• Fear not my freaky fantasy friends, just because the regular season is over doesn’t mean the Circus of Fantasy Foretelling and Statistical Anomalies must grind to a halt as well. We’ve still got some unfinished business from last week of course and goofy stats galore in the arbitrarily enumerated fashion that you’ve no doubt come to crave. Plus, I’ll start to outline how I’ll use my powers of divination over the playoff run, into the offseason, the NBA draft, and as means of getting us all prepared for next season’s fantasy drafts.  Come one, come all, the Circus rolls forever onward!

    The Crystal Ball Report

    *all rankings are 9-cat per game over the last two weeks unless otherwise specified

    Last week Trae Young was scorching the league as the No. 4 player and I said he’d stay inside the top-10. Well, he had a No. 38 week which dropped him to No. 13 over the last two. Very close but still a Loss.

    Big Al Horford had me grinning last week and he mostly kept it up with a No. 19 week which kept his two-week rating fixed at No. 11. Another close Loss.

    Jaylen Brown’s No. 12 ranking was too rich for me and that proved to be correct as his 108th ranked week dropped him out of a first-round valuation. Win.

    Robert Covington’s game for the ages was not enough to overcome a dreadful final week which sent his ranking all the way down to No. 52 which is pretty much exactly what I foresaw (and where he is on the season). Win.

    Karl-Anthony Towns continued his poor shooting to the tune of a No. 93 week which moved him down rather than up in the rankings as I thought he would. Loss.

    Alec Burks’ red-hot shooting was a trend I couldn’t buy into and I was right, as his field goal dropped to 40.5% and took his ranking down with it. Win.

    Killian Hayes was in the midst of a career-best stretch last time out and I wisely pointed to a coming regression on his shooting numbers. Hayes finished the week ranked 225th but somehow managed to remain the 48th ranked player over the last two. I’m not sure how the heck that works. Push.

    Drew Eubanks kept it rolling all the way up to No. 34 and while that’s higher than I thought he’d be, I did also say the Eubanks train was going to be full steam ahead through the end of the year. Win.

    Théo Maledon was playing too well for the Thunder and so they benched him down the stretch. Win.

    Obi Toppin had high hopes from me and did not disappoint, coming in at No. 29 (and No. 5 for the final week). Expectations should be tempered for next season but he looked pretty darn good in his last handful of meaningless games.

    *A bounce back week is always welcomed and 6-3-1 this time out constitutes exactly that. It also brings me to 28-15-9 on the season.

    Is This Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?

    While there may be some of you out there playing playoff versions of fantasy basketball, for the real-life games that remain I’m going to be focused on real-life results. Therefore, we don’t exactly have anything to talk about in this section yet, so I will temporarily convert this space to preview time: After today, this column will move to every other week until the Larry O’Brien Trophy is handed out, during which time I might just wax poetically about hoops but I may also start to do a number of season recap pieces which will all drive towards the NBA draft, NBA free agency, and culminate in some lead-ins for fantasy drafts and the 2022-23 season.

    All in all, I plan to cover players that I love and hate for next season with a little deeper dive into the numbers than usual. This might also mean that some weeks The Anomalistcle will be robust but it could mean too that some weeks we don’t even see it. Only the numbers spirits can say for sure and they are fickle mistresses.

    The Anomalisticle

    1 – Ending on April 4th, Nikola Jokić had been averaging 33.1 PPG on 70.6% field goal shooting over a seven-game span. No player has ever scored more points while shooting that well in NBA history, not even Wilt Chamberlain.

    2 – The Joker also became the first player in NBA history to record 2000+ points, 1000+ rebounds and 500+ assists in a single season.

    3 – LeBron James joined Bradley Beal and Stephen Curry as the only players to score 30+ PPG and miss the playoffs since 2006.

    4 – Joel Embiid became the first center to win the scoring title since Shaquille O’Neal and the highest scoring center since Moses Malone in 1980-81 (while doing so in nearly nine fewer minutes per game).

    5 – Embiid set the record for fewest minutes per game by a scoring champ in the shot clock era with 33.8 MPG. The previous record belonged to Stephen Curry who did it in 2015-16 and 2020-21 with 34.2

    6 – On April 5th, Embiid tallied his 12th game with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds, joining Moses Malone and Russell Westbrook for the most such games in a single season, both of whom won the MVP that season.

    7 – April 6th, 1997 is a day of infamy for Mavs fans, and this year was the 25th anniversary of the Mavs setting the record for fewest points in a quarter with two. They shot 0-for-15 from the floor and were only saved from getting completely goose-egged by a pair of Derek Harper free throws. We love you, Harp!

    8 – Of the five teams Chris Paul has played for, four of them set a franchise record for wins while he was manning the point for them. Huh, seems like he’s pretty good.

    9 – As of April 5th, the list of players to go for 43+ minutes in a victorious NBA debut is as follows: Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, LaPhonso Ellis and the sky-hooking Thunder guard, Zavier Simpson. Kudos, to the young fella.

    10 – The Suns’ 78.0% road winning percentage is better than any other team’s home winning percentage and is only the second time in NBA history where that’s happened. The other team, the 69-70 Knicks, went on to win the NBA Finals.

    11 – There have been three seasons in NBA history with a player line of 25-10-5-1-1 and Giannis Antetokounmpo authored each one of them.

    12 –  The Memphis Grizzlies just became the first team in NBA history to lead the league in rebounds, blocks and steals.

    13 – The Mavs’ 50-point victory over the Blazers on Friday set a new Blazers low for their 14th 30-point loss of the season. A record they broke last night vs. Utah. The Blazers had only lost 13 such games combined in the 30 seasons prior to this one.

    14 – This season saw LeBron James become the oldest player ever to average 30+ points per game. Did you know he was also the youngest to do it?

    15 – 30.3 PPG this season is the most ever for a player in their 19th season and almost as much as the next two players (Kobe Bryant, 17.6 and Kareem, 14.6) combined.

    16 – Karl-Anthony Towns had his fourth season shooting 50% from the floor or better while shooting 40% from 3-point or better with at least 100 attempts from deep. Only Steve Nash (5) has more, while no other player has more than two.

    17 – Ja Morant became the first guard ever to lead the league in paint scoring since the NBA started tracking the stat in 1996-97. Since 2005, only Shaquille O’Neal and Zion Williamson have ever scored more paint points than Ja did this year.

    18 – Kevin Love scored 32 points with 10 rebounds and eight threes last night in only 15 minutes for the first ever 30 & 10 game in 15 minutes or fewer in the shot clock era.

    *See something you like? Something you hate? Have some stats you think I missed? Head on over to Twitter and find me @sumocartwheel and let’s keep the conversation going!

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