Everything you need to know for tonight’s NBA slate. Let’s get right into it!
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Game Flow Notes
HIGH O/U – Rockets vs. Kings – On a short slate I always like to target the highest scoring games. With an o/u of 220 this one should be a fantasy goldmine. Rondo is a GTD, which means that Collison should be a great value play. It will also be hard to stay away from DeMarcus Cousins and James Harden in this high scoring affair.
LOW O/U – Bucks vs. Lakers – The Bucks are officially the streak killers, as they took out the Warriors for the first time this year. The Lakers are riding the Kobe Bryant retirement tour into the sunset. The total for this one is 197.5 and presents some sneaky value on a short slate (see Larry Nance). I love Greg Monroe against the weak Lakers post, as well.
Pace of Play
HIGH PACE – Nuggets vs. Timberwolves – The Rockets/Kings game is by far the speediest pace tonight (103.8). However, for the benefit of covering all games tonight, the Nuggets/Timberwolves contest comes in as the 2nd fastest. With a projected game pace of 98.7, this game should still provide some fantasy goodness. With Jameer Nelson starting for the Nuggets and Gorgui Deng getting some extra burn, this game provides a great start for a studs and duds lineup.
LOW PACE – Cavaliers vs. Celtics – The 2nd slowest game of the night falls into the lap of the King, LeBron James. James and his bully ball style will have to play catchup with the pace and space Celtics tonight. The projected game pace for this one is 98.3. Obviously LBJ and Kevin Love are in play, but I love Isaiah Thomas tonight as well.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
TARGET – O.J. Mayo vs. D’Angelo Russell – Mayo has drawn the start for Coach Kidd and the Bucks. He has hit value during all of his outings as a starter. He has a great matchup tonight against the Lakers who are 30th against opposing PGs.
AVOID – Mo Williams vs. Isaiah Thomas – The Cavaliers are waiting for the return of Kyrie Irving. Tonight they face the Celtics who are 1st against opposing PGs. Even on a short slate I think there are better options.
Shooting Guard Matchups
TARGET – James Harden vs. Ben McLemore – The Beard didn’t hit value his last time out, but still had 44.25 DK points. His matchup tonight is great because the Kings don’t even know where the SG lines up on the court. With the total and his usage he has a great opportunity to exceed value tonight.
AVOID – Lou Williams vs. Khris Middleton (SF) – Williams has drawn the start for the Lakers lately. Unfortunately, he has a tough matchup tonight against the 9th ranked team against opposing SGs. Williams will force shots, but if he is guarded well he doesn’t usually fill up other statistical categories.
Small Forward Matchups
TARGET – Rudy Gay vs. Trevor Ariza – With Rondo potentially sidelined tonight Gay will be called on to do a lot more. Ariza and the Rockets are terrible against SFs. Gay should see a lot of exposure tonight.
AVOID – Jae Crowder vs. LeBron James – Why would anyone want to be defended by a heavyweight fighter? Well…technically they wouldn’t, but this is the matchup Jae Crowder draws tonight. LBJ has been great and Crowder will have a tough time slowing down The King.
Power Forward Matchups
TARGET – Kevin Love vs. Amir Johnson – Revenge game anyone? Love says he isn’t mad about the tussle with Kelly Olynyk, but we all know it is in his mind. He should come out blazing tonight and will look to light up the scoreboard.
AVOID – Kenneth Faried vs. Kevin Garnett – This is one of those paper plays, as KG won’t see a lot of minutes and will give way to fresh legs. Faried is still priced great on DK which makes him hard to stay away from. The Timberwolves are ranked 10th against opposing PFs and have the ability to lock the Manimal down.
TARGET – Karl Anthony-Towns vs. Joffrey Lauvergne – The rookie has been good over the last 4 games (even though he had a rough outing last game). King Joffrey doesn’t have enough to handle the young guy and Towns has the potential for a big night.
AVOID – Roy Hibbert vs. Greg Monroe – Monroe has been great for the Bucks. He will lock down Hibbert tonight and probably score quite a few points in this game.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,600) – Boogie has been right under value during the last two games. With Rajon Rondo a GTD, Boogie will be called upon early and often. If I am spending up, I am playing Boogie tonight.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Darren Collison ($4,900) – Collison should draw the start for an injured Rajon Rondo tonight. If he does, his minutes and usage alone will be worth the price. I love how the speedy guard plays and think he will fit in nice with the starters.
Dud of the Night
NOTE: Rajon Rondo, who was originally listed, is unlikely to play tonight.