Let’s take a look at some fantasy basketball notes with an eye on both season-long and daily.
Kyle Kuzma‘s New Role in Washington
The Wizards have a lot of new parts and with that comes players stepping into different roles. Kyle Kuzma has spent much of his NBA life playing alongside either Julius Randle or Anthony Davis, though in Washington he gets to spread his wings in the frontcourt.
The former Laker is starting at the four in Washington and he’s averaging 13.0 rebounds per game over his first three games (he’s recorded a game-high in the category in each game).
While he may not end up 10th in the league—where he currently is—when the season is over, expect him to blow past his career-high of 6.3 rebounds which he established during his rookie season.
Steven Adams Rebounding in Memphis
Steven Adams is averaging a career-high in rebounds through three games and I wouldn’t call that a fluke, as he has a real shot to be the league-leader in the category.
In addition to competing with Zion Williamson for parts of last season, Adams shared the floor with several plus-rebounding guards and wings, such as Josh Hart, Eric Bledsoe, and Lonzo Ball (this coming after sharing the floor with Russell Westbrook for years).
Memphis has less competition in that area, which is part of the reason we saw Jonas Valanciunas excel as a rebounder during his post-Raptors stint. Only Kyle Anderson lingers as a major deterrent and the more minutes Adams gets next to Jaren Jackson Jr. (who’s never proven to be a dominant rebounder), the better the chances of him reaching career milestones as a board man.
Expect Adams to be a real asset in both category and points leagues that factor in efficiency. It’s worth noting that I still believe in my bold prediction that the Grizz could seriously struggle throughout the season. That makes Adams a potential candidate to get his minutes reduced for a younger big man and/or traded at this year’s deadline. Yet, if you believe in Memphis as a playoff contender, then there’s no concern with Adams.
- Jimmy Butler led the league in steals per game last year and he’s off to a fast start in the category this season, recording nine steals through three games (check out the recap from that Heat’s recent win over the Magic where Butler had five swipes). He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 in steals per game since the 2015-16 season and there’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue this year.
- Kevin Love has 22 points in the Cavaliers’ win over the Nuggets, hitting his eight shots (out of 13) in just 22 minutes. It’s not a clear sign that Love is back (he was averaging just 7.3 points on 28 percent shooting before the Denver game) but it’s encouraging to see…especially if there’s a chance he gets traded.
- Miles Bridges got 22 shots up on Monday with P.J. Washington out. He’s averaging 17.5 field goal attempts on the year.