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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As my good friends at Mr. Show previously theorized, 24 was thought to be the highest number.  “What about 30?!”  And then NBA scorers were pulling exactly what happens in that skit.  “What about 31?”  “What about 32?”  “I gotta ask, what about 33!”  Then Gilbert Arenas was like, “if people keep scoring like this, I’m gonna have to shoot em with Crittenton’s .45!”  It wasn’t necessarily that many guys going off, just a few you wouldn’t have guessed.  I’m trying to pick the most off the rails 30+ point night, so I think I’ll go with Alec Burks, who just looked awful in the two games before last night.  7-25 his past two outings, but goes 12-17 last night for career-highs in both points with 31 and dimes at 7.  Added three boards and four steals with two treys for good measure.  Burks has always looked like a good athlete out there, but never like a guy who could take over like that.  I think a good debate is Burks or Terrence Ross.  I’ll lean Ross, but very close, I just think Burks is too inconsistent.  Here’s what else went down last night in hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It was a mere two weeks ago that we were here, in this very space, talking about the living embodiment of a game of “Q*bert,” Nene Hilario.

We knew it was coming. Nene’s gone all screwy on us again, deciding that his foot hurt and that he would need to “step away.” Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do that at work whenever crap went bad? Eh, hey, sorry I messed up that TPS report boss, I think I’m just gonna “step away.”

The chief beneficiary to this mess is Trevor Booker.  Prior to Nene’s latest hiatus, which began three games ago, Booker wasn’t even listed on the Wizards depth chart.

Yet when Nene did his Nene thing coach Randy Wittman reached to the end of his bench and grabbed the beefy Booker. One of the geekiest-looking players in NBA history was rewarded: In the three games that Nene’s been out, Booker has averaged 16-11-1, including a monstrous 24-12-1 in a near-win against the Atlanta Hawks.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Anyone stay up to watch some of the Geminid meteor shower start up last night?  I love astronomy.  And it’s not really that different from fantasy.  You use math and all sorts of techy stats like Win Shares or True Shooting Percentage or Gravitational Microlensing to find far off worlds and far off fantasy production.  Then if you’re lucky enough, like having the reigns at the greatest fantasy hub known to man, you get to name your own planets!  Of course astronomers find so many exoplanets these days that H2894B is the best they got for creative nomenclature.  I got Goromotaros!  Rainbow Lines!  And LaMarcus Aldridge fit the bill of them all, with a redonkulous 31/25/2/2/2 slash last night.  He shot 12-22 and is playing like a MVP.  I ranked him too low.  I ranked him like a worthless Neptune when he is really a Jupiter.  According to Basketball Monster, he’s your #7 overall player.  And his only real negative is he doesn’t shoot threes – which is what ThrAGNOFs are for!  I also thought the Blazers weren’t going to be a gas giant out there.  Maybe a little white dwarf.  But they’re going off and my ridiculous conception that LA could be traded if this year didn’t work looks horrible now.  I’ll admit stupidity there, but the Blazers are virtually the same team.  And now it’s clicking.  There’s planetary alignment.  So when you’re done watching basketball, bundle up, grab some adult beverages and head out to watch the shooting stars late tonight.  It helps ease the worldly constraints of stress and fantasy disappointments – at least it does for me – and helps you just think bigger… Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s the time of crazed shopping for discounted electronics. The argument: “At that price, I couldn’t afford NOT to get it!” will be heard all around the country over Turkey leftovers this weekend. I give to you the Buy/Sell shortened holiday edition, free packaging, 70% off, this weekend only! And with that in mind, here are a few guys you can’t afford not to get:

Buy:

Jordan Farmar PG

You got up late, you’re one of the last to the mall, cursing the excessive turkey and alcohol consumption, and you’re scrambling for points, treys, steals and the odd assist. Well, the basketball gods are smiling on you, because although he’s one of the last in the sales bin, Jordan Farmar is still there for you. In the last 2 games, he has hit 8 3pts, with almost 5 dimes per game. He’s only owned 9% of leagues. It’s not a perfect choice, but that’s what you get when you sleep in, mutton-head!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With all of the fantasy advice out there, is it ever really possible to sell high?

Everyone from the newbies to the expert players knows that Andrew Bogut is playing well. And playing a lot. And that he has a closet full of expensive suits to show for all the time he’s spent on the end of benches.

And we all have the file on the Australian Bogey Man. He’s had some amazing runs of board-n-block brilliance, albiet runs that have been more damaged than a “Crocodile Dundee” sequel. Stress fractures, awful falls, weird treatments and a mega-trade involving Kwame Brown (ew) have weighed down the bright spots in Bogut’s career like a Bloomin’ Onion that sits in your belly for days and won’t come out.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now, I never went to a boarding school… I was stuck in the public schooling circuit, and just could never rebound.  I was like Andrea Bargnani or Brook Lopez down there.  Domineering over some little men, but the boards just never came my way… Enter J.J. Hickson, who despite being a tad undersized has always been a solid boarder, and racked up 19 last night for an 18/19 night.  Near Goromotaro!  Just one putback slammah-jammah and he’s seeing 20/20.  A little laser eye surgery.  I liked Hickson a lot when JaVale McGee went down, and he’s proved he needs to be owned virtually everywhere like I said 8 days ago.  In the five games since, Hickson has at least 8 boards, double-figures in four of five, and a block every night.   Even if Shaqtin-a-McGee is able to get back within his original time frame, McGee just isn’t able to play the big starter’s minutes and Hickson is going to maintain this value either starting at the 5 or playing out his minutes as an early sub.  If you’re hurtin’ for boards, be sure the recent grad from the boarding school isn’t sitting on your wire.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Even though he looks exactly like the youngest kid from Malcolm in the Middle, Steve Blake is playing like an NBA PG in the top.  Last night’s 16 Asts gives him 10+ in four straight, and starting to remind us of Chris Paul who has started the year with the ten straight 10+ dime games.  You can’t go anywhere in LA without someone trying to give you a dimebag!  I think that’s going to be a new term I’m going to add into the Razzball lexicon, 10+ assists equals a dimebag.  As in, “the Lakers got so high last night with Steve Blake handing out a dimebag!”  Pretty soon it won’t even be a crime anywhere.  Rasheed Wallace is like, “man I played at the wrong time!” Blake is an obvious must-own in all leagues, and I think will be all year.  He’s been D-Antoni-ed. Here’s what else I saw across fantasy hoops over the weekend:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As an ancient proverb goes – “I’d like to introduce you to an old friend and a new friend.”  Ok, so I made that up.  But it sounds good!

For an old friend I’ve mentioned a few times and pumped up in my last rankings update before the season started up, my boy Omri Casspi had another solid outing last night that probably was under the radar.  In 24 minutes, he went 7/8/5 with no turnovers, 2-4 from the field and 3-4 from the line.  He just looks awesome every time I see him play.  Did you know he was the first Israeli to play in the NBA?  He’s pretty much Chandler Parsons but with Chandler Parsons in his way.  After a ho-hum first two games, his past two have been fantastic – and this last one without hitting a three which is a big part of his game.  Not necessarily a must own in 12-teamers, but definitely worth a look, and needs to be grabbed in 14+.

Then my new friend – Gal Mekel on the Mavericks.  You’re like, “who the eff is Gal Mekel?  I thought this was NBA not WNBA!”  Mekel was signed to a three-year deal by the Mavs this offseason, and became the second Israeli to join the NBA.  Cut to Amar’e Stoudemire going, “Hey, I should count!”  With Shane Larkin dealing with an ankle injury, and no Devin Harris for a while, Mekel is getting full-on backup PG run and playing well doing it.  He got his 2nd 6 assist game last night going 9/4/6 and hitting a 3.  Sure some run was in junk time, but with the oft-injured Jose Calderon the only one ahead of him (hasn’t played in over 68 games since 2007), Mekel could find his way into starts.  Of course, now I’ve ruined my play on him in the REL League.  Let’s just hope no one in that league is reading!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?