The starting small forward positional battle for Portland was fierce all offseason. Chauncey Billups would change the dial, start bobbing his head, then go to the next channel and start bobbing his head some more. He’d turn the dial to the right, but like Beyonce, would get to the left. And start bobbing his head some more. Nassir Little, Justise Winslow and Josh Hart were all viable candidates. Little is the most athletic of the bunch but he lacks the experience of the others. Winslow has the biggest frame and can do a variety of things on the court. Hart is small in stature but he plays much bigger than his frame and his experience and IQ are top level.
Billups chose I Hart Radio and it’s been nothing but sweet music early in the season. The Trail Blazers are 3-0 after their 106-104 victory over the Lakers on Sunday. Sure, Damian Lillard was the star with 41 points but Hart was great despite the low usage.
Through three games, Hart is averaging 38.6 minutes, 12.7 points, 10 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals while shooting 56% from the field and 88% from the line. He’s the 55th ranked player on a per-game basis! I Hart Radio isn’t that good but he definitely has utility. Tune in!
Here’s what else I saw yesterday:
Yeah, Lillard could’ve been the lede. He probably should’ve been the lede. But I have a not-so-sneaky suspicion that he will be in the running many more times this season. Let’s share the wealth, shall we?
After an injury-filled season last year, Lillard looks spry and healthy.
Despite losing the starting small forward battle, Winslow has remained an integral part of the rotation, played 27, 24 and 25 minutes. The shooting efficiency is gross, like sub-40% gross. That said, he’s grabbing boards and providing defensive stats. This Justise will not be regulating criminals. Instead, he will help those deserving of the time. Dame Time!!!
Whoa. Six blocks!!! It’s all about health with AD. We have always known this. It’s like jumping out of a plane with a possible punctured parachute. Some will still jump due to the thrill, knowing full well that it could malfunction or be full of holes.
Darvin Ham has brought a defensive and offensive system that is tailor-made for AD. Ham knows a thing or two about freakishly athletic big men from his time in Milwaukee.
Not much to say. He’s freaking amazing.
Walker isn’t the most consistent player and the shooting efficiency isn’t great, but he’s uber athletic and is getting a ton of minutes. Darvin Ham loves his athleticism and energy, which fits well with what he wants to do, which is defend and get out in transition. After never averaging more than 25 mpg with the Spurs, he’s getting 33 minutes of run per game with the Lakers. Minutes are half the battle. Yo, Joe!
Played 19 minutes off the bench and isn’t fantasy relevant, although I do think he has some skills with excellent IQ. I just wanted an excuse to write him up because his nickname is Hillbilly Kobe.
In 10 minutes. He was getting so hyped up in the offseason and Ham actually mentioned him as a potential starter. I have a few shares of him. I wish I had Nunn!
I actually put real, hard earned American dollars on the prospects of Jones being the center for the Lakers. I’m a stupid, f’ing, stupid, stupid, stupid man.
Dennis Smith Jr.
Got the start on Sunday and played 34 minutes as LaMelo Ball is still out and Terry Rozier suffered a foot injury. OMG, OMG, OMG!!! Is it really happening? I used to think DSJ was Stevie Franchise Part Deux. Unfortunately, DSJ had a fundamental issue with putting the ball in the bucket from distance. Well, before Sunday, he was averaging 22 minutes, 11 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2.5 steals and 1 block while shooting 64% from the field and 80% from downtown. Why God gotta play with me like this?
Steve Clifford hyped up Richards during the offseason. Steve Clifford is no liar. The two blocks were the first defensive stats in three games, but Richards has scored and grabbed a ton of rebounds. He played 20 minutes yesterday after playing 22 and 26 in the first two games.
Played 38 minutes. This was Collins’ first poor shooting game of the season. He coverted 75% and 64% of his field-goal attemtps in the first two games. The important thing with Collins this season is the playing time. He’s received 34, 36 and 38 minutes. He averaged 30.8 and 29.3 minutes per game in the prior two seasons.
Both played 23 minutes in this one. This is how I envisioned the split to be coming into the season, but Capela has received more minutes early on.
Atlanta lost to Charlotte, 126-109, in Atlanta with the Hornets missing their two-best players. NBA is crazy.
The Jazz defeated the Pelicans, 122-121 in overtime. Both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram left the game early due to injury, but still. Zion went up for a dunk, was blocked by Clarkson and fell hard on his back. Ingram inadvertently got hit in the face by Devonte’ Graham while defending a pass in transition.
Utah is now 3-0 on the season! What the hell is going on here?! Well, this is what’s going on in Utah:
Continues to start and played 37 minutes. He also hit the game winner. Don’t let the girly name fool you. Olynyk can ball and has had fantasy-winning streaks in the past.
I’ve finally cracked the Ainge Code. Acquire as many white dudes with girly names. #Winning! I’ve always been a Markkanen guy. The beautiful thing about writing onto the internet is that there are receipts. By the way, is it onto or into the internet? Anyways, I watched him play in EuroBasket before his rookie season and he impressively led his country. The skills combined with the height were impressive, but what really got me excited was the mental toughness he displayed. Well, once he got to the NBA, things did not go how I envisioned but it has manifested so far in Utah. Let’s go!!!
Conley has played 32, 36 and 36 minutes to start the season. He’s dished out eight, 11 and eight dimes. Yes, you play him until the Jazz trade him away.
My ClarkSON is starting, playing a ton of minutes and doing the only thing he knows what to do: get buckets. He’s played 30, 35 and 37 minutes while hoisting nine, 17 and 19 shots. Treat him the same way you treat Conley.
What a time to be alive!
Kessler hasn’t started but he’s played 24, 18 and 20 minutes. He’s grabbed 10, five and nine boards and blocked two and four shots in the last two games. He’s doing exactly what you drafted him for.
In 19 minutes off the bench. During the offseason, the expectation was that Sexton would garner as much usage as he can handle. Unfortunately, Conley and Clarkson weren’t traded so Sexton has been the microwave off the bench. If trades start happening, then Sexton could fill the role that we expected.
With Zion and Ingram exiting the game early due to injuries, McCollum soaked up all of the usage and almost led the Pelicans to victory. He hit a tough runner on the left baseline to put New Orleans ahead with nine seconds left in the game.
Played 40 minutes off the bench due to all the injuries. What does Trey do best? Drain treys, of course! He’s 9-for-15 from downtown on the season, for a cool 60% conversion rate. The stroke is pure and he’s already a vital part of the rotation. If Ingram or Zion miss extended periods of time, Trey is going to play a ton.
Ants work in colonies. You see lines of ants working together and fulfilling their communist duties. Ha, I kid. ANT is a team player and works well within the confines of the Timberwolves system, but on Sunday, he was THE ANT, hoisting up a team-high 19 shots. No other starter was in double-figures.
Mini-Ant put up 16 shots. ANT is 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. Mini-Ant is 6-foot-4 and 201 pounds. The athleticism isn’t on ANT’s level, but it’s pretty damn close. In three games this season, Mini-Ant has put up 11, 14 and 16 shots while playing only 18, 20 and 24 minutes.
In three games, Gobert has grabbed 16, 23 and 15 rebounds. He has at least one block in every game and Sunday was the first time he failed to rack up a steal.
Looks like all those who faded Towns made the wise and prudent move. I do think things will get better as he adjusts and gets more comfortable in his new role. He’s not going to shoot 30% from the field all season. In addition, he has only one steal without a block. He will get his. That said, he likely won’t be returning first-round value.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did not play due to a hip contusion.
Josh Giddey only played 22 minutes due to spraining his ankle.
Was the leading scorer and only player to get to 30 minutes. The Thunder played 14 people!! LOL.
In 38 minutes as the Wizards lost to the Cavaliers, 117-107 in overtime. If only Porzingis can stay healthy, he’s going to smash his ADP. If only I was a little bit taller. If only I was a baller. All we can do is just keep clicking the submit button with him in the starting lineup, pray and send our best wishes:
Wright is a low usage player so the points will rarely be voluminous. He’s played 27, 22 and 27 minutes off the bench, providing one, four and five dimes while racking up plenty of defensive stats: two, three and two steals with three total blocks.
In 45 minutes. Mitchell has a 36% usage rate on the season and has averaged 23 shots per game. He’s a top 10 player on a per-game basis! Garland has missed two games, though, so things will simmer down once Garland returns. That said, I did believe that Mitchell would be the alpha on the squad regardless. It will be interesting to see how the dynamic plays out over the season.
Double-double is great. Not Tony the Tiger Grrreeeaatt! but great nonetheless. What isn’t great, though, is the 22 minutes played. The Warriors essentially played him off the court as Mike Brown did not play Sabonis or Barnes in the fourth.
I used to dismiss Fox due to the lack of defensive stats and poor shooting. Then I got smacked around and was shown the light. Fox is only 25 years old and showed glimpses of a breakout last season when Tyrese Haliburton was traded. Youth, athleticism, skills and signs of development were there. It looks like the breakout season is upon us.
Still coming off the bench for f’ing KZ Okpala. At least Okpala only played four minutes while Murray received 38 minutes. He entered the draft as one of the more pro-ready prospects, he reaffirmed that during Summer League and preseason games and he’s shown it in two games so far. He will be starting sooner than later and should be a good fantasy player due to his ability to stuff the stat sheet.
In three games to open the season, Curry has dropped 33, 34 and 33 points. Mmmmkay. He’s a top five player on a per-game basis so all those owners who scooped him at the 1/2 turn are loving life right now. It will be interesting to see how Kerr handles him in back-to-back situations and will he give Curry some rest/maintenance days off? If not, then Curry will have been a steal. Arrest those men for stealing the spicy Curry!!!
My worry with Poole entering this season was the playing time. When Curry and Klay were healthy last season, Poole played in the mid-to-high 20s. In three games this season, he’s received 28, 27 and 27 minutes. He has been providing plenty of points, dimes and steals, though, but his ceiling is capped while everyone is healthy. There should be days when he’s the main guy, but they are looking to be few and far between, at least at this stage of the season.
I was bullish on Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody but Kuminga has played 13, seven and seven minutes while Moody has received seven, 13 and 18. At the least the trend is Moody’s friend. Neither has done much with the minutes they have received so far.
Entering Sunday’s contest, Paul was attempting a career-low 8.5 field-goal attempts and converting only 35%. He’s never finished below 11 field-goal attempts in his career while the lowest conversion rate was 43% during his rookie season. The shot attempts increased on Sunday but the efficiency remains awful. I wouldn’t be too worried about but it’s something to monitor for sure. He’s still racking up those precious dimes and steals for you.
One of the smoothest, yet lethal bucket getters in the league. I love watching the Team USA highlights when they go one-on-one. Kevin Durant and Booker are so fun to watch.
Landale was talked in a positive light due to his ability to stretch the floor and that he could possibly be the backup center to Ayton. So far this season, he’s played 10, 15 and 17 minutes. Dario Saric and Bismack Biyombo were both DNPs last night.
Marcus Morris Sr.
Is starting and played 31 minutes. Morris is a scorer first, second and third. He led the Clippers in both points and field-goal attempts last night.
After an opening night game in which he played 36 minutes and produced 14 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks, Zubac has receieved 24 and 21 minutes last night. Shrug. It actually makes me sad because I have quite a few shares.
Came off the bench again and played 21 minutes. A nightmare scenario for Kawhi owners. He’s going to sit back-to-backs and now will only play half a game. Not a fun guy!
In 21 minutes off the bench. Wall has looked good and explosive. Unfortunately, he already sat on a back-to-back and will be receiving a similar workload to Kawhi. Good for the real-life prospects of the Clippers. Turrable for our beloved fantasy teams. I want to travel to China, walk the Great Wall, then jump off and pummel to my death.