One game away. That’s how close I was to basking in the glory of predicting a Celtics Rockets NBA Final. Instead, everyone who went chalk, was right. Without being selfish, one game away is more importantly how close the Celtics were from appearing in the NBA Finals. Without Gordon Hayward for the entire season. Without Kyrie Irving for the playoffs. It makes sense then that a team of this caliber, in the Eastern Conference that just lost the best player in the NBA, would stand pat and run it back for the 2018-19 season. With a great combination of youth and veterans, the Celtics are primed for a deep playoff run.

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If you think there was a changing of the guard in Cleveland, then you forgot about the Spurs’ offseason. This is a team whose slogan should be “out with the old, in with the new.” Losing one of the best players in the NBA is hard, but gaining youth while maintaining veteran leadership is impressive. What makes the Popovich era so great in San Antonio is his ability to rebuild while contending and, while last year was a down year, I think things pick up quite nicely for the Spurs in 2018-19. Now for the fantasy spin on this years Spurs squad.

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The full crew is back as Son, Brent, Craig, and I hit a wide range of topics in this marathon of a podcast. We start off with recent news, including the Devin Booker injury, before debating some other players such as Kyrie Irving and Zach LaVine. We have a lot of talk about draft strategy before looking at an expert mock draft Son did to point out mistakes that some owners made. All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Basketball Podcast!

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Times are a changin’. Out with the old, in with the new. All good things must come to an end. Any more of those and the cliche police are going to have me cuffed and begging for forgiveness. Well, the biggest change is by far and away the departure of LeBron to Hollywood. Last time this happened the city burned his jersey, but now they reminisce about the most impressive feat of his storied career, beating the Warriors in the midst of their rule as a dynasty. The perennial Eastern Conference powerhouse will now be fighting for a playoff spot, but that doesn’t mean the fantasy gods left us hanging. When pieces move, value arises, and that is what we have in The Land.

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How many years has it been since the Brooklyn Nets consummated one of the worst trades in sports history? Four? Five? Six?! They are still paying guys that are rumored to be the next stars of Ice Cube’s Big 3 league. Alas, in 2019 the Nets will finally have their first round pick again, and can finally be a team that doesn’t have an excuse for being terrible year in and year out. Despite their lack of draft capital and obvious lack of talent, the Nets have played respectable basketball the last two seasons under Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, and GM Sean Marks has made decent moves bringing in young talent and finding under-appreciated players. Yes, this hasn’t translated into many wins, but they improved by eight wins last year after losing their best player, Brook Lopez, and are looking to take another step forward this year.

This is a fantasy website, however, and as much as I would like to defend the legitimacy of the Brooklyn Nets and how their five-year outlook is bright, this is the preview for the ’18-’19 Nets. Spoiler alert: they’re probably in for another losing season. That does not mean they will be without fantasy contributors, and that is what you’re here for.

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I’m not the smartest guy. Corey Brewer anyone? As a result, I often lose track of where I’m at in certain categories when I’m drafting. Maybe it’s all the trees I smoked or the magic mushrooms I ate in the past. Whatever the case may be, I’m a dummy and can’t remember things too well. Therefore, I made a very basic draft tool on Google Sheets which keeps track of everything and lets me know how close/far I am away from certain benchmarks. Please click HERE to read about how I ascertained said benchmarks. So, 24 weeks of data gave me an average for what it took to win each category on a weekly basis. From there, I divided that number by 3.4 (the average number of games each team plays per week) which gave me a per game target number. Then, I submitted the sheet to Rudy (who is a real life wizard by the way) and he did his magic. Rudy was able to link all the players from my projections sheet so that the data wouldn’t have to be inputted manually. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! The sheet is pretty self explanatory. The row with the colors will show you how far away you are from the target number. Keep in mind that the projections are based off my numbers. Modify them to suit your needs. Hopefully this helps you guys out during your drafts.

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The 2018-19 Golden State Warriors have one of the greatest rosters ever assembled and are huge favorites to win their third NBA Championship in a row, which would be their fourth in five years. This offseason they added one of the best big men playing in the NBA today, DeMarcus Cousins, to a roster that already includes four returning All-Stars: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. The bench is also incredible with the likes of Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Jordan Bell. End of preview.

Just kidding…kind of. If this was just a preview for the regular NBA season, then my work would be done. But this is a fantasy basketball preview my friends, so I am going to go down the roster and point out which Warriors you should target for your fantasy team. Some will be obvious *cough* Curry *cough*, Durant, but there are a few guys ready to make the jump from fantasy zero to fantasy hero.

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I’ve wasted countless days just sitting in front of the Playstation drafting my fantasy teams in Madden, NBA 2K, and MLB the Show. So when Grey texted me about participating in a mock draft with the CBS crew, my response was THIS. Anyways, shout out to Chris Towers and the whole CBS and RotoWire crew for allowing me to participate. This particular mock was a H2H, 12-team, and 9-category draft. Now, mock drafts are a time to experiment and try new things, so the results have to be viewed in that context. With that said, they also provide a window into what the market thinks about certain players. When the participants are filled with people within the fantasy industry, you best pay attention.

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Once again, a new era has begun in the Big Apple under the leadership of new head coach David Fizdale, which has got Knicks fans excited about the future. Personally, I’m on the Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson bandwagons. The Knicks finally agreed to buyout Joakim Noah and, despite Kristaps Porzingis possibly missing a huge chunk of time, are likely to use this season to assess all the young talent on the roster before embarking on a potentially ripe free agent period in the offseason. This squad may not have the experience to make a playoff run, but has the talent to draw interest from both dynasty and redraft owners.

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Heading into the offseason, it was clear that the Magic were in desperate need of a playmaker. As a result, many draft analysts, myself included, were anticipating that the Magic were going to select Trae Young with the 6th overall pick in the draft. The unexpected happened instead, as the Mavericks traded up to select Luka Doncic while the Hawks selected Trae Young at number five, leaving the Magic with the decision to take the best player available on their board or select based on need, which would have been one of the point guards in Collin Sexton or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Magic chose the former, but in doing so left a big hole at the point guard position and added to a crowded front-court that already consisted of arguably their three most talented players in Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and potential breakout star Jonathan Isaac, the 5th overall pick in 2017. Common sense suggests that it is likely that the Magic will explore the trade market throughout the season, potentially dangling Vucevic to address the need at point guard. Without strengthening the back court and given the inexperienced level of the team, another season missing the playoffs in the desecrated East division seems likely.

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