What did we learn from the playoffs?

What did we learn from the playoffs?

It’s been 8 days since the Warriors vanquished the Cavs in impressive fashion to take their second title in three years. The NBA Playoffs started back on April 15th, more than 8 weeks ago, when C.J Miles missed a last second shot to steal a game from Cleveland.

We are here today to discuss playoff bias towards the following season. All too often we get so engaged during the NBA Playoffs that we forget what occurred from October to March (i.e- the Fantasy Basketball season). This can lead to over rating players, unfairly downgrading others, and/or assuming playoff basketball is “regular” basketball which will decide our fantasy fortunes.

While this year’s playoffs were a bit underwhelming and walking away there wasn’t too much thatbopened our eyes, We’ll look to dispel or encourage the theories and hot takes during this year’s playoff games as it relates to the 2017-2018 season. Here are 7 takeaways from the playoffs:

  1. Isiah Thomas (IT) isn’t as bad as the Cavs made him look

    • Ty Lue (or should I say LeBron) had a perfect game plan for IT. They doubled and suffocated him. This took away his two greatest weapons creativity and vision but remember very few teams have the athletes like the Cavs to pull this off. What we can’t forget is how great Thomas was during the season. There were his per game averages in the regular season:
      • 29 Points
      • 3 Rebs
      • 6 Assists
      • 38 3-point %
      • 46 FG %
      • 91 FT %
    • All of these numbers are higher than the previous year. IT feasts on mediocre teams and despite the Cavs treating him like a little kid, he was great in the Washington series and should be grabbed mid to late second round. Two things to keep in mind for next year:
      • The Celtics’ draft as personnel moves could affect his value in the minutes played department. With the possibility of Jackson going to the Cs IT will be asked to do less on defense and focus more on stealing our hearts on the offensive end.
      • Don’t forget his hip injury. Some say this was lingering since March. A healthy IT is a solid pick for any type of team build for next year. Chances are those numbers are even better in ’17-’18
  1. Officiating is different in the playoffs

    • It’s more consistent and better. It also shouldn’t have any effect on how you interpret fantasy basketball. Foul calls, especially in the finals, are NOT the same as regular foul calls during the season. It feels like we hear more whistles but really the foul calls are consistently around hand checks, push-offs under the basket, and defensive three second.
    • Unfortunately, there is no data accessible right now to confirm or deny these observations (if you do have anything please comment!). The recommendation here is proceed as you would in the regular season.
    • Lastly, you may have seen the pump-fake lean-in 3-pointer. It drew many, many fouls in the post season and is something the NBA will be looking into and trying to get rid of. This will reduce free throw shots but overall a moot point in the fantasy-verse.
  2. Kevin Durant being the best player on his team is no longer a question or even a talking point

    • Durant was quietly being the #1 fantasy player before he got zaza’ed back in February. The playoffs reminded everyone that he is the ultimate force on this GSW team. Durant is an easy top 5 in any format and will more than likely hover around 2.5 Average Draft Positon in 2017-18.
  1. Rest days really do help production and game quality.

    • Frequently, we see two day rest periods in the Finals and multiple rest days between games in the earlier rounds. This is a point Hoop Zero will continue to harp on as we enter the ’17-’18 campaign. Rest is a huge talking point among the players association and league office. Already we’re seeing the next season start a week earlier than usual and a reduction in preseason games.
    • Look for rest days to have a tremendous impact on the daily aspect of fantasy basketball. Highly recommend looking at schedules and travel points before selecting players. I would actually love if someone (maybe you’ll see it here) would do a +/- for rest days VS non-rest days for daily fantasy. If you have some ideas let us know.
  1. Otto Porter is the man of our dreams

    • If you want to overreact to one player in the playoffs it’s this dude. Let’s put this out there Otto is a Restricted Free Agent for 2017-18 and total disclosure this guy is a favorites at Hoop Zero. He puts up decent %s while giving you 10+ points a 5 spot in the rbs category and hit a three a game. If you were to get this from a player you’d be pretty happy, so what if I told you you’d also get 1.5 steals per game from the same guy? He’s a stud and only 24.
    • Otto will be bypassed by people who don’t recognize his potential, don’t know the name, or think he’s the 3rd wheel on an budding Wizards roster. Otto is an easy 3rd round pick and very nice to build a team around.
  1. Demar Derozen just doesn’t have a 3 point shot

    • And its becoming a liability. He was 1-15 over ten games in the playoffs. DD is just way too limited against the athletic teams in the league. I really hope he finds his stroke because The North needs him to elevate his game to continue the run they’ve had over the past few years.
    • For fantasy basketball, he’s a scorer. If you play in a Field goals made league then he’s great but if not I would think he’s more of a 40ish drafted player for next year who stays consistent but not amazing value.
  1. The Hawks are a lost cause in the real world but their Guard situation is a bounty in daily fantasy
    • (Let’s preface this with, the amounts in the playoffs for players are so much different than in the regular reason) Hard to imagine the hawks defeating the Wizards, let alone the Cavs. Yet, when you fire up that daily Squad how can you not love the production from Dennis Schroder. His assists and points scored are elite quality without paying the elite price.
    • Betting money is on Milsap leaving ATL in the offseason. This will only boost the possibilities for Dennis as he seeks to get into averaging the coveted 20+pts and 6+ assist land. For 2017-18, like him better than an Oladipo but not as much as other higher octane scorers like Devin Booker but he is a guy you reach for if building a team around a Head-To-head strategy.

Tell us what you saw in the playoffs on Twitter @Hoopzero and if anything stood out for how we might evaluate players next year.

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