We’re through the break and nearing the REL playoffs, with the dogfight for that #6 playoff spot heating up.  I have the Slam Dunk champion on my team, do I get any bonus points?!  Those relentless BassetHounds and Martyball both remain tied at the top, now 11 games over the field.  Looking like our bye week winners and spots 3-5 are fairly locked up!  But you know what happens when you assume…  You make a Brandon BASS out of you and me!  Here’s how the rest of week 16 went down in the REL:

RAZZBALL ELITE LEAGUE

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The All-Star weekend begins on Friday, giving most of the league some time off before the final stretch of the season. After the break, there are only four weeks left in the regular season for standard leagues. That’s not a lot of time to wait for guys to return from injuries. Owners will have to make hard decisions on whether to keep their injured stars or let them loose. More should be known after the All-Star break about the severity of many of these recent injuries, so hold on until then.

Blake Griffin underwent surgery on Monday to remove a staph infection in his right elbow. Prior to surgery, Griffin was expected to miss anywhere from 2-to-6 weeks. Griffin will be reevaluated in three weeks, which should help clarify when owners can expect to have Griffin back. Since Griffin is a top talent and there isn’t much clarity on his timeline, owners should hold onto Griffin for the time being.

With Griffin out, DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Hawes become the biggest benefactors. Jordan has put up back-to-back 20/20 games and looks like he’ll grab every rebound that Griffin used to get.

While Jordan is universally owned, Hawes becomes a top waiver wire pickup. In the three games that Griffin has missed, Hawes has averaged 11.0 ppg and 1.7 rpg. The numbers have been underwhelming so far, but Hawes has shown that he can fill up the box score when given starters’ minutes in the past. Last year as a starter, he averaged 13.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.2 bpg, and 1.6 3PTM. He probably won’t approach those numbers, but I expect Hawes to be useful for owners for as long as Griffin is out.

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…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:

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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:

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I’m not what you would profile as a “PC”, “everyone gets a trophy” type. I’m not a raging “right winger” either, but the “politically correct” epidemic is taking over, and I’m not going to stand for it any longer. Besides, I much prefer “sitting down”. But the “all star” “process” has gotten a little too “concerned” with “inclusiveness”. I believe that you can feel my sarcasm at this point, so to further the snarky quotations would just be douchey of me. And speaking of douchey, the NBA has changed the all star weekend to the point where it’s too silly. I propose the following rule changes be reverted to their original order:

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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:

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The return of Pop!  With a 7-2 win, Pops’s Team has given his veterans an elixir of youth (read: stem cells & black magic) to reclaim the #1 spot in RCL land.  Maybe he buried Kobe in the backyard and he came back as zombie Kobe!  NBA Cemetery, coming to a theater in Philadelphia soon…

Check out how your teams stacked up this past week in the The 2014-15 RCL Master Standings table, and here’s how the action went down in week 15 across our 12 RCL Leagues:

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