The Magic at full strength have a great, young frontcourt, and that was on display last night.  They totaled 78 points, 22 boards, and 6 assists last night.  If you own Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr., and Paolo Banchero, well, that’s kinda weird to have three guys from the same team.  But any of them are legitimate starters going forward, and they all still have some upside.  Unfortunately, if you are holding Bol Bol, he looks like the fourth wheel of this tricycle.  I would hold him and see, but I’m not optimistic.  The other three are better players.

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If you haven’t watched the ending, it’s everything that makes basketball great.  Kudos to Will Hardy, the Jazz coach, for not calling a timeout and letting the end game flow.

My first take is that the Jazz may not be as big of sellers as we all assumed they would be.  They have a solid young coach, a breakout star in Lauri Markkanen (28 and 8 tonight), and, when Mike Conley (18 points, 7 dimes, 3 swipes) plays, they are downright good.   I was monitoring guys like Walker Kessler, but I’m thinking now they keep the group together and figure things out.

Kelly Olynyk (5 points, 6 boards) would be a logical piece to move if they decide to do so, as is the aforementioned Conley.  I just give the Jazz some credit for not going scorched earth on this and playing well and hard, even if the end result was a close loss to the surprising…………..

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Light the beam! Despite being on the opposing team’s home floor, “Light the beam!” chants erupted in the Crypto.com Arena for almost the entire final three minutes of the game. The Kings came out and dominated with all five of their starters finishing in double figures, along with Malik Monk and Chimezie Metu who combine for 23 points off the bench.

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Since LeBron James fled for La La Land in 2018, the Cavaliers have accumulated an overall record of 60-159 (.274).  Nonetheless, there is hope on the horizon if you practice good expectation management.  Despite the ongoing Kevin Love saga, the Cavs head into the 2021-22 season with an intriguing frontcourt that now features Lauri Markannen and Evan Mobley along with defensive anchor Jarrett Allen.  The guard positions are securely in the hands of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, who raised their respective fantasy profiles last season.  They now have a competent backup point guard in Ricky Rubio, who should have at least one offensively-capable frontcourt option when matching up against other second units.  Let’s take a look at Cavs to target and avoid for your fantasy draft.

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Razzball Nation! Welcome back to our in-depth look at a player who has been nothing short of underwhelming for at least the past week.

“There are times

When you’ll need someone

I will be by your side

There is a light that shines

Special for you and me”

I am not exactly sure to whom Common was referring to in that J Dilla banger but what I do know is that I have been by your side all season long compadres. So much so that I hope you took your boy’s advice last week and made a stealth move for Zach LaVine before he exploded for that 50-burger and then put up another 30 two nights later. In fact, over the course of three games last week Mr. Lavine scored 101 points, drained 13 threes, 20 assists, and 19 rebounds. WOW! It is that type of late-season surge that could have made all the difference in your league and catapult your team to the top of the standings. Sadly, we are not here to gush about young Zachary and his awesomeness. Instead, we remain in the Windy City to focus on another Chi-Town player who has had a rough go over the past week and beyond.

With the regular season winding down, it is likely that trade deadlines in most formats have come and gone. Therefore, I will not be suggesting trade options moving forward but instead, I will be nudging you towards dropping or benching these players for a hotter pickup.

It is time to move on from…

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(W) BUCKS -VS- LAKERS
With King James and Tha’ Brow out, we hoped this was the Drummond show.
Unfortunately, after all that time off, his big toe wasn’t ready.
Jrue Holiday: Complete baller, Jrue the Damajah is on point.
Rare for the PG to be the “Glue Guy.”
On this roster, he steadies the ship and makes the tough plays.
Efficiency, rebounding and 5 STOCKS, this guy does it all.

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Last Friday I participated in my first fantasy baseball draft, which is the informal cue that we’re beginning to come down the home stretch for this fantasy basketball season. Depending on your league settings, we’re roughly a month out before the fantasy playoffs and the silly season of DNPs, phantom injuries, and more overt tanking tactics. 

To combat the non-competitive play that plagues spring basketball, the NBA has expanded the playoff format this year to incorporate the 9- and 10-place teams in each conference, making the line between buyers and sellers ahead of the March 25 trade deadline harder to see than in seasons past. Trade targets both IRL and fantasy will be hot topics in the coming days, so I decided to see if I could parse what the future holds for the Chicago Bulls, who are currently in 9th place out East and have held my fascination for the last few weeks. 

Currently sitting at 17-20, Chicago will have to hold off the 17-21 Pacers and the 17-22 Raptors if they’re going to return to postseason play for the first time since the Jimmy Butler era. Without a 2021 first round pick and contract decisions to make, I find the Bulls intriguing and genuinely don’t have much of a clue about how they’ll proceed. I’ll give away the game early and say that I don’t have any answers and my crystal ball is on the fritz. What follows is simply a consideration of the pieces that could be in play in the coming weeks. 

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Yep, I’m going to subject you all to my friends and family league yet again. We’re at the midway point of our regular season after today, so I wanted to go back and see where my predictions from the preseason were right and wrong, and which fantasy players are performing better or worse than their average draft position (ADP).

What I hope you can take from this is how to better formulate your strategy in your own leagues, and what seems to work best for people in a relatively average league. Our league is listed as a “silver” league on Yahoo!, which isn’t really scientific but indicates our team levels combined are slightly below the average of “gold.” We have two platinum, one gold, four silver, and five bronze managers. It’s a top-heavy league, which is the case in most scenarios as the people who run the league seem to be far more invested.

Anyways, the below records and rankings are based on if the scores stay the same as they are at the writing of this article. Those are subject to change, but not by much.

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I wrote an article before the season began about which teams I thought would have the best pace in the league. Here were my guesses from that article and where they currently stand:

1. Milwaukee Bucks (6th)

2. New Orleans Pelicans (25th)

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (7th)

4. Golden State Warriors (3rd)

5. Memphis Grizzlies (14th)

Big yikes. I actually didn’t do too badly when you take into account that Ja Morant has missed significant time this season (eight of 13 games) and three out of five are in the top seven. The Pelicans are the main surprise here as coach Stan Van Gundy has them playing at a snail’s pace straight to a 5-10 record. Woof. They’ll need to figure it out and probably play faster with all the talented, athletic guys on the team.

It’s also important to note that I made these predictions before the Russell Westbrook – John Wall swap which has helped vault the Wizards into 1st and well before the James Harden trade to the Brooklyn Nets, but I digress.

Anyways, here are the actual top 5 in pace:

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We’re still pretty early on in the season, but it’s always a good time for some hot takes. What follows will be the totally legitimately definitive ranking of each NBA team when it comes to their fantasy production.

I took the top 100 players in total value and by per-game value, figured out how many were on each team, and ranked them. Very scientific stuff, I know. But no worries, there is a point. We’ll discuss what that means for each team, and for fantasy owners that may have the players mentioned, or have their eye on a player mentioned.

If a team has fantasy gold, does that mean they have great pace? Is it because they have a great record? Without further ado, here are your answers.

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