This article is part of our Rebound & Rant series.
I don't handle holiday stress well. There's too much to do in too short of time. More often than not, I'll take a break from holiday stuff to catch fifteen minutes of sports and then completely fall asleep in my recliner, missing another night of productivity. I'm a lazy Grinch.
With that in mind, let's take a quiet look at some peaceful news items in the NBA:
Father Who Will Not Be Named, Please Go Away
Kudos to the Lakers for trying to quell the media absurdity surrounding the father of their rookie point guard (I refuse to utter the father's name – he does not need any more attention). This week the Lakers started to enforce an old team rule that prevents the media from being present in the team Family & Friends area during home games. I don't know if this is legal, but I don't really care. I'm strongly in favor of any measures that give less attention to unnamed father. By the way, Lonzo Ball is shooting 31% from the field and 50% from the charity stripe. Why haven't opposing teams gone into "Hack-a-Lonzo" mode? But I'll give the kid credit for this – he plays defense, averaging 1.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game through 23 matches.
Pop Still Enjoys Resting Guys
Did you really think the new NBA schedule was going to prevent San Antonio coach Greg Popovich from resting his veterans? Me neither. On Monday, Pop sat LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili for that night's match-up in Oklahoma City. Folks got excited about Russell Westbrook's triple-double, but consider the competition. The Spurs starting five was Kyle Anderson, Pau Gasol (only played 16 minutes), Dejounte Murray, Danny Green and Brandon Paul (first career start). Honestly, OKC should be embarrassed they only won by three. San Antonio had a chance to tie it with seconds left, but world famous closer Brandon Paul (note sarcasm) missed a three-pointer. I guess if your OKC, with a 10-12 record, you'll take any win you can.
This is my annual public service announcement that you should trade Spurs well before your fantasy playoffs start. Nothing is more frustrating than Pop resting guys when you need big numbers to advance in playoff-time. Trade LMA right now before Kawhi Leonard returns. And as soon as Kawhi returns and starts to dominate, trade him too. FYI, we think Leonard will return this weekend.
Do NOT Sleep on Donovan Mitchell
How huge of a story would rookie Donovan Mitchell be if he played in New York!?! He's already a DFS darling, commanding a $7,200 salary Tuesday night on FanDuel, but with only about 12% ownership. Nevermind, he still posted 31 points, five steals, five treys, four assists, and one board on 50% shooting. That was no mirage. For the past five games, Mitchell is posting 26.6 points, 3.5 boards, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game with nice percentages. Nice trade Denver (again, not sarcasm).
Check out his sick handle during Monday's blow out win against the Bullets, er, Wizards.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) December 5, 2017
And here are more impressive Mitchell highlights from Tuesday's close loss at OKC:
Rookie @spidadmitchell had 31 PTS, 5 3PTS & a career-high 5 STLS vs OKC.
This is what he's done over his past 6 games: 31, 21, 41, 24, 16, 24. pic.twitter.com/ywhjTcTzU6— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 6, 2017
Well, that's it for my quiet edition. This fantasy train wreck has hit the END OF THE LINE! CHOO-CHOO!
(BTW, if you enjoy this little column, give our Friday NBA podcast a try, where I usually join Shannon McKeown and D.J. Trainor for some epic NBA conversations.)