• What’s up HoopBallers!

    We’ve come a long way, a very long way.

    Welcome to the final Stock Watch of the season, where it really does seem like it was just yesterday that I was writing the preseason edition. Some teams have finished their seasons while others have one game left so it’s more likely than not that most fantasy leagues have wrapped up.

    If you won your league, CONGRATS! I know how hard it was, all of the struggles, the injuries, the missed games, but you got through it. If you didn’t win, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not going to win every year and this is just one of those years. If It makes you feel any better, if I had to choose anyone in your league to win next year, I’m choosing you.

    So, this week’s edition is going to be formatted slightly differently considering that most teams have been resting players and no one’s value has really changed that much over the past week. Don’t worry though, it won’t be anything too big. So just sit back, relax and enjoy this season’s final edition of Stock Watch.

    Here are the “Stock Up” guys from last week with a little update on how their stocks have changed, with “Stock Up” meaning they’re still on the rise, “Neutral” meaning their stock hasn’t changed and “Stock Down” meaning they’re on the decline:

    Quinn Cook, PG, Golden State Warriors: Neutral

    Trey Burke, PG, New York Knicks: Neutral

    Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves: Stock Up

    Michael Beasley, SF/PF, New York Knicks: Neutral

    Tyler Ulis, PG, Phoenix Suns: Neutral

    Anthony Tolliver, SF/PF, Detroit Pistons: Stock Up

    MarShon Brooks, SG/SF, Memphis Grizzlies: Stock Up

    Stock Up

     Khris Middleton, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Middleton has really come on as of late, averaging 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.4 triples while shooting .454 percent from the field over the past two weeks. He’s playing heavy minutes with 37.9 per game, the most out of any player over that two-week time span, and he’s the 11th ranked player over the past seven games. He’s emerged as the Bucks’ clear second option, attempting 17.0 shots per game which is the most out of any player not named Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s only turning the ball over 2.9 times per game which is good for a player that has the ball in his hands as much Middleton does. He’s got a 25.1 percent usage rate since March 20th, the second highest on the team behind, you guessed it, the Greek Freak. The Bucks are going into the playoffs and Middleton is going to be a crucial part to their success, just as he likely was to his owners’ fantasy teams.

    Allen Crabbe, SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets

    Crabbe has had the best season of his career on this Brooklyn Nets team that is growing up right in front of our eyes. He’s been the 18th ranked player over the past two weeks and is putting up second round value with averages of 18.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks and 3.7 triples in 28.5 minutes. He’s turned into Brooklyn’s best scorer as the 18.8 points are the most over the two-week span and he’s also attempting the most second most shots on the team with 11.7, second to only D’Angelo Russell (11.9). The great thing is, he doesn’t really create his own shot meaning that once the ball is given to him he’s usually shooting it within five seconds of catching it, which really limits his turnovers. Over the past six games he’s not even averaging a full turnover per game with 0.7 and he’s shooting a blazing .514 from the field. Safe to say it was definitely a good week for Crabbe and the Nets.

    Malik Monk, SG, Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets finished their season on Tuesday night, meaning that Monk’s rookie campaign has officially come to a close. It didn’t start off very promising, but it definitely finished that way. Over the Hornets’ last seven games Monk averaged a team-high 18.0 points to go along with 1.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 3.3 3-pointers on 46.9 percent shooting from the field. He still has to work on stuffing the stat sheet a little more, but those stats were good enough to rank him as the 74th player over that seven-game stretch. He was attempting the most shots on the team with 14.0 per game, yes, even higher than Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard who were both attempting 10.6. Monk managed to do all of this in only 23.3 minutes per game so imagine how much better he could’ve been with some increased playing time. He likely earned himself a larger part in the rotation come next season and could be a popular breakout candidate this offseason.

    Luke Kennard, SG, Detroit Pistons

    Kennard has really carved out a role in Detroit’s rotation as of late and that’s led to a definite increase in his fantasy output. He’s the 123rd ranked player over the past four games, which while isn’t amazing, is definitely serviceable for a player who was going undrafted in basically every league. He’s playing 29.6 minutes and putting up 13.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on .487 percent shooting from the field. He’s a very capable shooter and is no slouch on the defensive end as well, and he’s definitely proven that he’s capable of holding onto the ball as he’s only averaging 1.0 turnover in his last four games. Overall, this has been a successful season for Kennard, who has definitely surpassed many people’s expectations.

    Nikola Mirotic, SF/PF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Mirotic has been tremendous lately, coming in as the third ranked player in all of the NBA over his past four games. He’s serving well as a compliment to Anthony Davis and averaging 27.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks and 4.5 triples on a blazing .556 percent shooting. He’s doing his best DeMarcus Cousins impersonation and has had his best stretch of the season in the most important time for fantasy owners. He’s only averaging 0.5 turnovers per game over the past week in 34.0 minutes per game while also attempting the second most shots on the team with 18.0. He’s providing for his owners in almost every single category and knocking down 4.5 threes as a big man, which is insane in itself. If you owned Mirotic during your playoff run, you were definitely happy about it assuming you made it through his March swoon.

    Andre Ingram, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Nope it’s not a typo. There isn’t supposed to be a “Brandon” in front of that last name Ingram. If you’ve been living under a rock, Andre Ingram is the latest NBA sensation as the 32-year-old played in his first NBA game Tuesday night for the Lakers. Ingram went on to score 19 points to go along with three rebounds, one assist, one steal, three blocks and four 3-pointers in 29 minutes. Right now he’s the number one ranked fantasy player in the NBA when it comes to per-game value but that’s only because he’s played in one game. He’ll probably be off of the Lakers’ roster come to beginning of next season, but for right now his stock is definitely rising.

    Here are the “Stock Down” guys from last week with an update on how their stock has changed with “Stock Down” meaning they’re still falling, “Neutral” meaning their stock hasn’t changed and “Stock Up” meaning that they’re on the rise:

    Paul George, SG/SF/PF, Oklahoma City Thunder: Stock Up

    Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Orlando Magic: Neutral

    D’Angelo Russell, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets: Stock Up

    Stock Down

    Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors

    Lowry has a reputation for disappearing during the fantasy playoffs and he didn’t much to shed that appearance this season. Over the past two weeks Lowry is the 187th ranked player with averages of 10.0 points, 7.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 0.7 steals and 2.0 triples while shooting a horrid .328 percent from the field in 30.0 minutes. Lowry always chooses the absolute worst times to lose his shot and this year has been no different. He’s only attempting 10.7 shots per game which is lower than DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be getting more attempts than Ibaka and Valanciunas and to go along with that he’s also only shooting 75.0 percent from the charity stripe compared to the 85.6 percent he’s shooting on the season. He’s not making it any better with the 3.3 turnovers he’s averaging as of late compared to the 2.4 he’s been averaging over the season. Lowry went cold at the worst possible time for his owners, something he seems to be quite good at.

    Draymond Green, SF/PF/C, Golden State Warriors

    The Warriors need Draymond to produce just as much as his owners do and right now he isn’t helping either one very much. He’s fallen outside of the top-200 over the Warriors’ past four games as he’s averaging just 9.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5. assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.0 triples on .467 percent shooting in 29.0 minutes. Draymond usually doesn’t put up outrageous stats in any one category, instead contributing a little of everything. Right now he’s not even doing that at the level we know he’s capable of. His points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks are all down when compared to his season averages and for someone like Green, that can’t happen. Not to mention the 4.5 turnovers he’s been averaging over the past week which would be the sixth-most in the entire NBA over that time span. He was pretty good for the majority of the season, but when his owners needed him most he couldn’t put up the stat lines that they drafted him for.

    Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Miami Heat

    Olynyk has been the 171st ranked player over the past two weeks and his minutes have slowly been declining. Over Miami’s past six games he’s averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.3 steals and 1.8 triples on .500 percent shooting in only 18.1 minutes. For a player like Olynyk it’s important to stuff the stat sheet in the limited number of minutes he receives and he just hasn’t been able to do that as of late. He’s also averaging 1.8 turnovers, which wasn’t a big deal when he was producing well for owners but since that production has dropped, the turnovers mean much more. Overall, Olynyk has been one of the best pickups this season but if you needed through the very end of the season him for your fantasy playoffs I’m sure you weren’t too pleased.

    Well, that’s it for Stock Watch this season. I truly appreciate every person that has even read one word of any of the editions this season. Have a great offseason HoopBallers!

    If you want to talk about basketball or have any question you can find me on Twitter at: @najeeadams_

Fantasy News

  • Russell Westbrook - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Russell Westbrook out dueled Damian Lillard on Friday as he notched a double-double with 33 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, four triples and one block as the Thunder beat the Blazers 120-108.

    The four threes were a welcome sight for Westbrook who described his play in this series prior to Friday night as "unacceptable." After being highly inefficient in the first two games, Westbrook shot 11-for-22 as he hit shot after shot in the fourth quarter to ice the win down the stretch. Oklahoma City will hope for more of the same as they look to even the series on Sunday.

  • Paul George - F - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Paul George labored through a 3-for-16 shooting night to score 22 points (14-for-17 from the free throw line), six assists, six rebounds and two threes on Friday.

    Friday's game marked the second time in three games that George has struggled with his shot, adding to the speculation that his right shoulder injury is holding him back. Fortunately for Oklahoma City, he stayed aggressive attacking the basket and was able to chip in 14 points from the charity stripe as well as his customary lockdown defense down the stretch.

  • Jerami Grant - F - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Jerami Grant scored a playoff career-high 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting also contributing four threes and two blocks in Friday's win over the Blazers.

    Grant caught fire at the perfect time as the shooting woes that plagued Oklahoma City in the first two games disappeared on Friday night. He was one of five teammates to make two or more threes as Oklahoma City was able to cruise to a victory.

  • Dennis Schroder - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Dennis Schroder logged 32 minutes with 17 points, six assists, five rebounds, two triples and two steals on Friday night.

    Shroder and the Oklahoma City guards were able to exploit Enes Kanter routinely in this one as the steady diet of points ultimately led to them notching their first win of the season. This group is much more confident at home – look for the same intensity as they attempt to even the series at two games apiece on Sunday night.

  • Damian Lillard - G - Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard had 32 points, six assists, three triples and two steals as the Blazers fell to the Thunder by a score of 108-120 on Friday night.

    Lillard went back and forth with Russell Westbrook all night as the home team once again prevailed in this series. The animosity between these two makes for very entertaining competition. Expect Lillard to come out firing on Sunday as Portland has another opportunity to steal one on the road.

  • CJ McCollum - G - Trail Blazers

    CJ McCollum did a little of everything on Friday night with 21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, five threes and one steal.

    After missing the end of the season for Portland with a left knee injury, McCollum is consistently posting huge lines in the playoffs.McCollum's play is a big reason why Portland is leading 2-1 in this series. Look for another strong night on Sunday in Game 4.

  • Enes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers

    Enes Kanter scored 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting while adding five rebounds on Friday night.

    Kanter had a good night scoring the basketball, despite a nagging right hand injury. Unfortunately for Portland, any good done by his offensive performance was undone on the defensive end as he was frequently targeted by the Oklahoma City offense and failed to offer much resistance.

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Kyrie Irivng contributed 19 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, three threes, one steal and one block in Friday's 104-96 victory in Indiana.

    Irving has been sensational so far in the playoffs for Boston looking locked in and focused on setting up his teammates as he's notched at least seven assists in every game so far. After a season that led many to question his loyalty to this team it's good to see Irving step up and lead Boston.

  • Jaylen Brown - F - Boston Celtics

    Jaylen Brown was a man possessed Friday night as he scored 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting adding seven rebounds, four threes and one block.

    Indiana had no answer for the third-year swingman who got whatever he wanted and finally took advantage of his opportunity to start for the injured Marcus Smart. Brad Stevens remained patient after Brown struggled in the first two games of the series and was rewarded with a big night as Boston looks to sweep Indiana on Sunday.

  • Al Horford - F/C - Boston Celtics

    Al Horford had 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three threes, one steal and one block on Friday night.

    Horford continues to provide Boston with a little bit of everything they need to win as evidenced by his plus-13, which was tied for a team-best mark. After struggling a bit in Game 2 as he shook off an illness, this statistical output was more in line with what we're used to seeing.