Last night had two unfortunate injuries. Wendell Carter Jr. broke a finger, and Devin Vassell broke his groin.
My advice is to try to look beyond “player B will replace player A” because that isn’t always a swap. Like Mo Wagner will probably start in Orlando making Ma and Pa Wagner happy to see their kids starting together. But we know he’s not that good, and he’s basically going to be outside spacing the floor. Paolo Banchero broke out last night, and the lane is wide open now. He’s the guy to buy low on. Jalen Suggs too, he’s incredibly aggressive and the driving lanes for him will be more open. Keep an eye for these two guys and their increased opportunity.
For the Spurs, Tre Jones should have been starting all along and posted ten assists in increased minutes. There’s a certain once in a lifetime big guy prospect to pass to and Tre is smart enough to know where his bread is buttered. He’s already at 37 on the player rater as well. Big chance for Tre to break out here.
Other guys have already shown their rising ability. Scottie Barnes is ranked third at the moment and we were all a year early on the guy. 21-10-7 will help beam up your stats and if you drafted him your team is probably doing better than my RazzJam squad.
Kelly Oubre is ranked 46 at the moment and has a big opportunity to run with a wing position in Philly. Buoyed by 2.5 3PM per game, Oubre is at 20.5 PPG and 1.8 steals. He does feel like Oubre is French for “allergic to passing” so assists are lower. I’m watching Philly here to see how the minutes shake out after trading a bearded strip club aficionado.
On the negative side of the ledger, LaMelo Ball is confounding. He’s shooting 31% at the rim leading to a 41% overall on 20 shots. That’s as the kids say, SUS. He is assisting 8.4 times a game and grabbing missed shots 6, so maybe he can get that shooting under control. But at this point, he’s a rough roster from where you drafted him.
Mikal Bridges isn’t really a faller, but an adjuster. He looks like a 20 PPG guy, but not much added to that. The steals have also dried up and with more usage the turnovers spikes to almost three per game, doubling his previous elite rate. Top 50, of course, but I doubt he gets to first round status like many predicted.
What is going on with Pascal Siakam? Down to 17 PPG, and rebounds and assists have also fallen off. Maybe him and Scottie can’t coexist, and maybe he’s traded, but here’s another high pick that isn’t getting it done.
What have you noticed? Who have I missed? Put them on the comments, I’m still home with the flu!