Game Flow Notes
HIGH O/U – Timberwolves vs. Rockets- This game has the highest total of the night at 223.5 with a spread of 8.5. The Wolves have turned into a great young team. Karl Anthony-Towns has been great for the Wolves and is projected at 45 DKFP tonight. For the Rockets look for the Beard and play him. He has a usage rate over 30 and a projected DKFP total of 55 tonight.
LOW O/U – Cavaliers vs. Magic- The total for this one is 211.5 and a spread of 7.5. The Cavaliers will ride Lebron James and he should see a 50+ DKFP. The Magic will look toward Victor Oladipo and his 44 DKFP a game over the last 2 games. I think he should see 35+ minutes a game and about 35+ DKFP.
Pace of Play
HIGH PACE – Kings vs. Pistons- With a projected game pace of 102 this one is the fastest of the night. The Kings will ride usage hog DeMarcus Cousins who has a 35% usage rate and a projected 50+ DKFP tonight. The Pistons will hope that Andre Drummond can get it back together and reach his 40 point projected total. He will have ample opportunity with 30+ minutes tonight.
LOW PACE – Celtics vs. Raptors- The Celtics have been one of the fastest pace teams this season, but the projected game total is 98.5 tonight. The Celtics will look for Isaiah Thomas to hit his season average of 36 DKFP tonight. The Raptors will ride Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan, both guards are seeing usage rates over 20% and are projected at 30+ DKFP tonight.
Be sure to follow injury news throughout the day for the latest breaking injury updates.
|Probable||Reggie Jackson (DET), Marcelo Huertas (LAL), Gorgui Dieng (MIN), Nerlens Noel (PHI), Marco Belinelli (SAC), Ersan Ilyasova (ORL)|
|Questionable||Brandon Bass (LAL), Kobe Bryant (LAL), Norris Cole (NO), Elfrid Payton (ORL), Omri Casspi (SAC), Rajon Rondo (SAC), Jonas Valanciunas (TOR), David Lee (DAL)|
|Doubtful||Jodie Meeks (DET), Richaun Holmes (PHI), Robert Covington (PHI), Kyle Lowry (TOR)|
|Out||Jae Crowder (BOS), Andre Iguodala (GSW), Anthony Brown (LAL), Nikola Vucevic (ORL), Jahlil Okafor (PHI), Meyers Leonard (POR), Ben McLemore (SAC), Jonas Jerebko (BOS)|
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Brandon Knight (PHO) vs. Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers are 30th against opposing PGs. Knight is working his way back slowly. He has a 27 DKFP performance and a 30 DKFP performance over his last 2 games. He will have plenty of opportunities tonight but there is some concern that he’ll fight for usage with rookie stud Devin Booker.
WORST – Kyle Lowry (TOR) vs. Boston Celtics- The Celtics are ranked 1st against opposing guards. Lowry is questionable to play tonight but is also one of the most elite point guards in the NBA. He is seeing a usage rate of 22% and is averaging 40+ DKFP a game this year. The matchup won’t overly impact Lowry, assuming he plays tonight.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DET) vs. Sacramento Kings- The Kings are ranked 29th against opposing SGs. Caldwell-Pope is a streaky scorer but he should be able to exploit this matchup. He has a usage rate of 18% and averages 25 DKFP on the season. He should be able to reach his season average tonight.
WORST – Victor Oladipo (ORL) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavs are ranked 5th against opposing SGs. Oladipo proved me wrong last game as he used his recent 25% usage rate to put up 44.25 DKFP. I have him projected at 35+ DKFP tonight and he’ll need to have an even bigger game if the Magic want to keep it close with the Cavaliers.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – PJ Tucker (PHO) vs. Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers are ranked 30th against opposing SFs. Tucker is a defense-first small forward and only sees a usage rate of 10%. He only averages about 20 DKFP a game and with Brandon Knight back it limits him even more. He won’t be in my lineup tonight.
WORST – Evan Fournier (SG) (ORL) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavaliers are ranked 3rd against opposing SFs. Fournier is technically a SG, but has been seeing a lot of court time as SF and should play there tonight. With Payton and Vucevic out, Fournier has seen more court time. He had a rough outing last game, but he was up against Nic Batum. I think he rights the ship tonight and has about 25+ DKFP.
Continue your Friday Night NBA Research Journey
|Player Targets||Levitan's Leverage||Cheat Sheet|
|Game Breakdowns||Tournament Plays||Top 5's by Position|
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Gorgiu Dieng (MIN) vs. Houston Rockets- The Rockets are ranked 29th against opposing PFs. Dieng has done a great job in his starting role, with a usage of about 15% and averaging 30 DKFP a game. I have him projected at 30+ tonight, but I feel like he could go for 40 considering the soft opponent.
WORST – Aaron Gordon (ORL) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers- The Cavs are ranked 1st against opposing PFs. Gordon is putting in work with Nikola Vucevic out. He is seeing a 15% usage rate and over 25 DKFP per game. He gets a tough matchup against Kevin Love tonight and I think most of the scoring will come from the guards.
BEST – Steven Adams/Enes Kanter (OKC) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – The 76ers are ranked 30th against opposing Cs. Adams has a usage rate of 10%, which makes him unplayable at price. Kanter on the other hand is seeing about 25 minutes a game and has averaged 30 DKFP over the last 2 games. I am not opposed to using Kanter in tournaments, especially when you consider the blowout potential here.
WORST – Dewayne Dedmon (ORL) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs are ranked 1st against opposing Cs. Dedmon is getting the start for an injured Nikola Vucevic. With an average of 15 minutes floor time and a usage rate of only 9%, I am more comfortable with the Magic guards tonight.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden – HOU vs. MIN – $10,400 – Harden has a usage rate of 27.6% and is averaging about 48 DKFP a game on the year. He is projected at about 55 DKFP tonight and has a great matchup. Don’t let his last couple fool you, Harden should feast.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Mason Plumlee – POR vs. NO – $4,000 – With Meyers Leonard sidelined, Plumlee will see his minutes and his usage go up. He is facing the 29th ranked defense vs. centers in the Pelicans and should have a usage rate of about 15% tonight. He should be able to pay off his low price point.
Dud of the Night
Rudy Gay – SAC vs. DET – $6,300 – Marcus Morris has been great against SFs this season. Van Gundy has also been using Tobias Harris at SF who has been equally strong defensively. Gay is averaging 30+ DKFP a game but is extremely inconsistent. I think there are better, cheaper options at SF tonight.
DKFP = DraftKings Fantasy Points