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Twas a star studded evening

And all through the league

Not a player was stirring…

Because it was time to play defense and nobody #%*%#%@ wanted to!

Yeah, I’m looking at you Cavs, Rockets, Warriors, and J.R. Smith.

Anyway…. Outside of that cheesiness, it was a fairly interesting Thursday evening, but many of the games were just irksome.  It’s ironic that the Utah/Miami game deserved to be on TNT over the Cavs and Clippers.  I don’t think anyone would’ve guessed an LA blowout win after that 70 point dud in Indy, but that’s pro sports for ya!  At any rate, let’s get into it!  At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll cover the whole Rockets – Warriors game, but I can already tell you that the winner scored over 120, and it was a race to see who could jack up more 3s.  It’s entertaining, but it isn’t basketball, in my humble opinion.

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Hope everyone’s week is going well.  No grid this week and instead I want to focus on the opposing bench players.

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Let’s face it, in a standard league, most of the available players in the FA pool are unlikely to be starters.  For fantasy purposes, that doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to categories that your team need to defend or categories that your team can unexpectedly win.

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Choo Choo!

Watch out league, The Dieng Train is about to run ya over like you’re Magic defenders! Our season chugs along through Thanksgiving (although with our jeans barely fitting), heading into December with 3 guys flirting with Oscar Robinson for tripdub averages, Brow looking redonk, and a multitude of other breakouts and disappointments, but I don’t want the Dieng Train to slip under the radar! Like a German train station, Gorgui Dieng remains regular, consistent, and otherwise just mundane, bringing true multicat performance after performance from a big (minus treys). After a slow-ish start, the Dieng Train put together a nice weekend with a rainbow 11/7/2/3/4 against the Suns, then 15/6/2/1/2 in a tough-matchup-for-a-big against the Warriors. And even though I said “minus treys”, he actually hit a triple in each of them! Shot 11-22 overall, committed only 2 combined TO, and after hitting only 6 treys last year, maybe this is a part of his game we’ll start to see expand. Before you Dieng Train detractors type “BORING!” in the comments, I know his per-36 is a smidge down from last year. That said, he’s played 36+ minutes in 4 of the past 5 games, and it’s all due to that beautiful, cuddly, Tibby Tibs treatment. Run your starters to death! But well, when one of your starters is a effin’ train, you ride that rail! Here’s what else went down over Thanksgiving weekend in fantasy basketball:

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In a matchup where they might’ve gone ahead and whipped em out to see who was bigger, this round went to Joel Embiid! The Sixers snapped the longest stretch of NBA games without back-to-back wins (108), by besting Hassan Whiteside and the Heat 101-94.

Look at Embiid flex those guns. So much man meat in the paint right there! Ok, I’m done with that, but it was awesome to see such prototypical, turn-back-the-clock big men face off against each other, with each being the current face of their respective franchise. Embiid had one of his best lines of the year, going 22/5/0/1/3 on 7-13 shooting, mainly highlighted by only one TO. He’s only had one game with 2 TO, and all the others 3+. On the flip side, Whiteside was a monster, going 32/13/0/0/2 on 13-19 shooting and hit 6 of his 8 FT. For the love of big man stats! Whiteside was 0-3 from the stripe in his previous game, so hopefully something has righted the ship there. Someone in the comments asked where Embiid might go in drafts next year, and I said 30-40 range. But at this rate, that might be too conservative! Let’s see him get through a full season first, and be sure none of that giant EMBIIIIIID gets hurt. I lied, I got one more in! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Could there be anyone else in the NBA that everyone can get behind and root for than Jrue Holiday?!  At this rate, he needs to run for prez in 2020!  And just to make him even more likable, he’s now wearing rec spec goggles.  Soooooooo dope!  It’s like he’s playing ball underwater!  When he hit this stepback, I’m pretty sure I heard him say “you miss me?!” on the game broadcast, but I have a feeling it was my mind playing tricks on me…

Jrue didn’t take any time to shake off the rust, going 21/2/7/1/1 on 8-14 shooting against the Blazers Friday night (including that sexy crossover), then 22/2/9/1/0 on 9-17 shooting against the Hornets on Saturday.  14:4 AST:TO to start it off, shot over 50% both games…  Just so awesome!  I know what I’m thankful for!  And just to make things EVEN MORE awesome, he rewarded Tim Frazier owners who remained patient, by showing they can co-exist.  Bi-partisan!  12/3/8 and 17/5/8 for Frazier in those two games, plus the Pelicans won both of them.  And they weren’t against cupcakes either, winning at home against the Blazers then the Hornets.  Pass the beignets, we got a party goin on!  As a Frazier owner in a couple RCLs, I’m going to hang strong until his numbers tell me otherwise.  Unfortunately, I’m not a Jrue owner anywhere though…  Depressing!  But I don’t even care, Jrue is a boss, and if he beats me in some fantasy matchups, I will tip my cap and be rooting for him anyway.  You’re my boy, Jrue!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops:

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Feb 23, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and fans celebrate Harden's three point shot against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half at Toyota Center. Rockets won 113 to 102. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY SportsThe Rockets put up 41 in the first quarter, with a lot of help from the beard. Harden finished the game with a 26/12/14/3/0 triple double, while only turning the ball over 4 times… That really isn’t that bad for the Rockets! A fair amount of blowouts last night, but the games were still quite enjoyable! Particularly, the matchup of KAT and EMBIIIIIID.

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With how the Poppycockers put together their “Super Team”, I admittedly had some worries that the bunch of Tom Cruise-divas they threw out there might make The Poison Goose a mere co-pilot.  But not with moxie like this!

Dude doing that at 7’3!!!!!  SEVEN THREE!!!  Monster game from Kristaps Porzingis last night, going a career-high 35/7/3/1/1 with 3 treys on 13-22 shooting.  He played 40 minutes, and put the Poppies on his back.  While I was a little apprehensive of his USG, I still think my rank of 23 ended up being ahead of the curve (I would confirm this, but FantasyPros is being a little ish and not making it easy to find draft day expert consensus!).  Alas, I was unable to get the Goose in any leagues, and I’m suffering some major poultry withdrawal.  Thankfully Thanksgiving is right around the corner!  He’s taken 15+ shots the past 7 games, attempting 2 more treys a game than last year, and the TO rate has gone from 1.7 his rookie year to 1.3.  His ridiculous 7’3 size makes him too tough for stretch-4s to cover him, and his ridiculous speed and ball-handling makes him too tough for centers.  He’s becoming a true matchup nightmare with the added iso moves, and is – I’m going there – a no question first-rounder next year.  Slim having him on his REL team has me depressingly reaching for the Grey Goose!  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops action last night:

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Ah, the early weeks of the fantasy season, when a young man’s or woman’s fancy turns to love. Love of the game, love of that reach you made for Gordon Hayward in the draft when others were worried about his injury. Love of how good your picks look thus far, and how bad your opponents picks look. Because everyone has a chance at this stage, right? And that’s good for the game, no? Somewhere out there, somebody is giddy that they selected JJ Barea in the later rounds. Others are pleased that they nabbed a tasty morsel, or pleased their blue chip pick is performing as advertised. The scientific term is the honeymoon phase, and fella, you are smack-dab in the middle. At this time people often complain that it’s hard to make trades, so while I will make some trade recommendations, I will also comb the waiver for you, gentle reader, to try to polish the proverbial turd for you to grab. Let take a look at what is to be had:

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dwayne-header

Last night marked the first return of Dwyane Wade to Miami.  Unfortunately, it was the second game of a back to back for Wade, and his shooting just wasn’t there.  He put up a solid line, and the Bulls won, so I doubt he’s complaining.  Those hoping for a vintage performance were severely disappointed though.   5-17 shooting just doesn’t cut it.  He threw in 7 boards, 4 assists, and a steal, along with the 13 points, so it wasn’t a complete waste though.

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Save your horse, and ride a… Justin Hamilton?! As we coined on the Podcast, the coach of the Nets has officially changed his name. It’s even on his newly issued Birth Certificate! It’s no longer Kenny Atkinson. While Brooks wears his giant cowboy hat, Kenny literally wears his ass on his head. He is forever more: Kenny Asshat. I’d love to make that my Halloween costume!

After that shockingly low-run debut, Brook Lopez persevered in game two with a 25/5/1/1/0 line in only 26 minutes on Friday night. Maybe the most shocking aspect of that game was the Nets actually won an NBA game! Then on Saturday afternoon, we get word Brolo is going to get a healthy DNP-rest. Mother F Asshat! Because of course after 2+ healthy seasons including playing 33+ MPG last year, Brook is an injury risk. This is a ticking time bomb in Brooklyn… Asshat wants to chuck as many 3s as possible; through Saturday night’s game, Brooklyn’s 37.3 3PA were second in the NBA, only to the Mavericks who had an OT game then played Houston. 42% of their shots are treys, which leads the league thus far (small sample of course). Even in that “good” game from Brolo Friday night, he shot 0-4 from deep, giving him 6 3PTA this season. His career high 3PTA?! 14 last year for 0.2 a game. 3.0 thus far in 16-17. A big part of his value has been game-to-game reliability and FG%, and now we’re not going to get either. Asshat really wants to pound Brook’s square peg in a round hole, and we all know Asshat has a big round hole! What a mess this team is. Hopefully you don’t have too many shares of Brolo, and if you do, you’re really forced to hold as best you can. No one is giving you anything for him… But at least it opens some opportunities, with Hamilton now a streamer even in 12ers, and you know the rest of your Nets are all going to have ThrAGNOF streamability. Asshat playing his team like Duke. Shooting nothing but 3s… So annoying! No UNC bias there… I don’t think Asshat got the memo that the NBA perimeter is further out… Smh. Here’s what else went down over the weekend in Fantasy Basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?