The first round of the NBA Playoffs wrapped up on Sunday, with one awful Game 7 that I think everyone saw coming (I at least figured it was a blowout) and one fantastic Game 7 that seemed like a blowout early on, only to become a thriller. Paul George isn’t elite! Oh no, we’re STILL coming back to that one?!
While playoff hoops means very little to the fantasy discussion, there are some little nuggets (no, not Nate Robinson) that can help point us to some sneaky values in the subsequent season’s fantasy draft. I’m thinking of Draymond Green in the 13-14 playoffs going 11.9/8.3/2.9/1.7/1.7 before his breakout, Otto Porter, etc. But as we’ve progressed to a few games in the Second Round, there really ain’t that much going on anymore for fantasy purposes. To be completely honest – and I know it might be sacrosanct – I don’t watch a ton of playoff hoops, especially early. I’m not a fan of a team anymore, it’s not fantasy, and I admittedly get a little fatigued. It’s a long season! But ya know – overall – basketball is awesome! And there were a few takeaways that I think could be applicable to 16-17. Here’s a few interesting notes from NBA Playoffs so far:
Marcus Smart – Some solid multi-cat minutes off the bench for the C’s, averaging 12.0/4.5/3.0/1.7/0.8 with 1.8 treys over their 6 games. Too bad Isaiah Thomas isn’t ceding over starting PG minutes ever again!
Avery Bradley – Suffered a bad hammy strain in the 4th quarter of Game 1 against the Hawks… Heard a pop, as did the Celtic’s Cinderella playoff-run chances… Gave a few more minutes to Terry Rozier, who at least looked competent. With, I dunno, a million first round picks in the upcoming draft, it’s tough to see much happening for Rozier in 16-17 though…
Jonas Jerebko – Same for MY NAME IS JONAS, who picked up 4 starts out of the 6 playoff games going 9.2/6.8 with 1.2 treys in a limited role. Gonna be even more limited with all the rooks the hoarding C’s bring in!
Kent Bazemore – Has played 8 games now this postseason, with a 13.1/6.9/2.0/1.1/0.8 line with 1.8 treys. He’s played 32 minutes a game, and contributing like he did all season. Even though it was bumpy through 15-16, if Bazemore gets a starting role somewhere in FA (or re-signs with the Hawks), he could still be a usable guy as long as he stays awake…
Dennis Schroder – Das Schrew! New nickname? 11/1.8/3.1 in 8 playoff games, but still with those awful 2.1 TO. The Hawks are obviously about to be bounced by the Cavs, so hopefully we can get he and Jeff Teague split up finally!
Paul Millsap – He’s just soooooo good, it’s unfair… It makes me cry myself to sleep sometimes… Had a 45/13/3/2/4 game in that Boston series and continues to play well against the Cavs, despite in a game 2 thrubbing. I’ve got something throbbing though for Sapper, that’s for sure!
Mike Scott – Did he ever get suspended or anything happen with him having a ton of hardcore drugs on him in the past offseason?! Last I saw, legal process is still pending. I’m all for people being able to dope up if they really want to, but I love that this went from facing 25 years in prison to swept under the rug.
Luol Deng – Dang, was Luol unreal to kick off the playoffs! 11-13 FG (4-6 3PTM) for 31 Pts in the Game 1 victory against the Hornets, and has maintained something close to his numbers after Chris Bosh went down through the first and second rounds. Anyone looking for a smaller stretch 4 could do worse than bring him in.
Josh Richardson – Man, look at the run he’s getting! Averaging 28.4 minutes so far this postseason, and while his numbers don’t jump off the page, his role in that rotation has me pretty excited for his sleeper status next year. Let’s do this, J-Rich 2.0!
Myles Turner – Mmmmmmmm, Myles! Mmmmmmm, Happy! You mmmmm-ma-ma-ma-make me happy! I’ll be doubling-down on a high Myles Turner rank again next year, with him going 10.3/6.4 with 3.3 blocks per game, which is leading the NBA thus far in the playoffs. He got all the rave reviews from the Pacers coaching staff and management, and will be as exciting as ever as a sleeper next year.
Cory Joseph – Another one of my personal favorite players had that Cojo Mojo going for the first round! Averaging a monstrous 10.6/2.3/2.4/1.1/0.3 this postseason (considering he’s a bench player behind one of the best NBA PGs), and shooting 58% FG and 2.0-2.4 84% FT. He’ll likely remain a streamer for the majority of next year, but is one of the more critical handcuffs in deeper leagues if you happen to draft Kyle Lowry.
DeMarre Carroll – After only 26 games played in the regular season, DMC (the non-Kings one) has looked close-ish to his former self going 10.3/4.3/0.2/1.5/0.7 with 2.0 treys over his last 6 playoff games. He didn’t get overly run the first two against the Pacers, but has looked solid since. Could be a nice late-round value pick next year.
Norman Powell – After a blah first few games, started picking it up after his phenomenal run to end the regular season. 8.8 Pts and 1.3 STL/1.3 3PTM in the final 4 games closing out the Pacers series. I don’t know if he’ll be a draftable commodity in 16-17, but he certainly can contribute.
Stephen Curry – Everyone knows the story here, he’s hurt with a knee strain. “Shouldn’t have played for the reg. season record, ya morons!” It’s not too serious, but this does question if he gets maintenance DNPs down the stretch next year. Although, it’s in no way enough of a concern to bump him from #1.
Shaun Livingston – Like Cojo, if S-Liv stays with the Warriors, he will be a big handcuff to Curry owners in deeper leagues. Since Game 1 vs. the Rox, 13.8/3.8/5.2/1.0/0.2 and shooting 54.8%. If Curry ever sits and you don’t need treys, Livingston is gonna be a money stream.
Chris Paul – Broke his hand. Luckily it’s not too major of an injury until next year, but for the next month or so, he’ll be a CP1.
Blake Griffin – Hurt his quad, but they had to deliver the news of his severity via carrier pigeon for fear of out-of-control fists swinging everywhere. Unfortunately for the pigeon, only a handful of feathers were found outside of Blake’s locker.
Gerald Henderson – Had a 16-point outburst in 30 minutes in Game 1 against LAC, but unfortunately his only other outburst was nearly making out with Anderson Varejao.
Mason Plumlee – Maybe the biggest fantasy-impactor of the first round for me. On top of the usual Plumlee stats of nice REB, decent BLK (albeit underwhelming given his size and athleticism), and atrocious FT%, he flashed a real oddity in his assists. As mentioned in the open, I don’t watch a ton of NBA Playoffs live, but the bits I saw of the Blazers, he was getting a ton of usage with the ball flowing through him at times. Maybe it was a matchup thing against the Clip, but he has 10 dimes against the Warriors through 2 games as well. Went on a 7, 9, 10 streak in dimes in Games 2-4 against LAC, and since a 0 in Game 1, averaging 6.3 AST in the past 7 Blazers playoff games. Interesante.
Al-Farouq Aminu – Crazy 30/10/3/0/3 outing in Game 4 against the Clip, but unsurprisingly has shot under 50% every other game with too many TO. Imagine how surprising this Blazers team could been with a REAL SF!
Raymond Felton – Somehow was a competent player most of the season and then through the first round, but I think he burnt through all his fat reserves to make it through the 16-17 season.
Justin Anderson – It’s been so long talking his name, I forgot it was “Justin” and not the journeyman “James”. Pretty surprising a mostly D-League guy got 19 MPG, although I know a lot of it was for defense against the Thundah. I shoulda asked his D-League coach Nick Van Exel about his thoughts on Anderson when we had him on the Pod! The final 3 games were pretty solid overall too, going 12.0/4.0/1.3/1.0/0.7. If they indeed lose Chandler Parsons, would it be crazy to think they’d start him at SF in 16-17?
Anything else give you some interest through the Playoffs so far? As always, shoot your thoughts below, and happy fantasy offeason! We’ll have a Pod next week, and the Lottery is quickly approaching – can’t wait to mock with Slim!