NBA Preseason Betting Tips: How to Make a Profit

Revisiting My Big East Preseason Predictions and Early Predictions for Next Year

Preseason: 1) Nova 2) Seton Hall 3) Xavier 4) Georgetown 5) Creighton 6) Providence 7) Marquette 8) Butler 9) Depaul 10) St. Johns
Actual: 1) Creighton 1B) Nova 1C) Seton Hall 4) Providence 5) Butler 6) Marquette 7) Xavier 8) Georgetown 9) St. Johns 10) Depaul
Preliminary Next Season Predictions: 1) Creighton 2) Nova 3) St. Johns 4) Providence 5A) Xavier 5B) Seton Hall 5C) Georgetown 5D) UConn 9) Butler 10) Marquette 11) Depaul
- edited to add UConn
Review and Predictions:
  1. Creighton: A big miss for me when I had the original rankings. I had the BlueJays in my “have a chance tier” at number 5, and like most other people thought their lack of size would hold them back. Well, I think I’ve learned you can give Greg McDermott five players all between 6’ and 6’6 and as long as they can shoot Creighton will be dangerous. The big three were great (absolutely terrifying that they will all probably return, Ballock feels like he was a senior the last two years, just want him to leave), but I was really impressed with the supporting cast. Bishop, Mahoney, and Jefferson all played incredibly well. Especially Mahoney and Jefferson, who played within the offense but were also guys you had to guard or else they would take over. Early Prediction for next season: #1 in the Big East. Whole team back and Zegarowski could get even better (another terrifying thought)
  2. Villanova: Had them at 1, they came in “second”. Outside of the big win against Kansas, this felt like an underwhelming Villanova season. Siddiq Bey is going to be a top 20 draft pick but only shot around 12 times a game, and I get the “Nova system”, but a guy that good, shooting 48% needs to get more shots. Justin Moore really emerged at the end of the year though and he gave them that extra gear they were expecting with Bryan Antoine. Samuels and JRE (love how he has the Joe Rogan Experience initials) were solid, and I can really see JRE being a dominant player next year in the Big East. Early Prediction: #2 in the Big East. Almost everyone but Bey probably returning. A senior Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels. Sophomore JRE, Justin Moore and Bryan Antoine. Nova is going to a scary sight.
  3. Seton Hall: Had them 2 came in “third”. The best Seton Hall team in 26 years had to settle for the three seed in the BET. Myles Powell probably had the worst year of his college career and still put up 21,5,3. Mamu returned from injury looking ready to lead the team next year while Myles Cale disappointed. With Quincy McKnight and Ro Gill leaving along with MP, Seton Hall will be in a transitional year. Early Season Prediction: #6. The Pirates will be heavily relying on defense next year as the only proven returning scorer is Mamu. The key will be the point guard position, as Anthony Nelson is rumored to be considering transferring. Expect a great defensive team with a rough offense that will rely on a bunch of secondary options having to step up.
  4. Providence: Predicted 6th, came in 4th. I said in the preseason preview to never doubt Ed Cooley, and that never fails to be true. After a rough non conference the Friars won 5 game against ranked opponents in February (absolutely bonkers). Pipkins really came on at the end and was a scoring machine. Mainstay Alpha Diallo is set to graduate, he had a weird year this year, leading the team with only 14ppg. Could have seen Providence making a deep run with the way they were ending the season. Early Season Prediction: 4th. AJ Reeves and David Duke are going to be a great Junior pair next year. And with Nate Watson returning Providence has 3 really really good players coming back. Duke really needs to be in control at PG though.
  5. Butler: Was way too low on Butler, having them at 8 in the preseason rankings (something a few Butler fans fully agreed with). But I formally apologize to Kamar Baldwin, that man was incredible this year. McDermott and Tucker were great roll playing wings but Aaron Thompson controlled the season for the Bulldogs. After his injury they couldn’t get back to the glory their non-conference season had. Early Season Prediction: Tied 5th. Returning Thompson, Tucket, Nze, and Bryce Golden Butler looks to have another solid defensive team. They key should be the improvement of Khalif Battle to give them another scorer.
  6. Marquette: Had them 7, finished 6. If you thought Seton Hall had a disappointing end to the season then avert your eyes because Marquette stunk at the end of the year, losing 6 of their last 7. Markus Howard deserved a Steph Curry like run but unfortunately Marquette and Wojo couldn’t provide him with one. Although their fans might disagree, I thought the talent was there. Anim, McEwan, Bailey, John, Johnson, are all good players, it just never worked. Early Season Prediction: 9th. Can’t see Marquette being much good at all next year. Howard leaves and if they weren’t great with the best scorer and a top 5 player in college basketball hard to see the place for much more internal improvement next year.
  7. Xavier: Had them 3rd, came in 7th. What a disappointing season for Xavier. With seniors Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin and juniors Naji Marshall and Paul Scruggs the Musketeers had real top 3 in the BE expectations going into the year. But as Creighton showed, shooting is important in basketball and the X men didn’t have enough to get their offense flowing smoothly. A lot of next year depends on Marshall and Scrugg’s decisions. Early Season Prediction: Tied 5th. Assuming those two stay X will be competitive again. KyKy Tandy is very good and Freemantle and Carter are the keys to see if they can be as good as they thought they would be this year.
  8. Georgetown: Had them 4th, finished 8th. What a year for the Hoyas. Mass exodus occurs, team still fights till the end every game. Pat Ewing can coach folks, has proven to be an excellent motivator. I know McClung and Yurtseven get all the acknowledgement but the pride of Senior Jagan Mosley and Grad Transfer Jerrell Allen really shown through this year, those guys were warriors. With those two being the only notable departures Georgetown is in a good position for next year and will hopefully have more than 6 players. Early Season Prediction: Tied for 5th. Yurtseven was a transfer so he should have an extra year of eligibility. Him and McClung are dangerous, and Pickett and Blair also return. It will be important to see how the freshman this year (who barely played) look like in their sophomore years.
  9. St. Johns: Had them 10th, came in 9th. Mike Anderson keeps his streak of years over .500. The Big East has some of the best coaches in basketball people, really. The Red Storm beat Arizona this year! Even after losing Heron to injury ST Johns destroyed Creighton. The 40 minutes of hell is a nightmare to play against. Rasheem Dunn was electric and Julian Champagnie is going to be a problem in the future. The big question is what LJ Figueroa decides. Does he buy into the system and return or try to go pro. Early Season Prediction: 3rd. My surprise prediction, assuming LJ stays. They will be a team of mostly Juniors and Seniors, comfortable in Anderson’s system and playing balls to the wall. Incoming recruit Posh Alexander should fit in perfectly and make the Johnnies the surprise of next year.
  10. Depaul: had them 9th, came in 10th. Remember “Rank Depaul!”, yeah I don’t either. Really don’t want to waste too many words on the school that is considering extending Dave Leitao. This was a talented team that just didn’t have a good enough coach to get them to click in year 1. Early Season Prediction: 10th. Bye Bye Paul Reed, you were a beast. Returning Charlie Moore, Romero Weems (who will be a better NBA player than college one) and … Jaylen Butz? Devin Gage? Depaul will stay in the basement yet again.
submitted by NYGNYKNYYNYRthinker to CollegeBasketball [link] [comments]

2/24/20 - NBA Power Rankings

ESPN - 14
Rookie of the Year front-runner Ja Morant and the Grizzlies stumbled out of the gate after the All-Star break, dropping both ends of a road back-to-back against the Kings and Lakers to fall to .500. Morant had more turnovers than assists in both losses, something he had done only three times all season. He also had a negative plus-minus in consecutive games for the first time since late January, and his minus-25 against the Kings matched Morant's worst plus-minus since his NBA debut. -- MacMahon
CBS Sports - 15
The Grizzlies lost to the Kings and Lakers this week, and things go worse when they learned Jaren Jackson Jr. will be out at least two weeks with a left knee sprain. Memphis has the toughest remaining schedule in the NBA based on opponents' winning percentage, so hanging onto that No. 8 seed out West might be a difficult task.
Yahoo Sports - 14
Memphis has a three-game lead over the rest of the pack for the eighth seed in the Western Conference; however, they will have to fight to hold onto that final playoff spot. According to, the Grizz have the NBA's toughest post-ASB schedule, both regarding opponent strength (cumulative opponent winning percentage of .554) and amount of road games (16 of their final 28 games are on the road). In addition, Jaren Jackson Jr. will be sidelined for at least two weeks due to a sprained knee.
Sports Illustrated - 14
Get well Jaren Jackson Jr., and let’s hope the emerging forward can be back for a first-round series against Anthony Davis and the Lakers. JJJ has been fantastic in his second season, banging home 40% of threes while averaging 16.9 points per game. Jackson projects to be an ideal modern five alongside Ja Morant. The Grizzlies have a real shot at becoming a Western Conference power after hitting the jackpot in back-to-back lotteries.
Bleacher Report - 14
Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Grizzlies currently sit in eighth place in the West, but FiveThirtyEight gives them just a 7 percent chance to hang onto that spot. Given their youth and the fact that they have the league's most difficult remaining schedule, it's not hard to understand the math's skepticism.
But this group has already made a habit of exceeding expectations. Memphis' preseason oveunder was set at 25.5, a mark the Grizzlies have already beaten.
Hoops Habit - 19
The Memphis Grizzlies quickly slid back to .500 after the All-Star break, losing both ends of a road back-to-back at Sacramento and in Los Angeles to the Lakers. The Grizzlies remain 3½ games clear of both the Trail Blazers and Spurs for eighth place in the Western Conference and have two more games on their four-game road sojourn before returning home to host the Kings and Lakers.
Adding injury to insult, second-year big man Jaren Jackson Jr. left Friday’s loss to the Lakers before halftime with a sore left knee and did not return. He is Memphis’ second-leading scorer this season at 16.9 points per game.
Backup point guard Tyus Jones scored 24 points with 11 assists and four rebounds in 36 minutes over the two games, hitting 9-of-16 from the floor and 2-of-3 from long range. Jones, in his first season with the Grizzlies, is averaging a career-high 7.1 points with 4.5 assists in 18.8 minutes per game, shooting 47.4 percent overall and 39.6 percent on 1.6 3-point tries a night.

Don't know this Hoops Habit site, but added it since it popped up in my search and they have us so much lower than every other publication.
submitted by Rainy_J to memphisgrizzlies [link] [comments]

[OC] Every NBA Team Ranked By How Well They Have Performed To Preseason Expectations This Regular Season In 2018-19.

With the regular season now done and dusted I decided it would be cool to take a look back at every NBA team this season and place them into tiers on the level that they have performed at this season.
I made a very similar post to this one last year and it was very positively received so I decided to try writing another post. Here is a link for anyone interested. Of course every situation is different and so I have factored in the teams overall win-loss record but also how they have responded to difficult situations this season such as injuries or the context of how they have performed.
One thing that I am changing this season compared to this year is how I view situations with ‘disgruntled players.’ Last year this was an issue when trying to rank the Spurs season due to Kawhi’s absence. As a result I have decided that if a players lack of success is due to a disgruntled player and NOT one who is injured this will negatively effect them. (Sorry Pelican fans)
This is just my opinion and I am keen to shuffle the list around if people disagree with my results so feel free to leave your input and I will be very willing to take it into consideration. Please don’t be too harsh and I will try to make sure my rankings are as accurate as possible
Just a couple other things to consider:
  • When I state my predicted expectations It as an average of preseason rankings from ESPN, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, Action Network and 538. Sources: ESPN, BR, CBS Sports, Action Network, 538 CARMELO
  • This is the link to the NBA preseason power ranking predictions that I make reference to in my post.
EDIT: The Boston Celtics were moved from "Didn't Meet Expectations" into the lowest category of "Completely Didn't Meet Expectations." They were so heavily expected to be the number one seed and never really looked to be close to that this season.
EDIT: The Portland Trailblazers were moved from "Exceeded Expectations into the highest category of "Completely Exceeded Expectations. Despite many people predicting them to slide out of the playoffs they were a top 4 seed almost all season.
EDIT: The San Antonio Spurs were moved from "Slightly Exceeded Expectations" into the next highest category of "Exceeded Expectations". Despite an expected slide they finished with a near 50 win season so I under appreciated their season this year.

Completely Exceeded Expectations

  • Milwaukee Bucks WL Record: 60-22
The Milwaukee Bucks were predicted to win 46 games in the preseason with CBS Sports expecting them to win as few as 43 games. They were viewed as a team that would be on the rise with lots of excitement about the prospect of new coach Mike Budenholzer. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 19/30 voters expected the Bucks to finish as a top 4 seed. However only 1/30 predicted them to finish with a top 2 seed. To finish the regular season with the NBA’s best win loss record is an incredible achievement that very few saw coming. The success of Milwaukee this season can be attributed to many people but the clear stand out is star forward Giannis Antetoukounmpo. In just his sixth season the Greek Freak had one of the greatest seasons in recent history and is expected to poll very highly in MVP voting. It’s going to come down to the wire between him and James Harden but I could see voters giving him the advantage due to his consistency throughout the year, elite defence and greater team success. The performance of the rest of the team also deserves tremendous credit with Middleton making his first all star appearance and Malcom Brogdon joining esteemed company in the 50-40-90 club. The Bucks will be a team to look out for in the playoffs and Giannis will be looking to make a huge statement to the rest of the sporting world.
  • Sacramento Kings WL Record: 39-43
The Sacramento Kings were predicted to win 25 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as few as 23 games. They were viewed as a team that just didn’t have the right mix of players. In the preseason their power forward and centre rotation seemed too tall to be competitive with questions about the backcourt depth of the team. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 0/30 voters expected the Kings to feature in the playoffs and while the Kings didn’t qualify for the top 8 in the western conference they were just outside finishing 9th. The Kings had their most successful season in over a decade this season and with the improvement of DeAaron Fox and Buddy Hield they look like a young team with a lot of upside. Sacramento have over $70 million in cap space this offseason so If they can make a splash in free agency they will be a team to look out for.
  • Brooklyn Nets WL Record: 42-40
The Brooklyn Nets were predicted to win 32 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 29 games. They were viewed as a team that could start to turn their future around after many years asa bottom 5 team in the league, however thats essentially all it was. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 0/30 voters expected the Nets to make the playoffs. Not a single voter. The Nets however would finish the season making their first playoff appearance since 2015 overcoming an 8-18 start to the year to qualify. D’Angelo Russell had a career season which culminated in his first all star appearance and emerging as one of the front runners for the most improved player award. The Nets have a lot of money available in free cap space going in to this offseason and with their developing young team they are going to be one to look out for.
  • Orlando Magic WL Record: 42-40
The Orlando Magic were predicted to win 30 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 27 games. They were viewed as a team that was going absolutely nowhere in a hurry. Their roster wasn’t rated very highly by many in the league and they seemed to be destined for a bottom seeded finish. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 0/30 voters expected the Magic to make the playoffs. Not a single voter. The Magic however would finish the season making their first playoff appearance since 2012 overcoming a 20-31 start to the year to qualify. Nikola Vucevic had a career season which culminated in his first all star appearance, Fournier and Gordon played strong roles and Terrence Ross emerged as a genuine contender for the sixth man of the year award. The Magic shocked everyone this season with their improvement and I’m excited to see how the team builds on this year going forward.
  • Los Angeles Clippers WL Record: 48-34
The Los Angeles Clippers were predicted to win 34 games in the preseason with CBS Sports expecting them to win as few as 29 games. They were viewed as a deep team but ultimately not a team that would be good enough to go anywhere quickly. The departure of stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in recent years lead to many thinking that the Clippers would be more amongst the worst in the league and in competition for a high draft pick. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 0/30 voters expected the Clippers to make the playoffs but they defied the odds to not just make the playoffs but also almost win 50 games. The key stand out for the Clippers this season with all things considered would have to be Lou Williams who averaged 20 points per game and hit many clutch shots through out the season. The Clippers have their sights set on Kawhi Leonard this offseason and with an already deep roster could be a team to look out for.
  • Portland Trailblazers WL Record: 53-29
The Portland Trailblazers were predicted to win 41 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as few as 39 games. They were viewed as a team that would be vulnerable in the race for playoff spots in a competitive Western Conference. After barely improving their roster in the offseason and after being swept in the first round they were expected to fall back. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 18/30 voters expected the Blazers to make the playoffs with only one voter expecting them to maintain home court advantage. However as the Trailblazers regularly do they defy peoples expectations and continue to prove themselves as a great team. A late season injury to Jusuf Nurkic in addition to a knee issue from CJ McCollum has people questioning how far they can go in the playoffs but this regular season, Portland has exceeded expectations.

Exceeded Expectations

  • Denver Nuggets WL Record: 54-28
The Denver Nuggets were predicted to win 48 games in the preseason with ESPN expecting them to win as few as 47 games. They were viewed as a young and exciting team that was unlucky to miss the playoffs last season with 46 wins. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 25/30 voters expected the Nuggets to make the playoffs but just 2 of those voters expected them to hold home court advantage in the playoffs. The Nuggets encountered a lot of early season injuries but were able to maintain an elite record in large parts due to their outstanding depth. Nikola Jokic had a career season making his first all star appearance and could poll well in MVP voting. Despite all this many people still regard Denver as a bit of a ‘pretender’ that will fail in the playoffs. Time will tell but during the regular season the Denver Nuggets exceeded expectations.
  • Indiana Pacers WL Record: 48-34
The Indiana Pacers were predicted to win 47 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as few as 43 games. They were viewed as a team that with a deep roster that was just outside the elite group of the Eastern Conference. After completely shattering expectations last season there was a lot of excitement about the potential of the group. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 30/30 voters expected the Pacers to make the playoffs 24/30 voters expecting them to finish 4th or 5th, so you might say that they met expectations completely. However the Pacers started 32-15 this season (a 56 win pace) prior to a season ending injury to star guard Victor Oladipo. Despite the injury the team was able to maintain a strong win loss record. It is unlikely that they advance far in the playoffs but for an awesome start to the season when healthy and maintaining a great level of play despite a serious injury I have decided to say that Indiana exceeded expectations.
  • San Antonio Spurs WL Record: 48-34
The San Antonio Spurs were predicted to win 42 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as many as few as 37 games. They were viewed as a team that would be vulnerable in the race for playoff spots in a competitive Western Conference. Many experts thought that the Spurs run of over 20 consecutive playoff appearances was set to end. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 21/30 voters expected the Spurs to make the playoffs. The Spurs did look vulnerable at times and only had a one game gap for the 8th seed as late as March but they were able to win 9 consecutive matches and clinch their spot. The Spurs will be an interesting team to watch for in the playoffs due to their inconsistencies away from home this season but they could also create a big upset. Ultimately for making the playoffs when many expected a decline I’d say that the Spurs slightly exceeded expectations. .
  • Atlanta Hawks WL Record: 29-53
The Atlanta Hawks were predicted to win 24 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 20 games. They were viewed as a young team that would be amongst the worst in the league and ultimately end up tanking for a high draft pick. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 30 voters expected the Hawks to miss the playoffs and they did. The goal for this year was never to make playoffs for Atlanta so that isn’t a concern. The Hawks played better than many had anticipated this season with Trae Young having a sensational rookie season and John Collins playing at an all star calibre level. The team is still young and inexperienced so it would not be realistic to expect them to make a jump to the playoffs very soon. However the Hawks appear to be building something and going in the right direction in their rebuild.

Slightly Exceeded Expectations

  • Toronto Raptors WL Record: 58-24
The Toronto Raptors were predicted to win 56 games in the preseason with ESPN expecting them to win as few as 53 games. They were viewed as a clear cut top 5 team that would be even better with the addition of Kawhi Leonard to replace DeMar Derozan. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 30/30 voters expected the Raptors to make the playoffs as a top 4 seed. A majority of these voters (24/30) also predicted Toronto to finish as a top 2 seed. The Raptors season was filled with little drama as they ultimately did what they were expected to. However the regular season to an extent didn’t really matter much for the Raptors as their main focus is on making a deep playoff push and as a result Kawhi Leonard was rested for over 20 games this season. As it currently stands the Raptors have met expectations but it all comes down to what happens in the following weeks. An underrated reason for the Raptors success this year has also been Pascal Siakams breakout season. By posting career highs in every stat including doubling his points total from last season he is the strong favourite for the most improved player award.

Met Expectations

  • Detroit Pistons WL Record: 41-41
The Detroit Pistons were predicted to win 39 games in the preseason with ESPN expecting them to win 38 games. They were viewed as a playoff team but almost by default with many expecting them to round out the playoff picture despite a losing record. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 18/30 voters expected the Pistons to make the playoffs. The Pistons were an inconsistent team throughout the regular season going long stretches with few wins but also having remarkable runs of form. Things got close towards the end of the season but Detroit was able to limp towards the playoffs. Blake Griffin had one of his best seasons before knee injuries limited his production in the back end of the season. Its still to be seen just how much of an impact Detroit can make in the playoffs but simply for making it into the top 8 they have met expectations.
  • Utah Jazz WL Record: 50-32
The Utah Jazz were predicted to win 51 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win 51 games. They were viewed as a well rounded team that was be able to emerge as a Western Conference threat. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 30/30 voters expected the Jazz to make the playoffs and despite starting the season just 14-17 the Jazz would eventually find their groove. Donovan Mitchell had a phenomenal second half of the season following a poor start and Rudy Gobert maintained his elite defence that could see him pick up his second consecutive DPOY award. A lot of Utah’s ranking could come down to how they do in the playoffs in the end but through out the regular season, despite a poor start, as a collective Utah were able to meet expectations and achieve a 50 win season.
  • Philadelphia 76ers WL Record: 51-31
The Philadelphia 76ers were predicted to win 53 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win 53 games. They were viewed as one of the top 5 teams in the league that with a dynamic young duo would be able to really challenge for a high playoff position. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 30/30 voters expected the 76ers to make the playoffs with 16 of those voters predicting a 3rd placed finish for Philadelphia. The 76ers had the 3rd seed secure for a majority of the season and really didn’t encounter a lot of drama as they progressed throughout the year. Trades for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris through out the season have put more pressure on the team to make a deep playoff push and reach all the way for the finals. However as things currently stand, for the regular season, Philadelphia were able to meet expectations with minimal fuss.
  • Memphis Grizzlies WL Record: 33-49
The Memphis Grizzlies were predicted to win 33 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win 33 games. They were viewed as a team that wasn’t quite bad enough to be tanking but not quite good enough to make a run for the playoffs. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions just 1/30 voters expected the Grizzlies to make the playoffs and that was an 8th seed. The Grizzlies had their moments through out the year and even started a promising 12-5 but quickly dropped off from there. The Grizzlies roster changed a lot through out the season a league record 28 players suited up in a Memphis jersey this season. Marc Gasol was traded mid season and the Grizzlies stuck with Mike Conley. It will be interesting to see how they approach the offseason with their current awkwardly constructed roster.
  • Golden State Warriors WL Record: 57-25
The Golden State Warriors were predicted to win 61 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win 60 games. They were viewed as the clear cut best team in the NBA who would be heavy favourites to win their 3rd consecutive championship. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 27/30 voters expected the Warriors to qualify as the Western Conference number one seed and the other 3 voters picked them as 2nd. The Warriors may not have won as many games as expected this season but for finishing 1st in the West ultimately I am ranking them as having met expectations. The reason is that we all know the Warriors are likely to win the championship and therefore their regular season win total isn’t really a concern. I would be interested to see how other people have seen the Warriors season this year and whether or not this was the right category to place them in.
  • Houston Rockets WL Record: 53-29
The Houston Rockets were predicted to win 55 games in the preseason with ESPN expecting them to win 55 games. They were viewed as one of the key contenders to compete with Golden State and challenge for the championship. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 24/30 voters expected the Rockets to qualify as the Western Conference number two seed and all voters predicted them to have home court advantage. The Rockets season was definitely a more difficult one to judge. They began the season 11-14 losing many games that they should not have lost, they then were dealt heavy injury blows to Chris Paul and Clint Capela. However from there became arguably the story of the season. James Harden. The superstar guard would go on an incredible scoring streak scoring at least 30 points in 32 consecutive games and absolutely carrying the team offensively and producing one of the greatest offensive seasons in NBA history. Harden could very well soon be the back to back MVP this season but time will tell how things transpire. Overall for the Rockets they did decrease their win total from 65 games last season but for ultimately finishing with home court in the West despite their injuries they met their expectations.
  • Charlotte Hornets WL Record: 39-44
The Charlotte Hornets were predicted to win 36 games in the preseason with ESPN expecting them to win 36 games. They were viewed as a fringe playoff team that didn’t really have a clear number 2 option after Kemba Walker. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions just 7/30 voters expected the Hornets to make the playoffs. It’s a little strange in a way because while the Hornets did essentially meet expectations they will have finished this season as a disappointment. Despite winning a lot more towards the final month of the season the Hornets really left their run till too late. Kemba Walker will enter free agency this off season and with the current state of the Hornets he has a big choice on his mind. Whether he stays or goes Charlotte have a lot to work on this offseason. .

Slightly Didn't Meet Expectations

  • OKC Thunder WL Record: 49-33
The OKC Thunder were predicted to win 50 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as many as many as 53 games. They were viewed as a team that would with much improved bench depth would be able to solidify themselves as one of the clear cut top teams in the Western Conference. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 30/30 voters expected the Thunder to make the playoffs with 20 of those voters predicting home court advantage for OKC. The Thunder began the season in extremely impressive fashion with Paul George looking like an MVP candidate and were 37-19 and within touching distance of the second seed before struggling post all star break. The Thunder failed to secure home court advantage but ultimately did have a great first half of the season so I feel inclined to say that they only slightly failed to meet expectations.
  • Dallas Mavericks WL Record: 33-49
The Dallas Mavericks were predicted to win 35 games in the preseason with CBS Sports expecting them to win as few as 38 games. They were viewed as a young team that would be in the 10-12 range in the standings but finish the season tanking. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions just 1/30 voters expected the Mavericks to make the playoffs and that was an 8th seed. The Mavericks had their moments through out the year and even started a promising 15-11 but injuries and a drastic midseason roster change lead them in a different direction. Four starers in Jordan, Smith, Barnes and Matthews were all traded to different teams with the Mavericks set to rebuild their future around one key player. Luka Doncic. The biggest highlight of the year was rookie sensation Luka Doncic who averaged 21 points per game and show cased some terrific playmaking skills. Although he struggled a little towards the end of the season Doncic looks like a perennial all star for years to come and should be the favourite for the rookie of the year award.
  • Miami Heat WL Record: 40-42
The Miami Heat were predicted to win 43 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 45 games. They were viewed as a veteran team that had achieved a lot of success in seasons past and as a result would be a playoff team due to their defined locker room and team culture. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 28/30 voters expected the Heat to make the playoffs but they fell short and were unable to give Dwyane Wade a final full farewell tour. With the retirement of Wade now allowing for a deeper look into the Heat without emotion it appears the future really doesn’t seem too promising for Miami. They are bound by some poor contracts and do not really have a younger star ready to take the reigns. The Heat had an underwhelming season and its hard to see them bouncing back too quickly.

Didn't Meet Expectations

  • Chicago Bulls WL Record: 22-60
The Chicago Bulls were predicted to win 28 games in the preseason with ESPN expecting them to win as many as 31 games. They were viewed as a young team that was still in the middle of a long term rebuild. They were expected to be a mostly competitive team but ultimately one that didn’t really have a chance to make playoffs. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions just 1/30 voters expected the Bulls to make the playoffs and that was an 8th seed. There was some promising development for the Bulls with Zach Lavine having a career season and Lauri Markannen building on a strong rookie season but the glimpses were few and far between. In the end though, the Bulls didn’t have a good season going backwards in wins from the year prior.
  • Washington Wizards WL Record: 32-50
The Washington Wizards were predicted to win 44 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as many as 48 games. They were viewed as a veteran team that with the addition of Dwight Howard would be a solidified playoff team. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions almost everyone, 29/30 voters expected the Wizards to feature in the playoffs. An early season injury limited John Wall to just 32 games and Dwight Howard only played 9 games as well which could be to blame for the Wizards lack of success but in reality they had been playing poorly prior to the injury either way. A few mid season trades saw them move Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis but they were barely anymore successful with them. With John Wall still sidelined all of next season there isn’t a lot of optimism regarding the Wizards and there is a lot of uncertainty about their direction.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves WL Record: 36-45*
The Minnesota Timberwolves were predicted to win 44 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 49 games. They were viewed as a fringe playoff team that would likely be one of the unlucky teams to only just miss out on the playoffs. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions only, 3/30 voters expected the Wolves to feature in the playoffs with all three voters putting them as an 8th seed. Early season drama with Jimmy Butler did little to help the team as they would eventually trade him following a 4-9 start. The Wolves had little runs of form but ultimately never really looked like a threat to make a playoff push. A point of optimism for Minnesota through out the year was the resurgence of Derrick Rose who had arguably his best season since his injury troubles. However going forward the Wolves seem to be rather directionless especially with the Andrew Wiggins contract.
  • Phoenix Suns WL Record: 19-63
The Phoenix Suns were predicted to win 28 games in the preseason with ESPN expecting them to win as many as 30 games. They were viewed as a team, that with the addition of number one draft pick DeAndre Ayton, would finally start to show some improvement and Devin Booker was expected to lead the team back to some semblance of relevance. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 0/30 voters expected the Suns to feature in the playoffs. Expectations were already low for the Suns but they were expected to be competitive, they were anything but that as they started the season just 4-24 and failed to win even 20 games for the whole year. The Suns will be in the lottery this offseason for the tenth time in eleven years and with some recent draft failures Suns fans will be praying for some success there. Despite being a poor team Phoenix at least seem to have some sort of direction which should eventually bode well for them.

Completely Didn't Meet Expectations

  • Boston Celtics WL Record: 49-33
The Boston Celtics were predicted to win 57 games in the preseason with CBS Sports expecting them to win as many as 59 games. After an incredible playoff run the season prior they were viewed as an exciting young super team that would not only be a solid playoff team but many expected the Celtics to be the second best team in the league. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 23/30 voters expected the Celtics to finish first in the Eastern conference with the other 7 voters expecting them to finish second. However what ultimately happened was the team would struggle to win 50 games in a season filled with drama. Tatum and Rozier didn’t play as expected, team chemistry issues arose, Hayward failed to recover and Brad Stevens’ coaching was sub par. The Celtics however are still an incredibly talented team and it would not be surprising to see them make the NBA finals. Although it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see them lose in the first round either. With Kyrie Irvings impending free agency this will be a critical post season push by Boston.
  • New York Knicks WL Record: 17-65
The New York Knicks were predicted to win 27 games in the preseason with Action Network expecting them to win as many as 30 games. They were viewed as a young and inexperienced team that would struggle to win many games especially with a season ending injury to Kristaps Porzingis. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 0/30 voters expected to see New York in the playoffs so its amazing in a way that the Knicks still underperformed. The Knicks had multiple losing streaks of over 10 games and where the worst team in the NBA for large parts of the season. The Knicks made a huge gamble at the trade deadline effectively trading Porzingis to the Mavericks to free up cap space. It is yet to be seen whether the gamble will pay dividends as the attempt to pursue big name free agents but for having one of the worst records in the NBA this season its fair to say the Knicks failed to meet expectations despite how low they really were.
  • New Orleans Pelicans WL Record: 33-49
The New Orleans Pelicans were predicted to win 45 games in the preseason with CBS Sports expecting them to win as many as 48 games. They were viewed as a team that could really build on a strong playoff run and Anthony Davis was expected to take a step up and become a legitimate MVP candidate. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 23/30 voters expected the Pelicans to feature in the playoffs and instead the Pelicans essentially imploded. Davis requested a trade midseason after an underwhelming season and the Pelicans just fell from there. Davis was placed on a team imposed minutes restriction and the teams lack of depth was severely exposed. Its hard to see what the future holds for New Orleans and it is very much reliant on what unfolds with the Anthony Davis situation and whether they can build around Jrue Holiday going forward.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers WL Record: 19-63
The Cleveland Cavaliers were predicted to win 31 games in the preseason with CBS Sports expecting them to win as many as 32 games. They were viewed as a veteran team that would struggle following the departure of Lebron James in free agency but would be able to compete for playoffs in a weak Eastern conference. Kevin Love was expected to lead the team and return to his Minnesota form. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions only 7/30 voters expected the Cavaliers to feature in the playoffs but they somehow still underperformed on those expectations. Kevin Love was injured for a majority of the season, Kyle Korver and George Hill were traded, JR Smith disappeared somewhere and the team quickly changed its focus. A positive for Cavalier fans was the development of Colin Sexton in the back half of the season but ultimately to follow 4 straight finals appearances with a bottom 3 record makes the season a major disappointment for the Cavaliers.
  • Los Angeles Lakers WL Record: 37-45
The Los Angeles Lakers were predicted to win 47 games in the preseason with CBS Sports expecting them to win as many as 49 games. They were viewed as a team that would be on the rise with lots of excitement with the addition of Lebron James to complete and teams exciting young core of emerging talents. In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 28/30 voters expected the Lakers to feature in the playoffs, 6/30 voters even predicted them to have home court. However what eventuated was a forgettable season for the Lakers as the underachieved tremendously. Lebron James missed 16 games through injury before infamously being ‘managed’ through the remainder of the year. The Lakers playoff chances weren’t completely ruled as late as February but a horrific stretch of losses against bottom seeded teams late in the season saw them miss the playoffs by quite a margin. Its going to be a long offseason for the Lakers.
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ESPN, 538, Bleacher Report and Vegas Prediction Rankings

After seeing some of the predictions for this years teams for the nba season using various models I tried to see which were the most accurate last season.


Bleacher Report
Previous Season - Using the previous season as the predictor
Mean Predicted Wins - Average of all the models for each team
I wasn't able to find any nba predictions but if there is one lmk

Measures Used

MAE - Mean Absolute Error - Average number of wins the model was off for each team
RMSE - Root Mean Square Error - Similar to MAE but this it is the average of the error squared. This basically punishes the model more for making more extreme errors.
MAPE - Mean Absolute Percentage Error - The average percentage each prediction was off by. (I'm not sure if this was done correctly because I divided the error by the actual wins, which seems to make it harder to be accurate for lower teams - in 538s model both the suns and warriors are off by 7 wins but the APE is 37% for the suns and 12% for the warriors)


The models were all fairly similar in their accuracy, the worst model being less than one win on average worse than the best and all about 7 wins off for each team. From most accurate to least accurate its ESPN, MPW, Vegas, Bleacher Report, 538, Sportsline and then the previous season. However, because of the obvious huge change in the Cavs lineup which I think anyone could see changing the wins in the previous season without the Cavs makes it the second or third most accurate model - although its hard to see this being the same for this season with the amount of offseason moves.
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Official /r/NBA Power Rankings #0 (10.22.2019) - Let the Games Begin Edition

28/30 rankers reporting this week. /NBA's Power Rankings are published every two weeks which is a bit different from most rankings. Other than that we rank the teams the same way as our competition. If write ups are left blank the team rep decided not to submit. We encourage any user to fill in the blanks in the comment section. We are still looking for a Grizzlies ranker so apply here if interested!
# Team Δ Record Comment
1 Clippers 0-0 With two of the most anticipated free agents in modern history, and certainly LAC history, the Clippers' future is looking bright. While Kawhi is all but certain to play less than 82 games, Paul George is still hurt, and likely won't be back for a couple more weeks. As a result, I don't think I am ready to call LAC #1 JUST yet. Let's wait and see what happens with PG out for a bit, and what Kawhi, Lou, Trez, PatBev and the rookies can accomplish in that time.
2 Bucks 0-0 With sky-high expectations, the Bucks and their reigning MVP are in uncharted territory coming into this season, and it is time to see whether or not they will be able to live up to them. This offseason's most significant change for the Bucks is the loss of Malcolm Brogdon. However, Jon Horst did a great job getting some value back in an S&T and replaced him with a platoon of SGs who can bomb away from deep. The roster is even deeper than last year with Robin Lopez, Wes Matthews, Kyle Korver, and Dragan Bender joining, but this team will be judged on its playoff success, another 60 win season with an ECF exit would be a failure.
3 76ers 0-0 Another Sixers offseason that included empty gym videos of their PG taking shots. The Sixers have high expectations after an off-season that saw Jimmy, TJ, and JJ get replaced by Horford and Josh Richardson. This team is much deeper, but still lacks shooting and will potentially look to fill that void with a mid-season trade. An easy early schedule (2nd easiest until Xmas) should allow the team to work out the kinks with the new additions.
4 Rockets 0-0 The acquisition of Russell Westbrook has been is one of the biggest question marks for the upcoming season. Will he and James Harden work well together? It's happened before, but many argue that the two players have changed too much since then. I personally think that Westbrook's fast-paced style will benefit D'Antoni's system more than Chris Paul's play style did, and I am optimistic about the prospect of surrounding Westbrook with the best group of shooters he has ever had.
5 Lakers 0-0 A new era is upon the Lakers. With only a couple players returning from the previous season, the team looks to build off the chemistry that AD and LeBron built off of during the preseason. Health will be a large portion of conversations during the season and who will be the player that steps up to be the third guy? Whatever happens, we're sure tto have a media drama filled season.
6 Nuggets 0-0 Basketball’s back, baby! With the city of Denver craving a distraction from the Broncos’ awful season, the Nuggets arrive on the stage with lofty expectations for a franchise that hasn’t made a Finals appearance in their 43 years in the NBA. With unicorn big man Nikola Jokic firmly cemented as a franchise cornerstone, the future of this team now depends on the pieces that surround Jokic. If Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and co. can develop into consistent high volume scorers next to Jokic, the Nuggets will certainly be in the Finals discussions by the end of the season.
7 Jazz 0-0 With additions of Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jeff Green, and more, the new-look Jazz look to continue their defensive identity this season. With preseason showing some hiccups in the team's schemes, the challenge of steering Utah into the postseason lies squarely on coach Quin Snyder to fix the glitches and show how dangerous the Jazz can be on both sides of the ball. Rudy Gobert will chase a DPOY trifecta, while Donovan Mitchell will continue to rely on his improved spida skills after a successful summer outing in international play. Meanwhile, questions still loom for this team. Can Derrick Favors' presence be replaced by commitee? Will there be revolving door starting lineup based on matchups? Will the bench have enough firepower? Utah looks to answer those questions early against a slew of Wester nconference opponents.
8 Trail Blazers 0-0 Portland didn't have any big moves this off-season, but they quietly improved their biggest shortcoming - shooting from people other than Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Returning players Zach Collins, Jake Layman, and Meyers Leonard look considerably improved as well. Neither of these should be enough to propell them to contender status, but they should remain a competetive playoff team. And if Collins really emerges, they might really surprise people.
9 Warriors 0-0 Steph dropped 40 points in 25 minutes. Looks like we may get a 15-16 Steph kinda season. Warriors clearly have size issues and will have difficulty on the boards. Warriors offense is a bit slower paced than it has been in the past and it's been easier for defenses to read. With bodies going on and off the injury list we haven't had a real glimpse of what this team is. The regular season is just about here though.
10 Celtics 0-0 Going into the season, there's a million questions surrounding the Celtics. Was Kyrie the problem? Is Hayward going to step up? Is Jaylen Brown going to prove he's worth the max/close to the max? Or is he going to find himself on the trade block? Is Tatum going to take another leap? Is Kemba going to flourish? Is Brad going to prove he's still deserving of being considered a great coach? How in the world will the Celtics survive with a ragtag assortment of big men led by Enes Kanter??? The Celtics jump right into the fire to start the season with matchups against the 76ers, Raptors, and Bucks, and then two matchups against the Knicks before the next edition of the powerrankings.
11 Raptors 0-0 The raptors went all in, and it worked. Now, we’re left with what remains. Hope for the future comes through our developing players such as Pascal Siakam, and Fred Van Vleet Sr. Offseason losses of Kawhi Leonard & Danny Green will hurt significantly, but hopefully players such as Norman Powell & OG Anunoby can step up in their places. Many minor offseason acquisitions took place this offseason, so it will be interesting to see if any of the new raptors can stand out. One of the more intriguing to myself is Euroleague sharpshooter Matt Thomas. As we won’t be contending this year, look for possible trade deadline moves of expiring contracts such as Marc Gasol, for potential draft picks. Overall it should be an interesting season to watch our youth movement develop further, and we should still be good enough to contend for a top 5 seed in the east.
12 Pacers 0-0 The early story for the 2019-2020 Pacers will involve how well the new pieces fit together on offense. TJ Warren, TJ McConnell, Jeremy Lamb, and Goga Bitadze all flashed at points in the preseason, and Indiana will need as much help as it can get before Victor Oladipo returns to action. Oladipo surprisingly progressed to 5v5 drills recently, but no timetable is in place for his return. If the Pacers offense can muster up enough energy in the first months of the season, there's no reason Indiana shouldn't be right back in the thick of the playoff race come early spring.
13 Nets 0-0 Basketball is back and Brooklyn saw a lot of change this offseason. The most obvious change is adding Kyrie which will add several new layers to the offense. His ability to score from anywhere on the floor will open up opportunities for Jarrett and Deandre in the Nets' PnR-heavy offense. Levert, Dinwiddie, and Harris will be returning to similar roles as last year but there will be a little extra attention for Levert who made major improvements last offseason and will try to do the same this year. With additions in Prince, Temple, and Nwaba who have all looked solid so far, Nets fans have a lot to look forward to this season.
14 Spurs 0-0 Mismatched roster? Check. Guy/s viewed around the league as at best a #2 or #3 option on a contending team featured as your two most important players? Check. A wide variety of players that need the ball to effective and operate in overlapping areas? Check. Yet will all that being true, I will let you be the one that declares this isn't a playoff team. Roster construction, be damned. One reason to be optimistic going into the 2019-2020 season is Demar Derozan's willing to shoot open three pointers off the catch without hesitation during the last game of the preseason (only 3 but in 1 game!). If this continues and defenders have to at least step towards him and contest, a lot of the floor spacing issues on offense between Him and LMA could be relieved.
15 Heat 0-0 With the new seasons come new faces and new hopes that we'll be competitive.Happy that we got to get a player as great as Jimmy Butler although I'll miss Josh Richardson. I hope that Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo are able to take the next steps although I've been waiting for Winslow for years to do so. I'm not hoping for anything amazing out of this year's draft picks just because of the time it takes to adjust, but Herro should do some good for us. I'm expecting the Heat achieve a middle of the pack playoff berth between 4-8 depending on how everyone performs. Hopefully we're not in the timeline where the Heat also tank and that means the only good team in South Florida is the Florida Panthers (I hope Quenneville makes some magic for us).
16 Kings 0-0 The Sacramento Kings have an opportunity to take another step forward after competing for the 8th seed in the West for a significant portion of last season. While the Kings fell short of the playoffs last year, they enter this season in a great position to continue building upon what they created last year with new Head Coach Luke Walton on the sideline. The Kings largely brought their core back, and added some great supplementary pieces in Dewayne Dedmon and Cory Joseph. The current wildcard, even before we start the season, is the extension negotiations with Buddy Hield who came close to Joakim Noah'ing the City of Sacramento. If a deal is struck expect harmony - if the two sides reach an impasse... That's the Kings, baby.
17 Mavericks 0-0 The Mavs had a rough offseason: they had equal odds and Memphis and New Orleans to jump into the top 2, but stayed put and conveyed the pick to Atlanta. They then missed out on big free agents and blamed the fans for getting their hopes up. Luckily, Porzingis signed his contract as expected, and Dallas got some mid-tier signings in Delon Wright and reuniting Seth Curry in Dallas. The biggest question marks this year are Porzingis' health and who is the 5th starter. The Mavs are a top heavy team, but with Rick Carlisle consistently getting the most out of his bench each year, there's a good chance the Mavs will be in the playoff hunt.
18 Magic 0-0 New season, basically the same roster. Bringing back Vucevic and Ross on long-term contracts left some scratching their heads, but consistency is typically touted as necessary for continued success, so guess we'll just have to see if that's true. Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba showed serioues growth during preseason and Markelle Fultz finally came out of the woodwork. With so much uncertainty surrounding his health, Fultz came out and showed that he can still play the game. He'll start off as the backup point but I have no doubt the plan is to eventually have Fultz starting if he's able to stay healthy. Playoffs are once again the expectation but first we'll have to see if this team can replciate that late season success that got them to the playoffs last year.
19 Pistons 0-0 The Pistons have a lot of swing for this season. Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are coming off career years, Reggie Jackson had a full offseason for the first time in years. The problem is several key players have injury issues (Blake, Rose, Jackson) and they may have the weakest wing rotation of any team trying to win games. They need a leap from at least one of Kennard or Bruce Brown.
20 Pelicans 0-0 The Pelicans obviously had a huge roster turnover this offseason, and that will have huge implications to start the season. Typically teams with high roster turnover have slower starts, and perhaps struggle with chemistry issues. But due to great veteran leadership from guys like Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick, a fantastic coaching staff lead by Alvin Gentry (as well as Chris Finch and Jeff Bzdelick), and an eager group of young players without egos who are ready to learn and adapt I'd bet on the Pelicans starting out hotter than most expect. The beginning of the schedule for this team has them playing some great teams, but there are enough chips on these guys shoulders to put Lays out of business. I don't expect a slump coming out of the gate.
21 Hawks 0-0 There some people with some very lofty expectations of the Hawks this season, mostly due to the idea that progression in the NBA is linear, but there are some major concerns with the Hawks this season. Having 3 rookies being a significant part of your rotation generally isn't a recipe for improvement and the loss of Dewayne Dedmon is likely going to be felt more than most people expect. Turnovers were once again a massive issue for the Hawks in the preseason just as they were last year, The Hawks first ~20 games of the season are absolutely brutal so a slow start is all but guaranteed for a team leaning on a lot of young players. In spite of all the negatives, Hawks fans still have plenty to look forward too as they add the very promising De'Andre and Cam Reddish to the already established core of Trae Young, John Collins, and Kevin Huerter. It wouldn't be surprising if, like last year, the Hawks struggled mightily early in the year and then slowly become better and better in the back half of the season.
22 TWolves 0-0 New season new regime for the Wolves. Finally building a roster and offense built around Karl-Anthony Towns. That combined with health and thisnteak might sneak into the playoffs.
23 Bulls 0-0 This is not "the year" for the Bulls, but given the state of the East, an 8-seed run is not out of the question. Over the offseason, the Bulls signed veteran F Thaddeus Young and G Tomas Satoransky and drafted PG Coby White to build on the core group of LaVine/Lauri/WCJ. Our full roster is starting to look acceptable save for a few oversized contracts, so Bulls fans should approach this season with cautious optimism about our ability to win games. Head coach Jim Boylen is a strange case; with three quarters of a season under his belt, a new year is as much of a chemistry-building exercise for him as it is for the players. May the injury gods finally bless us this year. Go Bulls!
24 Thunder 0-0 Oklahoma City will look slightly different this year, with franchise legend Russell Westbrook swapped out for Chris Paul and star forward Paul George sent west for Danillo Gallinari, SGA, and a wealth of picks. While the current starting lineup looks solid and the roster synergy might actually be better than during the Westbrook years, the high probability of a deadline firesale for Gallinari at minimum and possibly Adams or Paul makes this team incredibly difficult to predict for now.
25 Wizards 0-0 HE BACK! The best possible news of the offseason came this past week when Bradley Beal decided to extend his contract for an additional two years with the Wizards. Despite all the incompetence of the front office during these past few seasons, Beal has remained loyal to the team, and has decided to stick it out through the rebuild. It will be a tough one, however, as without backcourt mate John Wall, Washington will likely finish near the bottom of the league this year. That said, young pieces Thomas Bryant, Rui Hachimura, and Troy Brown Jr. will be given every chance to showcase their talents this year, and it will be exciting to see how they develop. Expect another dismal year from the Wizards defensively, as the team decided that the solution to their defensive woes was to add Isaiah Thomas, Ish Smith, and Davis Bertans, all of whom are essentially glorified traffic cones.
26 Suns 0-0 The Phoenix Suns finally have a roster of NBA players. A 3y$51M deal for Ricky Rubio headlined the Suns' interesting offseason, in which newly minted permanent GM James Jones attempted to remove all the trash of the McDonough tenure and hopefully begin an era of competence. The Suns made a handful of other moves including hiring Monty Williams to a full five year deal, the longest ever under Sarver ownership.
27 Grizzlies 0-0 The Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson era is upon us. Morant is replacing long time Grizz Grinder Mike Conley as a point guard and the Grizzlies highest draft selection since Thabeet in 2009. Got some big shoes to fill. Iguodala's status is still in the air but the Grizz are holding out on a buy out to hopefully attain assets in a trade. Iguodala is still wanting to be on a contender but would be a great mentor for this young squad.
28 Knicks 0-0 NOO YAWK KNICKS BAYBEE! A few things: 1) The team is probably the deepest in the Association, with a bench mob that all brings talent to the table. 2) The young core has progressed well, with Frank getting more aggressive and taking more shots, DSJ fixing his shot issues, Knox taking contact much better and not settling for shooting, Mitch being Mitch but with less fouls, Trier being instant offense off the bench and RJ being a beast on the stat sheet. 3) As for the signings: Morris has been exactly the spiritual leader Fiz has wanted for the gritty team he's been preaching about since coming here. While he's still a hothead, his tenacity is what a young and motivated team needs as a rallying point. Randle has been excellent, with his underrated playmaking shining as he's allowed to initiate a lot of the offense. His ability to barrel into the paint and draw doubles down low opens the perimiter for shooters like Ellington, who has been exactly as advertised. Portis and Taj bring spacing and versatility to our bigs, as both are wlling teammates. I personally am not a fan of the Elfrid Payton signing, because he's even worse than Frank at shooting, but his passing is outstanding and his improvisational skills after a play breaks down help keep the team going. Here's to the only team with NEW YORK on the jersey!
29 Cavaliers 0-0 Well, here we go again. Let's buckle in and hope our new guys get more good reps in and we can hope to see improvement over the course of the season. We have a very young group that all could show signs of improvement, with new faces on the floor this year including Jim Henson (who was hurt all last year) and Darius Garland, our newly drafted guard. Get your beer ready, it's gonna be a long season. At least Kevin Love is sticking around and actually seems pretty content about it!
30 Hornets 0-0 The Hornets finally did it. They finally committed to a tank season. It isn’t clear whether or not it was purposeful, but one thing is for sure: the team isn’t going to win many games. There are bright spots, however! Miles Bridges showed flashes last year, PJ Washington has impressed in preseason, and Terry Rozier seems to be relishing the opportunity to be the leader of a basketball team. While the departure of our GOAT Kemba Walker and the existence of the Batum contract still sting, there is a fun young team in there somewhere. Maybe… just maybe… they’ll turn some heads in the future. Onward, tank!
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Indiana Pacers - Season Preview

This is my first article in several months, so I’m going to cover the end of last season initially to try to forecast what may be in store for the Pacers for the new season. EDIT: Just realized I forgot to put [OC] in the post title, but I guess it doesn't really matter.
2017 – 2018 Season Record: 48-34, 5th in the Eastern Conference
First Round loss in the Playoffs to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games
Pacers fans must have let out a collective sigh of relief when the news broke that LeBron James was finally gone from the Eastern Conference. In LeBron’s reign of domination over the East, during which he made the NBA Finals the past eight consecutive seasons (2010-11 to 2017-18), he defeated the Pacers five times in the Playoffs - three with the Miami Heat and the past two years with Cleveland.
I believe Jeff Van Gundy was correct in his assessment that Indiana was a fundamentally better team than Cleveland during last season’s Playoffs. The Pacers controlled the tempo with excellent team defense and were more balanced in just about every way; there was only one problem – LeBron put forth a herculean effort. In three of the Cavs’ victories, he scored 40+ PTS: 46, 44, 45. He led both teams in PTS (34.4), REB (10.0), AST (7.7) and BLK (1.0). He also led the Cavs in steals (trailing Oladipo and Thaddeus Young for the series).
Here are some team stats from the series: Cleveland shot .434/.322/.76%, averaged 94.9 PTS, 38.7 REB and 17.1 AST. They had 98 turnovers. Indiana shot .481/.358/.71%, averaged 100.6 PTS, 40 REB and 21.1 AST. They had 85 turnovers.
The Cavs essentially only had an overall lead in two meaningful categories: they attempted 37 more 3-Point Field Goals (making five more total) and attempted 32 more Free Throws (making 31 more total). That’s it. The Cavs won their four games by a combined 14 points. Indiana won their three by 54. “By the skin of their teeth” certainly comes to mind.
Individually, the breakdown is even crazier.
Of the 11 players who played meaningful minutes for the Cavs, only three had a positive Net Rating (Offensive Rating minus Defensive Rating): LeBron (+20), George Hill (+8) and Larry Nance Jr. (+10). Most of the rest were hugely negative.
Of the nine Pacers who played meaningful minutes, seven had a positive Net Rating: Victor Oladipo (+7), Domantas Sabonis (+9), Myles Turner (+12), Darren Collison (+2), Thaddeus Young (+19), Cory Joseph (+6) and Trevor Booker (+40, but only 9.1 MPG).
Further, only two Cavs averaged double figures in PTS: LeBron at 34.4 (65.5 True Shooting Percentage) and Kevin Love at 11.4 (a putrid 45.9 TS%).
Seven Pacers averaged double figures in PTS: Dipo (22.7), Bogdanovic (12.4), Sabonis (12.4), Turner (12.4), Collison (11.3), Young (11.3) and Stephenson (10.4). The lowest TS% of the Pacers was Bogdanovic at 50.9.
Four Pacers averaged 3+ AST, only LeBron did so for the Cavs. You get the picture.
If George Hill hadn't made a miraculous recovery to help save the Cavs’ season in Game 7 (probably helped that LeBron had 45 PTS/8 REB/7 AST with a 71 TS%…), the Pacers more than likely advance and end the King’s reign. Alas, this is all history now. LeBron is gone. Onto the present – and future.
2018 – 2019 Season Record: 1-0, a 111-83 rout of the Memphis Grizzlies
Off-season roster losses: Lance Stephenson, Trevor BookeAl Jefferson, Glenn Robinson III, Joe Young
Off-season additions: Tyreke Evans (1 yr $12.4 million), Doug McDermott (3 yr $22 M), Kyle O’Quinn (1 yr $4.5 M), Aaron Holiday (23rd overall pick)
Team Strengths: Effort, defense, depth, continuity, cohesion, balance
Team Weaknesses: Lack of clear secondary star, possible regression from role players (I don’t see Darren Collison leading the NBA in 3-Point Percentage again), several key players on expiring contracts could lead to inner turmoil. I find this latter point highly doubtful, but if they struggle, it’s possible.
Key Questions: Instead of focusing on the things they did well, many analysts and advanced-stats-heads keyed in on the fact that the Pacers took (and made) a ton of open mid-to-long range 2-PT shots, which are considered inefficient in the modern NBA (a point of some debate between the old and new school). Will they shoot more 3s? It was reportedly a point of emphasis in training camp after being 26th in the league in 3PA last season, but will it materialize in real games? Will Turner and/or Sabonis make the jump to stardom? Early results look promising, as they’re both in fantastic shape. How will Tyreke Evans fit next to Victor Oladipo? Can Evans stay healthy, especially at the end of the season? Can Doug McDermott improve defensively?
The New Guys
I view the Pacers’ offseason acquisitions as almost entirely positive, with clear upgrades for the bench, with one caveat: they all lack Playoff experience. Entering his 10th season, Evans has only made the Playoffs once: with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015, when they got swept by the Warriors (Evans really struggled). McDermott’s teams have made it twice, but he didn’t play much. O’Quinn’s teams have never made it, admittedly through no fault of his own.
The reason I preface it this way is because Lance Stephenson, although a major headcase with an erratic jump shot, is a proven playoff performer. Indiana’s home crowd often fed off his flair for the dramatic and he’s always fit better with the Pacers than anywhere else. They wanted to retain him, so it’s not like they let him walk, but he’s gone now (again).
However, Tyreke Evans is a major upgrade offensively over Stephenson, and they function in a similar capacity on that end. This is important, because while backup Point Guard Cory Joseph is a bulldog on defense, he’s a limited offensive player. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as CoJo knows his weaknesses and is fine with being an ancillary (sometimes even tertiary) ballhandler. Like Lance, Tyreke is a playmaker, at his best with the ball in his hands. Evans is a canny passer, crafty finisher, and adept in pick-and-rolls, already showcasing strong synergy with Domas Sabonis. He has excellent size at 6’6” 220 lbs. and can play three positions (1-3) at an above average level when he’s right. He’s coming off a fantastic season in which he averaged 19 PTS/5 REB/5 AST and shot 40% from 3, on by far the largest volume of his career (5.5 Attempts). 3-Point shooting (or lack thereof) used to be Evans’ primary weakness offensively, so the Pacers are betting on the upward trend he’s had the last few years. He’s arguably the biggest free agent signing the team has had since David West, and said he chose the Pacers over the Lakers and other teams because he liked how hard they competed and how well they played together. The downsides: Evans has been a sub-par defender (mostly due to effort) and injury prone throughout his career, missing an average of about 24 games per season. How he fits next to Victor Oladipo will be very interesting to watch as the season progresses.
The NBA version of Doug McDermott is a poor man’s Kyle Korver, and he has openly molded his game after Korver’s (both players went to Creighton). The 6’8” McDermott was one of the most decorated and successful college players in the history of the NCAA, holding numerous records. However, McDermott has yet to live up to his status as 11th overall pick. Entering his fifth season, Indiana is now his fifth team. The primary reason, in my opinion, is that while he holds clear value offensively as an off-ball cutter and shooter, his defense has been extremely porous to this point. McDermott lacks the lateral quickness to keep up with wings and the rebounding prowess to cover big men. He also doesn’t make plays (force turnovers) to compensate for these weaknesses, averaging a ghastly 0.3 (!) steals + blocks per game in his career (20.7 MPG). Maybe it’ll be different with the Pacers; I thought the same of Bojan Bogdanovic before he arrived last season, yet last year I rated Bojan around league average. The Pacers have had above average defenses for decades – it’s a major reason why they’ve made the Playoffs so many times and are almost always competitive. We’ll see. On the plus side, McBuckets has shot 40% from deep in his brief career, including a remarkable (but unsustainable) 49% with Dallas to close last season. He’s also an excellent off-ball cutter and has more bounce vertically than people realize, capable of throwing down some thunderous dunks. Coach McMillan ran a bench lineup of Joseph/Evans/McDermott/Bogdanovic/Sabonis last night against the Grizzlies and I’m curious to see if that continues, as it really spaces the floor for Domas to work down low.
Kyle O’Quinn has been one of the best backup Centers in the league for a while now – I think he’s better than several low-end starters. He’s solid on offense, with a nice mix of skills: good screener, finisher and mid-range shooter. His biggest strength is his high basketball IQ, as O’Quinn has very good vision, court awareness, and passing ability for a big, regularly making heads-up plays. He also makes his free throws, hitting at a 77% clip four seasons in a row. K.O. is an above average defender and rebounder, putting up excellent per-36 numbers the past couple seasons: 14.5/13/3, 1 STL, 3 BLK and 14/12/4, 1 STL, 2.5 BLK. The shot-blocking is a welcome addition, as the Pacers lacked that element of the game last season (aside from Myles Turner). O’Quinn is foul prone, but that won’t be an issue given his planned limited role with the Pacers, which is both a good and bad thing. The good: If Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis get hurt, the Pacers have an excellent insurance policy. The bad: K.O. likely won’t be fully utilized, even though he fits the team’s M.O. to a T. Having said that, one of the cool things about Nate McMillan’s coaching style is that he typically rides the hot hands, so there are no set closing lineups (aside from Oladipo and Thad Young), it just depends on who’s playing the best on given day. That means that any of the new bench members potentially have a chance to make a major impact game-to-game.
The young guns are intriguing. First round pick Aaron Holiday, the younger brother of NBA veterans Justin and Jrue Holiday, looks like he has a nice jumper and is quick, but he’s small for a PG. He shot over 40% from deep all three seasons at UCLA but struggled with turnovers. The same was true of the preseason. Even though he could potentially be the third string PG, given the ball-handling prowess of Oladipo and Evans, I find it unlikely that Holiday will play a significant role this season. Maybe that changes next season, with incumbent starter Darren Collison and backup Cory Joseph both impending free agents.
T.J. Leaf, Indiana’s First round pick in 2017, also had a strong preseason. He shows flashes of interesting potential on offense as both a 3-PT shooter and rim runner. He’s tall for a 4 by modern NBA standards at 6’10” (used to be prototypical height for the position, but no longer) and is athletic. A full season of being guarded by the imposing Thaddeus Young in practice no doubt taught him some valuable lessons. If he can rebound and improve defensively, he could carve out a niche as the team’s 11th or so man, but he probably won’t play many minutes initially.
Edmond Sumner, on a two-way contract, shows flashes of slashing and defensive intrigue. He has great height and length for a PG at 6’6”, with plus athleticism. He really needs to improve his jump shot to be a rotation player in the NBA, but he’s someone to keep an eye on. Two-way players can only spend 45 days with their NBA team until the contract gets converted, and it’s worth noting that he’s starting the season with the Pacers.
The Returning Cast
I believe Myles Turner’s contract extension was at market value - maybe even a hair below. Turner has been a productive player all three seasons of his young career, and at just 22, there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to get better over time. True, he was a relative disappointment last season, but progress isn’t always linear. I’d really like to see him be more decisive on offense. He doesn’t necessarily need to take more shots, but he needs to shoot when he’s open and be aggressive in driving to the rim. Myles looks to be in terrific shape to start the season and is changing directions quicker than I've ever seen in the past.
I’ve written plenty about the other members of the team, so you can look at my post history if you’re curious what I think about them. Some people think breakout star Victor Oladipo (Most Improved Player, All-Star, third team All-NBA, first team All-Defense) will regress this season, but I’m not one of them. Based on how he looked physically in the preseason and opening night, he might be even quicker than last year, which is saying something, because he’s a phenomenal athlete with a lethal first step. The Pacers retained their entire starting lineup as well as two key bench pieces in Cory Joseph and Domantas Sabonis.
Prediction: Barring a significant injury to Oladipo, I see the Pacers winning around 50 – 52 games. If Turner and/or Sabonis take a leap, maybe more. They should have one of the strongest benches in the NBA, with multiple players capable of starting.
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bathrobeDFS - Daily Analysis for April 8th (MLB)

Hello, everyone!! bathrobeDFS is here with your Daily MLB Analysis. First, I will go over any weather concerns. Then, we will take a look at the Vegas lines. Next, I will take a look at Pitchers. Then I will look at the Hitters. All of this will be discussed as someone who plays on DraftKings. If you have any additional questions or want to see guaranteed updates in regards to breaking news- I provide additional updates, information, and stats on my twitter @bathrobeDFS. Feel free to throw me a follow cause it’s much easier and more timely to provide updates over that medium. I also have a Venmo and Patreon for those that would like to donate
I also strongly suggest joining us on Flick. It’s a live chat app that allows me, and a wonderful group of people, to deal with news as it happens, talk about the slate, share lineups, and break things down in a way I simply can’t on any other medium. It is also invite only, so there are no trolls and only good, helpful people talking all different sports, all day, every day.. If you want to join us there, Download the Flick App and send me a message so I can get you an invite. That’s it! Free and easy!
With that being said, let’s get into it!
Early Two Game Slate
Game Notes (SPs, Vegas Lines, Weather)
Rays vs White Sox - 210pm
Projected Lineups (L/S refers to Handedness of the Batter // Splits - EN = Extreme Normal, N = Normal, 0 = No splits, R = Reverse, ER = Extreme Reverse, RHB = Switch Hitter better as a RHB. LHB = Switch Hitter better as a LHB. // Pitcher information is about pitching not how he hits.)
Tampa Bay Rays
Name DK Position Price L/S Splits
Yandy Diaz 1B/3B 3600 R R
Tommy Pham OF 5100 R 0
Daniel Robertson 2B/3B 3800 R N
Avisail Garcia OF 4300 R N
Mike Zunino C 3900 R ER
Kevin Kiermaier OF 4200 L EN
Guillermo Heredia OF 3300 R EN
WIlly Adames SS 3300 R R
Christian Arroyo 3B 3400 R 0
Blake Snell SP 10900 L 0
Chicago White Sox
Name DK Position Price L/S Splits
Leury Garcia OF 3500 S 0
Tim Anderson SS 3700 R N
Jose Abreu 1B 4200 R 0
Welington Castillo C 3300 R EN
Yoan Moncada 3B 4500 S LHB
Eloy Jimenez OF 4600 R ?
Yonder Alonso 1B 3700 L N
Jose Rondon 2B/SS 3300 R 0
Adam Engel OF 3100 R 0
Carlos Rodon SP 6200 L R
Well, this game gives us the clear #1 pitcher on a 2 game slate with reigning Cy Young winner Blake Snell starting for the Rays. He is someone you can play every time he takes the mound and, especially in a limited slate like this, the question of what you should do is going to be one of game theory. There is no reputable source that will tell you anything other than that Snell is, far and away, the best play here. Everyone else will know that too. And he’s not priced in a way that makes finding bats impossible, meaning he is going to be 80% owned in some places. So what do you do??
Well, you have 3 options. I often talk about this in regards to the NBA, but the same thing really does apply to SPs in MLB. You can either:
  1. Play him with the field and hope he pitches a normal game and crushes it. This would mean finding a way to separate yourself elsewhere, either by not stacking, taking an unpopular stack (like the Pirates), or taking the lowest owned pitcher (I would assume that is Taillon) to pair with him.
  2. Fade him and try to find value at other places. This would mean taking a chance on Taillon and Rodon and making a point of stacking the White Sox, to further distinguish yourself from the field. Especially on a 2 game slate like this, if a pitcher is overwhelming chalk and you don’t plan on playing him, it makes sense to stack against him as added leverage against the field. I mean, you’re not playing him means, generally, you think points can be had. So find them and have them.
  3. You just put together the best lineup you can and who gives a shit about ownership projections. Because you win a tournament by having the highest score, not by being the cutest or having the lowest owned player.
I think Rodon is also a good play. When you take a look at the projected TB lineup, they lead off with a reverse platoon RHB, already putting them at a disadvantage. While I totally think you can take a mini stack (or one-offs) with Pham (especially), Robertson, and Garcia, I think Rodon will have his way with the rest of the lineup.
I will add 2 things here: It is a perfectly viable strategy to play a pitcher AND batters against him when the slate gets this small. While I don’t advise it on larger slates, it is perfectly viable when the options are so thin. If you want to play Rodon AND Pham you absolutely 100% can.
Second, If you play Snell and Taillon, I totally think it’s possible to expand the mini stack to a normal sized one by adding Heredia and Adames.
Pirates vs Cubs - 220pm
  • Jameson Taillon, RHP - 0-1, 13.0 IP, 3.46 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 2 BB, 9 K
  • Jon Lester, LHP - 1-0, 12.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 5 BB, 10 K
  • Vegas Info: N/A
  • Weather: Partly Cloudy and Warm. Temps around 60. Light winds blowing out.
Projected Lineups (L/S refers to Handedness of the Batter // Splits - EN = Extreme Normal, N = Normal, 0 = No splits, R = Reverse, ER = Extreme Reverse, RHB = Switch Hitter better as a RHB. LHB = Switch Hitter better as a LHB. // Pitcher information is about pitching not how he hits.)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Name DK Position Price L/S Splits
Kevin Newman 2B/SS 3400 R ?
Starling Marte OF 4700 R R
Francisco Cervelli C 3500 R 0
Josh Bell 1B 4100 S LHB
Jung-Ho Kang 3B/SS 4300 R ER
Melky Cabrera OF 3500 S 0
Pablo Reyes 2B/OF 3500 R ?
Erik Gonzalez SS 3400 R ER
Jameson Taillon SP 8800 R N
Chicago Cubs
Name DK Position Price L/S Splits
Ben Zobrist 2B/OF 3500 S 0
Kris Bryant 3B/OF 5000 R EN
Anthony Rizzo 1B 5000 L N
Javier Baez SS 5300 R EN
Kyle Schwarber OF 4900 L N
Willson Contreras C 4300 R EN
Daniel Descalso 2B 3700 L 0
Jon Lester SP 7600 L ER
Jason Heyward OF 3900 L 0
I have been talking up Taillon since the very first time I talked about the Pirates. This kid is a legit ace-caliber pitcher. While he hasn’t had one of his ace-caliber starts this year, he did show marked improvement between the two starts, and I expect more improvement going into this game. I also think he will be the lowest owned due to both his price and the matchup with the Cubs. Which is scary, sure. But they are not the Red Sox or Yankees, and they can be had. Especially by someone like Taillon who can get strikeouts, has great control, and can keep the ball on the ground.
If you wanna go with what I assume is the most chalky stack on this small slate, I would prioritize the LHB on the Cubs so Zobrist/Descalso, Rizzo, Schwarber and, if you hate yourself, Heyward. He had his best game of the year already. Now I can ignore him for a few months while he eats up ownership and puts up a bunch of 0s or 3s.
I will also add that I’ve made it a point in taking some bats against Lester. He is an OK pitcher now, sure, but he is vastly overrated by the field both for his name and cause of the team he is on. I expect he will be the 2nd most popular pitcher on the slate by far. He is also someone who shows EXTREME reverse splits, meaning we can actually give a bump to Lester since he will be seeing 9 righties, including the pitcher. Still, I will take a chance on some Pirates bats considering the prices and where I expect the field will be. I would just start at the top and try to fit in whoever you can.
Ultimately this whole slate will come down to who you choose at pitcher, and that will come down, in part, to your philosophy.
Today’s Slate
Game Notes (SPs, Vegas Lines, Weather)
Athletics vs Orioles
  • Marco Estrada, RHP - 0-0, 16.1 IP, 2.76 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 4 BB, 7 K
  • Andrew Cashner, RHP - 1-1, 10.0 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 7 BB, 6 K
  • Vegas Info: 9, OAK -136
  • Weather: Mostly Cloudy and Warm. Temps in the 70s. Winds blowing out at 8mph.
Nationals vs Phillies
  • Anibal Sanchez, RHP - 0-0, 4.0 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 4 BB, 3 K
  • Vince Velasquez, RHP - 0-0, 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Vegas Info: 9, PHI -132
  • Weather: Mostly Cloudy and Warm. Temps in the 70s. Winds blowing out at 9mph.
Yankees vs Astros
  • Masahiro Tanaka, RHP - 1-0, 12.1 IP, 1.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 0 BB, 12 K
  • Justin Verlander, RHP - 1-0, 11.0 IP, 4.09 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 4 BB, 13 K
  • Vegas Info: 7.5, HOU -152
  • Weather: DOME
Dodgers vs Cardinals
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP - 2-0, 13.0 IP, 2.08 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 0 BB, 13 K
  • Miles MIkolas, RHP - 0-1, 10.0 IP, 7.20 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 3 BB, 5 K
  • Vegas Info: 8, LAD -118
  • Weather: Mostly Cloudy and Warm. Temps in the mid 70s. Winds light, blowing across field.
Mariners vs Royals
  • Felix Hernandez, RHP - 1-0, 5.1 IP, 1.69 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 0 BB, 4 K
  • Homer Bailey, RHP - 0-0, 5.0 IP, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 2 BB, 8 K
  • Vegas Info: 9, Pick Em
  • Weather: Clear and Warm. Temps in the mid 70s. Winds blowing out at 7mph.
Braves vs Rockies
  • Julio Teheran, RHP - 0-1, 10.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 5 BB, 14 K
  • Kyle Freeland, LHP - 1-1, 11.2 IP, 2.31 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 5 BB, 15 K
  • Vegas Info: 10.5, COL -133
  • Weather: COORS FIELD GAME - Clear and Warm. Temps in 70s. Winds blowing in at 7mph
Padres vs Giants
  • Eric Lauer, LHP - 1-1, 11.0 IP, 3.27 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Madison Bumgarner, LHP - 13.0 IP, 1.38 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3 BB, 13 K
  • Vegas Info: 7, SF -125
  • Weather: 30% chance of Rain through the Game Overcast and Warm. Temps around 60. Winds blowing out at 10mph. Doesn’t matter in SF
Brewers vs Angels
  • Jhoulys Chacin, RHP - 2-0, 10.2 IP, 4.22 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 5 BB, 13 K
  • Trevor Cahill, RHP - 0-1, 12.0 IP, 3.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 1 BB, 8 K
  • Vegas Info: 8.5, Pick Em
  • Weather: Partly Cloudy. Temps in the mid 70s. Winds blowing out at 4mph.
Great Pitchers
Masahiro Tanaka (8700, RHP) at HOU - This price is insulting for someone with the consistency that Tanaka has. I know that the Astros are one of the most dangerous offenses in the league, but I also know that I don’t give a shit when a pitcher is as good as Tanaka (or, as we will see on the other side of the game, Verlander). As I have noted every time I have talked about Tanaka - what beats him is himself. He has the stuff, when it’s on and he can control it, to beat any team in the league, any day, and make them look like little leaguers. It really is filthy. If he stuff is working today, he will get more than 1 K per inning, not allow a walk, and keep the runs down, even if some hits get through.
Justin Verlander (10400, RHP) vs NYY - Verlander is coming off a bad start in Texas, which is awesome. It lowered his price 1100 bucks, and 600 under where it started on Opening Day. That means we get cheap Verlander! Plus, people who don’t understand how baseball works will look at his log, see one bad game, and get off him, thereby lowering what should be astronomical ownership. Or they will see the Yankees and get worried. But it’s Verlander. If you play this slate out 100 times, he will get 25 DKP against the Yanks more often than he doesn’t. Don’t be foolish. Don’t overthink it. Even Cy Young pitchers have a bad start sometimes (except deGrom). And while he may have one again, odds are he won’t. So get on him at way, way too cheap a price.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (9600, LHP) at STL - I like Ryu a lot. I think he’s a great pitcher, for sure. I just don’t think there’s any way in hell I am paying 9600 when Verlander is 800 more. That’s just stupid. That being said, stupid wins a LOT of tourneys. So if you do MME, make sure you are taking some lineups with Ryu instead of Verlander (or even paired with, if you like some cheap stacks). That being said, Ryu is an extreme reverse splits pitcher who will be going against a lineup almost full of RHB, which is a huge boost for him.
Great Spots
Eric Lauer (7500, LHP) at SF - On opening day, I strongly recommended Lauer when he was 5600. I explained how he matches up really well against this poor Giants team. As a reverse splits lefty, he really is set to avoid almost every main problem he could face, which is how he got 6 IP with 4 hits allowed, 0 runs, 1 BB, 3 Ks and 20.5 DKP. While he’s almost 2k more expensive now, he’s still a good play, and I still expect him to put up around the same 20 DKP or so in this matchup. Granted, that puts him under several other pitchers on this slate, but I will still have my shares of Lauer tonight.
GPP Plays
Julio Teheran (5800, RHP) at COL - If you want a real cheap GPP play, boy have a got one for you. If you like getting deep into analysis, I strongly recommend reading this article about pitch type and how they are affected by Coors Field. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, basically, the 2 pitches that see the least change in effectiveness are the slider and the 4 seam fastball. Well, he throws his 4 seamer 42% of the time and his slider 22% of the time as it is. In Coors, I am sure he will take out the Curveball, that you can’t use there, and increase his slider usage. That will be good for him, as his slider evoked a 22.9% swinging strike rate and a .143 batting average against. Coors Field effects different pitchers differently. Some pitchers can deal with it. At 5800 and no ownership, I have no problem taking a chance on Teheran.
Kyle Freeland (6200, LHP) vs ATL - Oh man am I going to get shit for this. I am putting both pitchers in the Coors Field game in the GPP section. But the fact is Freeland is as an effective pitcher in Coors Field as he is outside of it. If you read the article I just posted in the Teheran section, you will see that 4 seamers and Sliders are the way to go. Well Freeland throws his 4 seamer about 40% of the time and his slider about 30% of the time. And, again, that is taking into account that he may change this rate in and out of Coors. I look at Freeland’s logs, as well. Game 1 of the season against the Marlins - priced at 9000, he gets 25.4 DKP. Game 2 against the Rays - price falls 1100 to 7900, he gets 22.3 DKP. Now his price falls again to 6200. How much you wanna bet he still gets 20 DKP?
Jhoulys Chacin (8100, RHP) at LAA - Chacin profiles very much like Teheran - a pitcher that can get a lot of Ks, can get absolute murder on RHB, but has a lot of trouble against LHB. The difference between the 2 is that Chacin throws his slider 45% of the time, and it is NASTY, which makes him REALLY nasty to RHB. But extra vulnerable to LHB. Still, this lineup is mostly Rs with only a couple of really good LHB we would have to worry about. While he is pretty expensive, I also expect him go get 20 or so DKP. Also, the Coors Field effect here is named Mike Trout, who will get a HR regardless of how nasty his slider is and how many feet off the plate it breaks.
No Thanks
Marco Estrada (7300, RHP) at BAL - Marco Estrada is a bad pitcher that doesn’t strike people out and gives up a ton of HR. But Baltimore is awful. There is ONE bat on the O’s that I almost consider a lock, but, otherwise, I don’t want anything from him or the other O’s bats.
Stacking Opportunities (in no particular order)
Athletics vs Andrew Cashner (OAK) - There are very few sure things in life - death, taxes, and stacking against O’s pitchers. Andrew Cashner is their ace, but is the most hittable. He may have thrown 100 but, when you don’t have great control and the ball doesn’t move, it doesn’t matter how fast you throw in the bigs. People will catch up to it and make you pay. And that has been the story of Cashner’s career.
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 9
Chalk Level (1-10): 6
Preferred Stack: Full
Preferred Players: Piscotty (OF - 4700) and Davis (OF - 5200) are my favorite plays here, but you can start at the top and work your way down against Cashner
Phillies vs Anibal Sanchez (WAS) - Anibal Sanchez is the 5th starter for the Nats, but he really doesn’t deserve that job. He had a 2nd wind year last season with the Braves, but it was smoke and mirrors. In his first start against this same Phillies team, he got 4 IP and gave up 4 hits, 4 ER, 4 walks and 3 Ks and it would have been worse if he hadn’t been hit by a comebacker and taken out. I will also note that he is a reverse splits pitcher, and the wind will be blowing out
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 9
Chalk Level (1-10): 6
Preferred Stack: Full
Preferred Players: Start with Rhys Hoskins (1B - 4700) and then go to the top and work your way down.
Nationals vs Vincent Velasquez (RHP, @PHI) - Velasquez was a pitcher with a lot of promise when he came up for the Phils. He has always managed to keep his K totals high, but he never was able to find the control you need to make it to the next level in the big leagues. Because of that, he is prone to leaving the ball out over the plate, or missing it altogether. I should also note Vince has only gotten to pitch one inning so far this year, as he has been the long man in the bullpen (since the Phillies didn’t need 5 starters until now.) So, yeah, not a ringing endorsement if I do say so myself.
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 8
Chalk Level (1-10): 4
Preferred Stack: Full
Preferred Players: Eaton (OF - 4000), Soto (OF - 4800), Rendon (3B - 4200), Gomes (C - 3500), Robles (OF - 4000), then take your pick if you wanna fit someone else.
Dodgers vs Miles Mikolas (RHP, @STL) - If you have been following my MLB articles since the beginning of the season, or beforehand when I did the previews, let me first say thank you!. I really do value you taking the time to read the work I put out. I hope you enjoy reading my stuff as much as I enjoy writing it for you. Second, I have been on a quest to stack each and every time I can against Mikolas. I have been harping on it since the preseason and nothing is going to change here. When you are an extreme, EXTREME control pitcher that doesn’t strike people out, and you are getting lucky, eventually that luck runs out. And, as I often say, if you are not absolutely perfect, you aren’t going to be functional. It is way, way more profitable to bet against someone being perfect then to bet on them being flawless. And we have seen that so far against a potent Milwaukee and a not-so-potent Pirates offenses.
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 10
Chalk Level (1-10): 5
Preferred Stack: Full
Preferred Players: Everyone and their grandmas if they become available on DK tomorrow for some reason. I would find it hard not to lock in Bellinger (1B - 4900) and Muncy (1B/3B - 4300). Especially Muncy at that price, and while everyone else will be looking to Colorado.
Royals vs King Felix (RHP, SEA) - Felix had a great first start for him, and he struck out only 4 in 5.1 IP. He wound up not walking anyone, which was nice. But he still gave up 7 hits and 3 runs (1 ER). I just don’t think Felix has it anyone. You know I’ve talked about how he has fallen off the cliff and, while it’s possible he figured out how to not be a power pitcher in the offseason, the odds are he is going to keep getting smashed most of the time. Even though this isn’t the best Royals team, they still have some great pieces we can take a chance on. Especially LHB
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 6
Chalk Level (1-10): 3
Preferred Stack: Mini
Preferred Players Whit (2B/OF - 4500), Mondesi (SS - 4800), O’Hearn (1B - 3900) or Duda (1B - 4100), Soler (OF - 3900)
Mariners vs Homer Bailey (RHP, @KC) - Homer Bailey won’t have a job for long. Well, I mean, I’m sure he’ll have a job, it just won’t be a pitcher for a major league baseball team. There is a reason he is priced that low. And even that is far too high for him. He is a trainwreck of a horrorshow and I wouldn’t be surprised if his first start of the year is, by far, his best one.
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 8
Chalk Level (1-10): 8
Preferred Stack: Full
Preferred Players: Start with Bruce (OF - 4200) then go back to the top and work your way down
Braves vs Kyle Freeland (LHP, @COL) - Given how Kyle Freeland pitches, there are very few Braves I am interested in playing. Anyone listed here is also a fantastic one-off play as well.
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 9
Chalk Level (1-10): 10
Preferred Stack: Full or Mini - Only these Players:
Preferred Players: Donaldson (3B - 5000), Acuna (OF - 5500), Albies (2B - 5200), Camargo (3B/OF - 4500), Flowers (C - 4100). If those 5 don’t all play, I will not play a 5 man stack from ATL.
Padres vs Madison Bumgarner (LHP, @SF) - MadBum has looked OK in his first 2 starts, but still not like the dominant Cy Young pitcher he had been a couple of years ago before injury and age. On Opening Day, he pitched well against this Padres team, going 7 IP, striking out 9, walking 1, giving up 5 hits, including 1 HR, and 2 ER. in his next start, he threw a ball away that resulted in an error, or else he would have surrendered upwards of 5 ER, which would have tanked his stats. But that’s how baseball works. If you don’t pay attention, you don’t realize that he still gave up 5 runs, including a massive HR, and 2 walks and only 4 K in 6 IP. While I can understand not wanting to stack against MadBum like I will, I certainly won’t pay almost 10k for him and I advise you not to either.
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 7
Chalk Level (1-10): 2
Preferred Stack: Full or Mini
Preferred Players: Machado (3B - 4200), Renfroe (OF - 3900), Franmil Reyes (OF - 3900), Tatis (SS - 3900), Myers (OF - 4200)
Brewers vs Trevor Cahill (RHP, @LAA) - Cahill is a mediocre pitcher. I mean he’s hit or miss really. It depends on the lineup. If he is going a lineup that has, say, a fuckload of LHB that can mash HRs at a ridiculous clip, he’s probably going to have a really, really bad day. Oh look, here come the Brewers who now get to use Thames at DH!! Poor, poor Trevor Cahill.
How much do I love this stack? (1-10): 10
Chalk Level (1-10): 5
Preferred Stack: Full - LHB Preferred
Preferred Players: Yelich (OF - 5300), Shaw (1B/3B - 4200), Moustakas (2B/3B - 4400), Eric Thames (1B/OF - 4300), Grandal (C - 4200)
One-Off Batters
Trey Mancini (1B/OF - 4200) - While the fact he’s been swinging a hot bat is a positive, I would want some shares of Mancini regardless. Estrada is a severe reverse splits pitcher, meaning he is WAY worse against RHB. Trey Mancini is a reverse splits hitter, meaning he is better against RHP. While you can also take your chance with Nunez (1B - 4100), I think Trey Mancini is close to a slam dunk today. I will be building my lineups 5/2/1 or 4/3/1 to make sure I have the ability to fit Mancini in as a one-off, no matter what. The dual-position eligibility is a huge bonus as well.
Altuve (2B - 4700) and Aledmys Diaz (2B/SS - 3600) - While I only Altuve in my current projected Astros lineup for tomorrow, if they are smart and play Diaz as well, I will have them both. This is a question of an extreme reverse splits pitcher going against reverse splits righties. That’s like 2 waves meeting each other and making the amplitude bigger, even though the wavelength stays the same. PHYSICS, BITCHES.
Carpenter (3B - 4200) - When a lefty has as severe reverse splits as Ryu, you bet I am going to try to get a share or two of Carpenter in there. I know Carpenter is an extreme normal splits hitter, so this doesn’t line up nearly as well as the other one offs I have listed so far, but it’s still cheap and worth a chance, especially since no one else is going to play him a L/L matchup, but he’s still leading off.
Blackmon (OF - 5200) and Dahl (OF - 5100)- The one thing with Teheran is he already has a huge problem getting LHB out. I think he should be able to work through the many, many RHB in this lineup, but these 2 LHB should give him extra trouble. Teheran likes to use the 2-seamer and the change against LHB since the slider breaks in and would generally be less effective. Unfortunately, changeups and 2 seamers are 2 of the pitches that do much worse in Coors so I expect him to struggle against these 2. They will either walk every time they are up or hit HRs.
Renfroe and Reyes - Both of these dudes hit LHP like they were future hall of famers. Seriously. If every pitcher the Padres went against was a southpaw, these dudes would be all-stars. So don’t ignore them just because it’s 75% of a MadBum pitching against them. Even if you don’t want to go to a mini stack of Padres, get some Renfroe and Reyes in there. Especially with Mancini, these 3 are reason enough to leave space for a one-off in your lineups today. Oh nelly.
Bour (1B - 4100) - With Chacin an extreme splits pitcher and Bour an extreme splits hitter, lining up against each other, I predict great things for Bour today. Even if you don’t wanna pay up for Trout, or go to the rest of this lineup (which I don’t really recommend), Bour looks super sweet today.
HR CALL OF THE SLATE: There are so many. Franmil Reyes
Ok. That is a full MLB day. Without an NBA slate to worry about, I got to get a little deeper in, though still not nearly as deep as I wanted, given that I had to write about the 14 gamer until 230 pm and then finally get some sleep. Anyway, best of luck today everyone!!
I am almost finished with my website. The article will still be free, and posted here, for as long as I am working for myself. If you took down a GPP thanks to my help, feel free to send me a DM here or an @ on twitter to be added to the site’s hall of fame! The site will have a membership that will provide, as far as I am concerned, what will be the best projections in MLB (and eventually NBA). I will work on them with my stat guy until they are perfect. We are going to account for things other people ignore because they are too much work. It’s going to be amazing. I am also going to be doing a daily video that will be a Q and A as well as a way for me to go deeper into everything, and discuss more of who I love or hate and why, since I can’t mention everyone due to Reddit’s character limits. As it stands now, I am almost at 30k and the limit is 40k and it was half a slate. God I love baseball.
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My Reaction to Zach Lowe's 35 Random Predictions

Zach Lowe is the best in the game at what he does (as this sub agreed upon near-unanimously in the summer) so this article will be a "live" reaction to what I think about his 35 predictions for this upcoming season.
Stephen Curry will win the scoring title, but not MVP
I agree and this isn't too far out. The Warriors will likely be going "let Steph get his buckets" mode, but as I've said since the summer (despite the consensus being otherwise) this is a borderline playoff team and the MVP isn't coming from a borderline playoff team.
Giannis repeats as MVP
I'd say probably. I'm going with a surprise Ben Simmons as his closest contender, it's a safe bet for now.
Rudy Gobert repeats as Defensive Player of the Year
I'm going to disagree based on gut feeling. Donovan Mitchell's main focus this offseason was his defense, Utah will be an excellent defensive team, but I think that in regards to an award like this his individual impact won't be in the spotlight as much. I think DPOY will be a surprise.
Portland trades Hassan Whiteside or Kent Bazemore + an asset for: Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol, or Serge Ibaka
Disagree. Hassan Whiteside has been impressive preseason and the only player from that list worth getting would be Blake Griffin. If they did get Griffin, it would have to be one of those 2 and MULTIPLE assets (Simons, picks, Zach Collins). I'd say the odds are low, so disagree. But if they want any shot at a championship the Griffin trade would be the only one worth it. Well, you know now that I think about it Kevin Love is from Oregon and they wouldn't have to give up as many assets. You know I'm going from disagree to maybe here. But Danilo, Gasol, Serge would be kind of pointless IMO.
Bradley Beal signs an extension in Washington
Ya it happened already.
Toronto keeps Kyle Lowry this season
Agree. As Lowe said, I just don't see the potential value being any better than Lowry now.
Miami keeps Justise Winslow and trades Goran Dragic
Disagree. Dragic is expiring, and has looked excellent in a bench spot-up role this preseason. If they want to win now (as Lowe said) I'm not sure the value they would receive in return would be any better. Justise Winslow seems to be in an awkward role and I would counter with it's more likely they trade him than Dragic.
Utah and Dallas get all-stars again
Agree but I really wouldn't call this a hot take by any means.
San Antonio will not have an all-star for the 1st time since 1997
Agree. Aldridge almost didn't make it last year if not for a January surge. I think the Spurs can still get 7 or 8 seed but it'll probably be the worst season for them in a while.
Siakam, Aaron Gordon, Zach LaVine make the all-star game
Agree on Siakam/LaVine. Disagree on Gordon. His game has stagnated a bit the last 2 years and he would basically have to take over Vucci Man's role (who just signed a max extension) as the guy. I don't see it happening.
Nikola Jokic will average at least 7.8 assists a game
Disagree. I think he will still be around 7 but I don't see 8.
Denver gets the 1 seed in the West
You know I'm moving to Colorado in 3 days and wouldn't mind, but disagree. I see more 2/3 seed and if there's a surprise number 1 seed I'm going Utah instead.
Miami finishes 3rd in the East
Agree, would have disagreed before the season but Tyler Herro has brought new life to the team and they are deep. I could also see them losing in the 1st round too however in this scenario.
Steven Adams' defensive rebounding rate will have the biggest leap in NBA history
Sure. I mean does it matter? Odds are low, final answer is disagree.
OKC trades Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder
Probably on Adams and disagree on Schroder just because who would take him?
Indiana misses the playoffs
Disagree. Even without Oladipo, they are boring but solid enough. 6 or 7 seed.
East playoff Teams: 76ers, Bucks, Celtics, Raptors, Heat, Nets, Magic, Bulls
Bruh the Bulls...okay never say never but I would be shocked. A few people on this sub predicted it as well and to be fair I would have said the same thing about Orlando last year. I think the Bulls have the talent but still need to make a trade or 2 and Jim Boylen has to stop making bone-headed coaching decisions if they want to finish higher than 10th. Disagree.
Robin Lopez attempts at least 75 3's
100% agree. He's following after Brook in this regard clearly and I'll even go as high as 115 at least.
Indiana trades Turner or Sabonis
This is interesting, I like it. Man I'm real 50/50 on this one, although more likely I would say is Turner (Lowe says Sabonis). Okay final decision is I agree.
West playoff Teams: Clippers, Lakers, Jazz, Nuggets, Rockets, Blazers, Spurs, Mavs. Golden State finishes 9th.
I'm going to go agree on Golden State but sorry I just don't see Dallas making it. Yes Luka/KP is exciting and reddit loves Luka but the rest of that team is ass and I don't know how else to say it. I'd say possible but odds are low and I'm going no. My surprise pick instead will be New Orleans. All of my algorithms are very high on them (similar to Clippers last year) and even if Zion is injured half the year I think they are going to surprise.
Giannis signs supermax if Bucks make the Finals and doesn't if they don't
Chris Paul finishes the season with OKC
Milwaukee makes a splashy win-now move
Agree, and they should have last year too.
Utah extends 1 or both of: Royce O'Neale and Joe Ingles
Utah trades Dante Exum and Tony Bradley for Marcus Morris
I agree Utah should trade Exum but if your gonna trade long-term assets let's get more value than Marcus Morris, ultimately disagree.
Minnesota makes two trades, one involving Robert Covington
Disagree and what they really need to do is go all-out in trading Wiggins. Covington is underrated and I don't see much value in trading him.
Within the next 16 months, there will be trade buzz about Westbrook and/or Harden
Agree but it won't be legitimate.
Marvin Bagley III is Sacramento's leading scorer
I'll go with a surprise 2nd and do think he could outperform, but I'm gonna say Buddy Hield sticks as the leading scorer again UNLESS he is traded which I don't see happening but you never know. I say disagree, but possible.
Sacramento trades Nemanja Bjelica and at least one other core rotation player
I'm gonna go with "they should" but "they won't" so disagree.
Otto Porter Jr signs a long-term deal in Chicago
Agree. Not sure I agree that they should but they need a little veteran stability.
The coach's challenge lasts only one season (in this form)
The discussion about starting free agency before the draft gets legitimate
Washington trades CJ Miles for 2 2nd round picks, and re-signs Davis Bertans
Oddly specific but agree, the Wizards clearly like Bertans a lot and will likely overpay for him.
Chicago trades Kris Dunn
There is not a bigger no-brainer than Dunn being traded in the entire league possibly, agree.
LA Clippers>76ers in 7
Haven't decided yet and will make a final decision before the season starts. I will leave it at the Clippers are "my favorite right now".
submitted by FlynnPatrick to nbaranking [link] [comments]

Jayson Tatum Needs To Play Better Defense. PJ Washington Was Impressive

Hornets @ Celtics (October 6, 2019)

Jayson Tatum is a pretty offensive player.
But holy macaroni I know it's the 1st game of the preseason but getting cooked by Dwayne Bacon multiple times wasn't pretty.
Part of this is how good Bacon is to be fair, dude's an underrated offensive player for sure. Maybe he was preserving his energy and that's okay but this defensive effort in the regular season would be atrocious.
It wasn't all bad for Boston though. The energy Kemba brought was clear, Robert Williams III looks to be the surprise starter at center, Carsen Edwards is a safe bet to be a 2nd round steal.
I believe the Celtics will make the Eastern Conference Finals right now. Bucks/76ers (which everyone is predicting) is simply too predictable. There is bound to be a little bit of ruckus in the East. Shoot, in a recent sim I did the Hawks made the Finals!
Without Kyrie, a lot of the same talent is still there with better chemistry. Good showing for Boston in preseason game 1, just don't half-ass on defense Jayson Tatum.

PJ Washington Was Impressive
Not really much to say about Charlotte. Very meh as expected, but Washington stood out. Like Bridges last year, I thought it was a weird pick. But like Bridges, from an early glance, it looks like Washington is about the value they got him at. His offensive game is very smooth and he was not void of confidence in his 1st game on an NBA floor. He was surprisingly efficient from long range and is strong enough to score in the paint as well.
More important than empty stats in a preseason game is it looks like he belonged and he knew it. I would be pretty surprised to not see him in the Rising Stars game and making an All-Rookie team looks like a reasonable goal. Although Charlotte overall as a franchise has been meh, the last two 1st round draft picks they've used seems to have worked out well.
submitted by FlynnPatrick to nbaranking [link] [comments]

Jayson Tatum Needs To Play Better Defense. PJ Washington Was Impressive.

Hornets @ Celtics (October 6, 2019)

Jayson Tatum is a pretty offensive player.
But holy macaroni I know it's the 1st game of the preseason but getting cooked by Dwayne Bacon multiple times wasn't pretty.
Part of this is how good Bacon is to be fair, dude's an underrated offensive player for sure. Maybe he was preserving his energy and that's okay but this defensive effort in the regular season would be atrocious.

It wasn't all bad for Boston though. The energy Kemba brought was clear, Robert Williams III looks to be the surprise starter at center, Carsen Edwards is a safe bet to be a 2nd round steal.
I believe the Celtics will make the Eastern Conference Finals right now. Bucks/76ers (which everyone is predicting) is simply too predictable. There is bound to be a little bit of ruckus in the East. Shoot, in a recent sim I did the Hawks made the Finals!
Without Kyrie, a lot of the same talent is still there with better chemistry. Good showing for Boston in preseason game 1, just don't half-ass on defense Jayson Tatum.

PJ Washington Was Impressive
Not really much to say about Charlotte. Very meh as expected, but Washington stood out. Like Bridges last year, I thought it was a weird pick. But like Bridges, from an early glance, it looks like Washington is about the value they got him at. His offensive game is very smooth and he was not void of confidence in his 1st game on an NBA floor. He was surprisingly efficient from long range and is strong enough to score in the paint as well.
More important than empty stats in a preseason game is it looks like he belonged and he knew it. I would be pretty surprised to not see him in the Rising Stars game and making an All-Rookie team looks like a reasonable goal. Although Charlotte overall as a franchise has been meh, the last two 1st round draft picks they've used seems to have worked out well.
submitted by FlynnPatrick to u/FlynnPatrick [link] [comments]

/r/NBA 2017 Atlantic Division Breakdown: Boston Celtics

Stole some formatting sections from previous posts.

Boston Celtics

Team Overview
Subreddit: /BostonCeltics
Arena: TD Garden
Attendance: 18,533 (12th)
Division: Atlantic (Eastern Conference)
2016-17 Record: 53-29
2016-17 Playoff Record: 9-9
Head Coach: Brad Stevens, 4th year (166-162)
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Young, Jay Larranaga, Jerome Allen, Micah Shrewsberry, Walter McCarty
GM: Danny Ainge
Assistant GM: Mike Zarren
Owner: Wyc Grousbeck & Steve Pagliuca
2016-2017 TEAM
Player Pos Team State with Team
4 Isaiah Thomas PG Traded to for Kyrie Irving
0 Avery Bradley SG Traded to for Marcus Morris
99 Jae Crowder SF Traded to for Kyrie Irving
42 Al Horford C Signed for 4-y$113M in 2016
36 Marcus Smart PG/SG $4.5M team option taken in 2015, expiring
9 Kelly Olynyk PF/C Signed with in free agency
90 Amir Johnson C/PF Signed with 76ers in free agency
7 Jaylen Brown SF 3rd pick rookie scale contract until 2020
12 Terry Rozier PG/SG 16th pick rookie scale contract until 2019
8 Jonas Jerebko PF Signed with in free agency
30 Gerald Green SG/SF Signed with in free agency
44 Tyler Zeller C signed with in free agency
6 James Young SG/SF Unsigned in free agency
55 Jordan Mickey PF signed with in free agency
9 Demetrius Jackson PG Signed two-way contract with
Click # for Twitter // Starters in bold // Players leaving struck-out
General Team Stats Rank Stat
PTS/Game 7th 108
Pts Allowed 16th 105.4
Differential 7th 2.6
3PA/Game 3rd 33.4
3P% 14th .359
Rebound/Game 26th 42
Assists/Game 4th 25.2
Advanced Rank Stat
Ortg 7th 111.2
Drtg 13th 108.4
Pace 12th 96.8

2016-2017 Season Recap

Regular Season

The start of the 2016 season was filled with injuries. In the 3rd game of the season, newly acquired free agent Al Horford suffered a concussion that sat him out from November 2nd until November 18th. The game after that, Jae Crowder suffered an ankle sprain that took him out until the 18th. Horford missed 9 games, Jae missed 8, and in total the team went 4-5 in that span. After Al and Jae returned to the lineup, the Celtics went 7-3 until Isaiah Thomas suffered a groin injury two weeks later. :eyes: That only put him out for 4 games where the team went 1-3. Shortly after, Avery Bradley went down with an achilles injury that sidelined him for 22 games. Despite the injury to a key starting guard, IT4 transformed into a superstar and carried the team.
Isaiah’s national rise into stardom happened over the next 25 games. He changed from the plucky undersized guard into a lethal scoring assassin that played his best when it mattered. The Celtics went 18-6 and Isaiah led the way with insane efficiency and volume. In this span, he averaged 33 points, 3 rebounds, and 6.5 assists a game with shooting splits of .505/.421/.943 and an unreal TS% of .670. Isaiah was getting to the line nearly 9 times a game in this span and was still shooting nearly 10 3-pointers a game. He was lethal from all over the floor, scoring 40+ five times (44, 52, 41, 41, and 44 points) and 35+ six other times. He earned himself the nickname The King in the 4th as he shot teams out of the arena in crunch time after crunch time. At a point in mid-January, he was averaging 13.6 PPG in the 4th quarter including that time he dropped 29 of his 52 points in the 4th quarter against the Heat.
The white-hot streak unoficially ended with four wins in the midst of a 7 game win streak. Isaiah dropped 37, 41, 44, and 38 points as he led the team to the All Star break with a record of 37-20.
Things kept humming along after the All Star break. Avery Bradley came back, but Isaiah Thomas’ franchise record of 47 consecutive 20+ point games ended against the Hawks in late February. Almost every game the Celtics played in was close, coming down to crunch time in the 4th quarter. Isaiah Thomas and the rest of the team had learned how to operate in close, late games and it showed. The Celtics cruised into the playoffs on a 3 game winning streak, going 15-7 in their last 22 games, and grabbing the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference. They were to be matched up with the 8th seeded Chicago Bulls.


Eastern Conference 1st Round vs Chicago Bulls - Won in 6 Games
Just a day before the Celtics tipped off for Game 1 of the 1st Round, they learned of the tragic death of Isaiah Thomas’ younger sister, Chyna. Support for Isaiah flooded in from around the league, as the news circulated. Despite the tough emotional toll, Isaiah Thomas suited up for the series.
Game 1 was close and hard-fought throughout. As the teams went into the 4th, the game was tied but the role players on the Bulls defied the odds and played remarkably well on the road. The Celtics lost by 4 with Isaiah Thomas playing through the tragedy and dropping 33/6/6 on 10/18 FG (3/7 3PT, 10/12 FT). Game 2, Rondo turned the tables and morphed into what we know as “National TV Rondo.” He played 40 minutes, finishing with a statline of 11 points, 9 rebounds, 14 assists, and 5 steals with only 3 turnovers. He posted a game-high +24 and the series was looking pretty bad at this point. Rondo pretty much knew the playbook and had the Celtics figured out. The Bulls lead 2-0 and were headed home.
Before game 3, news broke (no pun intended) that Rondo had broken his right thumb but was still trying to play Game 3. Rondo ultimately couldn’t make it back, Jimmy Butler looked hobbled, and the Celtics handled business in Chicago and finished the series at home in 6 games.
Eastern Conference Semi-Finals vs Washington Wizards - Won in 7 Games
Public opinion going into this series was that the teams were nearly equally matched. The Wizards had more talent in their starting 5, but the Celtics had the Wizards very outmatched in depth. The series went 7 games and showed how important home court advantage was in playoff basketball. Over the 7 games, the Celtics had an average margin of victory of 13.5 points and the Wizards were even better with 15.6 points.
The Isaiah Thomas and John Wall match-up was what drove this series though.
In game 1, Isaiah Thomas made a play on the pass from behind Porter when he took an elbow to the mouth. His tooth flew to the floor, he grabbed it, hit back-to-back 3 pointers, and finished the game with 33 points in a 12 point victory. Game 2, we saw what is dubbed The Tooth Game. After two days of dental surgery between Game 1 and Game 2, Isaiah Thomas took to the court and looked better than ever. In a game that went to overtime, Isaiah Thomas scored 29 of his career high 53 points in the 4th quarter and overtime!
Home court told the story from here on out, the Wizards blowing the Celtics away in Washington in games 3 and 4, and the Celtics winning dominantly back in Boston for game 5. Game 6 was in Washington and the Celtics flipped the script, keeping it close late into the 4th quarter. With 7.7 seconds left, the Celtics were up 91-89 with the Wizards inbounding. John Wall ran from the right corner, getting the pass. Wall hit Bradley with two left hand dribble hesitations before pulling up in his face for the contested game winner.
The Celtics took the series back home for Game 7, the Cleveland Cavaliers waiting for their Eastern Conference Finals opponent. The first half was close, Washington leading 55 to 53, but the Celtics broke it open in the second half. The hero of the night was Kelly Olynyk, who dropped 26 points, 14 of which came in the 4th quarter.
Eastern Conference Finals - Lost in 5 Games
We'll keep this one short for a reason. The Celtics were outmatched despite coming into the series with home court advantage. After getting routed at home for Games 1 and 2, Isaiah Thomas finally couldn’t play anymore. His hip was hampering his ability to be the Superstar scorer we knew he was. Rumors of him aggravating it after Game 6 in Washington surfaced and he sat out for what would be the end of his Boston Celtics career.
The only game worth mentioning in this 4-1 series loss is Game 3. A Thomas-less Celtics team was going to Cleveland after suffering an embarrassing 44 point loss at home. At the start, this game looked like all the rest. At one point, the Cavaliers took a 21 point lead and even at halftime, the Celtics went in losing by 16 points. In the second half, we witnessed what Marcus Smart could be, as he led the comeback with his hustle, defense, and streaky 3 point shooting. This was topped off with Avery Bradley’s heart-stopping game winner. Although Bradley won the game, Smart was the star of the night, finishing the game with 27 points (8/14 FG, 7/10 3PT, 4/6 FT), 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. The Celtics went on to lose the next two games pretty badly, but the team had exceeded expectations for the year. The fans were (mostly) satisfied and we moved on to the draft and free agency with high expectations.


Key Trades

  • The Celtics 1st overall pick via () in the 16-17 Draft was traded to for the 3rd overall pick and the 2018 1st Round Draft pick. If the pick lands anywhere besides the 2-5 range, it instead becomes the 2019 1st Round pick, top 1 protected. If this doesn't convey, the pick will convey as 2019 1st Round pick.
  • Avery Bradley was traded to for Marcus Morris.
  • Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, 2018 1st Round Pick, & 2020 2nd Round Pick were traded to for Kyrie Irving.

Key Additions

Players Pos From/Prev Team Acquisition Details
- Draft -
0 Jayson Tatum SF #3 Pick (Duke)
37 Semi Ojeleye PF #37 Pick (SMU)
45 Kadeem Allen G #53 Pick (Arizona)
26 Jabari Bird G #56 Pick (Cal)
- Free Agency -
11 Kyrie Irving PG Traded from 3 y$60.3m; PO
20 Gordon Hayward SF Signed as FA for 4 y$128m; PO
13 Marcus Morris PF Traded from , 2 y$10.4m
46 Aron Baynes C Signed as FA for 1 y$4.3m
Guerschon Yabusele PF Signed after season overseas
27 Daniel Theis PF (Brose Bamberg; Germany) Signed for 2 yr, 18-19 non-guaranteed
8 Shane Larkin PG (Baskonia; Spain) Signed 1 y$1.5m
28 Abdel Nader SG (Maine Red Clawns; G-League) Signed 4 yrs, terms not disclosed

Projected Depth Chart

Pos 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
PG Kyrie Irving Marcus Smart Shane Larkin
SG Jaylen Brown Terry Rozier Abdel Nader
SF Gordon Hayward Jayson Tatum
PF Marcus Morris Guerschon Yabusele Daniel Theis Semi Ojeleye
C Al Horford Aron Baynes

2017-18 Season Prediction 51-31

Betting lines put the Celtics around 55-27, but being realistic you need to look at the roster turnover. Al Horford is the only starter coming back from last year. Marcus Smart (now the longest tenured Celtic), Terry Rozier, and Jaylen Brown are the only other players from the Eastern Conference Finals 1st seed team returning. Despite the crazy increase in talent, most conservative estimates would put the Celtics somewhere around the 50 to 53 win mark.

Roster Breakdown


G: Kyrie Irving
After requesting a trade from Cleveland, Kyrie Irving is looking to stake his claim as “The Man” of a Championship team. Since landing in Boston, he’s expressed interest in Brad Stevens’ motion offense and the Celtics team culture. Coming off a career season statistically, Uncle Drew is looking to take on the role of a more traditional point guard by showcasing his potentially hidden playmaking abilities. He’s got big shoes to fill after Isaiah Thomas and his 29 PPG left in the trade.
  • Increase from his 25 PPG average last year. This team needs his scoring and he’ll need to show that he can consistently do that as a first option.
  • Stay efficient as a scorer. Finished at .580 TS% last year, but can hopefully push himself closer to the elites at .600 TS%.
  • Get to the line more. Kyrie only got to the line 4.6 times a game last year. As a 91% shooter, more free throws is better efficiency.
  • Less ball-stopping and more ball movement. As a secondary playmaker last season, Kyrie averaged just under 6 assists a game. As the true point of the team, Kyrie is expected to have a modest increase in assist numbers.
  • More consistent effort on defense. Brad Stevens loves having a hard-nosed defensive identity and Kyrie has shown that he is more than capable of that in his Finals appearances.
G/F: Jaylen Brown
Coming off a modest but promising rookie season, Jaylen Brown is looking to capitalize his place as a key player of the future for this team. With Avery Bradley gone and Smart content to lead the bench, Jaylen is looking to be the starting shooting guard this season. The soon-to-be 21 year old spent all summer tightening his handles, honing in his jump shot, and building up strength to combine with his already elite athleticism. His motor is off the charts and he’s looking to become the lockdown defender this team lost last year.
  • Defend the better of the two opposing guards. Jaylen will have to be the main defender as the starting shooting guard. He has the lateral quickness, legth, focus and hustle to do it.
  • Stay consistent as a shooter. Jaylen shot 34% from deep last year and his mechanics looked solid. He was especially good from the corner, shooting 43%. He needs to continue to hit those open looks to be even more dangerous when attacking.
  • Attack closeouts. Last year Jaylen struggled to attack closeouts due to his loose handles, but he’s spent a lot of the summer working on it. Evolving from a straight line driver to a true, deadly slasher takes handles and he can hopefully show signs of that. He’s already a capable finisher at the rim.
  • Start to operate as the ball handler in a pick and roll. We haven’t seen Jaylen do this much yet, but it’s something that he should start to work on. Being able to come off and shoot a mid-ringe off the dribble or handoff would do wonders to his offensive game and he’s shown flashes as a capable midrange scorer.
  • Use his athleticism. Jaylen needs to keep taking advantage of his natural bounce by attacking the rim hard. He needs to stay aggressive by trying to dunk on guys, but should continue to attempt acrobatic lay ups.
F: Gordon Hayward
The Celtics managed to snag the prized free agent for another year, grabbing All Star Gordon Hayward for a max contract during the summer. After leaving the Jazz to reuinite with his former college coch in Boston, Gordon is looking to be the 1b (or 1a, depending on who you ask) to Kyrie Irving on a team with high expectations. He’s a complete player who is better than average in almost all facets of the game.
  • Look for his shot more often. Gordon averaged 22 PPG last season, but in a potent offensive system that plays at a faster pace he should be looking to increase that number. He’s a good shooter all around and should be able to capitalize in a five-out spread system.
  • Operate in the post more. The Celtics offense will force a lot of switches and mismatches on the perimeter. Gordon needs to leverage his size to get better at posting up smaller defenders in the high and low post.
  • Facilitate more as a primary ball handler. Gordon will probably see a lot more work in the pick and roll as a ballhandler this season than last. His assist averages should go up and he is a more than capable passer.
  • Stay consistent on the defensive end. Playing in a great defensive system in Utah should help quell the possible shortcomings of a three wing system. His ability to switch onto bigger or smaller defenders is vital.
F: Marcus Morris
Marcus Morris was acquired in a trade involving Avery Bradley in the offseason, and he’s looking to be one of the best “LeBron stoppers”out there.
  • Make an impact as rebounder. Marcus Morris showed he was more than capable to pick up the slack on the glass when former teammate Andre Drummond was on the bench. He is a physical player and needs to utilize that when he’s in.
  • Look to move the ball more. As Zach Lowe put it, Morris sometimes goes into “Mini Melo” mode. Jab steps and isolation moves are things he likes to do but to integrate into the offense properly, he’ll need to stop that and swing the ball on the perimeter.
  • Improve spot up shooting. Morris is a decent 3 point shooter who had a down season, but he needs to keep on taking them when open. If he can increase from his career 3P% of .355 to something closer to .375, he’d open up a lot more of his midrange and post game.
  • Be able to play a small ball 5 in short stints. Stevens loves small lineups and Morris has the reboudning and physicality to test it. He’ll need to be able to defend physical players like LeBron and Draymond Green. He’ll also need to be versatile enough to do the same against real centers for a few minutes too.
C: Al Horford
Coming off a personally great postseason, Al Horford is ready to direct the offense as the undercover playmaker and stretch 5.
  • Continue to facilitate out of the high and low post. Al Horford averaged a career high 5 APG last season and was the catalyst to the fantastic ball movement whenever he was out there. Dribble handoffs and solid picks will open up every shooter and playmaker on the floor with him and he’ll find them every time.
  • Keep on shooting 3s. Horford has seriously rasied his volume from beyond the past few seasons and he’s hits them at a more than serviceable rate. The corners will be as open as ever this season so he should capitalize from out there when it’s open.
  • Be physical when working in the post offensively. Horford doesn’t draw many fouls, only shooting 2 a game last season. He gets his shot off and usually does it with minimal contact, but he should look to take it harder to the basket to help his FG% which suffered a bit last year.
  • Box out. Horford has never been an amazing rebounder, but he has times where he can do it. He needs to dedicate himself to boxing out the biggest guy on the court so his plethora of wings can swoop in for the actual rebound.


G: Marcus Smart
Coming into the his contract season down 20 pounds with a fixed jumpshot (we’ll see), Marcus Smart is looking to be the tone setter off the bench. He personifies the defensive identity of the team with his versatility, communication, and skill.
  • Improve his shooting. Smart shot an abysmal split of .359/.283/.812 and he wasn’t afraid to shoot. He has supposedly fixed his jumpshot over the off-season, so improvements into near league average splits would be huge. The hope is that he can shoot close to 40% from the field and maybe approach 33% from deep.
  • Facilitate as the main playmaker of a lineup. Smart has shown that he can handle and dish it in the halfcourt. He should operate a lot in the pick and roll, looking to the wings first before making a play on his own though.
  • Continue to be a lockdown defender. Down weight, Smart now has the quickness, strength, and versatility to switch onto many premiere wing players. He’s shown stints of guarding some small power forwards in the past and his bulldog mentality won’t stop him from doing that again and succeeding.
G/F: Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum comes to the Celtics as a 3rd overall pick who has been compared to The Truth himself, Paul Pierce. He has isolation skills, decent shooting, and great length.
  • Acquiring consistent NBA 3 point range. In practice,Tatum has shown that he is capable of hitting 3 pointers, winning a 3 point challenge between teammates more than once. Getting used to the length of NBA defenders will take some adjusting, but he should be able to shoot at least around league average by the end of the year.
  • Bulking up to be a more effective defender. Right now Tatum can be pushed around on the perimeter and in the post. He can make up for some of it with his great length, but if he wants to be average or better, he needs to get stronger.
C: Aron Baynes
Aron Baynes, the Aussie center, came over in free agency, bringing some physicality and presence in the paint. Championship winner with Greg Popovich as his coach.
  • Be the presence inside that the Celtics lacked last season. Baynes will be expected to be the primary rebounder and rim protector whenever he is on the court. He’ll match up with true centers when Horford is mismatched or out.
  • Stay consistent on midrange jump shots. Baynes is a pretty decent jump shooter from 10-16 feet. If he can do that, he’ll be more than serviceable on the offensive end.
  • Move the ball like he has in the Spurs system. He is a capable passer who makes the right play more often than not.
G: Terry Rozier
Drafted two seasons ago with the 16th pick, Terry Rozier is looking to make the leap from mid-late bench guy to 7th man. His athleticism is the main draw, showing promise as a slasher, rebounder, and defender in the guard position. With more minutes coming his way in his third year, this should be the time to prove himself.
  • Become a better finisher in the paint and at the rim. Terry is surprisingly athletic to those who don’t watch the team much. He has shown time and time again that he is more than capable of slashing to the rim, but that’s about where it ends. He struggled the past two seasons to finish what looked like relatively easy and open finishes after getting by his man on the perimeter.
  • Be the secondary playmaking guard when on the court. Terry will be working in the second unit primarily and this should give him plenty of playmaking responsibilities next to Smart. He tends to pound the ball, but his handle is good enough to make some plays for others.
  • Shore up the shooting splits. Terry took almost 2.5 3PA a game last year but only converted on 32% of them. He has a good looking jumper and should hopefully make the leap from .367/.318 splits to something in the ballpark of .425/.360 or so. This should remedy itself by taking good shots and finishing better.
F/C: Guerschon Yabusele
The Dancing Bear! The thicc, French forward was drafted 16th overall in 2016 but was stashed away for a year in China before signing with the team this off-season. Yabusele personifies almost exactly what is a swing/big in the Stevens system. He is undersized for a PF, but has great length, strength, and can shoot.
  • Play spot minutes as a small-ball center. Yabu is a more natural fit at the power forward, but he will more than likely be seeing minutes as a center on this team. His wingspan, weight/strength, and ability to stretch the floor is what Brad Stevens dreams of in his 5-out lineups.
  • Be able to hit the open 3 consistently. Scouting reports and eye test have shown that Yabusele is a pretty good shooter. He shot well when he played overseas and is expected to do the same with open shots at NBA range.
C/F: Daniel Theis
The undersized German center was a surprise signing for many of us this off-season, but he’s surprised after his first preseason game. Only standing at 6’9”, the 25-year-old Euro is ready to show up as a rebounder and floor stretcher while showcasing the occasional blocked shot as well.
  • Bring energy off the bench. Daniel Theis needs to be a high-energy bench guy similar to what Jerebko brought last year. Rebounding, shot blocking, and capable scoring from all around will be his thing.
  • Be a hustle rebounder. This team will probably struggle on the glass again, but Theis is physical and played under the basket a lot in Europe. He said that rebounding is his strength and we’ll need him to back that up.
  • Take the shots when they’re there. He’s showed that he can seemingly hit what is available and efficiently at that. His jump shot looks good as a guy who plays mostly in the paint, extending to near 3-point range. If he can hit those shots at a respectable rate, more minutes could be coming his way.
F: Semi Ojeleye
The 37th pick out of SMU is looking to make a name for himself in the league after impressing the Celtics in the off-season. Standing at 6’7” and 241 pounds, the stout forward brings hard-nosed defense and shooting. He’s another wing who will likely slide up to play at PF under Brad Stevens.
  • Be a physical defender. Losing Jae Crowder will hurt the bulldog mentality of the team, but Semi has the chance to be the next Crowder-like defender. He needs to use his size, strength, and versatility to take on tough matchups and be physical. He’s going to have to be a tone-setter.
  • Hit open three pointers. His jumper has looked great in college and even in the first preseason game. If he can consistently hit at a near 37% clip, he’s going to be a very valuable piece off the bench with minutes there to be earned.
G/F: Abdel Nader
The Egyptian guard/forward, Abdel Nader is coming off a G-League Rookie of the Year award after being drafted 58th by the Celtics in 2016. He’ll be an end of the rotation guy but with the bench young and uncertain, Nader could look to force his way into the rotation.
  • Stay true to his identity as a score first player. Getting noticed will take being the natural scorer he’s shown in the G-League. He can put the ball in the hoop from all over the court and isn’t afraid to pull the trigger when he’s open. He should continue to do that while fitting in to the selfless offense.
  • Adapt to and learn the defensive scheme. This is how the playing time will stick around, especially with how important it is to Stevens. Nader has potential to be another player who can switch, so he needs to showcase the ability to defend 2s and 3s when out there.
G: Shane Larkin
Shane Larkin was the 18th pick in the 2013 Draft but never found continued success in the NBA. After playing for 3 teams in 3 seasons, Larkin looked overseas. After a season on Baskonia under coach and former NBA PG Pablo Prigioni, Larkin is looking to make an NBA comeback.
  • Take on the role of a true point guard when on the floor. In his last NBA season, he was dishing out 4.4 assists a game in only 22 minutes. He has potential on that end and with the guard rotation a little weak this year, he will have his time to showcase that.
  • Be an average offensive player. As far as shooting splits, Larkin wasn’t terrible in his last NBA season. His efficiently left a little something to be desired, but as a quick guard in a fast-paced offense he should see some success here under Stevens. The team likes what he brings and think he could be a benefit as an end of bench guy.

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