It’s Tuesday, and if you got the point guards and centers wrong (and you needed both) last night, then put some additional peanut butter on that english muffin, find a significantly tasty beverage and wash down your troubles with this interestingly matched up five-game main slate!
As always, if you have any questions, find me on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.
Stats from StatMuse, NBAWowy, and NBA Stats
Washington Wizards @ New York Knicks
Line: Knicks -1
So, Derek Fisher, then? An interesting stat I looked at yesterday showed that, when Rambis was coach of the Timberwolves, his teams were consistently four to five possessions per game more than the league average. Also, this is a coach that felt that the rookie, Jonny Flynn mind you, should play 30 minutes per game. Kristaps Porzingises for everybody! I would expect the Knicks to play, still, very similar to what they have been doing, maybe a little pacier, but with a significant amount of Zingis. Enjoy!
The Wizards…I just don’t know what’s going on here. They are the 10th worst defense in the league this season and sixth worst over the last 15 games. This is not a matter of health, this is who they are. The problem with being such a poor defense is that, if your offense is struggling, you can find yourself getting buried and then all of the sudden, Randy Wittman is throwing in the towel and there’s no fourth shift for any starters. But Vegas seems to think this will be close and with such a high total and short slate, I’m game to play along. You can attack the Knicks at the point and wing, so John Wall and Otto Porter are definitely the top targets here.
– Kristaps Porzingis ($7,200)
– Robin Lopez ($5,100)
– John Wall ($10,000)
– Otto Porter ($5,700)
Boston Celtics @ Milwaukee Bucks
Line: Celtics -4
The pacy Celtics have been playing even faster over their past 15 games while the Bucks have been a smidge slower, but the game total of 207.5 indicates some healthy pace tonight. The C’s can still be targeted at the center position, so Greg Monroe, who has seen his cost stay below the 7K line, is a solid play here. So, too, is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will be a matchup issue for either Jae Crowder or Evan Turner. And in tourneys, both Michael Carter-Williams, who is below 6K again and Jerryd Bayless (just over 4K) are sneaky targets against Isaiah Thomas/Marcus Smart.
On the Celtics side, everybody has risen in salary, but Isaiah Thomas is still King Usage in Boston, as the only player on the team with 30+ minutes per game and 20+% usage (32 mpg, 29% usage). Thomas is the safe place to stash your dough on the team. It would be a good idea to target the Bucks bigs, but it’s tough to peg who’s going to get the minutes for Brad Stevens, who seems content to play everybody 24 minutes per game. Jared Sullinger is my favorite here, because he puts up quick numbers with high usage and great peripherals. Any Boston big is tourney only. So the other place to go after the Bucks is at SG, where they’ve been especially giving over the last three weeks. This puts the One Trick Pony Avery Bradley on the target list.
– Greg Monroe ($6,700)
– Giannis Antetokounmpo ($6,900)
– Isaiah Thomas ($7,700)
– Avery Bradley ($5,600)
San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat
Line: Spurs -7
What a mess. Low total and tough defenses (two of the top six defenses here) make this an unappealing game that would be easy to disregard if it wasn’t a part of a five game slate. It’s not even the lowest total on the board, thanks to the can-we-go-any-slower-Utah Jazz. Besides, with Tim Duncan sidelines recently (questionable tonight), LaMarcus Aldridge has picked up his production and been a value, scoring over 38 in five of his last six games. And regarding Kawhi Leonard, his 19.7 DK Net Points this season is off of last years 21.5 per game pace, largely due to a dip in steals per game. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are the safest plays on the Heat and the logical targets tonight (Hassan Whiteside is questionable) — their usage is tops on the team and are steady point producers in the toughest games and the Spurs are weakest at PF. Wade is still the usage monster, with 32.2% for the season.
– LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,100)
– Kawhi Leonard ($7,600)
– Chris Bosh ($6,800)
– Dwyane Wade ($6,900)
Utah Jazz @ Dallas Mavericks
Line: Mavericks -2
Utah plays slow, real slow. And over the last 15 games, since they’ve had Rudy Gobert back, they’ve cranked it down even slower. But on a short slate, we’ve got to take a look and you see a couple of things. One is that, with Trey Burke out the usage breakdown is Derrick Favors (25), Gordon Hayward (24) and Rodney Hood (22), with Favors getting over 1 DKPPM, Gobert 0.97, Hayward 0.91 and Hood 0.83. Dallas has struggled against the PF this season, so that helps the case for targeting Favors here. Also, with Burke out (and Alex Burks) Hayward, along with Hood, will be asked to facilitate more. Raul Neto is a bargain below 4K, but not an upside play, with 5.5-6x being the ceiling.
Deron Williams revenge game? Kidding, slightly, but he’s next in line behind Dirk Nowitzki (below 6K!) in usage and the game will probably be played more on the perimeter due to Gobert’s presence inside and that the Mavericks don’t have a center that can pull Rudy out of the middle. Likewise then, the tourney play of Wesley Matthews, who is 4.4K and has the softest, relatively speaking, matchup across from Hood.
– Derrick Favors ($7,000)
– Rudy Gobert ($6,600)
– Deron Williams ($5,700)
– Dirk Nowitzki ($5,800)
Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors
Line: Warriors -14.5
Getting this game right is critical. It has, by far, the highest game total and there is the highest spread of the night. You can’t fade this game, though, at least not every lineup, as the slate is so short and the other games aren’t nearly as high scoring as this one. Houston is terrible defensively and is fourth worst over the last 15 games. Think it’ll be a blowout? Then it’s hard to go with Stephen Curry, who is now 11K and doesn’t hit a high ceiling when favored by this many points at home. Maybe a near minimum play like Mo Speights would be a tourney punt, with his 30% usage rate and 1.10 DKPPM scoring rate. If the game is close, however, like it was when Dwight Howard logged 35 minutes against them on New Year’s Eve, then Speights isn’t likely to get the floor time as it’s too tough a matchup for him. The Rockets are still weakest at SG and SF, so Klay Thompson could be the one, at home, to get hot and make a strong value before checking out.
For Houston, it’s going to be in James Harden’s hands, clearly. Both he and Howard scored over 50 DK points the last time out against the Warriors so if there’s going to be 230 points between these two teams, these are the two guys who are going to be responsible from the Rockets’ side. Trevor Ariza is too high priced (6K) and Josh Smith too inconsistent to consider here.
– Klay Thompson ($7,800)
– Stephen Curry ($11,000)
– James Harden ($10,600)
– Dwight Howard ($7,400)