10 Definitely Interesting, Possibly Helpful NBA Notes for March 4, 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, March 4, 2016.
2. In the past five games, Kyle Lowry leads all guards (minimum 10 field goal attempts per game) with a 61.2 field goal percentage. Lowry has the luxury of Damian Lillard defense on Friday; in his one start this year against the Trail Blazers, Lowry made seven of ten three-point attempts (tying a career-high for threes made) and ended the night with 50.2 FanDuel points.
3. We all know about the blocks with Hassan Whiteside, but just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s this: after recording five blocks against the Suns on Thursday night, Whiteside now has 28 games this season of 4+ blocks. In that game, he passed Serge Ibaka mark of 27 for the most games of 4+ blocks by a player in any season since Whiteside entered the league in 2010-2011, and he still has 13 games left to play this season.
4. Starting Friday night, Whiteside’s Heat face the 76ers in three straight games. The first time Whiteside faced the Heat, back on November 21, 2015, Whiteside recorded eight blocks. I’m setting the over/under at 12.5 blocks over those three games. Which do you take? Let me know in the comments thread.
5. In two games against the Wizards this year, Kyrie Irving has averaged 39.4 FanDuel points per contest, the second-most among point guards who have faced Washington at least twice (only Russell Westbrook, at 47.4 FanDuel points, has averaged more).
6. Since the All-Star break, Al Horford is averaging 38.1 minutes per game, second only to Anthony Davis among centers (if you want to classify Davis as a center). Horford is also tied for second among centers in assists with 4.0 per game (only surpassed by “(player-popup)Pau Gasol”:/players/pau-gasol-1502’s 6.4 per game) and tied for second with 2.5 blocks per game (only Whiteside is better at 4.1 per game). On Friday, Horford takes on the Lakers, a bottom-five team in FanDuel points allowed to centers. Sure, there’s the risk of blowout, but maybe not as much as one might think; after the All-Star break, the Lakers are averaging 108.1 points per game since the All-Star break (the ninth-most in the NBA) up from 96.5 before the break.
7. Damian Lillard has scored 30+ points in six of his eight games since the All-Star break, the most of any player in the NBA.
8. Standard small sample warnings apply, but in two games without Rodney Hood this season, Gordon Hayward has seen a massive bump in usage, as it umps from 25.9% to 36.5%. The matchup on Friday isn’t ideal for Hayward, as the Grizzlies rank second in DvP to small forwards over the past five games (only the Spurs are stingier to the position during that stretch), but he could make for an interesting, low-owned GPP play on a large slate.
9. Nikola Vucevic has been the focal point of the Magic’s offense since the All-Star break, ranking eighth in the NBA with a 30.5 usage rate, behind only DeMarcus Cousins, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, James Harden, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Derrick Rose. Prior to the break, he ranked 33rd with a 25.6 usage rate.
10. Last season, Kemba Walker played 2,123 total minutes. In 2015-16, he’s currently at 2,019 minutes, making for some nice comparisons between his past two seasons. In roughly the same amount of minutes, Walker has made 44 more field goals and has increased his field goal percentage by 43 points, has made 33 more three-pointers and has increased his three-point percentage by 65 points, has increased his effective field goal percentage by 59 points, has grabbed 41 more rebounds, has gotten 14 more steals…you get the idea. If you’re wondering whether there’s an area where Kemba hasn’t improved this year, sure: he’s at 31 blocks this year, the same number he had in 2014-15.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, click the green thumbs up in the upper right corner, and feel free to leave a comment in the thread below to discuss the night’s slate (or to make a Whiteside vs. Sixers blocks prediction).
In researching for this blog, I consulted Basketball Reference, NBA.com, StatMuse, RotoWire, and RotoGrinders’ own player pages.
Be sure to check back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for more “10 Notes” blogs!