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:

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One team.  Two broken noses.  Four bloody nostrils.  One protective face-mask company that has lost a client.

In case you missed it, in the battle of the oldest teams ever in NBA history (yeah, no stat to back that up, but pretty sure George Gervin played a few minutes in the third…  [Ok, ok, the Spurs benched all their old guys, whatever!]), both Nando De Colo and Matt Bonner broke their noses and got all bloody.  Bonner with his mask still on!  On both (De Colo, Bonner) you got some really good in your face camerawork.  I feel like both of those could become UFC moves.  The “Russian wrister”!  The “Livingston shoulder slam”!  De Colo gets mad props for coming back in the game in the second half.  Bonner gets mad props too for trying to come back in, but Pop wouldn’t have it.  Pop hates props!  Plus Bonner’s quote, “By tomorrow, I’ll either have a new mask or a new face” is friggin’ awesome.  Kinda have a boner for Bonner.  While De Colo is not a standard league option, with Tony Parker an elf on the shelf with a bad back, De Colo got 27 minutes 11/3/2/2/1.  Near rainbow!  It’s actually a pretty light slate of games looking ahead on Saturday, so De Colo could be a nice streamer for you in deeper leagues if Parker stays on that shelf.  But as Slim pointed out to me earlier in the week, they’re against Charlotte – a top-5 PPG NBA D, but his defense and boarding should be fine if you need a lil-a-dat from a PG over the weekend. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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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.

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When the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009, it was a great example of how the Sports Karma Gods can sometimes rush in after tragedy strikes to lift a city up and help it rebuild.

But then that was it. No more, said the Sports Karma Gods. Because since 2009, Big Easy sports fans have endured the Sean Payton scandal, the Chris Paul trade, the Hornets changing their name to the Pelicans, the freaking horrible uniforms for this year’s NBA All-Star game and a rash of injuries not unlike the rash Candy Flanders gave me in my sophomore year of high school. Er, ah, moving on.

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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.

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You know, Raymond Felton broke his hand last year, and this is no joke, less than two weeks after Twinkies were officially discontinued.  I imagine him hearing the news after a Knicks loss, and punching the glass out at a NYC convenience store.  “How will I ever carboload before rolling onto the court!”  Then Twinkies, after being bought out and licensed, again appeared on store shelves in July 2013.  And ohhhh boy, was it an offseason to remember for Roly Poly Felton!  Even though he’s always looked like a big boy, concerns about his weight surfaced yet again, and this year his stats were down before a myriad of injuries took their toll.  This past groin injury, where Felton reportedly heard a “pop”, finally got him to listen to the advice of the trainers.  “When my little guy down there told me something was wrong, I finally listened.”  Knicks head athletic trainer Roger Hinds had to think on the fly, eventually settling on a 12-grain/cashew cream vegan Twinkie-substitute.  Instead of the 15-17 off-the-shelf Twinkies comprising the majority of Felton’s daily diet, he was down to 12-14 “healthy-makers” (as he called them) while rehabbing his groin injury.  “The first three or four were kinda funky, but then you get that urge for more-and-more just like the old ones.”  After losing 34 pounds in 72 hours, Felton was ready to rejoin the team in practice.  “I felt great out there, mobile, my arms stopped running into my love handles when I was drivin’ to the hoop.”  Another 42 pounds came off in the next week, and he was ready to play last night.  And man, did those 76 lost pounds come in handy!  13/5/14/1/0 against the Heat in a surprise win.  I caught up with him after the game: “No J.R. Smiff in the game helped me keep the rock and everything runnin’ through me.  He can untie e’rybody’s shoelaces all I care!”  Back to reality, I did watch this game, and the bulk of those assists came on dishes to Carmelo Anthony burying jumpers, so the assist total is obviously a big outlier.  But Felton did look good.  Made good moves, looked agile, and more importantly, made the Knicks look better while playing 39 minutes.  We can have fun all we want, but I think I was wrong to be a little dismissive on him returning.  I like him right now over D.J. Augustin and Kendall Marshall for example.  More staying power, and while the most injury prone of the bunch, I think helps you more in the long-haul.  Must-own in 12-teamers, depends on need and depth in 10ers.  Here’s what else I saw last night:

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PGs depth suddenly overfloweth from the wire, with a lot of guys on their choppers… chopping(?) their way onto fantasy squads.  Listen, I would make some sort of better parallel with that show, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.  Takes a lot of effort to plow through a show!  I friggin’ had to stop the new Arrested Development in season 4.  Yikes.  And speaking of arrested development, the Clips sure got a buster when Chris Paul went down with a separated shoulder Friday night, and through a series of updates will be out “up to six weeks.”  The trainer asked Paul if he was filing for divorce with his shoulder, but nah, just separated.  Huge blow to the Clippers, but it was a “rush to your nearest internet device” moment for fantasy owners to add Darren Collison.  On Friday night, in JB’s RCL 2 I missed out, then when deciding who to drop for him in RCL 1, I missed him by about 10 seconds.  Thank’s a lot Your Mom Says Hi!  A Hill ‘O Beans bout to be refried!  Yeah, terrible smack talk, I know…  If you’re not checking out the comments every night, all sorts of updates get fantasy spins throughout the evening, like El Burro breaking the news while watching his Clips’ title hopes get separated.  I like Collison a lot, and unless you singularly need assists, I like him over the other big breakout PG from the weekend.  I think he gives you 16/3/6/2 a game until Paul is done with marriage counseling.  The 35 minutes he’ll play a night should make those numbers pretty realistic.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in hoops action:

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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:

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When the Obamacare website launched, it was a lot like the Nuggets.  Load errors, mental mistakes, and only 6 people actually showed up because George Karl got fired.  But after JaVale McGee went down (I bet the Nuggets wish their healthcare bills were free!), the 1-3 Nuggets are now 11-6.  Coinky-dink?  I think not!  J.J. Hickson has been great at the 5 fillin’ in for Shaqtin-a-McGee, but it was Timofey Mozgov who has stolen the show the past two games, with 15+/15+ back-to-back including 17/20 against the hapless Nets last night.  But a trend is a-surfacing as Hickson has been under 18 minutes in those games while Mozgov was over 30.  Hickson is still starting, but Mozgov is just being a straight Godzilla out there against opposing B-teams.  I’m not ready to completely hand over the torch – I think Mozzy Bear getting in there was just matchup-based and Hickson gets back to the 30 minute range and Mozgov to the low-to-mid 20s.  But if you need boarding and scoring help, Mozgov is available in a lot of leagues and can still be valuable with that sort of run.  Pete even put him on the radar!  Now he’s in full view.  Even 12-teamers needing the big man help need to take the flyer while they can.  Here’s what else went down last night in the hoops-o-sphere:

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It’s the time of crazed shopping for discounted electronics. The argument: “At that price, I couldn’t afford NOT to get it!” will be heard all around the country over Turkey leftovers this weekend. I give to you the Buy/Sell shortened holiday edition, free packaging, 70% off, this weekend only! And with that in mind, here are a few guys you can’t afford not to get:

Buy:

Jordan Farmar PG

You got up late, you’re one of the last to the mall, cursing the excessive turkey and alcohol consumption, and you’re scrambling for points, treys, steals and the odd assist. Well, the basketball gods are smiling on you, because although he’s one of the last in the sales bin, Jordan Farmar is still there for you. In the last 2 games, he has hit 8 3pts, with almost 5 dimes per game. He’s only owned 9% of leagues. It’s not a perfect choice, but that’s what you get when you sleep in, mutton-head!

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