Stephen Curry is blowing up (USAT)
Stephen Curry has shot 12-of-17 from behind the arc over the past two games, putting him on pace to finish the season with 261 triples. He’s missed a few games, so that puts him well below last season’s mark, when he set the NBA record with 272 three-pointers, but it would still be around a top-20 finish all time. After shooting 45.3 percent from downtown last season, Curry is hitting a career-low 40.7 percent this year, although that’s partially because he’s attempted a career-high (and NBA-high) 8.4 3pt per game, and many of them are a high degree of difficulty. Despite that, Curry’s overall FG% is higher this year (45.3) compared to last (45.1), and after never recording 7.0 apg during a season before, the point guard is handing out 9.0 apg in 2013/14, second only to Chris Paul (11.2). Curry is currently in the top-five both in apg and ppg, and no player has finished a season with both those distinctions since Tiny Archibald in 1976 (when he somehow led the league in both categories, becoming the only player in NBA history to do so).
Curry’s 4.1 tpg also “leads” the NBA, but it’s hard to argue with anything he’s done on the basketball court this season (and this is mostly because of his 28.8 Usage Rate, which ranks seventh highest in the league. Curry’s Turnover Ratio (12.2) is actually the second lowest of his career. So this is simply a volume issue). He’s scored 486 points on “pull up” shots this season, which is more than 100 more than the next most (Kevin Durant). He’s also recorded more “drives” this season than LeBron James (312 vs. 307). Despite all the turnovers, Curry has been the fifth most valuable fantasy player this season, including being the No. 1 player over the last two weeks. Among players who’ve averaged at least 20.0 ppg this year, no other has gotten more than 6.5 apg (James). Curry has averaged 9.0. Among that group, Curry is also tied for the lead with 1.8 spg (with Paul George) and only Damian Lillard is within 0.5 of his 3.4 3pt. Moreover, Curry’s 4.5 rpg leads all those point guard eligible. Let’s just hope his ankle problems are a thing of the past.
DeAndre Jordan has reached double digits in rebounds in 28 straight games (and 35 of his past 36 games). His 14.0 rpg leads the NBA by a wide margin, and he’s the only player in basketball to average at least 10.5 rpg, 1.0 spg and 2.0 bpg. Jordan has been a top-50 fantasy player this season despite only Dwight Howard negatively affecting free throw percentage more in the entire league. One of the most confounding aspects of the season is the Clippers being among the league leaders in Offensive Efficiency since Chris Paul, whose 27.50 PER ranks third in the NBA, has been sidelined with a shoulder injury one month ago. I have no explanation. Blake Griffin has obviously played extremely well, while Darren Collison is shooting 50.0 percent from the floor over 17 games as a starter this season. Still, it’s surprising just how well the Clippers have played without Paul in the lineup.
It’s unfair to call James Harden a disappointment so far this season, but it’s safe to say he’s taken a small step back from his huge breakout last year, as his ppg, rpg, apg, spg and 3pt have all declined. He’s the No. 14 ranked fantasy player in 2013/14, so he’s been anything but a bust, but according to Basketball Monster, Harden’s value has been closer to Kyle Korver’s than Dirk Nowitzki’s, although that probably says more about the latter’s impressive campaign than anything else. After tying for eighth in Usage Rate (27.4) last year, Harden is down to No. 21 this season (26.1), so Dwight Howard’s addition has obviously affected him somewhat, albeit not drastically. Still, you know something is amiss when Jordan Crawford has totaled more touches than Harden this year while playing in fewer games and coming off the bench in a dozen of them. Harden will likely perform better down the stretch and has been playing through a thumb injury, but even though he remains an elite fantasy option, he hasn’t quite lived up to his ADP so far.
Quick Hits: Ricky Rubio, who recently went more than five weeks without making a single field goal in the fourth quarter of a game, is nearly averaging more apg (8.2) than ppg (8.4). His 35.5 FG% is a career low, and it’s pretty remarkable he’s been a top-45 fantasy player when only eight other players have hurt you worse in that category this season (Brandon Jennings has been the worst). Of course, it helps Rubio is lapping the field when it comes to steals, as he’s on pace to finish with the top-35 most thefts in a season in NBA history…Serge Ibaka became the first player in five years to hit all 12 of his shots from the field in a game Friday, as he’s been on fire lately. Over his last seven games, Ibaka has shot a ridiculous 64.3 percent from the field on 98 attempts. He’s been a top-12 fantasy player this season…It took a while for Deron Williams to fully recover from his most recent ankle injury, but he’s finally back in the starting lineup. He’s seen 40+ mpg over the last two contests and seems to be rounding back into form. Williams’ 13.2 ppg is easily his lowest mark since his rookie campaign, but any window to buy low in fantasy leagues is closing fast. Of course, another injury could also be right around the corner…Here’s a high schooler nailing an 80-foot shot to send a game into overtime…Luol Deng has had a couple of nice games recently, but early indications suggest his fantasy value is going to take a hit after getting traded to Cleveland. Through a dozen games, Deng has averaged fewer ppg, rpg and apg with his new team. He was seeing by far the highest Usage Rate of his career before the trade and has ranked as the No. 140 fantasy player over the past two weeks.
I very much so want to go on the world’s tallest waterslide, but it really does look intense.
I’m not sure what’s more important, the serious intro to the song, or the song itself, but this deserves to be viewed by as many people as possible.
Quick Hits Part Deux: Anthony Davis recently joined Serge Ibaka as only the second player in the last six years with at least seven blocks in consecutive games. Davis has four or more blocks in a whopping seven consecutive games, and here’s The Brow
throwing down a serious dunk. LeBron James remains the best real life player in basketball (although that gap appears to be closing), but there's going to be a debate about whether Kevin Durant or Davis should go No. 1 in fantasy drafts next year…The Nets somehow pulled down just 17 rebounds during the team’s loss to the Thunder on Friday, setting an NBA record for the fewest amount of boards in a game. Brooklyn somehow recorded just three offensive rebounds all game…With Nate Robinson out for the season after suffering a torn left ACL, Evan Fournier should see more playing time, but the biggest beneficiary appears to be Randy Foye, who’s going to get all the run he can handle. Foye has seen 40+ mpg in each of the past three contests. And here he is sinking a legit buzzer-beater to beat the Clippers on Monday…The Warriors somehow won a road game Friday with Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes shooting a combined 16.7 percent (6-for-36) from the floor. Over the last two weeks, no player in fantasy basketball has hurt owners worse in FG% than Thompson…DeMare Carroll has been a sneaky fantasy producer, averaging 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 2.3 3pt while shooting 56.9 percent from the floor over the past seven games. On a per-game basis, Carroll has quietly been a more valuable fantasy asset this season than more prominent names like Marc Gasol, Roy Hibbert, Derrick Favors and Tony Parker…Few players in the league are hotter than Tim Duncan, as the 37-year-old has taken on a bigger role thanks to all of San Antonio’s injuries. Over the past eight games, Duncan has averaged 17.3 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks, shooting 50.0 percent or better from the field during every contest over that span.
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Longreads of the Week: Jay Glazer: The NFL’s Biggest Bomb Thrower. And the outtakes from that column are equally as entertaining.
Quick Hits Part Tres: After going through an epic shooting slump dating back to last year’s postseason, J.R. Smith has turned it around lately and is back on the fantasy radar. Over the last six games, he’s averaged 19.3 points and 3.3 3pt while shooting 50.6 percent from the floor, including a remarkable 55.6 percent from downtown. The recent move of Carmelo Anthony to power forward has really helped Smith’s value. And here he is crossing up poor Anthony Bennett before throwing down a pretty sick dunk…Patrick Beverley became the first player in NBA history Saturday to record 10 rebounds, eight assists and five steals without scoring a point since steals became an official stat in 1973...Meanwhile, during this same game, Jeremy Lin posted a triple-double while coming off the bench and playing less than 30 minutes...Josh Smith has scored more than 16 points just once over the past six contests, when he’s shot just 39.8 percent from the field and an even uglier 47.8 percent from the line. Smith is the No. 159 ranked fantasy player over the past two weeks, and his PER (14.77) is the lowest of his career…Joe Johnson making the All-Star team over Kyle Lowry is laughable…Here’s a Derrick Williams fail…Lance Stephenson has more triple-doubles this season than Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, James Harden, Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis COMBINED.
- Sports & Recreation
- Stephen Curry
- James Harden
- LeBron James