And we’re back baby!  The All-Star break in Nawleans has come and gone, with a disappointing dunk contest, no bounce passes in the skills contest (yeah, what was up with that Prez?!) and All-Star jerseys that made the finale look like an adult rec league game on a Thursday night.  “Help, I think Stanley has a hernia!”  I was constantly thinking to myself about the Major League quote, but the opposite.  Brian Scalabrine or Matt Bonner coming into their first practice with sleeves and a hat on, and their coaches were like, “We don’t wear caps and sleeves at this level son!”  Sure made that coach look stupid on Sunday night!  And if you’re a Cleveland fan, you’ve got to be thinking, “Crikey wtf is going on!?” after seeing Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters go off in their respective ASB games over the weekend.  Then to see neither of them do anything against the 76ers last night!  To be fair, the Cavs let their scrubs do all their damage in a blowout.  So I guess if Cavs are thinking crikey, Philly fans are thinking, “if we don’t win 20 games this year, I’m giving up cheesesteaks!”  Drastic?  Probably.  Be liking asking me to give up that delicious BBQ.  Now I’m all sorts of hungry… How did this get into food?  Let’s just dive right in to last night’s return to action, like how you’d dive into an all-you-can-eat Southern food buffet with mac & cheese, hush puppies, chopped BBQ, whole BBQ, biscuits & gravy, and then, and then…:

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?

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?

Deron Williams could sell Citizen Eco-Drive watches too!  “Be precise!  Be powerful!  And whatever you do, don’t in-bounds the ball on a terrible underthrown pass when you’re up a point with seconds to go!”  Just an awful way for the Nets to drop a game last night, as one of my favorite underrated guys right now Patrick Patterson stole Deron’s pass and buried a game-winner.  If only that was a fantasy category!  While you may have been suckered in thinking I’m gonna talk about Deron, Pit Pat is who I want to lead with, who ended with a 15/3/1/2/0 night, punctuated by that steal and dos points on that last play.  In 22 minutes he shot 6-11, hit a three, and is playing pretty well in limited time.  In only 23:12 a game thus far in 2014, 11/5.6/1.6/0.8/0.6 with a trey a night.  Dem fightin’ numbers!  Obviously was on the court in the critical juncture last night, and pulled a Richard Sherman defensive play.  Plus he played after breaking his nose Saturday!  Dem fightin’ numbers!  Only owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues, Pit Pat’s strong play should have him on the brink of high 20 minutes a game.  Not like he’s playing for the Bucks or anything!  Sure he’s behind Amir Johnson, but Amir was quiet last night in 30 minutes (8/6/1/0/1) and Tyler Hansbrough is still out with a psycho ankle.  If you step up in an opportunity, rewards shall be reaped!  Just don’t typo that last word without the first “e”.  Like I almost did!  Hashtag edetting.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ross can!  Rosssssss can!  Ross can get me the tickets!  Somebody call the Police, because Terrence Ross is on fire!  Or, ummm, do we call the Mounties?  I plain just don’t know…  But if anyone (aherm, me) had to feel the Sting of that 51-point outburst against them – out of so left field from Ross that it was out of the Pacific Ocean – then you’re certainly sending a message in a bottle to the fantasy gods asking “Whyyyyyy?!”  51/9/1/1/0 shooting 16-29 and hitting 10 Harvey’s Trays.  “What’s with the sit-com references today JB?!”  Yeah, no one will get that last one… Sit-coms are always fun, light, and don’t end on Sunday nights with me throwing things.  “Enough about you, JB!”  Damn, commenters are angry this morning!  DeMar DeRozan sprained his foot in that game, and while Ross was already hot, no DeRozan helped him get hotter.  “Hansel is so hot right now.”  DeRozan looks like he’ll miss at least a few games – already not traveling tonight – making Ross a must-own for this week and the immediate future.  The Raptors are all the sudden with 18 less shots a game (no, that’s not me throwing out an arbitrary number, that’s really DeRozan’s FGA a game!) so this is a great opportunity for Jonas Valaciunas as well to go on a solid run.  Will be an interesting game tonight at Brooklyn to see how the two younguns perform.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

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:

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Dude, I had the title “Breaking News – Nets File Paperwork To Relocate To London” all ready to go for a Nets open, then saw everyone was saying that… #Groupthink!  So let’s all sit back and marvel at what Lance Stephenson did last night.  The 28/4/4/1/0 line was not his best line on the year, the %s (10-17 FG 3-7 3PTM 5-5 FT) were awesome, sure, but I think he did something ridiculous that was off the stat line.  He looked like the best player on the floor.  Just look at some of these sick dimes!  But you do have to question why he fell over on that second one… Haha… Maybe made them look better than they actually were by flopping around like a fish out of water… Anywho, Stephenson had some concerns with two bad games right when Danny Granger was back, but has quickly quelled those question marks and back on track.   With Stephenson cemented, I think it’s time to lose George Hill in virtually all formats if you haven’t already.  Breaking news – I know – and we’ve talked about it a few times in the comments, but his shocking 81% -ownership in Yahoo combined with last night’s 3/3/5 game (marks his highest assist total since December 20th) – it’s just not happening.  In fact, if you told me heading into the year Stephenson (5.2) would be averaging two more assists a game than Hill (3.3), I might’ve spontaneously combusted.  But hey, it’s working for the Pacers and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Unless of course you’re in first place in a 10 or 12-team league and still own Hill… You can fix that!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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Yea yea I know… Of all the “Knight” puns, that’s the best ya got?!  Man did Brandon Knight have a huge game last night, notching a career-high 36 points for a 36/9/3/0/1 line shooting 13-25 and 6-12 from deep.  As you all know, I was a huge Knight fan heading into the year, stuck with him, and think this is what he averages here on out.  Wiggity what?!  Haha, just kidding to see if you were paying attention.  I’ve always liked his ability to board, he’s probably the best pure scorer on that team, and can shoot treys and drive.  But I’m a little tired of the “but he doesn’t assist!” from the hate Mafia.  Who gives a flip man?!  Of course because he’s a PG, he gets dogged for bad Ast:TO, and listen I get it – 8 TOs last night bums hard – but if Ryan Anderson had that line last night, people would be sacrificing live chickens just to meet him.  Pedro Cerrano doesn’t like when his PG doesn’t dish!  “If Brandon Knight doesn’t average 8 dimes a game, I say forget you Jobu!  I do it myself!”  Knight will never be an elite fantasy PG, sure, but a very useful one, definitely.  He just has to navigate Larry Drew’s mood swings.  Get the coach some Midol!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?