Playoffs? Unlike Jim Mora, there’s no question it’s playoff time. With the season almost over, tough decisions and moves need to be made. A guy that helped you during the regular season may not be helpful now. You’re trying to win a championship and there are only so many weeks left in the season to accomplish that. Hopefully your team is healthy, but if not, here’s an update on the latest injuries:

Dwight Howard returned for the Houston Rockets, after missing 26 games with swelling in his right knee. In 16 minutes as a starter, Howard recorded 4 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block. Howard only played 16 minutes because of a minutes’ restriction, rather than because of foul trouble (he had 4 fouls in the game).

This is definitely good news for the Rockets and fantasy owners’ playoff runs. Each game, Howard should see his minutes rise, but it probably won’t be another week or so until he’s back to playing full minutes. Even then, he may sit a game or two if he feels any discomfort or the Rockets decide to rest him for the playoffs. This is pure speculation on my part, but it wouldn’t surprise me, since Howard has been limited to 33 games this season. The Rockets want to be careful with him.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, I can’t say I haven’t been steadfast (double negative police!) about my Dwight Howard hatred…  Look at that rock bottom red right there!

And with Dwight coming back from his knee injury and the precursing news of his return, I have said I wouldn’t add him in virtually any 10 or 12ers.  I don’t trust the minutes, and after giving Slim a 19 minutes over/under for Dwight’s return on the Pod, he only went for 16:27 putting up 4/7/2/0/1 with a TO.  At least he stayed off the FT line!  After we had started the Pod, McHale said he was only giving Dwight 16 minutes, just enough to be sure his TO and FT% wouldn’t hurt fantasy teams.  I may have been liberal with McHale’s quote for that last part…  In 8-cat or non-FT% leagues I guess he probably should be scooped up, but he’ll probably sit back-to-backs and the Rockets have a pair left on the schedule with Sun/Mon and Wed/Thurs games this upcoming week.  Get your sales ready, Big & Tall, we got a bigun needing more street clothes!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

…It’s like the beginning of a 1950s B&W horror movie.  “As I recall it was a horror film!”

“…From the depths of the muck – ya know, that soft clay shizz at the bottom of a lake – comes the waiver-wired, until recently available in a ton of leagues, RODNEY STUCKEY!”

Monster game from R-Stuck, who gets to R-Stick it to a hot Reality-TV show wife, unquestioningly motivating him to a 34/6/7/1/1 line last night with an NBA Jam “he’s on fire!” 13-19 FG and 6 treys.  Just a redonk game in 31 bench minutes, especially since the Pacers started Damjan Rudez who couldn’t miss either, hitting 6-8 including 5-7 from deep.  It’s like the Pacers were playing on Fisher-Price baskets!  Although those “throwback” (well, just older, not too throwback) unis are schweet.  While a big game and all, Stuckey was averaging a monstrous 0.6 3PTM a game before last night, so a huge anomaly there.  1,000% more 3s!  And the dimes were an outlier as well, with only two games more than 6 before yesterday.  Anyone in the NBA can get hot on any given night, and Stuckey is a good low-to-mid-teens scorer ala that creeper who stayed home instead of going to college.  He’s fine as a last guy on your bench in 10 or 12ers, but I don’t think he’s someone to drop a stud for.  A great comment yesterday was Stuckey or Brandon Knight, who was spotted on crutches yesterday.  Yeah, unless you have a H2H week one bye, I’ll probably pick the guy who can currently walk.  Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So the Daily Notes usually focuses on a short-term look at the past (i.e. the games yesterday!), but we’re going to do something a little different today in the open.

With week 20 abreast (so underused!), in standard H2H scheduling it’s the final week of the regular season.  In other leagues it’s the first week of the playoffs or nearing the end in Roto, so any way you slice it, it’s the most important week so far, OK?!

And in this most important week, those ridiculous New York Poppycockers have five games.  Five!  So all of their not-must-ownable schlubs suddenly have the appeal of Elisabeth Shue in The Saint.  Mmmmmmm!

A quick comparison – Langston Galloway since the break (aka Carmelo Anthony shutdown) is 10.8/5.0/2.5/1.3/0.4 with 1.3 3PTM and 1.4 TO.  So lets compare that, with say, Bradley Beal.  His 14.9/3.8/3.0/1.3/0.3 is a smidge stronger with 1.7 3PTM and 1.9 TO, and Beal is a much, much better player.  But his 3 game week you’d get roughly 45/11/9/4/1 with 5 3s and 6 TO, compared to The Harlem Renaissance for 54/25/20/7/2 with 7 treys and 7 TO.  In weekly leagues, these horrible Knicks deserve a long hard look.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Louis Amundson are both questionable with back spasms tonight, so a little risky there.  Shane Larkin, Alexey Shved, and Cole Aldrich make interesting streamer options though.  And there’s of course Il Diva still out there in 68% of leagues.  Andrea Bargnani is tough to ignore, even in the shallowers.  Plus I can link this for the third time in the past week or two.  “I’m a peacock, Captain, you gotta let me fly!”  Here’s what went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With an ADP of 68.6 in drafts all the way back in 2014, Jimmy Butler has been an absolute revelation and made all his fantasy owners rich with value.  “Butler, I need some extra steals!  A couple more blocks!  Some artisan cheese!”  And the trusty ol’ Butler would always deliver.

Unfortunately, all that caviar and pancetta piled on that silver serving plate really wore down the Butler’s elbow, and Jimmy Buckets is going to miss 3-4 weeks.  Hey, on the bright side this is the NBA and not a year-long pitcher injury!  So the billion dollar question – to drop or not to drop JB?  Well don’t drop me!  I’d try to hold where I could.  I’d much rather have JB at the end of my bench than stashes of Kemba Walker or Paul George.  Even in 10ers, I think I’d probably hold on as most Jimmy Buckets teams are doing pretty well.

In his stead, the vastly improved Tony Snell should get the tiger’s share of minutes.  He’s greeeeeeeeeat!  I don’t think he’s a must-own in even 12ers though, since he’s a semi-ThrAGNOF with steals upside.  Not that I don’t like him!  But I would say a little better FG%/FT% version of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.  The real interesting addition to me is Nikola Mirotic, who should get a lot of run while Taj Gibson is out at least another week.  And with Butler gone, maybe he gets a handful of SF minutes here and there, even though it hasn’t gone that well when experimenting with that before…  But experiments take a lot of tries before they go right!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, one outta three of the letters in MCW is in efficient…  That makes sense seeing as he usually shoots 33%!

In his debut for the Bucks, Michael Carter-Williams looked solid against his former Sixers for 7/0/8/2/0 in only 17 and a half minutes.  All with only one TO!  Shot 3-5 from the field, did split his two FT, but a mad efficient game in his new colors.  Off the toe sprain, I’m not surprised his minutes were kept in check as the Bucks unsurprisingly took it to the Sixers.  Full tank!  Yesterday on the Podcast, Slim said even a great game wouldn’t have him change his MCW valuation too much, and he’s the logical one.  But I’m antsy and loved what I saw!  I don’t think he’s suddenly the top-50 guy I thought he’d be, but I think he’ll keep the %s in check with that decent MIL supporting cast, and he won’t make you want to kill yourself.  And if that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is…. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes you’re the last guy to the shindig. Sober while everyone’s not, trying to crack topical jokes that stopped being funny some time ago. I know this role very well, gentle reader, very well indeed. Some socialites might argue that I have made a veritable career out of this process, that I take the Borat “very nice, I like” and “not” jokes well past their expiry, or that I’m trying to keep the “wasssssaaaaaaaap” phenomenon alive. It’s the curse of the fella who thinks himself more amusing than he likely is. Which brings me to the trade deadline: of course it falls on a thursday, so I have to wait a week to talk about the busiest deadline ever, right about the time that the trades are receding in every fantasy GM’s mind. Well, prepare yourself for all the trendy topics to be kickstarted once again, fella. I’m giving you the fantasy equivalent of clear pepsi, delivered in some zoomba pants while dancing the macarena, because I am not letting this one go, people. On the plus side, maybe the week will give some perspective on how cats are fitting in, in their new environments. Very likely not, but we can always hope, can’t we? So without further ado…

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So ya know, sometimes it’s good to be late to the party.  Ya get to seem like you had a lot of more important shizz to do, if it’s lame it won’t matter as much if you dipset early…  If only that principle worked in fantasy analysis!

After a fantastic weekend, the buzz to go and grab Terrence Jones was like a hot party right in its peak.  “New York’s hottest new club is JELLY BONES!  Located on the Lower Upper Side, this random home invasion is the creation of legally drunk clothing designer Nick Nolte and Gabana. As you walk in, you’ll be handed a glass of champagne – or is it piss?”  With the Rockets hesitancy to stretch him out, adding Josh Smith back in the day, and the return of Dwight Howard at some point, I was like, “F that shizz, sounds like a lame sausage party!”  But Houston put TJones in the starting line-up last night, and he went straight Nolte for 15/15/0/1/2 making 6-9 FG.  He’s kinda looked like what the optimistic Kenneth Faried backers were hoping for!  Plus he can hit threes!  Now a must-own in all leagues, and I certainly would be dropping Manimal for him.  That said, when Dwight is back, it might not be as rockin’ as JELLY BONES at midnight.  It could be another month before Dwight is out there though, so TJones my Jelly Bones!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Geez, open the triage, we might not have any beds open in our Fantasy Basketball Infirmary after this weekend!  Way to sully the excitement of players debuting on new teams…

I guess an injury that made a lot of people surly is a year with no more Sully.  Stress reactions have been claiming lots of games lately, and Jared Sullinger will be shut down for the year with lingering issues in his foot.  I blame Brad Stevens!  Gives me stress reactions…

The Celtics have been anything but consistent with rotations, but Kelly Olynyk should be primed for a little consistency whence he’s back from his kankle.  Right now it’s Tyler Zeller manning the 5 with Brandon Bass at the 4, and those three should split most of the big man minutes.  Zeller’s nice %s with the big man stats can be usable on a lot of teams and Bass, who went 15/5/1/0/2 on 7-11 FG in 40 minutes last night always seems to be underrated.  Olynyk of Nazareth is the guy to own, but he’s not miles ahead of the other two.  I wouldn’t mind a spec add for any of the bunch, but not dropping anyone of too much value.  Here’s what else went down over an injury-plagued weekend of fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

[We’ve got the Trade Deadline Podcast up!  Slim and I react to all this hooblah as this post continues to be updated – you can find the Pod the post below this one as well as that link.]

Razzball Nation!

The Trade Deadline is nigh, which is to say, soon.  Can I trade the start of this open with a different one…?  “Did you hear the one about how the Hawks got nothing for the broke ass of Josh Smith last trade deadline?!”  Imagine the Hawks with a lottery pick as well…  I guess as fortune-tellers, they knew they didn’t need anything for Smoove!

The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline will pass at 3:00 PM EST, and up until the closing moments, I’ll be updating this post as each trade moves across my virtual news desk.  Fantasy spins galore!  That’s the younger sister of Pussy Galore…  So be sure to constantly ping that refresh like Goldfinger on Kitco!  Here’s what’s gone down so far:

Please, blog, may I have some more?