10 Definitely Interesting, Possibly Helpful NBA Notes for January 1, 2016(!!!)
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 Friday, January 1, 2016.
1. I faded Ish Smith 42.1 FanDuel points on Wednesday, going down to Shaun Livingston (15.2 points) in order to fit Gordon Hayward (27 points) into my cash lineups. Needless to say, I did not wake up a rich man on Thursday. Since this isn’t a traditional picks column, I try to keep my own lineup construction out of it. However, I clearly need to save myself from myself. Here are five quick stats to remind myself to never, EVER fade Ish Smith again (or at least not on Friday):
- In 14 games this year that Ish Smith has played 30 minutes, his lowest total is 24.9 points at FanDuel, for nearly 5x value. That’s his floor, and he’s only hit it in one game. He’s been at 29.6 or better in each of the other 13 games, exceeding 40 in four of them.
- He ranks sixth in assists per 36 minutes this year, trailing only Rondo, Rubio, Paul, Wall, and Westbrook.
- The 76ers offense isn’t all that bad with Ish at the point. Granted, it’s a small sample, but consider: with Ish, the 76ers offensive rating (or points per 100 possessions) is 102.5, approaching the league average mark of 104.6). Without Ish, the team’s offensive rating is 94.8, the worst mark in the league by nearly six points.
- He’s played on eleven teams since his NBA debut in 2010, and this is his second stint with the 76ers. And yet, his top 10 career games, in terms of FanDuel points, have all come this season. Either he’s figured something out, or he’s finally getting the minutes he deserves.
- He went to my high school! Graduated three years after me from Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, North Carolina. And yet, I faded him. Serves me right.
2. Smith’s arrival in Philadelphia hasn’t had any appreciable impact on Nerlens Noel minutes – before Ish’s arrival, he played 29.5 minutes per contest, and in the three games since, he’s played 29.3. But Noel’s production? That’s another story. In the past three games that Ish has started at point guard, Nerlens Noel has scored 33.9, 36.7, and 39.8 points at FanDuel. Those represent three of his top seven scoring outputs of the season. Some of this can be attributed to the 3.0 steals per game and 2.3 blocks per game over that stretch (compared to 1.4 and 1.0, respectively, prior to Ish’s arrival). These peripheral stats aren’t exactly predictive, especially not over a three game sample, and they’ll surely normalize over time, bringing down Noel’s FanDuel point totals. Still, Ish’s presence has transformed Noel from a player you scroll past to a daily consideration, even in cash games.
3. Derrick Rose has only missed three games this season, but in games he’s been out, Jimmy Butler has been the biggest beneficiary, averaging 46.8 FanDuel points per contest, compared to 34.7 when Rose takes the floor.
4. Among centers, only Andre Drummond averaged more FanDuel points per game in December than Pau Gasol’s 41.6 mark. In the 5 games Gasol has played without Joakim Noah, he’s seeing an uptick of 4 minutes per game (from 30.5 up to 34.5).
5. This season, only three players in the NBA are averaging 16.3+ points, 6.3+ rebounds, and 5.1+ assists per game: Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and…Nicolas Batum. If Batum can sustain these numbers over the course of a season, he’ll join Westbrook LeBron, Kevin Durant, and Blake Griffin as the only players to achieve the feat in the past ten years. Sure, Batum is right at the cutoff of each of these categories. And sure, his 42.4 field goal percentage places him well below Westbrook and LeBron in overall value. Still, its proof that Batum is a multidimensional player who can really fill out the stat sheet.
6. Al Jefferson underwent surgery on Thursday and will be out approximately six weeks, per RotoWorld. One player who has benefitted greatly in Jefferson’s absence has been Frank Kaminsky. The rookie big man has seen his minutes increase by nearly 10 per game (up to 25.1 minutes from 15.5), and he’s put the minutes to good use. In Jefferson’s absence, Kaminsky sees a drastic increaes in rebounds per game (from 2.3 to 4.9), field goal attempts per game (4.9 to 7.8), and points per game (4.7 to 10.3), all of which leads to Kaminsky’s FanDuel points per game nearly doubling in Jefferson’s absence (increasing from 10.6 to 19.6).
7. Zaza Pachulia can play D – the Mavs have surrendered 40+ FanDuel points to opposing centers just twice all season (Al Jefferson scored 43.3 on November 5th and Pau Gasol had 41.3 on December 26th). Last year, pre-Zaza, the Mavs allowed 40+ to centers on 11 occasions.
8. DeMar DeRozan averages 37.5 FD points per game at home in the Air Canada Centre, nearly five FD points higher than the 32.9 he averages on the road. On Friday, the Raptors host the visiting Hornets.
9. Nikola Vucevic has attempted 16+ shots in seven straight games, tying him with C.J. McCollum for the longest active streak in the NBA. No other player has currently attempted 16+ shots in more than four consecutive games.
10. Over his career, Hassan Whiteside averages 4.4 blocks per 36 minutes. He’s tied with Mark Eaton for second all-time behind the great Manut Bol, who is heads and shoulders above the other shot blockers on the list (pun intended, unfortunately) with 6.4 blocks per 36.
Happy New Year, and thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, click the green thumbs up in the upper right corner, and feel free to leave a comment below.
Research for this blog was pulled from NBA.com, ESPN.com, Basketball Reference, StatMuse, RotoWire, and RotoGrinders’ own player pages.
Be sure to check back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the NBA season for more notes!