We’re only but a few games into the 2014-2015 NBA season and we’ve already had a lot injuries to promising young players. Here’s the Week 1 injury update:

After getting an inadvertent elbow to the face in practice, Victor Oladipo is out for the first month of the season with a facial fracture. No injury is a blessing, but the time off will give Oladipo ample time to rest his MCL. He had previously missed games in the preseason due to the sprained MCL in his right knee.

Elfrid Payton will continue to start at point guard, with or without Oladipo in the lineup. There will be some growing pains, but he’s a star in the making. To replace Oladipo at shooting guard, the Magic will rely on Ben Gordon and Evan Fournier. Ben Gordon is coming off of a horrible season, where he averaged 5.2 ppg in 14.7 mpg. His minutes, scoring, and field goal percentages have all declined in the last three years. Now he could have a game or two where he explodes for some threes, like he did against the Wizards on Thursday (22 points on 7-12 shooting), but I wouldn’t count on it and waste a roster spot waiting for those games. He scored only 5 points on 1-8 shooting in the first game. Gone are the days where he is worthy of a fantasy spot.

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Ugh…

So any readers out there grow up in that emo scene or get into any of that stuff at the turn of the century?  I was all about the band Thursday’s CD Full Collapse, and man, listening back to it now is ridiculous!  Even in high school I could make fun of the music that was going on then, talking about how emo bands had a crier.  But Paris in Flames legit sounds like there’s some dude in the corner cry-yelling!  Hey, it beats the Slipnkot dude who’s one job is to bang the trashcan lid…

Where to start with the cryfest?  I think we gotta go with Russell Westbrook, and well, hold a seance for all Thunder fans right now.  Sustained a fracture in his hand last night, and will likely miss about a month.  We’ll know more by later today, but I think OKC should change their uniforms to the Bubble Boy outfits.  Look where that movie took Jake Gyllenhaall!  Kinda hard not to think about picking up Sebastian Telfair, but he’s still behind the Donald Sloan-types.  Shooting up with some medium-term value is Reggie Jackson if his ankle heals up.  I’d look to see if he was dropped in your league, as now he’s a dynamite hold until healthy, as long as it’s not another month for him as well… We still don’t really have a clear picture, so I think Telfair can make a couple starts.

Then the other biggie… My Panthers… I was actually at the game, and man, the amount of angst and frustration in the stands really could’ve been an emo wah-party.  Pop quiz, who had more TOs – Cam or the main Cav?!  Well, it was the main Cav, but we’ll start there and then get into everything else that went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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It’s finally here!  “The lockout is over!”  You’re like, “wtf, a lockout?!”  I’m quoting a Dave Cowens commercial!  And after the 98-99 Lockout at that!  Anything vintage Hornets is nostalgic gold right now.  Ridiculous amounts of bonus points to readers who are Hornets fans and remember that commercial and/or can find the video.  Because I couldn’t!

The return of the Hornets is one of the many things I’m looking forward to this year.  Getting past my horrific Jonas Valanciunas love, finally changing the page to a new season, is another.  But one of the biggest is a healthy (for now) Kobe Bryant and the return of the “Guess Kobe Bryant’s Stat Line”!  Even if you’re a long-time reader, you might not know this one!  It’s like the NBA scheduled the Lakers on a light opening night just for this momentous Razzball event, not because the Lakers are a widely popular team or anything…

I don’t remember exactly what spawned this prestigious contest, but as with everything that is oddly conversational in Razzball, traditions can start any time!  Like how we all guessed what Kobe would do, the like, 5 games he played last year.  So in order to carry this tradition, and to accurately-ish credit the winner, guess the Kobe line will be limited to the PTS/REB/AST projection to determine the victor.  Feel free to guess more stats than that, but when we did it last year with steals and blocks and turnovers, it was hard to say which commenter was closer than another.  The winner gets a shout out in the recap the next day, along with the jealous ire of all other Razzballers… I think Kobe has a big one in the opener vs. Houston… I’m going 31/5/6.  Shoot your guesses below, and happy return to Fantasy Basketball!  We’re pumped for our biggest season to date here at Razzball, and thanks to everyone for checking us out through the offseason!

Here’s some other news and notes since the last wrap-up, and what I’ll be focusing on for opening night (and we’re daily every weekday with the wrap-ups here on out!):

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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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Well, there’s certainly been no lack of news this past week!  No fantasy sport is safe from injuries, even in the preseason!  Well, maybe fantasy fishing (yes, I’ve played it!).

As reported everywhere, even on tweens.com (I hope that’s not a real site and/or not an illegal site!  Not gonna find out in my web history!), Kevin Durant has a broken bone in his foot, and the initial timetable in 6-8 weeks.  But of course given it’s KD, and we’re nearing the home stretch of the fantasy drafting window, there’s all sorts of shrouds of uncertainty.  First there’s surgery vs. non-surgery, which I’m guessing the latter involves rum and Jobu, but I’m no voodoo.  Despite my limited knowledge on Jones fractures, I am hoping he opts for the surgery.  If he doesn’t get it, it seems like Durant is playing with fire.  We saw the Thunder bring back Westbrook earlier than expected last year with his knee issues, then he suffered re-injury (of course, causation is merely speculative).  Which leads to point number two – either way you look at it surgery vs. non-surgery, Jones fractures are all sorts of tricky.  Lingering issues, re-injuring it, it’s all up in the air. My perspective is Durantula has been healthy for virtually his whole career, spanning 7 seasons.  So I’m optimistic he can be a fast healer, and splitting the difference of 6-8 weeks to 7 weeks out.  Given when news broke, that’s missing just over a month of the regular season.

In my re-ranks I published yesterday, I only moved KD down to 2 with Anthony Davis up to #1 (side note - found this article with NBA MVP odds, how can I hop in on this?!  Brow 25/1?!  I’ll throw $10 on him to win $250!).  In H2H, if you’re a confident manager, you can stream and bear a .500 record for a month.  Then you have KD for the playoffs!  I think if you try to sell right now in a panic if you’ve already drafted, or let him fall too far in your draft, you’ll be kicking yourself in the postseason.  All that said, in Roto, I’m probably letting him fall until at least the middle of the first round.  Having by far the best per-game player for the fantasy playoffs weeks obviously doesn’t matter.  Hopefully by early next week there’s a little more clarity on Durant, and I’ll have one final rankings revision next Wednesday.  Here’s what else has gone down in fantasy hoops since the last wrap-up (which will be daily during the season!):

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rcl-basketball-logo

Whoa, drafts are starting already?!  The early bird catches the predator!  Wait, I don’t think I got that right…  Getting a draft done early after all this rankings work was a liberating, yet headache-inducing experience. People have been looking at my ranks too much!  Razzball Nation is going to a tough customer in their fantasy leagues this year… If you’re itching to start a Fantasy Basketball league, we need more RCL commishes to host a league just like this one, so hop over and start and RCL League today!

Overall, I’m iffy on my first team.  I think I like it.  Has a little too much youth – but just how the draft went.  “Enough noodling, show us your goods!”  “What if my goods are a noodle!?”  Here’s how the draft went last night, and my pick-by-pick analysis below:

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the top 100.  After a week filled with triumphs, successful trades going through, and possibly the biggest news of the offseason – Jared Dudley getting moved.  I couldn’t finish the top 100 without knowing where Dudley would be!  The ramifications would be catastrophic!  So past 75 you’re starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel.  The dregs of the cask.  Which means it’s sleeper land!  Bring out the sleeper patrol!  And a lot of times if you hit on just one of these and avoid injuries in your early rounds, you’re set for a playoff run.  Here’s my top 100 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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Free agency is here!  It has been a bit mum since the FA pool is awaiting that LeBron James cannonball, leaving us without a good snapshot of how the league will look in 2014-15.  But we’ve got Summer League getting into gear and a couple interesting FA moves.

With the The Decision 2.0 on hold, even P.J. Hairston is antsy and trying to get some ball in.  According to reports, he got into a fight with a high school senior, literally at the YMCA closest to the one where I play pickup (Chapel Hill).  While some guys are really good at Chapel Hill, there aren’t any NBA players actin’ a fool and calling three in the key!  This is likely a non-story, but it just makes you shake your head.  Almost as much as my former rookie nookie Archie Goodwin getting arrested at an Arkansas skating rink.  Sure, you can tweet “Don’t assume if you don’t know the whole story…” to which I say, “the hell you gonna get into that kinda situation at a skating rink for!”  Man, that pine gonna stay warm this year, Archie!  Here’s some other [actually useful for fantasy] news and notes of free agent signings and early Summer League performances:

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Brewers baby!  Best record in baseball.  9 in a row.  Oh yea, this is basketball, but man!  My Brewers are unstoppable!  And it carried over to the hardwood, when Corey Brewer had maybe the most preposterous, out-of-nowhere game all year.  I actually did highlights for the Wolves Rockets game Friday night, and it was like watching a pickup game where one guy was just light years better than everyone else.  Slice-n-dice, no need to take shots.  In the first quarter, I leaned over to a co-worker and said Brewer is having the game of his life.  Made me look smart!  Going in with a career-high of 29, Brewer dropped 51 on like, a trillion layups and pick 6s.  51/2/1/6/0, and just how everyone learned from Oliver, “you’ve got to pick a pocket or two!”  Or six.  And probably 5 of them led to uncontested layups, but he did have some pretty sick and-ones for good measure.  Deeper leaguers that had Brewer probably thought stat tracker was broken Friday night.  I’ve always been a Brewer fan, it was sad to have to trade him to Slim, but when Kevin Martin and Kevin Love returned, it was cool down time for the NBA’s Brew Crew on Sunday, going for only 10 and two steals.  Regardless, I love that Brewer now gets to share a milestone with Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Rick Barry as the only guys to go 50+ with 6+ steals.  One of these is not like the other!  Good for Brewer, and if the Wolves indeed deal Love and/or let K-Mart walk, Brewer could be pretty interesting next year.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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“Whoa JB, two straight titles with ‘Triple Double’ in em.  You get an F for creativity, ya wank!”  Well, I have an F for you troll commenter!  Hard not to talk about trip dubs, especially when you have only two games and with under ten seconds left the dude hurts himself again.  Monster line from Blake Griffin in the loss to the Mavs, putting up 25/10/11/1/1 on 9-23 shooting, with 7-7 FT.  After missing a game with back spasms, Blake was able to suit up and was no worse for the wear.  For 47:51 that is.  Well, except maybe getting posterized by Brandan Wright.  Bias alert!  TNT didn’t show A SINGLE replay of that dunk.  Say whaaaa?!  Anyway, with under 10 seconds left, Blake took an inbounds pass and rolled his ankle on the court with no contact.  They were down six anyway!  Reminds me of Rob Gronkowski on the special teams and breaking his arm on a PAT up like 30 points.  Eh, maybe not the best comparison, but the game was over!  He said his back is ok and his ankle is fine, he’s just clumsy.  “Clumsy Clara!”  We’ll get more updates throughout the day, but if he has some swelling in that ankle or his back is still jacked when he gets up this morning, we might get a DNP.  Which spells terror for title bids coming into the final weekend for standard leagues.  Spells apocalypse.  Which ironically I found hard to spell for the longest while… The horror.  The horror…  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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