Heading into the upcoming Fantasy Basketball Season, Razzball will be interviewing local NBA beat writers for some actual in-depth basketball knowledge to shed some additional light on our fantasy basketball knowledge.  Keep your eye out for an interview for every NBA team through the summer.  This installment comes courtesy of Dan Feldman from leading Detroit Pistons blog PistonPowered:

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Larry Sanders was so incredibly tasty during the 2012-2013 fantasy season.

He was so good. In a lot of ways amazing. The F/C was a regular drop/add for me throughout the year, coming on board to pile up double-doubles and blocks and games where he just went off – that triple-double on Nov. 30 where he put up 10 Pts, 12 boards and 10 blocks and a 17-20-2 on Dec. 21. He also had a stretch from Feb. 20-April 5 where he had double-digit rebounds in 18 out of 23 games.

And on Feb. 19 at 8:44 p.m., I added him for keeps in a transaction that vaulted the Punk Rock Gods to the Floor Generals League Championship.

In a similar way, Col. Sanders is so incredibly tasty all the time.

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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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As we continue to navigate through the NBA Playoffs, it’s been a fun challenge to rank for the 2013-2014 season.  There’s still free agency.  There’s still a draft.  Hey, at least we know there will be a season unlike 2011!

If you missed it, my top 10 then top 20 came out last week.  Hey, it’s early, you might say “way too early” (see what I did there, it’s in the title!) so these rankings are subject to change.  And I want no accusations of flip-flopping!  It’s not my fault if all the sudden Dwight Howard goes to the Bobcats and becomes a first-rounder!  OK, so that is as likely as Rony Seikaly… returning.  You gotta stop on the word that rhymes Jean-Ralphio!  Man I’m liking that show.  Also, random side note, Googling Rony Seikaly to spell his name correctly broke Google.  I searched it and it would freeze, despite everything else working.  Weird.

As I battle my ADHD to get into the rankings, let’s just dive into it:

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Tobias Harris is going to be immortalized in my fantasy career as the guy who got me through some injuries and LeBron benchings to win titles in almost every league in 2013.  I was on this guy at the trade deadline and continue to ride him into the sunset with a twinkle in my eye.

With LeBron yet again benched like I had a feeling he would be, Harris was a monster against his former Bucks going 13-20 (3-4 3PTM) 30 Pts 19 Rebs and 5 Asts.  Harris hit a monster 3 with 1.9 seconds left to send it into OT and put the Magic on his back.  That kinda sounds like a sex move.  There’s something kinda like that called a Houdini, but I’ll let our friends at urban dictionary or something explain that one.

Here’s what else went down last night across the NBA:

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If you’ve gotten started with fantasy baseball, you know it’s been yet another season of horrendous closing across the MLB.  I bet Kobe Bryant could close effectively in the MLB.

Just think about it.  He has such a will to win that it made Shaq hate him, he’s got consistent mechanics, never gets hurt and would be a tall presence on the mound.  OK, so I have no idea if he can throw a fastball, but right now I’d take him in my Brewers bullpen that looks more like a joke than Joaquin Phoenix’s career as a rapper.

Kobe just went bonkers against the Hornets in the fourth quarter, scoring 23 of his 30 in the last 12 minutes.  He just couldn’t miss, hitting a couple threes, jumpers in people’s faces, and was diming when there was openings.  With the Jazz losing, the Lakers might actually get the 8th seed.  Huzzah!  Kobe has been tremendous since the whole ankle injury soap opera, not missing a beat with a bone spur in his foot actually playing more minutes to keep it loose.  He’s not only closing games for the Lakers, he’s closing the season for fantasy owners.

Here’s what else happened yesterday:

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It was yet another nail in the proverbial coffin for the Lakers last night, as they lost yet again to the Milwaukee Bucks and Kobe Bryant left the arena with another injury, an apparent bone spur in his foot that flared up. He was spotted on one crutch Tiny Tim style. If the Lakers make the playoffs, Kobe will have to declare, “God bless us, everyone!”

For fantasy owners, this is a devastating injury, because as much as Kobe will want to play through it, we saw him be ineffective after the ankle sprain and I bet misses a few games right in your playoff run. You definitely can’t drop him either, so depth through the playoffs will be brought to the forefront. Hopefully you can brave the injury like Maximus in Gladiator and still put it in the throat of the weirdly effeminate Joakin Phoenix. Wait, that sounds more like Caligula than Gladiator

Here’s what else went down last night:

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I bet you haven’t heard and I’m breaking the news… The Heat lost last night!  27 games in a row, down the drain.  One of the most impressive streaks we’ve seen in American sports is over.  However, instead of linking highlights to the game, I think this sketch from one of the best sketch comedy shows Mr. Show encapsulates what happened last night.  David Cross is the Bulls and Bob Odenkirk is the Heat.

Fantasy-wise, the Heat big three had their usual games and Luol Deng was the Bulls top performer with 28 Pts and 4 3PTM.  It was one of the most-hyped, most-talked about regular season NBA games in recent memory, so apologies this isn’t a fantasy-heavy open.  That’s what the rest is for!

Here’s what else went down across a heavy slate of NBA action (yes, there were other games!):

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I love all fantasy sports.  Baseball might be my favorite, just because it’s so long and hard and there’s so many guys to choose from…

But there are moments, fleeting highlights and moments, that I think make Fantasy Basketball special.  Like yesterday, with DeAndre Jordan absolutely murdah-ing Brandon Knight on the alley.  If you’re on your computer, just go to ESPN or NBA.  I mean Daaaaahhhhuuuummmm.  Lots of twitters about it, but my favorite might have been from Knight himself: “It wasn’t in the scouting reports that the clippers threw lobs lol”.  Hah!  Glad to see he isn’t in a deep depression.  Makes it more fun that everyone can smile about it.  ESPN then had a top ten of posterized moments.  All the others looked like the posterizee was about to kill the posterizer.  I’m 6’7 and I got posterized once by a guy the same height, but I didn’t know he had hops.  I just smiled and went my way, and luckily everyone didn’t go nuts/it wasn’t in front of 15,000 people.  Or else I’d be more Patrick Ewing than Brandon Knight.

Fantasy-wise, Jordan is still the barely-ownable center he has been all year.  You should get a bonus for posterized dunks.  Had one of his best games of late going 5-5 13 Pts 7 Rebs 1 Ast and 2 Blks.  Been at least 7 and 5 with a block the last five.  If you need blocks plus want to be on the edge of your seat if you only watch highlights of players on your team, give Jordan a look if he’s available.

Here’s what else went down over the weekend:

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Everyone saw it coming.  Everyone had it circled on their calendar.  The epic in-state rivalry of the NBA’s best team going for their 16th straight win playing at home against… the second-worst team in the NBA.  Of course it would be a nail-biter!  The Heat went up big, but the Magic went on a 46-21 run and kept it tight until LeBron James’ game-winning layup.  Good thing Nikola Vucevic had fouled out so there were no shot blockers left.  The Magic certainly didn’t put a spell on the refs, racking up 30 fouls and two foul-outs to the Heat’s 17.  Conspiracy!  The Magic fouls were illusions!  You don’t have time for my illusions!  Tricks are what whores do for money.  Or cocaine.  LeBron better get some nice wedding presents from those home refs.  You think Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert got invited?  Be funny if Lebron sent him an invite with a -1.  This is a fantasy basketball blog right?  Hah, let’s get into the numbers from last night’s games:

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