Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s what you need to know for week 6 in the NBA.
- There are three teams which play only two games: the Rockets, the Pistons and the Lakers.
- Tuesday has a single game: the Bulls “basketball” team “plays” the Lakers “basketball” team at 10:30pm. Great job, NBA. You can’t schedule an east coast or midwest game, too, on a night that has no NFL? Super duper.
- The Clippers play the Knicks, the Hawks, and the Kings. Those are some tasty matchups for scoring since each of those teams gives up at least 105 points per game. Lou Williams and Blake Griffin are each scoring 20+ points per game over the last two weeks, and Austin Rivers is averaging 15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 threes over that same span (though his ratios are atrocious). The Kings have the worst point differential in the NBA, -12.4.
- Derrick Rose is out for a few more weeks, at least. Jose Calderon started in his place (and, for the first time in over two weeks) on Friday against the Clippers, finishing with 10 minutes, no points on two shots, an assist and a steal. He is starting against the Pistons on Monday night, buuuuuuut...I mean, I kinda feel like a schmuck for suggesting you play him. On the other hand, maybe he plays 25 minutes and actually scores actual points? If you have an open roster spot, it might not be the worst thing in the world to pick him up. He’s a 40% three-point shooter in his career; if the Cavs play the way that they should, then he should be playing on the outside and looking for his shot while LeBron and Wade attack the basket. The Cavaliers play 3 games this week, one of which is against Brooklyn, which plays fastfastfast. If Brooklyn’s pace increases Cleveland’s amount of possessions, then Calderon could be useful. Maybe.
- Dallas plays Boston, Memphis and Oklahoma City. Those are three great defenses. I wouldn’t match Mavs up against them this week, if you can help it.
- T.A. Spencer Dinwiddie is now starting for the Brooklyn Nets. Can tenure track be far behind??? Professor Dinwiddie just sounds better. Regardless, he’s the starting point guard for one of the fastest teams in the league. He’s also the #1 player added over the past week. If he’s available in your league, acquire him immediately.
- Alex Len is finally getting some love. Since the 10th Len has played at least 20 minutes in every game with two double-doubles in six games (and, it could easily have been four dub-dubs). Phoenix plays Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Minnesota this week, so each team has elite bigs on it. Could be risky for Len, especially since Tyson Chandler will return from illness soon and Greg Monroe is now in the playing time mix in Phoenix. Do the Suns ever NOT have a logjam at a position?
- Mario Chalmers is the starting point guard for Memphis as long as Mike Conley is out with an achilles. Chalmers isn’t the worst player in the world, and he does seem to do better when he gets more minutes, but in all honesty, if I were looking to fill an empty roster spot, I’d target a guy like John Henson, or Slow Kyle Anderson, or CJ Miles.
- Over the last 10 games Bradley Beal is averaging 27 points per game, good for fifth in the league over that span.
- Avery Bradley is scoring nearly 20 points a game over that same span, with a 49 3PT% on 5 three point attempts per game. You know who else scores 20 points a game with 5-6 three point attempts? Kyrie Irving.
- Over the last 10 games only five players are attempting at least 8 threes a game: James Harden, Eric Gordon, Steph Curry, Dame Lillard and...Tim Hardaway, Jr.
- Enes Kanter is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds over the last ten games. He’s basically been Dwight Howard with better ratios. Kanter’s ownership is up to 80% so it may be tough to get him, but he’s looked great (offensively) for the Knicks.
- Both Jeff Teague and Kyle Lowry are averaging 7+ assists over the last 10 games. Lowry is ranked 17th in my fantasy league’s player rater (which has different/more stat cats than ESPN basic), which surprised the hell out of me. He’s averaging 15 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists on the season, which also surprised the hell out of me. He’s really turned it on recently, too, nearly getting a triple-double in two of his last three games.
- Tony Snell and Kyle Korver both have 69 TS% (true shooting) on the season, tops in the NBA. Korver averages 11 fewer minutes than Snell on the season, and takes 8 shots per game, while Snell takes 6 shots per game. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TONY SNELL NEEDS MORE SHOTS.
- THREE Philadelphia 76ers are top 30 players so far this season (Simmons, Embiid, and Robert “Bob” Covington). Uh oh. They couldn’t, like, make a trade and actually try to do something in the playoffs this year, could they? I mean, Fultz is probably at rock bottom in regards to his value right now, but Markelle Fultz’s rock bottom is not the same thing as zero value. Could you trade him and/or a draft pick into, I dunno, Lou Williams or Patrick Beverley? Could you do a mega trade and try to get Maestro Lillard to Philly? The 76ers are 6th in the East right now but with a negative point differential. I think I’d keep my powder dry if I were Philly, but at some point they’ll have too many mouths to feed, too many picks to use, and too many players who don’t get enough minutes. Maybe distilling assets into a real piece now is worth it?
- Here’s a list of players who are NOT in the top 50 according to the ESPN Player Rater: Jimmy Butler, Reggie Jackson, Goran Dragic, Herr Dennis Schroder, Hassan Whiteside, Steven Adams, DeAndre Jordan, and Hoodie Melo. Could be a nice time to try and trade for one of those guys.
Have a wonderful holiday!