Friday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contests feature a choice between three NBA games: Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls (8 p.m. ET), Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks (9:30 p.m. ET), and San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the late game. The Spurs are playing on the second night of a back-to-back, giving the Warriors the rest advantage.
Through four games, the Spurs have been the much better team by pace-adjusted point differential, outscoring opponents by 2.5 points per 100 possessions, compared to a terrible -11.5 mark for the Warriors, which ranks third worst in the league.
Stephen Curry suffered a broken left hand in Wednesday’s game and is out. Kevon Looney (hamstring) remains out. Draymond Green (back) is expected to play.
For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook can change throughout the day. Value also unexpectedly can open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up-to-the-minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
— The Warriors have lost each of their past five home games.
— The Warriors have failed to cover the spread in eight of their past nine games against opponents who are on the second leg of a back-to-back.
— Four of the past five games between the Spurs and Warriors have gone UNDER the total points line.
— Draymond Green has scored 10 points or less in five of his past six appearances against the Spurs.
— LaMarcus Aldridge has scored 22+ points in each of his past four appearances against the Warriors.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
The Warriors are off to an atrocious start to the season and have been abominable defensively. The Warriors have been the league’s worst defensive team by pace-adjusted team defense, allowing roughly 119 points per 100 possessions, much worse than the league average of 106. Golden State’s terrible defense can be in part attributed to its foul basket protection, as it also ranks as the worst rim-protecting team, allowing opponents to shoot a league-worst 72% on shots within five feet of the basket.
Part of the Warriors’ poor basket protection is due to injuries to centers Kevon Looney (hamstring) and Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,600; foot). Cauley-Stein returned Wednesday in a limited role, but Looney is expected to remain out Friday. Cauley-Stein’s return likely will help the Warriors’ interior issues to some degree, but last season’s Sacramento Kings — who Cauley-Stein started 81 games for — had poor basket protection numbers, so the Warriors might continue to struggle to protect the rim until Looney is able to return. Golden State’s poor defense also can be in part attributed to replacing stud perimeter defender Klay Thompson (out; knee) with below-average defender D’Angelo Russell ($11,400).
Because the Warriors have been so poor defensively, Spurs players are appealing fantasy options. DeMar DeRozan ($9,800) leads the Spurs in usage rate (30%) and ranks second on the team in minutes, making him an appealing play due to strong volume. LaMarcus Aldridge ($9,600) ranks first on the Spurs in minutes and is third on the team in usage rate (23%), a tick behind Dejounte Murray’s ($8,800) 25% rate. Murray leads the Spurs in facilitating, creating eight potential assists per game but is expected to rest tonight. Rudy Gay ($5,800), Bryn Forbes ($5,400), Patty Milles ($3,600) and Trey Lyles ($3,400) are cheaper options.
Defensively, the Spurs have been about league average when adjusted for pace, allowing 106 points per 100 possessions. They have been strong on the glass, grabbing 53.5% of missed shots, third best, compared to Golden State’s 50.5% mark, which ranks 13th.
For the Warriors’ offense, Russell stands to benefit with expanded volume in Curry’s absence. In a small sample to start the season, Russell has seen heavy usage in minutes with Curry off the court, posting a 33% usage rate, a boost from 27% in minutes with Curry on the court. Russell’s likely strong volume in Curry’s absence makes him the most appealing fantasy option on Golden State. Draymond Green ($10,400) also could see a boost in facilitating with Curry out of the lineup. Green’s nine potential assists created per game ranks third behind Curry’s 12 potential assists created per game and Russell’s 10 potential assists created per game.
Cauley-Stein came off the bench in his first game of the season Wednesday and played just 12 minutes as he makes his way back from a foot injury. The Warriors elected to start a small lineup with Green at center and Eric Paschall ($6,000) at power forward. Paschall played a season-high 38 minutes and scored 29.75 DKFP. If he remains in the starting five again, he is a mid-tier option. Alec Burks ($4,800) played 18 minutes in his season debut Wednesday and is a candidate for an expanded role with Curry out, as are Jordan Poole ($2,400), Ky Boman ($5,200) and Damion Lee ($4,400). Cauley-Stein is also candidate to build on his minutes from Wednesday. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news on the Warriors’ starting five.
DeRozan ($14,700 CP) and Aldridge ($14,400 CP) make for appealing Captain’s Pick options for the Spurs given the Warriors’ issues preventing points. Russell ($17,100 CP) is an appealing Captain’s Pick play for the Warriors given his likely increase in volume with Curry sidelined.
While the Warriors will get the rest advantage given the Spurs are playing on the second night of a back-to-back, their offensive numbers with Curry playing have been mediocre this season, ranking 12th in pace-adjusted team offense. Without Curry, their numbers are obviously much worse, scoring just 103 points per 100 possessions in minutes with Curry off the court, a number that would rank in the bottom third. The lack of firepower combined with the serious defensive problems makes for a poor recipe for outscoring opponents, and the Spurs should be able to overcome the rest disadvantage and capture a win on the road.
Final score: Spurs 115, Warriors 105
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