t even a starter. Tonight, however, he was on fire and helped the Bucks to a one point win over the Wizards. The “BaseLINE of the Night” goes to… Mike Dunleavy. Yes, I really meant Mike Dunleavy and no, that’s not a typo. The worst part is that when looking for highlights, there are more results for Dunleavy receiving the highlights than actually providing the highlights. Anyways, enough with the Mike Dunleavy bashing and just go ahead and enjoy this line and clip.

  • 28 Pts (9-17 FG, 5-10 3PT, 5-5 FT)/2 Reb/1 Ast/3 Stl/1 TO

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!


While Mr. Dunleavy reigns supreme for a night, let’s take a look at the guys who came oh-so-close to being awarded the “Line of the Night” award. Rounding out the top 5 are:

T2. DeAndre Jordan – 14 Pts (7-9 FG)/14 Reb/2 Stl/4 Blk

T2. Derrick Williams – 27 Pts (9-10 FG, 4-4 3PT, 5-5FT)/5 Reb/1 Blk/1 TO

4. Derrick Rose – 32 Pts (11-24 FG, 1-5 3PT, 9-11 FT)/2 Reb/9 Ast/3 Stl/2 Blk/2 TO

5. Paul George – 11 Pts (4-7 FG, 2-2 3PT, 1-2 FT)/9 Reb/5 Ast/4 Stl/1 Blk/1 TO

*Suprising Line of the Night*

  • Derrick Williams (35% owned) –  See Line Above

Derrick Williams, the second overall pick in this past draft, had a career night tonight. Tonight was the first night that the explosive rookie has broken the 20-point barrier in his career. In the whole month of February, he only scored in double figures three other times! His line tonight was tied for the second best of the night as well. Although he has the talent to be a great player and scorer, he doesn’t have the right situation. There is such a logjam for minutes with both Rubio, Ridnour, and Wes Johnson starting, plus Beasley, Webster, and Barea coming off the bench, and Kevin Love playing much of the game, that it’s hard for Williams to get consistent minutes at either SF or PF or even SG. While he might have earned himself some more playing time for his game tonight, I still think his play, as well as his playing time, will be sporadic for the rest of the season barring injury so if you have him, enjoy tonight but don’t expect it moving forward.

While these guys weren’t the best of the best, they certainly had their owners smiling after their performance. As I always say, In the words of Cleveland fans (myself included), “There’s always next year,” or, in this case, next game.

That’s it for this edition of “BaseLINE of the Night,” but make sure to check back tonight/tomorrow to see who takes home the award.

Halfway Mark NBA Report

Baseline Basketball’s halfway mark report on the NBA. As the All Star festivities end the real fun begins. This is the part of the season when the fight to the finish line gets rough, teams are wheeling and dealing players and the teams who are for real usually separate themselves from teams that are not. Here Baseline Basketball asks NBA writers Michael Sykes and Samar Gaines a few questions. Read there thoughts below. 

1. Who will win the East this year? 

Mike: I have the Miami Heat winning the East this year. It seems like a no-brainer pick to me. There is no team with enough fire power to match them on the offensive end with their Space and Pace offense. They get in your head with their vicious traps on defense and play the passing lanes better than any team that I’ve ever seen. Miami is first in offensive efficiency and seventh in defensive efficiency, according to Basketball Reference. Not to mention LeBron James is having the best season that has ever been recorded in NBA history right now. He’s posting a 32.40 PER right now which is far and away the best ever.

Samar: Barring injury the Miami Heat will win the East. The Heat’s offense is finally looking like what Pat Riley hoped for when he brought LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together. LeBron and Wade are two of the best finishers in the league. They have three-point shooters to space the floor with Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, Shane Battier, James Jones and Norris Cole. Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem can score inside or step out and hit the 15-18 foot jumpers. Defensively this team likes to pressure the ball handler and create turnovers. Like Mike mentioned, LeBron James is having his best season and over the last 10 games Dwyane Wade is averaging 24.5 ppg while shooting 57%.

2. Who will win the West this year? 
Mike: I have the Oklahoma City Thunder winning the West in a close race with the rest of the top teams in the conference. The West is really tight right now–there are  nine games between the Thunder and the No. 9 seed and only three-and-a-half between the third place Clippers and the ninth place Trailblazers. Right now, though, the Thunder are three games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are hot right now, but the Thunder are too. They share the best record in the league at 27-7 with the Miami Heat and have a two-time scoring champion in Kevin Durant to back them up. I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon.
Samar: As good as the Oklahoma City Thunder have looked I’m going to surprise some people and pick the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have the second best record in the West despite Manu Ginobili missing major time with injuries. Heading into the all-star break the Spurs were winners of 12 of the last 13 games. According to Basketball-Reference.com the Spurs are sixth in offensive rating and 16th in defensive rating. But over the last 15 or so games the Spurs defense has been much better and it’s all led by Tim Duncan. While Duncan has lost a lot of his athleticism, his basketball IQ remains off the chart, and he uses that to make sure he and his teammates are in the right spot defensively. Offensively Duncan no longer has to be double teamed so the Spurs play more of an up-tempo style. They like to get out on the run and shoot the three. Gregg Popovich has been able to get the most out of guys like Danny Green, Gary Neal, Cory Joseph and Kawhi Leonard.
 
3. What team should get the number one pick ?  
Mike: I believe that the Charlotte Bobcats should get the No. 1 pick. Hopefully the ping-pong balls work out in their favor because they need a dominant force in the middle like Kentucky’s Anthony Davis. Right now, their defense allows 100.8 points per game which is 27th in the NBA. This team is 29th in the league in defensive efficiency and 30th in offensive efficiency. I believe that a turn around on any team should always start on the defensive side of the ball and Davis would be the perfect center piece for that task.

Samar: I agree that Charlotte should get the pick because they really have the least talent, but how fun would it be if the Washington Wizards end up getting that pick? Think of this: John Wall at the point with a frontline of JaVale McGee, Jan Vesely and Anthony Davis. They could run with any team in the league and defensively a front court of Davis and McGee would be very hard to score on. Selfishly I want this to happen for Wall’s career. Getting Davis can help him turn this Wizards team around almost immediately.

4. Does Derrick Rose’s injuries worry you? 
Mike: They do worry me a little. If they are lingering, it would definitely put a ball and chain on the powerhouse that is the Chicago Bulls. Rose says that he should be fine thanks to his new chiropractor Stuart Yoss. With that being said, though, this makes me feel that the Bulls will make a move to acquire a more consistent threat in their front court like Pau Gasol or Dwight Howard. Rose’s teammates must be a threat for this team to thrive and last postseason it didn’t happen. Joakim Noah and Luol Deng must step up to the plate and make plays. Then Rose’s back will pose no threat to the title contending Bulls.
Samar: As a big-time fan of Tracy McGrady whenever I hear back spasms I’m automatically worried. McGrady would miss games almost every year with back spasms and the fact that Rose dealt with back spasms in high school is a bad sign that this will be recurring. While I am very concerned, Rose is a very hard worker and if anybody is going to put in the work to make sure they overcome this it’s Rose.
 
5. How far will the Knicks go this season? 
Mike: The Knicks will simply go as far as Carmelo Anthony, not Jeremy Lin, takes them. At the end of the day Carmelo is the best player on that team. At the end of the games when it’s time for the money ball they’re going to go through Carmelo. Lin must focus on beating the traps that are going to be thrown at him and cut down on turnovers. If they can do that then the Knicks are as good as any team in the NBA. I believe that they’ll be the sixth seed by the end of the season and play Philadelphia in the first round. I think they’ll be able to get by them, but get eliminated by the Bulls in the second round. But who knows, if the team’s chemistry can improve by that time then they could be in the finals.
Samar: It all depends on the seeding at the end of the season. If they are a seven or eight seed this team will be one and done. But if the Knicks can get the sixth or higher seed and avoid the Bulls and Heat this team is talented enough to beat a three, four or five seed. The Knicks have been a better team with Jeremy Lin playing the point guard position, but as anyone who saw the game vs. the Heat on Thursday, great defensive teams can completely take him out of games. This team still has major problems with the inconsistent play of Amar’e Stoudemire, the turnover problems and they have better chemistry with Carmelo Anthony on the bench. I have serious doubts that they will be able to fix these problems this season.
 
6. Do you see Dwight Howard moving soon? If so, to where? If not, why not?
Mike: I don’t see Dwight Howard going anywhere through the rest of the season. The reason why is that no team seems to have enough to give the Orlando Magic back for Dwight. His top suitors right now are Los Angeles and New Jersey depending on what report you’re reading. In Los Angeles, you’d likely get Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum back in return. Gasol is coming into the twilight of his career soon and he won’t be able to reciprocate half of what Howard was able to do for Orlando. Bynum will be able to, but with his shady injury history you’d also want some other pieces and draft assets in return. The Lakers don’t have that. With New Jersey you would only get back Brook Lopez and a few draft picks that would lose value because of the combination of Deron Williams and Howard. Unless you can swing a third team into this deal, which is possible, I don’t think the Magic pull the trigger.
Samar: I really think Dwight is getting moved right after all-star weekend. I  think the only reason he has lasted on the Magic this long is because the all-star game was in Orlando. It just makes too much sense for the Lakers to make a move for Dwight now and if you’re the Orlando Magic why wait and lose him for nothing? If I’m Orlando and LA wants him so badly they will have to send Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to Orlando and Orlando can send  Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Duhon, Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson to the Lakers. Orlando gets Bynum and Pau, whom they can flip in the offseason if they’d like too, while shedding Turkoglu and Duhon’s contracts off their books. The Lakers get Howard to anchor the defense and some much-needed outside shooting with Anderson and Hedo.
 
7. Share a hypothetical trade idea. 
Mike: My trade consists of the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic. Pau Gasol gets sent to the Houston Rockets, Dwight Howard is shipped to the Lakers and Andrew Bynum would go to the Orlando Magic. The Lakers would get Luis Scola in return for Gasol and get Howard back from the Orlando Magic. The Magic would get Kevin Martin from the Rockets, which would give them another threat on the wing and would keep them competitive with Bynum down low. Quentin Richardson and Ishmael Smith would be sent to the Lakers and Rockets respectively to fulfill salary cap requirements. The Rockets and Lakers would be able to stay competitive while the Magic would have a nice centerpiece for the future barring health issues and also a new trade piece in Kevin Martin.
SamarI know things are going well for the Philadelphia 76ers but this team has two major holes. One is the health of Spencer Hawes and the second is that this team doesn’t have a true go-to scorer. Lou Williams has done a great job off the bench, but wouldn’t this team look better if they traded Evan Turner to the New Orleans Hornets for Eric Gordon? I know Eric Gordon is on the New Orleans Hornets and how difficult it is to trade with them, but he didn’t sign the extension with the Hornets and they could lose him for nothing. Instead of letting him get to the open market trade him to the 76ers for another young shooting guard in Evan Turner. Once Eric Gordon and Spencer Hawes gets healthy this trade makes the 76ers true contenders.

Dunk Competition

It’s about that time again. The NBA All-Star Weekend is underway and the dunk competition is fast approaching tonight. Needless to say, I don’t think people are nearly as excited for this year’s contest.

Too bad Blake Griffin isn’t going to defend his title this year because not only would we get to enjoy his unbelievable hops, but we would also already know who the winner was going to be. That’s right. I said it. The dunk competition has more or less become a popularity contest that is more about the pre- and post-dunk celebrations and showmanship than the actual dunk itself. Don’t get me wrong, I still like watching it, but it’s just changed a lot over the years and seems much more dried out. I don’t think it’s necessarily the fault of the contestants because I mean, come on, how many different dunks and possibilities are even humanly possible? Maybe it’s just me, but I would rather see a guy perform great dunks, ala Vince Carter, over all the showmanship, ala Nate Robinson.

Even today, in my opinion, I still feel as though Vince Carter’s performance in the 2000 dunk competition was THE best ever and that competition was one of the best ever as well. I feel like the contest has been on a downward spiral ever since “Vinsanity” took over in 2000. Sure, there have been great performances and memorable dunks, most notably Jason Richardson and his performances including his alley-oop, under-the-legs, reverse jam. Nothing, however, can measure up to what Vince did in 2000 though. Let’s take a look at some highlights of that contest.

This year’s contestants consist of a lot of new faces and no real big superstars. That is actually one thing I’m sort of looking forward to. It’s the whole “unknown” and “surprise” factor that comes along with these guys and not really knowing what they can do. None of them necessarily have the popularity won over another like Griffin would either. Let’s go ahead and get to know this group a little better:

  1. Paul George – SG/SF / Indiana Pacers / 2nd year / Fresno State / 6’8″
  2. Derrick Williams – SF/PF / Minnesota Timberwolves / Rookie / Arizona / 6’8″
  3. Chase Budinger – SG/SF / Houston Rockets / 3rd year / Arizona / 6’7″
  4. Jeremy Evans – SF/PF / Utah Jazz / 2nd year / Western Kentucky / 6’9″

When looking at this list, I’m actually excited to see if these guys can come up with some things that will surprise everyone and how they do when the lights come on. I think conventional wisdom would lead us to placing the “favorite” label on D-Will because of the explosiveness we’ve seen out of him so far in his rookie year and last year in college. The guy who is my favorite player of this group and who I really want to win is Paul George. I also think that George is actually going to win as well. I was going to pick Shumpert before he was replaced by Jeremy Evans, simply because he seems like the one who would be the most celebratory and I figured his pre- and post-dunk showmanship would be the best. I also figured, correctly at that, that he would involve Jeremy Lin somehow and the crowd would pretty much love it no matter what as long as they got their dose of “Linsanity” which would have given him a few extra points from the judges. However, I can’t really figure out who, out of this group, will be the biggest showboater, therefore I’m going to have to pick my favorite guy, Paul George. Plus, I have also heard that he has something surprising planned so I’m looking forward to it. With all that said, who do you think is going to win?

“BaseLINE of the Night”

 

For those of you who don’t know, this is a post I do every day or night that pays homage to the guys out there ballin’ hard and making their fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. With only 4 games on the slate tonight, it was pretty much a typical Thursday and gave all the guys playing a great shot at winning the award in the last night before All-Star Weekend. Here’s the latest edtion of “BaseLINE of the Night” for Thursday, February 23rd, 2012.

Well with Kevin Durant on the slate tonight, could he be the top line for the third time in his last four games? He would have to beat out LeBron and Wade and the Heat and Kobe to do it. KD wasn’t going to let that deter him from keeping up this remarkable hot streak! He is absolutely on fire right now as he actually has been the top line in three of his last four games with the other game he had to “settle” for third best line. This is why this guy is taken first overall in many drafts. He gives you consistent all-around production, night in and night out and don’t expect anything less for the rest of the year. I mentioned before how I might need to start finding more highlights of Durant and I guess I really need to start having them pre-saved for a quick find. Check out his award-winning line tonight:

  • 33 Pts (12-22 FG, 2-8 3PT, 7-7 FT)/4 Reb/6 Ast/3 Stl/1 Blk/2 TO

The Durantula strikes once again!


While Durant reigns supreme for a night (and pretty much the whole week), let’s take a look at the guys who came oh-so-close to being awarded the “BaseLINE of the Night” award. Rounding out the top 5 are:

2. LeBron James – 20 Pts (7-16 FG, 6-6 FT)/9 Reb/8 Ast/5 Stl/2 Blk/4 TO

3. DeJuan Blair – 28 Pts (12-21 FG, 4-4 FT)/12 Reb/3 Ast/2 Stl/1 Blk

4. Richard Jefferson – 17 Pts (5-8 FG, 5-7 3PT, 2-2 FT)/8 Reb/1 Ast/1 Stl

5. Metta World Peace – 9 Pts (3-3 FG, 3-5 3PT)/4 Reb/5 Ast/2 Stl

*Suprising Line of the Night*

  • Danny Green (12% owned) –  16 Pts (6-12 FG, 1-5 3PT, 3-4 FT)/6 Reb/2 Ast/3 Stl/2 TO

Green has really grown a lot this year under Greg Popovich. Heading into the season, Danny was an afterthought for the Spurs. However, being that the Spurs have sustained a lot of injuries and Pops wants to rest his veterans for the playoffs, it has created a good opportunity for Green and he has taken advantage of it. He’s averaging career-highs in every single category except for FG%, granted he hasn’t played much in his career so far. He has also shown flashes of being an all-around fantasy contributor. At only 22 min a game, he is averaging 1.2 threes a game, 0.8 steals a game, and 0.8 blocks a game making him so close to joining a unique group of players that are so valuable in fantasy and that’s the 1-1-1 (threes-blocks-steals) club. If he were to get consistent starting role and 30+ minutes a night, he could definitely accomplish that. In the short term, expect Green to keep starting and getting decent time until Ginobili returns. Even still, his play will be inconsistent and once Manu comes back it’ll be interesting to see what his role is.

While these guys weren’t the best of the best, they certainly had their owners smiling after their performance. As I always say, In the words of Cleveland fans (myself included), “There’s always next year,” or, in this case, next game.

That’s it for this edition of “BaseLINE of the Night,” but make sure to check back tonight/tomorrow to see who takes home the award.

“BaseLINE of the Night”

 

 

For those of you who don’t know, this is a post I do every day or night that pays homage to the guys out there ballin’ hard and making their fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was pretty much a full night around the league which is regular for a Wednesday. Here’s the latest edtion of “BaseLINE of the Night” for Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012.

 Well the Kevin Durant watch was on as he tried to be the main man for three consecutive games which would be amazing. He failed to accomplish the feat, although he did wind up as the third best player on the night so I’m sure his owners are still quite pleased. This night, however, belonged to Chris Paul. Expectations were huge once he was teamed up with DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. Many, including myself, expected that CP3 would lead the league in assists hands down. While he hasn’t led the league, he is sitting at fourth in the NBA and is ranked as the third best player in fantasy this season. That’s not too shabby as he was generally ranked third heading into the season behind LeBron and KD, so he’s giving you pretty much what you paid for him. Wednesday night just showed another reason why he’s an elite performer in fantasy basketball. Check out that line:
  • 36 Pts (11-16 FG, 3-7 3PT, 11-12 FT)/1 Reb/9 Ast/2 Stl/3 TO

Poor Tony Parker!


While CP3 reigns supreme for a night, let’s take a look at the guys who came oh-so-close to being awarded the “BaseLINE of the Night” award. Rounding out the top 5 are:

2. Paul Millsap – 25 Pts (10-17 FG, 5-5 FT)/9 Reb/2 Ast/2 Stl/2 Blk/1 TO

3. Kevin Durant – 28 Pts (9-22 FG, 2-4 3PT,  8-9 FT)/9 Reb/6 Ast/4 Stl/3 TO

4. Marcin Gortat – 21 Pts (9-13 FG, 3-3 FT)/15 Reb/1 Ast/1 Stl/1 Blk

5. MarShon Brooks – 24 Pts (10-15 FG, 4-7 3PT)/5 Reb/2 Ast/2 Stl/1 TO

*Suprising Line of the Night*

  • Jordan Crawford (29% owned) –  32 Pts (12-19 FG, 3-6 3PT, 5-6 FT)/2 Reb/4 Ast/1 Stl/3 TO

Crawford is an interesting player. When given regular minutes, he has shown flashes of greatness. For example, when Nick Young went down with an injury last year, Crawford stepped right in and played great. The problem is that when both are healthy, both will be inconsistent. Crawford is on a hot streak right now though. He must have been feeling the love on Valentine’s Day because ever since then, this is what he has been doing: 30.7 MPG, 21.2 PPG, 1.8 3PG, 3.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 54.1% FG, 89.5% FT, and 2.8 TOPG. This line is good for the 41st best player over that span. What’s more impressive is that he’s hit at least one three-pointer in every game during that stretch and has scored 20+ in four of the five games as well with the other game being a 12-point performance which is still double figures. As you can see, he’s been getting a lot of playing time lately and that should only continue with the way he is playing right now. Pick him up if you are in need of scoring and threes with a good FT% and decent steals and ride this hot streak. However, don’t think that he will keep this FG% up because he’s still only at 39.4 % for the year and finished last season at 39.0%. It might be worthwhile to scoop him up and enjoy the hot streak while you can and maybe see if you can sell high on him before that FG% comes crashing back down.

While these guys weren’t the best of the best, they certainly had their owners smiling after their performance. As I always say, In the words of Cleveland fans (myself included), “There’s always next year,” or, in this case, next game.

That’s it for this edition of “BaseLINE of the Night,” but make sure to check back tonight/tomorrow to see who takes home the award.

“BaseLINE of the Night”

For those of you who don’t know, this is a post I do every day or night that pays homage to the guys out there ballin’ hard and making their fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was pretty much a full night around the league which is regular for a Wednesday. Here’s the latest edtion of “BaseLINE of the Night” for Tuesday, February 21st, 2012.

Well Kevin Durant was off tonight so I guess that gave everyone else in the league a shot at being the main man for a night. We’ll see tomorrow night if the Durantula can post the “BaseLINE of the Night” for his third straight game. He was the first to do it in consecutive nights and I wouldn’t put anything past him. Tonight Dwyane Wade takes over as the top baller making his first stop of what I’m sure is to be multiple stops atop the leaderboard. This comes as no surprise considering Wade is consistently an early first round pick in fantasy given that he can provide help in almost every area. Just check out his line to see what kind of damage he can do across the board:

  • 30 Pts (11-16 FG, 8-10 FT)/4 Reb/10 Ast/3 Stl/2 Blk/2 TO

Fall seven times…. Stand up eight!


While D-Wade reigns supreme for a night, let’s take a look at the guys who came oh-so-close to being awarded the “BaseLINE of the Night” award. Rounding out the top 5 are:

2. Kyrie Irving – 25 Pts (8-15 FG, 3-4 3PT, 6-6 FT)/5 Reb/8 Ast/2 Stl/2 Blk/6 TO

3. Greg Monroe – 19 Pts (8-16 FG, 3-4 FT)/11 Reb/7 Ast/3 Stl/1 Blk/2 TO

4. LaMarcus Aldridge – 21 Pts (8-12 FG, 5-5 FT)/7 Reb/3 Ast/2 Stl/1 Blk/1 TO

T5. Jamal Crawford – 20 Pts (6-8 FG, 5-7 3PT, 3-3 FT)/4 Reb/8 Ast/1 TO

T5. Gerald Wallace – 19 Pts (6-10 FG, 1-2 3PT, 6-6 FT)/10 Reb/6 Ast/3 Blk/3 TO

 

*Suprising Line of the Night*

  • Isaiah Thomas (39% owned) –  24 Pts (7-14 FG, 5-8 3PT, 5-5 FT)/3 Reb/5 Ast/2 TO

I featured Thomas in this section two nights ago and since then his ownership has jumped from 11% to 39%. Like I said before with Thomas, his counting stats are going to be there. I would not expect his efficiency to always be there and more times than not, it won’t be. Of course he should give you a decent amount of points, assists, and threes with a pretty good FT% with occasional steals, but the other areas are obvious question marks given his stature. Of course this is all hinged upon whether he can retain the starting role, but he’s showing no signs of giving it up anytime soon with the type of play he is giving on a nightly basis. He should be added in most leagues so consider this your last chance to scoop him up.

While these guys weren’t the best of the best, they certainly had their owners smiling after their performance. As I always say, In the words of Cleveland fans (myself included), “There’s always next year,” or, in this case, next game.

That’s it for this edition of “BaseLINE of the Night,” but make sure to check back tonight/tomorrow to see who takes home the award.

“Line of the Night”

For those of you who don’t know, this is a post I do every day or night that pays homage to the guys out there ballin’ hard and making their fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was pretty much a full night around the league which is regular for a Wednesday. Here’s the latest edtion of “Line of the Night” for Sunday, February 19th, 2012.

So who was the main man on Sunday? This guy posted a monster line tonight and it’s none other than last year’s scoring champ and a top three fantasy pick in pretty much every single league, Kevin Durant. KD dropped a career-high in scoring tonight, which is kind of surprising that he led the league in scoring without ever having topped 50. That just speaks to how consistently he scores and boy was he consistently scoring tonight. Go ahead and check out this line and then pick up your jaw from off the floor.

  • 51 Pts (19-28 FG, 5-6 3PT, 8-10 FT)/8 Reb/3 Ast/4 Stl/5 TO

A salute to KD for a career night!


While Durant reigns supreme for a night, let’s take a look at the guys who came oh-so-close to being awarded the “Line of the Night” award. Rounding out the top 5 are:

2. Kyle Lowry – 32 Pts (9-13 FG, 7-8 3PT, 7-7 FT)/1 Reb/9 Ast/1 Stl/1 TO

3. Russell Westbrook – 40 Pts (16-29 FG, 3-6 3PT, 5-5 FT)/4 Reb/9 Ast/1 Blk/2 TO

4. Serge Ibaka – 14 Pts (6-7 FG, 2-4 FT)/15 Reb/1 Stl/11 Blk/1 TO

5. Ersan Ilyasova – 29 Pts (11-23 FG, 2-4 3PT, 5-6 FT)/25 Reb/1 Stl/1 Blk/1 TO

*Suprising Line of the Night*

  • Isaiah Thomas (11% owned) –  23 Pts (8-16 FG, 3-7 3PT, 4-5 FT)/8 Reb/11 Ast/1 Blk/2 TO

The new Isaiah Thomas was the 60th pick of this past summer’s draft out of Washington. He’s been working hard to get more playing time and it’s showing. The Kings have been tinkering with their lineup and their most recent change has been to insert Thomas at the point and slide Tyreke over to SF. It’s seemed to work out at least for Thomas anyways as he has put up pretty good numbers, especially tonight as he posted the ninth best line of the entire NBA tonight! I feel as though Thomas is capable of putting up pretty good numbers if he continues to start and get good playing time, especially in scoring, threes, FT%, and assists so if you need help in those areas I wouldn’t hesitate to pick him up.

While these guys weren’t the best of the best, they certainly had their owners smiling after their performance. As I always say, In the words of Cleveland fans (myself included), “There’s always next year,” or, in this case, next game.

That’s it for this edition of “Line of the Night,” but make sure to check back tonight/tomorrow to see who takes home the award.

“Line of the Night”

Sorry about the few nights off, but I was in Chicago for my brother’s Navy graduation and had to go to be early and be up really early and was busy all day so I couldn’t even get them done. For those of you who don’t know, this is a post I do every day or night that pays homage to the guys out there ballin’ hard and making their fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was pretty much a full night around the league which is regular for a Wednesday. Here’s the latest edtion of “Line of the Night” for Saturday, February 18th, 2012.

So who was the top baller on Saturday? Let’s see, this is a guy who has already been a winner of “Line of the Night” before. No, it’s not Josh Smith, although he is top five, but that is a good guess considering he has already won the award twice before! It’s actually Mr. bad ankles himself, Stephen Curry. Like I was saying before about Curry, he can fill up the stat sheet and is an elite fantasy performer, when healthy. The key words there are “when healthy,” because that’s the big thing with him. On Saturday though, he was far and away the best performer so let’s take a look at his line before you go send out a bunch of trade offers for him that will probably be rejected.

  • 36 Pts (13-21 FG, 6-9 3PT, 4-4 FT)/2 Reb/6 Ast/2 Stl/2 TO

Please stay healthy Curry so that all of us can enjoy more of this!


While Curry reigns supreme for a night (again), let’s take a look at the guys who came oh-so-close to being awarded the “Line of the Night” award. Rounding out the top 5 are:

2. Kris Humphries – 24 Pts (10-15 FG, 4-6 FT)/18 Reb/5 Ast/1 Stl/2 Blk/2 TO

3. Deron Williams – 29 Pts (9-26 FG, 5-9 3PT, 6-7 FT)/2 Reb/8 Ast/1 Stl/2 Blk/2 TO

4. Monta Ellis – 33 Pts (10-22 FG, 4-8 3PT, 9-12 FT)/4 Reb/6 Ast/1 Stl/1 TO

5. Josh Smith – 14 Pts (7-14 FG, 0-2 3PT)/10 Reb/9 Ast/2 Stl/1 Blk/3 TO

*Suprising Line of the Night*

  • Mike James (0% owned) –  16 Pts (6-13 FG, 1-2 3PT, 3-3 FT)/3 Reb/7 Ast

James has been a guy who has been working hard at a comeback to the NBA, playing in the D-League for most of the time. He was signed to a 10-day contract with the Bulls since Derrick Rose is still having problems with his back. This was only his second game that he played in, and he played in only 23 minutes of this game, but still put up that line which was the 14th best of the night! One of the best parts too was that he had no turnovers. Still, D Rose is expected back soon and unless he has a setback, or CJ Watson gets hurt, I wouldn’t expect the Bulls to keep James around, so as a fantasy owner, this type of performance might be a one-time type of thing. Keep your eye on him in case of injuries to Watson or Rose, but otherwise he is best left for the free agent pool.

While these guys weren’t the best of the best, they certainly had their owners smiling after their performance. As I always say, In the words of Cleveland fans (myself included), “There’s always next year,” or, in this case, next game.

That’s it for this edition of “Line of the Night,” but make sure to check back tonight/tomorrow to see who takes home the award.

“Line of the Night”

For those of you who don’t know, this is a post I do every day or night that pays homage to the guys out there ballin’ hard and making their fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was pretty much a full night around the league which is regular for a Wednesday. Here’s the latest edtion of “Line of the Night” for Wednesday, February 15th, 2012.

So who was the main man tonight? Josh Smith! That’s right, J-Smoove takes the cake for a second time. He is the first guy to win “Line of the Night” twice and it goes to show how great of a fantasy potential he has. He can easily give you the best fantasy value on any given night, but consistency is what he needs to work on (along with threes and FT%). You should expect nothing less than elite fantasy play from Smith the rest of the year. Check out tonight’s line, which is absolutely unreal:

  • 30 Pts (12-23 FG, 2-3 3PT, 4-6 FT)/17 Reb/7 Ast/4 Stl/3 Blk/4 TO

Keep smiling Smith owners, keep smiling!


While J-Smoove reigns supreme for a night (again), let’s take a look at the guys who came oh-so-close to being awarded the “Line of the Night” award. Rounding out the top 5 are:

2. Kevin Martin – 32 Pts (10-18 FG, 4-7 3PT, 8-8 FT)/1 Reb/3 Ast/2 Stl/1 TO

3. Ryan Anderson – 27 Pts (9-12 FG, 7-10 3PT, 2-2 FT)/2 Reb/1 Stl/1 TO

4. Marreese Speights – 20 Pts (10-13 FG, 0-1 FT)/18 Reb/1 Ast/2 Blk

5. Deron Williams – 26 Pts (9-18 FG, 4-10 3PT, 4-4 FT)/1 Reb/11 Ast/2 Stl/1 Blk/4 TO

 

*Suprising Line of the Night*

  • Marco Belinelli (7% owned) –  22 Pts (7-10 FG, 6-7 3PT, 2-2 FT)/4 Reb/2 Ast

Once word broke that Eric Gordon would need another arthroscopic surgery on his knee and would be out for another six weeks, I’m sure all Marco Belinelli owners were elated! Yes, all 7% of you that owned Belinelli probably jumped for joy that you were going to get at least six more weeks of starter’s minutes out of him so that he can give you occasionally productive nights. Belinelli’s line from tonight was the sixth best line of the night and the six threes were a career high. The only way he’ll ever give you that type of production is if he shoots efficiently with low turnovers. Given that he should get 30+ minutes a night in a starter’s role, I would suggest grabbing him if you need help in scoring or threes, but don’t expect much else from him.

While these guys weren’t the best of the best, they certainly had their owners smiling after their performance. As I always say, In the words of Cleveland fans (myself included), “There’s always next year,” or, in this case, next game.

That’s it for this edition of “Line of the Night,” but make sure to check back tonight/tomorrow to see who takes home the award.

Top 10 players to never win an NBA title

Earlier this week, I was talking with my Baseline Hoops co-workers and the topic of the top players to never win a ring came up.  Our one writer made a bold claim that Allen Iverson is one of the top five players that played the game to never win a championship.  First, let me say that growing up I was the biggest Allen Iverson fan that there was.  As much as I liked Iverson and his heart, I can’t put him as one of the top-five players to never win a ring.  Once we had a good debate going, we thought it would be interesting to list our top players to never win a ring and see where they landed on our respective lists.  So without further adieu, here are my top-10 players to never win an NBA title.

1.) Elgin Baylor –  Baylor was one of the best players in the league for over 10 years. With a career average of 27.4 points per game, Baylor averaged 38.3 in 1961-1962 season.  He was Rookie of the Year, an 11-time All-Star, and made the All-NBA First Team 11 consecutive seasons from 1959 to 1969.  Baylor led the Lakers to eight NBA finals, but unfortunately had to face the Boston Celtics seven times during their remarkable feat of eight straight NBA titles.  Baylor and the Lakers also fell victim to the New York Knicks in 1969-1970 as Willis Reed carried the Knicks to victory.  When Baylor finally retired due to injuries in 1972, the Lakers finally won the title.

2.) Karl Malone – Malone is arguably the best power forward to ever play the game.  Malone was voted one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players, is a 14-time All-star, a 14-time All NBA selection (11-time First Team selection), and a two-time NBA MVP (one of nine players to win MVP of the league more than once).  Malone is second all-time in scoring with 36,374 points and averaged 25 points per game in his career.  Malone made the NBA Finals three times, twice as a member of the Utah Jazz and once in his only season as a Laker.  The Lakers fell short to the Pistons that year even with a lineup that featured “The Mailman, Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

3.)  Charles Barkley – “Sir Charles” Barkley was voted one of the 50 greatest players, is an 11-time All-star, a two-time Olympic Gold medal winner, a five-time All NBA team selection and the 1993 NBA MVP.  Barkley stood only 6’6, but was a force on the block as an undersized power forward.  Barkley consistently outrebounded other players and posted a career-high in rebounds in 1987 with 14.6 per game.  Barkley only  made the finals one year where he was bested by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in 1993.

4.)  John Stockton – Malone and Stockton are one of the best duos of all-time in the NBA in my opinion.  The pick-and-roll was made famous and was perfected by the two under the tutelage of Hall of Fame Coach Jerry Sloan.  One of the 50 greatest players, Stockton is the NBA all-time assists and steals leader with over 15,000 assists and 3200 steals. He led the NBA in assists in nine consecutive seasons. Stockton is a 10-time All-star and 11-time All NBA selection. Regarded as one of the best pure point guards in the league, Stockton led the Utah Jazz to the postseason in 18 consecutive seasons.  He made two NBA finals appearances with Malone, falling to the Bulls both times.

5.) George Gervin – “The Iceman” is one of the most legendary players to ever play the game and he sadly never had the chance to walk away with a NBA title.  Gervin had a great ABA and NBA career in which he totaled 26,595 total points. Gervin won four scoring titles (only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan have more), played in nine straight NBA All-Star games, and finished second twice behind Bill Walton and Moses Malone respectively for NBA MVP honors. Known for his famous finger roll, launched from his fingertips while gliding through the lane, Gervin averaged 26.2 points in his NBA career and made it to three conference finals before losing to the eventual NBA champion Washington Bullets in 1979 Eastern Conference Finals, and the Lakers in 1982 and ’83 Western Conference Finals.

6.) Patrick Ewing – I may have Ewing higher on the list than most, but I truly feel he was one of the best big men to ever play the game of basketball.  Ewing, now a coach in Orlando who works with Dwight Howard on his low-post moves, was the No. 1 pick of the 1985 draft, the prize of the first ever Draft Lottery. Ewing led the New York Knicks back to relevance in the late 1980′s and made them a perennial contender in the 1990′s. He was voted one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all-time, is a two-time Gold medal winner, 11-time All-star and had one of the sweetest jump shots by a 7-footer. Ewing, who guaranteed an NBA title more than once during his career, fell short to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls three-straight seasons in three different rounds of the playoffs (1991 first round, 1992 Eastern Conference Semifinals, 1993 Eastern Conference Finals) and missed a golden opportunity to win the ring in 1994 up 3-2 against the Houston Rockets in the Finals. The rest of Ewing’s Knicks career was filled with heartbreak as they lost the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Indiana Pacers after blowing Game 1 at home and missing a Game 7 finger roll.

7.) Pete Maravich – “Pistol” Pete was a college legend (averaged over 40 points a game in all four seasons at LSU) who brought his  game to the NBA in 1970. He was a five-time All-star, four time All-NBA selection, and was voted one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest players. In 10 full seasons playing for the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Jazz in the NBA, Maravich worked magic with the basketball. He led the NBA in scoring in 1977 and wowed the crowd with his blacktop style of basketball. Maravich scored a career high 68 points and scored over 40 points in a game numerous times in his career en route to a 24.2 points per game career average. Knee injuries cut his career short in 1980 and he died of a heart attack in 1988 while playing a pick up game.

8.)  Dominique Wilkins – Wilkins is a nine-time NBA All-Star who played for the Atlanta Hawks in the 1980′s. With a career average just under 25 points per game Wilkins is one of 12 NBA players to score more than 25,000 points in his career.  Wilkins’ only scoring title came in 1986 when he averaged 30.3 points.  Wilkins is best known for his highlight reel dunks that won him two slam dunk titles in 1985 and 1990. Despite being a career 32-point per game scorer in the postseason, Wilkins never reached the NBA Finals.

9.) Allen Iverson –  Iverson, who has had his name tossed around in rumors lately about a possible return to the NBA with the Lakers or playing ball in Puerto Rico with the likes of Rashad McCants, is one of the best, yet controversial players of all-time.  Iverson, who won the Rookie of the Year award in 1996, famously crossed over Jordan and showed the NBA that he had arrived.  He won four NBA scoring titles, was an 11-time All-Star, and the 2001 NBA MVP. In 2001 Iverson led the Philadelphia 76ers to his only NBA Finals appearance against the vaunted Los Angeles Lakers. In Game 1, Iverson had his way with the Shaquille O’Neal-led Lakers with 48 points giving L.A. their only loss of the post season.

10.) Reggie Miller – Miller, known for his trash talking antics, is arguably the best shooter of all-time.  Miller played all 18 years of his professional ball with the Indiana Pacers and was the career leader in three-pointers until he was passed by Boston Celtics’ Ray Allen.  Miller made one NBA Finals appearance in his career against the Lakers in 2000, but came out on the wrong side.