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Fantasy basketball: Stats out of position

Boogie Cousins is REAL GOOD.

New Orleans Pelicans v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Here’s a short primer for players who accumulated numbers in statistical categories (“stat cats,” duh) that aren’t the player’s “traditional” position stats. For example, Forwards who averaged the most assists; guards who garnered the most rebounds; centers who could spell. This is to, ahem, ASSIST you in your fantasy drafts by providing you with players who do things you might not know they do.

Forwards: Assists

LeBron averaged the most assists for a forward (gasp, I know) with 8.7 PER GAME (which was SIXTH in the entire league last year. SIXTH. 6th. 6TTHTHTHTHHTHTHTHTH!) He was 8th in points (26.4), 19th in rebounds (8.6), 41st in steals (three dudes averaged two steals per game, so whatevah!), and who gives a fudge about blocks. The King was 6th in assists last year. Am I totally stupid or is he the point guard on the (ugh!) BelieveLand Cavaliers?

Sidenote: Speaking of Cleveland—and as a Detroit fan—I absolutely love Corey Kluber’s expressionless face after getting pounded and HUMILIATED ON NATIONAL TELEVISION in a post-season baseball game. It is abundantly clear that Kluber: model designation #9A-JJ3475-Romeo-Romeo wasn’t programmed to depict human emotion variant 7-delta-2: sadness, or human emotion variant 3-alpha-1/Helsinki-subvariant: 2-Zuckerberg-2: shame. Perhaps next year’s Kluber model will be capable of more facial displays (rumors are that the 2018 Kluber will include smiling and blinking).

The other forwards who produce assists are exactly who you think they are: Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Justise Winslow...wait, whut.

That’s right, human beings: Justise Winslow, who had a negative plus-minus last year, and is actually blind, averaged more assists than Kawhi Leonard and Gordon Hayward. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Natty, you can’t seriously advise me to draft a player who shot 20% from three just because he averaged more out-of-position stats than a dude who can’t turn off his mute button and an adult male with a 7th grader’s haircut, can you? STOP FREAKING OUT! I ain’t tellin’ ya to draft No Eyes Winslow, I’m just pointing out that he had a few more assists than a few other guys, that’s all. STOP SCREAMING, I’M NOT TELLING YOU TO DRAFT HIM!! I mean, I know he was injured last year, but, Joshua Herzegovina Anointed One: he shot 35% from the field and 20% from three. Was his whole body and his brain and both eyes and all of his fingers injured? Was every ball he touched filled with heavy, heavy jello? Did God subtly move the basket every time he shot the ball? Did the Devil cackle when I looked up FG% for all forwards last year and had to push “next page” one, two, three, FOUR TIMES before Justise Winslow’s name appeared?

(You know what’s worse/better? Guess who shot worse than Justise Wins?-Low.: Stanley. Mother. Fudging. Johnson. Hahaha! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING, AHAHAHAAAA, SOMEONE HELP, BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA, PLEASE!)

Guards: Rebounds

I mean, get real, it was obviously Russell Westbrook at the top of this list. He is such a man.

James Harden, who is about to embark on a 6 month journey of learning how to hate playing basketball because Chris Paul, the so-called “Point God,” (he is a God who has never been in a conference finals, perhaps suggesting that point guards, even divine ones, are not as important as we think they are) is now his teammate, was second in rebounds for guards last year. The Beard averaged a 29-11-8 last season and shot 44% from the field. You know what Boogie Cousins averaged last year? 27-11-4.5 and averaged 45% (he also made 2 threes a game) and he averaged 2 blocks+steals per game, same as Harden. Why didn’t Daryl Morey, Mr. I’m-So-Smart, trade for Boogie Cousins last season if he had almost the exact same line as Harden? In fact, why didn’t the Pistons trade for Boogie? WHY DIDN’T EVERYONE TRADE FOR BOOGIE, HE IS CLEARLY ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE LEAGUE, AND JUST BECAUSE HE DIDN’T HAVE A (UGH) “GOOD REPUTATION” IN SACRAMENTO, DOESN’T MEAN HE AIN’T GOOD! YOU’D KILL YOURSELF IF YOU HAD TO PLAY FOR THE KINGS! SO WOULD I! HE WAS ON A SHEETY TEAM RUN BY LUNATICS! GIVE HIM A BREAK AND EPIPHANICALLY REALIZE HOW DAMN GOOD THIS GUY IS! PLEASE! Houston should do whatever they can to trade for Boogie (outside of CP3 and the Beard, obviously). He is PERFECT for what they want to do. He’s not a bad guy, he just spent too much time on the horrid, dreadful Sacramento WTFs.

Nicolas Batum had the 3rd most boards for guards at 6+ a game. It totally sucks that he’s injured and we won’t get to see this Hornets team at full strength for awhile. However, I think it’s a good thing for Kid Christ (He Shall Rise Again! Yes? No? Emphatic Yes?? No.) because this should mean more minutes for MKG, who is somehow still only 24 years old. I know people don’t really like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist that much, but, get real, he plays hard, his outside shooting will most likely improve because that’s literally what everyone IN THE WORLD is working on (kinda like hitting home runs in baseball, errybuddy’s doin’ it), and he reminds me of players on the Hornets in the 90s, which makes me nostalgic, which makes me like him, which makes you and me enemies since you hate him so much. By the way, Kid Christ was #72 on the ESPN Player Rater last season, making him more valuable than Old Man Redick, Andre “Sharpshooter” Drummond, Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, AND Buddy Hield. A paragraph about Nic Batum became a paragraph about MKG. Foreshadowing of this upcoming NBA season?

The rest of the top 10 for guards in rebounds is: Avery Bradley (yessss! Go Pistons!), Patrick Beverly, DeChozen, Rondo (he had to do something), and CP3.

You know how many rebounds Stanley Johnson averaged? You’re right, who cares.

Centers: Literacy

Just kidding: none of them can spell. You don’t need words when you’re that tall. Reading and writing would just take precious time away from fighting kaiju or defending against beanstalk attacks. So, here are some interesting miscellany, ooooo!, stats from our actual big men last year.

  • Boogie and the Brow, an R&B techno fusion band and occasional basketball duo, scored the most points at the center position last year. But, after the All-Star break, and thus after the trade that brought Boogie to New Orleans, they were merely the #1 and #3 scoring big men; Karl Anthony Towns up in Minnie was #2.
  • Al Horford averaged 5 assists per game last year (#1 for a center). Nikola Jokic averaged 4.9 (#2). Boogie averaged 4.6 (#3). So, Boogie scores, Boogies rebounds, and Boogie passes. People hate on Boogie because people can’t see Boogie. It’s really sad. All they have to do is open their eyes and recognize what a hot pile of sheets the Sacramento Kings were (are) and they’ll realize that Boogie is probably better than anything we’ve seen of him thus far. Dear God, please let me see what Best Boogie will do before I die? OMG! He answered! He said: “Nope.”
  • Boogie also took 5 threes a game (shot 36%), second for centers; he averaged 9+ free throw attempts per game, #1 for centers (the Brow was #2 at 8.5 per game).
  • Only 5 centers averaged 2+ blocks per game: Rudy “the French Rejection” Gobert, Joel “Rocky at Night” Embiid, Anthony “The Brow” Davis, Myles “Miles Away From a Story” Turner (that’s a Murphy Brown joke! You’re welcome!), and Hassan Whiteside.
  • Of centers who played at least 50 games, Jahlil Okafor had the worst plus-minus at -6.4. Okafor’s still only 21 and he’s not a terrible player, but I wonder if being on Philly is good for him. The negative aspect of #TrusttheProcess is emotional: having a team full of young players who you consider disposable, just utterly replaceable if it means acquiring a top 5 draft pick, does not instill a team-first ethos or good feelings towards your front office. It might even stifle your ambition, even just a little bit. Like, is Ben Simmons going to be on the trading block if he does poorly out of the gate? Is Fultz, and his new weirdo shot, just another asset to be used in a trade for [more valuable asset, theoretically, end AI transmission]? It’s tough to get better and try harder when your boss literally doesn’t give a flying fudge about you. Hinkie was smart to try and exploit an inefficiency in the NBA’s rules. But, The Process never resulted in a #1 pick (Philly had to trade for the rights to pick Fultz); and, hasn’t yet resulted in positive outcomes (yet, very, very yet). If Embiid is the only good player The Process got Philly, was it worth it? Does stunting Okafor’s growth because you don’t consider him to be as good as someone else (possibly) could be get you anything positive? I mean, I’m pretty gosh darn sure that Jahlil’s numbers and efficiency will improve after he’s off the 76ers. I think the Sixers will make the playoffs this year, but I’m not certain this was an effective way to build a team. For instance, losing a LeBron James would have gotten Philly three #1 picks in 4 years. Just sayin’. You can Trust the Process all you want, but you ain’t never gonna have a team of LeBron Jameses. There’s only one of Him at a time. And, unfortunately, he’s in BelieveLand.