Welcome to The Hoops Market. This weekly column will be a report on the basketball “stock market”. I will talk about values going up, going down, and then taking a look into the options market, where I predict some values that could see significant rises or drops in the upcoming weeks. Values can be players, teams, front office members, coaches, or anything basketball-related.
This week’s column will talk about the recent surge of the Knicks, Russell Westbrook, as well as the play-in tournament, which seems to have a lot of value as the time comes for the games to happen.
New York Knicks: Trending Up
With a win over the injury-riddled Celtics, the Knicks have clinched the 4th seed, their first playoff appearance in 8 seasons. This will pin them against the Hawks in the first round, who the Knicks have beaten 3 times this season. Before the season, the Knicks’ playoff hopes were slim, but the breakout season’s from R.J. Barrett and Julius Randle have given the Knicks hope for the future.
Russell Westbrook: Trending Up
Russell Westbrook made history, passing Oscar Robertson to become the triple-double leader of all time. Westbrook did this as he continues his tear over the past few games, as he is putting up video game statistics. Westbrook is averaging 24 points, 18 assists, and 14 rebounds over the past 7 games, as well as a steal and a half nightly. Hopefully, the Wizards can win back to back in the play-in, and make it to the playoffs, where they would face the Sixers, and have a chance to upset them.
The Play-In: Trending Up
This year, injuries have turned teams from contenders for the one seed to contenders for the playoffs. Teams like the Lakers, Warriors, and Celtics have found themselves closer to the bottom of the standings than expected. As worrisome as this is for the teams, they face more issues to come, as they will have to win one more game to secure their playoff spot. However, the importance of these games could be crucial for teams like the Warriors and Wizards, who would have likely missed the playoffs without the tournament.
The Options Market
Stephan Curry: To the moon!
Curry will have the chance to play in the play-in tournament this week, and we will get the chance to see him in full playoff mode again. Curry is one of the players who is always able to elevate his game in big moments, and with a chance to make the playoffs, you can bet a lot of money that the Warriors will have a chance to play in a 7 game series.