NBA Math’s All-TPA Teams for Week 3 (Nov. 7-13)
Stephen Curry is back in the three-point business, while superstars such as Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and James Harden continue to shine. We’ve even got LeBron James re-entering your life after his brief Week 2 hiatus.
Plus, there are more surprises. Last week, it was Larry Nance. Now, if you’d bet on Lucas Nogueira making an All-TPA First Team appearance, you’d be rich.
Throughout the 2016-17 season, NBA Math will be providing you with weekly updates that showcase the Association’s premier talents. Play the best during the week in question (everything else, for these purposes, is wholly irrelevant), and you’ll end up slotted on one of the three All-TPA teams.
Of course, you’ll have to make the First or Second Team to receive the luxury of a featured blurb. We’re not here to coddle those on the Third Team, even if they still receive their due credit.
If you need a refresher on TPA, click here. Otherwise, proceed to the Week 3 standouts.
|All-TPA First Team, Oct. 7-13|
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (2 First Team Selections, 1 Second Team)
Is Russell Westbrook ever going to slow down?
He certainly didn’t during Week 3, moving back up to the First Team slot he occupied during the first week of the 2016-17 campaign. It was another period filled with monstrous individual performances, capped off by the triple-double against the Orlando Magic you can see below:
Even with an inexplicable 14-point outing in a victory over the Miami Heat, Westbrook still averaged 30.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 10.8 assists while playing stellar defense. His field-goal percentage and turnover numbers lagged behind where they need to be, but it’s difficult to pin the Oklahoma City Thunder’s newfound lack of success on him after yet another big week.
Westbrook has added 119.44 points to the OKC cause for the season as a whole, and that still leaves him on a torrid pace. If he could maintain his individual excellence while suiting up in every game, he’d displace 1988-89 Michael Jordan for the top score in our databases.
Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers (2 First Team Selections)
Point guards aren’t supposed to be this good in their 30s, but Chris Paul defies logic.
We could easily focus on his incredible shooting and overall offensive exploits during Week 3—it remains undeniably impressive that he’s able to steer the Los Angeles Clippers to such success without recording even two turnovers per game. But Paul’s defense has been nearly as good.
During the last seven days, the floor general saved more defensive points than all but 20 other players throughout the Association, and only two 1-guards (Westbrook and…Raymond Felton) proved his superior. It’s not like he’s been taking it easy on the preventing end to rest up for his immense responsibilities on the more glamorous side.
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls (1 First Team Selection)
Stephen Curry was the only player to add more offensive value in Week 3. But while the Golden State Warriors point guard was a glaring negative on defense, Jimmy Butler posted a top-25 DPS mark for the Chicago Bulls.
In fact, his two-way performance made him the Week 3 MVP.
Still, how can we not home in on his offense? While helping spark victories over the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Washington Wizards (as well as a loss to the Atlanta Hawks), Butler averaged 29.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 4.0 steals, shooting 47.9 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from downtown and 91.3 percent at the charity stripe. It was his ceaseless aggression that paid off, resulting in a staggering 46 free-throw attempts during the four-game stretch—including a 14-of-14 showing during his 37-point outburst against the Wizards:
Otto Porter, Washington Wizards (1 First Team Selection)
Is it safe to say Otto Porter is breaking out?
During Week 3, only nine players posted a higher OPA score. Just Rudy Gobert, Blake Griffin and Lucas Noguiera topped him in DPS. No matter what facet of the game we’re discussing, the fourth-year wing was utterly phenomenal for a Wizards team that desperately needs to get rolling.
The highlight? That’s easy:
Few players in 2016-17 will submit a better game than Porter’s 34 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks against the Boston Celtics, especially since those numbers came with zero turnovers, on 14-of-19 shooting from the field and in a blowout victory.
Lucas Noguiera, Toronto Raptors (1 First Team Selection)
Stop trying to score against Lucas Noguiera:
The nine blocks in three games are impressive enough—especially in conjunction with his refusal to miss shots on the other end. It’s telling that Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey is already willing to give this young center significant minutes down the stretch of close contests.
|All-TPA Second Team, Nov. 7-13|
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets (1 Second Team Selection, 1 Third Team)
In an attempt to prove his 2015-16 breakout was by no means unsustainable, Kemba Walker refuses to regress in two key areas. He’s shooting 58.5 percent from within three feet while getting to the area even more frequently, and he’s connecting on his triples at a 47.0 percent clip.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (1 Second Team Selection)
Although he’s still adjusting on defense now that he can’t funnel players toward Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry is back.
Seriously. He’s back.
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz (1 Second Team Selection)
This is how you debut in style. Beginning with the second half of a back-to-back, Gordon Hayward averaged 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists while shooting 47.9 percent from the field during his first full week of action for the Utah Jazz.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers (1 Second Team Selection, 1 Third Team)
Although it’s notable that Blake Griffin’s shot selection is clearly improving as he gains confidence in his health, it’s even more important to the Los Angeles Clippers that he’s been so good on defense. Unless he’s been left alone at the rim, Griffin has served as a legitimate stopper for the team quickly rocketing up power rankings everywhere; only Rudy Gobert was able to record a higher Week 3 DPS.
Pau Gasol, San Antonio Spurs (1 Second Team Selection)
The San Antonio Spurs had been struggling with how to best deploy Pau Gasol, but he made their lives easier in Week 3 by playing great defensive basketball (admittedly, in his zone of limited mobility) and remembering how to thrive on offense. The big man followed up his 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists (on 10-of-16 shooting, no less) against the Detroit Pistons with 15/7/6 in a victory over the Houston Rockets.
|All-TPA Third Team, Nov. 7-13|
Adam Fromal is the founder of NBA Math. Follow him on Twitter @fromal09.