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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, one outta three of the letters in MCW is in efficient…  That makes sense seeing as he usually shoots 33%!

In his debut for the Bucks, Michael Carter-Williams looked solid against his former Sixers for 7/0/8/2/0 in only 17 and a half minutes.  All with only one TO!  Shot 3-5 from the field, did split his two FT, but a mad efficient game in his new colors.  Off the toe sprain, I’m not surprised his minutes were kept in check as the Bucks unsurprisingly took it to the Sixers.  Full tank!  Yesterday on the Podcast, Slim said even a great game wouldn’t have him change his MCW valuation too much, and he’s the logical one.  But I’m antsy and loved what I saw!  I don’t think he’s suddenly the top-50 guy I thought he’d be, but I think he’ll keep the %s in check with that decent MIL supporting cast, and he won’t make you want to kill yourself.  And if that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is…. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

…But it’s not like Tony Snell doesn’t deserve it!

Long time readers will know that for the past year-and-a-half I’ve been a big Snell fan, and he’s finally flourishing in huge minutes with a 22/2/1/3/0 line hitting 9-11 FG, 4-6 FT, and all with no TO.  The anti-LeBron!  Poor ol’ king James didn’t meet a turnover at the Chicago hotel continental breakfast he didn’t like, going 31/5/4/0/0 with 8 giveaways.  Snell was D-ing up BronBron all game, and ended up with a +29 to LeBron’s -27!  Bron was like, “Ohhhhh what’s that Snell?!”  Tony has been on fire the past 4 games, hitting 28-41 including 15-25 from deep.  And he flashed the full bag of tricks on the Cavs bag of bones slamming a couple early, hitting a floater late, sandwiched with some Kyle Korver-esque 3PT shooting.  I don’t think there’s much we can do about it though in 10 or 12ers with Jimmy Butler probably back after the break, Kirk Hinrich still there to fill some empty minutes, and Mike Dunleavy side-cocking some treys.  But in deeper leagues or dynasties, I think Snell could really turn into something and I have for a long while now.  Here’s what else went down in our final first half game of the NBA season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

From the depth of 90s video games, crossed with the beastly rancor of Joakim Noah (can you use rancor as an adjective?  is that even the right part of speech?!), it’s the Goromotaro!  An epic performance of 20/20 needed a name, but ever since Joakim pulled off a few back in the day, he hasn’t scored 20 points in like… a million years.  Hasn’t yet this year!  Shocking he’s scored double digits in only 2 of the past 19… But I digress…

The way things have looked the past month, Goromotaro might need a name or image change to feature Hassan Whiteside!  Dude is hitting the glass harder than Cheech at a bong-only party.  24/20/0/3/2 last night for his first career Goro.  Not that he hasn’t been close!  Had a 23/16 and a 16/24 in there.  Unreal!  There’s only been 23 20+ board games this year, and Whiteside is two of them and has only 8 starts!  Whiteside has the 7th Goro this year (the others belonging to Kenneth Faried, Zach Randolph, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, Pau Gasol and… you ready for this…?  Jason Thompson!), and as good as those guys are (well, minus Thompson), I’d put good money on Whiteside being the first with multiple.  He’s also 73% from the stripe his past 13 games!  Getting a little unreal out there, and the 4 TO last night were very fluky – especially one on an inbounding violation that was totally Norris Cole‘s fault.  Cole tried handing it back to Whiteside after he tossed it in during an odd, weird lack of awareness that cost the Heat the game!  I’m pretty sure it was a play ran to perfection from the Larry Drew playbook…  Here’s what else went down last night across the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, yet another example of why a starting nod doesn’t equate to production, even for seemingly good players…

The Bulls got embarrassed last night in LA, with Nikola Mirotic getting the start at SF.  It was disastrous before, and twas disastrous again!  Only got 12 minutes and did nothing other than get a steal and a turnover, and it looks like old Tibs wasn’t too happy.  The ghost of Carlos Boozer shoved Mirotic around on a layup and he just isn’t a good defender – why we saw another healthy dose of Tony Snell.  Even in a 2OT game, Tibs didn’t let Mirotic off the bench!  Went small instead with Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks picking up more PT late and in the OTs.  And ultimate insult to injury – the Bulls still lost.  But it was really Derrick Rose‘s fault as he continues to lay brickhouses on top of batches and batches of turnovers.  He’s like a Martha Stewart version of The Big Bad Wolf!  And the Bulls should’ve pulled this one out since the Lakers continually refuse to play their best player…  Tarik Black!  Outrageous!  Egregious!  Opprobrious!  (thank you Thesaurus)  Black is an MVP waiting to happen…  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ya know, the Lakers deserved to lose like that last night.  After building a solid lead against the Wizards, the Purp and Gold collapsed yet again…  And they didn’t play my boy or fan-favorite Tarik Black!  I find this an atrocity…  Gonna be about 30 straight losses at this rate!

But as much as I want to rant about Black, that would be a pretty weak open… So the next best ranty Lakers subject has to be Wayne Ellington‘s crazy game, putting up a 28/3/3/3/0 line on 12-20 FG (3-9 3PTM 1-1 FT).  Sell if you can!  No Nick Young last night as he’s dealing with a minor ankle injury from practice on top of being in the doghouse.  Swaggy Peed on the carpet!  We all know Swaggy never touched a basketball he didn’t think he could shoot, and that will sap into Ellington’s future upside.  I could see some interesting buzziness floating around Wayne given Kobe Bryant‘s shoulder fell off, so if any deeper league owners are interested and you can get a value, I’m down like Byron Scott a clown.  That said, he’s out there in a ton of league fa free (9% owned last night when I grabbed him in an RCL), so maybe you get a couple hot games before you Sellington.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ugh.  I’ve said numerous times I hate when injuries prove any calls right or wrong, but my BJ tooting horn, ya know – the one that says sell high – isn’t looking bad anymore.

If you missed it over the weekend, Brandon Jennings tore his Achilles and is out for the season.  And this isn’t one of those LaMarcus Aldridge thingies where he can just decide not to have surgery and keep playing.  Let’s hope Aldridge didn’t inject some sort of juice in that thumb!  ADHD alert, JB!  More on L.A. later…  So with BJ done, the Pistons only have to change one letter and put in the D.J.!  D.J. Augustin is an obvious must-own in all leagues, and while I’ve been one of the hardest “Wahhhhhhhh!  I’m Jarrett Jack!” pushers, Augustin vaulted him right away, even before last night.  Tore up the Craptors for 18 points in the first half in a redonkulous 35/4/8 line with 5 treys.  D.J.s no longer welcome in Canada!  Wedding costs are going to be out of hand…  No more Jazzy Jeff!  “Who got maple syrup all over the turntable, eh?!”  If you’re reading this and there’s still a D.J. on your wire, as The Crystal Method would say, “NOW IS THE TIME!”  Here’s what else went down over the crazy weekend of fantasy basketball:

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Little was known about the severity of LaMarcus Aldridge’s thumb injury when he missed Wednesday’s game. I was texting with Razzball’s own JB about the Blazers and JB voiced his concern that Aldridge would “be out a while.” After undergoing another MRI on Thursday, the Trail Blazers announced that Aldridge would be out 6-8 weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Is JB some sort of psychic? As his college roommate, I can neither confirm nor deny that, but what I do know is that owners will be hard pressed to replace Aldridge in their lineups. He was averaging 23.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and 1.2 bpg. Those are some pretty huge shoes to fill.

The Blazers are already shallow in the frontcourt, since Robin Lopez and Joel Freeland are also ailing. As a result, they will use Dorell Wright and Thomas Robinson more at the four. Wright started Wednesday against the Suns (15 points, 5 assists, 3 threes), but then Robinson started Thursday’s game against the Celtics (9 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks). It’s unclear who will start or if coach Terry Stotts will play matchups. Unless someone gets the majority of minutes, Wright and Robinson will eat into each other’s playing time, limiting their fantasy appeal.

To make matters worse, Nicolas Batum left early in the third quarter with a wrist injury. An upcoming MRI this weekend will reveal more information, but this could be even more devastating to the Blazers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know, I know.  Much bigger headlines on the injury front, but it’s Injury Friday with Pete’s Fantasy Basketball Infirmary coming out in a few hours, so I’m not gonna steal his spotlight!

With LaMarcus Aldridge out 6-8 weeks with a hitchhiking injury, on top of Robin Lopez still a few weeks out, there’s a ton of PF/C minutes to fill your Blazing hole.  After Dorell Wright had a very solid 15/3/5/2/0 line with three treys on Wednesday, it kinda felt like Wright could’ve run away with the gig.  But Stotts was like “I want someone else with Ciroc!” and put Thomas Robinson in the PF spot for 28 minutes last night.  Almost rainbowed too!  I’ve always thought T-Rob could turn into something, and 9/12/1/2/2 was mighty solid.  Can’t hit a FT, but who can these days?!  By tomorrow night, Stotts could pound a few more Jamesons and be like “F it, we’ve lost two in a row, it’s Meyers Leonard time!”  All that said, Nicolas Batum also hopped into the Fantasy Basketball Infirmary leaving early with a wrist injury, so maybe Wright will HAVE to play some starting F.  Stotts will take another 5-6 shots of, I dunno, something so low shelf it’s ridiculous – let’s go Popov – to get over last night’s crushing loss and start Steve Blake at PF tomorrow night.  At pressers tomorrow he’s going to be lit like Drunk Uncle!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The race to see who will be the biggest historical figure from NYC named Langston!

In his first career start, another D-League darling in Langston Galloway had a career-high 21 points in a 21/5/3/0/0 line hitting 8-14 FG and 3-6 from deep.  Probably the best stat from yesterday is that the Knicks are undefeated in Galloway starts.  Kid doesn’t know how to lose!  Starting a little bit out-of-position at the 2 guard, the Knicks seem intent on giving him minutes and seeing what they have.  He played 31 yesterday to Jose Calderon‘s 23 minutes of rock-bottom garbage and Shane Larkin only popped up for 15.  Definitely going Galloway over Larkin, I was on that side of the argument even last week, but is it crazy to roll the dice on Langston over terrible-aroni Calderoni?  I would probably take Galloway unless a desperate need for assists-upside.  Plus Calderon makes perfect sense as a trade candidate given the Knicks’ direction.  Notice how I said Knicks.  And not Poppycockers.  Because they won a game!  I’m giving our New York readers a day of respite…  Keep the losses coming, Knicks, I wanna keep doling out the Poppycockers joke the rest of the year!  Here’s what else has gone down since we last checked in on Friday in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?