Basketball is back baby!  The NBA season returns from the All-Star Break tonight after four-and-a-half months off…  Maybe hyperbolic, but certainly feels that way!

And right as games start, we’ve got the NBA Trade Deadline passing this afternoon at 3:00 PM EST.  That was fast!  We’ve got a big day of trade analysis, with a live post that will go up around 1:00 PM-ish EST and get frequently updated to track all of the last-minute trades as they go down, then a slightly later podcast record time with our special edition Trade Deadline Razzball Basketball Podcast up sometime around 4:00-4:30 PM EST.  It’s all hoops all afternoon!

With these big changes about to ripple through the fantasy hoops landscape, the biggest news from over the break is probably the most anti-climatic – Carmelo Anthony has been officially shutdown.  “3P0 – Shut down all the garbage smashers on the detention level!”  “No! Shut them ALL down, hurry!”  Pretty apt to The Poppycockers shituation, amiright?!  We’ve known Melo was about to be Melba Toast sometime around the break, and now the swift gavel of realism has hit (huh? weird metaphor day!  I’m rusty OK?!).  Langston Galloway, who has probably been picked up in most leagues (and subsequently dropped in some after struggling) should likely be scooped up.  He’s not going to do anything too special, but his career-high in shots (19) was in a Melo-less game and should give you some low-TO guard stats.  Tim Hardaway Jr. also gets a bit of a boost, but he does absolutely nothing beyond score and trey.  Would be a nice, high-minute ThrAGNOF!  But those ain’t got no face…  So I’m not married to Timmy J at all even if he starts hot with Melo now gone.  Here’s what else has gone down since we left for the break:

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Last year, I think Jonas Valanciunas might have won the “most annoying player for JB” award.  Eh, Jeff Green was up there too…  But we’ve got a clear front-runner for 14-15!

If you had money on Brandon Jennings racking up the first double dimebag of the season, then all praise be onto you!  Great game against the Magic, as he gashed their “defense” for a 24/0/21/0/0 line.  Pretty empty to me, only two cats in there!  First 20-assist game this season, doubling up the dimebags and making BJ’s value as high as Katt Williams.  You’re probably looking like this as a Jennings owner right now!  He’s only the 4th guy to put up a 20/20 game since 2000, and I guess all my sell Jennings high hooblah is looking a little dumb now…  I still think if you can get one of the higher-tier guys like a Jeff Teague you have to do it, but otherwise I guess it’s a strong hold and ride the wave.  Upside of two dimebags on any given night?!  That’s a friend you need to keep for life!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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I’ll admit it – I have very little to say of importance about the trade in relation to fantasy basketball, but the Cavs did get better, if Iman Shumpert can get (and stay!) healthy, he may have deep league defensive potential. Think a poor, poor man’s K.J. McDaniels. Poor. Maybe I’m reaching here to find some fantasy relevance, but to be clear, this is a “take stock of the flat top”, not “drop flop for flat top”, as he isn’t guaranteed the starting job when he comes back. I know JB already wrote something similar, but Dion Waiters is gonna have to show me he can get touches before I even speculate on him, as he’s clearly going to be coming off the bench. Really, unless you’re a fan of the 3 teams involved, it wasn’t really all that spectacular for any one team. So the Cavs won the trade, as they only gave up a 2019 second rounder, and nothing much else, (got J.R. Smith as a replacement for Waiters, so that was a lateral move) and got a potential defensive upgrade for the starting 5. We should all take the cue from the General Managers in our beloved NBA, and look at our fantasy squads and see who could be had, and who should be shipped out. If you’re considering making a move, have a gander at these fine fellows:

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Brandon Jennings is terrible.

I pretty much wanted to kill the open right there, but “journalistic integrity” or whatever…  In a horrific shooting display, BJ flat out sucked for 5-18 shooting and it was equally as painful to watch as Josh Smith at shootaround.  A few fadeaway treys, bricked layups… You name it.  I honestly think a big part of the Pistons game plan right now is have BJ shoot like a hot dog, and rely on the O-boards from Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.  Drummo’s OREB gave me an O-face last night, that’s for sure!  Racked up 7 OREB and Monroe had 5, and I’m guessing almost all of those came on BJ’s bricks.  If terrible shots leading to OREB and putbacks counted as assists, Jennings would be John Stockton.  Of course, sometimes there’s some Flubber on the ball and it goes in, but this is an immense sell-high window.  Probably a Sportscenter Top-10 layup, and has been playing fairly well lately.  Even D.J. Augustin at 8-18 FG 19/0/5 couldn’t get Stan Van to flip-flop PG down the stretch.  We’re used to seeing flip-flops!  Stan Van coaching like Laguna Beach.  Jennings is a big name on the trading block as well, and the Pistons aren’t hesitant to give players away, as in cutting J Smoove.  One rumor I read was Houston…  They would be the worst shooting team in NBA history!  Success for Houston would obviously be bringing in two guys from a former 5-23 team… Then again, the Pistons just won on the road in San Antonio for their 6th straight, and they are – you won’t believe this – now 3.5 games out of a playoff spot in the East.  Hah!  Trade or no trade, labradoodle-city Jennings could probably fetch an interesting ransom in the fantasy market as this current run is unsustainable.  Here’s what else went down in last night’s two games:

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The new year brings us the glorious 2nd coming of the Durantula, again.  Kevin Durant looked better than expected going 44/10/7/0/1 with 6 3s and 12-12 FTs.  Sure you could argue the stat line was OT aided but just that Durant played 40 minutes after missing 6 games tells me there is nothing wrong with his ankle.  I imagine any buy low window is long gone after this game but he might be worth one last attempt to trade for.  If you thought this is why I watched this game though you would be wrong.  I wanted to see the Steven Adams vs Alex Len match-up.  Lurch with 9/7/1/1/0 in 27 minutes and Len with 2/6/0/0/1 in 22 minutes.  There is no question Adams is the guy to own.  Neither are part of the offense but at times Len looked bored and unsure of what he was supposed to be doing on both ends of the court.  That is a sentence I will never write about Steven Adams.  His aggression does one of two things.  The foul trouble associated will give him a few duds but it will also lead to big games which I don’t think Len has in him this year.  There were a ton of huge stat lines in this 137-134 overtime thriller but perhaps the stat that tells the biggest story was the 6 technical fouls.  Including two and an ejection for…

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It’s Christmas Eve!  Santa is doing some last-minute shopping at the outlet mall, popping some speed to get over those procrastination eggnogs last night.  Or maybe he was celebrating a big night from his fantasy PGs!

Just a reminder that this is the last Daily Notes for the week, which I hope doesn’t bring any coal to my stocking…  Then again, no action tonight and then the light-slate Christmas Day games, so you won’t miss me too much!  As always, all comments welcome through the weekend which I will get in between opening all my Brandon Knight memorabilia presents for Christmas!

Point guards just went nuts – like, chestnuts on an open fire nuts – all across the league last night.  My boyfriend leading the charge!  34/2/5/1/0 for Knight, shooting 13-21 FG (4-7 3PTM 4-4 FT).  To say he’s been up-and-down is an understatement, but right now he’s this kind of up!  20+ Pts in 5 of 6 and 4+ dimes in 5 of 6.  The steals have come back down to earth a bit, but he’s only had 3 games on the season without a trey.  Three!  And that high-volume 90% FT shooting is oh so sexy.  My advice has been to hold onto Knight all year (unless you could’ve sold high for something ridiculous a week in), and not get too worried about the ebbs and flows.  Or else you would’ve missed out on a Christmas present like last night’s line!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy action:

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Man, what an epic game in San Antonio!  Marc Gasol hitting a preposterous buzzer-beater to put it in OT, then Tim Duncan makes this rim job to put it into 3OT… Crazy man.  Two things – 1 – Sean Elliott is maybe my favorite commentator in the NBA and B – look at Marco Belinelli just bowl over Courtney Lee in that second highlight…  Strike!  Haven’t see a Lee update for an injury, so stay tuned there…

I guarantee you that Gregg Popovich was fuming like President Snow that this game kept going on, and on, and on and… Kinda like book series that have the final book broken into into two movies.  I mean The Hunger Games: Mockinjay – Part 1…?  I got confused and disinterested once Woody Harrelson stopped drinkin’.  So I guess last night’s Spurs vs. Grizzlies games was San Antonio vs. Memphis – Buzzer-beaters traded: Duncan’s Rim Job – Part 3.  Another huge game from Timmay (excluding the real fluky 5-15 FT) for 23/16/5/2/3.  Rainbow line!  Duncan really hasn’t skipped a beat this year, well except for when he’s benched with a DNP-Rest.  I know it’s hard to believe, but we’re in Week 9 of the season already!  And for H2H leagues that play standard 3-week playoffs (RCL standard), we’re almost halfway through the regular season with playoffs starting Week 21.  A game like last night is only going to make Pop go restier, so if you’re killing it at first or second in your standings, I wouldn’t mind selling high at all.  But there’s a flip side – if you’re 8 or 9 and see Duncan on a team running away with a playoff spot, it’s actually a good time to think about bringing him aboard.  He’ll be frustrating with the DNPs, but could put you over the edge if you’re hanging on the rim.  If you know what I mean…  Here’s what else went down in A Wednesday Night of NBA: OTs Galore – The Return of Hack-a-Shaq: The Revenge:

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Replace “Heat” with “Jay Cutler” and that’s what I have on in the background…

So a rough couple of days for Miami fans as both Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts suffered seemingly minor injuries over the weekend, with some really bleak news coming out on Monday.  McBob’s knee injury that came out of nowhere in last Wednesday’s shootaround was diagnosed as a torn meniscus and needs to go under the knife.  Yikes.  Probably out for the season, and right when he was turning it on.  Then to Bosh, who has reports swirling his bum calf might cost him a few weeks.  It’s murky waters for the Brontosaurus, but for the long-term, you’re just sitting and praying to the Fantasy God of Injury.  I mean, dude was already so busy over the weekend!  Bosh is still staying involved with practice on a limited basis, but then again we all know what happens when “we talkin’ bout practice.”  In the interim, Shawne Williams probably gets the biggest uptick in minutes.  But he was pretty low-ceiling in big minutes to start the year… He had a couple nice games early on, very blah though.  Justin Hamilton is looking at a big role as well, off 10/3/1/2/0 in 33 minutes last Sunday.  A low-yield big role…  A little bit lost in the shuffle is Da Birdman!  Chris Andersen returned for Sunday, playing 18 minutes for 2/3/1/0/1.  He’s not going to get a ton of run given his age, but should offer a little blocking upside in a slight uptick of minutes.  Really none of these guys move the needle for me much, as it’s just an Abyss out there on the front line, with no aliens to save you by raising the ocean floor on some platform thingy.  I’m still in Lovington with Robert Covington and want it in the booty for Rudy.  They’re way above any of these Heat fill-in schlubs.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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It’s been a bad couple weeks for big men. A lot of top producing forwards and centers seem to have been bitten by the injury bug around Thanksgiving.

Initially, DeMarcus Cousins was only considered day-to-day with viral meningitis. After missing his 8th straight game, coach Mike Malone was unsure when he would get his big man back. He’s been ruled out for the rest of the weekend, with his playing status in jeopardy for next week.

While Cousins has been out, Reggie Evans has grabbed almost every available rebound. Well not really, but he has had games of 13, 14, and 20 rebounds, while starting for Cousins. Jason Thompson has offered a more balanced increase in production (11 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and 2.4 apg in last 5 games), but the biggest beneficiary has been Rudy Gay.

With Cousins declared out for at least the weekend, now is the best time to sell high on Gay. He has a usage rate (total number of possessions per 48 minutes) of 30.2 when Cousins is out, but a 25.3 usage rate when Cousins is playing alongside him. As a result, Gay has increased his scoring, rebounds, and assists with Cousins off the floor. Try to trade him this weekend for a top 20/30 player, before Cousins gets back and steals touches away from him.

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Danny, Jeff, Draymond, and Gerald. It sounds like a the real, non-stage names of a boy band. Everybooooody…. Rock yo booooody! Rock yo body right, the Green team’s back, ALRIGHT?!! I’m onto something here: this analogy even has some Jackson 5 tangents, with Willie Green (Orlando), JaMychal Green (San Antonio), and Erick Green (Denver) playing the Tito and Germaine roles of the family members who haven’t hit the limelight yet guys. Or the jilted Destiny’s Children? I dunno, you talk amongst yourselves, and work it out. Willie, JaMychal and Erick (much better boy band names) are all rooks/sophs who are coming along slowly. Like Janet, they’ll have their chance to shine further down the road, hopefully. All I can say is that the Greens that matter are come up rosy.  So get out and something something about the players being money, because they’re named Green! And you might want to trade in some of those Greens for these cats:

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