Gotta hand it to that Daryl Morey character.

Somehow, someway, the Houston Rockets’ GM has made it possible to like Dwight Howard again, simply by bringing him to the Houston Rockets.

Dwight was insufferable with the Magic, always whining about calls with blabber coming out of that head that was always too small for his hulking frame. And then, of course, he was even worse with the Lakers, thinking he could just come in and take the throne from Kobe Bryant.

In Houston, there wasn’t gonna be any of that disrespectin’ going on. The Rockets had Dwight working with The Dream. Kevin Freaking McHale was the coach. And Kobe might be Kobe, but James Harden’s beard is a whole other can of worms. Would you mess with that beard?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we mentioned a few months ago, the Philadelphia 76ers D is bad.  Like D League bad.  They could use some D league!  At one point, they were close to 8 points a game worse than the the 29th worst team defense.  But with the Lakers having all sorts of problems, they’ve entered the bottom feeders with Philly giving up a league worst 109.9 a game, LA now 29th at 106.2, then third is at 103.8.  Suffice to say – soft D.  Kinda like in the word djent.  Any metal fans out there?  Or in Django Unchained.  The big benefactor last night was another huge game from Jeff Green, who shot 11-18 (5-7 3PTM 9-12 FT) for 36/8/2/0/2.  Should’ve been doing this all year!  Green had that even bigger 39-point outburst two weeks ago against the Wizards, so that’s two biguns sandwiched with cold cuts of bleh.  Kinda like a $5 footlong when you choose meatball but have to eat it later… Stevens said a couple of days ago that they need to get Green the ball in the post and in transition more.  I guess that equals making 5 of your 7 threes!  Hah.  While I do think Green will be better, and the return and minutes exansion of Rajon Rondo to help create better oppotunies will help, if you can get some really solid top-60ish value in a sell-high, run and do it.  You may be saying, “top-60, this JB is reaching too high!”  Heading into the year, ranked 63 in Yahoo and ESPN at 58!  And I had him at… Yeah I don’t wanna talk about it.  So getting draft day value at 100% would be very nice.  Much lower than that and I’m still holding. Here’s what else I saw on a busy night of NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Breaking news!  Kobe Bryant is injured.  No one has been talking about this.  And in a further Razzball exclusive – he’s old.  Not exactly the best combo coming back from a major injury, followed by another pretty bad one just a few games back.  After a re-examination, apparently the knee bone still isn’t connected to the leg bone, so let’s call the whole thing off!  Will be examined yet again in three weeks, and that’s just another knee rub-rub.  Who knows how much longer it will be after that.  Good news is!  Jodie Meeks is still gonna kill it, Kendall Marshall is still going to hand out dimebags like a Colorado bakery, and with the Lakers still atrocious, we can make a pretty educated guess that Kobe is going to be out A – until he is 100%, no questions asked, no way he could get hurt again healthy or B – the season.  Leaning B.  And even if A happens, it would be so late and in such limited minutes that I don’t think the value is worth it.  Cut him in 10 or 12-teamers.  Just do it.  I know some people will keep holding him, if you’re in 1st or 2nd and fine for the playoffs and wanna stash, I can’t argue much with you, but I think the time is now to use that spot for others.  Tough year for Lakers fans, but hey, you’re not the Bucks… Here’s what else went down across the NBA-o-sphere:

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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:

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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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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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It was a mere two weeks ago that we were here, in this very space, talking about the living embodiment of a game of “Q*bert,” Nene Hilario.

We knew it was coming. Nene’s gone all screwy on us again, deciding that his foot hurt and that he would need to “step away.” Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do that at work whenever crap went bad? Eh, hey, sorry I messed up that TPS report boss, I think I’m just gonna “step away.”

The chief beneficiary to this mess is Trevor Booker.  Prior to Nene’s latest hiatus, which began three games ago, Booker wasn’t even listed on the Wizards depth chart.

Yet when Nene did his Nene thing coach Randy Wittman reached to the end of his bench and grabbed the beefy Booker. One of the geekiest-looking players in NBA history was rewarded: In the three games that Nene’s been out, Booker has averaged 16-11-1, including a monstrous 24-12-1 in a near-win against the Atlanta Hawks.

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Anyone stay up to watch some of the Geminid meteor shower start up last night?  I love astronomy.  And it’s not really that different from fantasy.  You use math and all sorts of techy stats like Win Shares or True Shooting Percentage or Gravitational Microlensing to find far off worlds and far off fantasy production.  Then if you’re lucky enough, like having the reigns at the greatest fantasy hub known to man, you get to name your own planets!  Of course astronomers find so many exoplanets these days that H2894B is the best they got for creative nomenclature.  I got Goromotaros!  Rainbow Lines!  And LaMarcus Aldridge fit the bill of them all, with a redonkulous 31/25/2/2/2 slash last night.  He shot 12-22 and is playing like a MVP.  I ranked him too low.  I ranked him like a worthless Neptune when he is really a Jupiter.  According to Basketball Monster, he’s your #7 overall player.  And his only real negative is he doesn’t shoot threes – which is what ThrAGNOFs are for!  I also thought the Blazers weren’t going to be a gas giant out there.  Maybe a little white dwarf.  But they’re going off and my ridiculous conception that LA could be traded if this year didn’t work looks horrible now.  I’ll admit stupidity there, but the Blazers are virtually the same team.  And now it’s clicking.  There’s planetary alignment.  So when you’re done watching basketball, bundle up, grab some adult beverages and head out to watch the shooting stars late tonight.  It helps ease the worldly constraints of stress and fantasy disappointments – at least it does for me – and helps you just think bigger… Here’s what else I saw last night:

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Well, this is the peril you get playing in other countries…  After a generator next to the stadium in Mexico City failed, last night’s Spurs at [hah] Timberwolves got postponed after the stadium filled with smoke.  It looked like Mexico City’s skyline of smog in there!  Man, so many people are going to get fired over this.  “Who let their 5 year olds with squirt guns play next to the exposed wires?!”  All the sudden the NBA is looking like the MLB…  I haven’t seen a PPD since September!  Brutal break for Spurs and Wolves owners in H2H formats as the reschedule is sure to be a while down the road.  Usually I like H2H for hoops because you don’t get rocked when your team has bad weather (vs. H2H Fantasy Baseball which I loathe), but now you have to think about generator fires when playing in other countries!  Well, I guess except Canada… They better have their shizz in order!  Breaking News!  The Raptors stadium has a Rob Ford crack den hidden within the locker room that caught fire, and they’re relocating to become the Reno Lt. Dangles.  Go Reno!  Here’s what else happened last night across fantasy hoops:

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All hail Trey Burke!  May all the inhabitants of the great Salt Lake City and all their respective wives rejoice!  And… the Jazz are still atrocious.  Poor Tyrone Corbin.  He’s got to fiddle with Burke, Alec Burks, John Lucas III and now Diante Garrett at the point.  Jerry Sloan got John Stockton.  Then Deron Williams.  It just ain’t fair!  In yet another Jazz loss moving them down to 1-12, Burke got 12 minutes even, going 11/1/1 with a steal and hitting a trey shooting 5-8.  Trey with the trey!  If only Deuce McAllister was an NBA player.   Deuce with the deuce!  Or if McAllister was a dunker, “Deuce with the upper decker!”  I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing highlights for my second Jazz game now, but it was cool to see Burke’s debut and I thought he looked pretty good.  His first NBA points were off a long rebound then coast-to-coast for a controlled, attacking floater.  Obviously he’s getting eased in and he’ll get more minutes – hippity-skippity to a few months back and I was bigger on Burke than anyone – but I’m not ready to go nuts and drop quality guys for him.  Of course it’s a case-by-case scenario, but I really wanted Burke to get tons of preseason work; instead he broke his finger and missed some really crucial development time.  For example, I think I’m still holding Patrick Beverley over him.  PBev is the Razzball “why can’t I quit you?!” fantasy asset.  Lucas III is obviously not a long-term solution, and while he’s in the mix, he didn’t look good last night but was the only guy that could hit any long balls.  Alec Burks looked awful, sure his line 8/1/1/1/2 is fine, shot 3-6 – fine – but racked up 4 TOs in 16 minutes.  Just looked bad.  Which brings me to Diante G, who I thought looked really good.  Garrett actually led the Jazz in PG minutes with 20, and racked up a 4/1/6 line with three steals and only 2 TOs (one late one was pretty bad, but the game was over) and played down the stretch.  Garrett was the only point who could create opportunities.  So it’s a little crowded with Burks’ potential wilting away and Garrett looking decent as a D-League gamble and could get run through the season.  I think Lucas III gets cut at some point and Burks plays strictly backup 2 minutes, but that’s just me.  It’s a mess.  Shocker, considering it’s the Jazz!  Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?