Mostly NBA Notes: Steve Nash still helpful

Over five games since returning from his leg injury, Steve Nash has shot 58.7 percent from the floor while adding 9.6 apg. Despite turning 39 years old next month, it appears he still has plenty to offer while back to health. In fact, his assist:turnover ratio (3.73) is the best of his career, and Nash hasn‘t averaged more than his current 0.7 spg mark since 2006/07. As one of the best free throw shooters in NBA history (he ranks second all time, behind only Mark Price), he hasn’t helped fantasy owners as much as usual thanks to just three attempts on the year, a ridiculously low number that should rise moving forward (Kobe Bryant letting him attempt technical fouls would help). Nash has been injured, is old and is currently averaging his fewest ppg (10.0) since the 1999/00 season but don’t forget just how potent he was while playing for Mike D’Antoni in the past (the Suns led the NBA in Offensive Efficiency, PPG and FG% from 2004-2008), and the point guard is now playing with an ideal pick-and-roll teammate in Dwight Howard (Howard has scored the most points-per-possession on PNRs in each of the past three seasons, while a Nash run Phoenix offense led the NBA in the category three separate times when he was teamed with D'Antoni), so he’s someone who could still make a major impact in fantasy leagues from here on out, even at his advanced age.

Jrue Holiday continues to take the next step, as he’s averaged 21.5 ppg, 9.5 apg, 5.5 rpg and 1.5 3pt over the past six games, including the second triple-double of his career Wednesday. Despite him attempting more shots per game this year (16.6) compared to last (12.8), including 0.5 more from downtown, Holiday’s FG percentage has improved and currently sits at a career best 45.1. While his turnovers are way up and his steals are actually down, he’s literally doubled last year’s 4.5 apg this season, which has vaulted his fantasy value to top-50 status. Holiday is currently the only player in the league to average at least 18.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 9.0 apg. He’s shooting an NBA-high 70.0 percent at the rim among all point guards (minimum 2.5 attempts per game. League average for PGs is 59.6 percent). Holiday has been given complete control of Philadelphia’s offense after the team lost Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams during the offseason, and he’s more than taken full advantage of it.

Here’s a pretty solid compilation of 2012 highlights reduced to four minutes.

As far as high school dunks go, this one is pretty strong.

According to Basketball Monster’s “Consistency Value,” James Harden’s -3.02 mark is the lowest among all players in the league (minimum 20 games played), which seems crazy for someone who’s ranked No. 5 overall. However, Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Kevin Love, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony were the five worst in this category last season. And in 2010/11, Dwyane Wade finished with the lowest consistency mark in the league, and he was the seventh most valuable fantasy player that year. In other words, it’s not exactly a sign of being a poor fantasy performer, to say the least. It’s interesting Harden has been the most volatile player in the league so far this year, but it likely means nothing moving forward (although one takeaway might be that he’s been slightly more valuable in roto formats compared to head-to-head leagues).

Here’s someone messing with unexpected drivers.

0.7 seconds left = no problem.

Jeff Teague was expected to take a leap after breaking out during his third year in the league last season, especially with Atlanta losing Joe Johnson through free agency. He hasn’t exactly been a bust, but Teague has taken a step back, as he’s actually averaged fewer mpg this season (32:12) compared to last (33:06) while seeing his fantasy ranking drop from 55th to 66th. His Usage Rate (22.66) is a career high, as are his FGA (11.9), 3pt (1.0), apg (6.7) and free throw percentage (86.9). But Teague’s turnovers are way up (2.7 per game), and his shooting from the field has fallen from 47.7 percent last year to 43.6 this season, which has pretty much solely been a result of him attempting more outside shots (a possible ramification of Al Horford’s return). Teague's 1.6 spg rank in the top-12 in the NBA, and even if he’s been somewhat disappointing in the early going, he's someone to “hold” and will likely produce greater fantasy value from here on out.

Here’s a mom making her 8-year-old think he accidentally spent $50K on eBay.

Subway worker tells customer to “fight me like a man” during confrontation over ketchup.

Here’s an announcer a bit too excited after a fairly routine play.

During his last five years in Utah, Deron Williams shot 45.6, 50.7, 47.1, 46.9 and 45.8 percent from the field, respectively. After getting traded to New Jersey at the end of the 2010/11 season, his percentage suddenly fell to an ugly 34.9, but he countered that with career-highs in rpg (4.6) and apg (12.8), as it looked like he was well on his way to becoming one of the truly elite fantasy performers. Instead, Williams’ next year with the Nets saw his apg fall below his career average to 8.7 while his tpg reached a career-worst 4.0 – and his shooting remained a problem, as he finished with a 40.7 percent mark. Despite ranking 39th in fantasy value last year, his poor shooting could have been written off by injuries, and Williams’ 12.8 apg when he first joined the organization was still fresh in prospective owners’ minds (myself included). But even with improved teammates, his numbers are down across the board this season, highlighted by 7.7 apg (his lowest total since his rookie season) and yet another poor shooting effort, as he’s making just 39.9 percent of his shots from the field. There’s the wrist surgery to blame, and Williams has also recently complained about lack of rest (he played in Turkey before the lockout ended in 2011/12 and also in the Olympics last summer) but frankly, fantasy owners who likely spent a first round pick on him don’t want to hear it. Williams has been a pretty big disappointment, and I’m not exactly ready to put much of the blame on the recently axed Avery Johnson.

Here’s a helicopter crashing while attempting to make a rescue, but thankfully everyone survived.

This Thunder fan was grossed out after touching Kris Humphries.

Quick Hits: JaVale McGee’s three-pointer Tuesday was the first of his career. And of course, he celebrated in an appropriate manner...Dwight Howard’s -9.53 ft%V is more than twice as bad as the next worst mark (DeAndre Jordan -4.56) and is of epic proportions when compared to other categories and the rest of the league. In fact, while the next worst player in a different category may surprise you (Kevin Love -3.03 fg%V), his impact still pales in comparison. Of course, this is nothing new with Howard, but with a drop in points, rebounds and steals this year, he currently ranks 230th among 234 qualified players according to BM in 9-cat leagues. It’s clear he’s nowhere close to 100 percent physically but still, wow…Some surprising guys with high fantasy values on a per-36 minute basis (minimum 15 mpg): Charlie Villanueva (10th), Eric Bledsoe (19th) and Vince Carter (21st). Free Eric Bledsoe! (although it should be noted he plays in the best second unit in the NBA)...Over the last month, Klay Thompson has been the 15th most valuable fantasy player, while Larry Sanders has been the 17th.

I’m beginning to think Amir Johnson may have double-dribbled here.

Longread of the week: The Man Who Hacked Hollywood.

Quick Hits Part Deux: Luol Deng entered the year as something of an injury risk, as there was plenty of concern about his wrist after he never addressed the injury through surgery during the offseason. He’s currently the only player in the NBA averaging at least 40.0 mpg...Chris Bosh has been the best mid-range shooter in the league this season, making 59.0 percent of his shots from 16-23 feet...Austin Rivers is in the midst of one of the worst seasons in recent memory, making an NBA low 43.8 percent of his shots at the rim while also sporting the lowest PER (6.22) in the league…Since joining the starting lineup six games ago, Lou Williams has averaged 16.8 ppg, 5.8 apg, 4.0 rpg and 2.7 3pt, making him a fantasy monster, and there doesn’t appear to be any way he goes back to a bench role when Devin Harris returns, at least we can only hope so…It should be interesting to see how Amar’e Stoudemire’s return affects the Knicks, although it’s nice to see him willing to come off the bench. Carmelo Anthony is currently the sixth most valuable fantasy player – he's never finished higher during his career.

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