Wow, what a wild night across the NBA-osphere.  Tons of injuries, lots of scrubs getting some burn, if I didn’t know better, I woulda though it was late March.  But no!  I guess we can start with that other JB as Jerryd Bayless moved into the starting line-up and lit up the Hawks for a season-high 29 Pts.  Shooting 12-21, it was pretty ThrAGNOFfy for 29/2/2/1/0 with 5 treys.  Why you avoid the 3-point specialists on draft day!  Who knows what preppy-boy Brad Stevens is going to do next, and while getting the Pacers on Saturday isn’t a great matchup, home games vs. GS, BKN, then DET next week could be a 10 3PTM week for JB.  And while he’s not as multi-cat as the real JB over here, we can all grab the band if we need some scoring.  I’ll wear a headband as well for the moral support!  Here’s what else went down on a very busy night of injuries and surprise games in the NBA:

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Remember back in the day when you played Oregon Trail every waking moment?  I only sorta remember because I kept getting dysentery…  But I imagine an update should have the mythical creature of LaMarcus Aldridge as some sort of omnipotent deity that you hope comes to your aid.  ”Your wagon is stuck in quick sand, use 1 of 3 remaining LaMarcus Aldridge summons?”  Hells yea!  And then I need him to save my oxen.  Huge game from LA last night putting up a career-high points and a sick 44/13/5/0/2 line including 14-17 FT while the crowd chanted “M-V-P” all 4th quarter.  Scored the last 15 points, went 8-8 at the stripe in the last 70 seconds, all in a 5-point win.  The Nuggets just had nothing for him inside when he was crashing the glass, and LA was boarding like a beast.  I know he’s had a lot of Goromotaros, but almost all the boards he got in this one were in traffic.  And the Nuggets were fouling him extremely hard all 4th quarter.  Gonna need an ice bath!  All he has to do is come to the east coast and jump in a lake.  One of my worst calls of the year was my poor Aldridge ranking, but if you can’t get it right, join em!  Or something like that… Traded for him in REL and in another league.  I don’t know why owners were pulling a Kurt Russell and trying to Escape From L.A., but enjoy your huge stats and the first-round value you’re accruing.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA news and action:

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JB really made me proud a few days ago. I guess it’s become kind of a ritual for us now. I know laser tag in an arena is fun and all but we needed real world experience. We decided the best place to hone our skills was to play at our local mall… at high noon. Of course we dress up in our best urban camouflage, for me it’s a simple business suit, that way I can stealthily weave in between what I’ve come to call the ‘zombie horde’. I never know what to expect from JB. He got me a few times with his police uniform but it hasn’t worked well recently so he adjusts. On this day he wore his most villainous of camouflage, the stripper schoolgirl, we have the mall security footage to prove it. But that’s neither here nor there, we were celebrating a match well played at the Candy World when two kids started rap battling in between the Pop Rocks and the Laffy Taffy. I thought they both played the role better than Jamie Kennedy, they’re accents were especially spot on. The hilarity of the situation wasn’t lost on anyone except of course, the two kids.

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If you’re like JB and myself, then you like your fantasy basketball to be Head-To-Head.  The ability to talk smack to a new opponent every week keeps the intensity high.  And unlike Roto or NCAA football, we get The Playoffs, where heroes are made and injures decimate championship aspirations.  A nasty little side effect however is a shortened regular season.  After this week we will have played 10 weeks.  Marking the halfway point of the regular season.  If you’re in the bottom 3rd of your league then sacrifices must be made.  Injured players may need to be traded at less than face value or flat out dropped.  Streaming takes priority over upside.  There is still plenty of time to make up ground and sneak into the playoffs but it’s safe to say something isn’t working.  If you’re in the middle 3rd then you should take a long hard look at who on your team is on the way up and who is on the way down.  We all had our favorite sleepers coming into the year, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of mine, Archie Goodwin was well liked around these parts too.  They weren’t giving enough so we had to move on to the next opportunity, c’est la vie, life goes on…  If your in the top 3rd of your league then you need to ensure you stay there.  You can be much more risky and shouldn’t pass up any high upside guy who is getting big minutes.

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Have you ever sat back and thought, “What if I got a shot at the NBA when I was in my prime?  Everyone knows I average a double double in my men’s league, I tell them all the time.  I’m 6’7″ and can jump higher than even Steve the Electrician’s kid.  What if I got minutes against the best in the world?”  I know one Razzball writer who’s had that exact thought.  Usually after one too many crown and cokes.  Someone thanks him for helping them win their weekly match-up 7-2 and we go out and celebrate at the bar.  Well played sir.  Well Played.  This night gave us much more than just a terrible hangover.  It gave questionable decision making and a highly impaired thinking process.  At some yet still hazy point that night we began playing the fantasy ‘What If’ game, culminating in the question what if Nick Calathes started and got 36 minutes?  Wouldn’t he average 10 assists per game?  With that eureka moment I knew it was time to hail a cab and call it a night.  Obviously I was far too tired to think straight.  When I awoke the next day, thinking clearly once more, I decided to play the ‘What If’ game again.  This time with you as my live studio audience and hopefully with a more level head.  Would everyone please now fill out your name tag and be seated.  Because you may just be the next contestant on, ‘What… If… He Starrrrrtsss…’  And it’s a Go for the Theme Song.

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Whewwww-eeee!  What a fun draft.  A good four-and-a-half hours after the draft start time I had picked my 17th player, and I think I really like my team.  But with a lot of picks, I did feel a bit like Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo trying to defend them; ”it’s a real good deal this one, real good!”  Thanks again for filling out the league loyal Razzball Nation, and again thanks to our friends at RotoGold.com and the TDBSportsNetwork (which you can catch me on their “The Double Bonus” Show throughout the season and from last Wednesday) for helping class up the joint.

So if you missed the post launching the league, the Razzball Elite Dynasty League had our inaugural draft last night, an all-out brawl of an Auction draft with some really interesting bidding wars.  Looking at you Ben from RotoGold and you pumping up Giannis Antetokounmpo for $15 late!  The league is 20 teams, 12 starters (two of every position and two UTIL) and five bench spots.  Using my abacus over here, that’s 340 players owned.  Neeedless to say, things got really interesting once we were in the bottom end of starters.  There is no inflation, we voted on a true Dynasty application, with lifetime contracts.  Free agent pickups all must be done with your $100 yearly FAAB, and those players can be kept on a $1 lifetime contract.  So FAAB bidding will be a critical element through the season.

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There’s a few players who throw my drafts off course every year for no particular reason. Wesley Matthews. Jose Calderon. Al Horford. Regardless of where it happens, or whether it’s a good pick or not, when I end up taking one or more of these players, the wheels start to come off.

The three aforementioned players actually pale in comparison to my ultimate draft killer: Andre Iguodala. I really have a hard time rating him – either I see him as so overrated he’s underrated or so underrated he’s overrated.

Obviously I’m feeling self-conscious about my first RCL draft. It’s kind of like taking your shirt off at the beach after you’ve spent the winter gorging on pizza and ice cream.

All right, time to suck it up and show off my man boobs:

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After re-ranking the top 10top 20, and top 50, it’s easy to see there’s been big changes since last May.  Below are the Razzball Updated Rankings with the previous May rankings in parentheses before the adjusted rank:

(68) ↑ 51. Derrick Favors – Utah declining to bring back either Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gives you a slight inclination on their thoughts on Favors, and they’re already talking contract extension with their emerging big as well.  I love his athleticism, and if I miss out on Serge Ibaka who I’m high on early, I’m gonna want to reach on Favors to win blocks. I think he’ll be a top-5 NBA swatter.

(51) 52. Kemba Walker – Kemba has been higher on virtually every rankings I’ve seen, and I’m just not top-50 high on him.  He had a really solid season last year, but the terrible FG% still worries me as I feel like he forces some offense.  The acquisition of Big Al is going to give the Bobcats/soon-to-be Hornets an actual scorer down, and I don’t think that translates into helping Kemba all that much.  I like Gerald Henderson a lot too to take a bigger scoring role.  The 2.0 steals a game last year was elite, but I see those going down along with the scoring, and a comparable 5.7:2.4 Ast:TO ratio.  All that spells a slightly down ranking for me.  Although to be fair, he’s played in every single Bobcats game in his career, so there’s that reliability that can’t be ignored.

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Razzball Nation!  Sorry it has been a slight break from me, but it’s been a wild summer.  If I weren’t out of town drinking daiquiris on the beach trying to grow my mustache out and know absolutely nothing about any sport besides baseball, then my summer would’ve felt incomplete…

But I’m back now, back into everything Razzball, and ready to talk some NBA rookies.  I know I’m a little behind the draft, but hey, we’ve got a little time before we see these guys in real NBA action.  Not that Kelly Olynyk playing in solid color warmups in a gym that looks like one Nikola Pekovic used to play in the Siberian Leagues isn’t entertaining, but c’mon.  Let’s get these summer guys playing somewhere nice!

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I’ve got to say, growing up a huge Charlotte Hornets fan, I am going to finally have a favorite team again next year.  I mean, the Bobcats is such a horrific name for a professional sports team that it actually made me not cheer for them.  If they follow my logic – citizens of New Orleans, I’m sorry, you’re no longer cheering for your NBA team.

If you missed it the other night, the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery was selected (coincidentally right when a huge Powerball was built up and won – conspiracy?!) with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning another #1 pick.  Nerlens Noel, or Captain N as I’m going to call him, looks like he’s heading to one of basketball’s friendliest cities.  Just don’t leave for another team in a televised special.  Honestly, my first thought was, “great, another talented player I have to navigate through injury estimates with.”

Anyway, I doubt any NBA rookies will crack the top 100 for fantasy this year, it’s a pretty weak draft class, but that’s why these way too early rankings will be capped at 100 before readdressed closer to the season when they’ll expand to 200.  As always with rankings this early, it’s May, the Finals haven’t even started yet, and there will be a lot of revisions.  But here’s how I see things shaking out as of right now:

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