Check out a quick breakdown of the three games on Thursday’s NBA slate. We’ll take a look at the Vegas lines and totals, recent trends, and a few players you can be targeting for tonight’s action.
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Utah Jazz @ Miami Heat
Line: Miami -5
Both of these teams had Wednesday off, so we last saw them on Tuesday, with Miami winning big against the Lakers and the Jazz dropping a close one against the Cavs. In other words, they both did about what you’d expect.
Both teams have managed some success in the early going, and in each case it has been on the strength of their front courts. In their win Tuesday, Chris Bosh had 30 points and 11 boards, and for the Jazz, Gobert and Favors have been the most consistent performers, with Favors averaging 15-9 and Gobert managing 8-11 with more than three blocks a night.
The concern of course is that none of these big men will be great tournament plays tonight because there just won’t be enough rebounds to go around, and they all need to hit that double-double mark to really exceed expectations. Nevertheless, with both teams also defending the backcourt effectively, and Vegas predicting a full 30 points fewer than the other two games, building your lineups with too many participants from this one wouldn’t be the worst strategy.
One thing to consider would be the potential ramifications of Gobert missing the game. First, Whiteside’s matchup immediately improves. Two, Utah could decide to deal with the situation by using Favors to help on Whiteside and using Hayward on Bosh, which could hurt both Jazz forwards’ potential for both rebounding and shooting efficiency.
Editor’s Note: Dwyane Wade has been announced as “Out” tonight.
- Hassan Whiteside ($8,100)
- Derrick Favors ($7,100)
- Luol Deng ($4,300)
Golden State Warriors @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Line: Golden State -7.5
The Warriors moved to 9-0 with a win in Memphis last night, 100-84. The Timberwolves are currently sitting at 4-3, with all three of their losses coming at home. You know they would love to turn that streak around, but they’ve certainly been handed a tall order to accomplish that tonight.
The Warriors are just rolling, hitting on all cylinders. Honestly, it’s hard to come up with the scenario that would have them losing here. And the good thing, right now, is that their production is relatively predictable. You’ve got Steph, who is always a good play. Then you’ve got Klay and Draymond, who are matchup dependent, and Barnes/Iguodala, who are both good value plays basically every night. For the Timberwolves, you’ve got two young players showing really exciting signs: Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns is averaging 16-10 through seven games, and Wiggins’ last game was one of his best, as he went off for 33 against Atlanta. He is currently listed as questionable but is expected to play after sitting out Tuesday.
- Stephen Curry ($10,600)
- Karl-Anthony Towns ($7,500)
- Andrew Wiggins ($6,400)
- Andre Iguodala ($4,800)
Los Angeles Clippers @ Phoenix Suns
Line: Clippers -2.5
The Clippers are playing their second road game in a row, coming off a loss in Dallas last night. The Suns, meanwhile, haven’t played since Sunday, so they will come into the game having had basically four full days to sit and contemplate their last performance, a 21-point loss to OKC.
In terms of any kind of fantasy value at all, the Clippers have been a three man show all season long, getting big production from Chris Paul, Blake and DeAndre – and beyond that, not much of anything. There isn’t a backup or a role player who has stepped up so far to do anything extra. Paul Pierce has been a solid contributor, but without enough minutes to be a reliable fantasy option (fewer than ten fantasy points in two of the last four), and no one else has been efficient enough to create value at their price.
The Suns might not have a fantasy performer quite at the level of Blake, but Eric Bledsoe hasn’t been far behind, averaging 22 points, six assists, three boards and two steals per game, good for just over 40 fantasy points a night. With him leading the way and nice contributions (to the Suns and fantasy squads) from Brandon Knight, Markieff Morris and Tyson Chandler, Phoenix has been an entertaining (and highly useful) lineup so far here in the early going.
- Chris Paul ($8,600)
- Eric Bledsoe ($8,000)
- DeAndre Jordan ($7,700)
- Tyson Chandler ($5,400)