If you have been reading my rumblings throughout the years you will have figured by now that I love niche statistics from the NBA world. And much to my delight yesterday, I found this tweet and that led me to a long rabbit hole to research stats from the Knicks season. The tweet mentions that the Knicks are currently 5-5 with a 0.0 points differential, 16th in offense, 16th in defense and are also 1-1 in overtime games. What I also found out with some digging is that they are also 4-4 vs the East and 1-1 vs the West! And to complete the perfectly balanced picture they are also 3-3 in October and 2-2 in November! Thanos from the Marvel universe must have front row season tickets for the Knicks this year…
Finally, to follow up on what was discussed in the last article, here is the view of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the whole Irving saga, as summarized on Reddit, or including other topics on his blog. I don’t have anything more to add personally, the Tower from Power has got me covered.
Regarding last week’s suggestions, Domantas Sabonis improved his performances with two good back-to-back games but can still be viewed as a buy-low, Max Strus continued exactly as advertised, contributing in points and triples while Davion Mitchell was somewhat disappointing with the increased opportunity with Fox sidelined. He can be safely dropped and I wonder if his future is as bright as we once thought, because being only a great on ball defender can not get you that far in the NBA. On the Sell front, Buddy Hield continues to be on fire and also continues to be an obvious sell-high which you have to take advantage of, while Herbert Jones proved me wrong and showed some signs of life after his injury.
Anthony Edwards: I was a bit skeptical that Edwards could take the major leap that the industry thought he could this year, and this was reflected in my preseason projections. He is currently performing pretty close to those projections, with one major difference. His ft% has tanked all the way to 68.2% and this hurts a lot with 4 attempts per game from the line. He is ranked 116th in per-game value mainly due to this reason and, while I maintain that the explosion many anticipated will not happen this year, this is as low as his value will be all season.
Malik Monk: After a slow start to the season that inevitably created some flashbacks to his unsuccessful stint with Charlotte, Monk has started to look more lively during the last week. He is questionable heading into tonight’s game, but during the last week he is averaging 19.3 points, 2.7 triples and 5.3 assists. Those are very hard numbers to find from the wire so act accordingly before it is too late (27% owned).
Jabari Smith Jr: After four good games to start the season, it has been a downhill spiral for Smith, as he is averaging 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds with 24.5% shooting during his last six games. It is obvious that he can only get better and I already like his rim protection so I think it is just a matter of time until he corrects the shooting woes. If he was dropped (76% owned in yahoo), he is a no-brainer pickup in my book and also a great target for a buy-low.
Russell Westbrook: Who could have predicted that a move to the bench would do such wonders for Westbrook’s fantasy game. After a catastrophic last season, he is averaging fewer minutes at 28.9 but the percentages are improved, particularly the ft% shooting, which is at a five year high of 80%.
I do believe that he will be better than the abysmal last year, but I’m not buying the ft% increase after so many years of continued struggles, so if you can bet on his name value and get a top 50 player in return, now is the perfect time to do so.
Caris LeVert: Aside from his 41-point explosion against Boston, it has been a relatively quiet season for LeVert and that is very alarming. The reason to be pessimistic in his case is that Cleveland’s backcourt was missing either Darius Garland or Donovan Mitchell for the majority of the season. And early signs are bad for LeVert’s usage when both are good to go, as his usage was only 11% and 16.7% in the two most recent games. (69% owned).