After finishing 4th in the 2020-21 season, the Knicks came into this past season with legitimate expectations. Unfortunately, those expectations did not come close to being met. RJ Barrett didn’t take quite leap people expected, Julius Randle’s 3-point shooting fell back to earth, and Kemba Walker’s knees turned out to be dust in the wind.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
Newsletter

I don't have enough spam, give me the Razzball email newsletter!

A massive leap forward in regular and post season performance has the Dallas faithful hoping for another deep playoff run.  Whether or not they can pull it off depends largely upon their ability to address the backcourt gap left in the wake of Jalen Brunson’s offseason departure.  If Spencer Dinwiddie and the rest of the starters can’t backfill the offensive responsibilities shouldered by Brunson, we could see even more usage for Luka Doncic, who sits at the helm of perhaps the most top-heavy offensive lineup in the NBA (1- Luka………………………. 2- Spencer Dinwiddie/Christian Wood?).  Needless to say, standby for another plodding campaign from last year’s slowest team.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I figure y’all don’t need reminding that these aren’t your father’s Rockets. I don’t even think these are your brother’s Rockets either, especially if you don’t have a brother. That kinda eliminates you out of the metaphor. But the point stands, the Rockets are basically last year’s Rockets in that this is a team still in rebuild mode. But, as one of the dozen or so Padres fans from another ball sport (heehee balls), one can be accustomed to a bad team and still like the parts on it. In this, I guess “mechanic” type metaphor, parts are people and before I start getting too random, yes, the Rockets will be terrible, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some non-terrible things on it. I guess I could have just said that and saved 250 words of bad metaphors. Hmm.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Boston Celtics were the Eastern Conference Champions in 2021. If they wish to meet that mark, or exceed it, they’ll need to do so without their now-suspended head coach, Ime Udoka. In steps interim coach, Joe Mazzulla. A highly coveted, young coach who was on his way to a head coaching job, with or without Boston. We know interim coaches are much looser on players – specifically star players. Udoka’s season-long suspension should have little impact on the Celtics player’s performance. The top guys will continue to shine. Anything less than another Eastern Conference crown for the Boston Celtics is a failure. Some would say, not winning the whole thing is a failure.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s only appropriate that Halloween looms around the corner because the Charlotte Hornets are officially spooky; fantasy wise. Rising talent? Check. Shiny new first round draft picks? Check. Scary Terry? Check, check, check. 
The Hornets will be gunning for a late playoff position to give their young guys some playoff experience and, while it’s uncertain whether they’ll get there in a loaded Eastern Conference, player development is at the forefront of their priorities. 
We have to be intrigued about this team’s fantasy prospects this season. But why? 

They finished 10th in the East last season! 

Miles Bridges is probably not even playing this year! (rightfully so) 

Steve Clifford said their starting center is Mason Plumlee! 

Gordon Hayward has played over 55 games just once in the past five seasons! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Toronto Raptors caught everyone by surprise last season with their fifth place finish that allowed them to avoid the play-in completely. After losing rookie of the year Scottie Barnes to an ankle injury during the series against the Sixers it was the Raptors who were sent packing in six games. Fast forward to this season and well, like the good Doctor Dre said, “ain’t too much changed”. The team is still brimming over with long athletic 6’ 8″ and over players who can defend multiple positions and move with fluidity in coach Nick Nurse’s position-less offensive schemes.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This summer I was looking over a sheet of future odds in a sportsbook with a wad of dollars that I previously did not have, when I noticed that the Denver Nuggets had the fifth-best odds of winning the west. Future bets are tough, especially in the west (especially in this current version of the west, too), but after considering the return of Jamal Murray, the potential of Michael Porter Jr., and the metronomic brilliance of the reigning, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, I found myself at the window with a belief that this was an opportunity to turn money won into more money. Persistent injuries since the Aaron Gordon deal have hobbled the mile-high hopes for the Nuggets, but it’s not all that difficult to see a world where Denver is an especially tough out in the postseason. Having a two-time MVP puts you at an advantage like that. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Long-suffering Kings fans are back on the hopium, and since 2006 was the last time we witnessed playoff basketball in Sacramento, who can blame them? But after February’s blockbuster trade, an outstanding Summer League performance from their first round pick, and a pair of free agent guard acquisitions, there is a sense that the optimism is warranted.  On paper, the Kings have a more focused roster built around the playmaking abilities of De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.  They get a fresh start to a season after shedding players who didn’t want to be there – Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III.  They have arguably more depth with Richaun Holmes shifting to the bench, Malik Monk playing significant minutes off the pine, and Davion Mitchell continuing to develop.  They have a new head coach in Mike Brown who will seek pull them out of the bottom half of the defensive rankings.  This time may be different…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Image result for best of the best

It’s baaaaaaaaack. I know the wait was excrutiating. The eye fatigue from those countless hours staring into the digital dojo. The clicks. Oh, the millions of clicks on the mouse button that turned you into a one-armed Popeye. What was it all for?… <in a voice that echoes and decreases in volume each time the phrase is repeated> What was it all for?…What was it all for?….

The chance to be the best of the best of course!

I’ve been told that the RCLs are populated with some of the sharpest fantasy basketball minds in the land. Do you have what it takes?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Philadelphia 76ers enter the 2022-23 season with an almost identical roster as the prior year. There were no major casualties. Losing veterans Paul Millsap and Deandre Jordan would not be considered losses, as each player had been diminished to a shell of their once-All-Star selves, as Father Time would have it. In Philadelphia, the level of talent is there. The MVP-caliber players are there. The buy-in is there. What does it take for the Philadelphia 76ers to take the next step?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Growing up in the 90’s (don’t date me bro!), it would have been hard to imagine not just the mediocrity that would follow the next two decades (okay, I’ll add the qualifier “measured” mediocrity for all those Noah/Rose fanboys out there), but also feeling some sort of compassion for hanging out near the bottom-half of the league for longer than it takes to legally drink.  Truth be told, it’s not like the Bulls have been, say, the Kings over the same span. (I’d feel sorry for making fun of the Kings if they had more than a dozen fans.) But there’s definitely been a markable difference between the Michael Jordan Bulls and everything that came afterwards. I also go by the name: Captain Obvious. And while it’s been a long wait for those in Chitown, there’s a lot to like with this team, especially building off a successful season that led to the first round of the playoffs, fruits of their previous active off-seasons. Sure, it’s not the chips we middle-aged men were used to seeing from this team a long time ago, but as someone great once said, time is flat circle… (Don’t worry, I prefer the McConaughey quote over Nietzsche too. Actually, after typing that sentence out, I prefer neither since it took me a few hours for spellcheck to agree.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?