Mike Gallagher

NBA Fantasy Trends

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Stats: By the Beard of Zeus

Tuesday, January 03, 2017


There are a lot of Greek mythological creatures from the ancient times. These days, we have a new Greek myth-like creature more powerful than a Minotaur, Medusa and a centaur combined. OK, maybe not, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is taking the NBA by storm and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

 

As most of his fantasy owners know, Giannis is the No. 2 player on the season and has been the top man over the past month. The main reason why we love Antetokounmpo is because he does so many things on the stat sheet this season, averaging 23.8 points, 9.0 boards, 5.9 assists, 1.9 steals, 1.9 blocks and 0.7 treys.

 

Besides that, what has really been impressive for Giannis is how efficient he’s been. Here’s what his shot chart looks like over the last 10 games:

Whew. That’s good for a 65.6 true shooting percentage (TS%) on his 28.7 usage rate for his 27.5 points per game. Obviously he’s been making his money around the rim, but he’s still an above average shooter in that span. In fact, he had a 67.9 effective field goal percentage (eFG%) on his catch-and-shoot attempts over his last 10. When he’s open he’s also turned in a 55.6 eFG%. Last month, Antetokounmpo said that his jumper is the most underrated part of his game and he may have been right. I mean this shot over the weekend was just ridiculous: 

His training is complete and he may be the best statistical player for the next decade. In case you missed his highlight dunk last night, here it is again:

One other interesting trend to tie into the Greek Freak has been Malcolm Brogdon. When Giannis and Brogdon are on the court together, the Bucks have a 18.3 net rating. When Giannis isn’t with Brogdon, he only has a 0.0 net rating. Giannis basically has the same kind of numbers with or without Brogdon regarding his efficiency and usage, as well. 

 

One player who actually likes playing next to Brogdon a lot is Jabari Parker. When Parker is with Brogdon, he has a 59.7 TS% and a 26.3 usage rate. When he’s not with Brogdon, Parker only has a 55.4 TS%, so it makes a lot of sense to keep Brogdon out there with the first unit once Matthew Dellavedova is back. I don’t think Brogdon is going away and he’d be the Rookie of the Year if there wasn’t a 7’2” stud on Philly.

 

As for Brogdon himself, he has been one of the best catch-and-shoot players in the NBA. On his 56 catch-and-shoot attempts this season, he has a 67.0 eFG%. If you added him in fantasy, you should be very happy right now. Summer League matters, you guys.

 

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Don't Touch Jimmy

 

Remember when scoring 50 was hard to do? It seems like we’re getting a new guy every week. Over the weekend, James Harden and Isaiah Thomas each cleared the 50-point plateau, and Jimmy Butler went off for 52 on Monday to be the eighth different player to get to 50. That’s already tied for the most ever in a season and it’s only January 3rd.

 

Butler’s game for 52 was one of the more unique ones for a wing. Butler made just one 3-pointer, but what got him to his 52 was making 21-of-22 from the line. Not coincidentally, the Bulls tend to do better when Jimmy gets to the line more. In wins, he makes 9.3 free throws per game compared to just 7.8 in losses.

 

The Bulls are a complete mess. When things are messy, it’s always best to give your best player the ball as much as possible. Butler’s usage rate is actually higher in losses, so that’s something to keep an eye on. Before Butler’s 52-point game, he was in a mini-slump, but he looks like he’ll bust out plenty of times going forward. Plus, it helps that Dwyane Wade is starting to break down and Rajon Rondo is out of the rotation right now.

 

Tower of Efficiency

 

Rudy Gobert hasn’t dropped 50, but he’s been an incredible weapon on offense. Gobert leads the NBA in TS% with his 70.5 to go with his 15.4 usage rate. In the history of the NBA, only Artis Gilmore has ever hit 70 TS% with a usage rate of at least 15.

 

As you would probably expect, he is doing most of his work around the basket. Here are his shot types this season.

 

 

Dunks and dunks and dunks. Although, Gobert ranks first in the NBA as a roll man wit his 1.6 points per possession on that play — Giannis is actually second at 1.5, by the way (among players with at least 24 possessions in PNR). Gobert has become an elite weapon for his skill set, so he's clearly deserving of an All-Star spot.

 

Gobert is just 0.02 blocks per game behind Anthony Davis for the NBA lead and he’s up to fifth in the NBA for rebounds per game. He's going to be a fantasy stud for a long time.

 

In case you missed the podcast yesterday, check it out here! 



Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.



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