21/22 First/Second-Round Pairings: Part 1
Stephen Curry (Pick 1-4)
Stephen Curry/Zach LaVine
Above average in Points, Threes, FG%, FT%
Average in Steals
Below average in Rebounds, Blocks, Turnovers
- Category scarcity is the name of the game here. When punting assists, we have to hit points and FT% early and often, and there are not many better points and FT% starts than this one. This is also a very strong FG% start. The numbers will say that it’s about average, but given that you haven’t picked up a big yet, it is a start that is guaranteed to land you in a very strong position in the category after you pick up your first couple of big men. This is obviously an unbelievable start in threes, which is part of the reason why we shouldn’t worry about not getting many rebounds and blocks early. You will have no issue taking on low-3PG bigs who dominate both categories later in the draft if this is how you begin your draft. Turnovers are the only real concern here, which is going to be the case with any LaVine pairing. In eight-category leagues, this is a nearly flawless duo.
James Harden/Jimmy Butler
Above average in Rebounds, Assists, Steals, FT%
Average in Turnovers
Below average in Points, Blocks, FG%
- Butler and Harden do not compliment each other as well as Butler and Nikola Jokic do, but this is still a very strong pairing. Buckets was the second-ranked player in nine-category punt threes and Harden was the seventh-ranked player. This is an extremely strong start in boards for a small-small start, and a dominant one in assists, steals, and FT%. Butler can also offset Harden’s massive turnovers hit by himself, so this works well in both nine-category and eight-category leagues. You will enter the third in rough shape in points, blocks, and FG%. Make points the priority over the next few rounds. Points dry up much faster, and there is plenty of FG% impact and swats available late. Some of that FG% impact and blocks will come with a FT% hit, but that is not a big deal, as this pairing guarantees a strong finish in the category.
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