Week 11 NBA Stock Watch
This is a brand new (hopefully weekly) segment for the 2016-17 season where we will talk about the highs and the lows of the past week to get a grasp of players and teams’ stock value. Whether you have bet your money on teams or players for this year, want a report for fantasy basketball, or are just emotionally invested, this NBA Stock Watch will have you covered on who’s trending in which direction.
Team Stock Watch
Stock Down: Sacramento Kings
Two weeks ago, the Kings could hide their sub-.500 record under the fact that they were technically a playoff team. After now losing three in a row and five of their last six, Sacramento is once on the outside of the Western Conference Playoffs looking in. Granted they are tied with the eight-seeded Trail Blazers, the Kings can never seem to keep any momentum they get in during the season. Inconsistency, frustration, tough Western Conference match ups, and a potentially lethal team chemistry have reemerged this week to help us remember that Sacramento may indeed just be the same old Kings.
Stock Up: Indiana Pacers
Everyone knew that Indiana was falling short of expectations a couple of weeks ago. Even Paul George admitted how this has been his most frustrating season. Now, they find themselves on a five game winning streak, over .500, and the fifth seed in the East. Although they have had underwhelming competition lately, they still seem to be figuring things out. Offseason pickup Jeff Teague has been coming up huge for Indiana after dragging in the mud out of the gate. Whenever he is playing well, more often than not, so is the whole team.
Stock Down: Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets had a solid start to the season, but have since lost their way. They are currently on a five game losing streak, but their identity seems to be lost too. Other than Nikola Jokic who has been wonderful and maybe Danilo Gallinari, there have been little players showing up for Denver lately. Their backcourt of the future, Emmanual Mudiay and Jamal Murray, have combined for an average of 9 points in 44.2 minutes over the last three games, shooting horrific in the process. They are playing some young players a lot while keeping the leash tight on others, while also giving solid playing time to some older, less promising guys on their roster. I don’t really get it, but maybe they will begin playing those youngsters more as their record continues to fall.
Player Stock Watch
Stock Up: Stephen Curry
Remember him? Anyone?
It’s crazy how little attention Steph Curry is getting this season after being the top headline in the NBA on a nightly basis. The 28-year old hasn’t been nearly as jaw-dropping in 2016-17, largely due to the mere fact that he doesn’t have to be. Curry reminded us why he had the whole world talking about him last year during his last three performances. He totaled 35, 40, and 30 points in those games, while also adding a total of 16 assists and 14 rebounds. This is only his second time scoring 30-points in three straight, something that seemed to occur on a nightly basis last year. On top of this, Curry has had some flashy plays this week, another thing that we used to see on Sports Center every morning.
Stock Down: DeMarcus Cousins
Boogie hasn’t been his dominant self through this past week, averaging 10 points under his season average of 28.1 points per game. The Kings big man has been shooting just 37.8% from the field and 26.7% from three. He has been putting up his normal rebound numbers, and a decent amount of assists (16 this week), but at the expense of 12 turnovers. Boogie trying to do too much has resulted in inefficient basketball and three straight losses for Sacramento.
Stock Up: Jeff Teague
As mentioned, Teague has been a big part in the Pacers success over the past week or two. The former Atlanta Hawk is not only out of his slump (he was a Stock Down early in the season), but playing some of his best basketball as of late. Teague has put up 19 points on 18/28 shooting (64%) and 5/6 from downtown, 10.3 assists, and 4.7 boards in his his last three outings, one of which was a 21/15/7 performance against Brooklyn.
Bonus Stock Watch
Stock Down: Layups
Three-pointers have been becoming more and more prevalent every year, especially in the last three seasons. This has led to less mid-rangers and shots in the paint, but hasn’t been too harmful to the traditional layup since layups are still such an effective (and usually easy) way to score the ball — until now. E’Twaun Moore of the New Orleans Pelicans passed up a nearly wide open layup for a three-pointer that wasn’t even that open:
— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) January 9, 2017
Only in today’s NBA game are somewhat contested threes > open layups.
Stock Up: Trolling
I really don’t know what else to call this. Zaza Pachulia collecting the second most All-Star votes in the Frontcourt for the Western Conference after the first voting results came back simply must be from Twitter trolls continuously voting for him. Either that or all of the die-hard, more often than not bandwagoning Warriors fans are exploiting the horrendous NBA All-Star voting system that is fan voting through social media. I mean, I guess they would still be considered trolls for doing this, especially since Zaza got more votes than fellow frontcourt starter Draymond Green. Anyway, I don’t need to tell you that there are a lot more deserving names:
How did All-Star voters do in the Western Conference frontcourt (cough Zaza cough)? These are the top 10 vote-getters: pic.twitter.com/NFOilr431R
— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) January 5, 2017
Damn you, Twitter trolls!
Stock Down: Acting Tough
Goron Dragic tried so hard to be a tough guy. I mean, he really did. After some contact on a screen, Dragic tried to (key words right there) push into Jordan Clarkson, who hardly seemed effected by it. When Dragic tried a second time, he got tossed like a dog damn salad:
— Hector (@iamHectorDiaz) January 7, 2017
To make it even better, it was equally entertaining when Clarkson squared up on him afterwards:
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) January 7, 2017
If you’re gonna act tough, at least don’t let yourself get humiliated this bad! Sheesh.
Cropped photo of Cousins and Curry via Flickr