Basket Brawlers Fantasy Basketball Four-Cast

Your personal Fantasy Basketball cheat sheet

Welcome to the first weekly segment of the Basket Brawlers Fantasy Basketball Four-Cast. This will be a weekly post that we will provide every Saturday to help you dominate your fantasy league as we approach the trade deadline and fantasy play-offs.

By this point, you probably have your core players locked in, so we are here to help you make the under-the-radar moves that will push you to the top of your own fantasy basketball leagues! With our rotating panel of expert fantasy Basket Brawlers, we’ll outline recommended moves that we think will make the difference.

From here until the end of the season we will break down the following categories in 140 characters or less:

1) Fantasy line of the week
2) Fantasy sleeper pickup of the week (less than 20% owned in 12 team leagues)
3) Top sell high candidates
4) Top drop candidates of the week

Joining me on the expert panel of fantasy basketball analysts this week is none other than Adam Johal and Jordan Taylor who have both won fantasy leagues in the past and know what it takes to win! So…lets get to it!

1) Fantasy line of the week

Adam Johal’s pick 
James Harden 
56 Pts, 10 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 16/34 Fg, 21/23 ft, 5 threes
01/16/2019 vs MEM

Harden is lighting the league on fire and Wednesday night showcased him at the height of his powers. 

Jordan Taylor’s pick
Steph Curry
41 Pts, 5 Ast, 3 Reb, 11/22 Fg, 10/10 Ft, 9 threes
01/16/2019 vs NOP

This game didn’t need any other mentions as it was already the highest offensively paced game this week, but Steph Curry still managed to shine above the rest. He hit 9 threes on the way to GSW’s win and kept his ridiculous streak of 8+ 3pm for the past three games. He cooled down Friday night and returned to mortal numbers, but we are in the presence of the greatest shooter of all time – so enjoy it.

Rajan Sharma’s pick
Kyrie Irving 
38 Pts, 7 Reb, 11 Ast, 1 Blk, 14/21 Fg, 6/9 ft, 4 threes
01/18/2019 vs MEM

Uncle Drew now has 29 assists over his last 2 games, including a career high 18 assists vs the East leading Raptors (and #1 on our weekly power rankings: ) on Wednesday night…maybe he should call out his teammates more often?

2) Fantasy sleeper pickup of the week

Adam Johal’s pick
Richaun Holmes, Phoenix Suns
15% owned
13.5 pts/6.0 reb/0.5blks in the last 7 days

Holmes has had some great 9-cat stats, including great assist and steal potential for a center.

Jordan Taylor’s pick
Kenneth Faried, Free Agent
0.8% owned

The manimal has been waived by the Brooklyn Nets and intends to sign with the Houston Rockets where he will soak up all the missed shots from Harden with Clint Capella out recovering from surgery on his hand. Take the flier and benefit from a boost in rebounds.

Rajan Sharma’s pick
DeMarre Carroll, Brooklyn Nets
16.5% owned
14.0 pts/7.7 reb/1.7 threes per game in the last 7 days

With injuries to many of their key wings, the Nets have called upon Carroll to play all the minutes he can handle. He can be relied on in the short term to provide a boost in scoring, rebounding, and triples.

3) Top Sell High Candidates

Adam Johal’s pick
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

Beal has been on a torrid pace lately, but now is the time to maximize his trade value.

Jordan Taylor’s pick 
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

With Boogie back in the fold you can expect Green’s already dismal shot attempts and numbers to continue on a downward trend. Draymond has the intangibles for the Warriors that just won’t transfer over to the fantasy stat sheet. Having Boogie last night confirmed you will get the same Draymond with Cousins in the lineup, but how long will it last? See if you can get a high round point guard for your troubles

Rajan Sharma’s pick
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

With the Grizzlies having cooled off since their blistering start and free agency looming ahead for their star big man, look for Memphis to be sellers this trade deadline and shift in to more of a youth movement going forward.

4) Top Drop Candidates

Adam Johal’s pick
Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns

Jackson seemed to be heating up start the new year but has fallen off a cliff his last two outings with Booker back in the lineup. Feel free to give him the snip if you’re eying someone on the wire.

Jordan Taylor’s pick
All Houston Rockets Not Named James Harden

With the beard going on his offensive tear this month, touches for the rest of the team are few and far between. Search the waiver wire somewhere else because the likes of PJ Tucker, Austin Rivers, and Gerald Green won’t get it done for you consistently to warrant keeping them.

Rajan Sharma’s pick
JaVale McGee, Los Angeles Lakers

Well, the JaVale McGee feel good story is now over. He has been bumped down to 3rd string after Ivica Zubac has rushed the scene and stolen the hearts of the Laker Faithful. Time to cut ties here unless you are desperate for shot blocking.

Thats all for this week! Hope you can take away some knowledge from the expert analysis above. Check back in next Saturday for more Fantasy Basketball Four-Cast from your favourite Basketball Know-It-Alls!

The Impact of a King

Obviously, LeBron is a major piece of whatever team he belongs to. Even still, it’s astonishing how much of an impact he has when he gets sidelined.

LeBron has been out since December 25th and since then, the Lakers are 4-7. Believe it or not, that’s actually one of the better records by a LeBron team when he is removed from action.

2018-2019 LA Lakers4-7
2017-2018 Cleveland CavaliersDid not miss a game
2016-2017 Cleveland Cavaliers0-8
2015-2016 Cleveland Cavaliers1-5

It’s surprising that those Cavalier teams with Kyrie and Kevin Love couldn’t secure a few more wins with the King off the court. To be fair, those two were rested with LeBron for some of those games, but it almost seems like teams become complacent when you lean on the King. You know on any given night that LeBron could easily get a triple-double, so I believe that players start to let off the throttle. When LeBron is sitting, the floor falls out beneath them and they can’t find a way to fill the gap.

Photo credit to

Whether you agree with my theory or not, it holds true that a young team who are trying to make a name for themselves may be more likely to break through this barrier and scrap out a few wins without him. As a Lakers fan, you should be happy with their record sans-LeBron. He’s cleared for practice starting next week, and you hope that the young guns carry some of this swagger through when he’s back.


LeBron does much more than just impact the team in the W column, he has also been a tampering GM if you’d believe a small portion of the leagues managers. People love to joke that LeBron controls a team top down. When he returned to Cleveland, it was somewhat plausible. Now Magic is the boss but people still think that LeBron himself is driving the acquisition of the Brow, stating that he wants to play with MVP candidate Anthony Davis after the upcoming off-season.

That’s because he is, and it’s completely allowed.

If any other player was recruiting top tier talent in this fashion, GMs wouldn’t even flinch. But because LeBron is believed to have a significant amount of pull in the front office, people are clambering for a tampering crack-down on the King. Rightfully so, LeBron responded as follows:

Asked by reporters after the Lakers’ 112-104 win over Davis and the Pelicans if in hindsight his comments were “wrong,” James shot back, “No, of course not.”
“Ask me would I like to play with Kevin Durant? Ask me right now,” he told the press scrum around his locker.
“Would you like to play with Kevin Durant?” a reporter asked.
“Absolutely,” James said. “Ask me if I would like to play with Jimmy Butler.”
“Would you like to play with Jimmy Butler?” the reporter asked.
“Ask me about Kyrie Irving,” James said. “Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. Ask me about [Joel] Embiid. Ben Simmons. Go ahead. All of them. Luka Doncic. Ask me right now. Come on guys, it is not rocket science. It is not rocket science. These are great players. Absolutely, I would want to play with a lot of great players, that is just who I am. So? People get caught up in bunches. Sometimes they wish they could control what you say and they can’t control me. At all. And I play by the rules.”

Anthony Davis’ upcoming off-season has been a hot topic this season; even Kevin Garnett has stated that AD needs to go play with LeBron.

Regardless of whether Kawhi, AD, KD, or anyone else decides to take their talents to Hollywood, LeBron is playing some of the best basketball we’ve ever seen. He’s performed better through the first 30 games with the Lakers than any other team in his past. Every year people think he’ll drop off, and every year he outperforms himself. All I can say is, Lakers fans must be happy campers right now. The Lakers are locked in for four more years of LeBron and starting next year they’ll have more cap space than Anthony Davis has eyebrow. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take a title with LeBron on the roster.

Christmas 2018

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when Bucks land in New York,
Giannis is coming, to own their home court.

The Thunder and Rockets will meet down in Houston,
With no CP3, the Rockets are losin’.

Phili at Boston will sure be a treat,
I bet Embiid will get fined, from a following tweet.

LeBron and the Lakers will take on the champs,
When the good King is rolling, they at least stand a chance.

Finishing off with Mitchell, CJ, and Dame,
The Blazers will win on the last Christmas game.

Every year, the stockings are hung and the tree is decorated. People traverse ice-ridden roads and packed airports with canceled flights, all so they can reach their families and spend some time together for the holidays. As an NBA fan, it also means one of the biggest events the season has to offer. The honour of playing basketball on Christmas day is full of history. The NBA and media has always had some fun with it, creating some highlight videos all findable on YouTube. Here’s my favourite:

Only the best teams and biggest markets get to face off on December 25th, each earning their own custom jersey for the day. This year is no different, with 10 teams facing off in five back-to-back games. I’ll give a short break down of each matchup below and include my pick to win.

9 a.m. PT

Milwaukee Bucks
New York Knicks

Now here is a great example of an excellent team vs. a big market. The Bucks are second best in the league as of December 23rd and carry one of the best up-and-coming talent’s this league can offer in Giannis Antetokounmpo. They will open their gifts all over the lowly 9-25 New York Knicks who are hoping for a Christmas miracle.

DRAY’S PICK: Bucks run away with this one in the first half.

12 p.m. PT

Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets

If you told me at the beginning of the season that one of these teams is currently 7th in the West and the other is 2nd, I would of completely believed that. If you told me that it was the Rockets and the Thunder, respectively, I would not have. It’s no secret the Rockets have been struggling, and now CP3 has gone down again, this time with a strained left hamstring. It feels like the Rockets haven’t gotten any better than last year, but the rest of the league has caught up in many ways. Maybe a big win on Christmas day is enough to jump start the Rockets, but the Thunder are not to be trifled with these days. Because of that…

DRAY’S PICK: I’ll take the Thunder here.

2:30 p.m. PT

Philadelphia 76ers
Boston Celtics

A potential prelude for the first round matchup in the Eastern playoffs, the Sixers and Celtics game could be my pick to watch on the big day. Boston hasn’t been what people were expecting so far this year, but I have full confidence that they will make some noise when the bright lights are on them. The Sixers are right about where most people would of pegged them: continuing to develop a talented young core but now have the added benefit of All-Star Jimmy Butler. After the season opener, Joel Embiid said that the Celtics rivalry wasn’t really a rivalry since “…They always kick our ass”. Well, now that Jimmy Buckets is around that may not be the case.

DRAY’S PICK: Sixers in a tight one.

5 p.m. PT

Los AngJameslos Lakers
Golden State Warriors

LeBron has been putting in work for the Lakers, surpassing even what most people thought he was still capable of when arriving on the sunny coast at the beginning of this season. If you thought he was past his prime, you too have continued to be amazed. The Warriors are still the titans to beat here, but LeBron loves to show up for the big games, and Christmas day in California definitely fits that bill.

DRAY’S PICK: Warriors win, LeBron gets 27-7-7.

7:30 p.m. PT

Portland Trailblazers
Utah Jazz

I love that the NBA included this game for Christmas. Personally, I would of preferred to have seen Denver on the slate in the place of Utah, but watching Donovan Mitchell in big moments never seems to disappoint. Of course, it’s always a pleasure to watch Dame D.O.L.L.A. and CJ McCollum trade shots on the floor like dueling banjos as well, so all-in-all I think it will be a good finish to a packed day of ball. As far as who’s the favourite? Come on…

DRAY’S PICK: Portland by a fair margin.

Am I wrong or am I right? Sound off in the comments below.

NBA Power Rankings – Week 7

There’s a lot of movement in the top 5 and top 10 this week. Come check it out! See how the Raptors, Warriors, Bucks and dare I say, CLIPPERS did in week 7. The landscape of the NBA is changing before our very eyes this season! Let us know what you think of our rankings if you don’t agree.

By Any Other Name

Any basketball fan can remember it. 2012 Playoffs, Chicago vs. Philapelphia. The youngest MVP to ever win the award collapses to the floor and needs to be helped off the court. Chicago fans and NBA enthusiasts around the world held their breath waiting for the result of the MRI. When it was reported that Rose tore his ACL in his left knee, the NBA world’s collective hearts sank. The explosive nature of his game did not lend itself well to this kind of injury, and everyone knew the road back would be difficult, if not impossible.

After missing the entire 2012-2013 season, Adidas and Rose teamed up for a momentous comeback. #TheReturn was coined and marketed to bring Rose back into relevance, and I was fully on board.

The league was electrified for the return of the MVP. Was he back to his old explosive self? Could he be even better? After his first pre-season game back in Chicago against the Detroit Pistons on October 16, 2013, Rose was quoted saying:

“I think I’m way more explosive now. Like getting to the rim. I think I can take contact a little bit better. And as far as jumping-wise, I think I can jump even higher. They tested my vertical — I increased it by 5 inches”

 Friedell, Nick (October 17, 2013). “Derrick Rose: I’m more explosive now” Retrieved November 23, 2013.

People started to believe he was back despite a slow start to the season. That is, until November 22nd, 2013 where Rose injured his right knee playing against the Portland Trail Blazers. Fans were devastated when they found out that Rose had torn his meniscus in his right knee and after a successful surgery, would be out for the remainder of the 2013-2014 season. 

Fast forward to the 2016 off-season. Rose is back again and showing flashes of his former self. After stringing together an injury free 2015-2016 campaign, Rose is traded to the New York Knicks. He begins 2016-2017 well until the turn of the new year. On January 9th, 2017, it wasn’t an injury that plagued Rose but a personal choice. He flew to Chicago and no-showed for a game against the Pelicans without notifying any team officials.

Now fans begin to question his dedication not only to his teammates and franchise, but to the game of basketball itself. To make matters worse, Rose then tore the meniscus in his left knee on April 2nd, 2017 forcing him to undergo his fourth knee surgery in nine years.

His contract was up during his rehab, and he decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2017-2018 season, hoping to contribute to a perennial Finals contender and help LeBron James take down the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, Rose didn’t make it that far, leaving the team on November 24th, 2017 to “re-evaluate his future in the NBA”. At this point, murmurs began agreeing that Rose should just hang up the sneakers. Between his ailing knees, mental wariness caused by continual injuries, and the inability to play his style of ball, Rose was not even a shadow of his former self. Despite the media backlash and self-doubt, he decided to try another comeback, rehabilitating an ankle injury with the Cavs until he returned on January 18th, 2018. Less than a month later, Rose was traded to the Utah Jazz who immediately waived him.

Rose never claimed to care about the money, but he would be leaving more than $80 million on the table in a contract with Adidas should he never step foot on a court again. Even if he wanted to comeback, what team would take a player with four knee surgeries, a history of letting his teammates down, and has publicly questioned whether he wants to be playing this sport?

Enter the Timberbulls.

Thibs is crazy. Although it’s not mentioned above, coach Tom Thibodeau was step-for-step on this journey with Rose up until he was traded to the Knicks. In the midst of everything else going on, Thibs is let go from the Bulls (another post perhaps) and subsequently given the GM/coaching gig in Minnesota. Thibs is met with young talent that is not yet accustomed to his style of play. So what would anyone do with the power of a GM and the system of a coach?  Go get your boys back.

Thibs went on a tear, acquiring Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Luol Deng to bring in the veteran presence with experience in the defensive system Thibs was hoping to bestow on the Twin Cities. 

So what do we have now for our hero? A last chance. An opportunity with his old coach and teammates to try to turn back the clock one more time before being forced out of the league forever. Rose knew this of course, and to the amazement of everyone pulling for him he has once again begun to take the NBA back by storm. His season thus far has been great, but if you had to pinpoint the game that set the world on fire, look no further than Halloween of 2018 against the very team that waived him less than a year ago. The former MVP showed what he was still capable of, scoring 50 points on 4/7 three-point shooting, a known weak-spot in his dramatic career. After sealing the game with a block, Rose succumbed to emotion.

It’s clear this was built up over the past eight years. Rose went from the youngest MVP with the brightest future, to likely being kicked out of the league as the only MVP to never see the Hall-of-Fame. This performance was his answer to the question of whether he was going to give up or not. This game could very well be a defining moment not only in his career, but his entire life. The weight of this event is what caused the emotional reaction in the interview, and watching it live evoked the same thing in me.

What impresses me most is that it didn’t stop here. Rose has kept his foot on the gas this month shotting a blistering 63% from deep and arguably being the best player on a T-Wolves team packed with talent. And now, with the Butler debacle finally over, Rose has a clear path to continue this amazing run that we’ve been waiting for since 2013.

So if you’re a basketball fan, if you were a part of the hype in the early 2010’s, or if you just like a good story, sit back and enjoy witnessing the long awaited comeback five years later than expected.

A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet

The New Regime

The NBA officially crossed over into the third week of this young 2018-2019 NBA season, when Klay Thompson accomplished another remarkable feat. On October 29, 2018, Klay Thompson, Splash Bros. #2, drowned the young Chicago Bulls and the rest of the United Center, in Chicago, with 14 three-pointers. Like the fabled gladiator of legend, Sparticus, Klay Thompson was certainly the Bringer of Rain on Monday night. Although this type of individual performance from beyond three doesn’t happen every night, there is no doubt that the NBA is now a three-point shooting league. How has the NBA and its teams evolved into emphasizing a style of play that is so incredibly three-point shooting dominant? What do the historic three-point shooting statistics indicate about past, current, and future changes in the way basketball is played in the NBA? Allow me to apply a “scientific” theory of explaining what the three-point shot has done to NBA basketball.

If my booze hampered memory from university serves me correctly (and perhaps a quick Google search), the Regime Shift Theory (or Ball-and-Cup) goes something like this… According to

Regime shifts result from a change in the dominant feedbacks. All complex systems contain many feedback loops, but these can typically evolve and combine in only a limited number of ways. Over time, a particular combination of feedbacks will tend to become dominant, leading the system to self-organize into a particular structure and function – or “regime”. However, if the system experiences a large shock (the Phoenix Suns going for 62-20 during the 2004-2005 NBA regular season) or persistent directional change (e.g. the Golden State Warriors dominated the NBA night in, night out on the way to the 2014-2015 NBA Larry O’Brien trophy) the dominant feedbacks may be overwhelmed or eroded. At some point a critical threshold may be passed where a different set of feedbacks become dominant, and the system experiences a large, often abrupt change in structure and function – or a “regime shift”.
Image retrieved from:

Let’s review the 2005-2006 NBA Regular Season and apply what we have now learned about the things necessary to create a regime shift in a complex system, like the way the game of basketball is played in the NBA. According to’s “Advanced Stats”, during this season, the Phoenix Suns were the first team to have a seasonal average of 10 3PM/Game or more, gunning in 10.2 3PM/Game. How was this achieved? The answer is: Coach Mike D’Antoni’s “Seven Seconds or Less” offense, consisting of a high tempo, run-and-gun style of play with a strong emphasis on pick-and-rolls and of course, three-point shooting. However, the turning point in the three-point shooting revolution came a season earlier, during the 2004-2005 NBA Regular Season, when the Phoenix Suns finished with a record of 62-20. In my opinion, this season serves as the tipping point towards the NBA of the future, even if the Phoenix Suns only hit a measly 9.7 3PM/Game. However, it’s clear that in those initial two regular seasons, with Mike D’Antoni at the helm, the Suns had tapped into something great. The blistering pace of the games mixed in with buzzer beating 3’s made for games that were fun as hell to watch! NBA teams during D’Antoni and Nash’s first two years together, and the way basketball had been played and coached in the NBA up to this point, both received “a large shock”.

Image retrieved from:

The first time two NBA teams would both have a seasonal average of 10 or more 3PM/game would be in 2008-2009, with both the New York Knicks and the Orlando Magic averaging 10.0 3PM/game. To me, this is the first sign of the three-point shooting feedback loop coming full circle in the NBA. Since the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season, at least one team has put forth a seasonal average of 10 or more 3PM/game. Roughly three weeks into the 2018-2019 Regular Season, and as of October 30, 2018, there are 24 teams with a season average of 10 or more 3PM/game! Currently, the Milwaukee Bucks lead the league with 15.6 3PM/game! Regime shift.

One of the most defining characteristics of the NBA, and arguably basketball in general, is the sport’s ability to evolve. The American Basketball League (ABL), was the first professional basketball league to officially institute the three-point line into its rules, in 1961. The three-point line would later be instituted into other professional basketball leagues like, the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), in 1967-1968 and 1979 respectively. Basketball legend, George Mikan, who served as commissioner of the ABA, is quoted as describing the three-point shot as something that “would give the smaller player a chance to score and open up the defense to make the game more enjoyable for the fans.” By golly, was Georgie ever right.

The game of basketball as it is played in the NBA, is as fast and wide open as it has ever been. A newly instituted rule for the 2018-2019 NBA Season has helped ensure that games will be played at a faster pace going forward. The Association changed the amount of time that the shot clock resets to after the offensive team retains possession after a missed shot. The time on the shot clock has now been reduced from 24 seconds down to 14 seconds.

“The system experiences a large, often abrupt change in structure and function.”

In addition to the potential for more three-point shooting, what does this rule change mean for pace? Let’s go back to the 2004-2005 NBA Regular Season, one last time. It should be no surprise that the Phoenix Suns led the league in points that season, with 110.4 PTS/game. A total of 6 teams that season averaged over 100 PTS/game during the regular season. What’s the story this current 2018-2019 NBA Regular Season? All 30 NBA teams are averaging over 100 PTS/game, with the Golden State Warriors currently averaging 124.3 (as of October 30, 2018). If this year’s shot clock rule change and the changes to the NBA regular season schedule (where teams play the least amount of back-to-back games in NBA history) indicate anything, it’s that the NBA recognizes the desires of the players, teams, fans, and the league itself.

What is the first desire? Greater career longevity for NBA players. This has been accomplished with more rest time throughout the season and a less physically grinding style of game play for NBA players. And the second desire? Creating an exciting, fast-paced, high-scoring games, which may aid in attracting greater viewership and make NBA games more fun for the casual (and in a lot of cases non-causal) fan to watch. Lastly, and ultimately long-term, both desires equal more money for players, teams, and the Association.

It should be recognized that it is impossible to recognize or predict all the changes and trends that may be linked to the three-point shooting mania currently taking place in the NBA, but if the findings in this article suggest anything, the current regime is here to stay.

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson celebrates after scoring a three pointer against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

Six Games In

As avid NBA consumers, fantasy addicts, and amateur bloggers, we all know that the media and fans love to overreact to the start of the season. Coming from the off-season where digging for solid content needs a bit more work, it feels like story lines write themselves after the first week of regulation play. I, for one, say why try to fight it? So, without further adieu, let’s blow things out of proportion.


Starting in the East, we have the only two remaining undefeated teams, and one lowly winless team who seems to have sipped the Kool-aid of overreaction themselves. Starting at the top first:

Milwaukee Bucks


People knew coming into this season that the Bucks were bound to be better after the coaching turmoil of the 2017-2018 campaign, but coach Bud has given them more than they bargained for. Milwaukee has started 6-0 around All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo with great contributions from newly acquired center Brook Lopez. Lopez is incredibly hot from deep right now averaging 41% on almost three 3PM/game, which has opened lanes for Giannis to get inside. That was a great acquisition to play off of Giannis’ strengths, and guys like borderline All-Star Kris Middleton have shown up this year in a big way to bolster the rest of the roster. To recap, they’ve played the Hornets, Pacers, Knicks, Sixers, T-Wolves, and Magic. Easy schedule may have contributed to this start, but that’s why we call it an overreaction!

Toronto Raptors


More often than not my Raptors writing comes with a hint of distaste. Not because I dislike the team, but more so but I resent the fact that every person thinks that I am Raptors fan because I like the sport of basketball and I happen to live in Canada. Geographically, over half the league is closer to me than Toronto, and I’ve never really been an honest fan of them going back to the Vince days. If anyone cares, my team was moved to OKC after the 07-08 season and has been used as a bargaining chip for franchise owners to leverage money and commitment out of their locale. Soon, Seattle will get a team back, but for now, I’m digressing.

The point I’m making is that even I have to be excited for the Raps right now. Kawhi has performed exactly how he has needed to on both ends of the floor. The team has seamlessly transitioned from DeRozan and Casey to Leonard and Nurse, with decisive wins over conference heavyweights in the Celtics and Wizards already. Their other wins against less than impressive teams, but as of now I have a tough time seeing anyone else coming out of the east. The good news is that either Toronto or Milwaukee will lose their first game as they head-off on Monday, October 29th. Make sure to check that one out.

Cleveland Cavaliers


Time to scrape the bottom of the barrel. I think everyone had a good chuckle when Tristan Thompson spoke about holding the Eastern Conference throne during pre-season.

Still, you would think Kevin Love would be enough to get one win out of six games to start the year. The answer has been a resounding NO, and the Cavs looks really bad. Now the Cavs have fired Ty Lue, and are considering an extended period of rest for Kevin Love to aid his sore foot (A.K.A. tank-mode engage). Coaching was not the issue here. The massive pressure
put on the organization from yearly one-and-done contracts by LeBron James has left them in shambles. This is a bad look for a team and GM that promised an All-Star calibre player the Cavs wouldn’t tank less than a month ago. Love signed a 4-year deal and here we are. I’m sure there will be more drama to come…Good luck Cavs fans.


No one is undefeated, and only one team is winless, but my money is still on the Larry O’Brien marching west at the end of this season.

Golden State Warriors


What do you say at this point? The biggest drama on the team is what’s happening with Patrick McCaw; although, it’s fun to hear people talk about Curry making another MVP run while also simultaneously questioning whether he’s even the best player on that team. Oh, don’t forget Boogie comes back at some point. If KD leaves next year, we’re going to be in for some fun in the West. Until then, enjoy one of the greatest powerhouses in NBA history doing what they do best – laughing and dancing to Fergie’s infamous All-Star anthem.

New Orleans Pelicans


Anthony Davis is an absolute monster right now and looks poised to prove me right in the early season MVP predictions. True to his nature, he missed last game against Utah and it cost the Pels their first L of the year. The supporting roster here has been fantastic around their future Hall-of-Famer and the GM should be credited with some great moves. Will it last? Why the hell not. After Boogie went down last year AD went supernova and has looked much of the same so far this year. I am still betting he takes off after this year unless they somehow pull out a deep play-off run, but if you’re a Pelicans fan hold on for the ride while you can.

Denver Nuggets


This is what patience and faith in a young group can do for you. The Denver Nuggets have been honing the skills and on-court chemistry they now boast for a number of years, and it is incredible to see what Coach Malone is doing up there. Jokic has been the player fantasy GMs hoped he would be, and it’s also translating to wins. Even in a stacked conference, I see the Nuggets making the playoffs this year and they will be a blast to watch.

Houston Rockets


Wow. Didn’t see this one coming. After pushing the Warriors to 7 games and arguably winning that series if Chris Paul didn’t go down, they have lost all momentum entering this season. Now, CP3 has been serving a suspension for Spitgate, certainly a team that believes it can dethrone Golden State can squeak out a few wins with reigning MVP James Harden. I’m not worried about the Rockets yet, and they might just be distracted by the recent Jimmy Butler rumours flying around. Jimmy may be the final ingredient in the antidote to the back-to-back champs, but he’ll have to get out of the mess he’s created in Minnesota first.

Oklahoma City Thunder


Oklahoma City Thunder 0-4

One of the only two remaining teams winless so far has a recent MVP and another two-way All-Star in Russel Westbrook and Paul George. Russ missed the first two games, but even in the two since he’s returned, the Thunder have looked out of sorts. They had a Chernobyl sized meltdown against the Celtics last Thursday, giving up a 16 point lead to lose by 6. After the game, Russ took responsibility for the loss, and I have to say it was warranted after watching him try to do it himself for the ump-teenth time. After taking the blame, Russ said he’ll get the next one so it looks like nothing has changed. As the old saying goes, you live by the Russ, you die by the Russ.

Give N’ Go Podcast S3E7

The dynamic duo are back! This time Raj and Jordan are both in the booth in Vancouver! This podcast recaps an action packed first week of NBA Basketball including:

  1. Rockets vs Lakers Brawl and the Rondo “Spit-gate” (2:55)
  2. The State of the Lakers (12:40)
  3. Western Conference week 1 impressions (14:35)
    – Pelicans, Nuggets, Jazz
  4. Eastern Conference week 1 impressions (24:47)
    – Raptors, Celtics, Sixers
  5. Rookie Impressions after week 1 (38:50)
    – Doncic, Ayton, Young