Triple Double Tuesday – Weekly Column 1.12.16

Triple Double Tuesday – Weekly Column 1.12.16

Most sports fans are spending the weekend watching the NFL playoffs but not us over at Hoopscritic. We are keeping our eyes on the potential playoff landscape for the NBA. A couple of teams have turned it on in the Eastern Conference and the West appears to be sending a .500 team or below into the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 lockout season where the Timberwolves went 25-25 for the 8th seed. Three Positive Things Cleveland Looks To Be Locking Up The East The Cavaliers got Kyrie Irving back just in time to put the Eastern Conference away and lock up home court throughout the playoffs. Since Kyrie came back the Cavs are 7-1 in the eight games he suited up for. He has taken a couple of games off in between those eight games in which the Cavs are 1-1, the one loss coming the day after an emotional and tiresome game against the Warriors on Christmas. The Cavs are 4th in the league (behind Warriors, Thunder and Spurs) for most efficient offense in the league, 7th in defense efficiency, 5th in effective field goal percentage and 5th in true shooting percentage. What is surprising with these numbers is the fact they are in the bottom 5 in the league in pace. Cleveland has been bucking the trend of fast paced basketball which seems to be catching on more and more. Instead, they are able to score 101.8 per game, which is only 1.1 behind the Eastern Conference leader Atlanta Hawks. Cleveland’s scoring should increase with the return of Kyrie. They have only failed to...
Why the Warriors Success Starts With Owner Joe Lacob, and What Other Owners Can Learn

Why the Warriors Success Starts With Owner Joe Lacob, and What Other Owners Can Learn

The Golden State Warriors are continually presented as the team who got lucky. Whether we would like to admit it or not, that idea is a perpetuation of our preconceived notions. The idea exists that championships are won, and dynasties are born, by dominant defenses manned by behemoth bigs, and offenses built around the isolation play of a post player or large transcendent wings. The idea that size matters. The idea that offenses built around tiny guards penetrating into creases and sharing the ball only succeeds in the regular season. The idea, lastly, and the subject of this column, that brash, in your face ownership personalities like Joe Lacob, don’t preside over dynasties. The idea, we have been told, that the best owners are only those owners who remain quiet, in the shadows, as their management teams take all the credit for franchise success. It is true that many hands on, active in the conversation owners have floundered when building NBA teams, sometimes in epic fashion. James Dolan and Mikhail Prokhorov are legendary meddlers, and their constant involvement in their teams’ plans has submarined their respective franchises, at different points in time (Dolan in the early and mid 2000’s, and Prokhorov now). Vivek Ranadive has famously asked his Kings to incorporate tactics from young girls’ recreational basketball (cherrypicking!), demanded who his team draft despite doing a feature on “crowdsourcing” to show the masses the organization’s trust in the analytics process (“Stauskas!”), the firing of Mike Malone, and general dysfunction. Lacob’s success, further, defies the preconceived notions of many. Great owners, we thought, don’t fire their coach, and then embark...
MVP Candidates Not Named Stephen Curry

MVP Candidates Not Named Stephen Curry

By Oliver Maroney With reigning MVP Stephen Curry battling a few injuries, I couldn’t help but jump on the opportunity to write about the MVP race. This list is not who I think will win the award, but who could potentially steal the MVP from Steph if his play were to struggle or if he miss significant time due to injury. If he’s healthy, the award is won, but if not, here’s the next men up: Kawhi Leonard The Spurs should always have someone in the MVP race due to their sustained excellence. Years ago, the argument was Tim Duncan, but as he aged, people focused on the younger Tony Parker as the leader of the Spurs. However, over the last two years, a new superstar has emerged to represent San Antonio in the MVP race . Coming off a defensive player of the year award, Kawhi Leonard is incredible on both sides of the floor. This season, Kawhi is averaging 20.7 points per game at an incredible 51.9% from the field, 50% from 3 and 88.7% from the free throw line. This shows tremendous improvement from his 2014-15 averages, scoring over 4 more points per game and shooting over 15 percentage points better from 3. If Kawhi can sustain his 3-point percentage, he will be only the second player since 2009-2010 to shoot over 50% from 3 in a season. Kawhi is the driving force behind an elite Spurs team on offense and defense. He is the centerpiece of the franchise and and arguably the best all-around basketball player in the NBA. Lebron James At this point, Lebron...
Hoopscritic DFS: Russell Westbrook Night?

Hoopscritic DFS: Russell Westbrook Night?

It’s not often that a lineup will score 289.5 points and produce $0, but that was the kind of night we had on the short-slate. The Kings-Mavericks game lived up to its projected fantasy goodness with a double-OT game while the Bulls and Bucks completely obliterated its team total projection. For our main cash lineup, we were a normal Kosta Koufos 8 point, 7 rebound 1 block game from another profitable evening. Unfortunately, Koufos was not his normal self and gave a not-so solid 5.5 FDP performance. Tonight is going to be interesting because it initially started as our favorite “Russell Westbrook with no Kevin Durant” day, but a few developments throughout the morning have made Westbrook someone you don’t have to roster in cash games. First off, Durant’s injury status has been upgraded twice today, which indicates that he’s going to at least try and play tonight. Second, Westbrook’s price has risen $900 and is extremely expensive at $11,600. With a lot of great value at PG tonight, Westbrook is someone I’ll have very limited exposure to if Durant is ruled out and virtually none if he is playing. That said, let’s get into our Elite Plays of the Day.   Elite Plays of the Day: Kemba Walker: ($8,200 on DK) This play stood out immediately and will be a popular one tonight in both cash and tournaments. The Suns are an absolute mess right now and are giving up monster games to point guards just about every night. Kemba is certainly someone who can take advantage as he comes into this game in great form, averaging 26.8...
Hoopscritic DFS: Starting 2016 The Right Way

Hoopscritic DFS: Starting 2016 The Right Way

Happy 2016! Looking forward to a prosperous year of DFS and making some real money in NBA the next few months. I’ll be changing the format for Hoopscritic DFS and evaluating previous day picks a lot more in-depth and our predictions. I’ll also be adding a “Top fades of the day” portion and go a bit into detail why I’m not on certain players for cash games. The elite-plays of the day will continue in each article. Let’s get right into it on a shorter 4-game slate. Elite Plays of the Day: Darren Collison ($5,300 on DK) I originally had Rondo in this spot, but as I was finishing his write-up, news broke that he was doubtful for tonight’s game. Collison was already in play tonight, but he becomes a must-own in cash games if Rondo is indeed ruled out. Collison has been in great form the last 5 games averaging 28.3 FDP in 29.3 MPG. In 3 starts this season, Collison’s minutes have seen a sizeable increase to 36.4 MPG. The Kings have a potentially large injury report tonight with Omri Casspi and Ben McLemore potentially both out of this game, which puts a lot of usage in the hands of Collison and a select few other Kings. Take the free space and fire up Collison in all formats. DeMarcus Cousins ($10,000 on DK) Surprisingly, Cousins is now cheaper than Draymond Green on DraftKings. The way tonight’s slate is breaking down, Cousins is the cash-game play, while Draymond is the better tournament play. This Kings/Mavericks game has a similar total as Warriors/Lakers, it will likely go 4 quarter...