November 5, 2018, 6:18 pm
Hey Hoop Ballers! We’re bringing back the Weekly Report which was formerly written by the great Erik Ong. Instead of providing z-score values for all stats I’ll be showing you the top-10 players in each of the standard eight counting categories by stat totals from the past week. In addition to showing you the best performers in counting categories, I’ll also give you guys a look at players that helped and hurt your team the most in field goal and free throw percentages with their z-score values.
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Under each category I’ll provide analysis on player performances and whether or not they are trends or anomalies. The purpose of this is to give owners (especially those in head-to-head leagues) some context for their weekly matchups. When you play in a head-to-head league, the weekly chunks may lead to greater variance due to the smaller sample size. Because of this, each week/matchup is a different beast and while your team may excel in shooting, you could have lost last week because you started Chris Paul and Zach LaVine.
Top 20 Players for Week 3 (Oct 29th – Nov 4th)
Rank Value Name Games 1 1.27 Stephen Curry 3 2 0.96 Josh Richardson 3 3 0.93 Kawhi Leonard 2 4 0.91 Russell Westbrook 3 5 0.83 Serge Ibaka 4 6 0.82 Kyrie Irving 3 7 0.79 DeMar DeRozan 4 8 0.75 J.R. Smith 1 9 0.74 Kevin Durant 3 10 0.73 Karl-Anthony Towns 4 11 0.65 Victor Oladipo 4 12 0.65 Jimmy Butler 2 13 0.65 Wendell Carter Jr. 4 14 0.62 Giannis Antetokounmpo 2 15 0.59 Klay Thompson 3 16 0.59 Buddy Hield 4 17 0.50 Nikola Mirotic 4 18 0.47 Bradley Beal 3 19 0.45 Danilo Gallinari 3 20 0.42 Joel Embiid 5 21 0.42 Damian Lillard 5
Your MVP of week 3 and of the season so far is Stephen Curry, who is currently shooting more efficiently than he did during his unanimous MVP campaign. During the offseason Curry stated, “I might be delusional but I feel like I can get better at putting the ball in the basket.” It turns out he wasn’t delusional because 10 games into the year he’s averaging 32.9 points and 5.9 threes on .539 shooting. It’ll be hard to maintain those numbers with Kevin Durant on the team now, but all signs are pointing to another monster year for Curry.
It’s nice to see familiar faces on this list after some sluggish starts, most notably from Kyrie Irving and Karl-Anthony Towns. There are still legitimate concerns about whether or not Kyrie will live up to his turn-of-the-first-round ADP but a top-25 finish is well within reach for Uncle Drew. With Gordon Hayward struggling to regain his form, the Celtics will be leaning on Irving heavily as they have been the past week. His slow start could also be explained by his recovery from a knee injury which cost him the last month of the 2017-2018 NBA season. It looks like the rust is wearing off and the Celtics are slowly learning to play together.
Buddy Hield is also in the midst of a breakout season and while we like him here at Hoop Ball, we don’t think a .480 clip from deep is sustainable. Even with some regression due, Hield is primed for a top-50 finish now that the Kings are finally letting their young guys run. Speaking of young guys, Wendell Carter Jr. started the year off poorly, but topped this week with averages of 17/9/4/1.5/2 on .490 shooting. He’s taking off for the Bulls and the return of Lauri Markkanen shouldn’t sap away too much value.
Danilo Gallinari has also been excellent in terms of scoring for fantasy owners, but he’s still only hitting .436 from the field which is actually above his career average. What’s really boosting his value is the .980 shooting from the line on 5.4 FTA/g. These numbers are actually sustainable for Gallo, but the question as always with him is health.
Top 10 Players (Counting Stats)
Rank Name Games Points 1 Joel Embiid 5 137 2 Damian Lillard 5 112 3 DeMar DeRozan 4 110 4 LeBron James 4 104 5 Serge Ibaka 4 94 6 Victor Oladipo 4 94 7 Buddy Hield 4 94 8 Klay Thompson 3 92 9 Jrue Holiday 4 90 10 Zach LaVine 4 90 10 C.J. McCollum 5 90
Joel Embiid had some monster lines this week and to top it off he played five games. Jrue Holiday is starting to the turn the ship around after a slow start and the return of Anthony Davis has not impacted him in a negative way. Even though Zach LaVine and C.J. McCollum were top-10 players in scoring this week it should be noted that McCollum played in five games and LaVine was atrocious (.385 shooting) from the field.
Rank Name Games Rebounds 1 Joel Embiid 5 62 2 Nikola Mirotic 4 51 3 Jusuf Nurkic 5 49 4 Karl-Anthony Towns 4 48 5 Al-Farouq Aminu 5 45 6 Hassan Whiteside 3 44 7 Andre Drummond 3 44 8 Victor Oladipo 4 41 9 Pascal Siakam 4 41 10 Ben Simmons 5 40 10 DeAndre Jordan 3 40
Nikola Mirotic has posted four straight games with double-digit rebounds and two of those games were with Anthony Davis. He’s found the perfect fit in New Orleans and is on pace for the best rebounding season of his career — these numbers aren’t a fluke. Al-Farouq Aminu is going to pop up on the rebounding leaderboards every once in a while and is the most inconsistent player on this list. There’s a ton of hype around Pascal Siakam and rightfully so, but the shooting will dip a little and he’s benefiting from the Raptors playing with some injuries. He should still be owned, but keep your expectations in check.
Jusuf Nurkic is keeping Zach Collins at bay for now with some big performances and there’s a possibility of both centers coexisiting with value in the fantasy world. Nurkic and Collins are both productive and efficient, even in limited minutes. Collins has been a bit slow lately but owners should hang on for a couple more games to see if he can nudge his way to more playing time.
Rank Name Games Assists 1 Kyle Lowry 4 54 2 Ben Simmons 5 38 3 Nikola Jokic 4 38 4 Trae Young 4 37 5 Jrue Holiday 4 36 6 De’Aaron Fox 4 34 7 Draymond Green 3 30 8 Russell Westbrook 3 30 9 Chris Paul 3 28 10 LeBron James 4 26
Kyle Lowry is having a career year at age 32 and his numbers are up across the board. The Raptors look legit and he’s leading the league in assists at 11.6 per game with second place being Russell Westbrook at 8.8. Lowry’s dished out double digit dimes in the last eight games and is the No. 8 player in 9-cat leagues.
Trae Young was touted by the Hawks coaching staff for his passing ability and it’s showing from the box score. Even though his shooting numbers can tank you any given week and his defensive stats are almost non-existent, he’s worth owning because of the scarcity in assists.
Rank Name Games Steals 1 Robert Covington 5 13 2 Marc Gasol 3 11 2 Caris LeVert 4 11 3 Ben Simmons 5 10 3 Russell Westbrook 3 10 4 Pascal Siakam 4 9 4 Thaddeus Young 4 9 4 John Wall 3 9 5 Victor Oladipo 4 8 5 Chris Paul 3 8 6 Kyle Lowry 4 7 6 Andrew Wiggins 3 7 6 Ricky Rubio 3 7 6 Evan Fournier 3 7
Lord Covington had five games last week and delivered the cash counters. If he made one one more 3-pointer he would have been top-10 in each of the money counting stats. The shooting numbers and popcorn stats won’t wow you, but that’s not why you drafted him.
Victor Oladipo started off a bit slow defensively, but has recorded at least two steals in three consecutive games. Last year’s defensive numbers will be hard to replicate, but he should get close.
Rank Name Games Blocks 1 JaVale McGee 4 16 2 Myles Turner 4 12 3 Joel Embiid 5 10 4 Wendell Carter Jr. 4 8 4 Hassan Whiteside 3 8 4 Pau Gasol 4 8 4 Brook Lopez 3 8 5 Robert Covington 5 7 5 Karl-Anthony Towns 4 7 5 Jonas Valanciunas 4 7 5 Bradley Beal 3 7 5 Clint Capela 3 7 5 Draymond Green 3 7
Yes, you’re reading that correctly — Bradley Beal had seven blocks last week but this reeks of a fluke performance. Besides having games with three and four blocks (a career-high he’s only done once before), he hasn’t tallied more than one block in any other game this season.
It doesn’t look like Myles Turner is going to reach early-round value, but he’s healthy and blocking shots this season which is enough.
It’s JaVale McGee’s world and we’re all just living in it. In this beautiful world McGee could end the season averaging 3.0 blocks per game and as of now he’s the steal of the draft – he’s leading the league in total blocks, which also happens to be the most scarce fantasy stat.
Rank Name Games 3s 1 Klay Thompson 3 19 2 Justin Holiday 4 16 3 Tim Hardaway Jr. 4 15 4 Kyrie Irving 3 14 5 Joe Harris 4 14 6 Stephen Curry 3 13 7 J.J. Redick 5 13 8 Jae Crowder 3 13 9 Buddy Hield 4 12 10 Karl-Anthony Towns 4 11 10 Josh Richardson 3 11 10 Antonio Blakeney 4 11 10 Landry Shamet 5 11 10 Marcus Morris 3 11 10 Patty Mills 4 11 10 Danny Green 4 11
Klay Thompson set an NBA record when he hit 14 triples in Chicago and it was only a matter of time until he heated up. His hot streaks are as bizarre as his cold streaks. Klay will be Klay and there was never a need for worry.
Joe Harris is 30-for-50 from deep to start the season and needs to be on more fantasy teams. Justin Holiday is also a solid Waiver Wire add for those who need scoring while Harris figures to be a stronger long term play because of the impending return of Kris Dunn.
Rank Name Games FG% Value FG% FGA 1 Giannis Antetokounmpo 2 3.49 0.636 33 2 Serge Ibaka 4 3.31 0.635 63 3 Tobias Harris 3 2.62 0.625 40 4 Allonzo Trier 4 2.59 0.719 32 5 Pascal Siakam 4 2.50 0.651 43 6 Domantas Sabonis 4 2.38 0.741 27 7 DeMar DeRozan 4 2.37 0.575 73 8 Shelvin Mack 3 2.30 0.655 29 9 Jerami Grant 3 2.26 0.680 25 10 John Wall 3 2.21 0.591 44
Giannis isn’t shooting more triples and there’s no need to if you can get to the rim as easily as he does. He’ll be on this list frequently while we might never see Serge Ibaka here again because his 15-for-17 FG game against the Lakers looks like a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Rank Name FT% Value FT% FTA 1 Danilo Gallinari 4.13 1.00 23 2 DeMar DeRozan 3.37 1.00 25 3 Lou Williams 2.88 0.92 25 4 Damian Lillard 2.86 0.97 31 5 Josh Richardson 2.43 0.94 18 6 Zach LaVine 2.16 0.92 25 7 Stephen Curry 2.08 0.94 16 8 LaMarcus Aldridge 1.90 1.00 14 9 Victor Oladipo 1.70 0.94 17 10 Quinn Cook 1.63 1.00 3 10 Markieff Morris 1.63 1.00 6
Gallinari and DeRozan make their living at the line and having them on your team dramatically improves your FT% because of the sheer volume. It’s also good to see Josh Richardson and Zach LaVine on this list as getting to the line frequently gives players a higher floor for their scoring averages and increased free throw rates are generally a sign of overall offensive improvement.
Rank Value Name Games FG% Value FG% FGA 1 -0.15 Mike Conley 3 -3.97 0.308 52 2 -0.43 De’Anthony Melton 1 -3.67 0.250 12 3 0.33 Donovan Mitchell 2 -3.37 0.370 46 4 -0.12 Khris Middleton 3 -2.96 0.317 41 5 0.06 Zach LaVine 4 -2.46 0.385 78 6 -0.42 J.J. Redick 5 -2.44 0.338 65 7 0.35 Chris Paul 3 -2.36 0.386 57 8 -0.32 Brook Lopez 3 -2.23 0.261 23 9 -0.46 Tyus Jones 3 -2.23 0.261 23 10 0.39 Paul George 3 -2.20 0.380 50
No, we didn’t believe LaVine would end the year shooting above .500 and the regression was bound to happen after a blistering start. He should start to stabilize near the mid to low .400s in shooting.
Chris Paul had awful games against Portland and Chicago, with one of them being the second game of a back-to-back set. He was missing floaters and bunnies that usually fall so we expect him to bounce back in a big way with James Harden back in the fold.
Our darling Donovan Mitchell is struggling from the floor, but he’s dealing with a sprained ankle which has thrown him off his rhythm. He’s taking a ton of 3-point shots and went 0-for-7 during his last game. He’ll get his shooting turned around eventually, but his improvement in that area doesn’t seem likely after eight games.
Rank Value Name Games FT% Value FT% FTA 1 -0.28 Clint Capela 3 -4.71 0.522 23 2 -0.33 Willie Cauley-Stein 4 -3.59 0.444 18 3 -0.08 Andre Drummond 3 -3.01 0.579 19 4 0.32 Marc Gasol 3 -2.74 0.563 16 5 0.62 Giannis Antetokounmpo 2 -2.25 0.696 23 6 -0.40 Alfonzo McKinnie 3 -2.12 0.333 6 7 -0.44 Marvin Bagley III 4 -1.92 0.588 17 8 -0.12 Alex Len 4 -1.85 0.636 22 9 0.11 Hassan Whiteside 3 -1.85 0.583 12 10 -0.28 Tyler Johnson 3 -1.67 0.615 13
These are all names you’d expect to be on this list. Andre Drummond’s improved free throw shooting can still tank your team as he took 19 attempts this week and Giannis’s fantasy value is going to be hampered by his inability to hit triples and free throws.
James Harden appears to be back in form after missing three games due to a hamstring injury.
John Collins (ankle) is still without a timetable but is traveling with the team during their upcoming road trip. Expect him back sometime around mid-November.
Bobby Portis (knee), Kris Dunn (knee) and Lauri Markkanen (elbow) are all targeting the end of November as return dates so plan accordingly. Get your Justin Holiday stock while it’s hot.
Kevin Love (foot) is starting the beginning of his six week timetable which ends mid-December. There are no clear cut winners on the Cavs from a fantasy standpoint.
Luka Doncic (ankle) is a game-time decision for Tuesday and missed Sunday’s practice. The Mavs play in a back-to-back set and Doncic might be resting up for both games as the injury doesn’t appear too serious.
Isaiah Thomas (hip) is still out for another week at least while Paul Millsap (ankle) is a game-time decision. Will Barton (groin) is still expected to miss time until early December.
Eric Gordon (hip) missed Saturday’s game against the Bulls and could miss a couple more. With him out, Carmelo Anthony gets a short boost for owners in need of points.
Dion Waiters (ankle) and James Johnson (abdomen) are both returning soon, but the emergence of Rodney McGruder might make it difficult for Coach Spoelstra to give them their roles from last year. Wayne Ellington is already struggling to earn minutes on this deep Heat squad. Goran Dragic (toe) is returning for tonight’s game but Hassan Whiteside will be out with knee soreness.
Jeff Teague (knee) is out and Derrick Rose (ankle) is a game-time decision while Jimmy Butler (holdout) is playing Monday night but you’ll have to check his status daily to make sure. Butler is going to be a bit of a headache until he’s dealt and knowing how stubborn Coach Thibodeau is, waiting for a Butler deal to happen may take much longer than it should.
Elfrid Payton (ankle) is expected to be out about another week while Anthony Davis (elbow) made his return Sunday.
Kevin Knox (ankle) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (back) are both game-time decisions and the return of Knox should put a dent into Noah Vonleh’s value.
Jonathan Isaac (ankle) has been a headache from the start, but he’s too talented to outright drop. The Magic have dodged a bullet in what seems to be a minor ankle injury so we’re going to advise you to hold onto Isaac because of his top-75 fantasy ceiling.
Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) is expected to return any day now and should be picked up off any waiver wires.
Rudy Gay (heel) sat against the Magic on Sunday and while he was producing at a top-100 value, his durability is always going to be a concern.
Kawhi Leonard (foot) is still resting in back-to-back sets as the Raptors are going to make sure he’s 100% for the playoffs. He’s producing at an elite level so he’s worth starting weekly even if he only plays three games.
Donovan Mitchell (ankle) missed the first game of a back-to-back set, played in the second and didn’t look like himself. He’ll miss Utah’s game tonight against Toronto but he should be considered day-to-day going forward. Dante Exum (shoulder) avoided a major injury scare and is a game-time decision.
Otto Porter Jr. (toe) has been terrible to start the season but there’s plenty of time for him to get right.
June 18, 2019, 4:49 pmRobert Covington - F - Minnesota Timberwolves
Wolves President of operation Gerrson Rosas said that Robert Covington’s (right knee bone bruise) health is improving and he is on pace to be ready to go at the start of next season.
Covington missed the majority of this past season with a knee injury that just could never heal. That said, when Covington was on the court he showed massive fantasy potential with averages of 2.1 steals, 1.3 blocks and 2.4 threes. Those numbers alone would make him a fantasy monster, and a name to keep tabs on should he put the knee issues behind me.
Source: Dane Moore on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 4:36 pmChris Paul - G - Houston Rockets
According to sources of Yahoo! Sports, Chris Paul wants to be traded off the Rockets as his relationship with James Harden is "unsalvageable."
Whoa. There's been rumblings that the two were at odds, as well as Paul being shopped, but this may be the final blow for a team that disappointed their opportunities the last few years. Paul's contract makes it hard for him to be traded, though the asking price may be as low as ever. This offseason continues to get crazier.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
June 18, 2019, 3:34 pmRicky Rubio - G - Utah Jazz
Ricky Rubios is expected to be a top target for the Pacers in free agency.
The Jazz informed Rubio earlier this month that he would not be a priority for them this offseason, so Rubio will be looking to don a new uniform next season. Rubio is a solid starter in this league, and is expected to get quite a bit of interest on the market as a second-tier PG.
Source: The Ringer
June 18, 2019, 3:13 pmRob Pelinka - Team - Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are discussing signing potential role-player free agents in the $10 million plus range.
The Lakers made the splash of the offseason by finally getting their hands on Anthony Davis, and now it is time to figure out who will be filling out the roster after they get an expected 3rd max player. They'll surely be looking at players who would take a 1-year deal. Some names mentioned in the link were Marcus Morris, J.J. Reddick, Patrick Beverley, Seth Curry and Danny Green. Depending on who the third star is, any of these names make sense. We'd expect J.J. Reddick's floor spacing and Patrick Beverley's tenacity to get the first calls from the Laker front office.
Source: Lakers Nation
June 18, 2019, 3:01 pmGoga Bitadze - Team - College
Goga Bitadze only worked out for the Spurs, Hawks, Pistons, Hornets and Celtics prior to the NBA draft on Thursday.
Checking in at 6’11” and 250 lbs. the 20-year old big man from Georgia is a massive individual who has been invited to the NBA Draft Green Room. The Green Room is usually reserved for lottery and mid-first round selections, so it will be interesting to find out where he lands. The Spurs have shown a willingness to draft and develop overseas prospects more than any other franchise over the years and seem like a logical landing spot, but they’d have to see the four other teams all pass on Bitadze to get that chance. We’d expect Bitadze to go to the Hornets at 12 or the Celtics at 14.
Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 2:47 pmBob Myers - Team - Golden State Warriors
Bob Myers said that the plan is to try and get a player who can be a “rotational guy,” and that the team will be looking for someone who can be a secondary scorer.
We saw in the NBA Finals how much the Warriors need another player who can create on offense and be a threat to score the ball. With Kevin Durant’s (torn Achilles) future uncertain and Klay Thompson (torn ACL) out for a while, the Warriors badly need someone who can put the ball in the basket to complement Stephen Curry.
Source: The Mercury News
June 18, 2019, 2:32 pmHarrison Barnes - F - Sacramento Kings
Kings forward Harrison Barnes is declining his $25.1 million player option and becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Wow. File this under one of the shockers of the offseason. With Barnes off the books, the Kings suddenly just became players in free agency, and can now look at the top-tier big men. The report also states that the Kings and Barnes are open to exploring a new contract, but we have to believe that Barnes won't come close to the $25 million he would have made with the Kings. We'll have to wait and see if Barnes regrets this decision or not.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 2:14 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers
According to Ramona Shelburne on ESPN, Anthony Davis intends to keep the $4 million he is due for the trade bonus, but things can always change.
While it is Davis' money and it is hard for anyone to tell another person to decline what is theirs, receiving the trade bonus would make the team's life much harder in free agency. With that said, Davis can make more money in endorsements and outside his NBA salary now that he is in LaLa Land with LeBron James. We'll see what happens, but conventional wisdom would say that AD will give his team more flexibility to provide himself with a better chance at a ring.
Source: Ramona Shelburne on ESPN
June 18, 2019, 2:05 pmAaron Brooks - Team - Minnesota Timberwolves
After signing LaMelo Ball on Monday, the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian NBL announced the signing of Aaron Brooks on Tuesday.
The former Oregon standout was a 10-year NBA vet who last appeared with the Wolves in the 2017-18 NBA season. Brooks is 34 years old and once put up 19.6 ppg with the Rockets in the 2009-10 season. While he doesn't offer NBA teams much at this stage in his career, he can probably still get buckets in Australia.
Source: Olgun Uluc on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 1:54 pmJordan Poole - Team - College
Ex-Michigan star guard Jordan Poole wrapped up his pre-draft workouts with a final workout with the Warriors, who own the 28th pick, on Tuesday.
The Warriors have been conducting as many workouts as they could in the days since the NBA Finals ended. Warriors GM Bob Myers has shown to go with the best player available approach in recent years, and it is likely that he goes that route again. The Warriors have made quite a few savvy picks in the later rounds, and with the Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson injuries, this year’s pick has the chance at a more sizable role than the last few had.
Source: Gery Woelful on Twitter