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Is CP3 for me?
Do I trust the Point God? Honestly, I don’t know.
It’s true that he’s only missed a total of four games over the past two seasons, but it’s tough for me to forget that horrendous stretch from 2016-2019 when he consistently missed large chunks of the year, and it’s not like he’s getting any younger. He’ll be 36 next season, which would be the twilight years for most guys, but CP3 isn’t most guys; he’s a superstar, and it’s worth saying that while he has had some injury-plagued seasons he’s been healthy for the better part of his career. Still, Father Time remains undefeated and despite no evidence, there’s something in the back of my mind that keeps telling me his next injury is right around the corner. He’s been a safe bet for top-15 status the past two seasons, and has been inside the top-10 for most of his career, so how much could he really drop off next year? The only thing that can stop him would be an injury, but doesn’t a lengthy playoff run leading to his first Finals appearance perhaps heighten the odds of that happening? There’s a lot of miles on those future Hall of Fame tires….
He was a third-round pick last season, and I doubt he’ll fall outside of that range, if at all, which remains a high price to pay for an aging point guard, despite the accolades that await him at the end of his career. There are so many other players I’d rather pick in that range. Let’s assume he’s going in the top-20 next year, I’d prefer to have one of Fred VanVleet, Jayson Tatum, Paul George, Nikola Vucevic, etc. I don’t know, I can’t see myself reaching for the Point God next season, despite ample evidence saying that he should, technically, be fine, I guess…
Is D.A. That Dude?
While Ayton is a guy who has grown on me this postseason, he’s still someone I’m leery of, particularly if he’s again going inside the top-20 next season. There’s no denying that Ayton is a double-double machine who shoots solid percentages, but I can’t handle spending such a high pick on a center who’s such a subpar shot swatter. His shot blocking numbers came back down this past season to 1.2, down from the 1.5 he put up during the ‘roid year in a small sample size of 38 games, and he’s only averaging 0.9 through 19 postseason games thus far. Now, it may be too early to truly judge him, he still is only 22 years old after all, but the eye test tells me he’s just never going to truly be an elite shot blocker in the league.
Also, it’s tough to ignore the fact that despite getting one of the best passers to ever play the game in Chris Paul as his running mate, his scoring and rebounding numbers went down this past season, as did his usage. Monty Williams doesn’t run a system that forces the ball through Ayton, so a lot of his statistics come from doing the dirty work rather than having plays drawn up for him. Additionally, he still hasn’t been able to add a 3-point shot (he went 4-of-20 from distance this past season) to his repertoire, nor does he have much of a mid-range game, so that pretty much takes the pick-and-pop out of the equation. Again, these are things he could easily improve upon, but with limited post-up opportunities and inconsistent scoring outside the paint, he’s a bit of a one-dimensional scorer at this point in his career.
Essentially, if Ayton is only going to be sending away around 1.0 shot per game, then I’m going to need him to be a 20-10 stud to justify his ADP, and I don’t think I see that happening next season.
Jrue Holiday’s stinking it up & I don’t care
Jrue Holiday, who shot a career-high 50.3% from the field across 59 regular-season games this past year, has really seen his efficiency drop-off with the increased competition of the playoffs, converting just 41.8% of his shot attempts through the postseason overall and he’s been chucking up bricks in his first Finals run – connecting on just 33.3% of his shot attempts through those first four games. The past two games he’s looked terrified to shoot it, and while Milwaukee was able to even up the series at home, Jrue went through plenty of lengthy stretches where he was nearly invisible on the offensive end. He simply cannot continue to play this bad if Milwaukee wants a shot at the championship, and if he’s not able to turn things around and does essentially cost the Bucks their opportunity to hoist up the Larry O’Brien trophy, I imagine that would negatively impact his draft stock.
However, as I’ve said plenty of times before, we play fantasy basketball during the regular-season, not the postseason, so a guy getting the jitters under the bright lights doesn’t alter my opinion of them as a fantasy player all that much. Reminder, Jrue plays in the Eastern Conference’s Central Division, where he regularly matches up with the likes of the Cavs, Bulls and Pistons – and the Westcoast swings typically only involve two games against the gauntlet of Point Gods out West. Also, Jrue is a proven fantasy stud, and while he did get a nice boost from his sky-high FG% this past season, it’s really the elite steals numbers that have consistently kept him in the top-20 conversation over the years.
So, I’m fine with all the Twitter hot takes about how Jrue is so terrible. Keep ‘em coming. Convince yourselves that Holiday is a scrub and that he was the reason Milwaukee couldn’t get over the hump, rather than acknowledging the fact that he was one of the primary reasons the Bucks got to the Finals. I’m fine with the haters. Show me Jrue in the high-30s, please.