Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Spencer Hawes. Of the three, Boozer is the only one who has yet to post a subpar game in the 2013-14 season. They’re all members of different teams, have differing strengths and styles of play, some of which is due to their difference in natural positions which is another point of dissimilarity, but are the same in how often they get passed over in leagues.
Strong play in the young 2013-14 season has changed that some but you always get the sense that people are ready to jump ship with either Boozer, Korver, or ‘The White Dwight Howard.’
In ESPN rankings, all three were under the top-100 cap with Korver being the lowest at No. 184. His three-point shooting endeared him with fans a little more than his ranking would have it as his Average Draft Position (ADP) was 116.5. Boozer’s ADP was the highest of the trio at 92.3 and Hawes was the lowest at 119.3.
Their pitiful rankings are partly poor misconceptions but also based on the three’s storied inconsistency. So you can’t blame people entirely for not waging higher stakes on nabbing them.
But their 2012-13 stats are still impressive across most fantasy basketball formats.
Of course, not as impressive as the way they’ve started their season. The three are absolutely scorching on all fronts.
It’s no accident that under ESPN’s Player Rater Spencer Hawes is currently ranked 13th, Kyle Korver 22nd and Carlos Boozer 26th. But is their current rate of success sustainable for the whole season? Not at all. But for various reasons it might turn out to be close.
Boozer, for one, looks to be in the best shape he’s been in for a while. Added to that, he’s also being more efficient with his scoring while also looking to score from inside more. This has also upped his Free Throw Attempt Rate, which dictates the number of free-throw attempts he gets for every one of his field-goal attempts. It currently stands at 31.7 percent which is the best it’s been since 2009-10, when he was still in Utah. With that, he’s taking less shots (15.2 field-goal attempts to last year’s 16.1) and is being used by the Bulls at a lower clip. His current usage of 22.9 percent is a good bit less than it was 12 months ago at 25.8.
Of course, this could all be an anomaly. But, in fact, Boozer seems to be taking more shots at the rim. 80 percent of his shots are coming within five feet of the rim when it was at 62 percent last season. Quite a difference that should be maintainable if the Bulls shooters can find their stroke soon.
Korver has also impressed and for good reason. He’s averaging a career high 15.7 Points Per Game and jacking up six three-pointers a contest—the most he has ever tried. The impressive thing is that he’s making them at the highest rate of his career, 66.7 percent. To do that over 82 games would be absurd, and unrealistic, so he’ll soon drop down to earth.
Still, the Hawks seem to have given him freer range to shoot and he’s taken advantage. The greatest thing going for him is that the team as a whole is shooting better from inside the arc and from deep than they did last year. Also, a greater percentage of their shots (68.1 percent as opposed to 65.1 percent) are now assisted, increasing their effectiveness. That puts Korver in an ideal situation where he’s surrounded by other players who are willing passers but whose shot must also be contended with. In all likelihood, and if they can get another scorer like Lou Williams back into the fold, the shooting guard can continue his hot streak at a career-best mark, at least.
Hawes, of the three, is probably the least likely to maintain his performance as he’s been known to under perform throughout his career and has had hot starts before. Still, he’s essentially doing everything better, including shooting from the charity stripe, which might suggest matured skills. At only 25, and now on this MCWed Sixers team, there’s plenty of reason to also think that his talents might finally be on the rise like many expected.
Though he’s been given free reign to shoot the long-ball, his 1.5 three-pointers per game is the most unsustainable part of his current standing. It can realistically be at 0.7-0.8 for most of the year which is still stellar for a five. The real question is if he can maintain the 16-10 stat line that’s making him look like a developing All-Star.
The most promising thing for this Philly team, and so for Hawes, is that they’re sharing the ball very generously. They currently are ranked seventh in the league for team assists per game. With their blinding style of play, that unselfishness is key to nab some W’s. If it keeps up, Hawes will have his off nights like he did against Golden State but might level into a 14.5-9-3 big who can also shoot some threes.