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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, the question posed in the title there is a real toughie…  I need to make a pros and cons list.  I mean, more like a pros and D-league list…

First to last night – how can you call a throw right there?!  Is Brad Stevens calling plays for the Seahawks all the sudden?!  Ugh, enough football, but we’ll tie one more NFL reference here in the open if we can…

The Cavs went into Minnesota on Saturday night, and Kevin Love‘s return to Minnesota wasn’t exactly a metaphorical hug.  I love the random ginger at 0:55…  He has no idea what to do!  He’s like, “boo!” wait, I mean, maybe I should clap?  It’s like the end of Air Bud where both the creepy pedophile looking dude and the annoying kid try to call for the emotionally conflicted dog.  Anyway, Cleveland got to see both of their #1 picks from the last two years, and spoiler alert!  Andrew Wiggins did better.  A cool 31/1/1/4/0 on 14-25 shooting and absolutely no issues with Kevin Martin back in the line-up.  And still no Ricky Rubio, who is back tonight! All of Wiggins’ damage done with recent-signee Lorenzo Brown playing all 48.  Meanwhile, Cleveland’s “other” former #1 pick Anthony Bennett played 13 minutes of nothingball.  0/1/1/0/0, and as we mentioned on the Pod with Andy Behrens the other week, Draymond Green went in the second round of that draft!  Hopefully Kevin Costner had nothing to do with this Cleveland team’s Draft Day.  That movie bombed harder than the Manziel pick!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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?

We all love fantasy basketball, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and if you’ve run marathons, you know that you get tired after half of it is done. I mean, I don’t have any clue at all, but it stands to reason, right? Doldrums is the running term for that. And doldrums is also a sailing term, and not at all related to running actually. But I get a little frustrated, depressed, let down, etc. this time of the season, realizing the cats who have under performed, or acted just plain goofy (I’m talking to you Kevin Garnett! you used to be so damn beautiful, and you’re tainting your legacy a bit with this sucky stuff). But like G.I. Joe said, knowing is half the battle, and we can turn our frowns upside down with a little creative trading and/or acquisition. Take a gander at these booms and busts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve never been a huge fan of his, but at least Mo Williams makes it really easy to have a punny title…

I would’ve said you’re as high as Busta Rhymes if you told me Mo Will was about to drop 50 last night.  What a crazy, crazy world we live in where the T’Wolves finally break out of their 15-game losing streak behind a franchise record 52-point game.  Some really weird biguns for the Wolves, remember when Corey Brewer put up 51 last year?  So both of those guys stay in the franchise record books as better scorers than Kevin Love or Kevin Garnett.  Go figure.  Makes me wanna headbutt something!  Mo with an unbelievable line of 52/4/7 hitting 19-33 FG (6-11 3PTM 8-9 FT).  Where to even start with the crazy?!  Mo hadn’t scored 30 since MARCH 2012 (!!) according to our friends at Rotoworld.  I would look at his game-logs to fact check, but we don’t fact check!  And as good as this game is, he’s not even a good pickup!  I think that’s the craziest thing…  Ricky Rubio is almost back to retake the PG minutes, and even if Flip wanted to run some combo guard lineups out there, Kevin Martin (so many Kevins in Timberwolves history!) is almost back.  Plus this game should make him easier to sell in the NBA.  Might get the Wolves a first rounder.  So while Mo is maybe worth an add for the very short-term (only 32% owned on Yahoo late last night), I’m certainly not losing anyone of value for him.  Here’s what else went down on a crazy and injury-riddled night of NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Awwwwww, yeah!  Yeah J-Val.  Gimme a little peek.  Gimme a little glimmer of hope!

Oh man, was it a tale of two halves for the Raptors last night!  They were lobbin’ shizz all over the place like they were the Globetrotters against the…  Who do they play again?  That they always beat?  Oh yeah, the Knicks, like they were the Globetrotters against the Knicks.  Kyle Lowry had 9 dimes in the first quarter and Jonas Valanciunas put up 14 points on 7-8 shooting.  Drummo playing uggo!  Kinda a “but his D” lately…  The Luminescent Lithuanian ended up going 14-15 for 31/12/0/0/1.  The FT% is nice (3-4 last night and right at 80% on the year), but his combined – yes COMBINED – Ast/Stl/Blk this year are under 2.  Sigh.  I thought he could turn into something so much more special!  There are some long-term nice things – per-36s he’s cut down a few TO, scoring more, fouls are down – but Casey is playing him lower minutes than last year (and wouldn’t consistently feed him after that hot start) and I don’t know if he’s ever going to be more than a slightly taller Zach Randolph.  And with that, J-Val is all insulted, buttoning up his clothes, and not giving me that flash of hope.  Dammit, I’m my own cockblocker!  Me n Valaciunas are gonna be awkward for a while until safely in the friendzone.  Here’s what else went down on a light night of Monday action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy New Year’s Eve, Razzball Nation!

May your champagne be stocked, your last night of horrific eating before a New Year’s resolution be gorged, and your lists of things to reflect on be lengthy.  Number one on my list right now is my groin is healthy!  Rough, rough injury for the Charlotte Hornets and fantasy owners’ front lines with Al Jefferson out at least the next month with an adductor strain.  Not that you need it, but Dr. JB is linking a little pic here [FAMILY FRIENDLY!].  Enough groin talk already!

When I heard Big Al was out for a month, I made the same face as Bill Walton’s Basketball-Reference picture…  Lots of shock waves across the Hornets, with Bismack Biyombo likely starting at the 5.  I don’t think he plays 30 minutes a night, but the boards-n-blocks upside puts him into the Rudy Gobert conversation.  Like Gobert, Biyombo won’t be winning a game of knokout anytime soon…  Shooting 44% from the FT line this season, and under 50% in his career.  A big winner here is Marvin Williams, who should be owned in 14ers and worth a bookmark for shallower.  Off 8/14/3/3/0 Monday night, the Hornets are going to move Cody Zeller into a lot of C minutes as the Hornets have no real front-line depth.  Williams hit a couple of treys in that game as well, and as with all Hornets, is in line for a few more shots with Big Al’s 16.3 FGA distributed to the masses.  For deep leaguers, don’t forget about Noah Vonleh who was sent to the D-League recently for a little seasoning.  He’s expected to be called back up momentarily, and as you’d assume with a team losing their best player, the Hornets are likely to fall even further in the Eastern standings.  Vonleh might get some experiential run as the season presses on to develop the 9th overall pick in this year’s loaded draft.  Here’s what else went down last night across the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve got the ring in the cake.  The scoreboard operator has got it cued up for the 2nd quarter under-8 timeout.  The plane with some really carcinogenic toxins is ready to pollute the atmosphere in a “Will U Marry Me?” loopy smokestream.

An unsung contributor this year, DeMarre Carroll racked up another under-the-radar line last night for 14 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 3PTM, and a partridge in a pear tree!  No TO, and other than blocks really hits all the Silver Bells and whistles.  Hitting a career best 1.6 treys a game, it’s a Christmas miracle his FG% is at 46%.  The dimes don’t do much either, but there’s no reason not to to Sleigh Ride him while he’s hitting most of the cats this hard.  Even a Silent Night or two won’t scare me away, and at only 61% ownership in Yahoo, I feel like there’s still a lot of leagues where he could bring Joy to the World.  So sing a holiday carol for DeMarre, and even though nothing is too sexy, I felt like I needed Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (full disclosure, I had to look up a list of Christmas songs for this bit, I’m such a Grinch).  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!

DraftKings is back, and while we don’t have a Razzball Only contest this week (bummer, I know…), we can still all get together and sing some campfire songs over a big contest in the several they run every night!  I wanted to keep it low key, albeit with a big payday, so join me why don’t ya in the NBA $50K Layup!  It’s $2 to play, and pays out a cool, hard $50-grand for the overall winner.  If somebody from Razzball Nation wins, I better get a heavy dose of Crown & Cokes!  I’ll be in there with my jbrazzball moniker, so you can track me as I finish middle of the pack, which has been my normal finish most of the time this year in daily… I’m coming for that payday this Friday though!  If not, I might Drunk Uncle rant after tonight… So click-ity click that link right there, draft your team today, and let’s get some skrilla for Razzball Nation!

Here’s 5 of my picks for tonight’s action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?