I always love when an off night (only 4 games yesterday) yields one of the best NBA games we’ve seen all year.  So many story lines, so many stars.  And more importantly – so much fantasy goodness!

I guess I shouldn’t have curtsied around it, but there’s no way Chris Paul doesn’t lead the NBA in assists this year.  I said in the first recap of the season he would average a bajillion assists and rack up double-digit dimes almost every game.  Score two for JB!  Averaging 12 a game equates to a bajillion, right?  John Stockton is deadpan staring me down right now. Creepy, Stockton!  Creepy… J.J. Redick will be a really underrated acquisition if the Clips indeed make a title run with how he helps space the floor with his movement and shooting, and while we all know Chris Paul is awesome, I’m already putting him as the #3 fantasy player right now, leapfrogging James Harden.

I lucked out getting last night’s only late game, making Yahoo highlights for the 137-118 Clippers win.  Pretty much everything played out like a video game.  Everyone was hitting 3s, the scoring was astronomical, the pace was like a Peyton Manning offense, and finished off with some late alleys for the icing on the cake.  Fantasy God #1 really got that L2 + Square alley working out by the end of the game; Fantasy God #2 just couldn’t quite time Harden’s 3-point shot release.  Wait, do they even need controllers?  We are the controllers!  Whoa, too much philosophizing.  Let’s just get this back on the rails and go over some of the news and notes from last night:

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Are you not entertained?!

Chris Paul sure put on a show last night, dropping treys, lobbing alleys, fending off tigers chained up as obstacles.  You name it!  He torched the Warriors in the Clippers “home opener” (despite it being their second straight game in LA) for an unreal 42/4/15 and 6 steals.  Shot 12-20 from the field and won you FT% this week going 16-17 at the stripe.  Paul was so much like Russell Crowe.  In LA there’s even a “Coliseum” (ok maybe that’s a stretch)!  Games like this support Doc wanting to cover up the banners and jerseys.  Even when Kobe gets back, Paul has to be the best player in LA.  I said it before on Opening Night and reiterate below, but the acquisition of J.J. Redick does wonders for Paul in the Clippers spacing.  I said he’ll have double-digit assists almost every game.  I said he’d score 42 against the Warriors.  Dammit, OK so I didn’t say that second one.  Elite assists and steals are par for the course, and scoring like this in a few more games will have him the easy #3 fantasy player.  Here’s what else I saw in last night’s two NBA games:

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Man, what a huge night it was across the NBA with nearly every team in action.  It obviously all starts with the shocker Philly put on the Heat, and Michael Carter-Williams‘ unreal debut.  I was following with my co-workers during the game and tweeted that if he got a triple-double in his first NBA game, the universe would implode.  Thankfully MCW was a steal short and we’re all still here.  His final line of 6-10 (4-6 3PTM 6-8 FT) 22 Pts 7 Rebs 12 Asts and 9 Stls might actually win some owners their matchups this week on its own.  Just preposterous.  Most steals in NBA history in a player’s debut.  Ok before we all go nutso, remember the Heat played without Dwayne Wade (rest), don’t have a PG, and had all their hands weighed down with new championship rings.  So that’s not really an excuse, but so what?!  The shooting efficiency was fantastic (the biggest knock on him coming into the year), plus he had only one turnover (his second main knock).  “Nice knockers!”  Thanks Young Frankenstein!  MCW indeed moves up a fair bit in value in my eyes, but this is likely his best line on the year.  MCW was wildly inconsistent in college and I don’t expect much consistency on a terrible 76ers team (I know they just beat the Heat, but c’mon).  Look for John Wall to lock him up on Friday and cool the hype.  Despite inconsistencies, it goes without saying that MCW should be owned in all leagues now (78% Yahoo, 59.4% ESPN), so if for some reason he’s available in your league, you gotta get him.  I’m not expecting MCW to be an elite player, but will continue to contribute even in down games.  Here’s what else I saw across Fantasy Basketball last night:

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Ahhhh, it’s finally that time when drafts are becoming more and more meaningful and abundant, we’ve got the REL Auction draft on Thursday, and two RCL leagues drafting this weekend which still have spots open!  Don’t forget the grand prize in RCL of Razzball gear and a permanent imprint of your team name shaved in my head.  I mean, where else can you win a fan league and brand the resident editor?  I’m not really looking forward to the looks I’m going to get (doesn’t help I’m 6’7 and people be lookin’ anyway!), especially if a team like Your Mom wins.  Ugh.

So in order to hopefully restore my honor, my second RCL team was drafted last Thursday, and I gotta say, while I’m lukewarm to my team, you RCL leaguemates were brutal.  Here’s how the draft went down (full draft results):

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After re-ranking the top 10top 20, and top 50, it’s easy to see there’s been big changes since last May.  Below are the Razzball Updated Rankings with the previous May rankings in parentheses before the adjusted rank:

(68) ↑ 51. Derrick Favors – Utah declining to bring back either Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gives you a slight inclination on their thoughts on Favors, and they’re already talking contract extension with their emerging big as well.  I love his athleticism, and if I miss out on Serge Ibaka who I’m high on early, I’m gonna want to reach on Favors to win blocks. I think he’ll be a top-5 NBA swatter.

(51) 52. Kemba Walker – Kemba has been higher on virtually every rankings I’ve seen, and I’m just not top-50 high on him.  He had a really solid season last year, but the terrible FG% still worries me as I feel like he forces some offense.  The acquisition of Big Al is going to give the Bobcats/soon-to-be Hornets an actual scorer down, and I don’t think that translates into helping Kemba all that much.  I like Gerald Henderson a lot too to take a bigger scoring role.  The 2.0 steals a game last year was elite, but I see those going down along with the scoring, and a comparable 5.7:2.4 Ast:TO ratio.  All that spells a slightly down ranking for me.  Although to be fair, he’s played in every single Bobcats game in his career, so there’s that reliability that can’t be ignored.

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I’ve got to say, growing up a huge Charlotte Hornets fan, I am going to finally have a favorite team again next year.  I mean, the Bobcats is such a horrific name for a professional sports team that it actually made me not cheer for them.  If they follow my logic – citizens of New Orleans, I’m sorry, you’re no longer cheering for your NBA team.

If you missed it the other night, the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery was selected (coincidentally right when a huge Powerball was built up and won – conspiracy?!) with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning another #1 pick.  Nerlens Noel, or Captain N as I’m going to call him, looks like he’s heading to one of basketball’s friendliest cities.  Just don’t leave for another team in a televised special.  Honestly, my first thought was, “great, another talented player I have to navigate through injury estimates with.”

Anyway, I doubt any NBA rookies will crack the top 100 for fantasy this year, it’s a pretty weak draft class, but that’s why these way too early rankings will be capped at 100 before readdressed closer to the season when they’ll expand to 200.  As always with rankings this early, it’s May, the Finals haven’t even started yet, and there will be a lot of revisions.  But here’s how I see things shaking out as of right now:

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The Razzball Community, like a single barrel scotch, is bold and strong. And like a single barrel scotch in the bloodstream of a Las Vegas stripper, we like to spread our butt cheeks and then drive while intoxicated. Wait, what? Anyway, the Razz-comm (<- term that won’t catch on) enjoy nothing more than to match wits and skills with each other in the fantasy arena (there may be things we enjoy more, but we’ll leave that to the philosophers). The season has come to a close, those of you who weren’t sure if J.R. Smith was for real can finally put that question to rest, and our RCL winners have emerged, basking in the glow of victory. “I remember when I was alive, I lived for the taste of success! So says I, the ghost of Dolph Schayes!” Damn you, Dolph, you aren’t dead yet! “Mayhaps, but your career is!” Moving on…

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Razzball Nation!  So if you’re reading this you’re probably in the playoffs of your fantasy league, but if not and you read for my mere musings and devilishly witty forays into the intricacies of the English language (and obtuse adjective overuse), then huzzah!  And huzzah for a site like DraftKings.com where you can draft a new line-up every day and play the matchups that you decide for the players you pick on a nightly basis.  Maybe you squeaked into your playoffs with all your hopes and dreams that Derrick Rose would be playing by now, only to get crushed by the 3 seed.  Either way, if you lost your fantasy league buy-in or it seems to be as useless as a Bernie Madoff investment, why not play in daily tournaments where your winnings can be much higher!  Today DraftKings is running their SUPERQualifier for their $150k Bank Shot, where 25 people will win a ticket into their huge $150k contest.  First place will win $50k for picking the best lineup tonight in only one day of fantasy goodness.  It’d be like winning your NCAA bracket in a single night.  Would be a rush.  More a rush than going to see Rush.  Ok, so they were before my time, but I like their music when it’s on.  Here’s who I like tonight to give you a rush of cash:

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Bonjour all, tis I, Tehol Beddict, and I come back to you a new man. A better man. I’m sure many of you sent in hand written letters, filled with panic and despair over my abrupt disappearance , and your fears were justified as my journey almost turned perilous on multiple occasions. Trust that I knew the job was dangerous when I took it, for mankini modeling can turn deadly at any given moment as many a she-male lurk on the stunningly beautiful island that’s known as Bora Bora.

Before my tale involving the treacherous she-males occurred I spent my time off camera helping induce pregnant dolphins into labor, rescuing sea turtles from fish nets, thatching roofs destroyed by a recent hurricane, trying to impregnate a village chief’s daughter and digging a well for the thirsty locals. Yes, Tehol Beddict is a philanthropist  as well as being a scholar, poet, mankini model, and a writer. It’s true I wear many hats, but among those is never a jimmy, luckily for the Chieftan’s daughter, who I can now proudly say is expecting come winter.

When saving baby sea creatures one must be wary of the poisonous sea urchin as the only way to stop the pain is by peeing on the wound. Giving golden showers to tourists is now one of my greatest passions after this trip.  I shall never forget the joy of easing a tourist’s pain by blasting his face with a powerful stream of urine. You must be precise in these matters and my aim stuck true. The locals worshipped me for these feats and told me they had only read about piss with such potency in tales about the Gods they worshipped thousands of years ago before they were overtaken by the pious French. But this is a tale for another day my friends for I did battle with some of the most powerful she-males of Bora Bora , nearly losing my life in the process, and that story takes precedence.

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I’ve never been that bothered by snakes.  Now I never went out of my way to play with them or anything (except my own – bada bing!), but never ran the other way either except when I was in New Mexico when I was like 7.  When I was working on my parents mountain house when I was in high school, there was a snake under the scrap heap I was clearing and I killed that little bitch with a shovel.  If that doesn’t boost your testosterone, then I guess you need to contact Tony Bosch at Biogenesis.  The resident snake of the NBA (in name only – easy Laker fans), Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba himself, went down hard after twisting his ankle last night, and blames Dahntay Jones for intentionally crowding him.  I thought snakes didn’t have ankles?  Well, this injury after sliding into 8th place in the West just puts the icing on the cake of the Lakers ridiculous season.  Right now the prognosis is “out indefinitely.”  About all you can do is make your sacrifices to the fantasy gods and cross your fingers.  One thing Kobe has going for him is that he is resilient to injury and can heal quickly.  He’s kinda like the Derek Jeter of the NBA.  And Jeter never had any ankle issues….  I could see Bryant back sooner rather than later, but stay tuned.

Here’s what else went down in fantasy basketball:

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