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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

The Bulls are a lot like the Tanner children.  Whatever the hell the name of the youngest the Olsen Twins played is Derrick Rose – all sorts of famous but now all sorts of a mess.  The middle one is Kirk Hinrich.  Because as soon as he’s not on the Bulls anymore, he’s gonna become so irrelevant that even Tom Thibodeau will forget who he was the next season.  Which leaves us with D.J. who is obviously – D.J. Augustin.  I mean, Bob Saget should’ve just stopped at the first kid! Well I guess there’s still upside with the youngest one.  This metaphor is tanking JB!  I feel as if you readers are starting profanity-laced rants thus far.  Just like Bob Saget’s stand-up “act”!  Hey-oh!  So Hinrich got hurt yet again last night, doing something to his hammy.  It’s almost as if you can predict injuries!  Part of my gravitation to D.J. was not only how well he was fitting with the team, but how brittle Captain Kirk is.  I would make a Star Trek parallel, but it’s TNG or nothing, son!  Besides, the TV show metaphors are a strong 0/1 this morning… Augustin is in line for huge run and in 37 minutes last night went 27/4/4 with 5 threes.  I expect pretty high-teen scoring and 6-8 dimes a night with a couple of treys while Hinrich is out, then maintaining the starting role when Hinrich is back with minimal dropoff.  More-or-less a must own in all leagues, and I’ve been Bull[hah!]ish on him all along.  Hopefully you’ve scooped him up and held on to him.  Here’s what else I saw in fantasy hoops on a busy day of MLK action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s gotta be a hardcore Spurs fan in your league, or someone who appreciates the classics, or someone who doesn’t realize that Tim Duncan is 37 years old, or someone who doesn’t care, or, best of all, someone who has been hit hard by injuries and is in dire need of a big man.

Because if you find that dude, you want to offer Timmy D. to him right now.

Duncan has once again defied the odds with near-All-Star numbers. Yeah, he’s scoring a few points less, but his rebounds (9.8 per) and his blocks (around 2 bpg) are right where they have been the past few years.

While these numbers are all fine and dandy, the best power forward of all time is great trade bait because of what he’s been up to lately. Just last week he had a vintage, turn-back-the-clock game with a 24-17-2 at Memphis. After a bit of a rebounding slump, he posted three-straight games with double-digit boards, and just last night he snuffed four shots against the T-Wolves.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve got a great idea for a horror movie.  This giant dude with a disheveled afro walks into various fast-food franchises and just stomps on everyone and gives them sub-90 sanitation grades.  We’ll call it, “Andrew Bynum: Franchise Killer!”  Dum, domp, dumb!  Aka, the sounds Bynum makes when he talks.  Oh man, Cleveland hasn’t been this happy since the Cavs beat LeBron and the Heat a couple years ago in Cleveland.  And all this does for Bynum is get him moved to another team so he can be waived for a salary dump.  I wish I dumped salary!  No not celery!  Anyway, the Bulls shipped off Luol Deng in their own celery dump (too many Chicago dogs) to Cleveland, while receiving some draft picks in full rebuild mode.  Hey, if they don’t make the playoffs then no one has to berate Derrick Rose about his knee!  What was Rose thinking saying he might try to come back… I’ve never been a big Deng fan, perils of being in tar heel country, and moving to a team with a lot of shooters (Kyrie Irving) and ball hogs (Kyrie Irving), I think Deng’s fantasy value takes a hit.  Sure Deng still played well with a healthy Rose, but it’s just not a situation where I see Deng being as solid a fantasy guy with C.J. Miles and Dion Waiters also shoot first guys on the wing.  And you can kiss the 7 boards a game goodbye with Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao pullin’ em down.  I wouldn’t panic and give Deng away, but that’s just my take.  Here’s what else I saw from last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

DeAndre Jordan is the prototypical Boards-N-Blocks guy.

Of course we want guys who consistently put up double-digit rebound games with a few snuffs sprinkled in. And, yes, we love it if you have the ability to post a 20-board behemoth every so often.

But what makes Jordan the perfect candidate for this space is that he scores like he’s playing golf. When you see a game like the 2-point, 19-rebound, 2-block line he compiled in an epic overtime thriller Friday at Portland, you wonder if he’s actually trying to not put the ball in the basket. Anyone who owns him knows he takes the idea of not scoring to the extreme at the free throw line (where he’s shooting 40 percent). It’s almost like it’s a badge of honor for him.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Merry Christmas to all!  And to all a good night!  Well, except for the Hawks, who lost both DeMarre Carroll and Al Horford in last night’s double overtime win against the Cavs.  Carroll’s Christmas carol was about hoping his hand and/or thumb didn’t break, as he was in bad pain exiting the game.  Diagnosis came out that he has a sprained thumb, and while a non-break is a good news, remember Larry Sanders “just” had a sprained thumb and had to have surgery.  Just shatter the champagne bottle you got sprayed with and use it like a weapon like a normal bar fight, Sanders!  And to make matters worse, Horford then lost all his Christmas cheer when he hurt his shoulder later in the game and is set for an MRI.  It’s his right shoulder vs. a left pectoral tear that ended his year in 2012, but neither of these injuries look too good.  Big men waiting in the wings for the Hawks (womp womp) Elton BrandPero AnticGustavo Ayon, and Mike Scott would all stand to get increased roles, especially if both injuries turn out to be serious.  I’ve talked about Scott more than a few times as a guy to keep an eye on should there be injuries, and I think he has the most upside by far to emerge.  His per 36 of 18.7/7.7/2.0/0.6 with 1.3 treys while shooting 55% from the field gives him a glimmer of hope to be the fantasy contributor I thought he could be.  Here’s what else I spotted through the Holidays while opening all of my Brandon Knight basketball cards on Christmas morning:

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Before this NBA season I couldn’t look at Mike D’Antoni without thinking of Cy Tolliver, the second-tier villain on HBO’s “Deadwood.”

But I had no idea that D’Antoni would behave like his fictional doppelganger (played by Powers Boothe) and that he would turn the Lakers into the Bella Union Saloon, a place rife with rigged gambling, card games that end in gunfire, out-in-the-open prostitution and inexplicable frontcourt rotations. OK, maybe just the last thing.

There really seems to be no method to D’Antoni’s madness. Jordan Hill got some serious run at the end November and responded with some double-digit rebound games, so of course coach slashed his minutes down to the high teens by the beginning of December. Around the middle of the month he called Hill’s number again, and the results weren’t surprising: He produced some nice games, including a 21-9-1 on Dec. 16 at Atlanta. Now Hill is starting, but his minutes have been crunched down to around 20 per game.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?