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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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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So these guys aren’t in the top ten.  They automatically hate me and I automatically hate them… Well not really of course, but I want to tease out the drama!

After the first 6 picks, ending with Chris Paul for me, it’s becomes a mess of upside players and seasoned vets all tossed around like Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister.  Then that tornado finished the job last year, ripping off Hunt’s clothes for The Sessions.

Without further ado, here are the guys I’d be ripping my clothes off for to round out my top 20:

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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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What’s a good playoff intro? Should I do the completely played out Jim Mora thing? “Playofffs? Playoffs? You’re talking about playoffs?” Yea, let’s not do that. Let’s just get to the information you crave in the same fashion Beluga whales do fresh Salmon. My chicken and I have a long day tomorrow of watching Game Of Thrones episodes so I’m gonna cut it short. Here’s what happened this weekend in fantasy basketball:

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I bet you haven’t heard and I’m breaking the news… The Heat lost last night!  27 games in a row, down the drain.  One of the most impressive streaks we’ve seen in American sports is over.  However, instead of linking highlights to the game, I think this sketch from one of the best sketch comedy shows Mr. Show encapsulates what happened last night.  David Cross is the Bulls and Bob Odenkirk is the Heat.

Fantasy-wise, the Heat big three had their usual games and Luol Deng was the Bulls top performer with 28 Pts and 4 3PTM.  It was one of the most-hyped, most-talked about regular season NBA games in recent memory, so apologies this isn’t a fantasy-heavy open.  That’s what the rest is for!

Here’s what else went down across a heavy slate of NBA action (yes, there were other games!):

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Shaun Livingston had another nice game Friday night with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in 38 minutes. If you’re waiting for Kyrie Irving to return and save your team, you’re just as sad and depressing as every other Cavs fan and you may be disappointed. Don’t wait till its too late, any player is better than an injured player in the playoffs because injured players don’t play! Fact! Meanwhile, Shaun Livingston is just 12% owned and averaging 12.5 points, 6 assists and 3.5 rebounds in two games starting since Irving went down. He also chipped in 4 steals and a block in that span. Livingston is not a huge scorer, but he could provide decent value in some other categories and will get plenty of burn in the Cleveland back court if you are looking for a player to help down the stretch.

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:

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Every year, there’s a handful of guys that are waiver wire whores and bounce back and forth between owners for spot starts.  It’s like the freshman co-ed dorm; you feel entitled if you’re the first to have one of em riding your roster, but then you feel dirty if you claimed them next.  Enter Jarrett Jack, who before settling into his probable NBA 6th Man Award role, got run off the bench, then a few starts, but never those solidified minutes.  A shoulder injury a few weeks back had the last round of owners jumping ship, but since returning he’s finally ready for a long term commitment. So what if he gave rival owners a little handsy here and rub-a-dub there?  Time for everyone to lock him up Elizabeth Smart style.

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Kevin Garnett sat out Friday night (DNP old and tired) and  Jeff Green finally got his chance to start. Doing the best KG impression he could muster, he tore up Los Suns with a season-high 31 points and added 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 5 blocks. Oh, hello there! What did you say your name was? I don’t believe we’ve met. They traded you for who–Kendrick Perkins!? Pffft! If we step into the Razzball DeLorean back to several weeks ago, let’s see what I said about Jeff: “I don’t think we’ll see the real Jeff Green until he gets his chance to start…If he can ever put it all together he’s got all the tools to be a fantasy stud.” And that’s me quoting me! Green shot a fantastical 11-of-14 from the field, scored 15 in the first half alone and even hit 3 shots from downtown. If you haven’t picked him up yet you should go pick him up now, he’s still available in about a third of yahoo leagues but that number will shoot up over the weekend, especially with the Celtics fans clamoring for Doc Rivers to start Green on a day-to-day basis.  Jeff is averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.5 3pm and 1.5 blk in the past 7 days and after last nights performance is worth adding in all standard leagues if you’re feeling lucky.

Please, blog, may I have some more?