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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So one of my favorite Charlotte Hornets memories was Glen Rice winning the All-Star Game MVP in 1997.  I was still a chitlin, but even then I knew the Hornets were the epitome of small market (and moved just a few years later).  Rice seemed like a fill-in bench player (even though he was pretty nasty in 96-97 with a by far career-high 26.8 a game), but went absolutely bonkers in the ASG second half, putting up 20 in the 3rd quarter.  He was hotter than P.J. Hairston in a “yo mama” contest!  I knew the Hornets had no title aspirations (ending up getting swept in the first round), but it made the whole season worth it.

And the Glen Rices of the world now have another, well smaller, trophy on their mantle with Glen Rice Jr. winning the Summer League MVP.  Actually, I’m not sure if he gets a trophy… Maybe just a stack of $1,000 in Belagio chips… Either way, Rice put up a 6-game line of 25/7.8/2.3/2.5/0.5 boosted by a plain stupid 36/11/3/4/0 line with six treys last Saturday.  “Pretend every game is the All-Star game film I always make you watch, son!”  The Wizards boosted their wings (and headband usage) with Paul Pierce brought in, plus Otto Porter should see a lot of minutes off the bench.  But behind Bradley Beal, Martell Webster just had herniated disc back surgery leaving a big early-season gap for backup SG minutes.  Sure Garrett Temple might be able to fill-in, but off the hot Summer, I think Rice Jr. has got some minutes coming his way.  Plus one of the biggest concerns for Beal is his injury risk, so a deep-league gamble on Glenny Jr. could be an interesting flier.  Here’s what else has gone down with Summer League wrapping up and free agency moves:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy basketball gurus started drooling around the All-Star break: The Atlanta Hawks have a schedule that’s favorable to the fantasy basketball playoffs! Mark your calendars! Set the alarms on your smart phone device thingys!

That’s right, fantasy ballers in search of boards and blocks, this means guys like Pero Antic, Elton Brand, Mike Scott and Mike Muscala will have four games in each of the next two weeks! And they are probably sitting on your waiver wire right now! And that means … uh, hello? Where’d everyone go?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Isn’t it nice when everything falls into place?  Like when you drive home from work and catch nothing but green lights all the way.  I’m not sure what you call that feeling.  I say I’m not sure, not because I can’t use a thesaurus, but because I don’t have those kinds of days anymore.  I’m sorry to sound all doom and gloom but at this time of year, when I’m dropping one of my favorite players from my fantasy team – one that I followed for every game – I can’t help but react negatively.  I know it’s not his fault, or the team, or even the ghost of David Stern.  What, he’s not dead?  If you say so.  Really there isn’t any fault at all, besides the ghost obviously, I just needed more games or I’m not going to win my semifinals match-up.  So if you are like me and you’re barely holding onto your last breath of hope in the semis here’s a handful of widely available players to get that last couple of points, or boards, or just whatever it’s going to take stay alive and play for the championship:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be ThrAGNOF!  Full disclosure – I had to look up this song from that movie about a weird looking ginger chick and it’s about coming of age or something.  No, not Teeth!  Last night, an injury-ravaged, de-taloned Pelicans went out and shocked the Clippers.  Kevin Hart, apparently a big Clippers fan, got to travel with LA on a Ride Along I’m guessing.  When Jamal Crawford upchucked a three at the buzzer for the win, that arced so high it might’ve hit the Cowboys Stadium scoreboard, Hart started crying when it barely hit rim and got angrier than his little cameo in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.  Anyway – Anthony Morrow was a big factor in the upset win, going full-ThrAGNOF 27/5/0/0/1 with two treys.  Scoring is the name of his game!  Always a high-volume shooter, Morrow just has never stuck in a big role as he doesn’t do anything else.  Dude, if he was on a D’Antoni Lakers team, he might break the NBA!  With Brian Roberts with a bruised knee, Eric Gordon with an absence of knees, and Austin Rivers with the sniffies, the Pels were without three of their bigger remaining scorers.  Looking ahead to tomorrow, the Pelicans get a beignet of a matchup against the former New Orleans Jazz and all three could miss again.  So if you need some treys and a little scoring upside in the deeper leagues, it’s that time of year when the scrubs will come out tomorrow!  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, that title seems all sorts of wrong… But what is right is Nikola Vucevic returned to action last night For a solid 16/10 dub-dub in only 20 minutes.  Efficiency!  Shot 6-12, 4-4 from the stripe and added a few steals.  Very encouraging return for a guy people were dismissing since he had no timetable from the concussion.  Concussions can really jack ya up, but hopefully you stayed true on your course to the playoffs and have a dynamic top-20ish big man.  Of course the Magic now have lost value in other places, with Big Baby going 5/4/4 in 32 minutes, Arron Afflalo looking like the scrub I’ve said he was all year (still think his 20+ PPG is one of the most preposterous stats this year) and Tobias Harris temporarily moving to the bench.  Although T Dawg isn’t Walking Dead (going 9/11/3/1/1 in 37 minutes), he shot like a stiff going 2-8.  Afflalo is still a sell as soon as you can, Davis a drop, and hope you bought low on Vuc while there was a window open.    Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Leandro Barbosa had a really good run in the 2000’s, captaining the Black Pearl, slashing to the basket with some great drives – just like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was all-around fun to watch in his prime.  After a decline in Leandro’s play, he was shipped to Toronto for some turkey named Hedo Turkoglu.  Barbosa averaged nearly 13 Pts a game north of the border in two seasons, but then he was constantly asea with stints with the Pacers and Celtics before tearing his ACL in February last year.  And man, did that injury make him look attractive to the Wizards, who traded for him in a salary move.  Never playing for the Wizards and not getting any deals in the offseason, Barbosa looked stranded on the Isla de Muerta.  But some rum runners and/or braiding human hair from his back to lash together sea turtles got him back to civilization and re-signed by his former Suns a week ago.  After three meh games, Barbosa broke out with a 21/3/2 game last night.  Commodore Barbosa!  Bootstraps’ bootstraps!  He stayed on the court just over 30 minutes, and was infinitely better scoring the ball than Gerald Green, who shot 2-16.  Labradoodle alert!  No need to Geoffrey Rush to the wire in 10-teamers or 12-teamers, unless you’ve got a banged up squad in 12-team and only need points.  He’s a little interesting in deeper leagues though.  Mainly because he’ll get minutes, get shots, and will breakout on cold Green nights.  Here’s what else I saw last night across the Caribbean:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re like JB and myself, then you like your fantasy basketball to be Head-To-Head.  The ability to talk smack to a new opponent every week keeps the intensity high.  And unlike Roto or NCAA football, we get The Playoffs, where heroes are made and injures decimate championship aspirations.  A nasty little side effect however is a shortened regular season.  After this week we will have played 10 weeks.  Marking the halfway point of the regular season.  If you’re in the bottom 3rd of your league then sacrifices must be made.  Injured players may need to be traded at less than face value or flat out dropped.  Streaming takes priority over upside.  There is still plenty of time to make up ground and sneak into the playoffs but it’s safe to say something isn’t working.  If you’re in the middle 3rd then you should take a long hard look at who on your team is on the way up and who is on the way down.  We all had our favorite sleepers coming into the year, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of mine, Archie Goodwin was well liked around these parts too.  They weren’t giving enough so we had to move on to the next opportunity, c’est la vie, life goes on…  If your in the top 3rd of your league then you need to ensure you stay there.  You can be much more risky and shouldn’t pass up any high upside guy who is getting big minutes.

Please, blog, may I have some more?