Read below for points-league rankings and reaction.
Points-league rankings and reaction
The biggest movers this week relate to the two massive events that took place over the last few days. The first, extremely unfortunate event, was DeMarcus Cousins tearing his Achilles tendon. This moved all of the other New Orleans Pelicans starters up in the rankings, and almost got Anthony Davis to the top spot. Russell Westbrook may not be human, and Davis still has issues with ouchy injuries, so Westbrook holds on to the top spot.
The other big event was the Blake Griffin trade to the Detroit Pistons, primarily for Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley. My initial analysis suggests that Griffin should have more opportunity to score in Detroit without another primary scorer, playing off Andre Drummond, so he moves up several spots in this week's rankings. Griffin and Drummond certainly seem excited by the move, as evidenced by their Twitter responses to the deal:
- Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) January 30, 2018
- Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) January 30, 2018
The story with the LA Clippers is a bit murkier, because they are reportedly still shopping DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams, but in the short term, Williams moves up in value, while Harris projects to a role similar to what he had in Detroit.
Jrue Holiday jumps 14 spots up to 23rd this week on the strength of his new role on the Pelicans with Cousins injured. Holiday is now the clear No. 2 scorer on the team, and he flirted with a 20-point triple-double in his first game in this role.
Knee surgery is expected to sideline John Wall is battling sore knees for the next 6-8 weeks. If Wall makes the early side of that prognosis, he would be back on the court in mid-March, right around fantasy playoff time, but that's a best-case scenario. That sends him plummeting down to 93rd in the rankings this week.
Mike Conley officially fell out of the rankings this week, based on the news that he also elected to have surgery on his chronically sore Achilles tendon. He's sat most of the year, so his surgery announcement didn't make the waves as Cousins or Wall, but he was drafted to be an impact player, so it's good that those who held on to him can finally move on.
Williams averaged about 30 points for an extended period when Griffin was previously injured. Griffin has been traded, and though Harris is a scorer, he isn't as big of an offensive threat as Griffin, so Williams could amp his own scoring back up ... at least as long as he doesn't get traded. The added scoring potential gets him a three-spot raise into the top 20 of this week's rankings.
DeMar DeRozan had a dominant seven-game stretch to start January, averaging more than 30 points per game. During his past seven games, though, he has slowed down to the tune of 19.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 3.3 APG. Still solid numbers, but not enough to maintain the lofty spot in the top 15 that he had risen to last week.
E'Twaun Moore scored 16 points in his first game after Cousins went down, and his now steady role as the third scorer on a strong Pelicans unit got him a several-spot raise in this week's rankings.
The other mover in the top 10 is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who slid a bit last week with a sore knee but is back with a vengeance this week after averaging 33 points, 13.3 rebounds, 7 assists and 2.3 combined steals/blocks in his first three games back. This week, he gets Jabari Parker back in the lineup, and the question marks around whether it will affect his numbers to integrate another big scorer into the Bucks' lineup helped solidify him at third this week.
James Johnson jumped up the rankings last week on the strength of his short stint playing point forward, but he's inconsistent and the point guards have gotten healthy enough to get back in the lineup for the Miami Heat, so Johnson slides back down 10 slots.
Parker is set to make his season debut on Friday of this week. This was enough to move him up 29 slots, leaving him knocking on the door of the top 100. He's likely to start with a minutes ration and is breaking into a lineup with a lot of firepower, so he will likely stay here until he proves that he can put up big numbers, as he was starting to do last season before the injury.
Ben Simmons awakened during the last week, averaging 19.5 points with 8.3 assists, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals during his past four games to stop and partially reverse his month-long slide in the rankings.
Hassan Whiteside has averaged 17.1 points, 13.1 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.4 assists and 0.6 steals during his past seven games. He has grabbed double-digit rebounds in all seven contests, and scored more than 20 points in four of those games. He is starting to reach his elite level, as his health has rounded into shape.
Montrezl Harrell makes his debut in the rankings, based on the idea that he should play a larger role moving forward for the Clippers unless/until another trade is made. He averaged 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 combined steals/blocks over a six-game period in the middle of January, and has that kind of upside moving forward if he gets 25 or more minutes in the new Clippers' rotation.
Dwight Howard has averaged 16.7 points, 13.9 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals during his past 17 games. He quietly is putting together his best season in years, and this was able to push him up to 33rd in this week's rankings.
Myles Turner has been dealing with injuries for the entire month of January, but he returned two games ago and had a strong 22 points in 21 minutes on Monday. This was enough to stop his slide and even move him up a few spots in the rankings.
Nikola Vucevic (hand) did some on-court work about 10 days ago and is currently five weeks into an injury that was initially given a six-to-eight week time table for return. He moves up, because in the near future he should be back on the court.