The All-Star Break is here!  With skills competish, Mike & Mike in the evening, and everyone’s favorite – the Slam Dunk Contest.  It’s exactly what everyone needs during the grind of the regular season, even for us fans who are only nursing such injuries like Larry Drew-ophobia, general malaise, and fantasy bewilderment.  I have all of those symptoms!  Plus we all get four straight nights of not worrying about our fantasy rosters, nights off to spend with ladies (Valnetine’s Day just happens to be during the All-Star Break, who planned this?  Does Jared own the NBA?!), nights off to go out drinking without constantly checking box scores on the iPhone, and nights off to spend working on some Fantasy Baseball rankings…  Oh, and nights off to dig out our cars, sheesh this weather!  So with all that in mind enjoy the All-Star Break, get on twitter and have fun faux-titling the Dunk Contest throwdowns, and I’ll be back on Wednesday next week as we approach the fantasy playoffs.  Here’s what I saw last night in the few NBA games and a few injury updates:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I could tell what JB was thinking just from the look in his eyes, or what I could see of them, but he had to verbalize it, “Come on I really don’t want to do this.”  I’m sure he didn’t but a lost bet has consequences.  It was time to go play some 2-on-2 tournament basketball and he looked ready.  He was carrying his basketball in one hand, his sandals in the other, and sporting a bright orange and pink spandex leotard, which can you believe has to be special ordered.  I thought the big and tall store would have a couple to choose from but they don’t.  Anyway where was I, oh yeah, and a matching blindfold with a couple tiny holes poked out.  For safety.  At this point there was no escaping our fate, JB knew that what he wanted was no longer relevant.  When we finally arrived we were ready to ball.  I knew we needed to make an impression so in a show of intimidation I threw my shirt off revealing my shiny black Tom Selleck-esque body fur, pulled my socks up high and tight, and mean mugged those fools as hard as I could.

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?

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?

Well, Andrew Bynum is Mr. Glass too…  But the other way!  And he’s also Mr. Franchise Killer, as the Cavs had to suspend him just to get him to stay out of the stadium.  “Hey Andrew, leave the HurryCane at home today, we don’t wanna keep paying the stadium workers to put down the handicap ramps!”  Just saves money across the board.  Once Bynum gets waived, I think even Obama will be shaking his head at Bynum’s healthcare bills.  Anyway, the obvious benefactor to that whole mess is Anderson Varejao, who after his dominating 18/25 game last night has double-digit boards in 4 of the last 5.  Varejao was cleaning up the glass like he was the Unbreakable one!  The leading rebounder in the NBA last year before he got hurt (at a ridiculous 14.4 a game), Varejao should be a monster in 2014.  Although it does help when Nikola Vucevic is hurt and the starting center against you is Jason Maxiell.  Hell, I coulda had a double double against them last night!  And I don’t even have Jerry Curls!  Here’s what else I saw last night across the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Merry Christmas Razzball Nation!  I hope everyone is looking forward to a great holiday.  What have you asked for for Christmas?  A ridiculous stroke of luck to get you a Fantasy Football championship tonight?  A Christmas Day where three of your guys have triple doubles?  Mine is hoping that no more injuries roll through the NBA, at least with questionable return dates.  Hey, at least Brook Lopez has a certain return date.  October 2014.  Huge loss (I was going to say break, but um, yea) for fantasy owners with a broken foot.  Here’s what I said in my ranks with him at 50, lower than most other places: “Love his game, had him top-20 in May.  Foot injury and big trade limits #s.”  That’s me quoting me!  Ok, ok, so I get a ton wrong and you can’t project injuries (which I didn’t really, gotta love vagueness!), but I avoided Lopez everywhere so I am not suffering a stocking full of coal like BroLo owners.  BroLo’s stocking is actually full of a swollen foot, but you get the idea.  Andray Blatche becomes a must-own with the boost in minutes, and was already at double-digits and 19:40 plus of playing time in 15 of 17 games before Friday night’s dud when BroLo got hurt.  I see him grabbing 7 to 8 boards with decent %s – along with his scoring – for a bottom end guy on rosters with a tad of upside.  Here’s what else/who else got hurt over the weekend:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man!  I was loving that game!  Through three contests (the inaugural one in the comments then when adopted into the piece), I didn’t get a single win!  For shame… At least now with Kobe Bryant missing 6 weeks, we’ll be brimming with excitement to relaunch the game!  I never ended up with Kobe anywhere, so I’m downplaying the real fantasy impact here… Kobe owners are asking should I hold or should I let go?  I think he is probably a hold in almost all leagues if you can, but man, these top-end injuries are killin’ out there!  Plus we have to remember it’s a fractured knee and a re-sewn up Achilles.  And he wasn’t setting the world on fire anyway.  Kobe is turning into Jeter from last year!  Bryant is a medical marvel though, he can jump over cars going 40 MPH and come back after bone spurs a game later.  So he’s worth the stash unless it’s a very shallow 10-teamer or smaller, or you’re just a triage of injuries.  Here’s what else went down last night across fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I trust everyone has been a good boy or girl this year, and has sent their wish list to Santa already, right? I have it on good authority that jolly old St. Nick is a huge NBA fan, so naturally I suggest you ask for fantasy help. And I have a strategy: bear in mind, if you ask for too much, you get burned for being greedy, and you will get coal bricks under your tree (like Drummond at the free throw line, amirite?? Awful, sorry.). So, that in mind, I’m simply asking for dimes. I need help with assists in my 2 leagues, I took Kyrie in both leagues, and he is not exactly packing that stat line, I have Jameer, and he’s been on and off the court… well, whining to you guys won’t do anything about it. But whining to Santa will. It has to, as there is no quality points on my waiver. And with that let me bend your eyeballs to a few guys that might make excellent stocking stuffers:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Have you ever gone out with a nurse, or someone in pre-med? It sounds all sexy, and I’m not gonna lie, it was, but like in all things, there are benefits, and there are drawbacks. In my case, it was a textbook situation of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. If I had a cough – it’s malaria. Once I had an itch on my back – don’t wanna scare you, but you may have cancer. My sac a little tingly – you got the AIDS. Humph. She was wrong on almost all of those prognostications. But I can relate, because I fancy myself a bit of a B-Ball aficionado, and, really, I just read and watch a lot of the game. So when I nabbed Kobe Bryant in the 5th round in 2 leagues, I smugly patted myself on the back, letting the league know I got the steal of the draft. Mamba was gonna came back right at the beginning of the season, all pissed off, and be a ball hoggin’ menace out there. Then I got either Sanders, or Tobias, as well as Wilson Chandler, and held them on the bench also. I thought that I could outsmart the system, and it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. But I’m still hoping that Kobe can come in this Sunday, and totally redeem me. But this isn’t my diary, so let’s get to it.

So, knowledge is dangerous, potentially, I believe I have established that. If you think you can handle the danger, then read on, brave reader, read on:

Please, blog, may I have some more?