Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fantasy Friday (Jan. 21)

And we are back after missing two straight weeks of fantasy posts. I apologize for that, and to make it up for you guys, I will take a look at some injuries that have happened of late, and break them down for you.

Jarrett Jack: This guy is out for the season and there is no chance he will return at the end of the season because the Nets aren't in the playoffs run, he is old, and they don't want to risk to have the injury come back. Sorry if you had him, but you now need to drop him.

Eric Bledsoe: There is no possibility that this guy will come back at the end of the season because the Suns aren't in the playoff race anymore. The last thing the Suns want to happen is to have Bledsoe turn out to be like Derrick Rose and Bledsoe is starting to look like him with the injuries. You just are going to have to drop Bledsoe.

Derrick Favors: The Jazz don't want to risk anything with him. He has missed over 15 consecutive games now with back spasms. They want him to be healthy for the remainder of the season. However, you would think that the Jazz would like him back as soon as possible considering that they are right on the edge out of the playoffs. Derrick Favors is a buy low guy right now and you should consider trading for him since he will most likely come back soon and bring in big numbers with him.

Anthony Davis: It has been the sum of Davis's career. Very minor injuries seem to get in his way. He has had shoulder issues as well as ankle issues. I expect him to get a couple more injuries this season. Hopefully he won't get an major injuries though.

Blake Griffin: Blake has been know to have injuries that keep him out for a little bit. However, this has been Blake's best season stat-wise. He is a guy that you could buy low into right now and I do suggest you make a trade for him if it is worth it.

Well, there are some injured players that either need to go or you should trade for. Next week, I hope to have the players of the week so stay tuned in for that.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

NBA Inside The Player Of The Week (Jan. 12-18)

Kemba Walker took over in the game against the Jazz. He had 52 points. Not only did he help take a win vs the Jazz, he helped his team in any way he could this week. Kemba had multiple stellar performances this week while making very few mistakes. Let's take a look at Kemba's play, shall we?

The fact that Kemba Walker posted up 28 PPG this week, is amazing alone. However, Kemba did much more than scoring. He averaged 5.8 APG and 4.3 RPG as well. In the game against the Jazz, not only did he have 52 points, but he almost posted a triple-double, getting 8 assists and 9 rebounds. The Jazz couldn't really double-team Kemba because he was able to find his teammates so easily.

The pick and roll game worked very well for Kemba this week, and you can see it in his game vs the Jazz. Most of Kemba's points either came from him being the ball-handler in PnR or being on the weak side off a PnR with a catch and shoot as you can see in the video above.

Kemba's shooting performance was amazing this week. He shot 49.4% from the field, 54.8% from 3-point, and a whopping 95% from the FT line. Those are 50-50-90 numbers. If he keeps shooting like this, the Hornets will win a lot of games.

Defensively, Kemba looked okay. He averaged 1.8 steals this week. The Hornets overall did a really bad job, especially when defending the PnR. I put most of the blame on Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams for losing the roll man consistently. Hopefully they can pick that up because there defensive rating is really high and you don't want that. Other than that, Kemba looked great. He did a great job of not turning the ball over this week. He only averaged 1.3 turnovers per game.

Kemba played really well this week and that is why he deserves the NBA Inside The Player Of The Week award. While his team didn't win all of their games this week, they were able to get together some big wins, because of Kemba's performance. If Kemba keeps playing at this level and the Hornets can pick up their defense, it would be hard to see this team losing many games. 


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Is Russell Westbrook Is Better Than LeBron James?

Russell Westbrook shoots against Cavs (cropped).jpg
"Russell Westbrook shoots against Cavs (cropped)" by Erik Drost from United States - Russell Westbrook. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.
Both Russell Westbrook and LeBron James are athletic all-star players at their positions. Both of these players are given a lot of hype due to the teams that they play for and their fan base. However, if someone was to ask who was the better player, chances are that most people would say LeBron James as most people call him "the best player in the world". Lot's of people would say it's unfair to argue which one is the better player since they both play 2 different positions but both of these player have the same style of play. Not to mention that James is handed the Point Guard role most of the time. So which one is better, Let's dive into the stats to find out.

Lets' start out by looking at their scoring abilities. They are about the same, James averages 25.8 ppg while Westbrook averages 25.5. Can you really say that LeBron is the better scorer though? No. Westbrook is a second option on his team to start with, LeBron is the first option. We saw last year what Westbrook can do as the first option; it's scary. It is impressive that Westbrook can average those numbers with a guy who averages 26.5 PPG.

While these two are similar in their numbers for scoring, they both score in the same ways as well. By getting to the rim. However, Westbrook does spread out his scoring more. 53.6% of LeBron's points come from the paint while only 42.6% of Westbrook's comes from the paint. While you think both of these guys just take layups all game, you are actually wrong on that. While LeBron shoots layups more than any other shot, you may be surprised that Westbrook shoots more jump-shots than he does layups. Now you are probably saying that I'm crazy, but Westbrook has made 163 jumpshots and only 130 layups. Now, you could include dunks in this but if you included bank shots also, then Westbrook still has more jumpshots. The reason why is because Westbrook takes tons of pull-up jumpers, and he hits them at a pretty good percentage (comparing them to his other percentages). He shoots 50% on pull-up jumpers and 34.7% on 3-pointer pull-up jumpers. He has made 78 pull-up jumpers this season, so I'd say he should keep shooting pull-up jumpers.

Both of these guys have about the same shooting numbers as well, Westbrook shoots 45.8% from the field while LeBron shoots 50.1% from the field. Both of those players also shoot very poorly outside the paint and beyond the 3-point line. Westbrook is only shooting 30.4 from three point land while LeBron is shooting an even lower percentage of 28.8% (he has seemed to be shooting a lot better of late though). Russell Westbrook is clearly the better Free Throw shooter though, which has never really been LeBron's best thing. Westbrook shoots a pretty good 83.1% while LeBron shoots 71.7%.

Now, what do these guys do besides scoring. LeBron doesn't have the reputation of being one of the best players in the league just because of his scoring, because in that case, James Harden would be the best in the league right now. LeBron is well known for his rebounding and passing along with his overrated defense. Let's compare LeBron's numbers to Westbrook's.

Russell Westbrook is a 6-3 guard. LeBron James is a 6-8 forward. Westbrook somehow is averaging 7 rebounds while LeBron is still averaging a great 7.4 rebounds. Both of these numbers are great, but Westbrook is 6-3. That is shorter than Troy Daniels, Matthew Dellavedova, and Ricky Rubio, and he is averaging 7 rebounds. LeBron is still averaging great rebounding numbers, but Westbrook's are astounding. In fact, Russell Westbrook leads all guards in rebounding this season, and that includes guys like Nicolas Batum (who should be listed as a forward, but plays the guard position this season).

Not only that, but while Westbrook is averaging over 25 points, he is averaging 9.5 assists as well. LeBron averages 6. That is still a good number, but 9.5 is a great number, especially when you are averaging over 25 points.

Defensively, who is the better player? Russell Westbrook averages 2.5 steals to LeBron's 1.5. LeBron has Westbrook in blocks, but not by a lot as it is only a difference of 0.5 and neither of them average over a block. Both of these guys aren't great defensive players, mainly because most of their effort is contributed to offense, however, Westbrook seems to put in more effort on defense. However, defense is more than just getting steals and blocks. In PnR, LeBron is the better defensive player by far. Same with Isolation. The better on-ball defender is probably LeBron, while the better off-ball defender is most likely Westbrook.

As you can see, both player are very talented and are very similar in there style of play. To me, Russell Westbrook is the better player, but it is really close. They're really close in numbers which does make it hard to see which one is better, but considering that Westbrook is the number 2 option while LeBron is the number 1 option, Westbrook seems to average great numbers still.

So next time you are comparing LeBron to Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant as the best player in the league, add Westbrook in there. Most people say he is overrated (which is somewhat true) but he IS underrated compared to LeBron. Which one is the better player is a close call and you can make a case for either one.

NBA Inside The Player Of The Week (Jan. 5-11)

Chris Paul has been taking the Clippers on his back lately. With Blake Griffin out, Chris Paul has been able to lead his team to a perfect record this week. Why? Let's jump on into the stats!

Chris Paul has been amazing offensively this week. he has averaged 23.7 PPG while shooting 53.6% from the field and 50% from deep. And you need that when your star player is out. While you might think Chris Paul has been getting to the rim a lot, he actually has been doing the opposite. He has taken 51 jump-shots which he has made 51% of. He only took and made 4 other shots which were all layups. Not only were they all mid-range jumpers, but he has been making those shots on his own. This week, he was only assisted on 3.8% of his jump-shots. That means that 96.2% of his shots were unassisted. Chris Paul was taking the team on his back and making plays.

Not only did Chris Paul get his own offensive game going, but he got everyone else involved too. He averaged 12.3 assists this week. The game against the Hornets he had 19 assists. And he wasn't just assisting one person. J.J. Redick received the most assists from Paul with only 4.3. He had everyone involved, but Blake Griffin was out, and that could have been the reasoning for the spread out assists. 

His offense wasn't the only thing going for him. Paul also played really great defense. He averaged 2 steals and 0.7 blocks (which is pretty impressive for a 6 ft. PG) this week. And not only did he play good defense but Paul also did a good job on the boards. He averaged 5.3 rebounds per game (also pretty impressive for a 6 ft. PG) this week.

While Chris Paul played great this week, he did have some flaws. Paul happened to shoot only 62.5% from the FT line this week which is uncharacteristically low since he is shooting 88.7% from the FT line this year. He has also turned the ball over a lot this week, doing it 3.3 times per game. He also has gotten into a lot of foul trouble averaging 4.3 fouls nearly fouling out of one game with 5 while the other two games he had 4. 

The Clippers also had an easy schedule this week facing the Pelicans, the Blazers, and the Hornets. All of those teams aren't even over .500. That shouldn't take away from what Chris Paul and the Clippers did this week. Chris Paul did some amazing things this week and that is why he is your NBA Inside The Player Of The Week. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

NBA Inside The Player Of The Week (Dec. 29 - Jan. 4)

Stephen Curry was seen sitting on the bench quite a bit this past week. That is because he was having shin pains. The Warriors have seem to have most of their success come from Stephen Curry who may just be the best player in the world. With him out of the lineup, it seemed like it might have been pretty tough for the Warriors to win games. However, Draymond Green completely took over the games while Curry was out. Let's take a look at how Draymond Green helped his team win 3 out of 4 games this past week.

In 3 of those 4 games, Draymond Green had a triple-double. He rebounded and passed the ball really well. And while his scoring numbers weren't that flashy, Draymond Green shot well from the floor, especially from 3. He shot 53% from deep this past week. But it wasn't like he was taking tough shots. If you watched the video above, you can see that Draymond Green wasn't taking tough shots, they were actually open shots. Why was he this open though? The reason why is because Draymond Green was passing so well, that the opponents were so much worried about the other players that Draymond was passing to as they were about him. Forwards and Centers aren't used to a guy passing like that from that position. With that being said, Draymond Green was getting open jumpers all night.

Draymond was outstanding in transition. If you watched the video above, you could see him running the floor beating all of the bigs in transition. He did really well sharing the ball in transition as well as scoring in transition. That is big though. If you have a big guy who can run the floor and pass in transition, you are going to get a lot of easy points. That is why Draymond is so valuable.

Draymond also really helped his team on the defensive end. He averaged 1.25 blocks and 2.25 steals this past week. And to top that off Draymond's assist ratio this week is top 11 in the league in the last 5 games. He is the only PF/C to be on there.

Draymond Green is obviously this week's NBA Inside The Player Of The Week. He has earned it this week by showing us that he was the main reason's for this Warriors team's success and that he clearly deserved this award. Him and his team battled without Stephen Curry for most of this week. So congratulations to Draymond Green on winning his first ever, NBA Inside The Player Of The Week award.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Fantasy Friday: New Year's Resolutions

It's a new year! And there are some players that have had a great year, and there are some that are ready to put 2015 behind them. Those players are ready to start off fresh and come out with some new numbers. That is their New Year's Resolution. Let's take a look at them.

Kevin Love- This last year didn't go to well for him. He struggled as he was averaging under 20 PPG, something he hadn't done in a while. He wasn't shooting as well and not getting as much boards. To top that off, he was injured in the playoffs and the Cavs ended up losing in the Finals. Recently it has been real bad though. In December alone, Kevin Love has been averaging 12.7 points, and has been shooting 37.3% from the field and 27.1% from 3-point land. Coming into this next year, Kevin Love wants to bring that up. His New Year's resolution is to get out of this shooting slump and average 20 PPG. Can he do it? It's a New Year's resolution people!

Draymond Green- You heard this guy, he thinks the Warriors can get better. He isn't satisfied at all. As you can see, he already brought his 3-point percentage from 33% to 40%, which is insane. So this guy is always going to be getting better. For Green's New Year's resolution, he is looking to clean it up and cut it down to 1 turnover per game instead of 3. Good luck Green!

LeBron James- LeBron wants to be as good as he can right? Well he can start by shooting better. I think that is what LeBron wants to do. Increase his range. By the end of the year, LeBron wants to be a 38% three point shooter. Do I think that's possible, eh. But he can certainly bring that up.

Chandler Parsons- Yeah, Parson is having troubles. He is averaging a career low in points, rebounds, and steals. This should be the part of his career where he is at his best. And Chandler Parsons could be all-star material right? Yeah. That is why he wants to average at least 19 PPG for the year of 2016. Parsons wants to average the best numbers in his career yet. He doesn't want his career to end at the age of 27, he wants his best years to be now!

Brandon Jennings- He has started in all but 3 of his game up until now. Jennings has been bench after coming back from injury. Obviously, Jennings wants to start. But how is he going to. He has to prove himself, and the only way to start is to average starting numbers. He is going to average 18 PPG and become 6th man of the year. Then Jennings will prove that he is starter material. So he will either become a starter or he will be traded.

Michael Carter-Williams- He is sick of missing shots. He is going to develop a jumper. Not only that, but MCW is going to shoot at least 75% from FT and 33% from 3-point land. And just when you think he is satisfied, he will average at least 9 assists. MCW is going to be a valuable fantasy player to have. At least, that's the plan.

So, how did you like the resolutions. Do you have any that I didn't mention? Share them below in the comments section if you do. As always, I will see you next week. Happy New Year From NBA Inside The Play Nation!