Oh man, a busy day yesterday in hoops!  The obvious first mention is GO HEELS!  Oh man, I feel like storming the court today.  I think Chapel Hill fans everywhere this morning should storm their office/classroom/crowded area in a flash mob at some point.  Then we have LeBron James getting his nose broken by Serge A Broke-a!  The mayor of Cleveland has already issued Serge Ibaka a key to the city.  Fine LeBron $5,000 for flopping!  Man, the next round of internet videos of “LeBroning” are going to be a lot more like “The Knockout Game”.  Seriously, even LeBron haters have to love he got it broke a step or two out before throwing it down.  Word still to come if the nose is indeed broken, but my money is on yes.  Regardless, we’ve seen a few players come back from a broken nose in the same game donning the Hannibal mask, so I doubt he misses any time after passing concussion tests last night.  MaskBron!  And then we had the trade deadline come and go, with nothing too major albeit a few surprises.  I’m starting a bit off the reservation with a guy I’m going to pump hard and is a pickup now in 12-teamers.  Lord Byron Mullens!  After trading their former starting 5 which we’ll get in below, it’s Mullens and Arnett Moultrie manning down the C fort in the abandon ship Sixers front line, with Mullens picked up for draft picks.  I know Mullens is boring, but he was usable while with the Bobcats posting a 10.6/6.4/1.5/0.6/0.6 line with 1.2 treys in 27 minutes a game in 12-13.  His sub-40 FG% blew, sure, but he’s a perimeter shooter who can play decent D so I think he will get run.  He’s a lot better than Moultire in my opinion and I think will get big minutes.  And I don’t know why, maybe it’s because he looks so goofy or maybe because he’s been in the league 5 years, but Mullens is actually only 25 when I thought he might be 30.  For a team tanking, he’s a perfect acquisition to help rack up points to try and fill maybe 2 more seats a night in Philly.  “Thanks for coming Mr. and Mrs. Mullens!”  Here’s what else went down yesterday, starting with NBA deadline deals:

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Super Bowl Sunday was a fail across the board.  Joe Namath messed up the coin toss.  The Red Hot Chili Peppers refuse to wear shirts.  The Broncos refused to play football.  And the only game we got on the NBA slate to rival the Super Fail was the Magic against the Celtics.  A combined 28-68 record heading into the game, but hey, at least no one was wearing this coat!  Russell Westbrook now has a wardrobe to makeover… Anywho, it was an electric 27 minutes for Rajon Rondo, who had his best game since returning.  9-11 from the field for a 19/6/10/3/0 slash can get anyone rolling.  Well, except maybe the Broncos offense… Hopefully Rondo won a few people their matchups this week and their Sundays weren’t ruined by all that food and beer turning into absolute lethargy like I’m feeling right now.  But alas we have fantasy’s best sport to pull us through the soul-sucking quicksand that was the Super Bowl as we grow nearer and nearer the playoffs.  Here’s what else I saw this weekend in NBA action:

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I could tell what JB was thinking just from the look in his eyes, or what I could see of them, but he had to verbalize it, “Come on I really don’t want to do this.”  I’m sure he didn’t but a lost bet has consequences.  It was time to go play some 2-on-2 tournament basketball and he looked ready.  He was carrying his basketball in one hand, his sandals in the other, and sporting a bright orange and pink spandex leotard, which can you believe has to be special ordered.  I thought the big and tall store would have a couple to choose from but they don’t.  Anyway where was I, oh yeah, and a matching blindfold with a couple tiny holes poked out.  For safety.  At this point there was no escaping our fate, JB knew that what he wanted was no longer relevant.  When we finally arrived we were ready to ball.  I knew we needed to make an impression so in a show of intimidation I threw my shirt off revealing my shiny black Tom Selleck-esque body fur, pulled my socks up high and tight, and mean mugged those fools as hard as I could.

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When the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009, it was a great example of how the Sports Karma Gods can sometimes rush in after tragedy strikes to lift a city up and help it rebuild.

But then that was it. No more, said the Sports Karma Gods. Because since 2009, Big Easy sports fans have endured the Sean Payton scandal, the Chris Paul trade, the Hornets changing their name to the Pelicans, the freaking horrible uniforms for this year’s NBA All-Star game and a rash of injuries not unlike the rash Candy Flanders gave me in my sophomore year of high school. Er, ah, moving on.

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If you have been stashing (or if you’re Grey, staching) Marc Gasol on your roster, you were feeling some Good Vibrations last night!  Less because of the production, but more with the early arrival and fantasy goodness.  And that good-ol Gasol Wildside.  Now, I may be too young to remember Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, but I am old enough to [barely] remember when Gasol went down that I said he was a hold in all formats.  You may be saying “no duh!”, but he was dropped in several shallower leagues by those darned knee-jerkers.  But as we talked about in the comments earlier this week, I see Gasol getting eased in and a tad rusty the first few games, but then back to a beast.  3-7 for 12/4/1 and 6-8 at the stripe last night.  You’ll take that from a guy you’ve stashed!  The Thunder tried to rough him up and it didn’t work.  Only 24:12 on the court, but the one assist he had was vintage Gasol and should leave you feeling dandy from this point on.  And props to Prodders for breaking the news and hopefully you got him in your line-up.  Our comments save lives!  New Razzball bumper sticker.  Here’s what else I saw last night in Fantasy Hoops:

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I’m sure we’ve all experienced a day in our lives that through some kind of grueling experience we somehow came out victorious.  On the inside all we cared about was the instant satisfaction of winning but on the outside we appeared broken and defeated.  Not so long ago I had such a night.  It’s not the shame that makes it so difficult to talk about, but the shame that there’s a sense of glory and accomplishment that goes with it.  JB and I decided a few drinks were in order one night and we decided, while watching some NBA action, to have ourselves a little drinking game.  Sure I thought, I’ve had a few already how bad can this be?  The deal was that we would pick a player and for each assist that player had the other person would have a drink.  JB wanted it to be field goals made but I managed to talk him into assists, or so I thought.  “Chris Paul“, I said without hesitation.  Looking back I probably had a really stupid smirk on my face.  JB calmly ordered himself another, then he ordered me an appetizer – which looking back may have saved my life.  With a perfectly calm demeanor I got to hear words that will still cause me to cringe, “Kendell Marshall“.

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Ohhhh man, the mile run.  Nothing establishes popularity in middle school more than the mile run.  You have the athletes who can just jog but have to semi-try, the dorks who are OK at sports that do pretty well (me!), the cool kids that just walk, the unhealthy people who saunter, and then the coolest dudes who hide behind the scoreboard on the other side of the track as the teachers and smoke cigs.  True story!  But the real run to talk about this morning is C.J. Miles‘ run, who’s capped off three straight great games.  Hit a ridiculous 10 treys last night, for a 34/5/2/2 line shooting 11-18 and 10-14 from deep.  If only someone called it yesterday!  And proof to the theory of ThrAGNOF.  Got you 10 treys for just one spot start.  Great night for Miles and shows us yet again that if you need to stream guys, play anyone facing the Sixers.  As I mentioned yesterday, their D is league worst in points allowed by nearly 7 points more a game given up than the second-worst.  It’s a fast-paced team with bad D no matter how you slice it.  Unfortunately for Miles, the acquisition of Luol Deng is really going to hurt his minutes, making him a guy you’re probably not picking up in standard leagues or solid 12-teamers.  Just won’t have the minutes or upside.  But luckily he had one last game to show his range and should stay in the mix for deeper leaguers.  Here’s what else I saw last night in a big slate of games:

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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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Man!  I was loving that game!  Through three contests (the inaugural one in the comments then when adopted into the piece), I didn’t get a single win!  For shame… At least now with Kobe Bryant missing 6 weeks, we’ll be brimming with excitement to relaunch the game!  I never ended up with Kobe anywhere, so I’m downplaying the real fantasy impact here… Kobe owners are asking should I hold or should I let go?  I think he is probably a hold in almost all leagues if you can, but man, these top-end injuries are killin’ out there!  Plus we have to remember it’s a fractured knee and a re-sewn up Achilles.  And he wasn’t setting the world on fire anyway.  Kobe is turning into Jeter from last year!  Bryant is a medical marvel though, he can jump over cars going 40 MPH and come back after bone spurs a game later.  So he’s worth the stash unless it’s a very shallow 10-teamer or smaller, or you’re just a triage of injuries.  Here’s what else went down last night across fantasy hoops:

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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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