Last night was a doozy.  Flummoxing.  I actually had to look up flummoxing to be sure it worked.  And it does!  But there are numerous things that aren’t working for the Kings, mainly Rudy Gay‘s Achilles and DeMarcus Cousins‘ ankle.  Gay actually wasn’t “Leon” down in pain like DeMarcus after DMC fully rolled his ankle, but neither sounds like any sort of fun.  With Cousins, the diagnosis is a “moderate sprain” and I gotta say, a big near 300-pounder putting all his weight on an ankle the turns 90 degrees the wrong way doesn’t sound moderate.  Moderate maybe in the sense that the dude in 127 hours only had to “moderately” scratch his arm to get free!  I’d expect at least a few weeks.  But, “I’m not a doctor, I’m a pool man!”  Then there’s Gay’s Achilles which you could see in his face he was in bad pain and exited pretty quick, albeit under his own power.  We all saw Kobe Bryant limp off under his own power with the torn Achilles, so this one is definitely a hold-your-breath injury.  The obvious immediate add in most formats is Derrick Williams, who I kinda disregarded when he was acquired, but now is in a “you-better-be-able-to-score-a-lot-because-we’ll-need-it” starting role.  Solid 22/11/1 with three treys last night in 40 minutes of duty.  Just added him in one league for the ice cold Terrence Ross for example.  Ross is like, “hey don’t blame me, it’s this effin’ weather!”  Yes – I narrate my fantasy teams.  Someday soon I hope to put on a finger puppet show.  Here’s what else I saw last night in a wild evening of fantasy action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m sure we’ve all experienced a day in our lives that through some kind of grueling experience we somehow came out victorious.  On the inside all we cared about was the instant satisfaction of winning but on the outside we appeared broken and defeated.  Not so long ago I had such a night.  It’s not the shame that makes it so difficult to talk about, but the shame that there’s a sense of glory and accomplishment that goes with it.  JB and I decided a few drinks were in order one night and we decided, while watching some NBA action, to have ourselves a little drinking game.  Sure I thought, I’ve had a few already how bad can this be?  The deal was that we would pick a player and for each assist that player had the other person would have a drink.  JB wanted it to be field goals made but I managed to talk him into assists, or so I thought.  “Chris Paul“, I said without hesitation.  Looking back I probably had a really stupid smirk on my face.  JB calmly ordered himself another, then he ordered me an appetizer – which looking back may have saved my life.  With a perfectly calm demeanor I got to hear words that will still cause me to cringe, “Kendell Marshall“.

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Ohhhh man, the mile run.  Nothing establishes popularity in middle school more than the mile run.  You have the athletes who can just jog but have to semi-try, the dorks who are OK at sports that do pretty well (me!), the cool kids that just walk, the unhealthy people who saunter, and then the coolest dudes who hide behind the scoreboard on the other side of the track as the teachers and smoke cigs.  True story!  But the real run to talk about this morning is C.J. Miles‘ run, who’s capped off three straight great games.  Hit a ridiculous 10 treys last night, for a 34/5/2/2 line shooting 11-18 and 10-14 from deep.  If only someone called it yesterday!  And proof to the theory of ThrAGNOF.  Got you 10 treys for just one spot start.  Great night for Miles and shows us yet again that if you need to stream guys, play anyone facing the Sixers.  As I mentioned yesterday, their D is league worst in points allowed by nearly 7 points more a game given up than the second-worst.  It’s a fast-paced team with bad D no matter how you slice it.  Unfortunately for Miles, the acquisition of Luol Deng is really going to hurt his minutes, making him a guy you’re probably not picking up in standard leagues or solid 12-teamers.  Just won’t have the minutes or upside.  But luckily he had one last game to show his range and should stay in the mix for deeper leaguers.  Here’s what else I saw last night in a big slate of games:

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If you’re like JB and myself, then you like your fantasy basketball to be Head-To-Head.  The ability to talk smack to a new opponent every week keeps the intensity high.  And unlike Roto or NCAA football, we get The Playoffs, where heroes are made and injures decimate championship aspirations.  A nasty little side effect however is a shortened regular season.  After this week we will have played 10 weeks.  Marking the halfway point of the regular season.  If you’re in the bottom 3rd of your league then sacrifices must be made.  Injured players may need to be traded at less than face value or flat out dropped.  Streaming takes priority over upside.  There is still plenty of time to make up ground and sneak into the playoffs but it’s safe to say something isn’t working.  If you’re in the middle 3rd then you should take a long hard look at who on your team is on the way up and who is on the way down.  We all had our favorite sleepers coming into the year, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of mine, Archie Goodwin was well liked around these parts too.  They weren’t giving enough so we had to move on to the next opportunity, c’est la vie, life goes on…  If your in the top 3rd of your league then you need to ensure you stay there.  You can be much more risky and shouldn’t pass up any high upside guy who is getting big minutes.

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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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Now I’m not sure about this, but when Taj Gibson had a couple good games over the Thanksgiving week, I probably recapped and gobble-gobbled at it.  My jowls flapped around like Boss Nass bein’ all “Hmmpphhherr Rumpity-Doooo, Taj Gibson, rabble rabble rabble!”  At least that sounds like me… Now you see what I deal with in my inner monologue!  It’s like I battle a drunk Kenny Rogers.  Which is to say, I battle Kenny Rogers.  Gibson has been a scrate-up beast the past four, going 23/8, 18/4, 26/14 5 blks, and 19/6/0/1/1 last night.  Bringing big time energy to that front line as the main big off the bench, he’s playing insane out there, shooting 67% from the floor in those past 4.  I watched the game last night and was impressed with his spark, but then again, the Heat bigs are awful.  They got out-rebounded 49-27 last night!  Back in the day, I used to love Taj when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah battled injuries.  But now… it took some time and four in a row to buy it.  I think it’s because the Bulls are my least favorite team.  Sorry Bulls fans!  Boozer & Noah just yell on virtually every rebound and definitely every single putback attempt.  It’s unreal!  It’s like Maria Sharapova is rebounding.  And Gibson does it at least 50% of the time.  He’s becoming the Bulls Sex Panther.  “50% of the time he’s yelling… every time!”  But regardless of how annoying he/the Bulls bigs are to watch/listen to, he’s playing like a must-own in all formats.  At 33% owned in Yahoo and 24% in ESPN, he’s hot while a lot guys are not.  I don’t think he’s going to turn into a set-it and forget-it guy the rest of the year, he doesn’t do enough of anything else besides score and board (if not for that 5 block game, he’d be under 1 in Asts, Stls & Blks on the year), but I think he’s a ride the wave kinda add right now.  Here’s what else I saw on the light Thursday slate of games and a few updates for tonight:

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“Is it safe?”  Dustin Hoffman was so not type B enough in that situation.  Imagine Jeff Spicoli in that scene.  “Dude, what are you doing with that, man?!”  But nothing beats the end when Hoffman makes him eat the diamonds.  Spoiler alert!  Oh yea, that’s supposed to go before the – - nevermind.  Ryan Anderson last night was sure the marathon man in the triple OT slug fest in Chicago, playing a preposterous 57 minutes for 36/6 with 7 threes.  He’s like a big Klay Thompson!  I was actually texting with my friend who said the broadcast compared him to Larry Bird – Hah!  I countered with the Jazz broadcast in their opener compared Alec Burks to Michael Jordan.  I can’t even make something up more preposterous than that!  These announcers must’ve failed those analogy tests you had to take through elementary school.  “Pizza:delicious::ice cream:????”  “Alec Burks!”  While it’s good seeing Anderson get that kind of run, spoiler alert!  I think his toe could flare up at some point.  He’s playing great, no question, but when he came back from injury he said he was going to manage the pain and the Pelicans were hoping to hold back his minutes a bit.  Sure failed last night!  I’m obviously not his toe, but I’d be like, “Yo, Ryan, 57 minutes be too much and Tough Actin’ Tinactin ain’t gonna fix me!”  I’m buying the nice Anderson stats right now, but think he’s a bit of a sell high and big dudes with big toes that have been big ouchies are big red flags.  Here’s what else I saw from last night’s action and news in fantasy hoops:

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As JB and I sit at our local Starbucks at 4 PM, him in a 2-piece flannel Carolina Panther outfit he just woke up in and me in only my usual loin cloth, we notice that there are some very odd looking people who drink coffee in the middle of the afternoon.  It isn’t just for yuppies and house wives anymore.  Middle schoolers walk in, talking about how badly they need their caffeine.  Really?  Was your long day of sleeping in class stressful?  More than anything, a coffee shop has become a place to be seen, and fortunately for us on this day, it was worth watching.  A couple of girls walk in, one on her phone talking, laughing and the other with a nasty scowl on her face.  She must have said something on the phone because all of a sudden the other girl starts yelling like a banshee and slapping the girls face as hard as she could.  In what I feel was an appropriate response, JB began his play-by-play a la Howard Cosell, “There’s another left by George he’s getting into Fraziers head.”  We all knew what was coming, “I think he hurt Joe Frazier, I think Joe is hurt!”  Right when JB was about to formulate that iconic saying, the girl on the phone delivers a thundering overhand right, dropping the aggressor and immediately ending the altercation.

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Are you not entertained?!

Chris Paul sure put on a show last night, dropping treys, lobbing alleys, fending off tigers chained up as obstacles.  You name it!  He torched the Warriors in the Clippers “home opener” (despite it being their second straight game in LA) for an unreal 42/4/15 and 6 steals.  Shot 12-20 from the field and won you FT% this week going 16-17 at the stripe.  Paul was so much like Russell Crowe.  In LA there’s even a “Coliseum” (ok maybe that’s a stretch)!  Games like this support Doc wanting to cover up the banners and jerseys.  Even when Kobe gets back, Paul has to be the best player in LA.  I said it before on Opening Night and reiterate below, but the acquisition of J.J. Redick does wonders for Paul in the Clippers spacing.  I said he’ll have double-digit assists almost every game.  I said he’d score 42 against the Warriors.  Dammit, OK so I didn’t say that second one.  Elite assists and steals are par for the course, and scoring like this in a few more games will have him the easy #3 fantasy player.  Here’s what else I saw in last night’s two NBA games:

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The preseason is upon us!  And just like how you don’t put too much stock in Spring Training or the NFL Preseason – there isn’t anything to go too crazy about with what happens in the box scores.  However, some guys do get hurt, hurt guys can show they’re back, and there’s additional news to spruce up everyone’s rankings (my updated top 200 is below and broken down by position in the menu).  But before you scroll down! We really need some RCL commissioners to start up new leagues to show me just how bad my rankings are.  The winner gets their name shaved in my head for god’s sake!  Please don’t make it anything too profane… I don’t want to tell the barber he has to put @$%#% somewhere in my scalp!  Rather than belaboring current events and more RCL pandering, let’s just hop right in:

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