Basketball is back baby!  The NBA season returns from the All-Star Break tonight after four-and-a-half months off…  Maybe hyperbolic, but certainly feels that way!

And right as games start, we’ve got the NBA Trade Deadline passing this afternoon at 3:00 PM EST.  That was fast!  We’ve got a big day of trade analysis, with a live post that will go up around 1:00 PM-ish EST and get frequently updated to track all of the last-minute trades as they go down, then a slightly later podcast record time with our special edition Trade Deadline Razzball Basketball Podcast up sometime around 4:00-4:30 PM EST.  It’s all hoops all afternoon!

With these big changes about to ripple through the fantasy hoops landscape, the biggest news from over the break is probably the most anti-climatic – Carmelo Anthony has been officially shutdown.  “3P0 – Shut down all the garbage smashers on the detention level!”  “No! Shut them ALL down, hurry!”  Pretty apt to The Poppycockers shituation, amiright?!  We’ve known Melo was about to be Melba Toast sometime around the break, and now the swift gavel of realism has hit (huh? weird metaphor day!  I’m rusty OK?!).  Langston Galloway, who has probably been picked up in most leagues (and subsequently dropped in some after struggling) should likely be scooped up.  He’s not going to do anything too special, but his career-high in shots (19) was in a Melo-less game and should give you some low-TO guard stats.  Tim Hardaway Jr. also gets a bit of a boost, but he does absolutely nothing beyond score and trey.  Would be a nice, high-minute ThrAGNOF!  But those ain’t got no face…  So I’m not married to Timmy J at all even if he starts hot with Melo now gone.  Here’s what else has gone down since we left for the break:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don't have enough spam, give me the Razzball email newsletter!

…But it’s not like Tony Snell doesn’t deserve it!

Long time readers will know that for the past year-and-a-half I’ve been a big Snell fan, and he’s finally flourishing in huge minutes with a 22/2/1/3/0 line hitting 9-11 FG, 4-6 FT, and all with no TO.  The anti-LeBron!  Poor ol’ king James didn’t meet a turnover at the Chicago hotel continental breakfast he didn’t like, going 31/5/4/0/0 with 8 giveaways.  Snell was D-ing up BronBron all game, and ended up with a +29 to LeBron’s -27!  Bron was like, “Ohhhhh what’s that Snell?!”  Tony has been on fire the past 4 games, hitting 28-41 including 15-25 from deep.  And he flashed the full bag of tricks on the Cavs bag of bones slamming a couple early, hitting a floater late, sandwiched with some Kyle Korver-esque 3PT shooting.  I don’t think there’s much we can do about it though in 10 or 12ers with Jimmy Butler probably back after the break, Kirk Hinrich still there to fill some empty minutes, and Mike Dunleavy side-cocking some treys.  But in deeper leagues or dynasties, I think Snell could really turn into something and I have for a long while now.  Here’s what else went down in our final first half game of the NBA season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well Ello there, Poppet!  Bootstraps Bill Turner pulled a scoop and squat shot with under a second left to pull off the upset of the century…. It’s only been 15 years this century, it could be true!

Evan Turner put together a solid 12/7/9/1/0 line hitting 4-11 from the field and all 4 freebies with only 2 TO.  Ending the first half on a high note!  The move back to his more natural SF spot is finally paying off, as he’s averaging at least 6/6/6 (THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST!) the past 4 games.  The FG% is terrible, but I guess I have to believe a little in the out-of-position dimes.  The greatest trick Miss Turner ever played was convincing me he wasn’t fantasy usable!  Well, he still isn’t ever going to be a stalwart on 10 or 12 team squads due to the low %s, TOs, and absence of 3s, but a lot of teams could use his popcorn stats for their build.  He’s like Lance Stephenson, but actually worth owning!  At least for now, if he sticks with Boston until the end of the year… Here’s what else went down in our last busy slate of NBA games before the All-Star Break:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s always nice to see the deep league guys you love turn into Mr. Planters and go nuts!

After 22 minutes, many of which trying to play through it, Jimmy Butler finally waved the white flag and checked out with a shoulder injury.  He first hurt it last Sunday, and that black tape stuff (that I still don’t completely understand how it works) didn’t keep Buckets’ shoulder together.  Maybe the black tape is more a statement.  Like, “Yeah brah, I got a jacked up shoulder but I’m still gonna go ham!”  Either way, it opened up some huge run for Tony Snell, playing 41 minutes.  And they were 41 heat check minutes!  Made his first 6 from the field including 4 treys, ending up with a career-high 24 points in a 9-11 FG (4-6 3PTM 2-2 FT) 24/2/2/1/0 line with no TO.  Snell going full Mr. Planters!  Even with Mike Dunleavy returning after nearly a month-and-a-half off, you can’t suppress the sense of Snell!  I keed of course, this is an anomaly type of game, but Butler could easily get tomorrow night off against the Cavs to rest that shoulder through the ASB making Snell a very interesting end-of-the-short-week streamer (only the one game Thursday night).  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, not a fun night for Mark Cuban unless he’s also invested in the Dallas area sports medicine clinics.  The way the NBA has gone this year, it’d be a smart investment!

First into the Shark Tank was Tyson Chandler, who sprained his ankle a minute and half in and couldn’t return.  He had an earlier ankle sprain and it didn’t cost him any time, so even though it looked bad, ol’ Tyson is no Chicken.  Then a mere couple minutes later, Monta Ellis hurt his hip and only played 3 and a half minutes.  As Kevin tells us in The Office – “That’s Dallas!”  Man, good thing the All-Star Break is right around the corner!  Even if both guys say they’re 100%, I see no reason why the Mavs would push em for their game tomorrow night hosting the Jazz.  While they’re out, we’re a bunch of preying sharks circling the bloody waters like Mr. Wonderful and Herjavec!  And last night it was the hairless ghost (wait, ghosts usually don’t have hair right?) of Charlie Villanueva who piled up some junky stats hitting 9-13 from the field for 26/5/1 with 5 treys.  Was awful other than points and treys with 3-6 FT and 4 TO.  Big man ThrAGNOF!  But for me, the big winner for tomorrow night is Mark Cuban’s own (seriously, kinda seems like he’s his dadShawn Marion comp?) Al-Farouq Aminu.  Only 19 minutes last night, but hit all the cats for 5/6/1/1/1.  Mark Cuban Jr. is only owned in 10% of Yahoo leagues, and in a shortened week where every steal and block will count, he should be one of your first calls on the wire in what should be a spot-start.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh boy, more injuries to studs and more teams scrambling…

Sometime before the weekend, Blake Griffin had a fairly routine (and he’s had a few) elbow draining.  Blake’s draining jumpers, the team docs are draining elbows!  But over the weekend the elbow developed a staph infection, and he’ll have surgery and won’t be evaluated until after the All-Star Break.  Blake is firing off jumpers and the team docs are about to be fired!  Reports are saying it could be a 4-6 week sort of thing, but with staph infections you never know.  Either way, he’s an obvious hold in all leagues.  While Blake goes all Leo McGarry on us, Samurai Spencer Hawes and his little hair bun went 17/1/0/0/1 on 7-16 shooting with two treys in 35 minutes.  Samurai Spence should be an add in virtually all leagues, as his mix of scoring/treys/blocks can help a lot of teams.  Sure he won’t board almost at all for a big with DeAndre Jordan swallowing em all up, but we can ignore that.  Kinda like how Denis McDonough ignored that second “n” in his first name.  What is it with “Mc” real-life and fictional Chiefs of Staph?!  I bet the Oval Office whisky is well stocked…  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Right now, Kings games from here on out can be perfectly embodied by a The Ben Stiller Show skit.  Such an underrated show (couldn’t find the clip on Youtube, it’s too old!).  Andy Dick is on the bomb squad, gets to the bomb, then starts doing ridiculous things while the 10 seconds counts down that take a lot longer than 10 seconds…  Cooks lunch, changes a baby, shizz like that.  All the while the countdown clicks down unfathomably slow, until it’s at 1 and blows him up.  Man, it’s hard to describe things when there’s not a video for it!  3rd Century problems…

Well, losing a quality PG like Darren Collison in the second quarter never helps (abdominal strain – getting an MRI today.  Good thing he’s not a baseball player, he’d be out two months!), but the Kings are a bigger failed experiment than that prison Stanford thing after getting bludgeoned by the Dirk-less, Rondo-less Mavs.  Too many good players to be this bad!  Boogie turns it over too much, Gay isn’t working next to him, and the abyss that is the starting PF can’t be all to blame.  At 17-31, that’s NOT how the West was won…  Gay and Cuz make a lot of dough, but Colly playing this well on a 3-year $15 mil deal is starting to look mighty tasty to potential suitors.  If he gets through this ab MRI with nothing worse than a “nice six pack” prognosis, I think it’s about time to sell.  Of course Derrick Williams would be nice to dump, and, well, anyone else not named Ben McLemore (who is taking a nice step forward) would be awesome for SAC to kick out.  A nice kick in the SAC is what the Kings need!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

From the depth of 90s video games, crossed with the beastly rancor of Joakim Noah (can you use rancor as an adjective?  is that even the right part of speech?!), it’s the Goromotaro!  An epic performance of 20/20 needed a name, but ever since Joakim pulled off a few back in the day, he hasn’t scored 20 points in like… a million years.  Hasn’t yet this year!  Shocking he’s scored double digits in only 2 of the past 19… But I digress…

The way things have looked the past month, Goromotaro might need a name or image change to feature Hassan Whiteside!  Dude is hitting the glass harder than Cheech at a bong-only party.  24/20/0/3/2 last night for his first career Goro.  Not that he hasn’t been close!  Had a 23/16 and a 16/24 in there.  Unreal!  There’s only been 23 20+ board games this year, and Whiteside is two of them and has only 8 starts!  Whiteside has the 7th Goro this year (the others belonging to Kenneth Faried, Zach Randolph, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, Pau Gasol and… you ready for this…?  Jason Thompson!), and as good as those guys are (well, minus Thompson), I’d put good money on Whiteside being the first with multiple.  He’s also 73% from the stripe his past 13 games!  Getting a little unreal out there, and the 4 TO last night were very fluky – especially one on an inbounding violation that was totally Norris Cole‘s fault.  Cole tried handing it back to Whiteside after he tossed it in during an odd, weird lack of awareness that cost the Heat the game!  I’m pretty sure it was a play ran to perfection from the Larry Drew playbook…  Here’s what else went down last night across the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hard to believe Steve Carell, half of The Ambiguosuly Gay Duo, is now an Oscar nominated actor in Foxcatcher.  That kind of ascension is bigger than a promotion from the D-League and turning into a fantasy superstar like the Hassanity!  I would say it’s about as miraculous as Brad Stevens finally getting some sense slapped into him…

We figured it would happen at some point, but the Marcus Smart reign as the Celtics starting PG appears to have begun.  Smart actually led the C’s in minutes with 37 in a 13/4/3/2/0 line.  It’s nothing too flashy, but with the role finally bequeathed unto Smart we can finally stop calling Stevens a queef.  Well, maybe not, because the Celtics coaching staff continues to mismanage Smart’s role, relegating him into a 3-point camping PG.  It’d be like trying to turn Robin Lopez into a good player!  Doesn’t make any good basketball logic…  Smart shot 3-9 last night, with 2-7 being treys.  A fantastic slasher at OK State, Stevens continually hammers this square peg into a round hole.  They had the same problem when they tried to make the R-rated version of the Lego movie!  Everything was not awesome…  If Smart is still available in your 12er, now is the time to go ahead and hop on board.  The FG% might not be awesome either, but I think he’ll fall into enough dimes and swipe enough to be usable.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, who woulda thought the Bucks without Brandon Knight (sat with minor injuries) would’ve been able to beat the Raptors last night?!  I figured that big Jurassic Park reboot trailer during the Super Bowl would have pumped the Raps up!  Well, I guess Canadians don’t really watch the Super Bowl, so their loss!

And while the 82-75 win was a defensive grinder, it didn’t slow down that impressive O from The Duchess K Middleton!  25/9/1/3/0 for Khris Middleton, hitting 10-17 FG (3-4 3PTM 2-2 FT) and only 1 TO.  All that with Jorge Gutierrez as the fill-in starting PG!  It didn’t matter though, since they had a JB waiting in the wings as well…  But more there later.  With 25 Pts last night, K-Midd is 17+ points in 4 of 5 and 3+ treys in 4 of 5.  And multi-steals in 4 of 5 for good measure as well!  Even though a lot of the counting stats are lower than the breakout last year, so are the minutes and the %s are much better.  But my favorite leap is 1.0 steals in 30 minutes last year to a whopping 1.5 in only 26 this year.  The Duchess is secretly a world-class thief!  I think Keira Knightley could star in that movie.  Larry Drew could be the evil drug lord!  Maybe Ersan Ilyasova can be a Turkish arms dealer.  The script is writing itself!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?