What Do the East’s Top Teams Have to Be Thankful For?

What Do the East’s Top Teams Have to Be Thankful For?

As we approach the first quarter pole of this NBA season, I began to take a look at some of the early successful teams in the Eastern Conference. Wondering exactly what it was that was allowing these teams to have success in this young 2016-2017 season, I decided to dive into it a bit deeper and see for myself. Just like in life, some are less fortunate than others and while teams like Golden State have pretty much everything to be thankful for, the 76ers can be grateful that they’re nearly halfway to their win total from last season. The Dallas Mavericks are kind of like those people who have absolutely nothing great that stands out in their lives, but they’re just happy to be a franchise. They’re like that person who looks like he has a really nice car from the outside, but then you get inside of it and there’s more food on the floor boards of the front seat than there is between Shaq and Barkley’s chairs on the NBA on TNT set. First, lets take a look at the Eastern Conference. As a whole, they can be thankful that they’re no longer the AFC South of the NBA. Having two teams below .500 make the playoffs two seasons ago prompted talks of changing the playoffs format to include the top 16 teams overall. We’ll start with the team looking down on the rest of the conference like Allen Iverson over Tyronn Lue. Drumroll…the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Resurgence of Kevin Love During his first couple years with the Cavs, he was sort of like the third...
Hoopscritic DFS: 11/22 Slate Breakdown

Hoopscritic DFS: 11/22 Slate Breakdown

Welcome back to the HoopsCritic Breakdown article for this 4-game Tuesday slate. I usually try and avoid playing much volume on short slates, but this one seems to be pretty balanced for both tournaments and cash games. We have a couple stars to pay up for (Davis and Westbrook), we have a lot of really good mid-range options (Melo, Porzingis, Butler, Lillard, McCollum, etc) and all 4 games have pretty solid totals and spreads with 207.5 being the lowest total and -7.5 being the highest spread.   Point Guard: Jrue Holliday: ($6,400) Jrue is one of my top plays of the day, so it makes sense that he’d lead off the PG section. This will be his 3rd game back after missing the first part of the season to take care of his wife recovering from brain surgery. He’s played 23 and 30 minutes respectively and there’s a great chance the Pelicans take off the training wheels and let him push 35 minutes in this one. His production this year is reminiscent of last season when he was just putting up monster numbers with monster usage every game. So far, he’s averaging 1.48 FDP/minute and is sporting a 35.5% usage rate. This will regress some as he spends more time on the floor with Davis, but if the Pelicans continue to bring him off the bench for the time being, it just means more fantasy goodness for us as he dominates possessions. Load up on him now before he’s $7,700 next week. The minutes we want (35+) should be there now after a few games of getting acclimated as...
The NBA’s Longest Tenured Problem

The NBA’s Longest Tenured Problem

Up until this season, the NBA had implemented a rule in the mid 1900’s with the goal of preventing off-the-ball fouls in the last two minutes of a game. The rule stated that if the defensive team commits an off-the-ball foul within the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, not only would the offensive team be allowed to keep possession of the ball, but they were sent to the charity stripe on top of that. Unfortunately, this did not have as big of an impact as the league was hoping for when it came to discouraging the use of what is now known as the “Hack-A-Shaq” strategy. Now, keep in mind that free throws were implemented into the game of basketball to deter players from committing fouls, not encourage them. However, we have learned over the years that it doesn’t take a Harvard graduate to come to the conclusion that it might be beneficial to send someone to the line who shoots foul shots at a lower rate than the 76ers win percentage. This so called “strategy” came about in the late 1990s when Dallas Maverick’s coach, Don Nelson, implemented the infamous tactic on Dennis Rodman and the Chicago Bulls. Initially, the idea appeared to be a bust when Rodman proceeded to shoot 9-12 from the line in that game and the Bulls went on to win. The use of this game plan has sadly developed to the point where two years ago in the NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals, Deandre Jordan shot an NBA record 28 free throws in ONE HALF during Game 4 against the...
Triple Double Tuesdays – November 15th, 2016

Triple Double Tuesdays – November 15th, 2016

Welcome to my first Triple Double Tuesday column for the 2016-17 year.  It has been a weird year to say the least with many teams overachieving (I see you Nets and Lakers) and some high expectation clubs trying to figure out what is going wrong (Pacers anyone?).  Excited to bring this weekly column back. Three Positive Plays Lakers and Nets are combined for 10-11 Well it appears that none of us saw the Nets and Lakers combining for .500 basketball.  Both of these teams have overachieved so far, or maybe we were just wrong.  I touched on the Lakers reasons for success on the Hoopscritic Podcast, attributing to the culture change brought on by Luke Walton and the combination of the young talent getting minutes and making the most of them.   The Nets on the other hand are being carried by all-star center Brook Lopez.  It seems every year we tend to forget about Brook Lopez due to his career of injuries and the Nets lack of success.   Jeremy Lin is also better than we remember and the help of some of the younger guys like Sean Kilpatrick, Joe Harris, and Justin Hamilton have made the Nets a more competitive group than one initially thought. Hawks transitioned roster paying off Atlanta pulled off one of the better roster roll overs in recent years and haven’t seemed to miss a beat.  They saw Al Horford leave in free agency and traded away Jeff Teague.  This opened up the door for Dennis Schroder to take over and he has performed as expected if you were monitoring his per 36 numbers (19.5...