NBA

Five things to keep a close eye on this week

Five things to keep a close eye on this week

As we head into Week 3 of the fantasy basketball season, there are a number of storylines I’m following closely that could directly impact my future fantasy basketball additions, waiver wire decisions, and how long am i willing to wait for certain players.

Here are the five things I’m keeping a close eye on this week:


The Clippers’ risk outweighs the early reward

Coming into the season, the risks associated with drafting Kawhi Leonard or Paul George they were well known. That said, their start to the season has to be disappointing for those who jumped at the chance and drafted them anyway.

Leonard (knee) has only played two games — a total of 42 minutes — of the six so far and has already been ruled out for Monday. George has also missed a game due to illness, but even when he has played he hasn’t been at the level we’ve become used to from him. With the sole exception of his 40 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the second game of the season, George has yet to score more than 16 points in any other outing.

That exception, however, is why so many are willing to take a chance on Leonard and George. Both are capable of producing those explosive games on a regular basis, even when healthy and playing at the level. The Clippers play four straight games this week against non-fierce defenses. The stage is as set as can be for George to take charge.

And, if Leonard gets healthy enough to play Wednesday, the lack of backs could be good for him, too, though he’ll almost certainly remain on a minutes limit when he’s healthy enough to return. If either/both Clippers play well in the near future, it might be a good idea to contact your league to see what their trade value might be. He’s likely at a low level now, but a 40/6/6 game or two could do wonders to change a player’s stars.

Rocket growing pains

Early in the season, the young Rockets had some of my favorite positive plays from their incredibly young roster.

Alperen Sengun It was one of my favorite sleepover/breakup candidates Christian Wood was traded out of town; Jalen Green finished his rookie season with a string of 30-point performances and looked to carry the energy into the preseason; Kevin Porter Jr. he had also finished last season strongly and looked ready to take off; Jabari Smith Jr. was a preseason Rookie of the Year candidate; even an unheralded rookie Tari Eason he had tore through Summer League and the preseason and looked poised to produce fantasy basketball stats from the tip.

Thing is, only Porter and Smith have lived up to the billing so far. Sengun opened the season still coming off the bench at the back Bruno Fernando and was only playing 24 MPG over the weekend. Green has struggled with his shot and is below 40% from the field on the season. Eason has been playing less than 19 minutes per game, not enough time to contribute even at maximum efficiency. I’ve had people reach out to me on Twitter (@ProfessorDrz) to ask them if they should pull the plug on Sengun, already.

My response was that I’m not ready to tip Sengun yet…after all, he did go 23 and 12 in one of his three games off the bench, and he was still averaging 15.7 and 10 double-double His playing time is also increasing; has moved into the starting lineup with Fernando suffering a knee injury that is expected to sideline him for 2-3 weeks. If Sengun plays up to par and proves to the Rockets staff that he’s mature enough to start, he has the talent to hold onto the starting job moving forward.

As for Green, I consider him a solid buy-low candidate right now. Green showed last season that he has the skills to be a consistent, high-volume scorer in the NBA. When he has it working, he makes it look effortless. I hope he gets it sooner rather than later, and once he does it should climb the rankings again.

Similarly, Eason is probably available on your league’s free agent wire, but you should definitely keep an eye on him because at some point the Rockets will be out of starting at 33. Eric Gordon in a lineup that otherwise features four players 22 or younger. Jae’Sean Tate He’ll likely get a crack at starting, but with the Rockets still in rebuilding mode, I’d expect Eason to get a shot at big minutes at some point this season.

Ball and Garland soon?

The NBA’s two youngest All-Stars have yet to contribute much on the court this season. Ball suffered a Grade 2 sprained ankle in the preseason and has yet to make his season debut, while Garland suffered an eye injury 13 minutes into the season opener and has not played since.

While neither player has announced a specific return date, I’m actively counting down until they can get back on the court, hoping it could happen for either or both as soon as this week. I consider both to be strong low-level candidates at the moment. Their values ​​are depressed as fantasy managers don’t like to see those DNPs pile up from players they drafted earlier.

I would be particularly interested in changing to Ball. When I did my initial preseason projections, he was projected third overall in fantasy points, in a tight scrum with Luka Doncic i Joel Embiidjust behind Nikola Jokic i Giannis Antetokounmpo. I finally moved Doncic (projected to a higher per game average) and Jayson Tatum (he’s been reliably durable and has forward combo value) ahead of Ball as well, but that’s the kind of company I expect him to keep when healthy.

If you can talk the eager manager currently lining up to move him, he could be the foundation of a championship-caliber fantasy hoops team.

I’m not as high on Garland as I am Ball, because Garland will have to compete with an ascendant Donovan Mitchell and super sixth man Dear LeVert for use when you return. However, Garland has the game to remain an impact FBA producer and could likely be had below market value due to his injuries and the aforementioned Spider Mitchell’s fast start.

He falls against the machine

The Bucks have started the season like a well-oiled machine, despite the continued absence of the All Star Chris Middleton. Part of the reason for their undefeated start, in addition to Giannis playing like a cyborg, has been his stellar defense. The Bucks currently rank first in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing just 102.9 points per 100 possessions to their opponents.

They’ve typically been tough on opposing lead guards, holding their own Kyrie Irving, Kevin Porter Jr. i Jalen Brunson to a combined 17-for-46 shooting from the floor. That said, both James Harden (31 points in 13 of 24 FG, 9 assists) i Bring on Young (42 points on 15-of-32 FG), 5 assists, 5 3-pointers) put up big numbers in the games against the Bucks that turned into runs.

come in Cade Cunningham. Cunningham has averaged 25.0 PPG and 6.0 APG over his last five games, including back-to-back near-monstrous triple-doubles against the Hawks and Warriors. Cunningham begins the week with two games in Milwaukee, including the second half of a back-to-back on Monday.

Can Cunningham break down the Bucks defense and keep putting numbers on the board? He has the kind of size and all-around game that makes him a threat to explode against anyone. That said, I personally won’t play Cunningham on any DFS team because I have to deal with him. Jrue Holiday on the perimeter, then trying to finish over Giannis and Brook Lopez in the painting

Lillard and the youngsters

The Trail Blazers are a team in transition. They still are Damian LillardThe team, when Lillard is healthy, but when he isn’t, the team is starting to look toward the backcourt of the future in a 23-year-old player. Anfernee Simons and 19-year-old Shaedon Sharpe.

Simons, who normally starts next to Lillard, moved to point guard this weekend with Lillard (groin) out. On Friday, Simons exploded for 30 points (10 of 20 FG), 7 triples, 7 assists and 5 rebounds in 38 minutes; projects to top 30 while Lillard is out.

Meanwhile, Sharpe stepped into the starting lineup as a shooting guard and responded with a respectable 14 points (7-of-12 FG), 2 assists and 1 rebound in 29 minutes. Sharpe has now scored in double figures in three straight games and is a decent pass option as long as he keeps the starting job.

Other things to look at

Pointing Kings with Keegan: I watched the Kings upset the Heat this weekend and was amazed at how potent the offense was. After the Kings took a big early lead, the Heat methodically chipped away at the lead and eventually took the lead in the fourth quarter.

However, even though All Star Domantas Sabonis out of the foul, the Kings kept responding with big shots until they finally fought back against the Heat. As a team, the Kings scored 119 points on a whopping 67.0 True Shooting Percentage (TS%) considering how hot they were from the field, the 3-point line and the free throw line.

While the Kings had a hot shooting day on Saturday, a look at their lineup suggests it may not be a fluke. With the debutante Keegan Murray Now playing significant minutes and providing nearly 20 PPG, the Kings are now starting more offensive options at every position.

By Aaron Fox it’s still a blur on the back track, with Kevin Huerter providing elite shots from the off guard. Sabonis is one of the best scorers/passers in the league, and Harrison Barnes he has always been a professional scorer from the mid-range.

With Murray providing strong outside scoring from the four, the lineup has no offensive weaknesses. And it’s showing, with a growing sample size. Murray missed the first game of the season and came off the bench for 32 minutes in the second game, and in those contests the Kings averaged a respectable 109 PPG with a 46.4 FG%. But, in the last three games with Murray playing 38 MPG, the Kings have averaged 118 PPG with a 49.8 FG%. Murray’s presence also unlocks upside for the rest of the lineup, which bodes well for the fantastic value of every Kings starter this season.

Three teams with two games: Small note, for those participating in weekly leagues: there are three teams with only two games this week. The Mavericks, Nuggets and Pacers only play twice, while 18 teams have three games and nine have four.

Clearly, you are not sitting Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic or even Tyrese Haliburton, no matter how few games their teams can play. But while the players like it Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Christian Wood or Benedict Mathurin he can usually be starting material every week, with only two games you could consider starting a less productive player who might have four starts on the roster this week.





#close #eye #week

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