If you’ve played fantasy football, you know how dangerous it can be to just gamble on pre-season play and storytelling. We can reference Ja’Marr ChaseThe wrestling training camp to be a recent and revealing example.
That doesn’t mean we can’t glean meaningful and actionable information from the NBA show season, instead we’ll want to apply a more insightful lens to the small sample of preseason competition. I think preseason production can inform and influence the value of fantasy basketball, you just need to sift through some of the noise.
Keeping an eye out for the preseason results that could translate into the regular season, let’s discuss some key takeaways from the 2021 preseason.
The 3-point wave is still cresting
In 2014-2015, only one NBA team, the Houston rockets – on average at least 30 attempts of 3 points per game. The following season, the Golden State Warriors Joined them in this space-centric club. In 2018-19, 19 teams were getting at least 30 per game in depth.
And this preseason? The 30 NBA teams average at least 30 attempts per game at depth. Cleveland’s 30.3 3-point-per-game attempts this preseason ranks last and yet this 2014-15 Houston team set a new NBA record with an average of 32.7.
Fantastically, the demand for registration from high volume shooters will only increase. The floor for 3-point production increases with each season in this era of pace and space, but luckily there will also be more filmmakers to consider than ever before.
Speaking of the space race, the Golden Warriors may have unearthed another marksmanship scholar. With 23.3 PPG across four appearances, Jordan poole is just behind that of Boston Jaylen brown by scoring in the preseason and only Brown and Sacramento Inmate buddy collected more than 3 points than the 10 per game that Poole threw.
Poole is also sixth in preseason utilization rates, though he often shared the pitch with Stephen curry, which ranks second in this metric that measures the percentage of team possessions that an individual consumes.
What about Klay thompson, you might be thinking? ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on “The Jump” in August that the Warriors are tentatively targeting the team’s Christmas Day contest against the Phoenix Suns as a potential return date. It’s unclear exactly how Thompson’s timeline will play out, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the debut was in fact in 2022.
With that in mind, Poole has a real opportunity to flourish in a vital starting role until Thompson returns. Given his efficient scoring scheme and the team’s lack of depth of rotation and guarding, it’s entirely conceivable that Poole will maintain a big statistical impact once the struggling Splash Brother returns to business. .
Poole averaged 21.7 PPG and 3.6 APG in seven starts for the team last season, which suggests that this recent increase in scores is not an outlier. You can land Poole late in the draft, as his draft average position is currently 49th among shooting guards and 136th overall.
Raptors on the rise
Last season saw Chris Boucher emerge as a fantasy gem by becoming the third NBA player to average at least 1.9 blocks and 1.5 3PGs.
The next step in the small group department might be OG Anunoby, who appears to have added a new level of move creation to his game over the summer. If Anunoby was just plain hot on the pitch this preseason – he’s making 54.2% of his unbearable 3 points – it might be dangerous to put a lot of emphasis on him ranking 10th in the pre-scoring. -season and leads the Raptors in utilization rate.
While Anunoby has been especially hot from the ground in four preseason appearances, it’s the type of shots he takes and does that piques my interest. Anunoby creates his own shots via pull-up jumpers and sinks them at an above-average rate. He attempted less than two pull shots per game last season, while he’s averaging five this preseason.
For years the Raptors have relied on Kyle Lowry to create shots for others, with Anunoby often available as a catch-and-shoot valve, but the fact that the kite utilization rate and pull volume increases tells me there might be a significant change in offensive performance this season.
Stay with Toronto, rookie Scottie Barnes is already tasked with replacing some of the distribution tasks left in Lowry’s wake. The Raptors’ top pick in 2021 is 13th in assists per game this preseason (5.6 APG) with an average of 2.4 interceptions and blocks combined. As I posed in a breakdown of the best fantasy rookies this season, Barnes’ unusually strong passing skills and strong defensive metrics could surface immediately.
By reigning rookie of the year LaMelo ball is deservedly an emerging star in the league, it might just be an older brother Lonzo ball which offers the most fantastic family value this season. While young Ball comes out of the table 21st overall in the ESPN draft, Lonzo passes 46th and is already thriving on this new Chicago team.
In three games with the Bulls this month, Ball is third in the preseason in per game interceptions and seventh in blocks. Last season Ball joined Jrue Holidays, Ben simmons, Draymond Green as the only players to show an assist percentage of at least 25% to go with a theft rate of at least 2.3% (which is an estimate of the percentage of opposing possessions that end in a theft by the player while on the ground) and a block rate of 1.7%.
Ball’s surprising leap in shooting success since leaving the Lakers seems very real considering the volume of shots in New Orleans, backed up by the fact that he has made more than half of his shots. 3 points this preseason. I’m not sure the Bulls will be as dominant as a team as they have shown in the preseason, but I’m confident Ball is enjoying a career season on both sides of the pitch.
Bamba neighborhood party
While in Bamba might never become the player Magic of Orlando had hoped when they selected him to the lottery several years ago, he’s done some fun statistical prowess this preseason. The former Texas star leads the league with 3.75 blocks per game this preseason and is even successful as a ground spacer, hitting 45% of his 3-point attempts in four appearances.
With Jonathan isaac with no set time frame for return from injury and actual rim protection team need every time Wendell Carter Jr. or Isaac is not on the ground, Bamba could become a viable swat specialist this season. It’s not just about chasing score out of the box with Bamba’s recent bouldering frenzy, as his activity and rim protection awareness looks noticeably better on film.
Found in the final round of the draft and likely already floating in free agency in the leagues that have drafted, Bamba could make his point as the next Chris Boucher in fantasy basketball – a player who can deliver real fantastic impact. even in the middle of limited minutes thanks to such a unique 3-and-D Profile.