10 Definitely Interesting, Possibly Helpful NBA Notes for January 22, 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 Friday, January 22, 2016.
1. James Harden had an odd game on Wednesday, racking up 70.4 FanDuel points (his second-highest total of the year) in a less-than-ideal matchup against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope defense, and this despite racking up five fouls along the way. He also grabbed 17 rebounds, obliterating his previous career high of 12. It’s tough to count on those rebounds from Harden moving forward – prior to Wednesday’s game, he’d only reached double figures in rebounds twice this year (and by the skin of his teeth – both times, he had exactly 10).
2. Over his past 12 starts (since Blake Griffin went down with injury), Chris Paul has averaged 44.8 FanDuel points per game, a mark that ranks second in the NBA among point guards during that span. Only Russell Westbrook, at 47.2 FD points per game, has been better.
3. In 11 games in the month of January, Knicks center Robin Lopez is averaging 7.5 rebounds per game, his highest mark in any month since October of the 2014-15 season. On Friday, his Knicks face the Clippers, the team that is tied with the Lakers as the most generous team in the league for opposing centers in terms of rebounding (16.8 allowed per game). On Monday, Dwight Howard and his 26 rebounds served as proof of the upside centers have when facing the Clippers. And while the long-haired Lopez brother won’t match Howard’s 73.2 FanDuel points (going out on a limb there), he does provide solid value at the center spot today.
4. DeMar DeRozan has exceeded 20 points scored in 10 consecutive home games dating back to December 9, 2015. On Friday, he’s in a tough matchup, as the Raptors host the Miami Heat, who rank fifth in the NBA this season in DvP against shooting guards. The Heat have been racked with injuries recently, though, and this watered-down version of the team has been pretty middle-of-the-road against the shooting guard, ranking 14th in DvP over the past five games.
5. Pau Gasol and the Bulls travel to Boston to face the Celtics on Friday, and Gasol looks to bounce back from perhaps the worst start of his career, at least from a scoring perspective. On Wednesday in Golden State, Gasol went 0-for-8 from the floor. It was the only game in his career that Gasol took at least eight shots and failed to make a single one. In two games against Boston this year, Gasol has scored 42.0 and 43.6 FanDuel points, respectively.
6. On Wednesday, Russell Westbrook recorded five steals in a game for the eleventh time since the start of the 2014-15 season, a mark leads all NBA players. I wouldn’t bank on a repeat performance from Westbrook on Friday, though – his opponent, the Dallas Mavericks, turn the ball over just 13.4 times per game, the third-best mark in the NBA.
7. In the month of January, only three players have per game averages above 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 1.2 steals. Two of them (Andre Drummond, Paul Millsap) are off today. The third player on that list, Giannis Antetokounmpo, finds himself in a paced-up game against the third-worst team in the NBA (in terms of DvP) against small forwards, the Houston Rockets.
8. Terrence Jones has exceeded 24.3 FanDuel points in each of the five games he’s played this year with Dwight Howard out of the lineup. With Howard listed as out on Friday night, Jones should reach value on his $4500 price tag at FanDuel.
9. Expect huge minutes for Jeremy Lin on Friday, who’s expected to start at shooting guard for Charlotte with Nicolas Batum ruled out. In the five games this year that Batum hasn’t suited up, Lin’s minutes have risen from 25.2 to 35.3 per game. The increase in minutes has coincided with an increase in production – Lin has seen a nice boost in FanDuel scoring without Batum, averaging 30.0 points per game in his absence, compared to 20.4 with Batum. Lin’s ceiling is also higher, as he’s reached 48.0 and 36.8 FD points in two of the five games without Batum. In 40 games played with Batum, Lin has never reached the 30-FanDuel-point threshold.
10. Ten years ago today, Kobe Bryant put up 81 points on the Toronto Raptors. He also added six rebounds, two assists, three steals, and a block, which, if DFS had been a thing in 2006, would’ve amounted to 96.2 FanDuel points. Not surprisingly, that’s the highest FanDuel output in history on January 22nd. I’m working on a blog about that game’s (hypothetical) DFS implications, and I’m hoping to post it later today. Be on the lookout!
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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 (and some Saturdays) during the NBA season for more “10 Notes” blogs!