NBA Star Power Index: Anthony Davis going into beast mode; D. Aaron Fox Burns; Ben Simmons answers Philly Bell

Welcome back NBA Star Power Index: A weekly measure of the players who get the most hype around the league. Inclusion on this list isn’t necessarily a good thing – it simply means that you’re getting the attention of the NBA world. This is not an arrangement either. The players listed are in no particular order. This column will run every week throughout the regular season.

header image

Davis has been an absolute beast lately for the Lakers, which is Baseline against the sun On Tuesday you have to believe: 37 points, 21 rebounds, five steals, and five blocks. Since blocks and steals became an official statistic in 1973, Davis has been the only player to put up those numbers.

The Davis Diet is more acceptable this season. He basically cut his long midrange attempts in half, and did most of the damage to the paint (before Phoenix, which cut a lot of downhill laps and post-climbs, he’d drop back and start his moves near the edge; one dribble or one hard step and he’s in paint and attack the edge) and at the free throw line, averaging 12 attempts over the last four games.

Asserting himself in the paint and forcing him to the free throw line is what will keep this kind of production going for Davis without having to rely on falling jumpers. He made 15 of 16 free throws on Tuesday after hitting 18 of 21 last Friday against Detroit. This does not happen by chance. He doesn’t get a lucky whistle. He’s going in beast mode. Playing with his size and strength and leaving teams, especially those that dare to play small, with no choice but to roll him.

The Lakers (5-11) lost in Phoenix, but have won three of their last four and are expecting LeBron James. Again on Friday against Tottenham. If Davis, who joins Shaquille O’Neal and Elgin Baylor as the only players in Lakers history to record four consecutive 30-15 games, continues to play this way with James back in the lineup, perhaps the Lakers can start piecing together something real.

header image

Light the beam, baby. The Kings have won seven in a row, and if Fox continues to play this way, it will be impossible to keep him out of his first All-Star Game. Fox has 32 points in Sacramento’s win over Memphis on Tuesday, 33 in its win over Detroit on Sunday, and he’s shooting career-bests from all over the floor — including 81 percent in the rim and 58 percent between 4 and 14 feet, They both record as the league’s highest score among guards, as measured by glass cleaning.

His shots during the winning streak are amazing.

Fox also hit a career-best 40.8 percent from 3 (hitting 5 from 8 on Tuesday); Among the league’s top 20 scorers (Fox ranks 14th), this is the fourth best in depth, behind only Stephen Curry, Donovan Mitchell and Therese Maxey.

Fox is still a Sacramento drive with a heavy diet, but thrives on a bit more variety in his touches than in years past as the Kings have more avenues with which to start half-court action, namely Domantas Sabonis in the high position or as a dribbling handover.

Fox’s mid-range jumper drops at an efficient clip, giving him a release valve coming downhill so he doesn’t have to weave his way through traffic; He makes three shots per game between 5 and 14 feet, according to NBA.com tracking, which puts him near the top guards and right in line with Luka Doncic.

All this means is that Fox is swinging. And royalty is no joke.

header image

On his return to Philadelphia, Simmons faced the challenge of a near-hostile crowd (he punched a Philly believer afterward Saying that he thought it would be louder) with 11 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. All things considered, I thought Simmons was poised and aggressive and, frankly, didn’t give Philly fans any kind of negative energy to hang on to. Even when he went to the free throw line (he only made 3 of 6) he didn’t shrink from the spotlight. He went ahead and took his shots and he was fine.

Despite Simmons playing well, the Nets lost the game to a Sixers team that was without their top three players in Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey, which was disappointing. Simmons at center (difficult to play alongside Nick Claxton for spacing issues) is a problem on the board, killing Philly for the Nets, whose defense has generally been better under Jack Vaughn but is still an issue. Simmons going scoreless in the fourth quarter was a familiar sight for Sixers fans.

All that said, Simmons’ overall performance is a good sign of things to come in the big picture. That’s a very strong three-game winning streak for him. Suffice it to say sample that it turns out to be an important juncture. Simmons’ double-double in Philly came on the heels of a 15-13-7 showing against the Blazers and a 22-8-5 streak against the Grizzlies, both net wins.

It’s just a different energy that Simmons is playing with right now, and so, there’s been a different energy around the Nets lately, even though the Sixers have lost. This is the kind of Simmons play that gets into the spirit of the entire team.

Vaughn said Simmons plays with “power”. This is the best way to say it. Simmons attacks any space in front of him, pushing the pace to either find 3-point shooters in transition or proceed to paint himself if no one steps up to stop him. Give him a runway, and he’s tumbling post-up or Eurostepping to the brim.

In the half of the field, he makes quick decisions as a DHO-initiator, swoops into the ball screens and rolls hard, forcing the big players to pay tribute to him as a scorer. If they do, the processor has an edge-free lane. If they don’t, Simmons is ready to go. This is the key to Simmons. pose a threat. If they give you space, take it up and don’t stand still for too long. Even when he’s on Dunker’s Spot, he doesn’t settle as a statue. It is ready to flash. Keeping his head up for down passes.

This is the Simmons family that the Nets hoped they would have at some point, and if they stick around, they’ll be a much better team.

header image

Thompson, who had struggled to find his two navy legs all season, finally broke ground with a vintage 41-point performance in leading Golden State to its first road win of the season (1-9) against the Rockets. Thompson hit 10 of 13 three-pointers and was aggressive (which is not a problem for him) from the start.

The performance marked the sixth time that Thompson made at least 10 three-pointers in a single game—the second-most such spread in NBA history after Steve Curry’s record of 22. Thompson, along with Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins He sat out the next night in a blowout loss to New Orleans, and will look to keep his hand hot Wednesday at home against the Clippers.

header image

Curry has 101 points over the last three games, highlighted by the 50-block hit he hit the Suns last Wednesday. That wasn’t enough. The Warriors are still losers in Phoenix. But Curry gave us something else in his long list of viral anti-missile picks, punctuating Thompson’s aforementioned performance with “Tonight’s” Moonball.

Curry continues to play at an insane level every night. He was the league’s MVP, and if the Warriors can pull their stuff together and climb the standings, he’ll be in the thick of the race for his third MVP.

header image

Young has yet to find a consistent stroke. He’s less than 40 percent overall and 30 percent from 3. But he lives in the paint, continues to hit the free throw line more than eight times per game, and for my money he’s the best passer in the world. That pass down the back wasn’t too difficult for a facilitator of Young’s caliber, but what a pre-decision to see how much time it would have been to toss that game-winning alley to AJ Griffin as time expired against the Raptors.

The Falcons don’t do much in the way of the offensive system creating shots for the scorers. They mainly rely on Young, and to a lesser extent Dejounte Murray, to generate everything from their individual abilities. Only with a top player like Young can you do that, but I still wonder about the feasibility of an individually intensive half-court plan in the framework of the playoffs. We saw what The Heat did to Young last season by removing him from the equation. At least this year the Hawks had a second creator in Murray. We’ll see if that’s enough or if she develops offensively as the season progresses.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: