If you’ve been reading my NBA articles throughout the season – or at any point during the past 20 years or so – then you already know I’m a diehard Brooklyn Nets fan. So, as you can probably imagine, these past few weeks have been particularly difficult for me. I mean seriously, have you ever heard of a team winning 12 games in a row, being the No. 2 seed in the conference… and then dismantling that very same team before the all-star break of the same season? I’ve never, ever heard of such a thing, but I guess Kyrie Irving forced our hand on this one. Once one domino fell, the rest followed suit.

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Wooooooooo, the NBA trade deadline is cookin’ now!

Wednesday night shook up the landscape of the league, as D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt are now Lakers, Mike Conley is a Timberwolf, Josh Hart is a Knick and Russell Westbrook is playin’ the blues in Utah (for now). But more on that later. First, let’s get into our regularly scheduled programming: My Wednesday fantasy recap.

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Sometimes you need to stand back and take a good, hard look at your personal biases as a writer.

When I do that while wearing my NBA hat, I can clearly see that I don’t give the Philadelphia 76ers a lot of love. What can I say? I just can’t stand James Harden. A couple years back he came to my Nets amidst hope and big dreams – a “Superteam” with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – and left the way he always does: As a loser. Harden is one of the greatest regular season players of all time – a true fantasy basketball god over the course of his career – but he crumbles like no other in the playoffs. And can we really say much better for the veteran combination of Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris? Despite big names and strong stat sheet production, this Philly team hasn’t gotten anywhere with this core over time.

Maybe this season will be different? I doubt it. Yet and still, Harden and Embiid had their patented pick-and-roll rollin’ Wednesday night, on their way to a solid 105-94 victory over the pesky, young Orlando Magic. Let’s dive in and take a closer look from a fantasy perspective.

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My first and only allegiance will always be to the Brooklyn Nets, but Ja Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies are my second-favorite team in the game today. I personally felt they played the NBA champion Golden State Warriors better than anybody else in last year’s playoffs – and don’t forget that Morant went down and missed time. This team has everything you want from a modern NBA roster – a true, showstopping superstar (Morant), a dominant defender who also contributes offensively (Jaren Jackson Jr.), a confident, lights-out shooter (Desmond Bane) and multiple other quality pieces (Adams, Brooks, Jones, Aldama and Clarke, just to name some).

But this is exactly what we don’t want from a fantasy perspective. We don’t want Bane and Jackson returning from injuries and eating into Morant’s usage as a top-tier fantasy producer. We don’t want these young, deep, talented Grizzlies to be so good that they are blowing people out and limiting our fantasy minutes. Let’s take a look at how this situation played out on Wednesday night in The League.

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I feel like Scottie Pippen under the shadow of Michael Jordan’s greatness. I feel like John Stockton, always having to sacrifice for Karl Malone to finish the play and get the glory. I mean seriously… having the NBA Wednesday recap after Luka Doncic’s historic Tuesday night feels like ordering a bacon cheeseburger and getting lettuce on a piece of bread.

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It was a “double win” kind of night for sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu on Wednesday, as he sent the Atlanta Hawks home crying in dramatic fashion, while simultaneously earning more playing time in the immediate future. A teammate never likes to see a fellow soldier go down, but Alex Caruso is now in concussion protocol, opening the door to a possible resurgence for Dosunmu who had recently faded into fantasy basketball anonymity. Let’s dig a little deeper into this game, as well as the rest of Wednesday’s fast-paced action in the NBA.

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I was watching Dahmer the other day on Netflix, and there’s a scene toward the end of the series where Jeffrey Dahmer (infamous serial killer) seeks wisdom and guidance from a priest in prison. Dahmer says, “Even in Star Wars, I always liked the bad guys more,” to which the priest replies, “So did I… those characters are written better.”

With that in mind, is there a villain in the NBA whose storyline is written any wilder than Kyrie Irving’s? Back in his Cleveland Cav days, Kyrie was my favorite player in the NBA, and now he even plays for my favorite team – the Brooklyn Nets. And yet, for a plethora of obvious reasons, Kyrie has gone from my favorite to most hated player in basketball. For lovers of The Villain – like Dahmer, who was one himself – has an NBA storyline ever been written like this before?

(1) It all started when Kyrie dropped a bomb on us… apparently the world is flat. That’s when we knew things were starting to change in the young man’s mind. (2) Then he wore out his welcome in Boston, and capped that off by enraging Celtics fans when he stomped on their logo, Lucky the Leprechaun. (3) Then he became THE anti-vaxxer in the NBA – the poster boy for dissent – and cost the Nets their season in the process. (4) Then came Alex Jones, I don’t think I need to say more on that, followed by (5) The Grand Finale, going down as arguably the worst anti-Semite in the history of the NBA.

And yet, after all that disgusting content and embarrassment, Kyrie refused to vanish into Cancellation. In fact, he seemed to return to the court as strong as ever. Is he simply embracing his newfound role as basketball’s Supervillain? Let’s jump into Wednesday night’s NBA slate to get a deeper understanding of Kyrie’s fantasy basketball adjustments.

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With one of the deepest and busiest schedules, Wednesdays in the NBA bring action, drama and monster fantasy box scores. Last night was par for the course – or should I say, par for the court? – as superstars Jayson Tatum, Trae Young, Kevin Durant and a number of others went HAM on a jaw-dropping night of basketball that had as many twists and turns as a gymnast driving a racecar in an episode of Black Mirror.

Not to mention – as always in the NBA these days – injuries, illnesses, rest and load management. I can’t wait to crack this slate open. Let’s dive right in.

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Basketball is back!

It was a wild offseason in the NBA, one highlighted by more off-the-court news than on. Kevin Durant demanded a trade; then after a long, drawn-out soap opera, ended up remaining in Brooklyn.  The defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics lost their head coach Ime Udoka for the season, after he was suspended for an “improper intimate and consensual relationship” with a female staff member. Lastly and most devastatingly, the basketball world lost all-time legend Bill Russell after 88 of the most accomplished years anyone’s ever seen on this earth.

In terms of impact roster moves, old-school center Rudy Gobert was dealt to the Timberwolves, the Spurs’ best player Dejounte Murray was traded to the Hawks and Donovan Mitchell – after being linked to the Knicks in over 10,000 rumors – ended up being shipped to the Cavs. But without further ado or hoopla, let’s jump right into my NBA preseason predictions and rapid-fire fantasy summaries.

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All right fam, I sat on this preview long enough. The season is nigh, and it seems that if James Harden won’t be joining the Brooklyn Nets (prays to the God of Editors that I don’t need to rewrite this), and we’re at a position where we can focus on the Nets’ other luminary players — Caris LeVert and Taurean Prince. I kid! We all know I’m a Jarret Allen stan.

[loads up the the ol’ roster-nator] [giggles at the word “roster-nator”]

How am I supposed to find information on Kyrie Irving? ALEXA! WHAT’S A DURANTULA? 

ENYWHEY, faithful Razzball readers might know me as the pitcher ranker on the baseball side, and the quarterback ranker on the football side (and the guy who writes the Razzbowl fan fiction), and now you get good ‘ol Blair giving you hot taeks on the basketball side for 2020-2021. So, without risking the 24-second clock running down to zero here, let’s take a look at the hottest team in the NBA for 2021.

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Even though we haven’t even reached the All-Star break just yet, it is that time of year to start looking towards the head-to-head fantasy basketball playoffs. At this point you probably fall into one of four groups:

  1. Playoffs? Playoffs?
  2. If Paul Millsap comes back soon and Myles Turner turns things around then I have a chance.
  3. I just set my lineup for the next month, I will check back in…wait, Cousins is out for the year!?
  4. Wake me in mid-March.

It is never wise to get too comfortable in fantasy basketball, because just like we saw with the DeMarcus Cousins, injury can change things in a hurry. So, in addition to monitoring your waiver wire and reading Razzball on a daily basis, it is wise to start looking at the make-up of your team and how many games your players are expected to have each week during the fantasy playoffs.

In roto leagues, the only games you need to keep an eye on are your maximum games played at each position. In head-to-head leagues, however, knowing the volume of games each player will have each week is vital, especially in the playoffs. So let’s put on our fantasy basketball beer goggles and look to see if your team is one you want to take home when the bar closes at the beginning of April.

[Playoff schedules below are based on Yahoo default public league settings, going from Week 21-23. Week 21 begins March 12th. Week 22 begins March 19th. Week 23 begins March 26th and ends on April 1st.]

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