October is here and you know what that means, Dynasty Deep Dive is back to it’s weekly Saturday slot. Razzball Hoops has entered a new era, but for those of you DDD faithful, nothing has changed in what will be another year looking at the rookies, next year’s draft class, and of course my personal favorite, European basketball.

So what have I got for you this week? In a conversation sparked with a fellow basketball fanatic and birthday boy Jay Collins, I thought we’d keep things familiar and take a closer look at our shiny new toys, now that we know where they will call home.

“Best draft class in a decade.” “Multiple future All stars.” “Not seen a draft class like this since 1999.” We have been promised much from this rookie draft class, especially from myself over the past 18 months. Now, we are finally at the doorstep of yet another season and, once again, face those mixed reports on some of the future stars of the NBA. We must properly value these new students of the NBA so that we don’t overpay for them.

This week we will veer off the usual DDD path and delve deep into the murky underground of the unknown to look at how FT% may help, and just as importantly hinder, your roto leagues. Let me put my money where my mouth is and guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts.

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One of my all-time favorite movies is Rounders. Matt Damon and Ed Norton talking all smooth and playing poker in cool-looking clubs with John Malkovich spouting repeatable lines in… sort of a Russian accent. Plus, there’s a great Counting Crows song during the credits that I’ve never been able to find anywhere. Anyway, Damon’s Mike McD is the relatively good boy, while Norton’s Worm is the slimier friend.

After Worm gets them beat up with all their cash stolen for having been caught cheating, the gloves come off in an overdue shouting match between the old friends.

Mike McDermott: What the F*** were you thinking?

Worm: I was trying to give us an edge… …I don’t think like that.

Mike McD: No, you don’t THINK!

Worm: No, I don’t think like YOU! You always think you can beat the game straight up. That’s not me. I told you, I’m always gonna look for that edge. Always.

As much as Mike is the better role model, if you’re picking from the two gambling addicts, in fantasy basketball you want to be like Worm. Even if you tried, you can’t cheat in most leagues, but you want to be the one thinking differently, finding your edge. Last week, I mentioned ways to make your league more engaging. From here on out, I’ll give you ways to get an edge in your league by using the numbers to your advantage. These next two weeks leading up to the season, we’ll talk drafting.

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The text came in: “We doing the basketball league again this year?”

While fantasy basketball is greater even than sliced bread, it can get a bit stale… uh, like the much vaunted bread. It was October, many years ago, and my league of high school buddies, with a few buddies of buddies having replaced original buddies that had dropped out (you know how it goes), was feeling way less awesome than a fantasy basketball league should. The half that paid close attention rose to the top every year. It was time, yet again, to wonder if the auto-drafters that only made a handful of moves and never responded to trade proposals would sign up again so we could at least fill out the league… yawn.

This year’s unofficial season-opening text came in: “Zizic is tearin’ it up, even after the trade to Darussafaka. *You chumps are toast next year.”

*actual trash-talk was likely dirtier and more clever.

But this was in January. And we truly cared about Ante Zizic’s line in a Turkish league. This was much better.

How did we get there? How do you light a fire under your league-mates hot enough to send them on an adrenaline-fueled, non-literal, Jerian Grant-over-that-dude-from-G-Tech-ian trip to the rack?

Hi, my name is Tad, and I’m a new writer here. I’m a bball geek and a statistical nerd. My goal is to provide you with as many advantages as possible so that you can win your league(s) and love fantasy basketball more than ever, even if you don’t. I’m going to run the numbers for you and show you where you can get an edge in drafts, trades, and acquisitions. Let’s start with a relatively simple example. Using last year’s ESPN 8-Category Player Rater data, adjusted for a free throw punt team, you might only be mildly surprised to learn that LeBron James was the 2nd most valuable player on a per game basis. But, can you believe that, per game, Dwight Howard would have been more valuable to your team than Isaiah Thomas or Kyrie Irving? And, you probably could’ve gotten LeBron and Dwight for Isaiah at just about any point last season once Mr. Irrelevant took it to MVP-candidate levels. Hopefully, I’ll also inspire you to run some numbers of your own so that you can customize player values to your specific leagues and teams. But this week, as the season draws near, I first want to get you and your league more excited and invested than you’ve been in a while.

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Image result for official logo celtics

It’s the end of an era for the Boston Celtics. It’s crazy to think that Isaiah Thomas had only been with the team for 2 1/2 years, but he became the heart of soul of those squads. I guess it all makes sense when you realize that IT is only 5′ 9″ 185 pounds and was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2011 NBA Draft. Always bringing the business, irrespective of the social construct of time and making us question the E=MC Squared equation because the energy does not seem to be interchangeable with his mass.

Got nothing but love for you IT. With that said, the NBA is a business. Here’s something for you to ponder. As I sit in this chair writing, it always pisses me off that there are salary caps in professional sports. Do we not live in a free, capitalistic meritocracy? Why is there a limit on the amount of money a player can make? Now, if I actually owned a NBA team….SALARY CAP!!! Why? Because it makes the most business sense. It’s a doggy dog world out there and cute, cuddly emotions are reserved for when you get home. The Celtics made a bunch of business decisions this offseason. As much as I love IT, it’s a move that was in the best interest of the team going forward.

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Hey everyone! This week, the new leader of basketball at Razzball, Son, joins me along with Tehol to go over his top 100 rankings. Well, at least Tehol joins us for most of it, he disappears for a stretch due to some computer issues. Damn computers! Anyways, among the notable things discussed are Giannis Antetokounmpo at #1 overall, who else is in the top tier with Giannis, Son’s agressive rankings of Nikola Jokic, Lonzo Ball and Dennis Smith Jr., the impact on Kyrie Irving’s fantasy value due to his trade to Boston and what to do with Joel Embiid. All of that and plenty more on the latest edition of the Razzball Basketball Podcast brought to you by League Safe!

You can get $10 towards your fantasy sports league’s prize pool by going to leaguesafe.com/razzbasketball

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On Tuesday morning, President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge received an email. The sender was: [email protected] You don’t become the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics by being a dummy. Knowing that it was a scam of some sort, he asked his secretary to dial up the IT department so that they could help him reconfigure the spam folder settings. He saw the light for the IT department flash three times on his state-of-the-art phone before Jane, his secretary, intercommed over that Art was on the line. “Hey Art. This is Danny.” “What can I do for you, sir?” See, Art, I received this email from a Nigerian prince this morning and I was wondering if you could fix the problem so I won’t receive these spam emails anymore.” “Sir, did you try shutting the computer on and off?” Just at that moment, Jane intercommed over to say that Koby Altman, general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was on the line. “Hey Art. Hold on a sec.” “Hi Koby, what can I do for you?” “Well Danny, I have a problem. You see….” Koby kept talking and talking and talking, but what Danny didn’t know was that the hackers that Dan Gilbert hired over the Dark Web a week earlier figured out a way to hypnotize an individual via their computer screen. Not to get too technical, but it required a specific state-of-the-art phone that had two lines open at the exact time with an email displayed from a particular address emanating from the screen. Unbelievable you say? Then how else can you explain the trade that went down?!

Ok, I kid. Just wanted to have fun with things. Before I get too serious, though, why was the first thing to pop into my head when the trade was announced this song?

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Last week, I gave you my Top 10 for 2017 Fantasy Basketball. Today, I present to you the Top 15 after the Top 10. Since I’ve included the link for the Top 10, it’s technically the Top 25 but not really. Top 15 after Top 10 just doesn’t flow off the tongue properly, so I’ll just go with Top 25. Plus, it’s so cumbersome and annoying for me to write. Similar to if I had to spell out Giannis Antetokounmpo every time. Sure, I could just copy and paste it, but what if I had to copy and paste something else? What if I had to turn off my computer and re-copy and paste? I ain’t got time for that nonsense! Bing! Lightbulb suddenly appears over my head, which is good because my halo is now illuminated. From this day on, I shall call Giannis Antetokounmpo, G. I believe that gets G up to five nicknames now, right? That has to be the dopest nickname of all time. Hear me out. One-names were all the rage back in the day. Cher, Prince, Pele, etc…but then Prince took it to another level by eschewing letters altogether and just going with a symbol. But you know what? A symbol, while cool, is difficult to write. It’s also very difficult to utilize on the computer, although, it’s pretty amazing that people figured out a way to do it. Anyways, G is already on the keyboard. Yes, you do have to press Caps Lock or Shift to get it right, but…damn, you lazy!! Who else do you think of when I say G? When I say G, you say what? G. Anus. See?  No bueno. It’s a good thing no one ever reads intros. Well, at least I will know who didn’t read this intro when I get the inevitable, “What does G stand for?”

As always, big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and insight.

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Tehol is back with me to update everyone on the newest developments around the NBA!  We start off focusing on Summer League in a number of facets.  Surprise players, how each of the top picks looked, who disappointed, fantasy values for the rookie class, we got it covered!  I gush over Dennis Smith Jr. some more after I declared future greatness on the previous podcast while Tehol loves him some Lonzo Ball. Afterwards, I get Tehol’s opinion on some of the big summer moves that Son and I discussed on the last podcast and also hit on the Avery Bradley trade plus Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signing.  From there, we hit on the rumored Melo to Rockets rumors and our thoughts on its potential impact.  All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Basketball Podcast!

Note: We recorded this right before it was reported Kyrie Irving wants a trade.  A new podcast will drop if Kyrie or Melo are officially moved.

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Image result for picture of evolution

Throughout history, and in all facets of life, evolution happens whether we want to believe it or not. If you were a small caveman or woman, you did not go out and try to kill a wild animal. You picked berries or cooked. Nothing sexist about it. The logical thing was to let the bigger and stronger entity hunt, which unfortunately provided a generalization for future bigots. Over time, the development of our brains neutered the size difference and allowed us to change how we interacted with the world. We did get bigger and stronger physically, but we are now not so tied to specific roles like hunter/gatherer and cooker.

The inaugural 1946 NBA season consisted of 11 teams for a total of 182 players. Last season, there were 524 players in the NBA. Below is a chart showing the players grouped by height.

Under 6′ 6′ 0″ – 6′ 6″ Over 6′ 6″ 7′
1946 17% 71% 11% 1%
2016 1% 41% 58% 8%
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Welcome back to The Abode. If you missed the genesis, click here.

After a blowout-infested playoffs, the hype leading up to Warriors/Cavs III in the NBA Finals almost reached Mayweather/Pacquiao levels. Almost. Nothing will surpass the chicanery of Mayweather/Pac, though. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey would’ve been most impressed. Anyways, storylines and narratives were tossed around and many thought (perhaps wished?) that a heated, epic Finals would be showcased.

Game 1. Warriors 113. Cavs 91. The Cavs had 20 turnovers and the Warriors made 15 more field goals on 20 more attempts.

The Warriors Voltron’d up, while the Cavs were a bunch of scurrying ants trying to escape the ray of death from the magnifying glass of a nine-year old.

The Cavs did not panic, though, and Game 2 was an epic battle for two and a half quarters.

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