You know, there was a time before SpaceX and Blue Origin, when the only Rockets I cared about was old and busted Clyde Drexler, old and busted Charles Barkley, and of course my personal favorite player of all-time, Hakeem Olajuwon. Who, by the time the other guys showed up, was also sorta old and sorta busted. And while this little soirée into sentimentality has definitely aged me, I guess it certainly shows how far the NBA game has come along, and in most regards, how the Rockets have evolved into the team they are today. Not without bumps and heartbreak mind you, but the Rockets team we have today certainly has a lot of fluidity to it, and that’s not to describe James Harden’s weekend at the club.  A mix of new and old, unspectacular and well, average spectacularness (totally a word), this team has a lot of ifs, and’s, and buts, yet still could be an interesting amalgamation of opportunity and measured success.  How that comes about is the real question I suppose, and this being a team preview, we’ll at least attempt to answer it…

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Well, we did the Clippers, so I guess it makes sense to do the Lakers. And not just because technically it ends up being a nautical extravaganza that involves sailboats on a lake (MAXIMIZING METAPHOR) but because in a lot of ways these teams act as a yin and yang together and against each other. While I’m not even sure what that fully means as an Asian-American man, all I can say is that this specific Lakers team is poised to be good (LeBron and company) but may also carry with it some frustrations (AARP and company) during the long NBA season. But as someone once said, if you never taste the sour, you’ll never know the sweet so I guess we’ll end the intro on that note for some reason…

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Hello once again, Razzballers. Not sure why I’m saying hi like it’s a surprise you’re here, but we’ll just go along with it and I’ll act disappointed you didn’t bring nachos. Nachos, man, will no one think of me? As the arrival of the newest NBA season comes closer (nearer?), it’s that time again to go over the specific teams and do our yearly ritual to pontificate, debate, and articulate what we see before us. Don’t ask me why it sounds like some slogan from the corporate zeitgeist where synergistic methods on trending markets do something or whatever. I just wanted nachos. For my first preview, we’ll be tackling the Los Angeles Clippers, a franchise that has really made me question why I follow sports at all, and then I remembered I know this pain. I was born in it, molded by it. As a Padres fan, it’s always nice to see darkness, my old friend. Exiting stage left from last year’s playoffs (or right, I don’t think it matters which direction) once again in the Conference Finals was both expected and surprising. There were many caveats as to why it happened yet again, but there were also a lot of great developments that could help the Clippers in their goal to finally reach the NBA Finals. So let’s see how the Clippers are shaping up and the fantasy implications henceforth. Medieval vernacular, why not?

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Well, probably not. The fire needs to be hot and it needs to be spit, and Delon Wright does neither. He also is not a rapper. Then again, neither is Dame D.O.L.L.A., but I think we allow from the amount of punctuation used. And you really don’t need Wright to be that… well, I’m not going to state that having a basketball player who twilights as a rapping dragon or a nostalgia-driven meme, depending on how meta you want to go with the joke, is a bad thing. So look, Delon doesn’t spit hot fire, he doesn’t spell or pronounce his name like D-y-l-a-n, but what he does bring are multi-categorical contributions (say that three times fast), and while many would point to the return of Derrick Rose as a death knell for both Wright’s minutes and overall production output, I’m not necessarily certain that’s true and I aim to think about this concept aloud. Join me after the jump?

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Sure, we don’t want to delve too much into existential despair, but the play on words in the title was very low-hanging fruit. And what is the point of low-hanging fruit other than to reach for it and then eat it? If only Adam and Eve had made this argument, Harambe would still be alive today people. And speaking of despair, the “North” has had some recent health issues with both Kyle Lowry (toe) & Pascal Siakam (knee) which will likely open up minutes for this week and quite possibly more. With that in mind, and still no solid prognosis for what might be substantial time out for Siakam specifically as of this writing, we’ll be taking a look at Aron Baynes, who was a fringe streaming/bench piece before, but will have elevated himself to starter since Sunday. Now, if only I could find a pun that works with Kelly Oubre and existential crises…crisisies…crisisiest? I’m sure they all work…

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Is it just me or does O’Neale need one less “E” or one more “L”? Otherwise I’m just going to read it like he’s the Irish Nelly. Sans the light racism question mark (you’d have to ask Nelly, and I guess Ireland), we’re continuing the trend of discussing players to plug and play because apparently the year we’re having is just a continuation of 2020… and if there’s anything we’ve learned from 2020, it’s that we probably all just died and the past year or so has just been our synapses firing randomly the entire time. I mean, why not? But if you ain’t here for the existential crisis, you’re probably here to read about Royce O’Neale. Or you googled “Irish Nelly”. Either way, I’m sure you’ll find what you were looking for…

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Okay, so first thing’s first, this post will not cover Vanderbilt University nor its fight song, but I only wanted to mention the amount of work I put in to take a player in Jarred Vanderbilt, Googling the lyrics of the Vanderbilt University fight song, and then combining the two for a relatable and cohesive title. Look man, I care. Regardless, the cat is out of the bag (who put the cat in the bag though?) and we’ll obviously be focusing on the humble emergence this Timberwolves player, someone who is currently one of several players in the leagues who are emerging through the expansive and growing amount of minutes available due to rosters performing a unique form of seppuku.

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You wouldn’t believe how much time I spent on Google trying to figure out if I should refer to Tyus Jones as Mr. or Mister according to philosophizer and hobo-relic-of-the-past in Counting Crows front man What’s His Face (totally his name), but even if you did, I doubt I could find a prize worthy for such special powers. Let’s just say the number is north of a minute, way longer than any of us would want or hope for, and move on to bigger and better things. Like talking about the emergence (eh?) of one Tyus Jones. Tyus? I don’t even know knots maaaaan…

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As the holidays bring some hopefully non-COVID cheer (those caps are official, which makes sense. COVID should always be yelled), we can all celebrate some measure of happiness that the NBA is back and games are being played. And with the start of the season, we have actual games to start actualizing what our team does and what we can start to expect. Now, it’s still early yet, of course, but the past couple of days have already revealed some interesting choices available to you right now. A player that has piqued some interest for me thus far is none other than Nicolas Batum.

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It wasn’t so long ago we were taking a look at what the Clippers achieved (uh…) in the Bubble and what we’d expect moving forward in the upcoming season. The usual suspects were all touched upon sans for one Luke Kennard. While I admit that its much easier waxing poetic about how good Kawhi Leonard still is (but not how good he is at using a middleman), or how Pandemic Paul should probably just uninstall IG, or how the Serge Ibaka contract adds the proverbial cherry ontop the shedding of Trezz to the Lakers. Admidst all that, plus the resigning of Marcus Morris, just so many words and so little space for content. I mean the internet is almost full I heard. Regardless, as was requested by commentators, we’ll take a look at Luke Kennard. What’s more interesting is how I’ll tie Paul Newman into this post to make the title work. Hint: It won’t.

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