Tom and Jerry. Batman & Robin. Peanut Butter & Jelly. Magic and Kareem. Jordan and Pippen. Shaq and Kobe. Some of the greatest duos of all time. Are we witnessing the genesis of the next one? Beep. Boop. Bop. You know what’s great already? The Stocktonator. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have joined forces in Los Angeles, just in case your alien ship just docked yesterday. And early indications are that the Clippers are going to be a f’ing problem for the rest of the league due to their partnership. They are two of the best two-way players in the game currently. Both can get their shot up at anytime, while making the opposition wish they were ticketed for the next flight out to the nether regions of space. Last night, in Dallas, the duo helped limit the Mavericks to 99 total points while sharing the offensive load down the middle.
To begin the season, Kawhi was a sole assassin, producing borderline top 10 production for fantasy. Then George returned to action and things have shifted a bit. In the four games that both have played together, Kawhi has been a top 45 player, while George has been a top 15 player. George has a 29.5 usage rate, while Kawhi is still garnering a 32.2 usage rate. The differences in overall value come from the tres for George (4.3 vs 2) and steals (2.8 vs 1.8). Kawhi is shooting a much better percentage, though (44% vs 35%). Things will even out as the season progresses. The floor and potential ceiling combo for both is elevated. The only things that can bring the house down are injury and load management.
Here’s what else I saw last night:
Sweet! A professional getter of buckets for sure. Lou provides plenty of points and tres, and dishes out more than a handful of dimes. Unfortunately, he doesn’t contribute the D, which makes the ladies sad, and the turnovers are high, good for the buffet but bad for fantasy.
Like I wrote above, the Clippers are going to be a f’ing problem with George and Kawhi. It’s like the WWE. Kawhi and George tag team, while Luka is left in the cage by himself. To make matters worse, there are other capable defenders that the Clippers can bring ringside to tag in. With all that said, Luka still had a good stat line, considering the circumstances.
After starting the season with only one dub-dub in nine games, Porzingis has now performed the feat in six of the last seven games. Over that span, he’s been a top 40 player for fantasy. The main thing holding him back is the shooting efficiency, as he’s converting 41% from the field and 69% from the line.
It’s safe to send the IT man back to the server room. He’s been outside the top 300 the past four games.
Played 25 minutes. Over the last 12 games, despite averaging 20 minutes per game, Wagner has been a top 80 player for fantasy. He provides points, tres, boards, excellent percentages, and a little something something in the defensive categories. He’s not going to continue shooting over 60% from the field, but he could be getting more run and is a player to have on your squad right now.
Top 80 player over the past four games. He’s received 24, 24, 20, and 13 minutes of run over that span. McRae grabs some boards, dishes out some dimes, and gets his 211 on, but he’s primarily out there to score. Now, he’s been shooting over 50% from the field. That is likely coming down. When it does, then what? He will likely return to the abyss from which he rose.
What a Jokic! The 20 boards were a season high. Over his career, he’s notched two games with 21 boards. He’s a top 35 player on the year, which is a disappointment for many, but I have no doubt that he will return to his top 15 ways soon. Why? Because he’s a freaking baller. Don’t believe me?
Played 37 minutes, the only Nugget to receive over 30 minutes of run. Top 60 player for fantasy, as he provides points, tres, boards, and dimes. The defensive contributions are light, though, but whatever. He plays a shit ton of minutes. The only worry is injury.
Grant has grown on me over the past few years. He’s very athletic and has some perimeter skills for a big man. Unfortunately, he’s kind of buried on the depth chart in Denver. As a result, he’s only averaging 21.9 minutes per game. Last night, he got hot and the game was a blowout, so I wouldn’t expect this to be the new norm. On the season, he’s played at least 30 minutes two times, but received fewer than 20 minutes of run five times.