The All-Star Break is here!  With skills competish, Mike & Mike in the evening, and everyone’s favorite – the Slam Dunk Contest.  It’s exactly what everyone needs during the grind of the regular season, even for us fans who are only nursing such injuries like Larry Drew-ophobia, general malaise, and fantasy bewilderment.  I have all of those symptoms!  Plus we all get four straight nights of not worrying about our fantasy rosters, nights off to spend with ladies (Valnetine’s Day just happens to be during the All-Star Break, who planned this?  Does Jared own the NBA?!), nights off to go out drinking without constantly checking box scores on the iPhone, and nights off to spend working on some Fantasy Baseball rankings…  Oh, and nights off to dig out our cars, sheesh this weather!  So with all that in mind enjoy the All-Star Break, get on twitter and have fun faux-titling the Dunk Contest throwdowns, and I’ll be back on Wednesday next week as we approach the fantasy playoffs.  Here’s what I saw last night in the few NBA games and a few injury updates:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, the Feds are after you.  Your Ponzi scheme and billions of dollars are up for seizure.  Well, that, or your $20 league dues and your friends sending you obnoxious texts about how you’re not going to the playoffs.  So if you’re in H2H and in this shortened week, what is a Madoff to do?  How about putting in a quick grab of Chris Kaman, who has erected himself into surging fantasy relevance.  Too far JB!  A raging 25/14/4/1/3 line last night, taking a whopping team-high 24 shots.  That’s now three straight games of at least 17 Pts, 8 Rebs, 3 Asts and 2 Blks.  That’s the floor!  While tonight’s slate is pretty jam-packed, Thursday is a light one.  With the Lakers one of the few teams in action, Kaman could really make the difference this week for ya in Pts and Blks.  While he does have a shelf life whence Pau Gasol returns, if Gasol is indeed traded I think Kaman has played well enough to stick.  Of course you never know with Doh-toni, but Robert Sacre isn’t exactly a guy to be developed for a long-term future and they don’t have any other true 5s.  So don’t be afraid to stash some of your free cash in the Kaman islands.  While he is owned in 43% of Yahoo leagues already (a bit shocking to me it had hopped up that fast), there’s plenty of IRS-free banks left to stash him up.  Here’s what else I saw last night across fantasy hoops:

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One team.  Two broken noses.  Four bloody nostrils.  One protective face-mask company that has lost a client.

In case you missed it, in the battle of the oldest teams ever in NBA history (yeah, no stat to back that up, but pretty sure George Gervin played a few minutes in the third…  [Ok, ok, the Spurs benched all their old guys, whatever!]), both Nando De Colo and Matt Bonner broke their noses and got all bloody.  Bonner with his mask still on!  On both (De Colo, Bonner) you got some really good in your face camerawork.  I feel like both of those could become UFC moves.  The “Russian wrister”!  The “Livingston shoulder slam”!  De Colo gets mad props for coming back in the game in the second half.  Bonner gets mad props too for trying to come back in, but Pop wouldn’t have it.  Pop hates props!  Plus Bonner’s quote, “By tomorrow, I’ll either have a new mask or a new face” is friggin’ awesome.  Kinda have a boner for Bonner.  While De Colo is not a standard league option, with Tony Parker an elf on the shelf with a bad back, De Colo got 27 minutes 11/3/2/2/1.  Near rainbow!  It’s actually a pretty light slate of games looking ahead on Saturday, so De Colo could be a nice streamer for you in deeper leagues if Parker stays on that shelf.  But as Slim pointed out to me earlier in the week, they’re against Charlotte – a top-5 PPG NBA D, but his defense and boarding should be fine if you need a lil-a-dat from a PG over the weekend. 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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Man… It just hasn’t been the best few years for Kris Humphries…  The divorce.  The loss of a starting job.  Traded as a dump to Boston.  But he’s actually been a pretty decent fantasy player lately, including getting a surprise starting nod last night, fairly under-the-radar.  Unfortunately, none-a-dat-matters when watching last night’s game!  Man, talk about lucking out with the games I got this week, as I had Yahoo highlights for the Celtics at Clippers, and the now-infamous “Welcome to my Poster” dunk.  Just dirty from Blake Griffin.  If you didn’t see where I cut the highlight, right after Ralph Lawler says “over, and over, and over…” it cuts back to Humphries who gives the easiest to lip read F bomb you could imagine.  Hilarious!  I lost my cookies all over the office.  I shoulda put “And-one” on the highlight too, but my face melted.  Getting back to fantasy, Blake can have his own poster this year, producing at a great rate and a great pick even for the unknowledgable NBA fan in your league who reached for him for the highlights.  As I mentioned a month or so back, Griffin has been really good this year capped off with a 29/6/8/2/0/highlight of the year line last night.  He showed us why fantasy hoops is underrated in the fantasy community.  It beats football by actually requiring skill and not small-sample luck, and gives us the best highlights to shove it in the face of baseball.  ”Oh look, I had Ryan Howard on my team and he actually hit a homer, look at this moon shot!”  ”Pssshhhh, I had Blake in today and look at him murder Kris Humphries!”  (full disclaimer I love fantasy baseball).  Enjoy the ride if you nabbed Blake.  Here’s what else happened last night in the NBA:

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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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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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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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What if Roy Halladay changed his mind about retiring and switched to pitching left-handed as a means to extend his career? He’d look like someone trying to do the stereotypical “girl throw” and the ball would end up killing a bat boy.

What if Robert Griffin III started throwing left-handed because Kyle Shanahan’s offense stinks and because RGIII just does things differently? Mike Shanahan would turn redder than well, you know, and become permanently frozen with the Anthony Perkins face.

This is why people were sort of baffled when Tristan Thompson decided to switch shooting hands from left to right during the 2013 offseason in an effort to avoid getting his shot blocked.

Is it working? Not really. His FG percentage is down six points from last year.

Do we care? In a word, no.

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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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