Friday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contests feature a choice of three NBA games: Sacramento Kings at Atlanta Hawks (7:30 p.m. ET), New York Knicks at Dallas Mavericks (8:30 p.m. ET), and Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the late game. The Heat are playing on the second night of a back-to-back, giving the Lakers the rest advantage. The Lakers are 8.5-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook.
For the Heat, Justise Winslow (headache) did not play in Thursday’s game and was placed into the NBA’s concussion protocol after the game, so he is in line to miss some time until his symptoms clear. For the Lakers, Avery Bradley (leg) is questionable.
Editor’s Note: Winslow (concussion) and SF/PF Derrick Jones Jr. (hip) have been ruled out for tonight’s game.
For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook can change throughout the day. Value also unexpectedly can open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up-to-the-minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
— The Lakers have lost their past four games as favorites against opponents who are on the second leg of a back-to-back.
— The road team has covered the spread in each of the past four games between the Heat and Lakers.
— Eight of the Lakers’ past nine home games against the Heat have gone UNDER the total points line.
— LeBron James has scored 28+ points in each of the Lakers’ past two games against the Heat.
— Anthony Davis has scored 27+ points in six of his past seven appearances against the Heat.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
The Heat have one of the best team defenses on a possession-adjusted basis, ranking fourth best by points allowed per possession. Miami also is excellent on the glass, grabbing just under 53% of missed shots, third best. Because Miami is strong defensively and on the boards, it can be a difficult fantasy opponent. However, there are some encouraging signs for Miami fantasy opponents. For one, Miami’s above-average pace, which ranks 10th, makes its point and rebound prevention play down a little, as it falls from fourth in pace-adjusted team defense to ninth in points allowed to opponents.
Secondly, some peripheral statistics indicate Miami’s defense isn’t quite as good as its point prevention has been. The Heat’s basket protection is not great, allowing the ninth highest field goal percentage on shots within five feet of the basket. Miami also is prone to allowing high-quality looks from 3. The Heat allow the seventh most wide-open 3s per game based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter.
Because the Heat are worse than average at protecting the basket and preventing quality looks from deep, some Lakers players could thrive in this matchup, particularly point forward LeBron James ($12,400). James is creating a titanic 20 potential assists per game as he transitions to more of a full-time point guard role. James also takes a lot of his shots within five feet of the basket, taking the sixth most shots per game in that zone among all players. James will be a candidate to perform off drives to the basket and kick outs to 3-point shooters, where he can both score and assist. James also leads the Lakers in 3-point attempts per game.
Anthony Davis ($12,000) also takes elevated shots within five feet of the basket, and combined with his heavy 32% usage rate — tied with James for highest on the team — he is also an obvious strong fantasy play. Kyle Kuzma ($5,600) is a mid-tier option as he builds his minutes in return from injury. Kuzma ranks third on the Lakers in usage rate at 26% and ranks second in average 3-point attempts per game, slightly ahead of Danny Green ($4,800). If Avery Bradley ($3,800; leg) is out, Quinn Cook ($3,400) is also a salary-relief option after playing a season-high 26 minutes in the Lakers’ previous game.
Editor’s Note: Bradley will start in tonight’s game vs. the Heat.
The Heat enter into a tough fantasy matchup against a Lakers defense that ranks as the best team defense on a possession-adjusted basis and fourth best at point prevention. The Lakers’ strong defense also appears to be more sustainable than the Heat given some of their peripheral statistics. Los Angeles ranks as the fourth best team at protecting the basket by field goal percentage allowed within five feet of the basket. Los Angeles also allows the eighth fewest wide-open 3s per game based on the league’s player tracking system.
Among Heat players, Jimmy Butler ($9,200) leads the team in usage rate at 26%, followed by Kendrick Nunn ($6,400) at 25%. While the Lakers are strong defensively, they are a below-average rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they rebound, which could be notable for center Bam Adebayo ($8,200).
Duncan Robinson ($3,000) started in place of Justise Winslow ($6,200; illness) on Thursday and is a salary-relief option if he is back in the starting lineup again Friday. Robinson played 28 minutes and scored 19.50 DKFP in place of Winslow and is averaging 30 minutes per game in starts this season, a big boost from 16 minutes per game off the bench. Goran Dragic ($6,800) also could see an expanded role with Winslow out. On Thursday, Dragic played 31 minutes and scored 40 DKFP with Winslow sidelined.
LeBron James ($18,600 CP) makes for an obvious Captain’s Pick with his heavy usage and gigantic facilitating, as does Anthony Davis ($18,400 CP), who is tied with James for the highest usage rate among all players in this game. Goran Dragic ($10,200 CP) is a less expensive Captain’s Pick option with Winslow expected to be out of the lineup.
The Lakers are home and have the rest advantage with the Heat playing on the second night of a back-to-back. The Heat’s defensive numbers are on shaky ground given their below-average basket protection and tendency to allow more wide-open 3s than average. The Lakers are in solid position to win this game.
Final score: Lakers 110, Heat 100
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