After seven total days of games we have absolute knowledge of all things basketball. All current trends will hold for the remainder of the season; all statistics will stay the same over the next 79 games; all ratios and percentages will CONTINUE, UNINTERRUPTED, like asteroids shooting through space, unimpeded by obstacles like planets or moons, nor the fatal seduction of a black hole’s crushing embrace. We hold these numbers to be ETERNAL.
As such, you should treat the below numbers as GOSPEL. ALL of these players will have PRECISELY the same value at the end of the season (if there truly is such a thing as..an end) as they do now.
Sorry, wait, I said that wrong. All of this could literally change in one day. These stats don’t even have the staying power of a wave at night. They are instant, insubstantial, like smoke in a dream, like an asteroid that can’t stop hitting stuff and just wants to be hugged to death by a black hole.
But, enough about asteroids. Let’s talk about shooting stars.
Here are some good players who are most likely super available in your leagues. (Though, not on date night, since they are professional athletes and presumably already have dinner plans; I, on the other hand, do not! For, I do not eat dinner. True Pistons fans do not eat regular meals; they merely scrounge what they can, when they can. Be that a feral cat you defeated atop the Brooklyn Bridge at 4am last night, or two slices of kraft american cheese with a slice of bologna in between them so that it makes a kinda sandwich, sorta. Also, at 4am last night.)
We’re only going to do players owned in less than 25% of all leagues, so they are SUPER DUPER available.
Tony Snell - (1.8% owned)
This is kind of unacceptable. Snell is averaging 33 minutes a game, so he’s getting plenty of opportunities; his player rating of 55 (standard ESPN) is higher than Dejounte Murray and Herr Schroder (and, Stanley Johnson, but who cares). Snell is a starter on a good team and should be rostered.
Taurean Prince - (15%)
Prince is a starter, he averages double digit shots per game, and he played 37 minutes on Monday. In my dynasty league, which has slightly different rules, he has the same rating as Hipster Melo. Is that a guy who’s worth rostering? Then, so is Prince.
Allen Crabbe - (17.5%)
Crabbe comes off the bench but he gets the minutes. He’s hitting from outside and the Nets play the fastest in the NBA. Crabbe is worth having on your roster. He’s ranked #51 on ESPN’s player rater, better than Kevin Love and Lonzo “Ask My Daddy, He’s In Charge” Ball.
Danny Green - (15%)
Here’s another starter who just isn’t getting any attention. He’s taking the 2nd most shots on the Spurs behind LaMarcus Aldridge and he had FIVE BLOCKS the other night. FIVE. Starters who shoot AND get you steals or blocks are starters who should be on your team.
Jerryd Bayless - (100% owned by me, 7% owned on ESPN)
Bayless is my starting point guard. But, he’s been good! He’s not racking up assists, though, which is just hysterical. Ben Simmons has been distributing and Bayless and JJ Redick have been waiting beyond the arc. But, while Bayless is starting and Markelle Fultz is not, you should play him, if only for the amount of opportunities he gets by Embiid and Simmons going inside.
Marco Belinelli - (7.5%)
Belinelli is also coming off the bench but if you’re hurting for a shooter, he’s a guy who can rack up 20 points for you on a good night. Might be best used as a streamer.
Here are some other observations from the first seven days:
- Danilo Gallinari is #1 in plus-minus. Now, +/- isn’t perfect, and obviously Gallinari isn’t the best player in the league, but then again, YOU’RE NOT PERFECT, EITHER, ARE YA?
- Earl Watson was fired from the Suns after three games. You can’t lose your home opener by 50 points. I thought he’d be fired the next day, honestly, but the Suns ownership was probably still too shellshocked to think properly. The Young Suns are going to be ruined by Robert Sarver. That should have been the most obvious prediction to make before the season began. Man oh man. Sorry, Phoenix, you definitely deserve better than this. Hopefully, you get something nice for Eric Bledsoe, though the history of players forcing their way outta town doesn’t suggest it’s a profitable enterprise for the team that loses the player.
- The Brooklyn Nets intro has a cartoon silhouette dribbling through Brooklyn to the arena, and he tags stuff all along the way. Spray painting your tag is all about being accurate and clear, otherwise it just becomes a mess. Accuracy is not what I think of when I think of the Brooklyn Nets.
- Getting back to Eric Bledsoe real fast: this is a crappy situation for him as a person in his workplace, but his value is in a weird place right now and he didn’t do himself any favors. Which contender would trade real pieces for him? The Clippers, maybe. The Heat? I don’t think Bledsoe really fits on a lot of teams. The Nuggets make sense, but they’re the ones who lost Carmelo to New York and got screwed; would that history sour the negotiations? Regardless, he’d be good on Denver, and I think that’s the best option. I also think he’d look interesting in New Orleans. They were going to pair Jrue Holiday with another point guard, anyway, in Rajon Rondo, so why not shoot for the stars and try to add another actual (youngish) player? If he joined the Pelicans, their team would be him, Jrue, Boogie and the Brow. You add a 3D wing to help with spacing (remember, both Boogie and Anthony Davis are good outside shooters) and, alla sudden!, you got yourself a purty darn good orange-in-the-bucket team! Maaaaaaybe that convinces Anthony Davis to stay? And, if you make the playoffs, maaaaaybe Boogie does, too? I have a feeling this is going to be a weird year. There were too many offseason changes, too many strange decisions, too many injuries already, and besides, the entire real world is crazy AF right now, so why wouldn’t the NBA be, too? Like, if the NBA has its craziest season possible, POSSIBLE, then who’s in the Finals? Toronto and New Orleans? I would absotively posilutely adore that. It won’t happen, but sigh, it technically could.
- I like what I’ve seen from Jarrett Allen. I think he looks good! And, his hair is just awesome. Well done, young man.
- Markelle Fultz is injured. How can anyone think otherwise? This is weird. He’s, like, VERY CLEARLY INJURED. He CANNOT SHOOT THE ORANGE INTO THE BUCKET. SOMETHING IS WRONG! And, now we hear that Fultz had fluid drained from his shoulder? Donde esta el Making Sense, bro? You shut Simmons and Embiid down even if they only hurt their feelings, and not their actual bodies, but you’re forcing a 19 year old rookie to play through pain? I feel like that’s...the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. But, y’know, it’s not like the Colangelos or the 76ers have ever done anything incredibly dumb before.
- The Orlando Magic mascot, “Stuff,” looks like the person at a furrycon that you desperately try to avoid. And, if you saw him outside your home you’d call the cops IMMEDIATELY. (Or, whatever cute animal analog serves as the local constabulary. Pigs is too on the nose, sorry, snout. [Editor’s note: Sorry.] What about triceratops? I know they’re extinct (...probably), but I always found them to be the most trustworthy-looking of the dinosaurs. They project a certain calm demeanor, a quiet gravitas, that is reminiscent of Morgan Freeman or me. Whatever, triceratops would make good cops, is what I’m saying. GASP! Tricera-Cops!! And, giraffes should be highway patrol.)
- I can’t believe the Bulls are up by 3 over Cleveland at the half. IN CLEVELAND. I hope the Bulls win. Haha, that would be so funny! [Editor’s note: they didn’t.]
- Go Pistons.