Well, I can’t say I haven’t been steadfast (double negative police!) about my Dwight Howard hatred…  Look at that rock bottom red right there!

And with Dwight coming back from his knee injury and the precursing news of his return, I have said I wouldn’t add him in virtually any 10 or 12ers.  I don’t trust the minutes, and after giving Slim a 19 minutes over/under for Dwight’s return on the Pod, he only went for 16:27 putting up 4/7/2/0/1 with a TO.  At least he stayed off the FT line!  After we had started the Pod, McHale said he was only giving Dwight 16 minutes, just enough to be sure his TO and FT% wouldn’t hurt fantasy teams.  I may have been liberal with McHale’s quote for that last part…  In 8-cat or non-FT% leagues I guess he probably should be scooped up, but he’ll probably sit back-to-backs and the Rockets have a pair left on the schedule with Sun/Mon and Wed/Thurs games this upcoming week.  Get your sales ready, Big & Tall, we got a bigun needing more street clothes!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, off an emotional win beating the Gizz (I hope that catches on), the Pistons go back-to-back and lose in Philly.  Seems like that kind of emotional high/low happens all the time!  Shoulda bet some money on Philly with probably a good betting line against em.

And it was pretty easy to see how Detroit lost with Reggie Jackson (4-17), Jodie Meeks (2-12), and Spencer Dinwiddie (2-11) combining for 7-40 from the field!  That FG% isn’t even legal at 17.5%!  That shooting percentage is statutory rape!  But swooning in all cool and ready to rob the cradle was the 44% from my boy Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the only shooter who could hit anything going 7-16.  Normally the lead for this game would be R-Jax’s trip-dub (11/11/10/0/0), but with 5 TO and that shooting %, he was pretty poopy.  KCP isn’t going to suddenly be a multi-cat stud, but it’s back-to-back 20 point games with a 20/8/2/1/0 line last night and a trey.  What I really like was his aggressiveness driving to the hole, netting 5-6 FT and he’s 7-9 from the stripe the past two games after a stretch with virtually no freebies.  He’s taken 14+ shots in 6 of 7 games and at least 10 shots in 13 of 15 taking a bigger role in the O with R-Jax able to probe (I can only think of South Park every time I hear a broadcast say that…).  Of course the FG% will be a struggle, but if your team build can handle it/if it’s a punt, the low TO and decent steals make him a solid add in the stretch run.  Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy basketball:

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Glen Davis went to the pre-season Magic weigh-in, the trainer was like, “355 Big Baby, really?”  “These hips don’t lie!”  And in a very full slate of games last night, we had two pretty premiere big men have their hips not lie and go out on them.    “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”  The NBA to start issuing players life alerts to wear around their necks.  DeMarcus Cousins was the first to succumb to the AARP ailment.  Suffered a left hip flexor, but coach Mike Malone said it probably wasn’t serious.  Destiny is like, “wait a ‘left’ hip?  I thought, like, for people we had only one hip!”  No child left behind fails us yet again.  Good thing it’s the All-Star break for Boogie!  An All-Star Boogie!  Dude, that should totally be an event.  Breakdance Horse!  Hah.  Then Derrick Favors went out and re-aggravated his right hip that had caused him to miss games here and there over the past month.  This one is a lot less bueno.  But hey, DeMarcus and Derrick have a pair of healthy hips!  If only they were siamese twins – they’d get, like, 35 rebounds a game.  Favors will likely get an MRI and be brought along very slowly since this is a re-aggravation.  Enes Kanter to the rescue!  Might get some solid run and deserves love in a lot of leagues.  And don’t sleep on Rudy Gobert in deep leagues if you need some blockage.  Speaking of blockage, look at some of the traffic photos of NC from yesterday.  No one learned from Atlanta!  And the best basketball game on the slate, UNC-Duke, cancelled.  Travesty.  Let’s get this global warming going again!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Deer in the headlights”.  Makes sense for this team!  And it starts with the pack leader Mr. Larry Drew, who we’ve slammed on ad nauseam here on Razzball hoops.  But to rub salt on the wound, or in Milwaukee’s case I guess it would be to leave out a salt lick, both fantasy relevant Bucks bigs are hurt.  Larry Sanders – who was first reported to just having blurry vision after being poked in the eye – actually has a fractured orbital bone.  Could this have actually happened later that night at a Milwaukee nightclub receiving a right hook from a bouncer?  Maybe!  I’m just excited to see Sanders in rec specs.  All he’ll need to do now is grow a goatee and dye it white and he really will be Colonel Sanders!  Then to top it off, John Henson rolled his ankle last night landing on Zaza Pachulia‘s foot.  Zaza was like, “Henson, is this your ankle?  It struck my foot!”  No updates on the severity, but we saw how long they waited to bring him back from that wrist injury so I’m a little sceered.  For Sanders, I’d try and wait until he sees the specialist today to tell him how jacked up his eye socket is.  It’s been suggested it could be 1-6 weeks, so if indeed closer to the full 6 weeks and you’re barely hangin’ by a thread I think you have to cut him loose.   Tough to take a 0 the last weeks before the playoffs. Henson is another wait and see, but I doubt it will be nearly that long.  But in both cases, if you’re in H2H and really needing a win this week, I couldn’t fault losing either in a All-Star Weekend shortened matchup.  An extra start means even that much more in a week like this one.  Sure someone will probably scoop up your Bucks roadkill to cook into their Chinese Food, but hey, at least it’s not in your dinner.  Zaza is worth a look himself as a streamer in the interim.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ohhhhh Brad Stevens.  You look like you’re 12 and coach like you’re… 12.  But at least, unlike Larry Drew, his inconsistencies have been pretty centralized to the… center.  I need to work on expanding my vocab!  First there was the Vitor Faverani early (albeit very brief) breakout, then Kelly Olynyk got some starts, followed by a really nice run from Jared Sullinger.  I at first brushed him off, but then had Yahoo highlights for a Celtics game and was really impressed.  I liked how he saw the floor, played hard, a nice-looking shot, and just overall looked like a guy that would be a must-own.  Then after some flagrant fouls and rough-n-tough play racking up the personals, Stevens threw him to the bench.  From December 22nd to January 8th he was brutal and I had to jump ship as well.  And of course right after that happens, he goes for 21/11 and 14/10 over the weekend, with a pair of treys in both.  The first comment on Friday was asking about dropping Sullinger and I said “12 team with a solid squad I might hold, but if I had injuries or needed production now, he’s droppable. I think he is bad a few weeks, but gets back into the starting lineup.”  That’s me quoting me!  My timetable was off, turned out he was done being bad/underplayed, but I still had some faith.  I think he needs to be owned in most leagues with double-double upside, a perimeter game, and I think the assists come back (only 1 in the past 4, but was at 2.3 dimes a game in December).  Let’s all just hope Stevens doesn’t keep sullying fantasy hoops for us… Here’s what else I saw over the weekend (through tears of sadness after the refs rigged the 49ers a playoff win) in fantasy basketball:

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?

I always love when an off night (only 4 games yesterday) yields one of the best NBA games we’ve seen all year.  So many story lines, so many stars.  And more importantly – so much fantasy goodness!

I guess I shouldn’t have curtsied around it, but there’s no way Chris Paul doesn’t lead the NBA in assists this year.  I said in the first recap of the season he would average a bajillion assists and rack up double-digit dimes almost every game.  Score two for JB!  Averaging 12 a game equates to a bajillion, right?  John Stockton is deadpan staring me down right now. Creepy, Stockton!  Creepy… J.J. Redick will be a really underrated acquisition if the Clips indeed make a title run with how he helps space the floor with his movement and shooting, and while we all know Chris Paul is awesome, I’m already putting him as the #3 fantasy player right now, leapfrogging James Harden.

I lucked out getting last night’s only late game, making Yahoo highlights for the 137-118 Clippers win.  Pretty much everything played out like a video game.  Everyone was hitting 3s, the scoring was astronomical, the pace was like a Peyton Manning offense, and finished off with some late alleys for the icing on the cake.  Fantasy God #1 really got that L2 + Square alley working out by the end of the game; Fantasy God #2 just couldn’t quite time Harden’s 3-point shot release.  Wait, do they even need controllers?  We are the controllers!  Whoa, too much philosophizing.  Let’s just get this back on the rails and go over some of the news and notes from last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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The period of free agency continues to shape the fantasy basketball-scape with fresh meat on terrible teams and players signing with contenders to be relegated to bench duty.  With baseball in full swing and the NFL getting half of the ESPN air time no matter what time of year it is, a lot of NBA moves have been made under the radar.  Look for every division to get a team-by-team breakdown and some early fantasy thoughts on the new faces in new places:

Please, blog, may I have some more?