Young players Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo returned to their respective teams last week, after missing the first few weeks due to injury. This week, the Washington Wizards welcomed back shooting guard Bradley Beal. He came off the bench to a standing ovation (or rather, the 25 fans in attendance stood up and cheered), but impressed in his first game of the season. In 26 minutes, Beal scored 20 points, with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 3PTM. It was only one game, but expect Beal to put up similar lines all season. He averaged 17.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 3.3 apg last season and I expect those numbers to rise slightly this year.

Now that Beal is back, owners should move on from Garrett Temple and Otto Porter. Garrett Temple started off hot, but has since cooled off and will go back to being a reserve and defensive replacement. In Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks, Temple threw a 3-pointer off the side of the basket and then air balled another three on the same possession! Porter is more offensively gifted than Temple and will have a good game off the bench here and there, but look elsewhere for more consistent production.

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Wrong calls, right calls, as long as I’m always closing!  I have that same Baldwin-demeanor when I prep my DraftKings line-up.  I rally my players with a speech like that!  The RAZZBALL ONLY CONTEST is back tonight(!); get your entries in now, and the DraftKings only post will be up later in the day.  I don’t ask from much from you loyal readers in Razzball Nation, but let’s get this contest filled out this week!  Click that link there, it’s only $10, and they take no profit, just Razzball v. Razzball, mano y mano.

It was a light night for news with only the two games, so I figured it was a good day for patting my back!  The Ramon Sessions signing clouded an otherwise already dreamy outlook, but I didn’t let it deter me from my Darren Collison love!  Brought in for serious skrilla, the Kings just happened to land a quality guy in Sessions for peanuts, and even though it hasn’t worked out, they don’t have much tied into him.  With two fantastic scorers in Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins, I knew passing on Colly would be folly, and had him green light go!  Obviously I didn’t think he’d be this good, but the joints keep rollin’ with dimebag after dimebag!  17/6/12/1/1 last night, second game in a row with 10+ dimes, and 23:1 AST:TO in that span.  We all knew he could slash, but with the dimes this high and the low TO, he’s turning into a premiere PG.  After last night and owning Kirk Hinrich, Collison was like, “That’s who Tom Thibodeau praises for defense?!  Must be why he praises Krispy Kreme burgers – for the health benefits!”  Here’s what else went down last night in NBA hoops:

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A popular sleeper on draft day (well, made more popular by us!), Markieff Morris had been driving fantasy owners crazier than Joaquin Phoenix in The Master.

Through the first 10 games, Markieff had numbers eerily identical to what he did last year despite four more MPG.  His engine is on hybrid!  But for as atrocious as his previous 4 games were, broke out in a big way against the Celtics for 30/7/5/4/0 hitting 14-21 shots including a trey.  And only 1 TO!  Career-high scoring for Kieff, after four games in a row under 12 and three of those scoring single-digits.  “I found the beef, it’s Jeff Green‘s terrible D!”  While my Kieff teams are loaded with swagger after this big Monday, there is something slightly concerning with his stats.  Only 1-1 FT last night, and now is under half as many FT makes a game compared to last year, in nearly 5 more minutes a game (playing 39 bumped up his minutes finally!).  In 13-14, Kieff-er Sutherland was at 3.2-4.0 at the charity stripe, but is suddenly more like Donald Sutherland and not attacking the cup.  Less driving means fewer OREB (down from last year sinking his REB per-36), and his dimes have fallen a smidge as well.  None of these stats are major, but it seems he’s not creating and the Suns G-rotation is handling all the rock.  Another week of big stats with weak FT numbers and low-ish dimes – on top of Hornacek’s tendency to roll the hot hand, even the starters – and I’d actually sell high.  The steals and handful of blocks are nice, but not loving the lack of aggression and new role as more a spot-shooter, which could make him benchable to Horny a lot of games if he’s cold, something we’ve already seen a little of with the waffley minutes.  Where’s the beef?!  Let’s hope not in the waffles, but ya never know, that could be good!  Fried chicken n waffles is out of this world.  Here’s what else happened on an unusually busy Monday night of action:

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Howdy Cool Cats, great news! Due to a combination of all my hard work and Martha from accounting going on maternity leave, I’ve been awarded an actual office, and given the primetime spot of Wednesday, up from that smelly old Friday! Ok, the office is virtual, but the slot is real. By that I’m referring to Wednesday, not Martha. The virtual office comes with more responsibility (I have to drive into the Razzball building and make sure the recycling is sorted, and restock the coffee creamers in the kitchen), but it’s nice to finally get some recognition! I asked for a parking space and a vacation package, and they told me, fine, you are now on permanent vacation. How cool is that?? I gather that means I can work when I want, we artists can be a finicky bunch, it’s prudent of them to recognize that. Well, never fear, good reader, I won’t let my success go to my head, I still have plenty of nuggets to share with the little people. I strive to be humble, and keep doing what got me to the big show. Speaking of getting to the show, here are a few guys on the way up to that corner office, and a few who are heading to the mail room:

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Uh oh…  Brandon Knight had a good game…  JB’s gonna talk about his Brandon Knight infatuation all year now!  Great…

One of my big sleeper calls last year (which was, only, kindasorta right), I again came into this season with Knight well ahead of the consensus (six spots ahead of the next highest among 25 experts – the only one in green!).  And while his knight (womp womp) was still redonkulous, there was more to like than only the stat line.  Went 22/8/13/0/1 with 2 treys and 10-10 FT. But what’s to salivate over is he led the Bucks in minutes, clearly started the game as the PG, and both Kendall Marshall and Nate Wolters didn’t get off the bench.  Jerryd Bayless was the only backup PG to get off the pine for a measly 14 minutes.  I think a big hesitation for fantasy owners was if Knight was going to play more SG like he did down the stretch last year, having his dimes eaten away like Raymond Felton at a CiCis.  Certainly looks like that won’t be the case, and when I face opposing fantasy teams, Knight is going to be my Public Enemy #1.  Here’s what else went down in our first big slate of games for the 2014-15 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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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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Razzball Nation!  You’ve seen a dime a dozen… And no I’m not talking about lady parts or buttcheeks on Game of Thrones…. But mock 2014 NBA Drafts!  And since Game of Thrones is the hottest thing on TV, Slim and I decided to join the fray.  Let’s pretend he’s built like Drogo, the facial hair is fa rizz folks,  and I back-and-forth with him like whatever the hell that giant was north of the wall.  But not like that!  Wait, this just got way off track…

What we did differently is alternate picks to adjust our thoughts and expectations accordingly.  Slim thinks Embiid to the Cavs, I think it’s Wiggins, many others think Parker… We then have to make new thoughts as we go, and track players falling to get them to their upcoming destinations.  We both go into why we made that pick for the team, and a quick blurb on their fantasy impact on said destination should it come to fruition.  Here’s how we see the 2014 NBA Draft’s First Round going down:

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Can I has Triple Doublez? Man watching Kevin Love is fun.  I think he should enter the NFL draft.  Deep outlets like these, plus he’s almost 7 feet and would never get a pass deflected at the line!  I can just picture Kevin Costner and Denis Leary debating over it with the Browns first round pick.  “I’m not taking some bearded seven foot douchebag when I’ve got Johnny Football and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Green!”  Eh, was going for a Leary-ism there, it’s hard to type it…  Huge night for Love, going 24/16/10/1/1 with two treys and continually adding millions to his next contract.  All after a report a few days ago that he was “exhausted” after a couple of non-Love-ish games.  Unloved games?  Something like that.  He’ll be one of the biggest stories to follow in the offseason, but he’s pretty much a shoe-in top-5 pick.  In Basketball Monster, he’s #3 in overall value and #4 per game.  He’s stayed durable and has been beastly.  Godly.  I kinda wanna get a Love bobblehead and put it in my locker and serve him rum.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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