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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yea yea I know… Of all the “Knight” puns, that’s the best ya got?!  Man did Brandon Knight have a huge game last night, notching a career-high 36 points for a 36/9/3/0/1 line shooting 13-25 and 6-12 from deep.  As you all know, I was a huge Knight fan heading into the year, stuck with him, and think this is what he averages here on out.  Wiggity what?!  Haha, just kidding to see if you were paying attention.  I’ve always liked his ability to board, he’s probably the best pure scorer on that team, and can shoot treys and drive.  But I’m a little tired of the “but he doesn’t assist!” from the hate Mafia.  Who gives a flip man?!  Of course because he’s a PG, he gets dogged for bad Ast:TO, and listen I get it – 8 TOs last night bums hard – but if Ryan Anderson had that line last night, people would be sacrificing live chickens just to meet him.  Pedro Cerrano doesn’t like when his PG doesn’t dish!  “If Brandon Knight doesn’t average 8 dimes a game, I say forget you Jobu!  I do it myself!”  Knight will never be an elite fantasy PG, sure, but a very useful one, definitely.  He just has to navigate Larry Drew’s mood swings.  Get the coach some Midol!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Pretty much anyone involved in the big Rudy Gay trade has gotten nothing but positive return except Greivis Vasquez.  Poor Vasquez… And easily the biggest winner right now is Isaiah Thomas just going off with the backcourt to himself, going 29/6/2 on Friday night and 19/2/8 last night.  With both PGs there in Shaq-ramento to start the year, it was like the first Terminator, then IT2 got flipped into the main good guy and it’s movie magic in the sequel.  Coach Mike Malone even came out and said Thomas is gonna lead the NBA in minutes.  Iron man!  Well I guess it would be hyperalloy combat chassis covered by living human tissue man… I wish Vasquez had never gone to Sacramento, because as I mentioned last week, I aggressively ranked Thomas early in the summer.  I love this kid.  He’s going to be extremely tough to go out and trade for right now, and I certainly would not be selling.  He’s got both Gay and DeMarcus Cousins to dish to, plus he’s a fantastic scorer.  I have all sorts of IT2 regret now since he’s not on any of my teams… Womp womp… Here’s what else went down over the weekend:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I trust everyone has been a good boy or girl this year, and has sent their wish list to Santa already, right? I have it on good authority that jolly old St. Nick is a huge NBA fan, so naturally I suggest you ask for fantasy help. And I have a strategy: bear in mind, if you ask for too much, you get burned for being greedy, and you will get coal bricks under your tree (like Drummond at the free throw line, amirite?? Awful, sorry.). So, that in mind, I’m simply asking for dimes. I need help with assists in my 2 leagues, I took Kyrie in both leagues, and he is not exactly packing that stat line, I have Jameer, and he’s been on and off the court… well, whining to you guys won’t do anything about it. But whining to Santa will. It has to, as there is no quality points on my waiver. And with that let me bend your eyeballs to a few guys that might make excellent stocking stuffers:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe I’m just not into Nenê Hilario because of his name.

I can understand why he wanted to go from Maybyner Rodney Hilario to Nenê Hilario – his nickname as a youngster because he was the Nenê, or baby, of the family – although Maybyner is kind of a cool name and Rodney Hilario has a nice ring to it.

But now I’m way confused. Why is it no longer just Nenê but now Nenê Hilario? And why is it Nenê on second reference and not Hilario? And how come he only gets the accent sometimes (I’m giving it to him this time but usually I don’t). And wouldn’t you go with something more original, since there were three Brazilian soccer players who used the nickname, as well as a 19th century Bavarian princess? And wouldn’t you change Hilario, since it’s almost Hilarious, instead of the first two names?

A bigger question I’ve been asking myself is why did I drop Nenê earlier in the year. At the time I had way too many injuries, and no one was going to trade for a headcase injury risk with a revolving door moniker. Since then, of course, he has managed several huge games and some decent numbers, and I shame myself with a whip every morning for dropping him outright without at least riding it out a little. Don’t tell anyone.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We are, brothers and sisters, into our 4th week of fantasy, and things are starting to shake out, no?  Stevie Blake continues to produce, and all is right in the world of baskets and balls. Or is it?

I had written a smelly little article last week, another Buy/Sell, and one of you kind readers, Giant Gigantes, asked why my article read like a add/drop, and not buy/sell, as I didn’t recommend any players that are playing over their head, ones that the reader should look to move. At first I blew it off, not thinking anything of it. I mean, how would I, or anyone else know this early in the season who is over valued, and who is under performing? The nerve of this cat, right?

But I couldn’t leave it alone, because I’m petty, and can’t take criticism of any form due to my tenuous opinion of myself. In this case, there was something to what he was saying. Giant was right to expect me to make some wild assertions, if for no other reason than to spark some discussion amongst you guys. I needed to go deeper, do some serious introspection about what motivates me, who I am, and who I want to be as a hack sports advice guy. But only after a healthy dose of porn. Don’t judge my methods, that’s how I reach my spirit guide.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hide your kids, hide your wife, crank up the Owl City and hand me a KFC Double Down. The Class of 2010 is in the hizzous!

That’s right, it’s looking like that draft wasn’t so bad after all, what with a healed and dazzling John Wall; the Doug Collins-less, unleashed Evan Turner; a settled-in DeMarcus Cousins; Boards-N-Blocks favorite Greg Monroe; my NBA BFF Paul George; and now Derrick Favors, who – here we go again – appears he has achieved Breakout Status.

Had a 21-13-3 against Denver, a 12-12-2 but with 5 steals (!) vs. the Pelicans, a monster 20-18-3 against the Spurs and then had a more typical Favors effort with a 17-7-1 in Oakland.

Some say this means he’s out of the buy-low window now. But that means, at least to me, he’s in the sell high. I need to see consistent beastly efforts, or a 20-point, 20-board game (hell Nikola Vucevic does this in his sleep), and until then I’ll keep saying to trade him whenever he gets hot.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I’m feeling a little like a savant this week, because although I’m losing week 3 so far in my pools, I did predict that Steve Blake would be a good pick up while we was 6% owned, aaaannnnd BAM! Down goes Steve Nash! I know that this is me gloating, but trust me, when you’re writing pieces about who will be hot, and who will be not, you’re gonna whiff once in a while, so savour the small victories, my Auntie Grace would always say. And speaking of savoury treats, Place your eyeballs on these potential gets and drops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sorry Bargs, it’s not “Il Mago” you’re “Il Diva”.  After whining about playing time in Toronto saying he wanted to play somewhere warmer to the Italian media, the obvious answer is the tropical climate of New York City.  Il Diva disappeared in his final year in Toronto, playing under 30 minutes a game for the first time since 07-08.  His FG% fell to a career-second worse, the 3PT% second worst and tied a career-worst in rebounding.  After 35 games, they cut open his elbow and he cut his ties with the great country of Canadia (sp?).  Enter 2013-14 and Bargnani was coming off the bench, and Knicks fans were even booing him after one quarter.  Welcome to the Big Apple!  I saw some early Knicks action as well, and Bargnani looked as bad as Amar’e Stoudemire.  Hey-o!  But then Tyson Chandler went down with the broken leg, thrusting Il Diva into a starting role.  At that point, I put no stock in either Bargs or Amar’e, but Bargnani has been able to prove something to me: he needs big minutes to be able to do anything.  And it’s not a per/48 thing, it’s getting comfortable in the game.  Through this season, in the 5 games he’s under 30 minutes he’s shooting 48.8% for 10.2/1.4/0.4 with 0.8 threes a game.  And didn’t log a single block.  In 3 games over 30 minutes, he’s 53.8% 23/7.7/1.7 2.3 Blks and 2.7 threes a game.  Even at per/48 rates and taking into account the small sample, the disparity is shocking.  Since Chandler is out a good while healing up the broken leg and Amar’e is just a huge contract sitting on the bench, Bargnani is going to get huge minutes (almost always over 30) and continue this run.  “Let me play lots or else I stand around!”  Must own in all leagues, a statement I made last week and confirmed with another 24/4 line with three threes and a block last night.  Here’s what else I saw in last night’s action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?