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 Reece Helms from leading Miami Heat blog Hot Hot Hoops.

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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:

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Ah the fantasy basketball offseason.  It’s a magical time where the weather gets nicer, people get out of the arenas (unless their team is still in the playoffs) and start playing outdoor sports.  Pshhh playing outside.  Overrated.

While the NBA Playoffs enter their second round, there are still the huge events of free agency and the NBA Draft to shake things up, but let’s take an early look, nay, a way too early look, into where I am going to start ranking players for the 2013-2014 season:

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The Razzball Community, like a single barrel scotch, is bold and strong. And like a single barrel scotch in the bloodstream of a Las Vegas stripper, we like to spread our butt cheeks and then drive while intoxicated. Wait, what? Anyway, the Razz-comm (<- term that won’t catch on) enjoy nothing more than to match wits and skills with each other in the fantasy arena (there may be things we enjoy more, but we’ll leave that to the philosophers). The season has come to a close, those of you who weren’t sure if J.R. Smith was for real can finally put that question to rest, and our RCL winners have emerged, basking in the glow of victory. “I remember when I was alive, I lived for the taste of success! So says I, the ghost of Dolph Schayes!” Damn you, Dolph, you aren’t dead yet! “Mayhaps, but your career is!” Moving on…

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Razzball Nation!

It was a tumultuous NBA regular season that just wrapped up, not only on the court but here at Razzball.  There were ups (Tobias Harris), there were downs (Thomas Robinson), but when it was all said and done I think we helped more than we hurt.  Pretty much all we can hope to do!

We didn’t see any Derrick Rose, we saw a resurgent Tim Duncan, and we saw a new Razzball basketball editor have some big shoes to fill (well not really, I wear size 17, I doubt many people have bigger shoes).  As I start to put together my way too early rankings for the 2013-2014 Fantasy Basketball season, I thought it might be best to start from scratch with some gut reactions to the season and some stat takeaways leading into the offseason:

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Duh-duh-duh-duhhhh.  Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh!  Mandatory to listen to this while reading.

It’s the final day of the regular season!  If you’re reading you’re probably in your league championship or you’re awesome and keeping up with fantasy for next season.  I’ll be starting to do some offseason work next week, and probably start formulating the Razzball rankings for the 2013-2014 season.

But for those of you in your championships, it’s the final countdown.  One last day of a full roster to either snag that roto title or beat that douche who always changes his league smack or motto to something he finds funny about how good one of his players did.  We get it, “Luis Scola’d your nuts last night.”  Time to put him away.

Here’s some story lines to keep in mind and players out there to consider with a little recap of last night sprinkled in:

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Tobias Harris is going to be immortalized in my fantasy career as the guy who got me through some injuries and LeBron benchings to win titles in almost every league in 2013.  I was on this guy at the trade deadline and continue to ride him into the sunset with a twinkle in my eye.

With LeBron yet again benched like I had a feeling he would be, Harris was a monster against his former Bucks going 13-20 (3-4 3PTM) 30 Pts 19 Rebs and 5 Asts.  Harris hit a monster 3 with 1.9 seconds left to send it into OT and put the Magic on his back.  That kinda sounds like a sex move.  There’s something kinda like that called a Houdini, but I’ll let our friends at urban dictionary or something explain that one.

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

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If you’ve gotten started with fantasy baseball, you know it’s been yet another season of horrendous closing across the MLB.  I bet Kobe Bryant could close effectively in the MLB.

Just think about it.  He has such a will to win that it made Shaq hate him, he’s got consistent mechanics, never gets hurt and would be a tall presence on the mound.  OK, so I have no idea if he can throw a fastball, but right now I’d take him in my Brewers bullpen that looks more like a joke than Joaquin Phoenix’s career as a rapper.

Kobe just went bonkers against the Hornets in the fourth quarter, scoring 23 of his 30 in the last 12 minutes.  He just couldn’t miss, hitting a couple threes, jumpers in people’s faces, and was diming when there was openings.  With the Jazz losing, the Lakers might actually get the 8th seed.  Huzzah!  Kobe has been tremendous since the whole ankle injury soap opera, not missing a beat with a bone spur in his foot actually playing more minutes to keep it loose.  He’s not only closing games for the Lakers, he’s closing the season for fantasy owners.

Here’s what else happened yesterday:

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Fantasy Championship!  Some leagues have just wrapped up their finals and hopefully you’ve got a nice Shiva for your mantleplace.  But in other leagues the championship has just begun or it’s the last week-and-a-half for roto.

With a lot of big name players (ahem! Dwyane Wade ahem!) not getting on the court, there’s going to be a ton of new fringe guys getting minutes.  It’s been since Saturday since we’ve had a round-up, so let’s look at the weekend’s action (no games yesterday with the NCAA final):

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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:

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