It feels like each time I have to submit the weekly injury report, someone big gets a last minute injury. The first week it was Victor Oladipo and his facial fracture. Last week, it was Russell Westbrook. Let’s hope that this week no one gets hurt after I hit submit.

Speaking of Russell Westbrook, he will be out 4+ weeks after surgery to repair his broken right hand. This is a huge blow to the Thunder who are already hurting with injuries. They are so desperate for a living, breathing player that they signed Ish Smith as part of their hardship exception. He is definitely not the Ish and should not be anywhere close to fantasy rosters.

Fortunately for the Thunder, and fantasy owners, Reggie Jackson is back from his ankle injury. He already has 36 points and 19 assists in just two games back. Jackson should continue to be a fantasy beast, but expect his field goal percentage to dip with the added pressure as the lead scorer.

Since Jackson is definitely already owned, Perry Jones is the next best Thunder option to pick up. Averaging 15 points and 4 rebounds, Jones should continue to see playing time, while knocking down threes. He’s day-to-day with a bruised knee, but shouldn’t be out for long.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I gotta say, last night might have been one of the most exhilarating early season nights of NBA action that I can remember for some time.  Career-highs, two buzzer beaters, a triple double, upset Ws… It was awesome.

Before we get into how the city of Cleveland can just give up hope… again… if you haven’t noticed on the main page of the site, Slim is in need of a new didgeridoo!  When my awful Hornets somehow beat the Heat, he took his frustration out on his favorite instrument, banging the wood in fervent frustration.  Wow, that sounded wrong!  But Razzball Nation can help!  Click on his donate button there to help him buy a new didgeridoo, for any value you wish, especially as a thanks for helping with the comments in the wee hours of the morning whilst I beauty sleep snuggled up with my Brandon Knight blow up doll.

But before that mental image is indefinitely burnt into your subconscious, let’s get back to action on the court where the big game was obviously the Jazz knocking off the Cavs on a Gordon Hayward buzzer beating fader.  “Look Butler fans, I can hit big buzzer beater shots!”  Awwwww, low blow… The Cavs had all sorts of terrible sluiced through their stats, like six, count em, SIX assists in the entire game.  Four were from LeBron too.  I guess the other Cavs want to prove to LeBron they all can be ball hogs.  In contrast, the Spurs had six assists on their first six field goals in their win last night…  But not like they’re a model franchise or anything!

As NBA fans, which all of us are even if we care more about fantasy than anything else, last night was a winner.  I guess unless you’re a David Lee owner, or Cleveland fan… There’s always Green, or the Browns tonight!  Colors to the rescue!  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops action:

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You might as well set up a Civil War style triage on the Thunder bench, because somebody has the team set of Thunder voodoo dolls and isn’t wasting any time!  Adding to this virtually unprecedented injury wave to hit an NBA team through only week one of the season, Perry Jones knocked knees for the second game in a row; this time in a ton of pain and had to exit.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the Thunder depth chart on Rotoworld, where the red S means sidelined:

Oklahoma City Thunder Depth Chart

Oklahoma City Red S-es!  And while a “knee contusion” usually wouldn’t worry me too much, George Hill had the same deal and he’s going to be out until late-November is sounds…

On the plus side, Serge Ibaka is absolutely en fuego out there.  25/11/2/0/1 and forced to take contested jumpers the whole night, but hit 11-14 including three treys.  And played 46 minutes out of desperation!  The blocks will come, so if you got Serge late round 1 (like we had him) or round 2, you’ve got something of your own surging in your pants.

On the negative side, Reggie Jackson is playing with some ill-advised reckless abandon.  I mean, give the kid some props for playing through numerous injuries last night, but he ended up with his butt on the hardwood more often then Paris Hilton.  Had a fantastic slash of 13/4/14 but hurt his wrist limiting him to 4-14 FG (0-6 3PTM).  Plus the ankle still looks gimpy.  I know the upside is immense the next month, but I might try to sell RJax high after watching this game.  It was like watching Denard Robinson at Michigan.  I’m not a huge college football fan, but my dad went there and I watch parts of most games, and Shoelace is still the most dynamic player I’ve ever seen in Maize & Blue.  But he seemed to leave early almost every game, getting battered and beaten up.

The Thunder need to do everything and anything to get healthy, with three straight off days until Friday.  My recommendations include – every player eating a live octopus chasing it with raw eggs, hiring the Wolverine (Jackman, not Denard) for some mutant healing blood, and calling Mrs. Cleo to figure out which guy will be hurt on Friday and benching him.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy 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.

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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 season just a few days away, I’ll be covering the latest injury news for all those last minute drafters. Guys will be held out of preseason games for various ailments, so don’t overreact to every DNP in the preseason box scores. I can’t cover every NBA injury, but will try to cover the biggest injuries to start the season.

Unless you have been living under a rock over the summer, you have seen Paul George’s gruesome injury. He broke his leg in an US Olympic Team scrimmage. The leg injury has a 12-18 month timetable so George will be out for the entire regular season. He may play in the playoffs, but that doesn’t affect us fantasy players.

In redraft leagues, you don’t draft George. He won’t be playing this season, but should return to form the following year. In dynasty leagues, it gets a little trickier. If your team isn’t competing this year, then definitely invest a mid-round pick on him and stash him for the next season. If you think you can compete this year, get someone else who will play this year.

With George’s injury and Lance Stephenson’s trade to the Charlotte Hornets, there will be a lot of playing time and statistics up for grabs. Larry Bird says that the offense will rely more on George Hill. He’s never been the focal point of the offense so there may be some growing pains, but he’s a solid career shooter (44.8 FG%, 80.8 FT%, and 37.1 3FP%) and with increases in the counting stats, should be a solid mid-round value. He’s suffered a knee contusion, but should be ready to go for the start of the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So this is why preseason wrap ups are tough.  News flutters around willy-nilly like that bag that dumbass had an obsession with in American Beauty.  And most of the news has about as much meaning…

First there’s Razzball lovebrows Anthony Davis spraining his wrist last night, and Monty Williams held him out as a precaution.  Davis wanted to come back into the game, but Monty was like, “nuh uh, girlfriend!  Shaniqua don’t live here no mo’!”  Not to be out-overreactioned, Russell Westbrook also sprained his wrist on Sunday.  Neither are serious, and this is why the wrap-ups are eye-roll fests through preseason.  A lot of worthless mud to pan through just to get a fleck of gold.  (True story – when I was like 8 or 9 years old, we did a class field trip to pan for gold and a portly kid got a tiny mote worth, the only one to get any.  Then I traded him some peanut butter-filled chocolate my mom packed me for lunch for it.  Talk about knowing your audience!)

Can you believe we’re a week away from opening tip?!  This is the last preseason wrap until next Tuesday to preview the season, and daily from there.  Can’t wait for this shizz to start!  My final re-rankings will be out tomorrow, we’ll get to meet some new writers, and two final preseason Pods (tomorrow and next Tuesday) before we get some real games to talk about on air.  Here’s what else has gone on in the world of preseason NBA action:

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Preseason is here!  Preseason is here!  I’m as giddy as N64 kid on Christmas Day.

But before we got into any action, Nick Young had a rough end of to his week last week, jacking up his thumb on his shooting hand requiring surgery.  He’ll be out 8 weeks, which puts him back in Purp-n-Gold mid-to-late November, optimistically.  You can drop him off your fantasy teams now!  He’s got a plenty big cast to hitchhike his way somewhere else.  I would say to “Scrubtown” but if you say that three times fast it starts to sound kinda like Scranton and I don’t want to offend Scrantonites or fans of The Office.

I wasn’t big on Swaggy P anyway, but no reason to touch him except in the very deepest of leagues.  Pretty empty scoring.  Wesley Johnson gets a minor bump up, and that’s the extent of the impact.  Now back to preseason!  Of course every performance must be taken with a grain of salt, and this early it’s a friggin’ pillar of salt, but it’s never too early to see how players are doing – especially this year’s ridiculous class of rooks.  Here’s what’s gone on across the league:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

rcl-basketball-logo

Whoa, drafts are starting already?!  The early bird catches the predator!  Wait, I don’t think I got that right…  Getting a draft done early after all this rankings work was a liberating, yet headache-inducing experience. People have been looking at my ranks too much!  Razzball Nation is going to a tough customer in their fantasy leagues this year… If you’re itching to start a Fantasy Basketball league, we need more RCL commishes to host a league just like this one, so hop over and start and RCL League today!

Overall, I’m iffy on my first team.  I think I like it.  Has a little too much youth – but just how the draft went.  “Enough noodling, show us your goods!”  “What if my goods are a noodle!?”  Here’s how the draft went last night, and my pick-by-pick analysis below:

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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):

Please, blog, may I have some more?