Slam Dunk Contest winners scare me.

There’s pretty much no in between with these dudes. Other than, say, Nate Robinson, they’re either future all-stars or total duds. For every Michael Jordan there’s a Harold Miner. For every Kobe Bryant there’s a Fred Jones. For every Dominque Wilkins, there’s a Brent Barry.

And then there’s Gerald Green, who is definitely not an NBA jobber, but is not quite an all-star yet. Not really sure if he ever will be, and what scares me most is that while he was a pretty awesome dunker, he’ll always be known as a gimmick dunker for his Birthday Cake Dunk. And being a gimmick dunker is kind of like being a gimmick wrestler on the order of Koko B. Ware or the Gobbledy Gooker.

In a way, it would be interesting if Green never was an all-star, because he wouldn’t be the first 6-7-ish wing sixth man for the Suns who can run the floor, shoot from distance, was on the same team as Jeff Hornacek and never made the All-Star Team.

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I gotta say, last night might have been one of the most exhilarating early season nights of NBA action that I can remember for some time.  Career-highs, two buzzer beaters, a triple double, upset Ws… It was awesome.

Before we get into how the city of Cleveland can just give up hope… again… if you haven’t noticed on the main page of the site, Slim is in need of a new didgeridoo!  When my awful Hornets somehow beat the Heat, he took his frustration out on his favorite instrument, banging the wood in fervent frustration.  Wow, that sounded wrong!  But Razzball Nation can help!  Click on his donate button there to help him buy a new didgeridoo, for any value you wish, especially as a thanks for helping with the comments in the wee hours of the morning whilst I beauty sleep snuggled up with my Brandon Knight blow up doll.

But before that mental image is indefinitely burnt into your subconscious, let’s get back to action on the court where the big game was obviously the Jazz knocking off the Cavs on a Gordon Hayward buzzer beating fader.  “Look Butler fans, I can hit big buzzer beater shots!”  Awwwww, low blow… The Cavs had all sorts of terrible sluiced through their stats, like six, count em, SIX assists in the entire game.  Four were from LeBron too.  I guess the other Cavs want to prove to LeBron they all can be ball hogs.  In contrast, the Spurs had six assists on their first six field goals in their win last night…  But not like they’re a model franchise or anything!

As NBA fans, which all of us are even if we care more about fantasy than anything else, last night was a winner.  I guess unless you’re a David Lee owner, or Cleveland fan… There’s always Green, or the Browns tonight!  Colors to the rescue!  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops action:

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You might as well set up a Civil War style triage on the Thunder bench, because somebody has the team set of Thunder voodoo dolls and isn’t wasting any time!  Adding to this virtually unprecedented injury wave to hit an NBA team through only week one of the season, Perry Jones knocked knees for the second game in a row; this time in a ton of pain and had to exit.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the Thunder depth chart on Rotoworld, where the red S means sidelined:

Oklahoma City Thunder Depth Chart

Oklahoma City Red S-es!  And while a “knee contusion” usually wouldn’t worry me too much, George Hill had the same deal and he’s going to be out until late-November is sounds…

On the plus side, Serge Ibaka is absolutely en fuego out there.  25/11/2/0/1 and forced to take contested jumpers the whole night, but hit 11-14 including three treys.  And played 46 minutes out of desperation!  The blocks will come, so if you got Serge late round 1 (like we had him) or round 2, you’ve got something of your own surging in your pants.

On the negative side, Reggie Jackson is playing with some ill-advised reckless abandon.  I mean, give the kid some props for playing through numerous injuries last night, but he ended up with his butt on the hardwood more often then Paris Hilton.  Had a fantastic slash of 13/4/14 but hurt his wrist limiting him to 4-14 FG (0-6 3PTM).  Plus the ankle still looks gimpy.  I know the upside is immense the next month, but I might try to sell RJax high after watching this game.  It was like watching Denard Robinson at Michigan.  I’m not a huge college football fan, but my dad went there and I watch parts of most games, and Shoelace is still the most dynamic player I’ve ever seen in Maize & Blue.  But he seemed to leave early almost every game, getting battered and beaten up.

The Thunder need to do everything and anything to get healthy, with three straight off days until Friday.  My recommendations include – every player eating a live octopus chasing it with raw eggs, hiring the Wolverine (Jackman, not Denard) for some mutant healing blood, and calling Mrs. Cleo to figure out which guy will be hurt on Friday and benching him.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy action:

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With the season just a few days away, I’ll be covering the latest injury news for all those last minute drafters. Guys will be held out of preseason games for various ailments, so don’t overreact to every DNP in the preseason box scores. I can’t cover every NBA injury, but will try to cover the biggest injuries to start the season.

Unless you have been living under a rock over the summer, you have seen Paul George’s gruesome injury. He broke his leg in an US Olympic Team scrimmage. The leg injury has a 12-18 month timetable so George will be out for the entire regular season. He may play in the playoffs, but that doesn’t affect us fantasy players.

In redraft leagues, you don’t draft George. He won’t be playing this season, but should return to form the following year. In dynasty leagues, it gets a little trickier. If your team isn’t competing this year, then definitely invest a mid-round pick on him and stash him for the next season. If you think you can compete this year, get someone else who will play this year.

With George’s injury and Lance Stephenson’s trade to the Charlotte Hornets, there will be a lot of playing time and statistics up for grabs. Larry Bird says that the offense will rely more on George Hill. He’s never been the focal point of the offense so there may be some growing pains, but he’s a solid career shooter (44.8 FG%, 80.8 FT%, and 37.1 3FP%) and with increases in the counting stats, should be a solid mid-round value. He’s suffered a knee contusion, but should be ready to go for the start of the season.

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the final 50.  Sean Connery.  Kevin Costner.  Tons of Great Depression-esque costumes.  I’d imagine if you’re in a deep league and looking at the field below with your last pick or two, you’re feeling something like this:

It’s pretty hopeless, as in 12-teamers these are all likely guys you’re merely starring on your watch list post draft.  There’s some questionable talent, some questionable roles, maybe even someone that’ll give you The Grapes of Wrath, but some untapped upside!  Here’s my top 200 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the double digit rounds.  The debate over Scrub A or Scrub B.  We don’t want no scrubs!  Well, play in a shallower league then!  People say you win your leagues in the later rounds.  I don’t know who these people are, but they’re probably jaded after drafting Derrick Rose in the 2nd round last year.  Where’s the violins?!  What I would say, is if you hit on one guy in the late rounds with 30th or 40th overall value, you’re set.  75% of your last picks are probably going to be drops.  So 75% of your late picks will be passes to Brandon LaFell.  Wrong sport!  Still bitter about how bad he was… Go Kelvin Benjamin!  Aka my favorite Panther.  Stay focused!  Here’s my top 150 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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As we head into August, now is a perfect time to take a look back at the free agency period for the upcoming 2014-15 NBA season.

While there is one big name yet to sign (Eric Bledsoe), a few less-intriguing options still on the market (Michael Beasley, Andray Blatche, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford), and another who’s unsure whether he’ll play or retire (Ray Allen), most of the fantasy basketball world knows where guys will be playing this season.  Of course, that still doesn’t include the possibility of Kevin Love finding a new home by the end of the summer, but that could be the subject of an entirely different article.

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Love will land in Cleveland, which will make them a huge force in the Eastern Conference — and in the entire NBA.

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So one of my favorite Charlotte Hornets memories was Glen Rice winning the All-Star Game MVP in 1997.  I was still a chitlin, but even then I knew the Hornets were the epitome of small market (and moved just a few years later).  Rice seemed like a fill-in bench player (even though he was pretty nasty in 96-97 with a by far career-high 26.8 a game), but went absolutely bonkers in the ASG second half, putting up 20 in the 3rd quarter.  He was hotter than P.J. Hairston in a “yo mama” contest!  I knew the Hornets had no title aspirations (ending up getting swept in the first round), but it made the whole season worth it.

And the Glen Rices of the world now have another, well smaller, trophy on their mantle with Glen Rice Jr. winning the Summer League MVP.  Actually, I’m not sure if he gets a trophy… Maybe just a stack of $1,000 in Belagio chips… Either way, Rice put up a 6-game line of 25/7.8/2.3/2.5/0.5 boosted by a plain stupid 36/11/3/4/0 line with six treys last Saturday.  “Pretend every game is the All-Star game film I always make you watch, son!”  The Wizards boosted their wings (and headband usage) with Paul Pierce brought in, plus Otto Porter should see a lot of minutes off the bench.  But behind Bradley Beal, Martell Webster just had herniated disc back surgery leaving a big early-season gap for backup SG minutes.  Sure Garrett Temple might be able to fill-in, but off the hot Summer, I think Rice Jr. has got some minutes coming his way.  Plus one of the biggest concerns for Beal is his injury risk, so a deep-league gamble on Glenny Jr. could be an interesting flier.  Here’s what else has gone down with Summer League wrapping up and free agency moves:

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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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The injury bug hath claimed another victim, with LaMarcus Aldridge suffering a tough fall in San Antonio on his lower back/coccyx.  What are you doing to us fantasy gods?!  While reports right now is it was only a lower back contusion, you never want to hear “needed a wheelchair to get around the arena.”  Unless you’re Professor X!  Yikes.  As Slim is putting out early this afternoon, the Blazers have a mammoth of a 5-week slate coming up in the second week of the playoffs.  So if you’re an Aldridge owner, I would just thank my blessings, or count my lucky stars, or something like that, if L.A. can indeed give you all five of those.  In the immediacy, Thomas Robinson looks like an interesting pickup for some flashy upside.  “Oh camon JB, Thomas Robinson again!?”  Yup!  And I said it last time and he had a 14/18/2/0/2 in there!  I serious doubt Aldridge will suit up again this week, giving T-Rob some serious run.  We’ll obviously get some more detailed updates throughout the day, so sacrifice a shot of rum to Jobu, or rub your bunions against the carpet, whatever you do to appease the fantasy gods to get a healthy Aldridge back for the postseason.  Here’s what else went down in fantasy action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?