A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…  Is that too cliché?  Yeah it is, but there’s a point.  You knew where it came from as soon as you read it.  You can hear the soundtrack playing in your head.  Well, now that I said it you can hear it.  There’s even a chance you might remember the first time you saw it.  That’s what drafting LeBron James feels like.  It’s a smell in the air, a taste in the back of your throat that tells you there’s something familiar here.  The nurturing feeling of resting against LeBron’s bosom.  Ahh…  Hold me LeBron.  That’s not what this series is going to be about.  This here is akin to trying to remember the first time you saw Spaceballs.  Sure it’s a classic, but we both know you weren’t in the right state of mind to remember the first time you watched any Mel Brooks movie.  Am I right or am I right?  I can hear your silence loud and clear.

Let’s all now jump into our Delorean, Phone Booth, Hot Tub or whatever your time machine of choice is and travel back to last October.  There was something with very large fantasy implications happening in Houston.  It was not the trade for James Harden.  I’m talking about the position battle at SF between Carlos Delfino and Chandler Parsons.  If you would have chosen wisely then you would have gotten the closest thing I can imagine to the fantasy holy grail.  A top 50 player at the low low cost of a free agent pick up, even in the deepest of leagues.  This will be my gift to you.  No, not this overpriced knockoff but the next best thing.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After re-ranking the top 10top 20, and top 50, it’s easy to see there’s been big changes since last May.  Below are the Razzball Updated Rankings with the previous May rankings in parentheses before the adjusted rank:

(68) ↑ 51. Derrick Favors – Utah declining to bring back either Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gives you a slight inclination on their thoughts on Favors, and they’re already talking contract extension with their emerging big as well.  I love his athleticism, and if I miss out on Serge Ibaka who I’m high on early, I’m gonna want to reach on Favors to win blocks. I think he’ll be a top-5 NBA swatter.

(51) 52. Kemba Walker – Kemba has been higher on virtually every rankings I’ve seen, and I’m just not top-50 high on him.  He had a really solid season last year, but the terrible FG% still worries me as I feel like he forces some offense.  The acquisition of Big Al is going to give the Bobcats/soon-to-be Hornets an actual scorer down, and I don’t think that translates into helping Kemba all that much.  I like Gerald Henderson a lot too to take a bigger scoring role.  The 2.0 steals a game last year was elite, but I see those going down along with the scoring, and a comparable 5.7:2.4 Ast:TO ratio.  All that spells a slightly down ranking for me.  Although to be fair, he’s played in every single Bobcats game in his career, so there’s that reliability that can’t be ignored.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!  You’ve been clamoring for some updated rankings, and here they come!  I’m going to release them slowly, teasing them out, just like how we did the offseason rankings 5 months ago.  These top guys haven’t changed too much, but the rankings will expand to the top 200, culminating in an easy-to-use and frequently updated cheat sheet you can use during all your drafts as they commence in the next few months.  Fantasy NBA is coming and we’re ready to win you titles (or titties – depending on your league’s prize pool).  Previous ranks from my Off-Season Rankings are in parentheses before this re-rank:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve got to say, growing up a huge Charlotte Hornets fan, I am going to finally have a favorite team again next year.  I mean, the Bobcats is such a horrific name for a professional sports team that it actually made me not cheer for them.  If they follow my logic – citizens of New Orleans, I’m sorry, you’re no longer cheering for your NBA team.

If you missed it the other night, the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery was selected (coincidentally right when a huge Powerball was built up and won – conspiracy?!) with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning another #1 pick.  Nerlens Noel, or Captain N as I’m going to call him, looks like he’s heading to one of basketball’s friendliest cities.  Just don’t leave for another team in a televised special.  Honestly, my first thought was, “great, another talented player I have to navigate through injury estimates with.”

Anyway, I doubt any NBA rookies will crack the top 100 for fantasy this year, it’s a pretty weak draft class, but that’s why these way too early rankings will be capped at 100 before readdressed closer to the season when they’ll expand to 200.  As always with rankings this early, it’s May, the Finals haven’t even started yet, and there will be a lot of revisions.  But here’s how I see things shaking out as of right now:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The playoffs are coming, do you have a point guard emergency? Mo Williams consistency driving you insane? Kyrie Irving just not cutting it since his return? Steve Nash can’t stay on the floor? Tony Parker goes down! Well according to Lt. Dangle there might be a new sheriff in Orlando, all he needs is a killer ‘stache. Beno Udrih was Udraining shots from all over the floor Friday night and scored 27 points (10-17 FG) with 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and hit 3 shots from beyond the arc. Beno may have that mustache in him after all. Jameer Nelson missed his fourth straight game and Beno got the nod again. In four games starting with Nelson out, Udrih is averaging 19.5 points, 7.3 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.75 steals and 2.5 threes a game. BENOthatswhatImtalkingabout Udrih! He  played 36 minutes Friday night and should continue to find plenty of time on the floor even when (if) Jameer Nelson (ever) returns. If I have a playoff point guard emergency I’m picking up Udrih,  Beno-911 should provide enough points and assists to make him an asset in your fantasy playoffs.

Here’s what else happened in basketball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Moe Harkless struck the Thunder for a career high 25 points last night and the rookie added 9 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 blocks and hit 3 threes. I’ve been pushing Moe for a while now, so this performance was a long time coming. Maurice is averaging a mediocre 10.7 pts and 5.4 rebounds over the past two weeks, but what really raises my fantasy eyebrow is the 3 steals a game. Do you know where your wallet is? No? Probably because Harkless just took it. Just like that. He’s that good. In fact, Moe has 21 steals in the past 6 games alone! Hashtag cleptomanic! Nikola Vucevic sat this game, and Arron Afflalo left the game in the first quarter in some serious pain. This explains Moe’s 45 minutes, and he should get major burn and plenty of touches going forward. Harkless is available in over 20% of leagues, if your looking for a playoff push, Harkless has all the tools to fill up all a stat sheet. And the steals! *drools  Go steal him from waivers before someone else does!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy basketball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I was at working my job logging highlights last night for the Brooklyn Nets at Dallas Mavericks (which was on the ESPN broadcast), and there were at least 20-30 updates/mentions/ohhhhh-ing and ahhhhh-ing about the Heat Cavs game where the Heat found themselves down more than 20 only to come back and win it.  Jeff Van Gundy is like that annoying friend you keep around in your group – he does something funny half the time then irks you the other half.  On the tip-off between Chris Kaman and Brook Lopez he said, and I’m paraphrasing, “that was the worst tip in NBA history, they shouldn’t be allowed to tip off ever again!”  Pretty good stuff.  Then, and admittedly I was checking the score too, all he and the other guy were talking about was the Heat game.  What about the other fans?  Even at halftime, the crew said they would give highlights for the Thunder game and Bill Simmons was like, “no I’m watching the Heat game.”  I get it ESPN it was the biggest game of the night, but sheesh.

After a rough first half, LeBron James absolutely went off, ending his night with both a rainbow line and a triple-double going 8-22 FG (3-7 3PTM) 25 Pts 12 Rebs 10 Asts 3 Stls and 2 Blks.  If that’s not gonna win you your first round of the playoffs, then you need better ancillary players!  Ok so I’m a hypocrite and my open is all about the Heat game and nothing else… Let’s just dive right into other action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?