Heat Check 2020-21 | SLAM

The 2020-21 season is less than two weeks old but nothing beats the first handful of games as indicators of what fans can expect from their squads in a new season.

We’ve broken down the early returns from all players through the end of Wednesday night’s action, highlighting players who have exceeded their 2019-20 production, and broken them off into 30 team-specific tables. You can access any of the league’s squads in the grid at the bottom of this post.

Team-by-Team Breakdown

How It Works

Understanding that there’s no consensus way of quantifying the contributions that hoopers bring to the table on a nightly basis, let alone the intangible impacts they have on winning, we’ve measured each NBA player’s 2020-21 production against their 2019-20 numbers.

The results reveal early trends that could end up being significant parts of each team’s narrative throughout the season. Some players have thrived because of work they put in over the summer, some are filling up the box score simply because they’ve landed in a better situation.

In other scenarios, we may just be seeing statistical aberrations that won’t hold up over the course of a larger sample size, hit us on Twitter if you see anything that stands out.

Regardless, seeing which players have shown signs of taking a leap forward in 2020-21, is something that die hard fans, fantasy basketball players and casual viewers alike can get value out of.

In the team tables you’ll see players listed in order of how much more productive they’ve been, with corresponding emojis indicating whether they’ve exceeded or fallen short of their 2019-20 numbers.

You’ll also see each player’s points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game for good measure. Keep in mind that the overall calculation used for player impacts includes more than just those basic stats and does incorporate things like shooting percentages and basic defensive stats.

You can further click each player URL for a more conventional break down of the player’s early 2020-21 stat line and their game log.


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