Despite the two nationally telecast Opening Night games (with the Heat/Bulls starting at 8:00 PM EST), the season really started at 7:00 with the Magic against the Pacers.  Non-fantasy players probably didn’t know this game ever happened.  All the sudden in the second quarter, Andrew Nicholson just went off, going 8-9 in the first half with 18 points.  Next thing you know, ESPN Fantasy Basketball is down.  Why RCL is on Yahoo!  But despite the Magic losing the lead and the offense going stagnant early in the third, Nicholson only played another few minutes in the second half and got stuck at 18 points in 19 minutes, only taking one additional shot and going 8-10 on the night.  Womp womp.  I never thought too much of Nicholson and don’t think he’s a guy to go rush to the wire for (unlike ESPN fantasy players!), and don’t forget Tobias Harris sat out with the ailing ankle.  19 minutes sounds about right for Nicholson, and he’s obviously not going to be a 48 PPG scorer per 48.  But I hope the kid enjoyed the moment in the sun during that first half shooting spree.  You temporarily broke Fantasy!  He was like the Fantasy Basketball Kevin Ogletree.  Here’s what else went down last night in the NBA:

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The preseason is upon us!  And just like how you don’t put too much stock in Spring Training or the NFL Preseason – there isn’t anything to go too crazy about with what happens in the box scores.  However, some guys do get hurt, hurt guys can show they’re back, and there’s additional news to spruce up everyone’s rankings (my updated top 200 is below and broken down by position in the menu).  But before you scroll down! We really need some RCL commissioners to start up new leagues to show me just how bad my rankings are.  The winner gets their name shaved in my head for god’s sake!  Please don’t make it anything too profane… I don’t want to tell the barber he has to put @$%#% somewhere in my scalp!  Rather than belaboring current events and more RCL pandering, let’s just hop right in:

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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.

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Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50.  Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots.  Have fun grilling these!

(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause.  Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury.  He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again.  He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3’s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter.  Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.

(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big.  The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.

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The period of free agency continues to shape the fantasy basketball-scape with fresh meat on terrible teams and players signing with contenders to be relegated to bench duty.  With baseball in full swing and the NFL getting half of the ESPN air time no matter what time of year it is, a lot of NBA moves have been made under the radar.  Look for every division to get a team-by-team breakdown and some early fantasy thoughts on the new faces in new places:

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Heading into the upcoming Fantasy Basketball Season, Razzball will be interviewing local NBA beat writers for some actual in-depth basketball knowledge to shed some additional light on our fantasy basketball knowledge. Keep your eye out for an interview for every NBA team through the summer. This installment comes courtesy of Dave Rueter from leading Philadelphia 76ers blog Liberty Ballers.

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Razzball Nation!  Sorry it has been a slight break from me, but it’s been a wild summer.  If I weren’t out of town drinking daiquiris on the beach trying to grow my mustache out and know absolutely nothing about any sport besides baseball, then my summer would’ve felt incomplete…

But I’m back now, back into everything Razzball, and ready to talk some NBA rookies.  I know I’m a little behind the draft, but hey, we’ve got a little time before we see these guys in real NBA action.  Not that Kelly Olynyk playing in solid color warmups in a gym that looks like one Nikola Pekovic used to play in the Siberian Leagues isn’t entertaining, but c’mon.  Let’s get these summer guys playing somewhere nice!

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As we continue to navigate through the NBA Playoffs, it’s been a fun challenge to rank for the 2013-2014 season.  There’s still free agency.  There’s still a draft.  Hey, at least we know there will be a season unlike 2011!

If you missed it, my top 10 then top 20 came out last week.  Hey, it’s early, you might say “way too early” (see what I did there, it’s in the title!) so these rankings are subject to change.  And I want no accusations of flip-flopping!  It’s not my fault if all the sudden Dwight Howard goes to the Bobcats and becomes a first-rounder!  OK, so that is as likely as Rony Seikaly… returning.  You gotta stop on the word that rhymes Jean-Ralphio!  Man I’m liking that show.  Also, random side note, Googling Rony Seikaly to spell his name correctly broke Google.  I searched it and it would freeze, despite everything else working.  Weird.

As I battle my ADHD to get into the rankings, let’s just dive into it:

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You ever feel like you made the wrong move and it sticks with you all season?  Kinda like when you go anywhere that Tehol has chosen for drinks and hook up with someone.  “Something to give my dingle less tingle.  Me fast want slow!  Wait, no that’s Indian….”  “Tea for dong!”

But sometime you make the right move.  Now that I have the Sword of Destiny, it was also destiny for me to draft John Wall on a lot of my teams, a move that seemed OK while Wall worked his way back, but in the past month Wall has been unreal.  (Wait, no Miami Heat streak lead?  This isn’t ESPN?)  He carved up the Grizzlies last night for a career-high 47 Pts on an unreal 13-22 FG and 19-24 FT.  Oh and he happened to season that delicious entree with 2 3PTM 7 Rebs 8 Asts 1 Stl and 1 Blk.  Needless to say, it was easily a top-5 fantasy line on the season.  Huzzah for stashing!  I got high on my own supply!

Let’s take a look at what else went down last night:

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The league is finally taking notice of the Denver Nuggets win streak of 14 games (there’s not another streak going on is there?), as they survived a near upset to the terrible 76ers at home last night.  The Nuggets are 31-3 at home.  Rocky Mountain air!  Get me an oxygen tank!  The 76ers owner even slammed his team on Twitter.  Doug Collins has got to be about to go on a Mel Gibson-esque tirade.  Maybe paint his face like Braveheart  and drive the tanker truck from The Road Warrior like in South Park.  If he coaches again next year, it will be the biggest accomplishment in sports.  We used to say that Oscar Pistorius, but you don’t hear that as much anymore.

Led by the late game heroics of one of my biggest supported players since I took over, Corey Brewer brewed up 10-18 FG (5-6 3PTM) 29 Pts 1 Reb 5 Stls and 1 Blk.  “Stealin’ and Shottin’!”  Imagine I said that like Spike Lee’s “Stoppin’ and Poppin’, Postin’ and Toastin'” and you get the frame of mind I’m going for.  Hey, I’m white, spoken word isn’t my forte which is why I’m writing this blog, not on the street corner yelling fantasy advice with a megaphone.

Here’s what else went down last night in the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?