I kept telling you that was OK to pick up Rasual Butler while he was producing, but certain fantasy sites that sound like “drive-thru” and “he is Alex Len” insisted that he wouldn’t keep it going. He’s washed up, they said. There’s no minutes for him, they said.

Now that he’s averaged 28 mpg and 18.8 ppg over his last four, and shot 54 percent from downtown over that span, the sites that shall remain nameless (you probably use them every day) say oh yeah, maybe you better claim him off waivers. Same old over-the-top song-and-dance they’ve been doing all year.

(One post in the site that sounds like “Ragu” said Jerami Grant is “not very good at basketball,” even though he is in the NBA, and he is getting minutes every game. Nevermind that he can’t hit a shot from 4 feet out, he is athletic and gets stats for deep leaguers.)

My advice is to have fun playing fantasy. Don’t stress about it too much. Unless you have $100 invested in a league or a bad haircut wager on the line, which in that case go ahead and obsess over Rasual Butler. Otherwise, add and ride him while he’s hot.

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A popular sleeper on draft day (well, made more popular by us!), Markieff Morris had been driving fantasy owners crazier than Joaquin Phoenix in The Master.

Through the first 10 games, Markieff had numbers eerily identical to what he did last year despite four more MPG.  His engine is on hybrid!  But for as atrocious as his previous 4 games were, broke out in a big way against the Celtics for 30/7/5/4/0 hitting 14-21 shots including a trey.  And only 1 TO!  Career-high scoring for Kieff, after four games in a row under 12 and three of those scoring single-digits.  “I found the beef, it’s Jeff Green‘s terrible D!”  While my Kieff teams are loaded with swagger after this big Monday, there is something slightly concerning with his stats.  Only 1-1 FT last night, and now is under half as many FT makes a game compared to last year, in nearly 5 more minutes a game (playing 39 bumped up his minutes finally!).  In 13-14, Kieff-er Sutherland was at 3.2-4.0 at the charity stripe, but is suddenly more like Donald Sutherland and not attacking the cup.  Less driving means fewer OREB (down from last year sinking his REB per-36), and his dimes have fallen a smidge as well.  None of these stats are major, but it seems he’s not creating and the Suns G-rotation is handling all the rock.  Another week of big stats with weak FT numbers and low-ish dimes – on top of Hornacek’s tendency to roll the hot hand, even the starters – and I’d actually sell high.  The steals and handful of blocks are nice, but not loving the lack of aggression and new role as more a spot-shooter, which could make him benchable to Horny a lot of games if he’s cold, something we’ve already seen a little of with the waffley minutes.  Where’s the beef?!  Let’s hope not in the waffles, but ya never know, that could be good!  Fried chicken n waffles is out of this world.  Here’s what else happened on an unusually busy Monday night of action:

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After getting down as much as 23 points, I was going to pose the question – is Nicolas Batum the glue for the Blazers?

But then the Charlotte Hornets looked like the Kelly Tripucka Charlotte Hornets, hiked up their shorts, and got run out of Portland in the second half.  This is Damian Lillard‘s show!  29/4/7/2/0 hitting 5 treys and 12 of 21 shots for The Omen.

With Batum out last night (and is hopeful to miss only two more and returning next Monday – he likes the weekly league fantasy players!), a lot of minutes opened up for Blazers SF.  And of all the options, I don’t think anyone would’ve projected Allen Crabbe as the starter!  Play Chris Kaman at the 3!  I actually remember watching a few of Crabbe’s games at Cal when they were in the NCAA tourney and thought he was a good little player.  But dude had 4 combined minutes on the season!  And even the starting role did nothing for him, going 2/2/2/0/0 in 22 minutes shooting 1-4.  Allen Crabby, want more rock!  Crabbe has virtually no value, and Batum’s injury just means a few stats will trickle down through the Blazers starters and role players.

The under-the-radar winner is Steve Blake, who nearly rainbowed for 5/4/2/2/1.  Season-high 25 minutes and he’s averaging over 3 dimes a game this year.  Your line-up is probably filled out tomorrow and Saturday for the next two Blazers games, but hey, if you have one streaming spot open and need a little PG love, don’t be afraid to turn to grown-up Dewey for help.  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops last night:

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It feels like each time I have to submit the weekly injury report, someone big gets a last minute injury. The first week it was Victor Oladipo and his facial fracture. Last week, it was Russell Westbrook. Let’s hope that this week no one gets hurt after I hit submit.

Speaking of Russell Westbrook, he will be out 4+ weeks after surgery to repair his broken right hand. This is a huge blow to the Thunder who are already hurting with injuries. They are so desperate for a living, breathing player that they signed Ish Smith as part of their hardship exception. He is definitely not the Ish and should not be anywhere close to fantasy rosters.

Fortunately for the Thunder, and fantasy owners, Reggie Jackson is back from his ankle injury. He already has 36 points and 19 assists in just two games back. Jackson should continue to be a fantasy beast, but expect his field goal percentage to dip with the added pressure as the lead scorer.

Since Jackson is definitely already owned, Perry Jones is the next best Thunder option to pick up. Averaging 15 points and 4 rebounds, Jones should continue to see playing time, while knocking down threes. He’s day-to-day with a bruised knee, but shouldn’t be out for long.

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As we head into August, now is a perfect time to take a look back at the free agency period for the upcoming 2014-15 NBA season.

While there is one big name yet to sign (Eric Bledsoe), a few less-intriguing options still on the market (Michael Beasley, Andray Blatche, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford), and another who’s unsure whether he’ll play or retire (Ray Allen), most of the fantasy basketball world knows where guys will be playing this season.  Of course, that still doesn’t include the possibility of Kevin Love finding a new home by the end of the summer, but that could be the subject of an entirely different article.

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Love will land in Cleveland, which will make them a huge force in the Eastern Conference — and in the entire NBA.

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Free agency is here!  It has been a bit mum since the FA pool is awaiting that LeBron James cannonball, leaving us without a good snapshot of how the league will look in 2014-15.  But we’ve got Summer League getting into gear and a couple interesting FA moves.

With the The Decision 2.0 on hold, even P.J. Hairston is antsy and trying to get some ball in.  According to reports, he got into a fight with a high school senior, literally at the YMCA closest to the one where I play pickup (Chapel Hill).  While some guys are really good at Chapel Hill, there aren’t any NBA players actin’ a fool and calling three in the key!  This is likely a non-story, but it just makes you shake your head.  Almost as much as my former rookie nookie Archie Goodwin getting arrested at an Arkansas skating rink.  Sure, you can tweet “Don’t assume if you don’t know the whole story…” to which I say, “the hell you gonna get into that kinda situation at a skating rink for!”  Man, that pine gonna stay warm this year, Archie!  Here’s some other [actually useful for fantasy] news and notes of free agent signings and early Summer League performances:

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Oh man.  Am I sorry if anyone had to watch Battle: Los Angeles last night.  I hated that movie and actually would rather have watched that again than the atrocity in Staples.  Reggie Miller was having so much fun dogging that game.  I was saying that it was like watching an All-Star game at the office, then either Miller or Kerr then said the same thing!  Followed by, “well, except all the All-Stars are on one team!”  Lakers burn!  El Burro, I hope you’re around, because I’d love a rant from this game from a true Lakers fan.  Sure there have been worse NBA blowouts, but man, that was straight up Cornell going on the road to Wichita State.  Even that would be a lot better to watch!  I’m not taking much to heart fantasy-wise in the 48-point romp of blue/red over yellow/purple, but my main takeaway was that Kendall Marshall still got a 7/4/7 line in 24 minutes and Jordan Farmar was awful in his 21 minutes.  I’m a big Farmar hater, and think Marshall is actually a little underrated right now.  Marshall as we all know was playing well in big minutes earlier in the year, and I think can get back to the 30ish range.  And even if he falls short of that, the dimebags will afloweth like a Denver dispensary.  Cash cow business for the Girl Scout cookie industry as well!  Probably should’ve had a few Girl Scouts paroling the Staples Center last night.  “Eat your pities away, Lakers fans!”  “A peanut butter delight won’t disappoint you at all!”  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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No, you’re not accidentally on baseball and we’re not reviewing Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle’s little HBO romp. Wait, why does LeBron James get an asterisk then?!  I think the mask is helping him.  It’s like the Jim Carrey movie.  Without it he’s a nothing out there – –  dammit, metaphors and parallels just aren’t working today!  Unless the improbable scenario in which you pounded em hard at happy hour, passed out before tipoffs last night, stumbled to your computer when you awoke this morning, and Razzball Basketball is your first NBA news choice, then you probably saw what BronBron did last night.  I for one fully endorse the aforementioned scenario, see you at happy hour after work!  LeBron went bob-bonkers on the bob-Bobcats for 61 points shooting 22-33, 8-10 from deep, and 9-12 from the stripe.  Chipped in 7 boards and 5 dimes on top of it.  The gap Kevin Durant had over King James is slowly deteriorating as MaskBron is taking over Gotham City.  Now, it did help that there was no Dwyane Wade (not that it would’ve made that much of a difference), but KD is still your numero uno.  Twin towers!  I bet 50% of fantasy H2H title matchups will pit LeBron vs. KD.  Fantasy basketball is too top heavy followed by a bunch of bastard children.  It’s turning into Shawn Kemp!  Zing!  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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Razzball Nation!  We’re here on a special weekend wrap-up where Slim (this is JB speaking) got to the action and JB just snuck in the beginning.  And snuck in the end!  I’m like Brad Pitt at the Oscars.  “Wait, why is he winning best picture!  So confused right now…”  Tomorrow I’ll proudly illustrate what I did over the weekend, but a nice defining touch hoops-wise was another great one from my boy Mike Scott, who while posting great lines, isn’t helping the Hawks win…  And that’s a problem!  Especially with Paul Millsap assumedly back sometime soon this week.  But I thought Gravity mighta gotten best picture too!  After a really rough send-off last Monday, went bonkers on the Suns for 20/5/2/3/0 with three treys and not a single TO.  I bet Philly sports fans wish they had no TO.  BOOM!  Double sports joke.  The main number that got my emoji tats all excited was the 40 mins played.  Millsap is going to travel with the Hawks as they migrate on a 5-game road trip, but very easily could miss the first few making Scott a solid short-term add.  So beam him aboard, win a big week as we near playoff time, and don’t forget to yell over the music if those pompous mf#@*$ng PA guys at the Oscars wanna condescend you by playing the music.  And here’s Slim with what he saw over the weekend:

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?