Tracking Rudy Gobert‘s path to the NBA has been movie worthy.  After an accident at his former job at the local steel mill, Rudy had Jon Favreau (he really could be French!) keep his grades up in exchange for Rudy helping Jonny out with the ladies.  Gobert almost gave up on his dream for basketball, but Charles S. Dutton gave a heartfelt speech on BEING REAL!  Utah fans tried carrying Gobert off the court chanting “Rudy!  Rudy!” after that win against the Spurs last Tuesday, but it was a big hazard to the overhead lights.

Derrick Favors‘ ankle turned into a kankle over the weekend, but luckily X-rays were negative and he’s day-to-day.  No reason for the lowly Jazz to throw him out there gimpy.  Monsieur Elbow time!  Filling in for Favors on Friday night, Rudy had one of the best games of his young career for 9/11/4/1/5 shooting 2-2 FG and 5-6 FT.  Followed it up with a start last night next to Enes Kanter for 7/9/0/2/3 in 31 minutes.  Playing with the big boys!  A wingspan that would make a pterodactyl jealous, Gobert should murder blocks for you if you’re able to stream him through the couple starts he’s likely to get this week.  No timetable for Favors, but big men + kankles = John Goodman.  I mean, not good for a speedy return.

Boy did the Fantasy God of Injuries not get enough human sacrifices over the weekend!  This might turn out to be the most depressing NBA recap I’ve ever written.   Stay positive JB!  Stay positive JB!  Thanks inner monologue…  Any other advice to help me get through today’s news?  Well, remember when in Interstellar it looked like there was no hope due to another Dust Bowl, then he just finds the newly incarnated NASA – – Wait, how does any of that make sense, they didn’t know he was alive yet he was their best hope!?  And then there’s that giant plot hole with the planet with the – – it just makes no – – uhughuhguhguhguhgug – – – - F, now my inner monologue is injured…  Here’s how the weekend of death went down in NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve got the ring in the cake.  The scoreboard operator has got it cued up for the 2nd quarter under-8 timeout.  The plane with some really carcinogenic toxins is ready to pollute the atmosphere in a “Will U Marry Me?” loopy smokestream.

An unsung contributor this year, DeMarre Carroll racked up another under-the-radar line last night for 14 Pts, 11 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 3PTM, and a partridge in a pear tree!  No TO, and other than blocks really hits all the Silver Bells and whistles.  Hitting a career best 1.6 treys a game, it’s a Christmas miracle his FG% is at 46%.  The dimes don’t do much either, but there’s no reason not to to Sleigh Ride him while he’s hitting most of the cats this hard.  Even a Silent Night or two won’t scare me away, and at only 61% ownership in Yahoo, I feel like there’s still a lot of leagues where he could bring Joy to the World.  So sing a holiday carol for DeMarre, and even though nothing is too sexy, I felt like I needed Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (full disclosure, I had to look up a list of Christmas songs for this bit, I’m such a Grinch).  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ay dios mio!

Friday was a cryday for me.  Then Saturday was a sadderday.  Muy triste!  Ricky Rubio severely sprained his ankle in the second quarter against the Magic Friday night, effectively crushing several of my teams and ruining my DraftKings squad!  Seems like every year there’s several bad ankle sprains with players rolling their foot on their own, get these guys better footwear!  Rubio’s gonna miss at least a month, with a widely circulated update it “could” be 7-8 weeks.  All I want for Christmas is Rubio back on the court!  I’m holding in virtually all leagues, as he was finally banking on the high expectations I’ve set for him with my high ranks the past two years.  Because we all know the Razzball Ranks are bulletin board material for NBA locker rooms…

Everything seemed to point towards a massive workload for Mo Williams, who through the first four games (with Rubio in there full time as the starter), Mo was averaging 21.4 minutes and 3 dimes per.  But surprisingly, Flip Saunders went sushi on us with the raw Zach Lavine getting the start and going 5/6/4 in 26 minutes (only 2 TO) while Mo’s 2/4/5 in 22 minutes (3 TO) doesn’t inspire any sort of confidence Williams will get more rock.  Add into the stew the Wolves were actually in that game against the Heat until the end, and it’s a stew I don’t think I want any part of anymore.  I mean, who puts sushi in a mother f stew?!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So when I approached JB about returning to the Razzball fold, my first suggestion was to do something on wing players. As any veteran fantasy hoops junkie knows, the dudes with the SG/SF designation are superly dooperly useful. Most teams have multiple non-PG and non-PF slots, plus you have the UTIL slots. Old-timers have some fond memories of crazy Latrell Sprewell, a member of the Wing Hall of Fame, and conveniently forgetting how he choked P.J. Carlesimo so you didn’t feel bad about clicking him into your lineup.

Anyway, some other ideas were floated to JB, but he wouldn’t give up on the wings. I began to wonder if his obsession with the concept had anything to do with basketball.

It started with an email where JB confessed to being hungry for wings, then continued with mentions of wing sauce, wing hotness, wing bones, wing grease on hairy chests, wing-covered women’s underwear, and then finally an email in 200-point type that said “ME LIKE WINGS” with this image attached:

wingger

Finally, I got the memo, so here we are.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t know why JB would do this to me. Do you know what he told me?  He told me I didn’t fit in.  He told me my only chance of being accepted was for me to join some program he was calling, “Avatar”.  I believe his exact words were, “Yeah we can change your avatar, what were you thinking?”  Wait… this was my idea?  Was it me who asked him to take my sexy, bearded, aboriginal face and join it with my real life sexy, bearded, non-aboriginal face?  I can’t tell what is reality and what is a dream anymore.  All I do know is that in this world of mixed mediums, my body, or as JB keeps calling it, my “Avatar”, is merely a shell for my one track mind.  A mind dedicated only to fantasy basketball; unfortunately sometimes this mind can wonder.  Wonder back to yesteryear when Patrick Beverley was a sleeper or when Alec Burks was supposed to start for the Jazz.  In an attempt to relieve those nostalgic days, I present to you my beginning of the season All Under-Owned Team.  My cutoff was 30% owned in Yahoo leagues and hopefully with season-long appeal.

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the double digit rounds.  The debate over Scrub A or Scrub B.  We don’t want no scrubs!  Well, play in a shallower league then!  People say you win your leagues in the later rounds.  I don’t know who these people are, but they’re probably jaded after drafting Derrick Rose in the 2nd round last year.  Where’s the violins?!  What I would say, is if you hit on one guy in the late rounds with 30th or 40th overall value, you’re set.  75% of your last picks are probably going to be drops.  So 75% of your late picks will be passes to Brandon LaFell.  Wrong sport!  Still bitter about how bad he was… Go Kelvin Benjamin!  Aka my favorite Panther.  Stay focused!  Here’s my top 150 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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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.

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The trade deadline is here!  Today!  And even though we had a few trades already go down, more are sure to proliferate through the league office.   Hopefully the NBA has faster fax machines than the NFL.  I mean, seriously on that Elvis Dumervil thing?!  BREAKING NEWS!  The Heat trade LeBron James to Cleveland for Anthony Bennett, but the trade was sent just over a month too late.  Reports indicate it was sent on April 1st.  Hah!  Sent from some hooligan named David Stern…  You’ve been punked Adam Silver!  Back to reality, we’ve seen Marcus Thornton get traded to the grandpa Nets for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans and Steve Blake get all his fantasy value decapitated Hershel-Walking Dead style by getting shipped to the Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.  The takeaways thus far is you can cut Blake in virtually all leagues, and in deeper leagues I actually think Reggie Evans could start at some point as the Kings 4.  Jason Thompson is one of the many rumored on the trading block which would open up that role.  I’m not saying Evans would play 30 minutes or anything, but could maybe average 8 boards a game while doing nothing else in the typical Evans fashion.  So when I say deeper leagues, I mean deeeeeeper.  We’ll recap the rest of the trades in tomorrow morning’s piece as well as in the comments throughout the afternoon to help with your fantasy moves.  Here’s what else went down in NBA action:

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As we mentioned a few months ago, the Philadelphia 76ers D is bad.  Like D League bad.  They could use some D league!  At one point, they were close to 8 points a game worse than the the 29th worst team defense.  But with the Lakers having all sorts of problems, they’ve entered the bottom feeders with Philly giving up a league worst 109.9 a game, LA now 29th at 106.2, then third is at 103.8.  Suffice to say – soft D.  Kinda like in the word djent.  Any metal fans out there?  Or in Django Unchained.  The big benefactor last night was another huge game from Jeff Green, who shot 11-18 (5-7 3PTM 9-12 FT) for 36/8/2/0/2.  Should’ve been doing this all year!  Green had that even bigger 39-point outburst two weeks ago against the Wizards, so that’s two biguns sandwiched with cold cuts of bleh.  Kinda like a $5 footlong when you choose meatball but have to eat it later… Stevens said a couple of days ago that they need to get Green the ball in the post and in transition more.  I guess that equals making 5 of your 7 threes!  Hah.  While I do think Green will be better, and the return and minutes exansion of Rajon Rondo to help create better oppotunies will help, if you can get some really solid top-60ish value in a sell-high, run and do it.  You may be saying, “top-60, this JB is reaching too high!”  Heading into the year, ranked 63 in Yahoo and ESPN at 58!  And I had him at… Yeah I don’t wanna talk about it.  So getting draft day value at 100% would be very nice.  Much lower than that and I’m still holding. Here’s what else I saw on a busy night of NBA action:

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Ross can!  Rosssssss can!  Ross can get me the tickets!  Somebody call the Police, because Terrence Ross is on fire!  Or, ummm, do we call the Mounties?  I plain just don’t know…  But if anyone (aherm, me) had to feel the Sting of that 51-point outburst against them – out of so left field from Ross that it was out of the Pacific Ocean – then you’re certainly sending a message in a bottle to the fantasy gods asking “Whyyyyyy?!”  51/9/1/1/0 shooting 16-29 and hitting 10 Harvey’s Trays.  “What’s with the sit-com references today JB?!”  Yeah, no one will get that last one… Sit-coms are always fun, light, and don’t end on Sunday nights with me throwing things.  “Enough about you, JB!”  Damn, commenters are angry this morning!  DeMar DeRozan sprained his foot in that game, and while Ross was already hot, no DeRozan helped him get hotter.  “Hansel is so hot right now.”  DeRozan looks like he’ll miss at least a few games – already not traveling tonight – making Ross a must-own for this week and the immediate future.  The Raptors are all the sudden with 18 less shots a game (no, that’s not me throwing out an arbitrary number, that’s really DeRozan’s FGA a game!) so this is a great opportunity for Jonas Valaciunas as well to go on a solid run.  Will be an interesting game tonight at Brooklyn to see how the two younguns perform.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?