A popular sleeper on draft day (well, made more popular by us!), Markieff Morris had been driving fantasy owners crazier than Joaquin Phoenix in The Master.

Through the first 10 games, Markieff had numbers eerily identical to what he did last year despite four more MPG.  His engine is on hybrid!  But for as atrocious as his previous 4 games were, broke out in a big way against the Celtics for 30/7/5/4/0 hitting 14-21 shots including a trey.  And only 1 TO!  Career-high scoring for Kieff, after four games in a row under 12 and three of those scoring single-digits.  “I found the beef, it’s Jeff Green‘s terrible D!”  While my Kieff teams are loaded with swagger after this big Monday, there is something slightly concerning with his stats.  Only 1-1 FT last night, and now is under half as many FT makes a game compared to last year, in nearly 5 more minutes a game (playing 39 bumped up his minutes finally!).  In 13-14, Kieff-er Sutherland was at 3.2-4.0 at the charity stripe, but is suddenly more like Donald Sutherland and not attacking the cup.  Less driving means fewer OREB (down from last year sinking his REB per-36), and his dimes have fallen a smidge as well.  None of these stats are major, but it seems he’s not creating and the Suns G-rotation is handling all the rock.  Another week of big stats with weak FT numbers and low-ish dimes – on top of Hornacek’s tendency to roll the hot hand, even the starters – and I’d actually sell high.  The steals and handful of blocks are nice, but not loving the lack of aggression and new role as more a spot-shooter, which could make him benchable to Horny a lot of games if he’s cold, something we’ve already seen a little of with the waffley minutes.  Where’s the beef?!  Let’s hope not in the waffles, but ya never know, that could be good!  Fried chicken n waffles is out of this world.  Here’s what else happened on an unusually busy Monday night of action:

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“Hey Kobe, I’m open, I’m open!”  That’s every Laker…

Despite the plausibility that the Lakers are a real NBA team, they once again proved the contrary with yet another blowout loss.  Well, I guess they’ve been in some games, but c’mon!  Kobe Bryant is trying to do everything himself, like an asexual chronic masturbator.  15-34 FG last night (3-12 3PTM 11-16 FT) for 44/5/3/0/0.  After a 1-14 brickhouse Friday night, that’s a 16-48 weekend (33%).  At least Sunday was good!  Ish.  Most concerning are those treys, going 3-17 from deep in both games.  He’s never been a good three-point shooter, especially the past four years.  Glasses anyone?   Russell Westbrook has got a guy…

As I’m sure Kobe would appreciate to no end, I have a comp for him.  Dwight Howard.  Hah!  Mostly kidding, but Kobe is Dwight-ing (new adjective) your FG%.  In H2H it’s not a paramount concern, but in Roto it’s getting scary.  I don’t know what you do about it except try to trade Kobe high to a team at the top of your FG% standings.  Then let Kobe and that ridiculous volume sink them like the whole Purple and Gold franchise.  I keed of course!  There’s just nothing there.  Like hairs on Carlos Boozers‘ head or anatomy on Ken’s crotch.  Kobe vs. NO tonight, 5-on-1!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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After getting down as much as 23 points, I was going to pose the question – is Nicolas Batum the glue for the Blazers?

But then the Charlotte Hornets looked like the Kelly Tripucka Charlotte Hornets, hiked up their shorts, and got run out of Portland in the second half.  This is Damian Lillard‘s show!  29/4/7/2/0 hitting 5 treys and 12 of 21 shots for The Omen.

With Batum out last night (and is hopeful to miss only two more and returning next Monday – he likes the weekly league fantasy players!), a lot of minutes opened up for Blazers SF.  And of all the options, I don’t think anyone would’ve projected Allen Crabbe as the starter!  Play Chris Kaman at the 3!  I actually remember watching a few of Crabbe’s games at Cal when they were in the NCAA tourney and thought he was a good little player.  But dude had 4 combined minutes on the season!  And even the starting role did nothing for him, going 2/2/2/0/0 in 22 minutes shooting 1-4.  Allen Crabby, want more rock!  Crabbe has virtually no value, and Batum’s injury just means a few stats will trickle down through the Blazers starters and role players.

The under-the-radar winner is Steve Blake, who nearly rainbowed for 5/4/2/2/1.  Season-high 25 minutes and he’s averaging over 3 dimes a game this year.  Your line-up is probably filled out tomorrow and Saturday for the next two Blazers games, but hey, if you have one streaming spot open and need a little PG love, don’t be afraid to turn to grown-up Dewey for help.  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops last night:

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Man, both NBA games last night were atrocious…  Even if the Rockets McDonald’s unis were effing awesome, love those 90s reds and yellows!

Gregg Popovich sat Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan (on top of Marco Belinelli and Tiago Splitter injured) that’s sure to get Adam Silver pitching a tent in his NBA-fines PJs.  With no Duncan or Splitter, the Spurs had to play Aron Baynes and Boris Diaw at C.  Wow.  And against an inconsistent-at-best post player in Dwight Howard!  But Dwight destroyed his “defenders” and looked like a 17 year old high school kid with college aspirations playing against middle schoolers.  Like watching Taco Fall play against other high school JV teams.  Man, Taco makes a basketball look like a grapefruit!

There’s really only one explanation to last night’s travesty – Pop owns Dwight on his fantasy team.  And well, let’s guess Kevin McHale drafted Tim Duncan and was against Pop this week.  Pop DOES NOT like to lose in fantasy basketball.  I’d imagine when he talks to his fantasy opponents it goes something like this.  “What’s more powerful than me winning every year?  Hope.  That I’d ever let anyone else win!”  Dwight for 32/16/0/1/2 shooting 12-18 from the field.  It was pretty bad out there, matchup wise.  He did his Dwight thing missing FT but ended up fine hitting 8-13.  I’m very steadfast in my anti-Dwight ways, so if you have Howard and have thought about trading, this is the game to be off of to do it.  Here’s what else went down in a light slate of Thursday action:

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It’s finally here!  “The lockout is over!”  You’re like, “wtf, a lockout?!”  I’m quoting a Dave Cowens commercial!  And after the 98-99 Lockout at that!  Anything vintage Hornets is nostalgic gold right now.  Ridiculous amounts of bonus points to readers who are Hornets fans and remember that commercial and/or can find the video.  Because I couldn’t!

The return of the Hornets is one of the many things I’m looking forward to this year.  Getting past my horrific Jonas Valanciunas love, finally changing the page to a new season, is another.  But one of the biggest is a healthy (for now) Kobe Bryant and the return of the “Guess Kobe Bryant’s Stat Line”!  Even if you’re a long-time reader, you might not know this one!  It’s like the NBA scheduled the Lakers on a light opening night just for this momentous Razzball event, not because the Lakers are a widely popular team or anything…

I don’t remember exactly what spawned this prestigious contest, but as with everything that is oddly conversational in Razzball, traditions can start any time!  Like how we all guessed what Kobe would do, the like, 5 games he played last year.  So in order to carry this tradition, and to accurately-ish credit the winner, guess the Kobe line will be limited to the PTS/REB/AST projection to determine the victor.  Feel free to guess more stats than that, but when we did it last year with steals and blocks and turnovers, it was hard to say which commenter was closer than another.  The winner gets a shout out in the recap the next day, along with the jealous ire of all other Razzballers… I think Kobe has a big one in the opener vs. Houston… I’m going 31/5/6.  Shoot your guesses below, and happy return to Fantasy Basketball!  We’re pumped for our biggest season to date here at Razzball, and thanks to everyone for checking us out through the offseason!

Here’s some other news and notes since the last wrap-up, and what I’ll be focusing on for opening night (and we’re daily every weekday with the wrap-ups here on out!):

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the final 50.  Sean Connery.  Kevin Costner.  Tons of Great Depression-esque costumes.  I’d imagine if you’re in a deep league and looking at the field below with your last pick or two, you’re feeling something like this:

It’s pretty hopeless, as in 12-teamers these are all likely guys you’re merely starring on your watch list post draft.  There’s some questionable talent, some questionable roles, maybe even someone that’ll give you The Grapes of Wrath, but some untapped upside!  Here’s my top 200 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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Fantasy basketball gurus started drooling around the All-Star break: The Atlanta Hawks have a schedule that’s favorable to the fantasy basketball playoffs! Mark your calendars! Set the alarms on your smart phone device thingys!

That’s right, fantasy ballers in search of boards and blocks, this means guys like Pero Antic, Elton Brand, Mike Scott and Mike Muscala will have four games in each of the next two weeks! And they are probably sitting on your waiver wire right now! And that means … uh, hello? Where’d everyone go?

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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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“Deer in the headlights”.  Makes sense for this team!  And it starts with the pack leader Mr. Larry Drew, who we’ve slammed on ad nauseam here on Razzball hoops.  But to rub salt on the wound, or in Milwaukee’s case I guess it would be to leave out a salt lick, both fantasy relevant Bucks bigs are hurt.  Larry Sanders – who was first reported to just having blurry vision after being poked in the eye – actually has a fractured orbital bone.  Could this have actually happened later that night at a Milwaukee nightclub receiving a right hook from a bouncer?  Maybe!  I’m just excited to see Sanders in rec specs.  All he’ll need to do now is grow a goatee and dye it white and he really will be Colonel Sanders!  Then to top it off, John Henson rolled his ankle last night landing on Zaza Pachulia‘s foot.  Zaza was like, “Henson, is this your ankle?  It struck my foot!”  No updates on the severity, but we saw how long they waited to bring him back from that wrist injury so I’m a little sceered.  For Sanders, I’d try and wait until he sees the specialist today to tell him how jacked up his eye socket is.  It’s been suggested it could be 1-6 weeks, so if indeed closer to the full 6 weeks and you’re barely hangin’ by a thread I think you have to cut him loose.   Tough to take a 0 the last weeks before the playoffs. Henson is another wait and see, but I doubt it will be nearly that long.  But in both cases, if you’re in H2H and really needing a win this week, I couldn’t fault losing either in a All-Star Weekend shortened matchup.  An extra start means even that much more in a week like this one.  Sure someone will probably scoop up your Bucks roadkill to cook into their Chinese Food, but hey, at least it’s not in your dinner.  Zaza is worth a look himself as a streamer in the interim.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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One team.  Two broken noses.  Four bloody nostrils.  One protective face-mask company that has lost a client.

In case you missed it, in the battle of the oldest teams ever in NBA history (yeah, no stat to back that up, but pretty sure George Gervin played a few minutes in the third…  [Ok, ok, the Spurs benched all their old guys, whatever!]), both Nando De Colo and Matt Bonner broke their noses and got all bloody.  Bonner with his mask still on!  On both (De Colo, Bonner) you got some really good in your face camerawork.  I feel like both of those could become UFC moves.  The “Russian wrister”!  The “Livingston shoulder slam”!  De Colo gets mad props for coming back in the game in the second half.  Bonner gets mad props too for trying to come back in, but Pop wouldn’t have it.  Pop hates props!  Plus Bonner’s quote, “By tomorrow, I’ll either have a new mask or a new face” is friggin’ awesome.  Kinda have a boner for Bonner.  While De Colo is not a standard league option, with Tony Parker an elf on the shelf with a bad back, De Colo got 27 minutes 11/3/2/2/1.  Near rainbow!  It’s actually a pretty light slate of games looking ahead on Saturday, so De Colo could be a nice streamer for you in deeper leagues if Parker stays on that shelf.  But as Slim pointed out to me earlier in the week, they’re against Charlotte – a top-5 PPG NBA D, but his defense and boarding should be fine if you need a lil-a-dat from a PG over the weekend. Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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