[It’s March of 2011. A disenchanted DeMarcus Cousins is mindlessly taking part in a layup drill during a practice at ARCO Arena/ Power Balance Pavilion/ Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento]

Paul Westphall: Ah, yeah, what’s up DeMarcus. Um, I understand there’s been a few questions about your efforts on the glass? Yeah, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and fix that by participating in some rebounding drills, um-kay? Greaaat. Oh, oh, and I almost forgot. Ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and practice on Sunday, too…

[Cousins says nothing, fumes, and goes off to take part in the rebounding drills with Assistant Coach Keith Smart]

DeMarcus Cousins: Hey, guys.

Tyreke Evans: What’s up, G?

DeMarcus Cousins: Want to go to Mokeski’s? Get some coffee?

Marcus Thornton: Oh, it’s a little early.

DeMarcus Cousins: I gotta get outta here. I think I’m gonna lose it.

Keith Smart: Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.

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Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50.  Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots.  Have fun grilling these!

(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause.  Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury.  He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again.  He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3’s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter.  Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.

(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big.  The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.

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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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This team led the league in blocked shots per game in three of the last four seasons, and was second in the one that it didn’t.

This team also finished in the Top 6 in rebounding in the last four years.

Who is this team? Without cheating and looking at a stats site you’d have to guess the Lakers, with Dwight Howard, or a defensively minded team like the Spurs, with Tim Duncan leading the block-n-board bash, or Da Bulls, with high-end Crafty Breuer Joakim Noah, his pony tail and the other dudes swatting shots and grabbing clankers.

Nope, nope and nope. It’s the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that – despite having blocks leader Serge Ibaka (3.0 bpg) in the hizzouse – just doesn’t pop into your mind as a team that would pile up a mound of boards and blocks. We see Kevin Durant blowing guys away on the break and rising up for those improbable three-ball makes, and we see Russell Westbrook somehow getting to the cup and somehow getting it to go.

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Some music fans believe the 1982 Fleetwood Mac album “Mirage” got its name because Lindsey, Stevie, Christine, John and Mick hated each other, were trying to pass off a dated band as relevant, recorded it while whacked out on assorted liquids and/or substances, or all of the above.

While any of this could be true, the opinion here is that “Mirage” is a criminally underrated album by an often derided band. Can they be as corny as Nick Young’s early 2012-2013 ’do? You bet ya. But here, without trying, they actually pull off a “mirage” that’s a good one and not one that, say, Spike in “Tom & Jerry” might have had where he mistook Tom for a giant hambone.

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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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Razzball Nation!

It was a tumultuous NBA regular season that just wrapped up, not only on the court but here at Razzball.  There were ups (Tobias Harris), there were downs (Thomas Robinson), but when it was all said and done I think we helped more than we hurt.  Pretty much all we can hope to do!

We didn’t see any Derrick Rose, we saw a resurgent Tim Duncan, and we saw a new Razzball basketball editor have some big shoes to fill (well not really, I wear size 17, I doubt many people have bigger shoes).  As I start to put together my way too early rankings for the 2013-2014 Fantasy Basketball season, I thought it might be best to start from scratch with some gut reactions to the season and some stat takeaways leading into the offseason:

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Fantasy Championship!  Some leagues have just wrapped up their finals and hopefully you’ve got a nice Shiva for your mantleplace.  But in other leagues the championship has just begun or it’s the last week-and-a-half for roto.

With a lot of big name players (ahem! Dwyane Wade ahem!) not getting on the court, there’s going to be a ton of new fringe guys getting minutes.  It’s been since Saturday since we’ve had a round-up, so let’s look at the weekend’s action (no games yesterday with the NCAA final):

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So if you watched any basketball on TNT last night, you probably saw Danilo Gallinari‘s injury where his knee buckled in a non-contact situation and it doesn’t look good.  Don’t want to speculate too much as he hasn’t gotten an MRI yet, but I think he’ll be out when next year starts.  Of course it could be just a strain and he got lucky, but I think he’s cuttable.  Sucks because I like the Nuggets and like the Italian (I’m double and triple checking players’ nationalities now!).

Another big name player, Tony Parker had to leave early as well with Big Pop “very concerned.”  On a night with only three games for there to be two big injuries puts the nail in the coffin of seeing the Miami Heat’s Big 3 play big minutes together again in the regular season.  LeBron James owners who were carried by his MVP-level play are cursing all things fantasy basketball as it looks he’ll sit tonight.  Dwyane Wade is also likely out.  If you play into the finals next week, don’t expect too much from either of these guys.  It’s a sad end for many teams’ best or second best players and will bring out your depth.

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

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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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