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Stephen Curry is still lights out. And when I say lights out I mean 27 points, 4 threes, 3.25 boards, 6 assists, and 1.5 steals on 54% from the floor and 100% from the line in his 4 games in week 18. One of the coolest stats I saw the other day for Curry and that I continue to keep an eye on, is games with 5+ assists and 5+ threes. Right now Curry sits at 59 for his career which is the best all-time by a significant margin besting guys like Ray Allen, Tim Hardaway, Nick Van Exel, Mookie Blaylock, Steve Nash, Jamal Crawford, etc; A list of insanely good guards throughout the years. What’s even crazier is he has 11 on the season (and counting) and is only 26 years old.
_Chris Pau_l has also quietly stepped up his game. While he’s already ranked inside the top 5, he’s increased his season value 52% over the last week (4 games) by being a monster in the efficiency stats (55% from the floor, 88% from the line, and only 2 TOs per game). His assist to TO ratio of 6.125 over this time period is amazing and unheard of. His scoring also has increased with quite a few injuries on Clippers of late, but what I find most intriguing is that a guy who’s typically a steals machine is just ho-hum over the last week (1 per game) and if he can get anywhere close to his career average (2.4) he’s almost unstoppable. On a related note Chris Paul only has 8 games in his career of 5+ assists and 5+ threes in a game.
Serge Ibaka is the final stud worth discussing. He was off to kind of an odd slow start and a lot of people early on had issues drafting him despite Durant being out because he really hampers drafts when he only contributes to a few categories. But now he’s turning into that efficient big man who’s realizing inside moves and a mid-range jumper are much more helpful than jacking threes. What’s to like moving forward is OKC still trying hard to not only stay in the playoffs, but possibly move up or even fall out. Couple that with Ibaka’s good health and you’ll be in for continued nice stats. Oh, he also shot 92% from the line last week which is insane for a guy who was part of the FT% tank just 2-3 years ago (he’s at .835 on the season as a whole). Double double big men who can block aren’t necessarily that hard to find, but 17, 10, 2.75 blocks on 51% from the floor, 92% from the line, and .75 TOs over his last 4 game is almost unheard of. His block and FT value combined over that time are best in the league.
As a guy who plays exclusively H2H now, one thing I don’t like is players who are trending the wrong way. Enter Nikola Vucevic. Still currently ranked 22 overall in Yahoo because of an overall balanced line, Vuc’s efficiency stats have been treading the wrong way from almost day one. His minutes have actually increased modestly as well, which is typically a good thing but not here. Last week in three games his production dropped a whopping 185% and that’s with averaging 19 points and 10.5 boards. The issue with him was the overall lack of assists, steals, and blocks coupled with poor TOs. If you guys never read any of Matt Buser’s comments on the Eddy Curry Line I hope you google it, but essentially as a basketball player who actually plays, you don’t want to average more TOs than assists, steals, and blocks combined. Vuc over his past 3 averaged 3.01 combined assists, steals, and blocks and 3.67 TOs. Oh, did I mention he can’t hit FTs anymore and Orlando’s H2H schedule is terrible?
The Gasol brothers also have more than a last name in common; they all both stunk. That’s harsh, just played pretty poorly compared to their awesome seasons that let’s face it none of us predicted, but are now accustomed to and need. In Pau’s defense he was battling sickness and DeAndre Jordan is a beast (limited to 2 of 13 shooting) but 43% and 67% from the floor and line respectively isn’t helping anyone. Joakim Noah starting to round into form also seems to be taking away Pau’s assist numbers which isn’t doing him any favors. Marc Gasol in the same mold really struggled from the line last week in 4 games by only making 64% of his shots and also turned the ball over a ton, 3.75 times per game to be exact, the same number of assists per game. Again it’s not so much that Marc or Pau were terrible, we’ve just gotten used to a certain lifestyle and taking that away from us might cause riots. Both Gasoli dropped off around 120% in production.
Rudy Gay is the my last dud for the week and he’s another one who’s Yahoo rank is pretty high, but has turned into almost exclusively a high volume scorer balanced out either by hitting threes or shooting a ton. Remember the good old Rudy Gay days when 1 three, 1 steal, and 1 block was achievable? Only 21 players have ever averaged 1+ in each of those categories and Rudy Gay was one of them. Now he can’t block a single shot in 3 games last week and .67 steals and .67 threes isn’t helping much either. Sure the 22+ points per game was nice but that 8 TO game and more TOs total than assists isn’t so hot. (Note: both Danny and Draymond are part of the 1+ club based on their current seasons.)