I was never a huge fan of D’Angelo Russell when he was a Laker. The shooting efficiency was poor, the D was porous, and the decision-making and decisiveness were lacking. It was as if DLoading was a picture loading back in the dial-up internet days; one line of pixels at a time. At least now the buffering just shows a ring with a percentage number. Anyways, Russell was a young pup back then. Only 19 and 20 years old. Now, he’s a grizzled, 22-year-old veteran. I kid, but he’s really developed and improved his game, to the point where he’s leading his team to victory over one of the top teams in the NBA.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
27 6 11 0 0 3 6/9 10/23 1/1

In his first three years in the league, Russell was a 41% shooter from the field and never topped 80% from the line. Now, he’s a 43% shooter from the field and 81% from the line. He’s averaging a tick under 20 points per game, 2.7 tres, 3.7 boards, 6.4 dimes, and 1.1 steals. He’s increased both the tres and dimes by almost 1 per game. In addition, he’s jacking up over 17 shots per game, has a usage rate north of 30, and is a top 50 player on the season for fantasy. When Caris LeVert returns from injury, things could change and Russell could cede some usage, but Russell will continue being a vital part of this Nets team. All the pixels have been revealed and the picture is a glorious one.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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A nuclear warhead was launched and detonated by agent Rich Paul yesterday when he notified the New Orleans Pelicans that Anthony Davis has no intention of re-signing with the team and has requested a trade. Let the madness begin. All the dots connect to him being in Los Angeles sooner than later, but I have heard some alternative theories that could land him elsewhere. I’m both intrigued and entertained. The L. A. Times reported that any offer from the Lakers would have to begin with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, and a first-round pick. The salaries of Ball, Kuzma, and Zubac equal $10.7 million. Davis will make $25 million, so that won’t be enough from a money perspective. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope makes $12 million (expiring contract), so he’d likely have to be included in any deal. Rob Perez @WorldWideWob laid out the scenario of Kyrie Irving going to the Lakers, with Davis going to Boston, and Ball, Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram, and Lance Stephenson going to New Orleans. The Knicks have been mentioned as serious players, as they may be willing to part with Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., and a first-round pick for Davis. Portland has been mentioned with C. J. McCollum, Al-Farouq Aminu, and a first-round pick for Davis. AD is 25 years old and moon walks over the rest of the competition. He’s a player that teams should be willing to push all the chips into the middle of the table. Yes, he’s missed some games in his career (82 in 6 1/2 years) but he’s that freaking good. I can’t wait to see who else emerges in the sweepstakes and where he eventually ends up, because it has a chance to completely change the landscape in the NBA. AD is resetting. Can’t wait to see where year 0 A. D. begins.

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

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Victor Oladipo missed 11 games due to a right knee injury two months ago. Since returning from that injury, he’s been a top 65 player (19 games), averaging 17.3 points, 1.9 threeecolas, 4.9 boards, 5.8 dimes, 1.8 steals, and 0.2 blocks. The shooting efficiency was a putrid 40%. A far cry from the 47% efficiency and top 10 production from last season. His owners were not happy. Our very own “I Just Wanna Kawhi” couldn’t take it anymore and shipped him away last week. I need to hit him up for the upcoming Powerball numbers because his owners will no longer have to worry due to the injury Oladipo suffered yesterday. Defending a full court pass, Oladipo jumped and his knee gave out, the same knee that caused him to miss those 11 games. The trainers draped a towel over his leg and he was taken to the locker room via stretcher. Prayers up for Oladipo and his family. Since this is a fantasy website, we need to discuss who replaces him and how it affects the Pacers rotations. The most obvious replacement is Tyreke Evans, who was scooped right away in a few of the RCLs I’m in. Y’all are too sharp and fast on the draw. In 715 minutes without Oladipo on the floor, Evans has a 29.3% usage rate and produces 1.05 fantasy points per minute. The player that saw the biggest increase in usage with Oladipo off the floor, though, was Bojan Bogdanovic, with an increase of 2.1% to a 23.2% usage rate. Domantas Sabonis is the Pacer that scores the most fantasy points per minute at 1.39 with Oladipo off the floor. If you want to do a little speculating, Aaron Holiday could be a nice pickup. He’s played 275 minutes without Oladipo on the court and has garnered a 24.1% usage rate and scored 1.06 fantasy points per minute. Granted, most of that run came earlier in the year, as he hasn’t received 10 minutes of run in any game this month, but someone to keep an eye on. Anyways, hate to see injuries and let’s all send good vibes towards the Oladipo family. Oladipo Ho! Oladipo Ho! Oladipo Ho! 

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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I have to start this article by saying that I’m a big fan of Stephen Curry, but simultaneously I’m a bigger fan of science. And those two seemed to have a conflict recently with Curry suggesting that the moon landing didn’t happen during a recent podcast. NASA’s response was immediate.

This is the second occurrence of an NBA player making such a comment after Kyrie Irving’s infamous flat earth theory. My humble personal opinion is that these guys are role models for millions of children worldwide and as role models, they ought to have a more well-informed opinion on scientific matters. Their opinions may shape the views of millions that look up to them, so their statements carry a significant weight. I would love to hear your opinion on that matter in the comments. I’m interested to see your point of view. OK, Rant over, let’s review last week’s calls and move on to this week’s suggestions!

Tim Frazier is doing exactly what is expected from him, with elite assists and contributions in steals and triples, and I really like him as long as Elfrid Payton is sidelined. Kevin Huerter has seen his minutes increase and is becoming a deep-league asset, while Marvin Williams returned quicker than expected and somewhat capped Miles Bridges’ upside. Finally, Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell will have low end value until DeMarcus Cousins returns.

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The whole NBA world held their breath when Caris LeVert suffered a gruesome injury against the Timberwolves on Monday. It looked bad, like the season-ending injuries Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Lin endured. Thankfully, the best-case scenario prevailed and he only suffered a dislocation, meaning he can be back on the court in approximately three months. That’s a long time away, which makes LeVert a luxury stash only.

Taking a look at last week’s suggestions, Eric Bledsoe had a great week and, as I specifically mentioned last week, the steals improved to 2.0 per game (3 games). Pascal Siakam is on fire, averaging 22 points since I mentioned him. He looks like the real deal and has the ability to be a steady fantasy contributor all season long. The rest of the suggested players to Buy were Derrick White, who had a good and an average game as he gets back up to speed from his injury and Mitchell Robinson, who had a 9 block game and potentially carried many H2H teams to victory last week.

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This week we take a look at the Northwest Division, which boasts some exciting teams to watch, some great individual offensive talents, and one seriously unresolved soap opera situation. This division is filled with teams that keep coming at you; hardworking, team-oriented outfits that don’t stop until the whole tree is on the ground. In other words, what the Timberwolves want to be.

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The 2018-19 NBA season kicked off this past Tuesday, but more importantly, this year’s Razzball Commenter Leagues have begun! Last year, we had 12 commenter leagues. This season we have 18! Thank you to everyone who is participating. It is going to be an awesome year.

Every Tuesday I will update the standings, summarize the action, look at some of the best moves, and name a Team-of-the-Week. So, not only are you playing for your own league’s title, you are playing for the title of overall Razzball Commenter Champion. Last year’s champion, Pikachu, finished with an overall record of 117-61-2 and he is back again this year to defend. Let’s see if anyone can take down the champ.

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Before we embark upon a new endeavor, we often count one…two…three…then go! For the rookie down in Hotlanta, the start to this new season has gone uno…dos…Trae Young is here!

GM PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
1 14 6 5 0 0 4 1/5 5/14 3/4
2 20 2 9 1 1 3 4/9 7/18 2/3
3 35 2 11 1 0 1 6/14 13/23 3/3

Young has improved each game in points, assists, turnovers, threeecolas, and field goals. Maybe it’s a case of “Third time is a charm,” but I’m more inclined to believe that it was a case of warming up the engine. You know who’s with me? The Stocktonator, as it liked him yesterday. Beep. Boop. Bop. There’s a reason he was the overall #5 pick in the NBA Draft and has been compared to Stephen Curry. Now, yesterday was likely a ceiling game and there will be plenty of ups and downs, but oh what a ceiling it is. Played 38 minutes and led his team to a 22 point victory over the Cavs. Make it rain, Trae.

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

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In Latin, Anno Domini means “in the year of the Lord.” Any coincidence that Anthony Davis is the fantasy lord? I think not. AD was the consensus overall number one pick coming into the season, and for good reason. He hammer times and moon walks over the competition by literally doing everything. For the infidels who blasphemously inserted another player on the throne, take a look at last nights line and ponder your unfulfilling existence.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
32 16 8 3 3 1 0 13/21 6/7

This wasn’t no “Devin Booker score 70 points in a double digit loss” line. This was a “let’s beatdown the Houston Rockets by 19 points” line. Bend the knee.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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After a disappointing end to the 2017 season, the Nuggets should be in the Western Conference playoff hunt again. This should be a fun team to watch, as there is a ton of young talent who will be playing in an uptempo offense. They drafted a highly touted rookie in Michael Porter Jr., who comes with major injury concerns, and added Isaiah Thomas, one of the best scorers in the league who also carries a ton of injury risk. So there will be a lot of question marks going into the season, making it difficult to predict how they will finish in the Wild Wild West. However you slice it, this team is flush with fantasy players who I will want on my team.

Please, blog, may I have some more?