Oh man, a busy day yesterday in hoops!  The obvious first mention is GO HEELS!  Oh man, I feel like storming the court today.  I think Chapel Hill fans everywhere this morning should storm their office/classroom/crowded area in a flash mob at some point.  Then we have LeBron James getting his nose broken by Serge A Broke-a!  The mayor of Cleveland has already issued Serge Ibaka a key to the city.  Fine LeBron $5,000 for flopping!  Man, the next round of internet videos of “LeBroning” are going to be a lot more like “The Knockout Game”.  Seriously, even LeBron haters have to love he got it broke a step or two out before throwing it down.  Word still to come if the nose is indeed broken, but my money is on yes.  Regardless, we’ve seen a few players come back from a broken nose in the same game donning the Hannibal mask, so I doubt he misses any time after passing concussion tests last night.  MaskBron!  And then we had the trade deadline come and go, with nothing too major albeit a few surprises.  I’m starting a bit off the reservation with a guy I’m going to pump hard and is a pickup now in 12-teamers.  Lord Byron Mullens!  After trading their former starting 5 which we’ll get in below, it’s Mullens and Arnett Moultrie manning down the C fort in the abandon ship Sixers front line, with Mullens picked up for draft picks.  I know Mullens is boring, but he was usable while with the Bobcats posting a 10.6/6.4/1.5/0.6/0.6 line with 1.2 treys in 27 minutes a game in 12-13.  His sub-40 FG% blew, sure, but he’s a perimeter shooter who can play decent D so I think he will get run.  He’s a lot better than Moultire in my opinion and I think will get big minutes.  And I don’t know why, maybe it’s because he looks so goofy or maybe because he’s been in the league 5 years, but Mullens is actually only 25 when I thought he might be 30.  For a team tanking, he’s a perfect acquisition to help rack up points to try and fill maybe 2 more seats a night in Philly.  “Thanks for coming Mr. and Mrs. Mullens!”  Here’s what else went down yesterday, starting with NBA deadline deals:

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Now I’m not sure about this, but when Taj Gibson had a couple good games over the Thanksgiving week, I probably recapped and gobble-gobbled at it.  My jowls flapped around like Boss Nass bein’ all “Hmmpphhherr Rumpity-Doooo, Taj Gibson, rabble rabble rabble!”  At least that sounds like me… Now you see what I deal with in my inner monologue!  It’s like I battle a drunk Kenny Rogers.  Which is to say, I battle Kenny Rogers.  Gibson has been a scrate-up beast the past four, going 23/8, 18/4, 26/14 5 blks, and 19/6/0/1/1 last night.  Bringing big time energy to that front line as the main big off the bench, he’s playing insane out there, shooting 67% from the floor in those past 4.  I watched the game last night and was impressed with his spark, but then again, the Heat bigs are awful.  They got out-rebounded 49-27 last night!  Back in the day, I used to love Taj when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah battled injuries.  But now… it took some time and four in a row to buy it.  I think it’s because the Bulls are my least favorite team.  Sorry Bulls fans!  Boozer & Noah just yell on virtually every rebound and definitely every single putback attempt.  It’s unreal!  It’s like Maria Sharapova is rebounding.  And Gibson does it at least 50% of the time.  He’s becoming the Bulls Sex Panther.  “50% of the time he’s yelling… every time!”  But regardless of how annoying he/the Bulls bigs are to watch/listen to, he’s playing like a must-own in all formats.  At 33% owned in Yahoo and 24% in ESPN, he’s hot while a lot guys are not.  I don’t think he’s going to turn into a set-it and forget-it guy the rest of the year, he doesn’t do enough of anything else besides score and board (if not for that 5 block game, he’d be under 1 in Asts, Stls & Blks on the year), but I think he’s a ride the wave kinda add right now.  Here’s what else I saw on the light Thursday slate of games and a few updates for tonight:

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So… It was a ridiculous weekend of injuries with the NBA pulling its best NFL impression.  “Look how many people we can hurt too!”  Right now the safest big sport might be hockey… The survivors of this NBA-wide injury bug should barricade themselves in a giant prison.  OK, so that’s not exactly the best analogy… Look out for the Governor!  Arguably the biggest injury over the weekend was another knee giving out for Derrick Rose, who tore his meniscus and is having surgery some time today.  This is about the worst thing that could’ve happened for fantasy this season.  No, not because I’m a Rose owner… But because of all the Rose questions!  Of course this would happen for a second straight year.  So obligatory memo, statement, press release – Razzball’s official stance on answering questions on Rose will involve no guesses or speculation to his return!  Well, Pete, Slim, & Dan can… I guess.  But I’m not doing this again!  “Hey JB, when’s the end of the world?”  “When am I going to win the lottery?”  “How in God’s green earth did the Patriots win last night?”  “When will the Spurs finally kick out all the vets and give Kawhi Leonard superstar touches?!”  I just don’t have the answers!  We saw Russell Westbrook go down with a meniscus injury, only to need a second clean-up surgery.  Rose has said he’s leaning towards a reattachment procedure that would cost him the season, plus Rose has his other knee just off the ACL.  His knees have gone the way of Kyle’s knees in that South Park episode after his expletive-plasty.  Hopefully Rose’s surgeon is part-Borg and can get something mechanical going on in there.  “He’s more machine now than man…” Dude, I just crossed sci-fi swords there in a major fail… Here’s what else went down across fantasy hoops over the weekend:

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At last!  At long last.

The fantasy basketball season is upon us and we finally get to start seeing our lineups in action.  I, for one, am pumped like never before.  Sure it may be because it’s my first full season as the Razzball Editor on hoops, and sure, it may be because it’s the last year the North Carolina team will be called the “Bobcats”, but hey, we all have our things to look forward to!

If you’re new to Razzball, I’ll be giving you daily recaps of everything that went down across fantasy hoops (starting tomorrow) along with contributions from our other great writers (Pete, Dan and Slim) throughout the year.  And if you missed my mention of it once or twice through the preseason, I work for a company that makes the Yahoo Fantasy Basketball player highlights which will start going up tonight!  We also make the TNT Overtime highlights which come up on the timeline as you’re watching the game (It’s free!  And starts tonight!).  I bring this up, well first because it’s the coolest job, and second because I get to watch a lot of hoops and break down film of typically two games a night.  So at the end of Daily Recaps I’ll be letting you what games I’m watching that night and you can either tweet me (@jbgilpin) if you’re wondering about something in the game or ask in comments the next day.  We’re next level here at Razzball!

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Whewwww-eeee!  What a fun draft.  A good four-and-a-half hours after the draft start time I had picked my 17th player, and I think I really like my team.  But with a lot of picks, I did feel a bit like Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo trying to defend them; “it’s a real good deal this one, real good!”  Thanks again for filling out the league loyal Razzball Nation, and again thanks to our friends at RotoGold.com and the TDBSportsNetwork (which you can catch me on their “The Double Bonus” Show throughout the season and from last Wednesday) for helping class up the joint.

So if you missed the post launching the league, the Razzball Elite Dynasty League had our inaugural draft last night, an all-out brawl of an Auction draft with some really interesting bidding wars.  Looking at you Ben from RotoGold and you pumping up Giannis Antetokounmpo for $15 late!  The league is 20 teams, 12 starters (two of every position and two UTIL) and five bench spots.  Using my abacus over here, that’s 340 players owned.  Neeedless to say, things got really interesting once we were in the bottom end of starters.  There is no inflation, we voted on a true Dynasty application, with lifetime contracts.  Free agent pickups all must be done with your $100 yearly FAAB, and those players can be kept on a $1 lifetime contract.  So FAAB bidding will be a critical element through the season.

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Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50.  Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots.  Have fun grilling these!

(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause.  Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury.  He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again.  He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3’s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter.  Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.

(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big.  The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.

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The period of free agency continues to shape the fantasy basketball-scape with fresh meat on terrible teams and players signing with contenders to be relegated to bench duty.  With baseball in full swing and the NFL getting half of the ESPN air time no matter what time of year it is, a lot of NBA moves have been made under the radar.  Look for every division to get a team-by-team breakdown and some early fantasy thoughts on the new faces in new places:

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Moe Harkless struck the Thunder for a career high 25 points last night and the rookie added 9 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 blocks and hit 3 threes. I’ve been pushing Moe for a while now, so this performance was a long time coming. Maurice is averaging a mediocre 10.7 pts and 5.4 rebounds over the past two weeks, but what really raises my fantasy eyebrow is the 3 steals a game. Do you know where your wallet is? No? Probably because Harkless just took it. Just like that. He’s that good. In fact, Moe has 21 steals in the past 6 games alone! Hashtag cleptomanic! Nikola Vucevic sat this game, and Arron Afflalo left the game in the first quarter in some serious pain. This explains Moe’s 45 minutes, and he should get major burn and plenty of touches going forward. Harkless is available in over 20% of leagues, if your looking for a playoff push, Harkless has all the tools to fill up all a stat sheet. And the steals! *drools  Go steal him from waivers before someone else does!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy basketball Friday night:

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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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?