Three in the Key: Explaining why Franz Wagner should win Rookie of the Year

Orlando Magic rookie Franz Wagner has had an outstanding debut season in the NBA.

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down some of the most interesting trends we have seen around the NBA throughout the season.

Of course, the name of this column is derived from basketball’s three-second violation rule. With that in mind, the goal of this exercise is to find one of the most interesting subjects about the game and explain the three keys to why it is happening while also providing context on what makes it interesting.

For this edition, Three in the Key will take a look at someone that has been heating up of late. We’re focusing on Orlando Magic rookie Franz Wagner, who deserves to hear his name in the Rookie of the Year conversation.

Not only does Wagner have the single-game scoring high for rookies so far this season (38 points) but he also owns four of the ten largest scoring nights for first-year players thus far in 2021-22.

Three in the Key: Explaining why Donovan Mitchell belongs in the MVP conversation

He ranks as the NBA’s best player over the course of the last month, per HoopsHype’s Global Rating.

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down some of the most interesting trends we have seen around the NBA throughout the season.

Of course, the name of this column is derived from basketball’s three-second violation rule. With that in mind, the goal of this exercise is to find one of the most interesting subjects about the game and explain the three keys to why it is happening while also providing context on what makes it interesting.

For this edition, Three in the Key will take a look at someone that has been heating up of late. During the broadcast on Christmas, perhaps forgetting about John Stockton and Karl Malone, Stephen A. Smith called him the greatest talent in the history of the franchise. He also ranks as the NBA’s best player over the course of the last month, per HoopsHype’s Global Rating.

We’re talking about Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell – and why he might be a little bit underrated as perhaps the game’s most elite shot-creator based on these three elements:

MVP Race: Who are the best players based on advanced analytics and impact metrics?

As part of a new series at HoopsHype, we are examining who should win the NBA MVP award based on what we can learn from advanced analytics.

As part of a new series at HoopsHype, we are examining who should win the NBA MVP award based on what we can learn from advanced analytics.

For this survey, each impact metric was included because it was considered among the most trustworthy by NBA executives when asked by HoopsHype during this past offseason.

The metrics pulled included Daily Plus-Minus (DPM), Estimated Plus-Minus (EPM), LEBRON (BBall-Index), RAPTOR (FiveThirtyEight), Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus (RAPM) and Box Plus-Minus (Basketball-Reference). We also added the model of Box Plus-Minus from Backpicks.com as well as the newest impact metric, Daily-Updated Rating of Individual Performance (DRIP).

ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus was not included because the data has not been published yet this season. However, if it’s publicly available by our next update, RPM will also be calculated.

Because each of these metrics is graded on a per-100 possession scale, we adjusted for playing time by multiplying their impact contribution on each metric by the percentage of possible minutes they have played for their team so far this season.

As with the official vote, the top player received 10 points, the second received seven points, the third received five points, the fourth received three points, and the fifth player received one point. If a player finished outside of the Top 5, they didn’t receive any votes from that measurement.

Only players that made the Top 5 on least one of these eight metrics were included in our rankings below. Some of the most notable omissions include DeMar DeRozan, Trae YoungZach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns, LaMelo BallLuka DoncicPaul George and Devin Booker.

To see where our staff at HoopsHype feels the MVP race is as of right now, however, click here. To see who should make the All-NBA ballots based on HoopsHype’s Global Rating, click here.

Q&A: Mikal Bridges on lessons learned from Chris Paul, winning the West, and more

Mikal Bridges helped the Phoenix Suns win the Western Conference this past season and is now a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.

Mikal Bridges helped the Phoenix Suns win the Western Conference this past season and is now a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-6 wing, who has a 7-foot-1 wingspan, did a better job shutting down Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry than almost any other player in the league has done so far this year. For the second season in a row, Bridges is also shooting better than 40.0 percent on three-pointers.

Bridges caught up with HoopsHype and discussed what he learned from his trip to the NBA Finals, how he has grown from playing alongside Chris Paul, and plenty more.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Three in the Key: Analyzing Luka Doncic, Dejounte Murray, Garrison Mathews

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down three interesting topics we have seen around the NBA throughout the season.

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down three interesting topics we have seen around the NBA throughout the season.

Of course, the name of this column is derived from basketball’s three-second violation rule. With that in mind, the goal of this exercise is to observe three subjects about the game. We want to explain the key to why it is happening while also providing context on what makes it interesting.

Here are three more of our highlights from the NBA’s 2021-22 season:

Three in the Key: Analyzing Cole Anthony, Grant Williams, JaVale McGee

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down three interesting topics we have seen around the NBA throughout the season.

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down three interesting topics we have seen around the NBA throughout the season.

Of course, the name of this column is derived from basketball’s three-second violation rule. With that in mind, the goal of this exercise is to observe three subjects about the game. We want to explain the key to why it is happening while also providing context on what makes it interesting.

Here are three more of our highlights from the NBA’s 2021-22 season:

Rockets teammates comically cleared out for Kevin Porter to record first career triple-double

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter needed another rebound to secure his first career triple-double and his teammates made sure he got it.

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter needed another rebound to secure his first career triple-double and his teammates made sure he got it.

Porter, who is playing point guard for the Rockets this season, finished the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Needless to say, it was a close call on whether or not he would actually notch the accomplishment and he may not have gotten it without help from his teammates.

With just over a minute left in the game, following a miss from the Thunder, Houston’s Jae’Sean Tate and Josh Christopher cleared out for Porter to get the board. Christopher even jumped up and down to try to communicate to Porter that he had full clearance to steal the stat.

In fact, once Porter was finally able to secure the board and the triple-double, no one seemed happier than Christopher.

Much like when teammates encouraged Bob Sura to miss a layup and get a rebound for what would have been his third straight triple-double in 2004, it was a brilliant moment to build team chemistry for the lowly Rockets. Plus, it assuredly helped boost confidence for Porter in the process.

The main reason why John Wall is on the sidelines is to develop Houston’s young talent, and with Porter playing the same position, he is the person who most greatly benefits from Wall’s absence.

Porter became the youngest player in Rockets history to record a triple-double. He joins Steve Francis and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in franchise history to record a triple-double before turning 23 years old.

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Three in the Key: Analyzing Fred VanVleet, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wendell Carter Jr.

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down three interesting topics we have seen around the NBA throughout the season. 

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down three interesting topics we have seen around the NBA throughout the season.

Of course, the name of this column is derived from basketball’s three-second violation rule. With that in mind, the goal of this exercise is to observe three subjects about the game. We want to explain the key to why it is happening while also providing context on what makes it interesting.

Here are three more of our highlights from the NBA’s 2021-22 season:

Q+A: Alex Caruso on leaving Lakers, chemistry with Lonzo Ball, impressions of Austin Reaves

Alex Caruso discussed leaving the Lakers, chemistry with Lonzo Ball, his early impressions of Los Angeles rookie Austin Reaves and plenty more.

Since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, Alex Caruso has helped lead the Chicago Bulls to one of the best records in the NBA.

Caruso, 27, has evolved from an undrafted player competing in the G League to an NBA champion who is now playing on a $30 million contract. As part of this evolution, advanced metrics and the “eye test” will both tell you that he has also become one of the most impactful defensive players in the league.

While recovering from a wrist injury, Caruso found some type to catch up with HoopsHype. He discussed leaving the Lakers, chemistry with Lonzo Ball, his early impressions of Los Angeles rookie Austin Reaves and plenty more.

Three in the Key: Tyrese Maxey, Josh Hart, Isaiah Hartenstein

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down three interesting topics we’ve seen happening around the NBA over this past week.

As part of an ongoing series at HoopsHype, we’re breaking down three interesting topics we’ve seen happening around the NBA over this past week.

Of course, the name of this column is derived from basketball’s three-second violation rule. The goal of this exercise is to observe a few subjects and then explain the key to why it’s happening and what makes it interesting.

Here are our three highlights from the last week of the NBA’s 2021-22 season: