10 Definitely Interesting, Possibly Helpful NBA Notes for January 9, 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 Saturday, January 9, 2016.
1. DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA with a 34.4 usage rate. If that holds by year’s end, he’ll be the first center since Jermaine O’Neal in 2004-05 to lead the league in that category.
2. Cousins is heating up. In January, his 46 points plus rebounds per game is leaps and bounds better than the rest of the league. Kevin Durant ranks second with 38 ppg + rpg. On Saturday, Cousins faces the Warriors, a team that ranks in the bottom third of the NBA in FanDuel points allowed to centers, and the game has a ridiculous 222 total (covers.com). Of course, some may still feel the pangs of owning Boogie against Golden State on December 30th – Cousins lasted just 12 minutes in a game where there were fouls, more fouls, yelling, and ultimately, an ejection. Just like Anthony Davis injury problem, these sorts of games come with the territory of rostering Cousins.
3. Only one player in the NBA is averaging 24+ points, 4+ assists, and 2+ steals per game in January. It’s Charlotte’s Kemba Walker. Walker has become a much bigger part of the Hornets’ offense recently, averaging 22.5 field goal attempts per game this month after putting up 14.9 shots in October through December. Only Klay Thompson has put up more shots per game in January than Walker.
4. And if Nicolas Batum sits, Walker is an elite play. His usage jumps ten points, from 24.5% to 34.5%, when Batum is out of the lineup.
5. Cody Zeller is currently priced at $4700, which says he needs 23.5 FanDuel points to reach 5x value. He’s hit 23.5 or more points in six of his past ten games (and he had 21 or more in three of the other games).
6. I’ve heard the narrative floating around that, with Stephen Curry back in the lineup, “(player-popup)Draymond Green”:/players/draymond-green-13976’s usage will take a hit. That’s just not true. This year, when Curry is playing, Green’s usage rate is 19.6%. Without Curry, that number actually falls to 19.0%. Sure, Curry’s only been out two games this year, but it holds true even if you extend it out over Green’s entire career. In 12 career games played without Steph, Green’s usage only rises .6 points, from 16.6% to 17.2%. As far as FanDuel points per game, Curry’s presence has had only a slight impact this year – Green averages 39.9 FD points per game with Curry in the lineup, compared with 41.5 when Curry is out. Whether or not Curry plays, Green is an elite option against Sacramento, who ranks in the bottom five in the NBA in DvP against power forwards.
7. Nikola Mirotic is riding a four-game streak of seeing the floor for 27+ minutes. It’s the only time this season he’s played that much in four straight. Mirotic appears to have carved out some minutes for himself in “(player-popup)Joakim Noah”:/players/joakim-noah-1404’s absence ability to play small forward and power forward, and he remains a solid value at his depressed price tag as long as he continues to see 25+ minutes per game. However, if Noah returns Saturday, Mirotic carries significantly more risk.
8. Andre Drummond has exceeded 40 FanDuel points against 19 different opponents this season (and twice against the Hawks), including four games against teams currently in RotoWire’s DvP versus centers (Miami, Cleveland, Memphis, Phoenix). Brook Lopez and the Nets, Drummond’s opponent on Saturday, have allowed 50.0 FanDuel points per game to centers, tied for second-most in the NBA.
9. DeAndre Jordan leads the NBA this season with 1.35 points per touch in the paint (minimum 1.5 paint touches per game). However, in a matchup against Charlotte, his upside is limited. Despite (or perhaps because of) Al Jefferson missing so much time this year, Charlotte is tied for first in the NBA at limiting points in the paint, allowing just 37.3 per game.
10. Rudy Gobert has returned to the Jazz, but the team’s frontcourt has fared pretty well defensively in his absence, at least in DFS terms. Just one center this season has scored 40+ FanDuel points against the Jazz this year (Karl-Anthony Towns on December 30th). This makes Hassan Whiteside is an easy fade on Saturday, even in tournaments.
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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 notes!