ESPN picked a good one for their weekly Wednesday night NBA showcase. Stephen Curry vs. John Wall, two of the best point guards in the league. It was a very high scoring, up-tempo game, with the final score 134-121. And the stars did not disappoint.

Curry started out on fire, scoring 25 points in the first quarter and 36 in the first half. He cooled down a little bit, but still knocked down 11 of his 16 three point attempts, en route to 51 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. Wow. Just like his Charlotte buddy Cam Newton, can they crown him MVP already?

John Wall was doing his best to cover Curry, but it’s a difficult job, even for a strong defender like Wall. Since he couldn’t stop him, Wall tried to match him offensively, finishing with 41 points, 10 assists, and 3 rebounds. He even knocked down all 3 of his three-point attempts, a facet of his game that is nowhere near the level of Curry. It was nice to watch two point guards with very different styles of game dominate the box score.

Oh, and lost in this point guard matchup was that Draymond Green got his league leading 10th triple-double with 12 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. He even added 5 blocks as a point forward!

As a Wizards fan, I figured that the Warriors would win the game, but was happy to see the Wizards play the defending NBA champions close for stretches of the game. Now onto the other nightly notables:

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The Flash is finally finding his stride!

Skiles still had some “SKIIIIIIILES!” moments, but is finally letting the youngun Aaron Gordon get his consistent minutes in the starting 5. It was such a tough decision sitting that phenomenal Channing Frye! Ugh. And as much as I’d like to see the Magic lose every game to get Skiles the hell outta there, he’s coached Orlando to a better record than anyone woulda thought. Last night he kept rotations that were sparking a comeback, led by Gordon who went 19/14/5/0/2 in 39 minutes, shooting 8-11 with no TO. The only black eye was a very unsavory 3-9 FT. That’s almost two black eyes! But he’s been a decent enough FT shooter to not worry too much on that… With the minutes starting to look consistent (gulp, I may have jynxed it… SKIIIIILES!), Gordon is looking like a must own in all 10 team leagues or deeper. The STL and BLK have been pretty anemic until last night, but as the Magic were streaking late in the 3rd quarter, he just seemed to get this stride in him, and little extra pep in his step. He had a nasty steal with a behind the back shake-n-bake then dime during the comeback run, and a great putback slam in the 4th. Sometimes the younguns can really build off success, so let’s hope this is the start of a streak as epic as Will Ferrell heading to the quad. There’s more coming! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops, plus The 7 Ahead for Week 15:

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For those of you who didn’t watch the Sixers vs Lakers game on Tuesday, you really missed out on something special.  It was Kobe Bryant’s final game in Philly (where he played high school ball), and the atmosphere was absolutely electric.  Kobe led off the game by draining 3 treys in his first four shots, with fans cheering every time he touched the ball.  Unfortunately, the adrenaline could only take his aging body so far, and the inefficient Kobe of this year, soon took over.  There were flashes of former glory throughout the game, but it’s clear that his brilliant career is coming to an end.  “There’s so much beauty in the pain of this thing,” Bryant said of his struggles on the floor.  Thankfully, he is playing the season out, and giving his fans a last chance to say goodbye.

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Kobe has given us some incredible moments over the years, and like him or hate him, you have to respect him.  He is one of the greatest competitors in NBA history, and he plays with as much intensity and heart as anyone that I can remember.  Bryant always put 110% into the game, and that constant strain is likely what wore his body out.  However, it’s also what makes him one of the greatest to ever play the game.

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It’s going to feel very odd watching a Laker team without Kobe Bryant.  I suppose all stars come and go, but Bryant just seemed to defy all odds up until this year.  It’s even stranger to see Kobe starting to show up on some waiver wires.  As for me, I own him in a couple leagues, and will be holding him for the duration of the season.  Just for the principle of the thing.

Kobe is among the last of the old guard, with veterans and retired players like Pierce, Allen, Garnett, DuncanNowitzki, Nash, and Shaq.  New players like Curry, Harden, Westbrook, Leonard, Durant, Davis, and George, have risen to take their place.  It’s a pretty incredible cycle if you think about it.

Ok, enough of the nostalgia, lets get into the waiver wire for this week!

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I’m pretty sure Stephen Curry looks at fantasy ADPs.  He’s like, “I’m not a runaway consensus #1, and this labradoodle Brow IS?!”

Of course I started writing this open when Anthony Davis was 1-16, then he got red hot AND MADE TWO IN A ROW!  Somebody cool him off, he’s NBA Jam on fire!  Brow was more uncomfortable with the ball in his hands than watching Scary Movie 2 with your parents last night, wrapping up with a 4-20 FG outing.  Might be the worst reference to 420 I’ve ever seen!  10-15 FT helped salvage some points – and he got his 3 swats – but 18/6/2/0/3 with 5 TO and a deathstroke to your FG% is not what the #1 pick ordered.  Curry on the other hand treated New Orleans like Hurricane Katrina!  Too rough?  Fine, then he treated them like BP…   Yikes, Nawleans has had a rough ride.  Then their NBA team has everyone get hurt!  Steph just straight whipped it out (I mean his MVP trophy!) and pummeled the Pelicans and their awful PG for 40/6/7/2/0 on 14-26 FG (5-12 3PTM 7-7 FT).  Hey, it’s opening night, and the Warriors are phenomenal at disrupting big men.  And the Pelicans had all their PG minutes played by guys on the street a week ago.  Hopefully you own Curry in a league or two, and I’m literally about to spam Brow owners as hard as LinkedIn emails.  Seriously, I don’t care if some recruiter looked at my profile, I don’t need an email on that ish!  No, no, blurb on Ish Smith is later…  What an awful Pelicans team…  Here’s what else went down on NBA’s opening night:

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Ugh.

Three letters to sum it up right there (and I wrote the beginning of this open before seeing Rotoworld’s update!  Groupthink.)

In only a light slate of two games last night, we had a very solid and steady fantasy contributor in Wesley Matthews go down with a torn Achilles and will miss the rest of the season.  I haven’t been this mad at Achilleses (multiple Achilles?) since Brad Pitt in Troy!  Man was Orlando Bloom a pansy too…  Rough, rough injury and owners will have to scramble to find replacements for his 2.9 3PTM and 16.1 points a game with only 1.3 TO.  Tagline of Taken baby!  “Good luck.”  And well, probably the guy filling in for Matthews is as good as any replacement, as Arron Afflalo should immediately step in the role and be Afflalo of old.  I was shocked that late last night he was already owned in 66% of leagues, but that was probably spiking harder than a Charlie Sheen punchbowl with the devastating news last night.  While Matthews was great for what he did, threes are a-plenty on the wire, and veterans of ThrAGNOF should be able to get their stream gloves dirty!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Razzball Nation!  We’re here on a special weekend wrap-up where Slim (this is JB speaking) got to the action and JB just snuck in the beginning.  And snuck in the end!  I’m like Brad Pitt at the Oscars.  “Wait, why is he winning best picture!  So confused right now…”  Tomorrow I’ll proudly illustrate what I did over the weekend, but a nice defining touch hoops-wise was another great one from my boy Mike Scott, who while posting great lines, isn’t helping the Hawks win…  And that’s a problem!  Especially with Paul Millsap assumedly back sometime soon this week.  But I thought Gravity mighta gotten best picture too!  After a really rough send-off last Monday, went bonkers on the Suns for 20/5/2/3/0 with three treys and not a single TO.  I bet Philly sports fans wish they had no TO.  BOOM!  Double sports joke.  The main number that got my emoji tats all excited was the 40 mins played.  Millsap is going to travel with the Hawks as they migrate on a 5-game road trip, but very easily could miss the first few making Scott a solid short-term add.  So beam him aboard, win a big week as we near playoff time, and don’t forget to yell over the music if those pompous mf#@*$ng PA guys at the Oscars wanna condescend you by playing the music.  And here’s Slim with what he saw over the weekend:

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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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In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal magic and fantasy are all around you (expelliarmus!), but not far from there at the Amway center a different kind of fantasy Magic is taking place, and they play a lot uglier brand of basketball. Still there is fantasy goodness to be had here and Friday night Tobias Harris scored a career high 27 points with 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 3pm and 1 steal.  Yes, Tobias blue himself (up) last night, it was his fourth straight game in double digits and he’s criminally just 23% owned. After coming off a 23 point, 6 rebound performance Wednesday Harris is a must own, JB told you to buy him, so drop everything and go grab Tobias, you blowhard! Speaking of buys, Moe Harkless had 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and hit 3 threes in 29 minutes last night and should see consistent minutes at the wing going forward. He was my pickup of the week last week and is still under 20% owned.

Still not satisfied? Because wait there’s more–E’Twaun Moore, who had 9 points, 3 rebounds, 11 assists, 1 3pm, 1 steal and 1 block in 33 minutes. It’s still unclear who the better play at point for the Magic will be, E’Twaun got the start, but Beno Udrih had just as many minutes (33) and had 4 points (2-7 fg) and 8 assists. We’re going to see some inconsistency from these two at the point guard position for the rest of the season, but both are worth a look if you need assists. Not that you’d be interested in any non-Orlando related fantasy news, but other teams played last night so let’s get to it!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy basketball Friday night:

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As we get nearer and nearer to the fantasy basketball playoffs and more avid fans are knocked out of their league competish, what better way to keep up with fantasy than with our friends at DraftKings who run daily contests for big money prizes.  I know what you’re thinking… What’s big money?  How about $50 G’s!  No, that’s not how many G’s are in Tom Gugliota’s last name (I think it’s only those two… Maybe there’s another hidden silent one…).  You can qualify for as little as $5.  That’s multiplying your money by 10,000!  Best believe!  And for an exclusive offer, click here for a 100% Deposit bonus on any deposit under $600.

Once the NBA has wrapped up, do not fret DraftKings aficionados!  They will be running the same daily challenges for big money during the MLB season.  Just how much money did winners receive from MLB DraftKings challenges last year?! $5.5 million buck-a-roos!  And unlike leagues where you drafted Matt Kemp, Jacoby Ellsbury, or Troy Tulowitzki, the gods of injury won’t dispel your entire season as you can draft anew every day.  All you favorite types of games – double-ups, steps, qualifiers, GPPs, sit-n-gos – will be coming soon for the MLB.

But back to hoops, let’s take a look at some of the mid-tier guys I like for good values tonight:

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With six minutes left in the fourth last night, David Lee gave Roy Hibbert a little sucker shove that spawned a fracas that would have made Ron Artest (excuse me Metta World Peace) proud.  Tangent – how can athletes just change their names like that?  Getting pretty ridiculous.  They should just change their names a few times a year and get a percentage of jersey sales.  Imagine Chris Andersen changing his name to “Birdman” at the beginning of the season, then changing it again halfway through the season to, “You best stay away Chris Hansen“.  But I digress.  After Lee and Hibbert got separated, Stephen Curry tried to body up on ol’ RoyRoy and it didn’t go so well.  Even down 11, Curry had torn up the Pacers for 33 at that point, keeping what would have otherwise been a blowout a watchable game.  What ended up being one of the best MMA moments of the NBA season didn’t factor into the game much, as the Pacers still ran away with it after Hibbert’s ejection.  Luckily Curry was able to finish the game with an incredible line of 38 Pts 7 3PM 2 Rebs 4 Asts 3 Stls 1 Blk 4 Broken Cheek Bones and 0 Ankle Injuries.  Just kidding about the cheek bones.  I made every Curry owner gasp there for a second.  Let’s take a look at the other performances last night in the NBA:

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