Week 18 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: New Orleans Pelicans
“Golden State versus New Orleans is going to be a great first-round playoff series! The Warriors better watch out!”
Yea, umm, maybe people should reevaluate their Pelican hype. They now have an amazing pair of the Brow and Boogie but before you can talk about a potential playoff matchup with the Warriors, you kind of have to win some games and make the playoffs first. Since pulling the trigger on the blockbuster deal that brought DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, they have gone 0-3 even with some crazy stat lines from Davis and Cousins. They got blown out by the Rockets in their debut together, lost by 13 to the Mavericks (which dropped the Pels behind them in the standings), and then fell to the Thunder by eight. In that OKC defeat, New Orlean’s All-Star frontcourt combined for 69 points, yet still found themselves in the loss column. To rub salt in the wound, Cousins picked up his 18th technical foul of the season and will miss their next contest against Detroit. It’s only three games, but it’s not a good sign nonetheless.
Stock Up: Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs were one of the biggest winners at the trade deadline, stealing a talented young piece in Nerlens Noel for basically a heavily protected first-rounder and Justin Anderson (In Philly’s defense, Anderson could be a very nice player for them). That move helps Dallas focus on the future while still having the tools needed to make a run for that No. 8 seed in the West.
Rick Carlisle’s defense continues to be strong, as they have held opponents under 100 points in four straight games now. They held the new-look Pelicans to just 83 points on Saturday and then limited the surging Miami Heat to 89 points on Monday to go on to win both contests. They are sneakily assembling a nice young roster as Seth Curry, Harrison Barnes, Yogi Ferrell, and Noel continue to flash some sporadic star power.
Stock Down: Washington Wizards
Washington came into the break clicking on all cylinders and playing some of the best basketball in the NBA since the new calendar year. They picked up Bogdanovic, a nice scoring piece to help their weak bench, at the trade deadline. Yet, they have dropped back-to-back games since All-Star weekend. One of those losses were to a Joel Embid-less Sixers squad and – similar to the Pelicans – their two stars combined for 69 of their 112 points in the loss. That has got to be a bit alarming.
Player Stock Watch
Stock Up: Gordon Hayward
The first-time All-Star was clearly playing well coming into the break, but he seemed to bring home some extra confidence from New Orleans last weekend. In the two games since, Hayward has hit 22 of 39 shots from the field for 59 points, along with contributing 12 rebounds and six assists. Not only were his stats impressive, but he has been putting everyone in his path on posters this week:
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) February 26, 2017
Yessir! That was nice, but check out his THREE highlight dunks from the other night (two of which on the Greek Freak):
👀 Gordon Hayward dunked on the Greek Freak with authority pic.twitter.com/LCz3fMIFuf
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 25, 2017
White men can’t jump? Try telling that to the rejuvenated Gordan Hayward.
Stock Down: Nikola Jokic
Really, I don’t know what’s up here. Jokic had the world buzzing this season, but has now only put up 16 total points in his last three contests. The strange thing is that he has also only taken 19 shots through those matches. To put that into perspective, Jokic put up 19 shots in his last game before the All-Star break alone. Maybe the addition of fellow big man Mason Plumlee has something to do with it.
The last time he scored less than 10 points in a game was December 23rd — the Nuggets star has now done it in three straight games. The last time Jokic was held under five points was November 13th — he has now done that in two of his last three. See what I mean? Jokic is an incredible talent on the rise though so look for him to snap out of this funk sooner rather than later.
Stock Up: Anthony Davis
I already talked about how the Pelicans aren’t off to a hot start since the All-Star break, but AD is an exception. The All-Star game MVP whose 52 points was an all-time record might as well be playing against the same defense that he was in the All-Star game, because he has been scoring at ease. Davis has been thriving with Boogie Cousins by his side, pouring in 29, 39, and 38 points in the first three games of the Brow-Boogie era in New Orleans. The NOLA big man cannot be stopped lately.
Bonus Stock Watch
Stock Down: Javale McGee
I try to avoid using players’ names in the Bonus Stock Watch to avoid confusion, however I couldn’t avoid it here since this is an off-court matter. Javale McGee and Shaquille O’Neal’s Twitter beef escalated to the point that the Warriors actually contacted TNT to ask for Shaq to lay off McGee. The Warriors big man has been the center (pun intended) of Shaqtin’ a Fool segments and negative coverage by TNT (especially Shaq) for a while, but this Twitter interaction apparently put it over the top:
— Javale McGee (@JaValeMcGee) February 24, 2017
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) February 24, 2017
When Kevin Durant stuck up for his teammate and roasted Shaq a bit, the big man responded:
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) February 24, 2017
Alright, they really let their Twitter fingers go at it. This isn’t even all of the tweets between them, hop on Twitter and check it out for yourself. What really buried McGee though, was when Shaq took it to a whole other level:
— Daric Clemens (@DClemens_) February 24, 2017
It’s DONE. It’s OVER. Shaq: 1; McGee: 0. Luckily for Javale, Shaq’s mom apparently may have her son put an end to the beef…
Stock Up: Rocky the Mascot
The Denver Nugget’s mascot, Rocky, had himself a day on Sunday. For starters, he hit an over-the-head halfcourt shot to help win a Coast Guard serviceman $1400:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 27, 2017
Do you have anything to say for yourself, Steph Curry?? Rocky wasn’t done captivating the crowd yet. Since the Oscars were on that night, he paid tribute to some hit movies:
This is some Grade A mascotting if I’ve ever seen it. He had the ref involved and everything. Well done.
Stock Down: Triple-Double
This season is on pace for the most triple-doubles in league history, so don’t misinterpret what I mean here. When I say triple double’s stock is down, it’s cause Dwyane Wade got one taken right out of his hands Saturday night. Like, it was literally taken right out of his hands:
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) February 26, 2017
How about that face Wade made looking back at Cristiano Felicio though?! Too funny. The sophomore should’ve known better than to steal a triple-double from his veteran. Felicio felt bad after the game:
I did not know!! 😔
— Felicio (@IamFelicio) February 26, 2017
DWade (although he admitted he was ‘heated’ on his Snapchat) affirmed it was all good:
No worries big fella. Let's keep rolling! https://t.co/coc1PwDV9y
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) February 26, 2017
Cropped photo of Hayward and Jokic from @utahjazz and @nuggets