Early NBA lineup notes from a bunch of teams.
Golden State Warriors
It’s been great to see the progression of Anthony Lamb. He’s made huge strides since going undrafted out of Vermont back in 2020, currently averaging 9.0 PPG/3.2 RPG/1.7 APG/61.8% FG/54.5% 3-PT (all career highs) for the Golden State Warriors.
Los Angeles Clippers
Center Ivica Zubac is gonna need to keep playing well/stay healthy, as he’s the only true big man in the Clippers’ rotation (30.5 MPG/10.0 PPG/10.6 RPG/2.1 BPG/59.6% FG). Also I hope Norman Powell can pick up his efficiency (11.8 PPG/41.6% FG/28.1% 3-PT). This would be a significant drop-off for him if he doesn’t find a rhythm after averaging career highs in PPG (19.0) and 3-point percentage (41.9%) last season.
Los Angeles Lakers
I’m sure Troy Brown Jr. is happy that he’s finding more of a fit with the Lakers since leaving the Bulls. The 23-year-old was solid during his first two years with the Wizards, but Washington traded him to Chicago during his 3rd season and he got less minutes. Things have turned around for Brown in LA though, as he’s getting plenty of playing time (27.5 MPG) while producing in a starting role (9.5 PPG/5.1 RPG/44.6% FG/100.0% FT).
The super efficiency of Brandon Clarke, Tyus Jones, John Konchar, and Santi Aldama cannot go unnoticed. All four of them are the ultimate role players who make the right plays every possession.
Clarke: 10.0 PPG/4.5 RPG/1.5 APG/1.0 BPG/61.9% FG
Jones: 10.4 PPG/3.9 APG/1.7 RPG/44.4% FG/33.9% 3-PT
Konchar: 6.9 PPG/5.7 RPG/1.0 SPG/45.8% FG/39.2% 3-PT
Aldama: 9.7 PPG/6.3 RPG/1.1 BPG/46.7% FG/33.3% 3-PT
Obviously other Miami players are gonna have to be better when the playoffs come around, but the Heat should be just fine if Jimmy Butler & Bam Adebayo keep up their great play. During the club’s 3-game winning streak, Butler has averaged 23.7 PPG/10.0 RPG/7.7 APG/1.3 SPG/56.4% FG/40.0% 3-PT/92.6% FT while Adebayo put up 24.0 PPG/13.0 RPG/3.0 APG/1.3 SPG/51.0% FG/87.0% FT.
Versatile forward Kyle Anderson has seen an increase in minutes during his last 6 games, tallying 24.0 MPG/9.0 PPG/3.0 RPG/4.0 APG/1.2 SPG/56.8% FG/50.0% 3-PT/85.7% FT.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Soon-to-be 21 year old Aleksej Pokusevski looks more mature this season. The 7 footer has noticeably improved on both ends, averaging career highs in PPG (9.9), RPG (5.9), and BPG (1.7).
I hope coach Nick Nurse can use the team’s current injury situation as a wake up call to play more guys during the regular season. Heavy minutes for starters is fine during the playoffs, but it can get draining for five players to play that many minutes over the course of 82 games.
Lauri Markkanen has been playing like an All-Star to begin the year for his new Utah Jazz club. It’s safe to say Markkanen has started off right where he left off at EuroBasket (career high 21.3 PPG/8.4 RPG/2.3 APG/1.0 BPG/52.3% FG/63.5% 2-PT).
San Antonio Spurs
Despite the Spurs’ recent drop in the standings, a bunch of their players have gotten a whole lot better. Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Jakob Poeltl, Tre Jones, Charles Bassey, and Keita Bates-Diop are names that come to mind right away.
Johnson: 22.7 PPG/4.9 RPG/3.6 APG/1.0 SPG/45.1% FG/42.3% 3-PT
Vassell: 19.6 PPG/3.9 RPG/3.4 APG/0.8 SPG/45.7% FG/42.0% 3-PT
Poeltl: 13.4 PPG/10.1 RPG/3.7 APG/1.2 BPG/0.9 SPG/65.9% FG
Jones: 11.6 PPG/3.7 RPG/6.9 APG/1.5 SPG/40.6% 3-PT/91.7% FT
Bassey: 6.5 PPG/7.3 RPG/1.8 APG/1.8 BPG/64.0% FG/40.0% 3-PT/83.3% FT
Bates-Diop: 7.3 PPG/2.8 RPG/51.3% FG/84.2% FT