It’s March Madness time, and in honor of Duke and their successful season, the first without a certain GOAT coach who looks like a rat, I’m gonna focus on the Dukies in the NBA.  No, not Doookies, don’t be haters.  One of the best things about being a fan of them lately is the many fantasy contributors from the best college hoops program in the land.  It’s not their fault that they are better than whatever lesser team you follow.

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It’s playoff season, and in standard head-to-head leagues like the Razzball Writers’ League, every waiver wire pickup is critical at this point. Facing Beats By Dray in the first round,  I head into the weekend hoping I didn’t chum the waters on (as in, threw up all over) my chances to advance. 

All week, San Antonio second-year big man, Charles Bassey, has been discussed as a hot wire add for the tanking Spurs. Bassey has been a borderline standard league over the last few weeks, averaging about 8 points, 7 boards, 2 assists a steal and a block a game in 17.5 minutes. 

I’ve been trolling around the Bassey interest all season, which he spent much of tearing up the G League. In 14 games in the minors, he was 3rd in fantasy points (yes, G League keeps track of fantasy points per game leaders on its stats page), averaging about 23-10-2-1-2 on 67% shooting. The Spurs saw enough positives in his development to fully guarantee the former Western Kentucky Hilltopper’s contract for its first two years. With that vote of confidence, and the tank rolling, it makes sense to believe Bassey could be a strong asset for fantasy playoffs. 

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Burning bridges. No good, as you never know what the universe has in store for the future. Having water under the bridge? A good sign because that means climate change hasn’t evaporated a big percentage of the water on Earth. Mikal Bridges? Well, he was always a solid fantasy asset because he chipped in everywhere without hurting anywhere. Now, Mikal is making it rain so many fantasy goodies that the water flowing under this Bridges is causing the fantasy landscape to transform before our eyes. On Sunday, there was a flash flood warning due to:

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Fifty percent of Wednesday’s NBA tweets went to Jalen Brunson and his Knicks, but as the old saying goes, “The tie goes to the runner.” Kevin Durant ran away from my Brooklyn Nets as fast as he possibly could, and Wednesday night he finally debuted for the Phoenix Suns in a convincing 105-91 victory over the reeling Charlotte Hornets. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at both Durant and Brunson from a fantasy basketball perspective.

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Over the summer, I sauntered….No, I ran to the NFBKC lobby room like a ravenous wild boar, gorging and feasting on draft after draft after draft. I have a couple of teams in contention, but most of them are S. H. I. T. T. Y. The reason? Probably because I suck, but another reason was that I completely faded Brook Lopez. I’m a stupid, stupid man. He was so cheap in drafts (124th player in NFBKC drafts), and those require two centers. There were good reasons, though. He’s 34 years old and was coming off a season in which he played only 13 games due to a back injury. I thought the end was nigh. He did have two seasons early in his career when he played 5 and 17 games, but outside of that, he’s been a relative iron man. This season, he’s played 59 games and put up top 25-ish numbers. On Sunday, he twisted the knife once again to remind me of my stupidity with cannon ball after cannon ball, as I stand sheepishly on the Brook taking the splashes in the face like a man.

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I was high on Precious Achiuwa in the offseason, as he showed flashes at the end of last season, both offensively and defensively. He improved his shooting and was able to make it rain from downtown. In addition, he exhibited the ability to make life difficult for Joel Embiid while also being able to switch on the perimeter against guards. Most importantly, though, Nick Nurse spoke glowingly about him over the summer, commenting on his work ethic and finally “getting it.” Then the season started, and it didn’t go as planned. He had two monster games while playing over 33 minutes in each, but after that, was relegated to playing in the teens. To stick a rusty knife into my belly, Achiuwa then succumbed to injury and missed the next 24 games. My Precious once had bling that blinded the eyes, but now was as dull as my jokes. Upon returning to action, he was once again playing in the teens, but slowly but surely, the playing time increased. Christian Koloko was sent down to the G League and my Precious began to glisten once again. Over the last five games, he received 28, 21, 26, 21 and 37 minutes, starting in the most recent contest and putting up 17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

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The Magic have been everyone’s favorite fantasy outlet this season, from Bol Bol Euro-stepping into monster jams to Paolo Banchero compiling historic rookie numbers. The play of Franz Wagner has by no means been lost in all the excitement, but his games of late have been next level good. Over his last six games, he’s averaging 24 points on 55% shooting, 68.3 TS%, pitching in about 4 boards, 3 assists, a steal and 3 threes per game. 

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I’ve always been fascinated with how humans can control other objects. The Shaolin monks are able to access the energy of the universe and light things on fire from a distance. Think Ryu’s Hadoken from Street Fighter. Random people can spin a 10-pound ball down a lane and knock down pins. Others can use a stick and make a ball spin like planets in an orbit around a table. For hoops, the ultimate joy is making the net dance after launching the ball into the air with the perfect amount of backspin. I always appreciated the chain-linked nets. There was nothing better than that sound. In the NBA, there’s no need to ghettofy things as they can supply the finest nylon for their nets. On Sunday, Julius Randle was the conductor of a nylon ballet, putting on a show for the Detroit crowd.

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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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