Andre Drummond, future beast (USAT)
Andre Drummond has the sixth-most dunks in the NBA despite averaging just 20:11 mpg. He’s one of only six players in the league to average at least 1.5 bpg and 1.0 spg and among those half dozen, his 0.8 tpg are easily the fewest. Drummond has grabbed 32 rebounds over the past two games (in modest playing time as usual), and did I mention he’s just 19 years old? Admittedly, he’s a terrible free throw shooter (he shot 29.5 percent from the line at Connecticut. 29.5!), but Drummond’s 3.92 blocks per-48 minutes rank seventh in the league, ahead of Dwight Howard. Playing with a true point guard (Jose Calderon) for the first time as a pro should be beneficial as well. In fact, he'll go from playing with a PG with the NBA's worst A:T ratio to one with the league's best. Drummond’s per-36 numbers: 13.3 ppg, 13.7 rpg, 1.7 spg and 2.9 bpg. The only rookie to ever put up a 13-13-2 season was Shaquille O’Neal. I sure hope Greg Monroe learns how to play the four, as someone as raw as Drummond showing this kind of development so soon reveals scary potential. If the 2012 draft were held again, he’d almost certainly be taken third.
In case you missed it, here’s LeBron James tackling a fan after he made a half court shot worth $75K.
Here’s Super Mario Bros finished in less than 5:20. This guy is legit.
It’s funny Chris Bosh’s horrible flop comes against a serial offender in Reggie Evans.
A quick breakdown of the Memphis/Toronto/Detroit trade that saw Rudy Gay get shipped to the Raptors, with the Grizzlies getting Ed Davis, Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye in return while the Pistons acquired Jose Calderon. Memphis avoids taking a luxury tax hit by making the deal, as they clearly believe they can remain contenders despite dealing the team’s leading scorer (they made it to Game 7 against OKC in the second round of the playoffs two years ago without Gay, although O.J. Mayo was a prominent member then). Dealing Gay makes sense from a financial standpoint long term, although it’s unclear why they had to include a first round pick as well. In purely fantasy terms, Gay’s move is likely lateral, while Kyle Lowry gets a huge boost, as he’s back to being the main PG option in Toronto not having to split time with Calderon. Lowry has averaged 15.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.6 bpg and 1.7 3pt when starting this season, and he’s been the 36th most valuable fantasy player despite coming off the bench during half of his games. Bottom line, he’ll be a fantasy star from here on out if he can stay healthy, but that’s a big if considering his recent history.
Speaking of awesome coaches, here’s a basketball one dropping a dime.
Ed Davis was finally coming into his own in January, averaging 13.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg and 1.0 bpg while shooting 54.7 percent from the floor, but he’ll now be in a bench role in Memphis, so he clearly loses value (although there was no sure thing he’d remain a starter once Toronto got fully healthy). The same could be said for DeMar DeRozan, as while he may remain in the starting five, he’ll have to cede plenty of shots to Gay, and rookie Terrence Ross is coming on as well. DeRozan has a new big contract that should help him continue to get minutes, but his scoring will almost certainly go down. Other fantasy winners in this deal include Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, as their usage rates should jump with Gay gone. Finally, the other ramification is Jose Calderon taking over PG duties in Detroit, moving Brandon Knight to shooting guard. The Pistons move made sense financially in trading a long-term contract in Prince for an expiring deal in Calderon, but it also was helpful on the court, as the team may have finally admitted Knight isn’t a true PG. As previously mentioned, among qualifying point guards, Calderon’s 4.59 assist:turnover ratio ranks first in the NBA, while Knight’s (1.45) ranks dead last, so it’s safe to say finally having a true distributor should result in an upgrade for all of the Pistons.
Lie Witness News: Did you watch the Super Bowl?
Here’s a huge light fixture falling on a high school wrestler in the middle of a match.
Nice to see Andrew Bogut make an unexpected early return, and while his minutes will be limited, and he won’t play on back-to-backs for now, the big man has been solid since returning, averaging 10.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 3.5 bpg in just 24:34 mpg. Bogut will always be a major injury risk, but he also remains one of the more productive big men in the league when on the court - he played just 12 games last year but was on par with Dwight Howard in fantasy value on a per game basis. Bogut ranked a modest 65th in 2010/11 thanks mostly to poor free throw shooting, but he came in at 25th the year prior. Speaking of bigs on Golden State, David Lee has been the 20th most valuable fantasy player this season, and his defense has gone from terrible to just below average. Among those who are center eligible, Lee’s 80.2 free throw percentage is eighth best in the NBA, and he leads the league with 30 double-doubles. He’s one of only two players to average at least 11.0 rpg (11.1) and 3.0 apg (3.9), although to be fair Lee’s 0.2 bpg leave a lot to be desired. Still, assuming Stephen Curry’s recent ankle injury isn’t serious, this Warriors team is interesting, as they currently rank eighth in Efficiency Differential without having Bogut for the majority of the year.
Is this the greatest scene in the history of movies? (actually, this appears to be more of a “film” than a movie)
Here’s a car getting cut off by a tank, as Russia never disappoints.
What a tough break for Rajon Rondo owners, as he was having the best fantasy season of his career. He didn’t make the huge leap in scoring many expected entering the year despite recording career highs in mpg (37:23), FGA (12.2), and Usage Rate (21.36), as his 13.7 ppg was the same mark he posted in 2009/10. But Rondo contributed plenty elsewhere, as although his 3.9 tpg were a killer, his 5.6 rpg were the most among all point guards in the league, and no other player was even close to his 11.1 apg (next best is Chris Paul at 9.7). The problem for fantasy owners is that there is no big beneficiary to replace him, as Boston will mostly use a combination of Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa with Rondo out.
Here’s Phil Mickelson trying to become the sixth golfer ever to record an under-60 round.
Dirk Nowitzki is averaging his fewest rpg (5.5), spg (0.3) and ppg (14.8) since his rookie season, while his FG% (42.5) and FT% (79.0) are also his worst marks since his first year in the league. It’s not exactly surprising he’s off to a slow start after missing the first 27 games of the year after undergoing knee surgery, but his last game marked the first time he surpassed 20 points this season, so Nowitzki hasn’t even resembled the player he once was. After being on a minutes limit when he first returned, he’s been up to 33:47 mpg since rejoining the starting lineup 12 games ago, but curiously, his Usage Rate (23.11) is easily the lowest it’s ever been since the stat was created, and this while playing for a depleted Mavericks team in need of scorers. There’s no reason to be overly alarmed considering the circumstances, and it’s safe to expect him to finish much higher than his current fantasy rank (108th), but it’s just surprising Nowitzki has yet to record double digit rebounds in a game this season, and he hasn’t recorded a single steal or block in any of his past three contests. Moreover, Nowitzki sat out Thursday’s contest against the Warriors with a strained adductor, and while the injury isn’t expected to be serious, it’s another reminder the 34-year-old is now up to 1,201 career games played (including the postseason), and he’s officially entered the decline phase.
“The Americans” was pretty much a perfect pilot. Count me in.
Police Blotter: While not quite as extreme as this amateur sketch, this one is just barely more believable…Bullet kills driver after “freak rebound” off boar…Prostitution ring lures woman straight to police...Man steals ambulance, then steals two cars, then tries to steal horses.
This man was shot in the eye this week and will likely lose all vision in it as a result, but he was much more upset over CM Punk’s title loss.
Quick Hits: Tim Duncan has been in the league 16 years. His current 82.6 free throw percentage is the best of his career and the fifth best among those center eligible. His 2.7 bpg are also tied for his most since 2003/04. These are pretty remarkable feats for someone with 1,343 career games played (including the playoffs)…Over his last five games, Michael Beasley has averaged 18.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.2 spg and 0.8 3pt while shooting 53.4 percent from the field. He continues to come off the bench, but he’s averaged 14.6 FGA over that span, as new coach Lindsey Hunter is clearly going to give him a much bigger opportunity moving forward. He’s a must add as a result…Not that he’s exactly a 9-cat fantasy stud, but it’s too bad Glen Davis just couldn’t stay healthy this year. Moreover, there’s no real obvious beneficiary on Orlando who can be picked up with Big Baby out…The Nuggets have attempted 35.6 shots per game at the rim this season. Next highest is Houston at 30.6. Although flipped, those two teams also happen to have the highest Pace this year. Funny thing about the Rockets is their 28.2 3-point attempts per game are also the second-most ever since the league started keeping track of this stuff, second only to this year’s Knicks (28.7). So Houston has been running quite the extreme inside-out system so far this season.
Longreads of the Week: Here’s Chuck Klosterman interviewing Royce White examining mental illness…Grown Men Playing Tag…This is one of my favorite movie reviews ever, and I haven’t even seen “Trouble With The Curve.”
Quick Hits Part Deux: Over his last four games, Nate Robinson has averaged 20.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.8 spg and 2.0 3pt, shooting 56.9 percent from the floor. His fantasy owners certainly aren’t clamoring for a speedy Derrick Rose return…Roy Hibbert continues to struggle from in close, shooting 48.1 percent at the rim – by far the lowest among centers as well as all players who’ve attempted at least 4.0 shots per game. League average is 64.7 percent. Hibbert is shooting 44.4 percent from 10-15 feet (league average is 41.7 percent). Go figure…Over the last two weeks, Kyle Korver has been the No. 3 ranked fantasy player…Oklahoma City’s Efficiency Differential of 10.3 is the second best among all teams since Hoop Data started tracking it in 2006/07. The only other better was Boston back in 2007/08, which was a Celtics team that upset the Lakers in the Finals.