Heading into the upcoming Fantasy Basketball Season, Razzball will be interviewing local NBA beat writers for actual, real-life basketball knowledge to shed some light on our measly fantasy basketball knowledge. Keep your eye out for interviews from [hopefully!] every NBA team through the summer. This installment comes courtesy of Joe Dexter from leading Detroit Pistons blog Piston Powered (interview held on Aug. 13):

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Free agency is here!  It has been a bit mum since the FA pool is awaiting that LeBron James cannonball, leaving us without a good snapshot of how the league will look in 2014-15.  But we’ve got Summer League getting into gear and a couple interesting FA moves.

With the The Decision 2.0 on hold, even P.J. Hairston is antsy and trying to get some ball in.  According to reports, he got into a fight with a high school senior, literally at the YMCA closest to the one where I play pickup (Chapel Hill).  While some guys are really good at Chapel Hill, there aren’t any NBA players actin’ a fool and calling three in the key!  This is likely a non-story, but it just makes you shake your head.  Almost as much as my former rookie nookie Archie Goodwin getting arrested at an Arkansas skating rink.  Sure, you can tweet “Don’t assume if you don’t know the whole story…” to which I say, “the hell you gonna get into that kinda situation at a skating rink for!”  Man, that pine gonna stay warm this year, Archie!  Here’s some other [actually useful for fantasy] news and notes of free agent signings and early Summer League performances:

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So we’re through my top-50 and now getting into the mid-rounds.  We’re taking this through the whole top 100, but some of these are going to be gold and some fool’s gold.  As in, Larry Sanders‘ gold.  If I got to the end of a rainbow and Larry Sanders was there, I’d ask for a refund…

Through the Top 20 and Top 50, I think I’ve done the rankings pretty well.  They tell you towards the end of high school, “the smart ones get the As, but the most successful get Bs.”  I might have made that up since I never studied for virtually anything and got Bs…  But a 3.00 GPA thus far sounds about right!  Rankings are based on my final updated top 200, comparing them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues on the season.  Slim then grades me.  I asked him, “will you give me As if I show you my double-Ds?”  He then flunked me…  Here’s a look back at the Top 75 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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Can I has Triple Doublez? Man watching Kevin Love is fun.  I think he should enter the NFL draft.  Deep outlets like these, plus he’s almost 7 feet and would never get a pass deflected at the line!  I can just picture Kevin Costner and Denis Leary debating over it with the Browns first round pick.  “I’m not taking some bearded seven foot douchebag when I’ve got Johnny Football and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Green!”  Eh, was going for a Leary-ism there, it’s hard to type it…  Huge night for Love, going 24/16/10/1/1 with two treys and continually adding millions to his next contract.  All after a report a few days ago that he was “exhausted” after a couple of non-Love-ish games.  Unloved games?  Something like that.  He’ll be one of the biggest stories to follow in the offseason, but he’s pretty much a shoe-in top-5 pick.  In Basketball Monster, he’s #3 in overall value and #4 per game.  He’s stayed durable and has been beastly.  Godly.  I kinda wanna get a Love bobblehead and put it in my locker and serve him rum.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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Wait, what?!  Kobe Bryant is back?!  I mean, the Lakers beat the Thunder, and someone dropped 42 for purple and gold… I can think of no other scenario.  But as the verse goes, “Blessed are the Meeks!” Dropping 42 on OKC, Jodie Meeks hit a career-high with his typical Meeks game of treys and steals.  “He was hittin’ em from downtown like a mad scientist!”  I dunno, I was trying to come up with a good segway into Cosmos from last night, but got nothing.  “Went all deGrasse Tyson on the Thundah!”  “Gettin’ all cosmic on dem mfers!” The Lakers beating OKC definitely broke Vegas’ space time continuum.  Plus winning with 36 boards to 59?  Crazy town.  We’ve liked Meeks a lot over here in Razzball Nation, and somehow he’s still at only 58% owned in Yahoo.  I demand an Inquisition on this matter!  Even though he’s close to a ThrAGNOF, the 1.3 Stls a game, fairly high-volume 84% FT shooting, and just overall upside on such a crappy team make him an obvious must own.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy action:

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I don’t know if you can’t see the double entendre I just did there in the Title. Big… get it?  As in “bigs”.  As in big guys who play the power forward and/or centre position. Pretty clever, I know. To further the mystery of my creative process, I submit that you need to secure the Power Forward and Centre position if you want to have a deep run in the playoffs. In addition, in case you had yet to arrive at this revelation, you will also need great wings and guards to complete the package. That is my Madden-ism for the week. So, to summarize: you need great bigs, wings and guards, or you won’t go far on your fantasy run.

For today, I’ll focus on the bigs only. The following dudes may be raising you up, or bringing you down. Take a gander:

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Well, this is the peril you get playing in other countries…  After a generator next to the stadium in Mexico City failed, last night’s Spurs at [hah] Timberwolves got postponed after the stadium filled with smoke.  It looked like Mexico City’s skyline of smog in there!  Man, so many people are going to get fired over this.  “Who let their 5 year olds with squirt guns play next to the exposed wires?!”  All the sudden the NBA is looking like the MLB…  I haven’t seen a PPD since September!  Brutal break for Spurs and Wolves owners in H2H formats as the reschedule is sure to be a while down the road.  Usually I like H2H for hoops because you don’t get rocked when your team has bad weather (vs. H2H Fantasy Baseball which I loathe), but now you have to think about generator fires when playing in other countries!  Well, I guess except Canada… They better have their shizz in order!  Breaking News!  The Raptors stadium has a Rob Ford crack den hidden within the locker room that caught fire, and they’re relocating to become the Reno Lt. Dangles.  Go Reno!  Here’s what else happened last night across fantasy hoops:

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When the Obamacare website launched, it was a lot like the Nuggets.  Load errors, mental mistakes, and only 6 people actually showed up because George Karl got fired.  But after JaVale McGee went down (I bet the Nuggets wish their healthcare bills were free!), the 1-3 Nuggets are now 11-6.  Coinky-dink?  I think not!  J.J. Hickson has been great at the 5 fillin’ in for Shaqtin-a-McGee, but it was Timofey Mozgov who has stolen the show the past two games, with 15+/15+ back-to-back including 17/20 against the hapless Nets last night.  But a trend is a-surfacing as Hickson has been under 18 minutes in those games while Mozgov was over 30.  Hickson is still starting, but Mozgov is just being a straight Godzilla out there against opposing B-teams.  I’m not ready to completely hand over the torch – I think Mozzy Bear getting in there was just matchup-based and Hickson gets back to the 30 minute range and Mozgov to the low-to-mid 20s.  But if you need boarding and scoring help, Mozgov is available in a lot of leagues and can still be valuable with that sort of run.  Pete even put him on the radar!  Now he’s in full view.  Even 12-teamers needing the big man help need to take the flyer while they can.  Here’s what else went down last night in the hoops-o-sphere:

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With all of the fantasy advice out there, is it ever really possible to sell high?

Everyone from the newbies to the expert players knows that Andrew Bogut is playing well. And playing a lot. And that he has a closet full of expensive suits to show for all the time he’s spent on the end of benches.

And we all have the file on the Australian Bogey Man. He’s had some amazing runs of board-n-block brilliance, albiet runs that have been more damaged than a “Crocodile Dundee” sequel. Stress fractures, awful falls, weird treatments and a mega-trade involving Kwame Brown (ew) have weighed down the bright spots in Bogut’s career like a Bloomin’ Onion that sits in your belly for days and won’t come out.

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Hide your kids, hide your wife, crank up the Owl City and hand me a KFC Double Down. The Class of 2010 is in the hizzous!

That’s right, it’s looking like that draft wasn’t so bad after all, what with a healed and dazzling John Wall; the Doug Collins-less, unleashed Evan Turner; a settled-in DeMarcus Cousins; Boards-N-Blocks favorite Greg Monroe; my NBA BFF Paul George; and now Derrick Favors, who – here we go again – appears he has achieved Breakout Status.

Had a 21-13-3 against Denver, a 12-12-2 but with 5 steals (!) vs. the Pelicans, a monster 20-18-3 against the Spurs and then had a more typical Favors effort with a 17-7-1 in Oakland.

Some say this means he’s out of the buy-low window now. But that means, at least to me, he’s in the sell high. I need to see consistent beastly efforts, or a 20-point, 20-board game (hell Nikola Vucevic does this in his sleep), and until then I’ll keep saying to trade him whenever he gets hot.

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