*Pickup of the Week!*

Fantasy owners, do you have a need for solid multi-cat production off the wire?  Would you like to win your league this year?  Would you like a player with the most obvious movie pun ever?  Then do I have a player for you!  Garrett Temple!  Owned in only 13% of leagues – He’s been on fire lately with splits of 14/4.3/5/1.3/0.7 with 3 treys per game.  This is good for 56th overall this past week.  Run to the wire now and then read the rest of this column!  The Kings gave the veteran a very solid contract, so it only makes sense that he’d have a good role – especially with Rudy Gay and Omri Casspi struggling to stay on the court.

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I don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I neeeed… Ok, my Mariah impression doesn’t exactly translate well into print, but let me assure you, I murder at Christmas karaoke. I guess I should throw a bunch of things on the fantasy wish list, but for this abbreviated Christmas edition of the buy/sell, all I want for Christmas is blocks. The rejection is one of the more commanding categories in fantasy basketball, and simply put, the swat is a thing of beauty. A rim protector can almost single-handedly win you the weekly category. Therefore, there is particular value in the few who excel at the Mutumbo finger-wag, waiting to be snapped up, or parlayed into other assets. It’s a pretty exclusive list, but it’s better than a lump of coal, amirite? Let’s take a look at the long limbed defenders, hmm?

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Oh man, no rest for the wicked! Speaking of wicked, oh man quick shout out to the Wicked Weed Funkatorium, that brewery rocked! But yeah, an absolutely amazing slate to catch me back up on the daily notes, with 4 overtimes last night. Including a super size me doubler in Miami! Most of the other games stayed close too, and 20 of the 22 teams in action last night topped 100 points. Fantasy orgasm! And leading the charge on such a big-and-tall NBA night was of course Isaiah Thomas! Career-high 44 points for IT2/3, putting up a 4/3rd’s of a full line of 44/3/6/1/1 on 10-16 FG (7-10 3PTM, 17-17 FT) including a big three in extra time in the OT win.

I’m just glad this groin thing got worked out! …That sounded wrong… If you have a smaller groin muscle, does it heal faster?! I’m not saying he doesn’t have a kick stand down there with a line like this, but just wondering! After semi-breaking out last year (well he was only 2/3 better than his career year in 13-14 for the Kings), IT2/3 has taken an even further step up – scoring 26.6 PPPG, upping the FT volume to 8.8/per at 90% (remember when he was like 70% the first few weeks, that changed quick!), and even though the steals are only at 0.9, he’s drastically cut his TO rate to only 2.2 despite all the added USG. After a slow start due to injuries, the Celtics look like a pretty tough team at full strength right now, and maybe IT2/3 can lead this squad into a deep run. I’ll be cheering for them! (cough, REL bias, cough…) Here’s what else happened on an action-packed Tuesday night of Holiday Season basketball:

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I hath returned from my pilgrimage! After several beers and several pounds added to my waistline, I’m back to my home country of Razzball Nation, and Slim and I catch up on the last few nights of action. We discuss injuries to Blake Griffin and Clint Capela and possible pickups there, plus I eat some crow with how the Nuggets are looking these days… Womp womp… We then play another edition of Can We Make Slim Look Stupid, preview tonight’s games, and wrap the show with our 30-point challenge picks.

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REL Basketball1Whew, we’re back with a belated look-in to our elite league! Although, I think all of our dynasty owners were more worried about shopping for their wives off the retail waiver wires than buying any players with their virtual FAAB, twas a quiet week! And not a creature was stirring, not even Scurry to the Left, who just keeps dominating at the top of the leaderboard! With Slim and Hard-N-Tha-Paint taking losses, only Yappers is even close to contending with Scurry for that #1 overall seed. Hopefully Christmas continues to bring my squad luck, like it did over my birthday weekend! Here’s how week eight in the 2016-17 REL went down, and how we’re looking heading into week nine:

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JB was on a long-weekend celebrating his birthday so I’m handling Monday’s daily notes this week. Wish him a happy birthday when you get a chance!

The walking triple-double machine that is Russell Westbrook fell a little short of his usual triple-double on Monday night, but no one will be complaining about 46 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists. He scored 18 points in the 2nd quarter to give the Thunder a halftime lead, before the Hawks stormed back and won the game.

Westbrook may want to talk to Andre Roberson (14 points, 5 rebounds), who shot just 1-7 after passes from Westbrook. Whether he continues to average a triple-double or not, it’s clear that Westbrook is a fantasy monster and has been well worth the first round price.

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So a little bit of a weird daily notes this morning, as I’m speaking to you from a day behind!  I’m out traveling as I add another notch to my belt as they say, and well in more ways than one!  Eating some good food and going on brewery tours is pretty much the pinnacle of life!  Long story short, notes are through Friday/Saturday games and I’ll be a little slow with comments until Tuesday.  Although I’ll likely pop in at some point with some horrible typos and weird drunken advice….

Anyway, we mentioned on the Pod last week how surprisingly bad the Wolves have been this year, and it looked like they might be turning the corner Saturday night, maintaining a big lead against the red hot Rockets.  But they collapsed in the final minute losing a 9 point lead pushing it to OT, the Rockets took over, Zach LaVine hit a big 3 with 5 seconds left, then on the last gasp, LaVine got nudged out off bounds throwing up the desperation shot.  Another game you throw up your arms and go “huh?!”; all the starters played well and they held Houston to 95 in regulation!  Plus Karl-Anthony Towns went off for a 40 burger!  41/15/5/0/1 on 15-28 shooting and 10-12 FT including this NBA Jam quality alley:

I don’t have much else to expand on here, except the Wolves are going to have to go through some sort of massive change.  Yes, they’re the youngest team/starting 5 in the NBA, but all of the starters are already too good for this team to be 7-19.  Obviously Ricky Rubio getting traded is what most point to, but we’ll see what happens.  And I think KAT is the kind of player that will keep his motor going every night, and not phone it in down the stretch (cough, Hassan Whiteside, cough)…  Here’s what else down over Friday and Saturday’s games in fantasy hoops action:

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Ho! Ho! Ho! Hark the herald, Jerry Stackhouse sings! The NBA has never been in fuller effect across the years than at the culmination of this week every year: CHRISTMAS! It’s unofficial start to the season (or the official start in the lockout-shortened 2011 season), and the first day since June owned by the NBA on the sports calendar. It’s been football, football, football for the past six months, but even the King Kong NFL takes a back seat to basketball on Christmas (only 2 NFL games in Week 16 are actually on Sunday, December 25). Make way, because winter is no longer just coming…it’s here! And with it comes all the basketball glory we can handle for the next 6 months.

From now on we’ll see teams jockeying for playoff position. You know, those coveted spots that only the few get to have in calling themselves the next up to be humiliated by the Cavs or Warriors. But seriously, this is where we start to see what teams really are. And it’s similar in other sports. Sure, you can start 5-0 Falcons in 2015, but you’re finishing 8-8. Or in baseball, everyone knows that the record before Labor Day is all just feeling it out. And in the NBA the Hawks may begin 9-2, but are they really that great? My optimistic homerism is hopeful, but their record now shows the answer is no. How about the Raptors? They started sluggish; they must have taken a step back this year. Well, um…nope. They’re a favorite to reach the Eastern Conference Finals again. See, Christmas brings out the best in us all, and acts as a litmus test for starting the year.

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How is it going Razzball Nation! Another weekend here and yet another day for your man to guide you through some of the significant happenings around the world in regards to player development. Seems like only yesterday that the basketball season got underway, but damn, we are already fast approaching week 9 and nearing the halfway mark of the fantasy regular season. So how are your teams shaping up? Hopefully you have been paying attention to the great advice given by my esteemed colleagues here at Razzball and you’re riding high and looking down on the competition; but if you’re one of those owners whose team is more injury prone than the Grizzlies and in need of a shake up, then there is plenty of help here to guide you to the next step of looking forward to next season and beyond.

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Welcome back Lady and Gents!  It’s time for another Thursday night recap!  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to this particular set of notes, so bear with me.  It’ll be much more in depth next week!

Jeff Teague – Actually had a solid game!  21 points and 10 assists with a block and 6 boards.  Who knows if he can keep doing this, but it definitely is an improvement.

Myles Turner – 11-14 from the field!  26/8/1/0/1 – No complaints, even though the line is a bit empty.  More than one block would be nice, but I’m nitpicking at this point.

Jrue Holiday –  16 points, 14 assists!  He’s backkkkkkk, and this REL owner couldn’t be happier.

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