NBA tips and notes for a huge 12 game slate on Friday night.
The Vegas Lines
Highest Scoring Games
Warriors vs. Rockets – Like my son says “Boom goes the dystamite!” This game will be full of “dynamite.” There should be a lot of scoring and Curry/Harden will keep the fireworks going. With an o/u of 215 (that should go over) there is a lot to love about this late game.
Timberwolves vs. Nuggets – At 210.5 o/u the Timberwolves and Nuggets game comes in at the second highest scoring. The high over under means fantasy goodness, but unfortunately pegging the high producers could be a challenge. If you want exposure to this game look no further than the Europeans Danilo and Rubio.
Lowest Scoring Games
Jazz vs. 76ers – This game has the lowest scoring total at 188.5. There is some value to be had from both teams, but they won’t be lighting up the hoops. I will have some exposure of the big men in this one Favors, Gobert, Okafor, and Noel.
Hornets vs. Hawks – With an o/u of 196.5 the Hornets are coming off of a horrible performance at Miami. The Hawks put together a win against the Knicks last night, but still don’t seem to look like the team we saw in the regular season last year. A Millsap/Horford stack is always attractive against a Hornets team that struggles against big men.
Pace of Play
Fastest Projected Games
Warriors vs. Rockets – Guess what, the Warriors have a pace of 105.3 in the Hollinger ratings and are ranked 2nd in the league. Guess where they will stay most of the season, at 1 or 2. The interesting thing about this game is that the Rockets only come in at a 99.7 pace. The Warriors will pace this game though and it will be one of the fastest on the night.
Trail Blazers vs. Suns – The Trailblazers and the Suns come in at 102 and 103 respectively. With a high o/u target and a high Hollinger rating, this game will be extremely quick. Look for the combo guard of the Suns and Lillard of the Trailblazers to run up and down the floor.
Slowest Projected Games
Jazz vs. 76ers – Guess who has the slowest pace in the league, the Utah Jazz. The 76ers aren’t so slow (can probably be credited to Canaan’s pace), but this game will be controlled by Favors and Gobert. This game has some value, but will probably be a snorefest.
Wizards vs. Bucks – John Wall is probably one of the fastest players in the league, but unfortunately his team doesn’t move as fast as he does. The Bucks, under Jason Kidd, are ranked 22nd when it comes to pace. Look for this game to be a defensive battle.
Defense vs. Position
Best PG Matchup
Steph Curry vs. Ty Lawson – Last year, when Curry played against the Rockets, DFS players were worried about Patrick Beverley. This year Curry gets Ty Lawson and a matchup that is a lot more in his favor. So far Houston has given up 49.7 DK points to the PG this season. Remember that is based off of one game playing Mudiay. The Rockets get an animal tonight in Steph Curry and he won’t be caged.
Worst PG Matchup
Emmanuel Mudiay vs. Ricky Rubio – I am a big fan of Mudiay and I like where he sets up price wise. Unfortunately the Timberwolves aren’t giving up many fantasy points to opposing PGs and Rubio can play a little defense. So I say, I like his price, but I don’t like his matchup.
Best SG Matchup
James Harden vs. Klay Thompson – Harden had a slow start the other night, but eventually caught up to value. If you like narrative’s I look to this game as a statement game. Even though Harden would never come out and say it, he felt spited by the MVP race last year. In the highest scoring contest of the night he will want to make his presence felt. Klay and company have given up 42.2 DK points to SGs, I think Harden is close to must play level.
Worst SG Matchup
J.R. Smith vs. Dwayne Wade – Wade is not as spry as he used to be, but I guarantee he will get up for tonight’s game. The Heat get Lebron tonight and Dwayne will want to show his buddy he can still play. This doesn’t bid well for J.R. Smith, who already seems limited to the 3 point shot.
Best SF Matchup
Kevin Durant vs. Whoever Orlando Decides will Start – This doesn’t require a long answer, elite scorer versus the team giving up the most points to SFs with no defined starter. Yes, please!
Worst SF Matchup
TJ Warren vs. Al-Farouq Aminu – I have always enjoyed Aminu’s energy and his defensive prowess. This year he has started out strong as the Trailblazers are the toughest team against the SF position. TJ Warren will be part of a high scoring game, but his partners in the guard spots should do most of the scoring.
Best PF Matchup
Derrick Favors vs.Nerlens Noel Why can’t Noel guard anybody? It really doesn’t make any sense at all, but Noel lights up the offensive glass, but can’t play defense. Favors is an underrated PF and it wouldn’t surprise me if his usage is low. I will definitely have exposure tonight.
Worst PF Matchup
Terrence Jones vs. Draymond Green – Green gets paid big money to be a defender and defending is what he does best. We were all on Terrence last game because Dwight was out, but Dwight is in and he faces one of the best defenders in the league. Sorry Terrence, no dice.
Best C Matchup
Al Jefferson vs. Al Horford- Welcome to the Battle of the Al’s. Both teams play slow and big basketball, so Jeff won’t be in danger of sitting tonight. Horford and company have given up 67 FPs per game to opposing Cs and Jeff is one of Charlotte’s main scoring threats. I am rolling the Al in Charlotte tonight.
Worst C Matchup
Enes Kanter vs. Nikola Vucevic – Vuc is one of the elite defending Cs in the league. Kanter had a nice game the last outing, but is always the 3rd option for the high powered Thunder. With a lot of big man value out there tonight, I am staying away from this matchup.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,300) – Hopefully this won’t be the night that Boogie decides to get 6 fouls within the first 3 minutes because the matchup is heavenly. DeMarcus gets a young (+ Kobe) Lakers team that struggles in the post. With the matchup alone there is the potential for a double double (and that extra DK point). Boogie was 32 and 12 his last outing and definitely has the potential to replicate that performance tonight.
Save Big Bucks By Drafting
Festus Ezeli ($3,100) – What’s that you say? Andrew Bogut is out tonight. Fire up Uncle Festus. Festus was a preseason machine posting double double’s left and right. He should draw the start tonight with Bogut out and should be in line for big minutes. For $3,100 he will get the minutes and the usage to have a shot at hitting value.
Dud of the Night
LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,400) – On the big Wednesday slate I had LMA as the Dud of the Night, guess what, he is again. LMA is playing for the worst possible team for individual fantasy performance in the league. This was evident during his first game of the season. With only 31 minutes and 11 pts/ 5 Rebounds, fantasy hoops players were in awe about production. LMA was the focal point in Portland now he is one of 5 focal points, he should be avoided until the price comes down.