Before this NBA season I couldn’t look at Mike D’Antoni without thinking of Cy Tolliver, the second-tier villain on HBO’s “Deadwood.”

But I had no idea that D’Antoni would behave like his fictional doppelganger (played by Powers Boothe) and that he would turn the Lakers into the Bella Union Saloon, a place rife with rigged gambling, card games that end in gunfire, out-in-the-open prostitution and inexplicable frontcourt rotations. OK, maybe just the last thing.

There really seems to be no method to D’Antoni’s madness. Jordan Hill got some serious run at the end November and responded with some double-digit rebound games, so of course coach slashed his minutes down to the high teens by the beginning of December. Around the middle of the month he called Hill’s number again, and the results weren’t surprising: He produced some nice games, including a 21-9-1 on Dec. 16 at Atlanta. Now Hill is starting, but his minutes have been crunched down to around 20 per game.

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Merry Christmas Razzball Nation!  I hope everyone is looking forward to a great holiday.  What have you asked for for Christmas?  A ridiculous stroke of luck to get you a Fantasy Football championship tonight?  A Christmas Day where three of your guys have triple doubles?  Mine is hoping that no more injuries roll through the NBA, at least with questionable return dates.  Hey, at least Brook Lopez has a certain return date.  October 2014.  Huge loss (I was going to say break, but um, yea) for fantasy owners with a broken foot.  Here’s what I said in my ranks with him at 50, lower than most other places: “Love his game, had him top-20 in May.  Foot injury and big trade limits #s.”  That’s me quoting me!  Ok, ok, so I get a ton wrong and you can’t project injuries (which I didn’t really, gotta love vagueness!), but I avoided Lopez everywhere so I am not suffering a stocking full of coal like BroLo owners.  BroLo’s stocking is actually full of a swollen foot, but you get the idea.  Andray Blatche becomes a must-own with the boost in minutes, and was already at double-digits and 19:40 plus of playing time in 15 of 17 games before Friday night’s dud when BroLo got hurt.  I see him grabbing 7 to 8 boards with decent %s – along with his scoring – for a bottom end guy on rosters with a tad of upside.  Here’s what else/who else got hurt over the weekend:

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Man!  I was loving that game!  Through three contests (the inaugural one in the comments then when adopted into the piece), I didn’t get a single win!  For shame… At least now with Kobe Bryant missing 6 weeks, we’ll be brimming with excitement to relaunch the game!  I never ended up with Kobe anywhere, so I’m downplaying the real fantasy impact here… Kobe owners are asking should I hold or should I let go?  I think he is probably a hold in almost all leagues if you can, but man, these top-end injuries are killin’ out there!  Plus we have to remember it’s a fractured knee and a re-sewn up Achilles.  And he wasn’t setting the world on fire anyway.  Kobe is turning into Jeter from last year!  Bryant is a medical marvel though, he can jump over cars going 40 MPH and come back after bone spurs a game later.  So he’s worth the stash unless it’s a very shallow 10-teamer or smaller, or you’re just a triage of injuries.  Here’s what else went down last night across fantasy hoops:

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Yea yea I know… Of all the “Knight” puns, that’s the best ya got?!  Man did Brandon Knight have a huge game last night, notching a career-high 36 points for a 36/9/3/0/1 line shooting 13-25 and 6-12 from deep.  As you all know, I was a huge Knight fan heading into the year, stuck with him, and think this is what he averages here on out.  Wiggity what?!  Haha, just kidding to see if you were paying attention.  I’ve always liked his ability to board, he’s probably the best pure scorer on that team, and can shoot treys and drive.  But I’m a little tired of the “but he doesn’t assist!” from the hate Mafia.  Who gives a flip man?!  Of course because he’s a PG, he gets dogged for bad Ast:TO, and listen I get it – 8 TOs last night bums hard – but if Ryan Anderson had that line last night, people would be sacrificing live chickens just to meet him.  Pedro Cerrano doesn’t like when his PG doesn’t dish!  “If Brandon Knight doesn’t average 8 dimes a game, I say forget you Jobu!  I do it myself!”  Knight will never be an elite fantasy PG, sure, but a very useful one, definitely.  He just has to navigate Larry Drew’s mood swings.  Get the coach some Midol!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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I hate you Larry Drew.  First you go and make your son Larry Drew II feel like he’s some sort of special talent and have him quit UNC, then you take over a Bucks team that all want to leave too.  Why do I have so much invested in the Bucks?!  I hate the Bucks!  In a game where the Spurs doubled Milwaukee’s points in the first quarter (32 to 16), then went up by 23 at halftime, then after 3 were up 38, Drew decided to kill fantasy teams by playing their F-team virtually the whole second half.  As in, a D-League team could beat those guys.  Brandon Knight got 18 minutes after an impressive game two nights ago.  John Henson got 21 after the huge breakout.  O.J. Mayo, yes that terrible, horrible, not gelling on this awful team O.J. Mayo led the starters with 22 minutes on a 3/0/0/0/0 line with a TO.  Ok, ok, so Drew let his scrubs play in the blowout, good to see Giannis Antetokounmpo get some development time at just over 33 minutes, but the icing on the cake was Drew gave Ersan Ilyasova, a guy that looks like a humanoid Turkey, 39 minutes?!  How is that developing young talent?!  Ersan goes out and shoots 3-16 for an 8/6/2 game.  The Bucks are the worst.  You’re holding Henson obviously and Knight I think you stick with, but I don’t want any of these other guys on a 12-teamer.  I know I like Khris Middleton, but he was part of the starting mess and I just dropped Mayo in some sort of RCL travesty I should probably take my name off of.  I still think Knight, Mayo, Middleton and Henson are locked in as starters for now, but man, I really hope they look good facing the even worse Bulls again on Friday.  Enough ranting from me!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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In what was some brutally bad basketball last night, John Henson led the woeful Milwaukee Bucks into Chicago against a Bulls team more battered up than a candy bar at a state fair… and the Bucks actually won!  It’s horrifying to think in today’s NBA that a guy like Henson might have been the most polished offensive player on the court for EITHER TEAM.  It was brutal.  This was the game I made the Yahoo highlights for, and man, it was more of a wreck than if you went out partying and decided that Lindsay Lohan would be your DD.  But for fantasy, whew-ee if you’re a Henson owner!  Huge rainbow line of 25/14/2/3/6.  It was so good from the big man that Larry Sanders punched a wall.  But the icing on the cake, was this preposterous rainbow shot to close out the rainbow night.  I love the Bulls announcers reacting to that.  “You’ve got to be kidding me!”  Good thing he didn’t take that shot in Cowboys Stadium, that mighta hit the scoreboard!  It feels really good seeing Henson going off, as he was a guy I ranked really high (#100 exactly) and have recommended him over a lot of fringe-wire adds through the young season.  His stats are helping fill all the Andre Drummond voids I have!  Win some, lose some… Henson is obviously a must-own in all leagues, and I think can maintain solid production playing at the 4 when The Colonel is back.  Here’s what else I saw last night in hoopsland:

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If you recall back to last week, I remember talking up Jon Leuer as an interesting deep league play.   Loved the out-of-position threes, the boarding, the all-around production.  I said I would probably go after him in REL, and then Slim tells me he’s probably not bidding on him this week.  So I figure, I can dangle a few bucks and if someone beats me to him so be it.  But it shouldn’t have been you Slim!!  He Leuered me in with scoffing and brush-off ness.  Slim, you want to repay me for this horrific slight of hand?  Trade him to me!  I guess I should talk more about Leuer than rant…  Just over 27 minutes last night for 16/12 with a three on 7-14 shooting.  This now marks five straight games of 23:30+ minutes, averaging nearly a double-double a game on top of almost a three a game with a few blocks.  He’s not going to turn into some superstar, but he’s a great stretch the court center, which fits Mike Conley trying to drive and dish.  Sorry Kosta Koufos, but your outside shots are labradoodles!  That term needs to be added to the glossary…  I see Leuer continuing his PT as a double double threat while Marc Gasol is out, with a handful of threes, steals and blocks to help out deeper leagues.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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In Shaq-ramento, when Christmas carolers sing at your doorstep, if it’s deck the halls you must insist a free a Rudy Gay jersey! You better believe Sleep Train Arena is gonna deck their halls with Gay apparel.  That is, if it has power.  Zing!  Last night, the Kings picked up Gay from the Raptors in a 7-player deal with a lot more fantasy impact than just the players involved.  The Kings also picked up Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, for the fewest letters in three surnames you could ever receive in a three-player haul.   In return, Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes got exported to Canada.  I hope they have winter wear!  Instead of going over all of the impact in the open, it’ll be fettered out and we’ll focus on Gay at the top.  Nothing changes.  Brevity!  Lots of shots, the Kings don’t become any better or worse, but get a good all-around player.  The fantasy impact on Gay seems null.  The trade overall I think it a win-win, both in real hoops and in fantasy.  The Kings dumped guys that don’t really help their rotations for a star, and the Raptors break up their two high-volume shots guys with it not working.  Plus the Raptors are looking to rebuild around the Luminescent Lithuanian.  Then all sorts of fantasy optimism below, along with other action across the NBA over the weekend:

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Well, this is the peril you get playing in other countries…  After a generator next to the stadium in Mexico City failed, last night’s Spurs at [hah] Timberwolves got postponed after the stadium filled with smoke.  It looked like Mexico City’s skyline of smog in there!  Man, so many people are going to get fired over this.  “Who let their 5 year olds with squirt guns play next to the exposed wires?!”  All the sudden the NBA is looking like the MLB…  I haven’t seen a PPD since September!  Brutal break for Spurs and Wolves owners in H2H formats as the reschedule is sure to be a while down the road.  Usually I like H2H for hoops because you don’t get rocked when your team has bad weather (vs. H2H Fantasy Baseball which I loathe), but now you have to think about generator fires when playing in other countries!  Well, I guess except Canada… They better have their shizz in order!  Breaking News!  The Raptors stadium has a Rob Ford crack den hidden within the locker room that caught fire, and they’re relocating to become the Reno Lt. Dangles.  Go Reno!  Here’s what else happened last night across fantasy hoops:

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When the Obamacare website launched, it was a lot like the Nuggets.  Load errors, mental mistakes, and only 6 people actually showed up because George Karl got fired.  But after JaVale McGee went down (I bet the Nuggets wish their healthcare bills were free!), the 1-3 Nuggets are now 11-6.  Coinky-dink?  I think not!  J.J. Hickson has been great at the 5 fillin’ in for Shaqtin-a-McGee, but it was Timofey Mozgov who has stolen the show the past two games, with 15+/15+ back-to-back including 17/20 against the hapless Nets last night.  But a trend is a-surfacing as Hickson has been under 18 minutes in those games while Mozgov was over 30.  Hickson is still starting, but Mozgov is just being a straight Godzilla out there against opposing B-teams.  I’m not ready to completely hand over the torch – I think Mozzy Bear getting in there was just matchup-based and Hickson gets back to the 30 minute range and Mozgov to the low-to-mid 20s.  But if you need boarding and scoring help, Mozgov is available in a lot of leagues and can still be valuable with that sort of run.  Pete even put him on the radar!  Now he’s in full view.  Even 12-teamers needing the big man help need to take the flyer while they can.  Here’s what else went down last night in the hoops-o-sphere:

Please, blog, may I have some more?