Man, what a huge night it was across the NBA with nearly every team in action.  It obviously all starts with the shocker Philly put on the Heat, and Michael Carter-Williams‘ unreal debut.  I was following with my co-workers during the game and tweeted that if he got a triple-double in his first NBA game, the universe would implode.  Thankfully MCW was a steal short and we’re all still here.  His final line of 6-10 (4-6 3PTM 6-8 FT) 22 Pts 7 Rebs 12 Asts and 9 Stls might actually win some owners their matchups this week on its own.  Just preposterous.  Most steals in NBA history in a player’s debut.  Ok before we all go nutso, remember the Heat played without Dwayne Wade (rest), don’t have a PG, and had all their hands weighed down with new championship rings.  So that’s not really an excuse, but so what?!  The shooting efficiency was fantastic (the biggest knock on him coming into the year), plus he had only one turnover (his second main knock).  “Nice knockers!”  Thanks Young Frankenstein!  MCW indeed moves up a fair bit in value in my eyes, but this is likely his best line on the year.  MCW was wildly inconsistent in college and I don’t expect much consistency on a terrible 76ers team (I know they just beat the Heat, but c’mon).  Look for John Wall to lock him up on Friday and cool the hype.  Despite inconsistencies, it goes without saying that MCW should be owned in all leagues now (78% Yahoo, 59.4% ESPN), so if for some reason he’s available in your league, you gotta get him.  I’m not expecting MCW to be an elite player, but will continue to contribute even in down games.  Here’s what else I saw across Fantasy Basketball last night:

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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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Welcome to my second round.  The second round is on me!  That way I can buy all cheaper/low-shelf swill and not look like a cheapskate [underutilized word].  Seriously, try that next time you’re out.  Well, to be honest it only really works on the 8th or 9th round.  “What is in this snake juice?!” “It’s basically rat poison!”  “Baba Booey!”

So these guys are all still elite talents, just have those lingering question marks that would have me passing on them.  I know you’re all gonna yell at Paul George being a second rounder for me, I have comment ESP!  Here’s how I see the remainder of the top 20 with off-season adjustments (previous ranks from my Off-Season Rankings are in parentheses before this re-rank):

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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 Devin Kharpertian from leading Brooklyn Nets blog The Brooklyn Game.

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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 fun 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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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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As I mentioned earlier this week, there is still a ton of things to cover, let’s just dive right in:

It’s obviously a good ways down the road, but a lot of people are optimistic for a return for the opener next year for Rajon Rondo.  As we saw from Derrick Rose this past year, that has me horrified.  Rondo tore his ACL on January 25th and Rose on April 28th and we didn’t see the latter now for a full year.  Even if Rondo can beat the timetable Rose has had by a two months (returning in only 10 months), that will still have him returning in late November, missing a month of the season.  Rose and Rondo both rely on slashing and agility for their games, and while the clear caveat that their injuries and bodies are different, I’m probably avoiding a 3rd or 4th round pick on Rondo.

Sticking with the Celtics, Jeff Green had some mammoth games while Kevin Garnett missed some time with injuries.  While he won himself a starting gig, we saw some inconsistency when Green was in there with both Paul Pierce and Garnett.  If Garnett returns, I won’t buy into Green’s price tag (even though there will be a built in amount of time with no Garnett with definite injuries), but if Garnett retires or for some reason isn’t in Boston green, I’ll probably be a big Jeff Green buyer.

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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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If you’re looking for fantasy basketball salvation this Easter weekend, Andre Drummond may be the closest your team gets playoff savior. He’s the missing link, drop everything and go pick him up! After missing two months with a back injury, rookie Andre Drummond returned to the court last night to start at center and scored 17 points (80 FG%) with 4 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Drums has massive rebounding upside that we didn’t even see last night. In 13 January games before the injury, Dre averaged 8.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. Translation: dude is an absolute beast on the boards. You can ask Greg Monroe (11 pts, 13 reb), Andre’s words-with-friend and personal mentor. With Drums figuring to be a huge part of the future of the Pistons, it’s hard to imagine they won’t give him every opportunity to play in the few games there is left. Drummond’s free throw percentage is rough, but the defensive stats are there and his upside alone makes him a great add in all leagues, especially for those in need of rebounds and blocks.  With the waiver wire scraps getting thinner by the day, Andre Drummond could definitely warrant a spot on your fantasy playoff roster.

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

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I wonder what the public opinion really is on Anonymous, the computer hacking collective… I like them, they expose top-level greed – a mix between Russell Crowe in Robin Hood and in The Insider.  OK so he wasn’t a hacker in The Insider, but did the same type thing Anonymous does.  Anonymous hacked Bank of America last month and found they were using worthless Social Media searches to profile activists and their salary information was on a server in Tel Aviv.  Say what?  I thought it was Bank of ‘Murica not Bank of Israel!  Well the Orlando Magic knew they needed some hacking to try and beat the Lakers with Dwight Howard returning to Orlando last night.  With the crowd booing Howard from the moment he stepped on the floor, the Magic tried some psychological warfare, fouling Dwight every opportunity and giving him 39 free throw attempts.  Thirty-nine!  I don’t think I’ve taken that many free throws ever.  Now imagine 15,000 fans yelling at you every time.  Dwight made 25 of em, capping a 39-16 and 3 block night in his return to O-Town.  One of the best returns to a former team in NBA history, but the Magic just plain handed him 25 of those points.  The Magic are terrible (minus Tobias Harris – read below) and the Lakers, while a soap opera, I think make the playoffs.  A good career move for Dwight.  Just hope he doesn’t store his salary on a server in Tel Aviv.

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?