Well, I can’t say I haven’t been steadfast (double negative police!) about my Dwight Howard hatred…  Look at that rock bottom red right there!

And with Dwight coming back from his knee injury and the precursing news of his return, I have said I wouldn’t add him in virtually any 10 or 12ers.  I don’t trust the minutes, and after giving Slim a 19 minutes over/under for Dwight’s return on the Pod, he only went for 16:27 putting up 4/7/2/0/1 with a TO.  At least he stayed off the FT line!  After we had started the Pod, McHale said he was only giving Dwight 16 minutes, just enough to be sure his TO and FT% wouldn’t hurt fantasy teams.  I may have been liberal with McHale’s quote for that last part…  In 8-cat or non-FT% leagues I guess he probably should be scooped up, but he’ll probably sit back-to-backs and the Rockets have a pair left on the schedule with Sun/Mon and Wed/Thurs games this upcoming week.  Get your sales ready, Big & Tall, we got a bigun needing more street clothes!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Woooo, Jimmy Buckets is back!  And Tom Thibodeau does what Tom Thibodeau does…  Runs his guys to death.

After missing exactly 3 weeks with his elbow injury, Jimmy Butler returned last night and played a ridiculous 39-and-a-half minutes for 19/9/1/0/0.  Almost 40 minutes?!  And he shot 6-20!?  Sure he’s taken a ton of shots the past week to be sure the elbow is healthy, but the aggression in that 7-10 FT really solidifies he should be 100% the rest of the way.  That is, until Tibs plays him 63 minutes in a 3-OT game!  Sheesh, I gotta wonder if I’ll ever be huge on Bulls again…  Derrick Rose and all-a-dat, Joakim Noah goes through injury spells…  And Tibs refuses to run his starters on any sort of minutes limits.  I’m more posing the thought than really setting any personal beliefs in my fantasy bedrock, but Rose for sure I could never draft.  You can call that Fred Flintstone because it’ll make my Fantasy Bedrock!  I don’t think I’m using that lyric right…  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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The Thunder just can’t catch a break this season. Kevin Durant is still out with a foot injury and now Serge Ibaka will join him on the sidelines.

Ibaka underwent surgery this week to help address discomfort in his knee. Apparently, Ibaka had been experiencing soreness since February. Despite setting up a management plan to help alleviate the pain, the Thunder ultimately decided that surgery was the best option.

Ibaka is expected to be out between four and six weeks. If all goes well in his recovery, Ibaka should be able to return for the Thunder’s first round series, should they hold off the Pelicans for the eighth playoff spot.

As a result of the timeline, Ibaka’s regular season is over. He’s safe to drop in redraft leagues. Ibaka’s MRI prior to the surgery revealed no structural or long-term issues so Ibaka is a great keeper for next season.

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For one week this season, it feels like there are more stars returning from injury than ones getting hurt. However, that won’t console those who saw their players were added to the injury list. So we’ll start with the bad news first.

All-Star Jimmy Butler suffered an elbow sprain in Sunday’s game and will miss the next 3-6 weeks. Fortunately the injury will not require surgery, but that still puts him out for most, if not all of March.

Joining Derrick Rose and Butler on the sideline, Taj Gibson is out with another ankle injury. Out since suffering the injury in Friday’s game, he’s no longer wearing a walking boot. Gibson has a history of ankle injuries so the Bulls’ may want to be extra cautious with him, but Gibson should be considered day-to-day going forward.

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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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It week 19 in the land of fantasy basketball, which means, depending on how your league is set up, you have 4 or 5 weeks left until the playoffs. You may have a custom league design, but in Yahoo, the default trade deadline is March 5th, so make sure you know what the dilliyo! If you still have time to make a last minute acquisition, get on it, son! Seeing as I don’t have much time to wax poetic, as the trade deadline is tomorrow, I won’t be my normal prose infused self, and get right to it. Rest assured, I will write about waiver guys after this week, so step back from that ledge, my friend. As I always say, don’t trust the man! Words to live by, but my other favourite saying that’s only slightly less important: with trades/injury comes opportunity. With that in mind, lets take a look at this weeks opportunity:

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Who is the hottest team in the NBA right now?  The Pacers are surprisingly playing well and OKC is still winning through injuries, but those Utah Jazz are as tough to score on as the bookish chicks in college!

5-1 since the trade deadline, the Jazz have wins against Portland, San Antonio and now Memphis in that span (their loss was against the Lakers, but we’ll overlook that), and other than that fluke Lakers game, no one has scored over 82 points.  And we all know the key to the Jazz D is Rudy Gobert.  Moving into the starting line-up, Gobert has been playing unreal with a 15/24/1/0/0 line last night on 6-10 FG and 3-4 FT.  He was on a 6-game streak of 3+ blocks, so a random outlier of 0 last night isn’t a biggie especially since Marc Gasol loves his mid-range.

I’ve seen a few comments of owners looking to trade for FG% and a big man boost, and I would be all-in on trying to bring Rudy to those squads.  Even his FT% is improving at 11-15 from the stripe the past 3!  And the Jazz have that oh so saucy 4/4/4 playoff sched.  Yesterday on the Podcast, I asked Slim if he would take Gobert or Hassan Whiteside first in next year’s drafts.  It’s really really close and comes down to a points need (Whiteside) vs. steals need (Gobert).  It’s crazy that probably the biggest value change during the deadline was just the stubborn Jazz finally unleashing the beast that is Gobert.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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With an ADP of 68.6 in drafts all the way back in 2014, Jimmy Butler has been an absolute revelation and made all his fantasy owners rich with value.  “Butler, I need some extra steals!  A couple more blocks!  Some artisan cheese!”  And the trusty ol’ Butler would always deliver.

Unfortunately, all that caviar and pancetta piled on that silver serving plate really wore down the Butler’s elbow, and Jimmy Buckets is going to miss 3-4 weeks.  Hey, on the bright side this is the NBA and not a year-long pitcher injury!  So the billion dollar question – to drop or not to drop JB?  Well don’t drop me!  I’d try to hold where I could.  I’d much rather have JB at the end of my bench than stashes of Kemba Walker or Paul George.  Even in 10ers, I think I’d probably hold on as most Jimmy Buckets teams are doing pretty well.

In his stead, the vastly improved Tony Snell should get the tiger’s share of minutes.  He’s greeeeeeeeeat!  I don’t think he’s a must-own in even 12ers though, since he’s a semi-ThrAGNOF with steals upside.  Not that I don’t like him!  But I would say a little better FG%/FT% version of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.  The real interesting addition to me is Nikola Mirotic, who should get a lot of run while Taj Gibson is out at least another week.  And with Butler gone, maybe he gets a handful of SF minutes here and there, even though it hasn’t gone that well when experimenting with that before…  But experiments take a lot of tries before they go right!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Oh man, Russell Westbrook has turned into Oscar Robertson meets Michael Jordan!  It’s like the first time you heard your favorite off-the-radar album, you’re like, “it sounds like Godspeed You! Black Emperor meets Between the Buried and Me on acid!”  And right at the end of yet another tripdub with monster scoring Friday night (40/13/11), Andre Roberson pulled a Van Damme from Kickboxer and kneed the shizz outta RW’s face.  Friggin’ Roberson and his fat knees!  After the game, the fashion photographers were like, “Russell, show me your good side, no no the other way, give me Le Tigre!  Ferrari!  MAGNUM!”

Luckily facial reconstruction for face dents doesn’t include a long healing period; maybe they just went in under the skin and used a Pops A Dent!  It’s been reported he could’ve even come back yesterday if it were the playoffs.  I’d guess he’ll miss another game or two, but looks like we dodged a bullet.  More like, Westbrook’s cheek caught the bullet, just it bounced off his Adamantium!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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The All-Star weekend begins on Friday, giving most of the league some time off before the final stretch of the season. After the break, there are only four weeks left in the regular season for standard leagues. That’s not a lot of time to wait for guys to return from injuries. Owners will have to make hard decisions on whether to keep their injured stars or let them loose. More should be known after the All-Star break about the severity of many of these recent injuries, so hold on until then.

Blake Griffin underwent surgery on Monday to remove a staph infection in his right elbow. Prior to surgery, Griffin was expected to miss anywhere from 2-to-6 weeks. Griffin will be reevaluated in three weeks, which should help clarify when owners can expect to have Griffin back. Since Griffin is a top talent and there isn’t much clarity on his timeline, owners should hold onto Griffin for the time being.

With Griffin out, DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Hawes become the biggest benefactors. Jordan has put up back-to-back 20/20 games and looks like he’ll grab every rebound that Griffin used to get.

While Jordan is universally owned, Hawes becomes a top waiver wire pickup. In the three games that Griffin has missed, Hawes has averaged 11.0 ppg and 1.7 rpg. The numbers have been underwhelming so far, but Hawes has shown that he can fill up the box score when given starters’ minutes in the past. Last year as a starter, he averaged 13.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.2 bpg, and 1.6 3PTM. He probably won’t approach those numbers, but I expect Hawes to be useful for owners for as long as Griffin is out.

Please, blog, may I have some more?