The Eye Test
Welcome to opening night of the NBA season. For those who do not know me my name is Jordan Adamson and I will be writing a daily piece for RotoMinds called “The Eye Test”. The reason I call it The Eye Test is because it is a look at the games that is completely removed from the projections that Mike builds every day for RotoMinds. I use my intuition and knowledge of the sport as my only resource of information, with the exception of checking for injuries last minute. What will make my content unique is that I actually watch all the games and see what is happening. I work as a retail trader in the futures market, which has a relatively decent amount of down time. I watch around 8 games a day on average. I also think when it comes to following the sport and knowing how basketball in general works, I would like to think I am one of the best sources of knowledge that you can find. With that said I do think my write-ups and opinions should be supplementary to what Mike puts out in his projections. I am more of a second opinion, but am willing to stand on my own two feet without question when it comes to what I think will happen on a given slate.
My pieces will contain four sections.
- The Core 4- These will be players I want the highest amount of exposure to. Plain and simple. (Some of these players will be kind of crazy sounding as core players some/most of the time, but the idea here is when they all hit collectively you could be in for a big night)
- Primary Options- These will be players that you want on a good chunk of rosters but are not completely must plays like players in The Core 4 will be. (Note that sometimes the obvious plays will be in the Primary Options)
- Secondary Options- These will be players that you can fill out your rosters with. Never go too crazy with some of these guys.
- Fades- These will be players I want basically no part of.
I do not check any other outlets or anything like that when I do my write ups so these thoughts are completely my own. I do not take ownership percentage into account either. I write these as a way for you as users to get inside of my head.
The Core 4
Anthony Davis– The way Coach Gentry has been getting him the ball early in the shot clock along with the guards being told to give the ball to Davis as much as possible means that Davis will be a solid player at worst every night. Last year the problem was Monte Williams wanted the other guards to do a little more then they were capable of. Gentry knows he needs to build around the MVP and go from there. Gentry is a offensive minded coach who can get the most out of players so the isolation basketball will be cut down creating more chances for the entire offense, especially Davis. The matchup with Green in Golden State will be interesting, but the 4th quarter looks Davis will get makes this a easy call in a close game.
Doug McDermott-With my Chicago Bulls changing coaches also to Fred Hoiberg, more offensive efficiency will be established. I expect McDermott to score 17 points off the bench tonight and find some other stats in his playing time. He is shooting the lights out in the preseason and will get plenty of time as long as Dunleavy is out.
Eric Gordon- Jrue Holiday is on a minute count; Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole are not even playing (for awhile). Basically Nate Robinson and Eric Gordon are the main guys getting minutes at the guard spots that can actually be relevant for fantasy purposes. Gordon should get plenty of looks.
Nikola Mirotic- Mirotic will start for Chicago at PF giving Hoiberg the floor spacing he wants. Chicago has the most crowded group of talent players who play “post” positions in the nba so it could be a flux during the season. But opening night Mirotic will get plenty of run.
Kent Bazemore-He almost was a Core 4 option today, but I did not want anyone thinking I was crazy on day one. It is kind of cloudy who absorbs DeMarre Carroll’s minutes, but I think Bazemore will get the first crack at getting a decent chunk of those minutes. If Bazemore plays 30 minutes he will be just fine.
Al Horford-He is healthy. Basically all you need to know. He is a great fantasy option against a team with a player like Drummond playing against him. Drummond can fall asleep at times on defense despite his ability to dominate the glass. Horford is the kind of guy who makes basketball look easy from a statistical perspective.
Reggie Jackson- The team needs him to shoulder a good chunk of the scoring load until Brandon Jennings is back with the team at some point. Based on how he has been playing in the preseason He will get the volume of shots and playing time to give him a good chance to preform any night. The matchup with Teague is average, but since it is opening night matchups are insignificant.
Andre Drummond- He would also be in the core 4 if not for some weird feeling I always get when it seems like the matchup looks good. He could easily get a 20-20 game against Atlanta. He does need to stop pouting when he does not get the ball though because his teammates see that and start to not throw him the ball on purpose.
Stephen Curry- New Orleans will not able to cover him with their guards. He will wear on the Pelicans as the game wears on. I think the idea of Curry vs Davis going back and forth scoring in a home game for Golden State on ring ceremony night should be great theatre.
Ryan Anderson- The game could turn into small ball and Anderson and Davis will play together. Anderson had a good playoffs against Golden State last year and is another player who is healthy.
Jeff Teague- His only problem is he fades down the stretch in games. He has a great backup in Dennis Schroder who can eat into his minutes to some extent. Teague seems to always have good first halves. I love Teague today and think he will be fine. It really comes down to whom you can afford at PG when picking between these 3 guys mentioned here.
Dante Cunningham- Basically with him it comes down to can he actually put the ball in the hole. He will find other stats but you need to score actual points to make it worth your time. He should get plenty of run opening night but he could be benched in the 4th quarter if he cannot put the ball in the hole early on in the game.
Festus Ezeli (if Bogut does not play Primary Option)– Center is not of the highest quality tonight so basically punting the position is not the worst idea. If Ezeli can get some playing time he can get rebounds and a few dunks. This is a play based entirely on the lack of opportunity I see.
JR Smith-He could get hot and have 20 points scored. Not the worst idea you can come up with Jimmy Butler guarding Lebron James.
Ersan Ilyasova- Van Gundy has a new toy to play with in his offense and Ersan should see time. Kind of a weird situation in Detroit right now with all the forwards they have so it will take some time to see who actually takes control of the minutes.
Draymond Green- His minutes alone make him an option all the time. What makes him a good fantasy player is that he can get you production in all 5 categories thus meaning he does not have to score many actual points to have a good game.
Jimmy Butler and Lebron James- Butler has shot poorly in the preseason and will have to find his way into this new offense over time. Who knows if he is still leading the league in minutes or playing more in the 35 minute per night range? Lebron has been sitting out the preseason and I can see him letting the offense go through other players early in the season like he did last year and not trying to be aggressive until it matters. Fading both of these guys will pay big dividends for you if they do not play well.
Klay Thompson- Basically I think that he will put up a dud in this game.
Derrick Rose- It will take him about a week to get back into a grove. Stay away until you see him getting minutes and has a good game to go with it.
Final Notes: I do not collaborate with Mike when writing this article every day. For all I know he could be pointing towards using Lebron and Butler. This article is intended to be another viewpoint. Always use the RotoMinds projections and Optimal Linueps as a primary source and use The Eye Test as another look on everything.