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!

  1. MAC says:
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    RAZZUP MAN?!!!

    u got the wrong JONAS. hehe. VALANCIUNAS should be creeping up bigtime in ur top 50 ranks. we might finally see him get close to 30min next season and get involved more in the offense. especially if derozan leaves. id definitely have him over ibaka for next season, and the playoffs just solidified it. hehe

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @MAC: Oh damn, yeah didn’t realize he was playing so well! Yeah if he goes 14/11 with almost 2 blocks and plays 30 MPG, he def is getting close to that top 50. I think I agree, I’ll go Luminescent Lithuanian over Ibaka!

  2. Dante Green says:
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    It irks me how Whiteside is being underutilized in a Heat uniform. I know there are lots of vets playing for that team, but damn, I mean all they make Whiteside do is set screens, grab boards and swat shots. Jeez. I hope he signs with a team where he can be the second option on offense (Ala Favors). The guy is only 26, and has proven in the tail end of the regular season that he can knock down his free throws!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Dante Green: Agree! His jumper isn’t exactly pretty, but he can make it sometimes! Love to see him get more shots on a new team

      • Dante Green says:
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        @JB Gilpin:

        Man he throws his weight around when he’s in the paint! I think we have yet to see his full potential..

        Where would you like to see him sign this offseason?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Dante Green: Ohhhh man, that’s a great question… This is without any sort of additional research on who has cap space, so take that with a grain of salt:

          Hawks – prob losing Al Horfrod, they trade Teague, and have a big 3 of Schroder/Millsap/Hassan

          Hornets

          How wild would it be if he signed with the Spurs…

          TRAIL BLAZERS!!!!!!!!!! I think they have cap room too.

          Ugh, I hope NOT Lakers since that’s been a black hole for a while. But that could make sense

  3. Drez1 says:
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    Hey JB, where would you have Terrance Jones ranked versus Evan Fournier if he gets traded? Got a guy offering me T.Jones, but I don’t really have anyone else that I’d be willing to move for him. It’s a punt ft% build with DD as a cat (h2h). Just trying gauge upside for next season. Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Drez1: Whewwwww, those cats def help Tjones! Man I wanna take it so bad, but I would maybe tell the guy you’re almost certainly gonna take it but wanna see what the offseason does just in case. I imagine in standard 9 cat I’ll have Fournier a good bit higher, but that format and your build fits Tjones so well…

      • Drez1 says:
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        @JB Gilpin:

        I went ahead and took it, lol. *crosses fingers

        Anyway, here’s my keepers, and I’ve got 3 second rounders to grab some thragnofs to replace Fournier, and hopefully good young pg.

        Pg – R.Jackson, E.Payton, C.Payne
        Sg – G.Hayward,
        Sf – J.Crowder, T.Jones
        Pf – A.Gordon, T.Young
        C – Cousins, Drummond, Embiid, Dieng, Capela

        Looking pretty beastly in a 20 teamer if everyone plays to their full potential. See anyone you’d move for a PG? Really hoping Payne gets Reggie Jackson type minutes because his game is basically perfect for fantasy. If not, I gotta start shopping, lol.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Drez1: Nice, love the bold move! And yup, 3s are a need, but that’s what ThrAGNOFs are for! Man, that’s a 20er?!?!?! Especially in a DD league, sheesh. Well, Payne might be a year out yet, but I do love the future upside for sure

  4. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    I know you wrote this in jest, “shouldn’t have played for the reg. season record”, but I do hear a bunch of commentators and analysts saying it lately with respect to Curry. How would resting him at the end of the regular season have kept him from injuring himself in the playoffs? I get if he actually got injured at the end of the regular season, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t. Again, I know you’re saying it in jest, I’m just talking it out with myself.

    Now on to the Raptors since you aren’t watching much playoff bball. Jonas! My man! For a guy who gets about 3 plays run for him per game, to have a line of .545/.813/14.9/12.1/0.9/1.0/1.6 in 29 MPG (including games with 19, 15, 15, 14, 14 boards) is pretty impressive. Also, it’s his birthday today and he’s now reached the ripe old age of 24. Happy Birthday big guy!

    If you haven’t been watching the Raptors play I’ll point out that he has been pretty easily the Raptors best player in the playoffs thus far. Better than DeRozan, better than Lowry, maybe better than DeRozan and Lowry combined actually. Lowry and DeRozan are in the midst of fighting over who is going to set the NBA record for worst shooting percentage in playoff history.. Seriously. They could end up 1 and 2 by the time this is over. DeRozan is shooting 34%/17%/76% and Lowry has countered that by going 31%/16%/69%. Yeah, those are real numbers and yes they are in the second round with their two all stars shooting like they’re blindfolded. Maybe at some point they’ll stop taking a combined 35+ shots per game from the field and run a play for Jonas…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: Yeah I was being sarcastic, there’s no way he was sitting. Just like in baseball all this Matt Harvey talk about he wore down since he threw too much last year, and just pitch counts in general. More pitchers are getting hurt because they’re throwing absolutely max effort every time now, no one can know when they actually get hurt.

      Yeahhhhh, well I wrote this before Thurs night’s game, or else it woulda sparked on me. He looks good indeed. Luminescent again! He might be right at that #50 again like I had him that sophomore season!

      Oh lord, I didn’t know those two were that cold! Supposed to heat up by now in Canada!

  5. Jesse says:
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    How often can I expect an article from you guys this summer? This is the first season I’ve discovered this site and have since visited this site daily. I know its a fantasy site so not a lot to talk a lot during the summer but always a great read for not only the info, but also the humor and general love of the game. It’s going to be a long summer without you guys.

    Quick question: Barring injury, is there any chance that the Cavs arent in the nba finals? Who in the east can stop them?

    • MAC says:
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      @Jesse: same here man, hopefully they put out articles atleast every week. hehe.

      i dont see cavs not going to the finals. i mean, ur now counting on a banged up heat with the whiteside injury and no bosh. and the raptors? nah. its in the west where it will be interesting between GSW and spurs. my bet would be cavs vs warriors. and i actually see an upset with the cavs winning it all.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Jesse: @MAC: Thanks so much man! Definitely will have something every week. I wanna try to get to more like 2, but sometimes it’s tough while I work for baseball too haha.

        We got a Pod coming next week, I’m pumped to catch up with Slim!

        Nah, I think it’s Cavs all the way. And yup, whoever wins out of the Spurs or Warriors will make it a great Finals, hopefully a 7er. Spurs go out as champs, Timmy scores 30 in game 7 and retires on the spot. Then Kawhi becomes the best NBA player next year. I WANNA DREAMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!! Haha

        • MAC says:
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          @JB Gilpin: haha! nyc man! just to be able to talk fantasy basketball here in the comments section is enough. with april and may being the dog days of fantasy bball. just looking forward to ur rankings as always.

          but seriously, i mean i just have a feeling it will be the cavs this season. GSW or Spurs would still be the faves in the finals.

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @MAC: Yeah for sure, comments are soooooo much better than last year, glad everyone keeps stopping by!

            What would make LeBron wanna stay more? Winning the title and leaving CLE on the high note? Or losing, so he would feel bad about leaving again?

            • miles proudfoot says:
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              @JB Gilpin: the other. Winning and staying for more chips with Tristan Thompson! not one, not two…

            • Jesse says:
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              @JB Gilpin:

              Would cle be ok with LBJ leaving again if they win it all this year? Playing with their hearts.

              Cleveland is guaranteed in the finals now that JV and Hassan are injured.

              • JB Gilpin

                JB Gilpin says:
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                @miles proudfoot: @Jesse: Hahaha LeBron better avoid counting in press conferences the rest of his life.

                Mannnn, yeah I dunno Jesse, which would be worse?! Hard to know! But he’s played with their hearts since that final year before MIA ha

  6. Threekola says:
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    JB/Slim, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and after these ridiculous numbers for Draymond lately (about 22-11-7-2-3 in the portland series), I gotta mention it to you guys.

    Is Kawhi really clearly better than Dray? Let’s not think about the metrics for a second and look at it cat by cat.

    Counting stats:

    Draymond has: rebounds by 3, assists by almost 5, blocks by 0.4

    Kawhi has: points by 7, threes by 0.6, and steals by 0.3

    FG% is about the same although kawhi is higher volume. Obviously the biggest hit is ft% and TO, but neither one is really a savior nor forces you to tank. I don’t give nearly as much importance to FT% or TO for first round players unless the FT’s are very high volume or the TOs are really out of hand.

    Now we know the value of averages of 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.5 steals/blocks (which I think can improve after averaging 1.8 and 3.2 in this last series) is INCREDIBLY higher than one who averages 7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks.

    I mentioned that I don’t give too much importance to the TO category and FT%, because you can easily choose players that fit your build in those categories throughout most of the draft, but you can’t find counting stats that even compare to Draymond after the first round. For Kawhi, though, some guys compare, like Rudy Gay, for example. (Don’t use that against me lol just making a point)

    Although Kawhi beats Draymond in steals, I think we can agree that Draymond’s defensive stats COMBINED beat Kawhi’s. So, Kawhi’s advantage on Draymond really comes down to 7 points and barely over half a three. You can mention the FG% too I guess although Draymond is a very solid 49%.

    I think that if I stop here, I have given strong evidence that there is good reason to pick Draymond over Kawhi depending on what you like. However, I can also factor in Kawhi’s DNPs. Not only that, but Draymond is showing us that he is growing as a scorer. I think it’s possible he gets up to 16-17 points next year. He went from 11.7 to 14.0, why can’t he take another step? One can say the same for Kawhi, but he is already in that 21 point range and I would bet that he doesn’t get much higher with the system he is in. Besides, it’s highly unlikely he beats the % he shot from behind the arc this year.

    The point is, yeah, Kawhi won’t really hurt you anywhere, but you want the best player on your fantasy team to produce ridiculous numbers. (At least I do) And Draymond Green is the one who will give you that without having to tank a category. He’s basically 3/4 freethrows a night and 3 TO. I’ll take that hit any day for a guy who can potentially go a month of averaging a strong triple double and a rainbow with threes and good FG%.

    Idk if I’m 100% Draymond>Kawhi right now, but I just hope I don’t have to make the decision on draft day is all I’m saying.

    So, is it really that easy of a choice for you JB/Slim?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Threekola: Oh I definitely don’t think it’s clearly, I have them back to back!

      I think Kawhi has the upside to be like 0.7-0.8 steals over Dray, but maybe Kawhi’s STL fell since he’s focused on offense more. but yes, defensive stats combined go to Dray.

      While I agree Kawhi is unlikely to replicate his 3PT shooting, I dunno how much more upside Dray can have scoring wise if Curry and Klay are healthy. I also kinda disagree Kawhi doesn’t have room for upside, yes the system hurts, but those old guys are getting olddddder.

      I think we agree it’s not a clear cut decision, but I am still leaning Kawhi as of right now. oh, and Dray has some DNP concerns too since I think the Warriors bench guys down the stretch next year after chasing the record this year

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