Brandon Jennings is terrible.

I pretty much wanted to kill the open right there, but “journalistic integrity” or whatever…  In a horrific shooting display, BJ flat out sucked for 5-18 shooting and it was equally as painful to watch as Josh Smith at shootaround.  A few fadeaway treys, bricked layups… You name it.  I honestly think a big part of the Pistons game plan right now is have BJ shoot like a hot dog, and rely on the O-boards from Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.  Drummo’s OREB gave me an O-face last night, that’s for sure!  Racked up 7 OREB and Monroe had 5, and I’m guessing almost all of those came on BJ’s bricks.  If terrible shots leading to OREB and putbacks counted as assists, Jennings would be John Stockton.  Of course, sometimes there’s some Flubber on the ball and it goes in, but this is an immense sell-high window.  Probably a Sportscenter Top-10 layup, and has been playing fairly well lately.  Even D.J. Augustin at 8-18 FG 19/0/5 couldn’t get Stan Van to flip-flop PG down the stretch.  We’re used to seeing flip-flops!  Stan Van coaching like Laguna Beach.  Jennings is a big name on the trading block as well, and the Pistons aren’t hesitant to give players away, as in cutting J Smoove.  One rumor I read was Houston…  They would be the worst shooting team in NBA history!  Success for Houston would obviously be bringing in two guys from a former 5-23 team… Then again, the Pistons just won on the road in San Antonio for their 6th straight, and they are – you won’t believe this – now 3.5 games out of a playoff spot in the East.  Hah!  Trade or no trade, labradoodle-city Jennings could probably fetch an interesting ransom in the fantasy market as this current run is unsustainable.  Here’s what else went down in last night’s two games:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy 2015 Razzball Nation!

I for one am elated the Holidays have wrapped up (big thanks again to Slim for his recap at the end of last week!), and ready to buckle down for the second half of the fantasy regular season in H2H.  My new year’s resolutions have been made – use Twitter more, swear a little less, work out a lot more…  But this gosh darn knee!  Eh, I’m pretty flippin’ flabby anyway…  Fiddlesticks!  Might as well shut it down…

And the talk for Carmelo Anthony‘s shutdown continually grow like a wave across the second level at Madison Square Garden.  Not like they have anything else to do…  Next new year’s resolution – less dot dot dots!  The 5-31 Knickerbockers (I’m calling them The Poppycockers the rest of the way) have been worse than even Spike Lee could have imagined after reading reviews of his Oldboy remake.  “Brooooooo – Liiiinnnnn!”  Some dude named Bondy (shakeny, not stirredy) from The New York Daily News reported Melo’s knee will need a minor surgery, so it’s not like Melo is just playing through general oldboy-ness.  He’s missed the last few after being awful for two straight to end December, so trading him off in fantasy leagues is redonk tough.  Last we checked in (mostly through comments), I’ve maintained I’m not giving him away, but it’s fairly close.  He’s about at the “leave on the curb” status rather than “driving him all the way to the dumpster.”  My best advice would be to find a need for your team, and go for a guy that hits that need without a huge overall rank – i.e. Trevor Ariza for some steals and treys.  Might not get Ariza these days, but yeah, something like that.  And I still think you gotta try and hold out until Melo plays a few in a row – he’s traveling with the team for the next two games so he’s likely to suit up at least once.  Here’s what else went on in fantasy basketball since we flipped the calendar:

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I hope everyone in Razzball Nation had a fantastic Christmas!  Hopefully Santa brought you many-a-counting-stats presents and stuffed your stocking with the same vigor as John Henson.

So I’m not too big into that Facebook thing, but a lot of the fam seemed to mention their “Year in Review” and the weird shizz it pulled in over the Holidays.  Mine was two pictures other people put up and tagged me in, with a message reading “you have no life!”  But if the magical minions put together a Razzball Year in Review, it would be peppered with more #OccupyDraymondGreen than you could throw a stick at!  It’s hard to believe that the #OccupyDraymondGreen movement started on February 13th this year, and he was at 0% owned only a few games before the name was bequeathed.  The #Occupy culture became a viral movement here at Razzball, with only us alternative lifestyle hipsters ranking him top-100 coming into the season.  Boo-yah!  Season made right there, screw any of that Victor Oladipo nonsense…  While I had little-to-no concern David Lee would sap anything from the #Occupiers, Draymond Green had a coincidental teeny-tiny lull before some unreal rainbows on Christmas and last Saturday, going 10/10/3/2/2 on JC’s Bday and the biggie 4/8/6/6/3 against the Wolves in 32 scrappy minutes.  Late entry to that comment!  As we head into 2015, be sure to reflect on the highs-and-lows and whenever possible – #OccupyDraymondGreen!  Here’s what else Santa has brought to us fantasy owners since Christmas:

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It’s like that scene in Moneyball when Beane-y Baby is talking to David Justice and says something along the lines of, “You pissed off the other team so much, they’re paying 2/3 your salary!”  Except the Pistons are going to pay 3/3 of Josh Smith‘s salary…

Geez, over the weekend plus a travel day, I feel like I missed two season’s worth of the NBA!  Smoove gets waived, there’s trades…  I think Andrew Wiggins is even contemplating retirement!  In Detroit Rock City, Stan Van is tired of seeing Detroit Brick City.  Shooting a career-low (even for Smoove!) 39.1% from the field (including 9-37 from deep for a Gargantuan 24.3 3PTM%), Stan Van is about as sick of labradoodles as Michael Vick.  Too soon!  I could go Larry Sanders there too, he is on my all-hate team…  Wow, this got too serious.  Josh Smith is terrible at basketball!  Another year of 2.6 TO is doing no favors, but even in only 32 minutes a game (a low since 2005-06), he’s at a career-best 4.7 AST this year.  Then again, another flip-side with a career worst 46.8 FT%.  I’m rattling things off we already know, but mostly want to mention in H2H leagues, he’s still a useful player if your team is built the right way.  And my pre-season rank was hoping he would come off the bench and boost the FG% and bad TO rate by playing against second units.  Right now the Rockets are front-runners to pick him up (which also is a big indictment on Terrence Jones coming back any time soon), which should limit his labradoodles and keep him in line for defensive stats.  I’m really hating what Stan Van is doing to DET for us fantasy-players – these shifts in minutes and rotations are infuriating – so I’m actually a little encouraged.  We’ll see how it shakes out, but if you’ve been able to weather the Smoove storm of horrific efficiency, I’d keep holding.  Here’s what else has gone on across the league since we last checked in:

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The embargo is lifted!  I can’t wait to buy some cigars… If you missed it, Obama has opened his front door to Cuba while continuing to backdoor the Canada oil pipeline.  Hey-o!

And Mark Cuban has opened up his roster for some international trade, bringing Rajon Rondo into Texas.  The Mavericks are reportedly changing their team name to the Dallas “You Don’t Mess With Texas!”  Huge move in real basketball, but who cares about any of that?!  Rondo takes a pretty substantial hit to his value, as Monta Ellis is going to sap a lot those assists with his slashes.  But it’s nothing to panic about, as his atrocious 40.5 FG% will go up and the 3.4 TO should go down.  And maybe a coach there can teach him how to hit a FT…

The rest of the swapperoo is Jameer NelsonBrandan WrightJae Crowder and a first-rounder to Boston for Rondo and Dwight Powell with a swap of second-round picks thrown around in there just to make it look fancier.  I guess if you still had Nelson in a 12 or 14er, he’s droppable.  I could see Tyler Zeller lose some PT to Wright, but who knows.  Chapel hill centers, reunite!  The obvious big impact here is Marcus Smart, who was at 30% owned right when the trade broke (somehow got him in both RCLs!).  That only shot up to 40% right when this posts, so he’s still available in several leagues.  Boston has no reason to start Nelson over him in order to get a ton of development time for their rook PG.  His fantasy game is really limited – I still don’t think the treys are going to come around in a huge way this year and we’ll be happy to see half the assists Rondo was getting a night.  But he should be plenty good enough for all 12ers.  Smart stashers feeling smart!  Here’s what else went down last night in NBA action:

[Psyche!  Quick note that I’m off next Monday, then Thursday and Friday due to Holiday scheduling.  So Daily Notes will only be out Tuesday and Wednesday next week, along with our Holiday special Razzball Basketball Podcast on Tuesday.  But I am of course always here for comments, even on Christmas, so if you need to get away from screaming kids in order to scream about how Batum has been awful, we’re ya spot!]

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Tracking Rudy Gobert‘s path to the NBA has been movie worthy.  After an accident at his former job at the local steel mill, Rudy had Jon Favreau (he really could be French!) keep his grades up in exchange for Rudy helping Jonny out with the ladies.  Gobert almost gave up on his dream for basketball, but Charles S. Dutton gave a heartfelt speech on BEING REAL!  Utah fans tried carrying Gobert off the court chanting “Rudy!  Rudy!” after that win against the Spurs last Tuesday, but it was a big hazard to the overhead lights.

Derrick Favors‘ ankle turned into a kankle over the weekend, but luckily X-rays were negative and he’s day-to-day.  No reason for the lowly Jazz to throw him out there gimpy.  Monsieur Elbow time!  Filling in for Favors on Friday night, Rudy had one of the best games of his young career for 9/11/4/1/5 shooting 2-2 FG and 5-6 FT.  Followed it up with a start last night next to Enes Kanter for 7/9/0/2/3 in 31 minutes.  Playing with the big boys!  A wingspan that would make a pterodactyl jealous, Gobert should murder blocks for you if you’re able to stream him through the couple starts he’s likely to get this week.  No timetable for Favors, but big men + kankles = John Goodman.  I mean, not good for a speedy return.

Boy did the Fantasy God of Injuries not get enough human sacrifices over the weekend!  This might turn out to be the most depressing NBA recap I’ve ever written.   Stay positive JB!  Stay positive JB!  Thanks inner monologue…  Any other advice to help me get through today’s news?  Well, remember when in Interstellar it looked like there was no hope due to another Dust Bowl, then he just finds the newly incarnated NASA – – Wait, how does any of that make sense, they didn’t know he was alive yet he was their best hope!?  And then there’s that giant plot hole with the planet with the – – it just makes no – – uhughuhguhguhguhgug – – – – F, now my inner monologue is injured…  Here’s how the weekend of death went down in NBA action:

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It’s been a bad couple weeks for big men. A lot of top producing forwards and centers seem to have been bitten by the injury bug around Thanksgiving.

Initially, DeMarcus Cousins was only considered day-to-day with viral meningitis. After missing his 8th straight game, coach Mike Malone was unsure when he would get his big man back. He’s been ruled out for the rest of the weekend, with his playing status in jeopardy for next week.

While Cousins has been out, Reggie Evans has grabbed almost every available rebound. Well not really, but he has had games of 13, 14, and 20 rebounds, while starting for Cousins. Jason Thompson has offered a more balanced increase in production (11 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and 2.4 apg in last 5 games), but the biggest beneficiary has been Rudy Gay.

With Cousins declared out for at least the weekend, now is the best time to sell high on Gay. He has a usage rate (total number of possessions per 48 minutes) of 30.2 when Cousins is out, but a 25.3 usage rate when Cousins is playing alongside him. As a result, Gay has increased his scoring, rebounds, and assists with Cousins off the floor. Try to trade him this weekend for a top 20/30 player, before Cousins gets back and steals touches away from him.

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I’ve got the ring in the cake.  The scoreboard operator has got it cued up for the 2nd quarter under-8 timeout.  The plane with some really carcinogenic toxins is ready to pollute the atmosphere in a “Will U Marry Me?” loopy smokestream.

An unsung contributor this year, DeMarre Carroll racked up another under-the-radar line last night for 14 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 3PTM, and a partridge in a pear tree!  No TO, and other than blocks really hits all the Silver Bells and whistles.  Hitting a career best 1.6 treys a game, it’s a Christmas miracle his FG% is at 46%.  The dimes don’t do much either, but there’s no reason not to to Sleigh Ride him while he’s hitting most of the cats this hard.  Even a Silent Night or two won’t scare me away, and at only 61% ownership in Yahoo, I feel like there’s still a lot of leagues where he could bring Joy to the World.  So sing a holiday carol for DeMarre, and even though nothing is too sexy, I felt like I needed Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (full disclosure, I had to look up a list of Christmas songs for this bit, I’m such a Grinch).  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball:

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Welcome back, Mr. Slim Reaper!  It’s a perfectly apt nickname too, because I own him in the JB vs. Slim RCL league and he’s going to be Slim’s reaper!  Even though I’m getting crushed this week so far…

After a decent enough start, Kevin Durant was still without the big eruption type game in his first three back, but last night dismantled the Bucks in an uber-efficient 23/9/7/1/1 game shooting 7-11 FG and 8-8 FT.  He’s worth 9 or 10 Bucks, at the least!  Was 1-5 from deep, so didn’t miss within the arc.  All of that in 29 minutes, as Beam-me-up Scotty Brooks benched the Thunder studs down the stretch of the double-digit win.  Even though this was against the young Bucks, the Thunder as a whole are coming together with Russell Westbrook having a fantastic 28/5/7 night with like, a million free throws made, and Serge Ibaka is back to his %-gold ways for 15/5/0/2/2 shooting 5-5 FG & 5-5 FT.  Durantula and Westy are going to command their first-round values in trades, but I bet you could still swindle Ibaka away at a buy-low price.  3+ blocks the past four games and 16-26 from the field his last three, and isn’t needing to force shots anymore.   Things are right in order for OKC to go on a mad run, so be counting your lucky stars if you got KD at a discount on draft day!  What we preached all preseason post-injury!  Here’s some other happenings from the NBA last night:

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This was a very big week for the Thunder. They got both of their superstars back in a matter of days.

Russell Westbrook returned on Friday night, putting up 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists in only 24 minutes of clock. Now owners may be concerned with the lack of minutes, but know that Westbrook wasn’t on a minutes’ restriction. Instead, Westbrook, along with the rest of the starters, were pulled early since the Thunder were up 32 late in the game. They were playing the New York Knicks after all.

A few days later, Kevin Durant returned to score 27 points on Tuesday night. He showed little rust on the court, shooting 9-18 from twos, 3-8 from downtown, and 6-7 from the line. Durant didn’t do much else outside of the scoring, but those numbers will happen in due time. The important thing is that Westbrook and Durant are both back and healthy.

Westbrook and Durant immediately regain their statuses as two of the top ten fantasy producers. At the same time, their return also hurts the guys filling in for them. Reggie Jackson’s statistics will take a hit, as he won’t be needed as much as an offensive producer. In the two games since Westbrook returned, Jackson had his two lowest usage rates of the season and saw his field goal attempts decrease to 11 FGA per game (down from 17.9 without Durant and Westbrook). Now there is still value to be had with Jackson, since he’ll be getting around 30 minutes a night, but don’t expect the same numbers he was providing early in the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?