The Lakers.  The Bucks.  Two terrible teams enter.  Only one team wins (well, actually neither of these teams are winners, unless you count if they get the first pick in next year’s draft, I guess winning the lottery is something…).  Two horrible teams with fast-paced awfulness where we see flashes of fantasy goodness.  And we got another taste of the sweet nectar that is Jordan Hill when given playing time!  31 minutes for 28/16/0/1/0 shooting a ridiculous 13-17.  With 9 of those boards offensive, Hill was abusing the paint and his shot chart around the rim looked like a rash in Kim Kardashian’s nethers.  Everyone that has watched the Lakers lately (a number that has decreased significantly, and would even more without fantasy!) knows Hill should be starting the 4 every night, and it’s taken way too long for D’Antoni to finally go back to him.  Even Hill is confused about his playing time based on his profile pic…  No Pau Gasol at least for tonight, and Chris Kaman barely arriving on time to last night’s game due to personal reasons might have put a craw in Doh-toni’s gears.  There was a report they hadn’t talked in weeks before Tuesday’s game.  Before that, Kobe Bryant said he hadn’t talked to D’Antoni in a while during his rant.  The Lakers coach is running this team like it’s freshman year of high school.  “OMG, like, Mike hasn’t put me in the game, so like, I stopped talking to him and, like just started posting memes on the internet!”  I knew it was Kaman!  You’re playing with fire, but for guys widely available, if you have a roster spot open Hill is as good as any to give you a really high upside double double tonight.  Against the Wolves should be a pretty free flowing game, so let’s all hope Jordan stays over the Hill before we bury Mike D’Anotni underneath it.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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It’s been a year long punching bag.  Larry Drew sucks, he has no idea how to grow a young team, and because he plays guys different minutes every night the Bucks are atrocious and have no cohesion.  But that’s nothing new, as he was awarded the first Razzball Worst NBA Coach Razzie.  It’d be a wonder if he could do anything right!  Yesterday, I said Ramon Sessions might be the best player on that team (and he got a ridiculous 20 minutes to show for it Sunday), and Larry Screw actually paid attention to my advice!  Sessions started last night against the Clips, played 44 minutes, making the most of it.  Shot a ridiculous 13-21 (2-3 3PTM) for 28/6/7.  While this game was nice, and I maintain he’s probably the best fantasy asset on the Bucks right now, he’s not necessarily the best pickup.  The Bucks have only two more games this week, Thursday against the Lakers (which you obviously love) then Sunday against the Heat (not so much).  Plus it’s the Bucks and we all know how Larry Screwballs can jack things up.  I picked him up in one league just to lock down that Thursday game since it’s a light slate with only four games.  If you can afford to do that, Sessions is your man.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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I imagine if you’re reading this, you have an injury or two on your fantasy roster, and you need promenade left to do-si-do your way into week 2. I don’t know where I’m going with this analogy, I’m more of an electric bugaloo type myself. But while I may not understand the allure of square dancing, I do understand all too well how an injury can derail your playoff hopes. I lost Kyrie Irving, and Jameer Nelson this week, and I will be hard pressed to make it past my opponent. There are more cats out than just those two: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Nikola Pekovic, Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Jamal Crawford, and the list goes on. So what’s a fantasy owner to do? You already know the answer, and it sucks the sack: Captain Obvious reminds you that you have to look long and hard at your situation, and decide whether you can afford to hold onto your injured player, or to drop him, because he can’t help you if you don’t make it to the semis. Of the few I just listed, only Kyrie, Jamal, LaMarcus and Nikola are pretty much guaranteed to be out for the weekend at least, perhaps into the semi finals week, so take that into consideration. If you do decide to drop somebody, here’s, in my opinion, the best of the waiver:

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Remember back in the day when you played Oregon Trail every waking moment?  I only sorta remember because I kept getting dysentery…  But I imagine an update should have the mythical creature of LaMarcus Aldridge as some sort of omnipotent deity that you hope comes to your aid.  “Your wagon is stuck in quick sand, use 1 of 3 remaining LaMarcus Aldridge summons?”  Hells yea!  And then I need him to save my oxen.  Huge game from LA last night putting up a career-high points and a sick 44/13/5/0/2 line including 14-17 FT while the crowd chanted “M-V-P” all 4th quarter.  Scored the last 15 points, went 8-8 at the stripe in the last 70 seconds, all in a 5-point win.  The Nuggets just had nothing for him inside when he was crashing the glass, and LA was boarding like a beast.  I know he’s had a lot of Goromotaros, but almost all the boards he got in this one were in traffic.  And the Nuggets were fouling him extremely hard all 4th quarter.  Gonna need an ice bath!  All he has to do is come to the east coast and jump in a lake.  One of my worst calls of the year was my poor Aldridge ranking, but if you can’t get it right, join em!  Or something like that… Traded for him in REL and in another league.  I don’t know why owners were pulling a Kurt Russell and trying to Escape From L.A., but enjoy your huge stats and the first-round value you’re accruing.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA news and action:

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JB really made me proud a few days ago. I guess it’s become kind of a ritual for us now. I know laser tag in an arena is fun and all but we needed real world experience. We decided the best place to hone our skills was to play at our local mall… at high noon. Of course we dress up in our best urban camouflage, for me it’s a simple business suit, that way I can stealthily weave in between what I’ve come to call the ‘zombie horde’. I never know what to expect from JB. He got me a few times with his police uniform but it hasn’t worked well recently so he adjusts. On this day he wore his most villainous of camouflage, the stripper schoolgirl, we have the mall security footage to prove it. But that’s neither here nor there, we were celebrating a match well played at the Candy World when two kids started rap battling in between the Pop Rocks and the Laffy Taffy. I thought they both played the role better than Jamie Kennedy, they’re accents were especially spot on. The hilarity of the situation wasn’t lost on anyone except of course, the two kids.

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Now, I never went to a boarding school… I was stuck in the public schooling circuit, and just could never rebound.  I was like Andrea Bargnani or Brook Lopez down there.  Domineering over some little men, but the boards just never came my way… Enter J.J. Hickson, who despite being a tad undersized has always been a solid boarder, and racked up 19 last night for an 18/19 night.  Near Goromotaro!  Just one putback slammah-jammah and he’s seeing 20/20.  A little laser eye surgery.  I liked Hickson a lot when JaVale McGee went down, and he’s proved he needs to be owned virtually everywhere like I said 8 days ago.  In the five games since, Hickson has at least 8 boards, double-figures in four of five, and a block every night.   Even if Shaqtin-a-McGee is able to get back within his original time frame, McGee just isn’t able to play the big starter’s minutes and Hickson is going to maintain this value either starting at the 5 or playing out his minutes as an early sub.  If you’re hurtin’ for boards, be sure the recent grad from the boarding school isn’t sitting on your wire.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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There comes a time in every man’s life when he must admit defeat.  Like when your girlfriend demands to know why you can’t just remember to put the toilet seat down.  You can try to explain to her that the house is haunted and you would never be so inconsiderate.  From experience I must say its not as convincing as it sounds in your head.  The only correct response is to hang your head in shame and say, “I’m sorry”.  Older bench players like Mo Williams and Nate Robinson are my toilet seats.  I can’t seem to put them down and I will undoubtedly hang my head in shame when I do finally drop them.  Why not skip that uncomfortable feeling all together?  Why not take an unknown player who may blossom into a fantasy star?  Here are a couple of bigs that I believe will outperform players like Omer Asik (63% owned), Samuel Dalembert (52% owned), and Luis Scola (42% owned).

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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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