After witnessing the Philadelphia lose their eleventh straight contest this year, needless to say, it certainly takes balls to be a 76ers fan right now. I’m not referring to testicular fortitude or alpha masculinity, but rather literally, to the ping pong balls of hope known as the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery. With the possibility of multiple lottery picks in the 2016 Draft, it’s going to be okay Philadelphia fans. Put down your weapons, we’ll get through this together.

But it may take some time, since the franchise is focusing on future contention; the on-court product suffers as the 76ers appear to be the worst team in basketball once again.

At this point, I’m just surprised Philadelphia still has a team website, since they can’t string three “W’s” together…

I think I’m going to hide in a corner for the rest of my life after that joke.

Philly, I’m rooting for you, and I’m rooting for the process!

Jahil Okafor continued to impact the box score with a 19 points, 11 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. The Rookie of the Year frontrunner recorded his second straight double double against a soft Dallas front court. Luckily for fantasy owners, Okafor will see plenty of minutes to develop in the interim despite concerns about his immediate impact to the team’s chances of winning. Long term, his inabilities to defend the rim and stretch the floor may impact his fit in Philadelphia. I don’t think the coaching staff has any surprising moves in store for 2015 (such as playing more small ball around Noel or limiting Okafor’s minutes experimenting with more perimeter-based lineups), but moving forward, it is a trend to monitor as he continues to develop this year.

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After making history this weekend with arguably the best Halloween costume from an NBA player of all time, LeBron James made his way into the NBA record books becoming the youngest player to score 25,000 career points. Despite the record-breaking basket coming against the hapless Philadelphia 76ers, the feat nonetheless is one of the most impressive in recent memory. With all the scrutiny surrounding the potential decline of the Artist Formerly Known as King James, tonight’s performance was an instant reminder of how effectively he can impact the game not only on the hardwood, but the fantasy box score as well.

Registering 22 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks on 9-19 shooting, James had his most well-rounded performance of the season. Moving forward, James should begin to impact other areas of the box score (assists, rebounds, steals, and FG percentage) as the Cavs offense clicks.

As the Cavs begin to realize the full potential of their All-Pro floor spacer in Kevin Love, James ability to facilitate and control the pace of the game will open up his true fantasy potential. Pencil him in for at least 20 points, 8 boards, and 6 assists on .500+ shooting. All hail the King.

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rcl-basketball-logoThe regular season approaches — fewer than three weeks before our lives finally have meaning again! My RCL had a draft last weekend, and I wanted to share the results with all of you wonderful readers as a fascinating case study and (perhaps) cautionary tale! This was an excellent draft– I think all managers were drafting live, making some ballsy and brilliant picks. I’ve included a grade and a few words on each of their teams after my pick-by-pick blow-by-blow. Off we go!

[editor’s note – we still have leagues open to join the RCL fun, plus we need more leagues!  Hop over to the RCL sign-ups and start a league today!]

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The NBA really is Jordan Belfort.  The Wolf of Fantasy Sports!  It’s tantric and never slows down, from the Finals ending less than two weeks before the draft, free agency hitting a week later and we’re already starting summer ball.  And the NBA will soon revel in the excess that is the 16-17 salary cap boost with a TV deal that put Seinfeld reruns to shame.  I need my ludes to get me through!

Even the Spurs couldn’t avoid the world of excess and massive free agency signings, bringing in LaMarcus Aldridge for a cool $80 million.  Loosening up the purse strings!  My first thought was, “dammit, Kawhi is never gonna be the guy!”  Then again, he got over $90 mil with his extension, so there’s that!  But Kawhi Leonard sometimes struggles with the mid-range and long-distance shooting, so L.A. should help Kawhi by opening up some lanes and keeping him in his game.  This is going to be a crazy offense, with Tim Duncan moving to center and likely being his solid old self.  Which leaves us with what to expect from Aldridge…  And, me no likey for fantasy.  After being really durable early in his career, he’s had a few bumps and bruises (I know, I know, playing through a torn thumb tendon gets mad props) and the Spurs – as we all know – love to limit the minutes.  I also don’t think he quite gets to 20 shots a game like we’ve seen the past few years.  I had him 20 in my way too early rankings, but the move drops him a few spots at the least.  L.A. in S.A. is not OK!  Here’s what else has gone on through the first few days of free agency and rookie ball:

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There’s some sort of postseason going on, Stephen Curry is flying through the air, Klay Thompson is luckily OK after a Vincent Van Gough scare, there’s only two teams left…  but all of that is less exciting to us than the new blood to enter the 2015-16 Fantasy player pool!  As we’ve done for the second straight year (is two years considered a tradition yet?!), Slim and I mocked the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft by alternating picks for their respective teams with a fantasy outlook for each rook.  2014 didn’t… um…  go quite to plan.  But hey!  We got a couple right and this year doesn’t quite offer the top-to-bottom talent as 2014.  With a little bit more of an even playing field, I have a feeling this Draft will feature even more trades and more surprising risers and fallers…  Hopefully we get a good portion of the lottery right!  The optimist in me is ready ta go!  Here’s our 2015 Mock NBA Draft:

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Another night, another round of injuries to thwart title-contenders hopes and dreams…

Dwyane Wade is sorta a given though…  Pick any player for any given night to go down, and Wade is numero uno on that list.  Slipped on a banana peel last night, and hit his knee hard on the floor.  Couldn’t get to 13 minutes, and made the big time national TNT game even more a disappointment.  Plus Wade was scoring early, and shoulda gotten to 30!  Later in his game, Chandler Parsons left early with a “sore right knee” limping off into the locker room.  Ugh, with no specific impact causing the injury and the Mavs gearing up for the postseason, Parsons can go in H2H leagues and might even be a cut candidate in Roto if you’re not against a starts limit.  The Mavs go again tonight (Chandler is almost certainly out) then are off until next Wednesday.  Wade on the other hand has an extra day, and has said he’s “hopeful” to play tomorrow.  I’m “hopeful” to play 1-on-1 against an NBA player before I get to age 30 and lose the 1 or 2 iotas of athleticism I have left, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen!  I could give Scalabrine some size, ya never know!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

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You don’t mess with the Bojan!

We’re into week 2 of the standard H2H playoffs, moving into the semis, and the squads with bye weeks are hoping to avoid the layover letdown.  It’s like the NCAA Football championship thingy, the playoffs or bracket or 4-team finals or whatnot, who knows anymore?!  But they have to wait like 4 months from their final regular season game to the title!  That’s how long this week has seemed for my sitting around, lazy, bored bye week teams (speaking vicariously of course, I had zero!).  Luckily it’s now how you enter the playoffs but how you exit, and with only two weeks left, you gotta ride the hot ThrAGNOFs!  Bojan Bogdanovic fits the bill to a T (did I say that right?) with 12+ points in 4 straight and 17+ in 3 of 4.  Also has chipped in multi-treys in the past 3 and if treys or points are a need, it’s time to ThrAGNOF!  Why you don’t pay for these guys, as they literally grow on trees.  Seriously, Bogdanovic’s great uncle was Groot.  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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Man, there could not have been a more epic high or more epic low last night comparing our elite facial hair aficionados!  Well of course, #1 is Grey, he looks like the worst player at the Saturday afternoon Y pickup game, then goes for 40/15/15 every time!

The tanking Nugs got absolutely bludgeoned by The Beard last night, with James Harden going 50/10/4/1/0 on 12-27 FG (4-12 3PTM 22-25 FT).  Lay off the fouls, Denver!  Maybe they were like hippie Rastafarians just enamored with his majestic beard, “Oh I must rub your luscious hair, mon!”  Most surprising amongst the odd stats (like scoring 50 whilst shooting under 50%, on only 12 makes, etc.) is that Harden had never scored 50 before!  And Corey Brewer had!  Hah!

Then to the ugly.  Skipping the bad.  Anthony Davis tweaked his ankle in drills yesterday morning and wasn’t able to play.  That might cause some playoff losses this week!  All I can say is that I couldn’t get Brow in any leagues after my contrarian #1 overall rank, so he hath not scorned me!  Maybe burning all his owners late with this one will help him be a discount for me in 15-16.  So what is it, Brow or Beard first in next year’s drafts?!  With the ridiculous emergence of Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside, kinda leaning getting one of those bigs later if given the choice and it’s tipping towards Harden.  7 dimes a game!  Plus scoring 50 every night!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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H2H Playoffs are here!  But geez, the amount of DNPs for minor injuries and general soreness (General Soreness!) over the weekend was infuriating!  Unless they hit your oppo harder than you, then they were infatuating!  I certainly almost lost a playoff spot to the former…

I guess our main stop on the DNP bandwagon would be the Atlanta Hawks and that darned Coach Butthole.  I imagine we’ll be using that nickname for Budenholzer a ton down the stretch!  The Hawks sat Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap (who had a nasty 23/9/3/3/3 rainbow Friday) last night, then had Kyle Korver break his nose and have to leave early on top of it.  Korver was already set for a DNP tonight, so there’s that, and Al Horford owners will have to start the week with a DNP-rest.  What a shizz-show!  Which kinda sounds like Szechuan.  Which makes me hungry…  About as hungry as Dennis Schroder looks when he gets starts, ripping apart the Lakers in a 24/3/10 line hitting 7-16 FG (1-5 3PTM 9-11 FT).  Even if you’re not a Teague owner, I think it’s impossible to leave the German on the wire.  It would just improve The Lives of Others!  And Coach Butthole has learned from Pop himself to sit everyone any chance he gets, with that line of thinking infecting the entire league this weekend.  It already feels like the last week of the season, doesn’t it?!  Maybe the playoffs need to start in week 10…  Sheesh…  Here’s what else went down on DNP Weekend in fantasy basketball:

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Who knows, maybe devoting his soul to the lord of the Sith is what got Hassan Whiteside to where’s he’s at!

Absolutely terrible flagrant-2 last night to the back of Kelly Olynyk, hit-sticking him into the cameramen.  L3, L3!  Friend of the Podcast Mike Gallagher from Rotoworld tweeted out a great vine showing the hit from two angles, and I think that’s maybe a judo elbow he learned from Tekken.  On top of his lingering kankle issues, now we have to assume a game or two out via suspension.  Certainly doesn’t helped he tackled Alex Len a few games ago, with Whiteside’s flagrants turning into an MMA reel.  As Slim and I mentioned on the Pod, Whiteside throws his body around willy-nilly and it’s starting to catch up with him with the physical play from oppos.  Gotta control those emotions, young padawan!  “Concentrate!”  Just has to get the last few mental things together to be an elite NBA big.  Can you do that, Hassan?!  “I’ll try.”  “No!  There is no try!  Do.  Or do not.”  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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