The Lakers and dear ol’ coach Doh-toni are just an absolute mess right now.  And just to make things even more interesting, there are injuries, mystery, intrigue, vets returning, and a scheme to divert water reservoir rights.  With Pau Gasol out for two weeks with a bum groin and a good chance out of L.A. before the trade deadline, this whole team is turning into the end of Chinatown.  “Forget it, Jake.  It’s Chinatown!”  And you really can forget pretty much everyone on this team right now, as three vets returned, two guys got hurt, and it’s turning into a bigger Hollywood disaster than The Adventures of Pluto Nash.  I bet Norbit could play PF for the purple and gold!  Since going through everything that happened for the crumbling Lakers would be an 800-word paragraph, let’s hop out of the open and machine gun through em, plus what else happened last night in the world of fantasy hoops:

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Just like a vacation to Cape Cod, Tim Hardaway Jr. got a sabbatical Mike Woodson’s bench at the start of 2014.  “My New Year’s resolution will be… Bench my best players!  Well except Melo…”  Playing under 15 minutes in first 5 2014 games, it looked like it would be a Hardaway Way Back.  But as they say, “slow and steady wins the race!”  Then how come Andrew Bynum isn’t running track?  “Usain Bolt got nothing on me!”  Then starting on the 14th, Coach Woody got Timmy Tim more minutes, capped off with 30+ in three of the last four.  And man, was last night some straight ballin’!  Topping his career-high by 8, Timmay(!) went 29/3/1 in 31 minutes, shooting a sizzling 11-17 FG with 6-12 from deep.  “That means he made every shot inside the arc!”  Thanks arbitrary remark man!  Enough with the quotes this morning JB… This game was virtually over the second Tyler Zeller lost the tip to Tyson Chandler (the ridiculous mismatch on the tip was a nice foreshadowing of the game…) and the Knicks embarrassed the Cavs about as bad as “The Decision.”  But while Timmay(!) racked up some points in junk time, the Knicks have won four straight with him helping to stretch the floor.  Of course no Iman Shumpert factors in, but there’s no way Coach Woody doesn’t have some morning woody seeing 4 straight wins – thanks to a lot less of Timmay(!) on the pine and more of him on… hardwood.  So I think Hardaway Jr. is here to stay as a ThrAGNOF, which isn’t necessarily a derogatory term.  Stream him when you can even in shallow leagues!  Free points and threes!  But not much else… Here’s what else I saw last night in a light slate of Thursday games:

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Deron Williams could sell Citizen Eco-Drive watches too!  “Be precise!  Be powerful!  And whatever you do, don’t in-bounds the ball on a terrible underthrown pass when you’re up a point with seconds to go!”  Just an awful way for the Nets to drop a game last night, as one of my favorite underrated guys right now Patrick Patterson stole Deron’s pass and buried a game-winner.  If only that was a fantasy category!  While you may have been suckered in thinking I’m gonna talk about Deron, Pit Pat is who I want to lead with, who ended with a 15/3/1/2/0 night, punctuated by that steal and dos points on that last play.  In 22 minutes he shot 6-11, hit a three, and is playing pretty well in limited time.  In only 23:12 a game thus far in 2014, 11/5.6/1.6/0.8/0.6 with a trey a night.  Dem fightin’ numbers!  Obviously was on the court in the critical juncture last night, and pulled a Richard Sherman defensive play.  Plus he played after breaking his nose Saturday!  Dem fightin’ numbers!  Only owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues, Pit Pat’s strong play should have him on the brink of high 20 minutes a game.  Not like he’s playing for the Bucks or anything!  Sure he’s behind Amir Johnson, but Amir was quiet last night in 30 minutes (8/6/1/0/1) and Tyler Hansbrough is still out with a psycho ankle.  If you step up in an opportunity, rewards shall be reaped!  Just don’t typo that last word without the first “e”.  Like I almost did!  Hashtag edetting.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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In case you missed it (and let’s face it, who’s watching Bobcats games?), Kemba Walker had a scary ankle roll Saturday night and will miss 10-14 days.  He’s gonna need a walker for a while after that!  Cricket cricket, cricket cricket.  “That’s not funny JB, it’s just cruel…”  So what if I have Cruel Intentions?!  Now I wanna make out with Selma Blair…  So what if I’m not Sarah MG (I didn’t even want to bother Googling that be sure I had it spelled right…)?!  This is way off the rails…  Back to Walker, he’s a guy that relies on speed and explosiveness, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the full two weeks and even more.  Cue the Ramon Sessions puns!  As a North Carolinian, I guess I am more a Hornets Bobcats fan than any other team, so I may be biased, but I like Sessions and think he can be a decent stream the next two weeks in 12-teamers that need a desperate solid starter.   He’s an emergency Sessions!  Hey that’s the title!  In 38 minutes against the Heat, Ramon went 16/3/5 shooting 6-10 and 4-4 from the stripe.  The 5 TOs are no fun, he does turn the ball over a tad too much, but I think the underrated aspect of his game is he constantly gets to the stripe and shoots good FT%.  He’s at 3.4 makes a game at 79% this year, after being at 83% the previous two seasons.  And last year when he was at 27 minutes a game (22 per thus far in 13-14), he hit 4.8 FTs a game.  He’ll easily get low-to-mid 30 minutes per contest while Walker, Texas Ranger is out, so if you need some scoring, dimes, and that sweet boost of FT shooting in a tough matchup this week or next, or to pad those stats in roto, Sessions is in sess… Eh, well you get it… Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Leandro Barbosa had a really good run in the 2000’s, captaining the Black Pearl, slashing to the basket with some great drives – just like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was all-around fun to watch in his prime.  After a decline in Leandro’s play, he was shipped to Toronto for some turkey named Hedo Turkoglu.  Barbosa averaged nearly 13 Pts a game north of the border in two seasons, but then he was constantly asea with stints with the Pacers and Celtics before tearing his ACL in February last year.  And man, did that injury make him look attractive to the Wizards, who traded for him in a salary move.  Never playing for the Wizards and not getting any deals in the offseason, Barbosa looked stranded on the Isla de Muerta.  But some rum runners and/or braiding human hair from his back to lash together sea turtles got him back to civilization and re-signed by his former Suns a week ago.  After three meh games, Barbosa broke out with a 21/3/2 game last night.  Commodore Barbosa!  Bootstraps’ bootstraps!  He stayed on the court just over 30 minutes, and was infinitely better scoring the ball than Gerald Green, who shot 2-16.  Labradoodle alert!  No need to Geoffrey Rush to the wire in 10-teamers or 12-teamers, unless you’ve got a banged up squad in 12-team and only need points.  He’s a little interesting in deeper leagues though.  Mainly because he’ll get minutes, get shots, and will breakout on cold Green nights.  Here’s what else I saw last night across the Caribbean:

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes it’s nice, oh so nice, to see so much potential that you saw through the preseason finally get the chance to shine, the star to sizzle, the Sun to finally get his run.  With Eric Bledsoe sitting last night with a bruised shin, my boy Archie Goodwin finally got a chance, running a season-high 19 minutes for 16/2/2/2 shooting 7-10 and hitting a three, including this highlight worthy pick 6.  “Give me a chance coach!”  Goodwin has great speed and a good feel for the game for a 19-year-old, and is showing a little bit of what he could do should he get extended time.  The Suns backcourt is flooded, muddled mostly by the breakout Gerald Green is putting on, but the hot start-Suns have now dropped three straight, going from 3-1 to 5-5.  Green is an ultimate sell-high, both in fantasy and in the NBA trade market, for his highlight-inducing big plays and he’s shooting 12% better from the field and 11% better from 3-point land than last year.  Obviously 2012-13 was a disaster, so some bounce back was coming, but yea, if the Suns could get anything in return, they’ll take it.  With Green signed through next season and Goran Dragic with a player-option for next year, both are potential trade chips the Suns could use to build around Bledsoe.  Sure, I’m dreaming up a scenario that may not be the most likely, but what I’m really dreaming about is a Bledsoe/Goodwin starting backcourt.  Mmmmmm.  Fantasy goodness everywhere!  Goodwin is worth keeping an eye on with the Bledsoe shin injury in the deepest of leagues, and deeper dynasty leagues should have him on the radar as well.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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In yet another bad turn for fantasy top-100 Cs, JaVale McGee joins the triage with Tyson Chandler as centers with broken legs.  However unlike Chandler with the impact fracture, McGee discovered a stress fracture in his tibia with the ominous “out indefinitely” declaration.  It’s a very tough break (ugh) for the Nuggets and fantasy owners hoping to see stat lines of 10/10/5  when the Nuggets were on the slate.  All joking aside, I hate seeing players get injuries and it’s my least favorite open in news recaps in any sport.  There are a select few that are funny (my favorite will always be Bartolo Colon trying to swing for the fences and throwing out his back, and I have little sympathy because he’s a roider), but I wish McGee a speedy recovery.  For fantasy, he’s droppable in virtually all leagues.  A tall guy with a stress fracture isn’t swell, plus he was only playing 16 minutes a game anyway.  J.J. Hickson and Tomfey Mozgov get immediate boosts in value, Mozgov is decent when he’s not getting posterized, but Hickson I think is the biggest takeaway and probably should be scooped up in most leagues if he’s not owned already.  He proved he can be valuable with starting minutes and is a quality big man.  Here’s some other headlines from over the weekend:

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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:

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So Russell Westbrook played yesterday… Ummm… What?

After hurting his knee in last year’s playoffs, then requiring a second surgery on October 1st, Westbrook was one of the biggest fantasy news stories early in preseason with an uncertain timetable.  Well that table has expired much earlier than anyone expected, and Westbrook was out there without a minutes restriction last night.  It’s like the first surgery was done in Hostel, then the next one at the X-Mansion.  Seriously, reports ranged from from early to mid-December as a target return date, but a little Adamantium in your bones goes a long way!  The good news is he’s back, but the bad (and frankly, not shocking) news is he was mighty rusty.  In nearly 33 minutes, Westbrook shot only 5-16 (0-2 3PTM 11-14 FT) for 21 points, with 4 Reb and 7 Ast and 4 TOs.  Besides shooting like Michael Chiklis, you’ll take that line any day.  Very encouraging to see Westbrook get to the line that frequently, and the minutes were indeed non-limited.  He looked pretty Westbrook-ish in highlights as well.  Even if Westbrook isn’t quite the player he was the past few seasons, all owners are looking at a steal for where they got him post-second surgery.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?