NBA Gameday Preview: 11/1/19

NY @ BOS

The New York Knicks will now get their rematch with Boston after falling to them 118-95 in last Saturday’s outing.

Following the loss, the Knicks bounced back strong with a come-from-behind 105-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls. The squad then traveled to Orlando on Wednesday, losing 95-83. Look for Coach David Fizadale to change up the game-plan by instituting Frank Ktilikina into the starting lineup.

The Celtics are looking to capitalize once again on the young Knicks, especially coming off of a three-game winning streak.

Game Time: 7:30 PM EST

HOU @ BKN

Two of the leagues’ top scorers will go head-to-head in this matchup, with James Harden (36.8 PPG) and Kyrie Irving (35.3 PPG) looking to get the W.

Harden will be coming off of a miraculous 59 point game while shooting 18-32(56%) from the field. With the recent struggles from the field in the Rocket’s first three games, Harden will be hoping Wednesday nights hot-streak will carry over.

On the other hand, Kyrie will be looking for Brooklyn’s first W since playing the New York Knicks last Friday.

Game Time: 7:00 PM EST on ESPN

CLE @ IND

The Pacers will be very happy to be back in Indiana against the Cavaliers coming off a 3 game road trip. The squad will be coming off of their first victory of the season (1-3) against the Brooklyn Nets, looking to start a win streak of their own.

The Cavs, who have already defeated Indiana once this season, will be coming off a hard-fought 117-111 W against the Chicago Bulls.

Game Time: 7:00 PM EST

MIL @ ORL

DET @ CHI

LAL @ DAL

UTAH @ SAC

SA @ GS

NBA Gameday Preview: 10/31/19

Image via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

MIA @ ATL

Following Tuesday’s 97-112 loss in Miami, the Hawks will face off with the Heat again without star point guard Trae Young due to an ankle injury. Stopping Jimmy Butler will be the main focus for Atlanta, given he dropped a smooth 21 in Tuesday’s matchup.

Heat rookie Kendrick Nunn has been by far the biggest surprise this season, scoring a total of 84 points in his first four games, the most in Heat history. Expect to see Nunn try to put on a show with the game being broadcast nationally on TNT!

Game Time: 7:00 pm EST on TNT

DEN @ NO

The Denver Nuggets will travel to New Orleans to face off with the young Pelicans. The Pelicans are still winless by starting out the season 0-4, while the Nuggets are 3-1.

After a dominant defensive start to the season giving up only 100.3 points in their first 3 games, the Nuggets fell to the Dallas Mavericks 109-106 on Tuesday’s matchup at home. They’re hoping to bounce back strong against the struggling Pelicans in New Orleans.

Game Time: 9:30 EST on TNT

SA @ LAC

Arguably the game of the night, Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers will go against the undefeated San Antonio Spurs in LA.

Following sitting out Wednesday nights loss against the Jazz, Kawhi is looking to take down his former team. Although many would say the Clippers are still the favorites out of the West, their record may say otherwise(3-2). Yes, it’s very early and way too hard to tell but as of right now, their main focus will be to take down DeMar Derozan and the Spurs.

Game Time: 10:30 EST

Comment your score predictions for a chance to win $100!

The Miami Heat’s First Week In Review

The Miami Heat have started their season off 2-1 without their star Jimmy Butler.

The big news to come out before the first game is that the undrafted rookie, out of Oakland, Kendrick Nunn was to start even if Butler was playing. At the time that drew a lot of questions however everyone in Miami now knows why; as the rookie is averaging 22.3 PPG while shooting 51.9% from the field and 42.1% behind the arc. Nunn isn’t the only unknown undrafted rookie to make an impact on this new-look Miami team. Chris Silva brings hustle, and heart to the team that has many comparing him to Heat legend Udonis Haslem. Silva is not only hustle he is also productive as he has a PER of 28.25 and he leads Miami in blocks with 1.7 per game. Miami impressed in week one in the win over Memphis and a road win in Milwaukee. Miami’s week 2 schedule has them facing Atlanta twice in two days and it also contains a trip to Houston. We’ll see if Miami can build on a good start especially with the likely return of Jimmy Butler.

For More Miami Content Follow @TheMiamiTalk On Twitter

NBA Power Rankings Week 1

By: Justin Girshon

(Written before the start of games played on Monday, October 28th).

1. Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have started the season off hot! After a big offseason acquiring Josh Richardson and Al Horford, the 76ers have so far lived up to the hype. The Sixers started the year off strong by defeating the Celtics and Pistons en route to a 2-0 record. So far, Tobias Harris is the teams leading scorer at 22 points per game, Ben Simmons is the teams top passer at 9.5 assists per game, and Joel Embiid 13 rebounds per game (only played one game due to ankle injury).

2. Denver Nuggets

After being eliminated in the Western Conference Semi-Finals in the 2019 playoffs, the Nuggets retained their main core of players for the 2019-2020 NBA season. So far, the Nuggets have started off strong by defeating the Trail Blazers and Suns leading them to a 2-0 record. To start off the season, Nikola Jokic has looked like an MVP. Jokic is the Nuggets leading scorer with 21.5 points per game, top passer at 7 assists per game and top rebounder at 13.5 rebounds per game.

3. Los Angeles Clippers

After a HUGE offseason acquiring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers immediately became Finals contenders. Although Paul George is currently out until at least some point until November, the Clippers are still very well built around Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers started the year strong with a statement win against LeBron and the Lakers. The Clippers then proceeded to beat the reigning Western Conference Champion, Golden State Warriors. Although the Clippers started off the year strong, the team unexpectedly lost to the Suns who are nowhere near as good as them. Kawhi leonard hasn’t skipped a beat since winning NBA Finals MVP starting the 2019-2020 NBA season at an MVP level. So far, Kawhi Leonard leads the team in scoring at 26 points per game, Kawhi Leonard is the teams top passer at 8 assists per game, and Patrick Beaverly is the teams top rebounder at 7 rebounds per game.

4. Milwaukee Bucks

After losing in the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2019 Playoffs, the Bucks resigned Khris Middelton and Brook Lopez. The Bucks defeated the Rockets in their first game of the season but then blew a 21 point lead in a loss to the Heat. Although the Bucks are only 1-1, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has been playing at an MVP level. Giannis is so far averaging a triple double with 29.5 points per game, 10 assists per game, and 15 rebounds per game. Giannis leads the team in scoring, assists, and rebounding.

5. Los Angeles Lakers

After a blockbuster offseason trade to acquire Anthony Davis and LeBron James returning to full health, the Lakers are primed to make an NBA Finals run. Although the Lakers dropped their first game of the season to the Clippers, they responded with wins against the Jazz and Hornets. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have played well together averaging a combined 48.8 points per game, 13.3 assists per game, and 17.7 rebounds per game. Anthony Davis leads all scorers at 25 points per game and rebounders at 10 rebounds per game. LeBron James is the team leader in assists at 10 assists per game.

6. Utah Jazz

After acquiring Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic, the Jazz made it clear that they will be NBA Finals contenders. The Jazz have started the season 2-1 defeating the Thunder and Kings and losing to the Lakers (Bogdanovic didn’t play due to injury). The Jazz currently have the best defense in the NBA and will certainly take pride in their defense all season long. To start the season, Donovan Mitchell is the leading scorer at 23.7 points per game, Mike Conley is the assist leader at 5.3 assists per game, and Rudy Gobert leads the team in rebounding at 9.7 rebounds per game.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

After being swept in the Western Conference Finals during the 2019 playoffs, the Trail Blazers have a chip on their shoulder. The Trail Blazers acquired tenacious rebounder Hassan Whiteside this past offseason while retaining their main core of players. After an opening night loss, the Trail Blazers have responded well with two straight wins. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have proved themselves as a dynamic backcourt by averaging 53.7 points per game. Lillard leads the team in scoring and assists with 31.7 points and 6 assists per game. Hassan Whiteside leads the team in rebounding at 14 rebounds per game

8. Boston Celtics

In a crazy offseason, the Celtics have still put together a good enough roster to contend in the Eastern Conference. Although Kyrie Irving and Al Horford walked in free agency, the Celtics were able to retain their young core while adding Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter. The Celtics started the season off on the wrong foot by getting destroyed by the 76ers but have responded well with two straight wins. Kemba Walker has led the team in scoring with 22 points per game. Marcus Smart leads the team with 5 assists per game. Jayson Tatum leads the team in rebounds with 9.3 rebounds per game.

9. Toronto Raptors

After winning the 2019 NBA Finals, the Raptors will look to defend their title during the 2019-2020 season. Although Kawhi Leonard departed during free agency, the Raptors still have a solid core built around Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Fred VanVleet and company. The Raptors are 2-1 with a close loss to the Celtics. Fred VanVleet is continuing to stay hot from the Finals as he’s averaging 19.3 points per game. Pascal Siakam currently leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 28.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Kyle Lowry leads the team in assists with 7 assists per game.

10. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves have started the year an unexpected 3-0. The Timberwolves are playing extremely well thanks to franchise player, Karl-Anthony Towns. In their first three games, the Timberwolves have defeated the Nets, Hornets, and Heat. The team is so far being led by Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and their defense. Towns and Wiggins are averaging a combined 52.7 points and 19.3 rebounds per game. Towns is leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 32 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. Shabazz Napier currently leads the team with 6 assists per game.

The Best of the Rest

https://www.inquirer.com/sixers/philadelphia-sixers-atlanta-hawks-trae-young-ben-simmons-20191027.html

11. Houston Rockets

12. San Antonio Spurs

13. Miami Heat

14. Atlanta Hawks

15. Dallas Mavericks

16. Phoenix Suns

17. Brooklyn Nets

18. Orlando Magic

19. Golden State Warriors

20. Oklahoma City Thunder

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/bulls/ct-chicago-bulls-memphis-grizzlies-20191026-ljhzvbafrrgspgnmqdwaqdkk4e-story.html

21. Memphis Grizzlies

22. New Orleans Pelicans

23. Detroit Pistons

24. Chicago Bulls

25. Washington Wizards

26. Sacramento Kings

27. Indiana Pacers

28. Cleveland Cavaliers

29. Charlotte Hornets

30. New York Knicks

Check back next week for NBA Power Rankings Week 2!

https://www.skysports.com/nba/news/36244/11836028/luka-doncic-and-kristaps-porzingis-fire-as-dallas-mavericks-thrash-oklahoma-city-thunder

2019 Fany Football Week 8 Starts of the Week, TNF Preview + Skew Bet’s!

We have a jammed packed episode for you today #SkewNation! Today, we cover all the news and notes from Monday to Wednesday Night night, including all the injury updates and trades that have happened. We go over what the recent trades mean for those fantasy players and what you can do as the owner. Next we jump into our starts of the week and discuss 1 guy each we think will be a must start at their position. To wrap the show up we go preview the Thursday night football matchup and discuss all the start/sit questions and help you set your lineups!  Don’t miss debates and discussions on these players and more! Prep your redraft, keeper, and dynasty teams for 2019 with insights you can only get on Time Skew — Fantasy Football Podcast for October 24th, 2019.  

Check out today’s sponsors: Download ThriveFantasy and use the code “TIMESKEW” and when you deposit $10 they will match your deposit! http://thrivefantasy.com/#/landing  

Last episode: 2019 Fantasy Football Week 7 Starts of the Week + TNF Preview – http://traffic.libsyn.com/timeskew/week_7_thursday1.mp3  

Latest Article: What Patrick Mahomes Injury Means for Fantasy Football – https://timeskewed.com/2019/10/17/what-patrick-mahomes-injury-means-for-fantasy-football/  

Connect with the show!

Apple Podcasts – https://tinyurl.com/y28z8x9s

facebook – https://tinyurl.com/y64zwvth

youtube – https://tinyurl.com/y4m7n863

spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y2yr6l4c

twitter – https://tinyurl.com/y5xotsf4

anchor – https://tinyurl.com/yxeo62wr

google pod – https://tinyurl.com/y32qq5ya

instagram – https://tinyurl.com/y4bwp8z7

Music by Vincent Augustus Diaz – https://tinyurl.com/y22468lu

PlayerProfiles: Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson is electric.

The Baltimore Ravens selected the dynamic dual-threat quarterback with the final first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and I think it’s safe to say they couldn’t be happier two seasons into his career.

Image via YouTube

Jackson played his college ball at Louisville, leaving a legacy like no other. The 2016 Heisman trophy winner started all three seasons at his alma mater, putting up video game stats along with highlight-reel plays night in and night out. Excluding his freshman year, Jackson put up 7,203 passing yards, 3,172 rushing yards, 96 touchdowns, and carried Louisville to a 17-9 record through his final two seasons with the team.

Lamar Jackson is one of, if not the, most dynamic players I have ever watched in college football. He was must-see TV, the type of player that can turn nothing into something, and have the potential to score on any given play. He was a nightmare matchup who will put any given player on the wrong side of a viral highlight play.

Coming out of college, Lamar Jackson had many doubters. Some said he didn’t have the arm talent to make the necessary throws required in the NFL, while some even went as far as saying Jackson would be better off switching positions for a better NFL chance, such as wide receiver. These doubters were justified by the fact that Jackson completed his final season with a 59% completion percentage, coming in at 71st overall in college football that season, but Jackson possesses a quick release, along with arm strength that can sling it with big downfield play potential. Jackson could’ve switched to receiver, and even played it pretty damn well, but he bet on himself, even denying to run the 40-yard dash at the combine to make the statement he is indeed a quarterback, and the Raven’s took the chance.

Just as a side-note, Jackson denied to run the 40, but he claims he’d run a 4.34 if timed. That’d be one of the fastest in the league.

Lamar Jackson isn’t an elite thrower, but he is an elite athlete, and can extend and make plays with his legs like no other, providing the team that drafted him an opportunity to create a dynamic offense. The Ravens have done exactly that.

CBS Sports

Jackson got the starting nod at quarterback last season during week eleven, leading the Ravens to a 6-1 record in his time, along with a 17-23 loss to the Chargers in the AFC Wild Card game. He finished his first season with 1,201 passing yards, 695 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns along with only 3 interceptions in 7 games started. Heading into the offseason, the Ravens were committed to Jackson as the starter but knew he had to improve on his 58% completion percentage. The Ravens made some moves, bringing in safety Earl Thomas on defense, and running back Mark Ingram, rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown, and rookie tight end Mark Andrews on offense, while coach John Harbaugh seemingly improved his offensive playbook to cater towards Lamar Jackson’s abilities.

Season two has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Lamar Jackson, although still needing improvement, has elevated his passing ability to a respectable level while the Raven’s and coach Harbaugh have put Jackson in the perfect situation to prosper. Through week seven, Jackson has 1,650 passing yards, 576 rushing yards, and 14 touchdowns, while increasing his completion percentage to 63% and leading the Raven’s to a 5-2 record, putting himself in the MVP conversation in his first full season.

Lamar Jackson is electric. I personally believe he will become the best quarterback out of the loaded 2018 draft, and has the potential to change how NFL offenses work. He lights up scorecards and highlight tapes, he silences doubters, he works on his game, he isn’t afraid, and plays with heart. That, to me, is a recipe for success, and danger (in the good way). Jackson is ascending fast, and so far it not only looks like the Raven’s have their franchise quarterback, but that the rest of the NFL has a new problem.

NBA ROUNDUP 10/22/19

We baaaaack. The regular season openers did not disappoint, even though a little star power was missing. The Pelicans were without their top rookie, Zion Williamson, when they took on the Raptors and the Clippers were without Paul George when they faced their same-town rivals, the Lakers. Nevertheless, the night did not disappoint, and it left us wondering what could have been if each team was fully tooled and ready to go for the opener.

Toronto Raptors beat New Orleans Pelicans 130-122

-Last year, this probably would have been a one-sided affair. However, the Raptors are now without Kawhi Leonard and the Pelicans have re-tooled and support a much more well-rounded roster than they did last year. Another thing of note, both the Raptors and the Pelicans run a similar system where the ball is in constant motion, Needless to say, this was a fun game to watch, despite the initial disappointment at not being able to watch Zion’s debut.

-Who else, but the newly minted max contract extension man, Pascal Siakam, led the way for the Raptors. This dude is good! After making marked improvements in each season that culminated in the Most Improved Player award last year, he looks the part of a franchise player. Remarkable for a kid who hasn’t even been playing basketball for very long. He finished the night with 34pts/4asts/18rbs, before fouling out of the game.

-Fred VanVleet got the start in the backcourt alongside Kyle Lowry and showed out. He finished with 34pts/7asts/5rbs. The Raptors kept things short, only playing an eight man rotation on the night. Should be something worth watching as the season goes on. Curious if Nick Nurse simply doesn’t trust the depth of the team, but having your starters play as many minutes as the Raps did certainly isn’t sustainable.

-For the Pelicans, Brandon Ingram led the way for his new team, finishing with 22pts/5asts/5rbs. The Pelicans went the opposite way of the Raptors, utilizing a 12-man rotation. This will most likely get shortened as the season goes on, but this could be a sign that Gentry hasn’t quite fleshed out how his rotations are going to look.

Los Angeles Clippers conquer Los Angeles Lakers 112-102

-1-0, Clippers. The rivalry that is going to get all the noise this season, did not disappoint in the least. Remember, the Clippers were without star Paul George, but came out hungry in their home opener. The Lakers came out to a dizzying start, finding themselves up 13-2, and immediately every Laker/LeBron fan wanted to roll out the Larry O’Brien trophy. That’s not how things work, though. As the game went on, the Lakers lack of depth in this game was apparent. The Lakers bench was outscored 61-19 by the Clippers. Of course, the Clippers bench sports perennial sixth-man Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, but if the Lakers want to get to the ultimate goal, they would need to most likely get through these guys. Kyle Kuzma is still a ways to returning but will pay dividends for the Lakers as they try to shore up their depth.

-Who else, but Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Clippers. At one point he nailed seven straight shots to galvanize his team and push them forward. This man continues to stake his case as the best player in the NBA and it is getting hard to argue (especially with Kevin Durant injured). He finished the night with 30pts/5asts/6rbs. Lou Williams fronted off the bench to the tune of 21pts/7asts/5rbs and Montrezl Harrell notched 17pts/4asts/7rbs.

-For the Lakers, sharpshooting Danny Green led the scoring charge. He finished with 28pts on seven threes. LeBron notched 18pts/8asts/9rbs and Anthony Davis finished with 25pts/5asts/10rbs.

Pascal Siakam deserves his max contract

After some speculation and waiting, Pascal Siakam signed a 4 year deal for $130 million with an AAV of $32.5 million. Along with other max contracts signed this off season, the Raptors were criticized for giving Siakam the reigns of the team. I’d love to defer to Masai Ujiri’s authority on why Siakam deserves the money, but I won’t.

Siakam’s growth has been incredible, and he earned his contract solely on his performance last season. The reigning MIP averaged 16.9 points to go along with 6.9 rebounds, as well as 3.4 assists all on a brilliant .628 TS%. He elevated that in the playoffs to 19 points, and 7.1 rebounds, with his assists dipping to 2.8, as well as his efficiency dropping to .540 TS%. Important to note was the surge in his scoring to 23.8 points in the four wins against Golden State.

The Raptors certainly believe he’s capable of being a number one option at the time being, putting up great numbers at a relatively low usage rating for a star. With his growth trajectory, they’re probably right.

Even if he improves minimally, Siakam was the 2nd most important player on a championship winning team. He has a legitimate argument for best defender on the best defensive team in the league. In 20 games without Kawhi last year, Siakam put up a slashline of 19/8/3.5 with almost identical efficiency.

 

Everything I have presented to you so far only proves that he’s a very good and improving player, but what’s the market on that? Is Siakam truly worth a max contract?

The best way of finding market value is to weigh him against similar contracts.

Players by with AAV above 32 million through the 2022-2023 season, sorted by ESPN’s RPM:

James Harden (7.42), Joel Embiid (6.40), Damian Lillard (5.08), Kevin Durant (4.96), Jimmy Butler (4.71), Kyrie Irving (4.23), Karl Anthony-Towns (3.86), Pascal Siakam (3.80),  Kemba Walker (2.76), Russell Westbrook (2.51), Khris Middleton (1.89), Ben Simmons (1.74), Tobias Harris (1.68), Bradley Beal (1.51), Jamal Murray (1.18), CJ McCollum (1.14), Devin Booker (0.58), Klay Thompson (-0.33)

In last healthy seasons:

Wall – (1.17), Kristaps – (2.27) 

Using this comparison tool, Pascal Siakam fits in right in the middle of a lot of max contract worthy talent. He’s on superstar trajectory and maximum salary was the only option. His talent and growth will keep the Raptors in the hunt as a middle-tier playoff team. He earned his money. Siakam will be a staple in the East as the face of the Raptors.