When you think of the Boston Celtics, you think about Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Red Auerbach, the Big Three of 2008, “now there’s a steal by Bird underneath to DJ he lays it in,” eight-straight titles, 17 overall, etc. Somewhere way down on the list, way way below Kevin McHale, John Havlicek, Reggie Lewis, and even Antoine Walker and Dominique Wilkins (yep, he led the C’s in scoring in 1994-1995), you think of Big Goofy White Guys.

Fred Roberts, Greg Kite, Brad Lohaus, Lou Tsioropoulos, Scott Wedman, Brian Scalabrine, Dwayne Schintzious, Mark Acres, Steve Kuberski … the list of useless big men of Caucasian descent who wore Celtic green is endless.

So while most of Boston cursed Danny Ainge for shipping Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn for three number one picks and a pile of garbage that included Kris Humphries, the move made complete sense to me. Except for two inflated seasons for a worthless New Jersey Nets team, Humphries is the protypical big white man at the end of the bench that has become a symbol of Boston basketball pride.

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PGs depth suddenly overfloweth from the wire, with a lot of guys on their choppers… chopping(?) their way onto fantasy squads.  Listen, I would make some sort of better parallel with that show, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.  Takes a lot of effort to plow through a show!  I friggin’ had to stop the new Arrested Development in season 4.  Yikes.  And speaking of arrested development, the Clips sure got a buster when Chris Paul went down with a separated shoulder Friday night, and through a series of updates will be out “up to six weeks.”  The trainer asked Paul if he was filing for divorce with his shoulder, but nah, just separated.  Huge blow to the Clippers, but it was a “rush to your nearest internet device” moment for fantasy owners to add Darren Collison.  On Friday night, in JB’s RCL 2 I missed out, then when deciding who to drop for him in RCL 1, I missed him by about 10 seconds.  Thank’s a lot Your Mom Says Hi!  A Hill ‘O Beans bout to be refried!  Yeah, terrible smack talk, I know…  If you’re not checking out the comments every night, all sorts of updates get fantasy spins throughout the evening, like El Burro breaking the news while watching his Clips’ title hopes get separated.  I like Collison a lot, and unless you singularly need assists, I like him over the other big breakout PG from the weekend.  I think he gives you 16/3/6/2 a game until Paul is done with marriage counseling.  The 35 minutes he’ll play a night should make those numbers pretty realistic.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in hoops action:

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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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Before this NBA season I couldn’t look at Mike D’Antoni without thinking of Cy Tolliver, the second-tier villain on HBO’s “Deadwood.”

But I had no idea that D’Antoni would behave like his fictional doppelganger (played by Powers Boothe) and that he would turn the Lakers into the Bella Union Saloon, a place rife with rigged gambling, card games that end in gunfire, out-in-the-open prostitution and inexplicable frontcourt rotations. OK, maybe just the last thing.

There really seems to be no method to D’Antoni’s madness. Jordan Hill got some serious run at the end November and responded with some double-digit rebound games, so of course coach slashed his minutes down to the high teens by the beginning of December. Around the middle of the month he called Hill’s number again, and the results weren’t surprising: He produced some nice games, including a 21-9-1 on Dec. 16 at Atlanta. Now Hill is starting, but his minutes have been crunched down to around 20 per game.

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Ahhhh weed jokes.  The Pacific Northwest.  Their team is the Blazers.  Rasheed Wallace used to play for them!  But I don’t think Oregon has legalized it yet.  What’s the world like in Colorado and Washington these days?  Something like Amsterdam?  Although, even though I went there, I hardly remember it.  If you have Damian Lillard though, you’re surely remembering the night he put up last night!  11-23 shooting, 8-12 3PTM for 36 points, a surprising 8 boards, and a dimebag right on the nose with 10 assists.  Plus a game-winner!  The near triple-double moves Lillard to 10th overall in Total Value according to Basketball Monster, and a true American Hero!  And by that, I mean my 19 overall rank of him got flack more than a few times through the rankings iterations, and looking peachy keen now.  He’s lowered his TOs almost a full turnover a game since his rookie year, upped the 3PT% and my favorite –  is becoming an elite FT% guy going 5.2-5.6 a night at 91.8% for the season.  Getting to the line and making em, pretty much the antithesis of Andre Drummond!  Hey o!  Oh wait, I mean, I’m jinxing Drummond, he’s the bast center in the world and will all the sudden shoot 95% from the stripe once he adopts the Barry granny shot… Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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In Shaq-ramento, when Christmas carolers sing at your doorstep, if it’s deck the halls you must insist a free a Rudy Gay jersey! You better believe Sleep Train Arena is gonna deck their halls with Gay apparel.  That is, if it has power.  Zing!  Last night, the Kings picked up Gay from the Raptors in a 7-player deal with a lot more fantasy impact than just the players involved.  The Kings also picked up Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, for the fewest letters in three surnames you could ever receive in a three-player haul.   In return, Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes got exported to Canada.  I hope they have winter wear!  Instead of going over all of the impact in the open, it’ll be fettered out and we’ll focus on Gay at the top.  Nothing changes.  Brevity!  Lots of shots, the Kings don’t become any better or worse, but get a good all-around player.  The fantasy impact on Gay seems null.  The trade overall I think it a win-win, both in real hoops and in fantasy.  The Kings dumped guys that don’t really help their rotations for a star, and the Raptors break up their two high-volume shots guys with it not working.  Plus the Raptors are looking to rebuild around the Luminescent Lithuanian.  Then all sorts of fantasy optimism below, along with other action across the NBA over the weekend:

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Welcome back from Thanksgiving!  After a week of indulgent eating, I’m back with an extra 20 lbs of writing weight.  Those drumsticks went right into my index fingers.  So I didn’t learn the typical QWERTY typing method, sue me!  I taught myself how to type in “Olsen Twins Turn 18 Countdown” chat rooms when I was in middle school…  Fantasy hoops had a ton go down through the Turkey Day holiday, although Omer Asik wasn’t traded to the Magic for Hedo Turkoglu.  Now that would’ve been a Turkey Day!  Of all the things that went down, I am positively giddy for the run Patrick Beverley is about to give us with Jeremy Lin set to miss two weeks with a knee strain.  Thanks in part to Slim’s water torture, I’m a big Beverley believer for some real mulit-cat upside.  Early returns started slow, with PBev going 7/2/2/2/0 the game Lin got hurt during the first quarter, then only 5/4/1/0/0 in 24 minutes on the Friday night.  But on Saturday against the Spurs, 11/6/5/3/1 no turnovers and three treys.  “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!”  Thanks Maury Ballstein.  Even though PBev isn’t a focal point of the offense, I buy the peripheral stats, and a must-have addition to your own “Balls Models” squads.  Steals, boards a-plenty, with some dimes and out-of-position blocks will floweth like a river.  Or Slim’s water torture device.  You said you weren’t into S&M!  This is my fantasy update writing of shame… Here’s what else I saw since we last checked in:

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For some reason, the hype coming into this year was all about Andre Drummond and how he was gonna punk Greg Monroe and take all his boards and blocks and the such. These same people drafted Drummond in the same round as Monroe and in some cases even higher. They were Monroe haters, just like Mr. Rush on “Too Close For Comfort” and the Federalists.

But now those same peeps who slept on the big guy are flipping out in classic Ted Knight style.

Monroe has been a stud for Mo Cheeks, racking up almost 12 boards and 2 blocks per contest. He’s also scoring 16.3 ppg and hitting 54 percent of his shots. In his most recent game, against Oklahoma City on Friday, he compiled 15 boards and 3 blocks to go along with 20 points – a vintage big man stat line.

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The Fournier-Year-Old Virgin

After a very tough start to his season going 2-14 in his first two games, Evan Fournier finally found his stroke last night going 5-10 (2-3 3PTM) for a 12/3/2 line in a season high 25 minutes.  If you’re like me, you’re a Fournier virgin in all leagues.  Sure he’s way off the map (I don’t know where France is!), but I have a feeling he could surprise later on in the season.  In the last 8 games of 2012-13, Fournier went 11.5 Pts (0.9 3PTM) 2.3 Rebs 2.8 Asts 1.4 Stls while shooting 50% from the field and 92.9% from the stripe in only 23 minutes a game.  Now that was on a playoff team, resting some stars – sure, but this Nuggets team is a mess right now.  I know they just beat the Hawks, but a lineup starting Randy Foye and Jordan Hamilton (of course Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are on the shelf), Fournier could get late season run as I highly doubt the Nuggets make the playoffs.  He’s a great off-the-radar multi-cat guy to keep your eye on especially in deeper leagues as we start getting into the meat of the season.  Here’s what else I saw last night in the NBA:

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At last!  At long last.

The fantasy basketball season is upon us and we finally get to start seeing our lineups in action.  I, for one, am pumped like never before.  Sure it may be because it’s my first full season as the Razzball Editor on hoops, and sure, it may be because it’s the last year the North Carolina team will be called the “Bobcats”, but hey, we all have our things to look forward to!

If you’re new to Razzball, I’ll be giving you daily recaps of everything that went down across fantasy hoops (starting tomorrow) along with contributions from our other great writers (Pete, Dan and Slim) throughout the year.  And if you missed my mention of it once or twice through the preseason, I work for a company that makes the Yahoo Fantasy Basketball player highlights which will start going up tonight!  We also make the TNT Overtime highlights which come up on the timeline as you’re watching the game (It’s free!  And starts tonight!).  I bring this up, well first because it’s the coolest job, and second because I get to watch a lot of hoops and break down film of typically two games a night.  So at the end of Daily Recaps I’ll be letting you what games I’m watching that night and you can either tweet me (@jbgilpin) if you’re wondering about something in the game or ask in comments the next day.  We’re next level here at Razzball!

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