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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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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Hmmmm, ok, who did you pick in you office “who scores 40 points tonight” pool?  I bet the Vegas odds were… a million to one on Nick Young.  “So you’re saying there’s a chance!”  Too bad Nick Young sucks in fantasy.  You actually have to go back 15 games to find him putting up a 5 in any counting stat other than treys.  The ThrAGNOF fairy strikes again!  Dude went a preposterous 15-26 (6-13 3PTM 4-5 FT) 40/4/1/2/0 and only had one turnover last night.  The Blazers should be ashamed.  I’m pretty sure this game never actually happened, and it was some sort of elaborate April Fool’s joke.  Swaggy P shockingly led the Lakers in minutes off the bench, and with his shoot first, ask questions later attitude, Mike D’Anotni’s rape stache kept curling upwards in facial hair glee.  By the end of the game (and yes, another Lakers loss), D’Anotni’s mustache looked like Rollie Fingers.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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The Finals are here (well for RCL and most standard H2H leagues)!  And if you’re like me, and you didn’t have Kevin Durant or LeBron James on any of your teams and got knocked out, it’s baseball time!  Shameless plug!  Starting next Monday, you can check out my Pitcher Profiles if you’re about to hopscotch to baseball as well.  To those of you still in your fantasy basketball playoffs, I HATE YOU!  Haha just kidding.  It was a whirlwind of sports going on over the weekend: rounding out my baseball drafts/opening night, whittling down to the Final Four in March Madness, Hank Dobson’s Mini-Mart and Country performing on the uneven parallel bars in the Independent Nations Games.  A wild time.  But what sparked my eye, or ruffled my gander, or something like that the hardest was D.J. Augustin going career-high on us with 33 Pts.  Ended his night with a 33/1/3/1/0 line shooting 10-14 (3-4 3PTM 10-10 FT) in a %s dominatrix.  My safe word is “gimme more assists!”  A huge Sunday sendoff and a big bounce back from that Turd Ferguson earlier in the week against the Pacers.  He’s a guy I bet a lot of scuffling teams dropped while streamboating in the playoffs and should be owned in your title run.  Not to be confused with your “tittie run”, which might be the most enjoyable 5K anyone could come up with it.  Here’s what else I saw over the busy weekend in NBA action:

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Isn’t it nice when everything falls into place?  Like when you drive home from work and catch nothing but green lights all the way.  I’m not sure what you call that feeling.  I say I’m not sure, not because I can’t use a thesaurus, but because I don’t have those kinds of days anymore.  I’m sorry to sound all doom and gloom but at this time of year, when I’m dropping one of my favorite players from my fantasy team – one that I followed for every game – I can’t help but react negatively.  I know it’s not his fault, or the team, or even the ghost of David Stern.  What, he’s not dead?  If you say so.  Really there isn’t any fault at all, besides the ghost obviously, I just needed more games or I’m not going to win my semifinals match-up.  So if you are like me and you’re barely holding onto your last breath of hope in the semis here’s a handful of widely available players to get that last couple of points, or boards, or just whatever it’s going to take stay alive and play for the championship:

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Perhaps the funniest catch phrase I made up with my buddies while watching the NBA through college -”Wahhhhhh I’m Jarrett Jack!” – can be used in so many instances.  It’s like Brian Dennehy’s speech about how versatile the F-Bomb is when he played Bobby Knight in an ESPN movie.  Whomever greenlit that idea, airing a movie with constant F-Bombs on ESPN2, is probably fired.  He’s like, “Don’t fire me!  Wahhhhhhhhh!  Wahhhhhhhhhhh, I’m Jarrett Jack!”  I use this phrase because every time I seem to watch him, he looks so so sad.  And just look at the cover screen grab for the Yahoo recap from the game last night!  So after Kyrie Irving flexed his guns too hard, Jack had three starts of very uninspiring ball.  Mike Brown sat him down and said he needed more from him.  The veteran responded, “Wahhhhhhhhh I’m Jarrett Jack!”   Then last night rolled around with the Knicks rolling out Raymond Felton to play defense.  Seriously, it’s like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with the blueberry chick.  The only difference is Felton actually ate the meals and didn’t chew the LSD-laced gum!  After a minute or two, Felton was winded, and went “Wahhhhhhhh, I have to guard Jarrett Jack!”  Jack lit up the terrible Knicks D for 31/5/10 with a trey and a side of whoopass.  Finally kicking it into gear as the starter, Jack has a four-gamer cooking up for week two of the playoffs, with my eye eagerly on Wednesday at the awful Pistons.  It doesn’t really matter who he’s playing, pretty much a must own.  Of course, in all my leagues where I’m still alive, he was already snatched up.  “Wahhhhhhhhh, I’m Jarrett Jack!”  Here’s what else I caught over the weekend in NBA action:

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In case you haven’t noticed I’ll go ahead and state the obvious, I don’t like to lose.  What’s that?  You don’t either?  Good, because it’s that time of year once again when we find out just what lengths we’ll go to to insure an early playoff victory.  Can you drop a player who’s been one of your most productive for months?  It’s easy when they’re injured but when you start to see your season about to end can you let the better player walk to gamble on a player with more games?  I can’t make that life altering decision for you but I can offer you a few words of counsel.

First, I ask that you confess your most shameful of fantasy sins, not to me but to yourself.  If you drafted Tristan Thompson and ignored all the warnings then you need to first come to grips with that before you can proceed.  This will be the internal struggle that not until you have accepted will you truly find peace.  Secondly, you must accept that none of us can do this little thing called life, or fantasy basketball, all by ourselves.  There was once and still are people there to guide me and as I write I pass this knowledge on to you.  I know one day you will continue this circle of life and pass the knowledge on to the next generation of fake basketballers.  And third, only you can make the decision to turn your life, or roster, over with this new found knowledge.  In other words, if you post your login/password below I will not make the move for you.  Now my apprentice go forth with this knowledge of weekend streamers and bring us back word of your glorious victory.

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Wow.  Last night was rocky.  For a lot of people.  Hopefully your playoff teams came out of the better end!  Lots of guys with minor injuries were forced to sit, and within only minutes of each other Nikola Vucevic and Josh Smith got ejected in different games.  Pretty much like the wild west out there!  Next thing you know, I’m quoting Will Smith from that god forsaken movie… “Let me kindly stand up!”  Probably the biggest benefactor in what will be dubbed “DNP-Day” was Aaron Brooks, who started for Ty Lawson who had “illness”.  Wow, that sounds ominous.  Brooks went all 2009 on us, and posted a redonk 27/6/17 line.  Dude, if you played in a daily league or if you were streaming Brooks for the dimes, you just got a major sign from the fantasy gods.  “You, my son, are blessed with stats that overfloweth!”  Distribute some to us less fortunate ones!  The Nugs play again on Friday, and it’s tough to say what Lawson’s status will be by then.  Ricky Rubio went bonkers on the Mavs last night (more below), so if Brooks does get the start – cue the Pavlovian salivating.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops action (and if you get here early enough, be sure to sign up for the Razzball NCAA Bracket pool with a fun prize to the winner!):

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Twas the first night of the playoffs, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even Eddie House.  Wait, I can’t rhyme house and House.  At least I would think not, I tried to tell my buddies who listen to rap that Rick Ross’ “Everyday I’m Hustlin” is lazy because he rhymes Atlantic with Atlantic.  “But they are different uses of Atlantic!”  Pssssh.  Wow, way off track.  The playoff brackets were hung on the league sites with care, all in hopes St. Terrence Jones would be there.  And be there he was!  “Stop it with all the Christmas shizz, it’s March already!”  Don’t start a war on Christmas with me, intolerable commenter!  Dwight Howard was a late scratch with an ankle, and while we all know TJones starts anyway, it opened a bigger void for the TJ.  TJ Entered the Void.  Lots of minutes for the TJ.  38 in fact, for 30/5/1/1/4 hitting three treys and not having a single TO.  Now, before you go crazy sauce on me, remember this was against a defending force of Marvin Williams and Enes Kanter.  Jones got whatever he wanted.  The Jazz were singing to him like Selena Gomez.  Oh man, wow, sad that I know that… Anyway, Dwight will be back for the Rox next game on Thursday and I’m not ready to snatch up TJ really any differently that I was before.  We all know his upside and the situation was ripe – this was against a terrible team and an influx of minutes from a last second scratch.  I think TJ could easily disappoint his next few given his sparse usage when Dwight returns.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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So, the playoffs are looming, duh. If you made it this far, looking into the first playoff week, I applaud you. I’m a nervous fantasy owner,  as I’ve never had a Cobra-Kai caliber team, one that looks to absolutely dominate in the playoffs, and gets all the chicks.

So if you’re like me, (fact: the number of Clubber Lang ass kicking teams out there are very few, so don’t get cocky), most of you you need to take a close look at your line up, and try to remove the attachment factor, when assessing your current roster’s talent. The thing that makes most fantasy managers difficult to trade with, myself included, which is over-valuing your current talent. Who is dead weight, who’s a streamer, and who is blue chip? Before you start worrying your pretty head with all that talent evaluation, it is absolutely essential that you first read Slim’s super duper article on the strategy of availability. It puts players in perspective. Not that I would suggest dropping Chris Paul or the other Blue Chippers on the Clippers, just because they play 2 games week 1 of the playoffs; but in the case of CP3, for example, you may need to focus on guard-typical stats from your streamer, as opposed to big-typical stats week 1. Make sense? Good. Here are a few cats you might be able to use off the wire:

Please, blog, may I have some more?