Week 23 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: Orlando Magic
Well, for one thing, Orlando took a massive L on Monday night…but we will get to that soon in the Bonus Stock Watch. On the court too, though, the Magic haven’t really been any better. Just like our former two teams, the Magic have had the same result in each of their last four games. Of course, they are on the wrong end of that result. Yup, four straight losses. Frank Vogel’s troops have not been able to close out games do not know how to close out games
Frank Vogel’s troops have not been able to close out games. They were tied with Brooklyn going into the fourth quarter when they were then outscored by 10. They had many opportunities to finish off Boston, but failed to convert and fell by one point. They watched Russell Westbrook bully his way to an overtime win after outscoring Orlando by 10 in the final quarter. These guys just can’t get it done right now, which is maybe why they are very eager to make some moves in the offseason…but again, we’ll get to that soon.
Stock Up: Chicago Bulls
I don’t know what to think about this team anymore. They are 4-0 against the Cavaliers this season, yet continuously fall to bottom-tier teams like the Sixers and Magic. Right now just so happens to be one of the good stretches for Chicago basketball, as they have won their last four straight contests. Not only did they overcome a 9-point halftime deficit to the reigning champs to beat them for the fourth time, but they also showed up to play in their two following games. The Bulls came back against Atlanta and then resisted Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins’ interior presence in New Orleans.
Remember when everyone trashed Chicago for not having any outside shooting? Or maybe that was mostly just me? Either way, that hasn’t been an issue at all for them in the second half of the season and this past week especially. Windy City is leading the league in three-point percentage over the last three games, shooting 45.7%. This while making the sixth most threes over that time. I definitely didn’t see this coming!
Stock Down: Indiana Pacers
On paper, the Pacers have one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. As Paul George can attest to, though, the team just doesn’t want it enough. Effort and passion will trump talent nine times out of ten, and this Indiana squad is showing why. In their epic double-overtime loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday night, George scored 19 of his team’s 26 total points in the overtimes. That’s pretty alarming.
Chicago’s four-game win streak and Indiana’s four-game losing streak have switched the table for those two respective clubs in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.
Player Stock Watch
Stock Up: Rajon Rondo
Retro Rondo has come out to play! Rajon is doing it all to help push his Chicago Bulls back into a playoff spot (for now, at least). The skilled-passing point guard dished out 15 assists in a win over Cleveland and registered 25 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists against the Hawks. He is making classic Rondo plays like this dime to Denzel Valentine:
— NBA (@NBA) March 31, 2017
Over his last three, Rondo is .3 rebounds short of averaging a triple double. His play may be prolonging his and his team’s season.
Stock Down: James Harden
It was a tough week for the Beard. After strong play all year long, and then a ridiculous stretch in March, Harden has come back down to Earth — and then some. The MVP candidate got suffocated by the Warriors defense twice since last Tuesday, shooting a combined 9/38 from the floor, or 24%. He was 3/18 from deep in those two games as well. Even the game in between, against the Portland Trail Blazers, was an off night for Harden, as he was just 11/30 on the game and 2/13 from three. He also had a season-low four assists with six turnovers in that contest.
These low shooting numbers are likely due to a mix of playing the Warriors stringent defense two times, and the Beard’s lingering left wrist injury. Speaking of which, he had to miss Sunday’s matchup with the Suns because of the injury. Not a good time for the Rockets stud to be injured or off his game.
Stock Up: DeMarcus Cousins
It took some time, but Boogie Cousins is feeling comfortable in New Orleans. He’s been an absolute beast on the boards, snatching 47 over his past three contests (15.7 per), and has been scorching slower opponenets from outside. Boogie clearly still had hurt feelings against the Kings when he obliterated them with 37 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks.
His 51.8/42.1/83.9 shooting splits over this past week shows how effective he has been at putting the ball in the hoop. Between that and the rebounding, Cousins has been his dominant self again.
Bonus Stock Watch
Stock Up: Post-Its
Patrick Patterson took advantage of having a game on April Fool’s Day this year. The Toronto forward pranked some of his teammates by pimping out their cars with Post-It notes:
— The Fanatics View (@thefanaticsview) April 3, 2017
Classic prank. It doesn’t cause any harm or damage (unless they drive with them on, of course), looks pretty awesome, yet is still a nuisance for someone to clean up. They say Post-Its are multi-purposeful, and now we can see why.
Stock Down: Whiteboards
The technology in the NBA is crazy these days. Players’ movements and speeds are tracked, databases are made to store hundreds of useful stats and analysis, and the cyber security is top-notch. Yet, the Orlando Magic may have accidently leaked their offseason plans after leaving it written down on a whiteboard:
Take a closer look at the whiteboard itself:
Nice going, Orlando. There are very advanced spreadsheets out there to take care of this type of stuff, but screw it — let’s just sketch it out on a dry erase board! Also, note how it says (For AG?) next to Dario Saric’s name under ‘Hybrid Trade’. If a Saric-Aaron Gordon deal takes place this summer, we will have a heads up!
Stock Up: Toasters
A couple of weeks ago, potatoes swept the NBA. Now, there may be a trend involving…toaster ovens?
A month or so ago, Klay Thompson was given a toaster from a Golden State fan to sign. Klay, like most of you, were very surprised by this:
— Hugo Anzoategui (@hugo_anzo) March 30, 2017
His face really says it all. On Saturday, DeMar DeRozan experienced a similar phenomenon:
Considering that the Warriors haven’t lost since the toaster signing, maybe this guy is just a Raptors fan trying to give some good luck to his team.
Are we on the brink of a major toaster-signing trend around the league? Only time will tell.
Cropped photo via Flickr