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Roundball Stew

Stew: Ariza Renaissance

by Matt Stroup
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

When I think of the number 30, the first five things that come to mind (in order) are:

1. The number directly following 29 and immediately preceding 31;

2. The number of minutes (or less) in which you should receive your pizza;

3. 30-30 Club (favorite random member: Dante Bichette, Rockies, 1996);

4. The number of days in April, June, September and November;

5. A useful number of days to analyze a fantasy basketball trend.

As you may have guessed, the last of these five is the one that’s most relevant to today’s column. So, without any more intro, let’s take a few minutes to break down some trends that have gotten my attention over the last month…

Trevor Ariza, SG/SF, HOU

Last 30 Days: 13.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.7 apg, 3.2 spg, 2.5 3s in 11 games

Analysis: Assuming my math is correct, the only player who has averaged more combined steals + 3s than Ariza’s 5.7 over the last 30 days is the statistical outlier known as Stephen Curry (last 30 days: 5.5 3s + 2.0 steals = 7.5). The Rotoworld blurbs have been reminding you frequently just how valuable Ariza has been after his slow start, but here are a couple recent numbers to add some perspective: Over his last seven games, he has posted either four-plus steals or four-plus 3s six times, a three-week stretch that has seen him average 14.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 3.7 spg and 2.7 3s. And over the last 30 days, Ariza’s 3s/steals bonanza has helped make him the No. 23-ranked player in 9-category leagues.

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Danny Green, SG/SF, SAS

Last 30 Days: 9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.2 spg, 0.9 bpg, 2.1 3s in 13 games

Analysis: One of the most oft-discussed headaches of the 2015-16 season, Green has quietly gotten back to what he does best, which is stack up numbers in 3s, steals and blocks. In true 2015-16 Danny Green fashion, he has remained pretty frustrating while doing so – over the last 13 games, he has failed to hit double figures six times. However, given how much of the season he’s spent being more or less useless (first 43 games: 6.8 ppg, 35.8 percent shooting), this recent trend represents the rare case where inconsistency is acceptable – especially considering the alternative.

Draymond Green, SF/PF, GSW

Last 30 days: 11.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 7.3 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.8 bpg, 0.6 3s (and 4.1 TO) in 12 games

Analysis: The second and final D. Green entry of the day lands us on another slightly odd case. It’s unusual because the numbers above, if evaluated in a vacuum, are pretty wonderful. However, when you compare them to what Draymond did for most of the season, there’s a notable discrepancy. I’ll put them side-by-side so we can all get a better look:

Green’s first 44 games: 14.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 7.3 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.3 bpg, 1.4 3s, 2.8 TO

Green’s last 12 games: 11.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 7.3 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.8 bpg, 0.6 3s, 4.1 TO

Do we need to panic here? Definitely not. Green is still a statistical monster and a nightly threat for a triple-double. But the drought in blocks and 3s is a very real thing (last eight games: just 0.3 bpg and 0.4 treys). Obviously he’s capable of turning that around pretty quickly – and he’s still a big asset in multiple categories – but it’s a somewhat problematic trend taking place at exactly the wrong time of year.

Marvin Williams, SF/PF, CHA

Last 30 days: 14.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 0.9 spg, 0.9 bpg, 2.2 3s in 11 games

Analysis: I’ll be honest – from the very start of this season, I’ve had very little faith that Williams could maintain his fantasy relevance. That was in part because as a longtime Hawks fan, I’d become a skeptic, and also because his recent years just haven’t been very good (last three seasons combined: 7.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.7 spg, 0.5 bpg, 1.1 3s). But other than an off month of December (7.9 ppg on 33.6 percent from the field), Williams has continued to hold strong. Since the start of January, he’s at 12.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.7 spg, 0.8 bpg and 1.9 3s in 25 games. And of his three 20-plus-point games this season, all have come in the last 30 days (or 31, if you must know the absolute truth). Bottom line: I never would have expected it, but for the first time in a very long time, Marvin is lined up to be a strong fantasy option down the stretch.

Gorgui Dieng, PF/C, MIN

Last 30 days: 15.8 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.8 bpg, 62.5 percent FG in 12 games

Analysis: Right around this time last month, it wouldn’t have been out of the question to have gotten fed up and dropped Gorgui Dieng. After all, up until late January, the 26-year-old had been helpful to owners in deeper formats, but overall he’d been somewhere between boring and frustrating (first 44 games: 8.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.2 spg and 1.0 bpg in 24 minutes per game). Then, on Jan. 27, he finally joined the starting five for good (thanks, Sam Mitchell!), and the net result has been the stat line (15.8 / 10.0) you see above. It’s a recurring theme in this week’s column for the most part, but if you waited it out through some early struggles, well done.

Other Random Thoughts: After a fairly quiet stretch to close out January (12.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.1 spg in eight games), Thaddeus Young is surging yet again. Last nine games: 15.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.8 spg and 0.8 bpg, including seven steals and three blocks on Thursday night. … J.R. Smith the last 30 days: 3.5 3s per game. The only players with more? The aforementioned Curry (5.5) and Klay Thompson, at 3.7. … I was hesitant to draft Jordan Clarkson this year because I thought the Kobe Bryant farewell tour would stand too much in his way, but after a pretty solid season, Clarkson is headed for what could be an even bigger finish. So far in February, he has posted 18.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.2 spg and 2.4 3s on 52.8 percent from the field in nine games.

Meanwhile, I sat down in front of a camera to discuss some recent waiver wire options. Check it out below: