Week 15 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 Up: Boston Celtics
For the first time since the Big Three era in 2011, the Celtics are the No. 2 seed in the East. Riding a seven-game win streak, the clovers have Isaiah Thomas playing out of his mind and their youngsters (Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier) providing reliable services as they continue to develop. They are shooting a ton of three-pointers and are near the top of the league in passes per game, a deadly combination. Boston not only has a comfortable two-game lead on the next closest East team, but they are also just two and a half behind the Cavaliers sitting at the No. 1 spot.
Stock Down: Charlotte Hornets
It’s a game of streaks. At the other end of the spectrum that Boston’s on, Charlotte has lost seven in a row. Albeit they have had a couple of tough matchups against the Warriors (twice) and Jazz, Buzz City also got stung by the Trail Blazers, Kings, and Knicks. This franchise was finally heading in the right direction over the last two years after making the playoffs in 2016 and actually winning one of those games for the first time since 2002. Now, their seven straight losses have sunk them five games under .500.
Stock Up: Miami Heat
They were here two weeks ago for their modest four-game win streak that seemed very impressive at the time. Now, they have won seven additional contests in a row to extend their streak to 11. The Heat are officially the hottest team in the NBA, despite their near collapse against the TWolves on Monday night. The next closest active win streak is seven for the formerly mentioned Boston Celtics. If Goron Dragic, Dion Waiters, Hassan Whiteside, and company keep up this hot streak, they will be back in a playoff spot in no time — they are only two games out right now.
Player Stock Watch
Stock Up: Isaiah Thomas
The little guy has been nominated for seven straight Player of the Week awards, and finally took one home this week for leading the league in scoring as of late. His last five games have been something else, as he has registered 37, 41, 44, 38, and now 28 points on efficient shooting. His fourth quarter performances have become must-see-tv. He is above and beyond the best closer in the league this year, both scoring and efficiency wise. It’s no surprise that Isaiah has Boston’s offense humming lately.
Stock Down: Reggie Jackson
Jackson was supposed to be a game-changer for a Detroit basketball club that really needed a playmaker. However, the Pistons point guard has had a limited presence on the court — especially over his last three contests coming into Monday night. Over that time, he averaged 8.3 fewer points (just 7.7) than his season average and shot an atrocious 29% from the field and 12% from downtown. To make matters worse, sources have said that Detroit is trying to trade Jackson to “anyone who will take him.” This may only be a rumor, but you hate to see your name popping up in trade talks like that. Jackson took a step in the right direction on Monday when he put up 14 points and six assists against the Sixers, but still only shot 4-12 from the field and 2-7 from deep.
Jackson took a step in the right direction on Monday when he put up 14 points and six assists against the Sixers, but still only shot 4-12 from the field and 2-7 from deep.
Stock Up: Blake Griffin
I know that his team has been sucking with him as the featured player, but Blake is back to doing Blake things. He just posted a triple-double in his sixth game back from injury for the first time since the 2014 Playoffs. The Clippers star has averaged 27.5 points, 8.8 boards, and 5.5 assists over his last four games. His full explosiveness isn’t back quite yet, but he was still able to have one of his signature vicious dunks against the Warriors. Also, his shot has been falling — Over those four games, Blake has shot 56% from the field and even extended his range on Monday night to hit two of his three attempts from behind the arc. Now just start adding some wins to those nice statlines!
Bonus Stock Watch
Stock Up: 10-Day Contracts
Did anyone know who Yogi Ferrell was a week ago? Do you even know who he is now?
The only reason I knew his name is from when I watched him a bit in college while he was at Indiana. But even I had no idea that the Mavericks signed him to a 10-day contract when I witnessed what he did against Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard. The six-foot guard posted 19 points in a win verse the Cavs, and then 32 points in a win against Portland in a game that he shot 9-11 from three. For these heroics, the 23-year-old turned a 10-day contract into a two-year deal with Dallas. It’s safe to say that his 10-day contract worked out pretty well for both parties.
Stock Down: Movie Scripts
If I was doing this weekly blog during last year, Kobe’s unreal farewell game in LA would’ve generated this same stock name. This time, it was Paul Pierce who capped off his awesome career with the Boston Celtics by turning back the clock during the final seconds (certainly not to the scale that Kobe did, but still). You really couldn’t have written it up any better:
— NBA (@NBA) February 5, 2017
When I see sports movies that aren’t documentaries, it does absolutely nothing for me. I don’t need to see a scripted movie that ends with a fairytale ending when that kind of stuff happens naturally in sports. Pierce hadn’t attempted a three since New Year’s Eve. He hadn’t actually made one since Christmas day. Yet, he came off the bench with 20 seconds left, launched a three for the first time in 36 days, and drilled it. You can’t make that shit up.
Stock Up: Illusions
The basketball played tricks on everyone’s eyes Thursday night when Trevor Ariza’s late game three-point shot looked to have gone in:
— Doctor NBA (@DoctorNBA) February 3, 2017
I saw this live and 100% believed it went in, which made me very confused when Bazemore held onto the ball and stood under the hoop for a second. Clearly, the fans thought the shot went in too (which only further convinced me that he made the shot). Luckily for me, I had no preference on who won that game. For Houston fans on the other hand? That’s rough.
Follow Erik on Twitter: @erikjohnson32
Cropped photo of Thomas by Maddie Meyer
Cropped photo of Jackson by B. Sevald