More importantly, Harden is doing it on the best team in the NBA. With Harden on the court, the Rockets have outscored opponents by an average of 10.2 points per 100 possessions. They’ve been more dominant with Harden and Chris Paul on the court together, but they’ve still outscored opponents by 8.6 points per 100 possessions with Harden on the court and Paul on the bench. It’s helped them win 47 games, giving the Rockets a slight edge over the Warriors for the best record in the Western Conference.
The Rockets also own the tiebreaker should they finish the season with the same record as the Warriors. Harden didn’t play in the one game the Rockets lost to the Warriors this season, but he played in the two other games and carried them to a pair of impressive victories.
While it was less of a problem at the start of the season, Anunoby has struggled with his 3-point shot over the last couple of months. After making 44.8 percent of his 3-point attempts in November and December, he has made 23.3 percent of his 3-point attempts in January and February.
As a result, he’s gone from scoring 6.7 points per game to 4.7 points per game, the difference between Anunoby being the 21st-highest scoring rookie and the 39th-highest scoring rookie this season. The only starters currently averaging less points per game than him on the season are either defensive specialists or 7-footers playing around 20 minutes per game.
After a middling Senior Bowl, Davenport’s draft stock is all over the place. He’s obviously packed with potential, but he’s limited right now as being a standup pass rusher. That fits in Tennessee where Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan both only have a year left on their contracts.
Although Bryan isn’t exactly a direct stylistic replacement for Dontari Poe, he would give the Falcons another disruptive player up the middle on defense. Bryan is at his best when he can use his aggressiveness to create pocket pressure.
Tight ends are often the popular choice for the Saints in the first round, but they still need some talent at linebacker. Evans showed at Alabama he’s coming, playing on the inside and occasionally blitzing from the edge. He’s a three-down player who sort of fills two needs for New Orleans. There should be tight end depth in the second round.
For Curry, he’s the engine that makes the Warriors go offensively. He’s averaging 26.7 points and 6.5 assists per game on 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 42.1 percent shooting from the perimeter this season. The combination of his 3-point shooting and its impact on how teams defend the Warriors has them scoring 120.7 points per 100 possessions with him on the court versus 106.5 points per 100 possessions with him on the bench, giving Curry a monstrous differential and the highest offensive rating in the NBA this season.
With the win, Philly improved to 25-24, maintaining their hold on eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat dropped to 29-23 and a half-game back of Washington for fourth.
Fresh off his second straight Rookie of the Month honor, the Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell dropped 40 points (14 of 19 from the field, 7 of 9 from long range) in Utah’s 129-97 win at Phoenix. He added five rebounds, six assists and two steals to boot. It was Mitchell’s second game with 40 or more points this season, and he’s giving Ben Simmons a run for his money in the Rookie of the Year race.
Standing about 10 feet away in the stands was a 10-year-old boy sporting a Curry jersey, which he was pleading for the two-time MVP to sign. But Curry’s eyes were focused upward in an attempt to locate members of his family and he never saw the kid.
The next day, the mother of the child posted a video on Facebook criticizing Curry for intentionally leaving her son out to dry. The video showed her son getting his jersey signed by other Warriors player with sentimental music playing in the background, then Curry never making eye contact with him.
These players not under contract for next season and are free so sign with anybody without tender restrictions come March 14. Here is our ranking and analyses of the best unrestricted free agents.
This list will be updated as players come off the open marking via tagging, re-signing or agreeing to contracts with new teams.
Bell has joked about big deals with other teams, but it would be surprising to see the game’s most versatile and still-young feature back leave Pittsburgh. He should get the long-term deal he wants.
Curry’s quiet leadership fuels Warriors’ dominanceSteph Curry has long led his squad humbly and by example, and his selflessness permeates the team and community.
It was exactly a year ago when teammates first noticed a change in Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warriors had just witnessed Kevin Durant suffer a knee injury, which immediately cast doubt on the team’s chances of advancing to the NBA Finals for a third consecutive year.
When the Warriors found out the next day that Durant would be available for the postseason, they were relieved. But no one within the organization knew if there would be enough time for the 6-foot-11 forward to return to his All-Star form during the playoffs. The pressure was mounting for a team with championship expectations, especially after the offseason acquisition of KD.
Landry is the game’s ultimate high-volume possession receiver. He’s more of a reliable extension of a running game and short-area scorer than he is a gamebreaker, but he’s very good in his niche role. The Dolphins will do their best to keep him for Ryan Tannehill.
Lewis in 2017 was an excellent return man and remained an open-field threat as a receiver, but he also proved he can be a complete runner working between the tackles and handling a good workload. He was a key cog for New England, but that team doesn’t typically spend much to keep backs.
The Jets traded the one-time Pro Bowl defender before the 2017 season, and he promptly found a strong home as a 4-3 tackle after playing 3-4 end for most of his career. He was very disruptive in the middle of the field with Seattle. With a lot of other positional money issues, especially defensively, it will be hard for the Seahawks to keep him.
Ansah, two years removed from a Pro Bowl selection, fought through injuries for a rebound 12-sack season after disappearing in 2016. It will be interesting to see how much Lions general manager Bob Quinn wants to keep the veteran around beyond ’18 as a defensive cornerstone for new coach Matt Patricia.
Melvin turned into a complete (and sometimes shutdown) corner for the Colts before he injured his hand, making big plays on the ball and against the run. Indy would like to keep him, but he should want to see his demand given the supply is so low on big defensive backs of his ilk.