Week 14 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: San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio may be missing Pau Gasol more than everyone anticipated they would. The No. 2 seed in the West has slipped a couple more games away from the Golden State Warriors after losing two extremely winnable games this week. First, they dropped to the 19-29 Pelicans by 16 points after being outscored 34-19 in the closing quarter. Two days later, they suffered a five-point loss to a 17-30 Mavericks club whose leader in minutes were Seth Curry (37 minutes) and Yogi Ferrell (36) after they too outscored the Spurs by eight points in the fourth. And it’s not like the Spurs were resting half of their stars either — they had their whole roster active for those two games (minus Gasol, of course). Certainly a surprising slip-up for a usually very consistent squad.
Stock Up: Washington Wizards
The Wizards did not trail for any second of any game last week until the third quarter on Sunday against the Pelicans… and then a John Wall jump shot got them the lead back for good during the very next possession. That’s how good Wall, Bradley Beal, and co. have been balling lately. They have been able to build leads and better yet, keep them throughout an entire game. This has led to Washington extending their win streak to four games and being the hottest team in basketball since January 6th (11-2).
Stock Down: Milwaukee Bucks
The Deer has not been intimidating anyone lately. Milwaukee has won just two of their last 10, including two losses to the 76ers, a loss to the Magic, and a loss to the Heat. They failed to pick up a win over the last week, and are starting to head back towards their disappointing 33-49 record from last season (although they are still only five games behind .500).
Player Stock Watch
Stock Up: Eric Bledsoe
Bledsoe could have really made it here last week, so when he continued his hot stretch of play I simply could not deny him any longer. He put up a season high 40 points on January 22nd, and then quickly surpassed that six days later with 41. The wealth of this scoring display is coming from the charity stripe, where he has converted on 42 of his 45 free-throw attempts (93%). Don’t think that the Phoenix Suns guard has only been scoring, though. He’s dished out an average of 8.3 assists over his last four games, and chipping in with 4.3 rebounds. Over that span, he is eight in scoring and tenth in assisting teammates in the league.
Stock Down: Hassan Whiteside
His team is thriving, but perhaps that is because Erik Spoelstra and the Miami coaching staff is recognizing that their offense cannot be driven by Whiteside. The Heat big man has had an ongoing ankle injury and over the last three contests that he has played in, is only putting up 8.7 points on a dreadful 34.4% shooting. Against the Brooklyn Nets, a game in which Miami has a huge comeback win, Whiteside was a -30 plus/minus. MINUS THIRTY. In a game that his team won. Talking about being dead weight lately…
Stock Up: Jrue Holiday
It’s nice to see another point guard overcoming a long and tough injury last season to put up huge numbers for their team. Like Bledsoe, Jrue Holiday has been exceptional lately. He is averaging 24 points (59.1% from field, 54.2% from three), 10 assists, 4 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game over his last four matchups. The 54.2% three-point shooting really points to his efficiency over that stretch as well. Holiday led the way to a victory over the Spurs this week, and has New Orleans playing much better basketball lately than they were without him.
Bonus Stock Watch
Stock Up: Stamina
The Hawks and Knicks game went into four overtimes on Sunday. That’s almost like playing six total quarters, or a game and a half.
Paul Millsap played a full hour of basketball – 25 more minutes than his season average – including 35 straight minutes of game play. Melo, Porzingis, Noah, and O’Quinn all fouled out for the Knicks, while two other starters had five. It was a couple minutes away from being a four hour game, yet the players were still putting on a show throughout the fourth overtime. In fact, Brandon Jennings wish they could’ve avoided the loss and played another overtime, saying that he “had another five minutes in [him].” And here I am huffing and puffing after ten minutes of rec ball… props to these players and their stamina!
Stock Down: Banana Boat
The All-Star reserves were announced this week, check out who made the cut:
Your NBA All-Star reserves.
Who got snubbed? pic.twitter.com/NkNwaJNAWL
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 27, 2017
Notice anyone who is not an All-Star for the first time in a longg time? Or maybe a group of people that make up a large portion of a particular NBA crew? A crew that drives a water vehicle that looks like a fruit?
Yes, I’m talking about the Banana Boat Crew of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony. The banana boat is starting to get pretty lonely though, as LeBron was the only All-Star this year. This is quite the downfall for the crew when you think about how CP3 and Melo have both made the team each of the last nine years, and DWade has been in every All-Star game since the 2004-05 season.
Stock Up: Twitter Beef
The Trail Blazers clawed their way past the Grizzlies on Friday night, but the two teams weren’t done duking it out after the final buzzer when two players took to Twitter to battle it out some more. Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons tweeted directly at the Trail Blazers’ twitter account (at least he didn’t subtweet them), wishing them good luck in the lottery show this year. C.J. McCollum fired back with this:
heyyyyyyyy now pic.twitter.com/1eag7olnmh
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) January 28, 2017
Gotta love the NBA Twitter beef. It always makes for good television when they cross paths again.
Cropped photos of Whiteside and Bledsoe from Flickr