10 Definitely Interesting, Possibly Helpful NBA Notes for December 21st, 2015
Every day while doing NBA DFS research, I invariably stumble across some unexpected nuggets of information that are occasionally helpful, but always interesting in one way or another. Here are 10 for Monday, December 21st, 2015.
1. Dating back to the 2013-2014 season, Kevin Durant has faced the Los Angeles Clippers on 11 occasions (playoffs included). He has scored 25+ points in every one of those contests.
2. Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka has built a reputation as a solid defender largely on the strength of his elite shot-blocking ability. And that part of his defense certainly is elite – he’s ranked in the top four or better in the NBA in blocks per game in every one of his seven NBA seasons, save his rookie year. This year, he’s blocking 2.4 shots per game (ranked 4th in the league), yet he ranks 45th in ESPN’s defense real plus-minus, a metric that measures overall defensive impact. For some perspective, Ibaka ranks below players considered to be defensive liabilities like Eryan Ilyasova and Marcus Morris (who is listed as a power forward at ESPN, for some reason). In other words, roll out Blake Griffin without reservation on Monday. And if you’re still not convinced…
3. In games in which Blake Griffin has faced Serge Ibaka, you have to go all the way back to April 16, 2012 to find a game where Griffin didn’t score 20+ points. That’s eight consecutive games of 20 or more, four of which resulted in double-doubles for Griffin (not counting a 20-point, 9-rebound effort on March 3, 2013).
4. Over the past five games, Sacramento forward Omri Casspi is one of three players in the NBA to average 37+ minutes, 10+ field goal attempts per game, and greater than a 50% field goal percentage. The other two players are Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. At FanDuel, where his price is still stuck at $5,000, Casspi is near impossible to fade, especially against Washington’s small forward defense, which ranks dead last in DvP.
5. There’s a reason the Trail Blazers rank dead last in DvP versus centers. Over the past three games, Portland has allowed four double-doubles to opposing centers (Hassan Whiteside, Nikola Vucevic, and, get ready…Enes Kanter AND Steven Adams in the same game). Al Horford should be the beneficiary on Monday night.
6. Horford’s game has changed quite a bit this season. His career-low .487 field goal percentage can be largely attributed to his shooting over three 3-pointers per game – in his previous eight NBA seasons, he never averaged more than .5 three-point attempts per game. It’s causing a drop in his rebounding, as well. He was a 9.2 rebound-per-game player in his first eight seasons in the league, and this year, he’s only grabbing 7.2 boards per game. He’d be best served to stay inside against Portland, as he’s shooting below 21.0% from three-point land this month.
7. Over the past four games, Jeremy Lin is averaging 36.2 minutes per game. He’s getting more play over that stretch than minutes monsters like Reggie Jackson (35.5 minutes per game over his past four), James Harden (35.2), and C.J. McCollum (35.2), just to name a few. Sure, that number is a bit inflated by the December 17th overtime game against Toronto when Nicolas Batum was out with illness, leading to Lin getting the starting nod. But he still managed to see 36 minutes off the bench against Washington on Saturday (with Nicolas Batum back in the starting lineup). Lin’s role in Charlotte’s offense is expanding, and at $5,200 at FanDuel, his price hasn’t caught up to his production.
8. Paul George has gone six straight games without eclipsing 40 FanDuel points. Prior to this stretch, he’d never had a sub-40-point drought of more than three games this season. He’s an easy fade on Monday night as the Pacers visit San Antonio and the best defense in the NBA. Best case scenario for DFS players: George is shut down by Kawhi Leonard, causing his salary to drop the low $9k range just in time for a cushy matchup against Sacramento this Wednesday night.
9. Dating back to the start of last season, the NBA leader in double-doubles is not Andre Drummond, or DeMarcus Cousins, or DeAndre Jordan. It’s Pau Gasol, who has 54 double-doubles, compared to Drummond’s 48 and Cousins’ and Jordan’s 47. Gasol’s price at FanDuel has shot up $500 since his past game to $8,900. Given that most will choose to pay up for DeMarcus Cousins (whose 4.4 fouls per game in December leads the NBA by a wide margin), Gasol makes for an excellent GPP play on Monday night.
10. Regression, thy name is Arron Afflalo. Over the past three games, the Knicks guard has shot 26-for-41 from the field (63.6%) including 7-for-11 from beyond the arc (63.6%, as well, weirdly). Afflalo is a career 45.5% shooter, including 35.7% from three-point range. During his recent three-game hot streak, he’s totaled five assists, one steal, and one block. When his shooting luck runs out and the peripheral stats aren’t there, Afflalo will have a hard time paying off his price tag, which has been raised by $400 at FanDuel, up to $5,200.
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All DvP numbers are pulled from RotoWire.com. Other sites used to gather information for this blog are NBA.com, ESPN.com, Basketball Reference, Roto Guru, and RotoGrinders’ own player pages.
Good luck on tonight’s slate!