May 2, 2017, 8:55 am
We have come to the point in the NBA season where there isn’t really anybody playing NBA who hasn’t been playing the entire season. Most people who wanted to try out NBA DFS have come and gone and only the dedicated and determined remain. At this point, it is imperative for us to try to find the edge in roster construction. On a small two game slate with only four teams to choose players from this is a difficult task. We will need to stack a couple teams and hope for the best result possible.
The Boston Celtics are currently -5.5 favorites over the visiting Washington Wizards. The 218.5 point game total is 12 points higher than the Golden State Warriors vs. the Utah Jazz total which currently sits at 208.5 points. When we are looking at these lines and taking into consideration the pace of play, there are a few standout picks that appear to be strong choices to build a lineup around. I am going to break down the building blocks for what I think will be the low-owned core for tonight’s slate.
Jazz @ Warriors
The Utah Jazz will be playing at a much higher pace of play for this game at the Warriors. An uptick in pace of play means more possessions for the Jazz and more scoring opportunities. When a lot of DFS players will be on the Warriors, a savvy player will be investing into the Jazz players for this match-up. The Jazz will have a lower ownership, a higher pace of play, they are projected for the lowest team total on the entire slate with 96.5 points, and their offense runs through a few select pieces that are easy to identify. These are excellent reasons for selecting Jazz players before you build any other part of your lineup.
The first Jazz player I want to lock in will be George Hill. He has excelled in pace-up games for the Jazz this season and has a strong opportunity today with a projected +3.5 possessions for this game. That might not sound like a lot but if they end up with four or more possessions he could rack up four more points and a couple of assists which is another seven fantasy points. That is a significant swing.
Joe Ingles and Gordon Hayward are the next two Jazz players that I will lock in. They are both reasonably priced on Fanduel and allow us to pay up for a couple of our targeted studs that we will discuss later. Ingles had a great series against the Clippers and did a nice job providing all-around statistics, which is a major plus for playoff DFS. We want guys who can score in bunches, but if that isn’t a viable option at an affordable price then we absolutely want to try to select players who can score us fantasy points without actually having to score the basketball. This allows us to celebrate like madmen when the non-scorer, like Joe Ingles, scores 12 real life points in Game 7 against the Clippers – bumping his Fanduel total all the way up to 28 points in the process.
Gordon Hayward played extensive minutes the entire series against the Clippers and really shined, averaging almost 40 Fanduel points over the seven game series. He will be relied on to score the basketball in bunches against the Warriors. On Draftkings he’s a great choice simply because they’ll need to be able to hit three-pointers to keep pace with the Warriors and Hayward was shooting about eight threes per game against the Clippers. He might be asked to shoot more than that against the Warriors which will allow you to rack up the three-point bonus on the DK format.
Rudy Gobert is being mentioned last but it is certainly not because I like him the least. Gobert might be the best play on the entire slate tonight as I think he will be under-owned against the Warriors. Everyone in the world knows the Warriors play fast and generally go pretty small on the court with Draymond Green getting a ton of minutes at center. This might lead a lot of people to wonder just how much playing time Gobert will get or how effective he will be. I happen to be on the other end of the spectrum and believe the Jazz will try to control the pace of play by feeding it to Gobert down low and hope that he can bully his way to the basket. This might even force the Warriors to get into foul trouble and take Draymond off the court with a quick two or three fouls in the first half. That is my game theory for tonight and I am 100 percent off of Draymond Green for that specific reason. I really think Gobert is going to be the reason the Jazz have a chance to win tonight.
Wizards @ Celtics
As far as the Celtics and Wizards game I want you to implore the game theory aspect we have discussed in the past few weeks and theorize the flow of the game and what the possible outcomes will be. I don’t think what I have laid out for you will be a popular approach, heck, some might say I could be leading you astray. This is the playoffs, anything can happen, and when 99 percent of the NBA DFS crowd still playing are pro’s and high-volume players, it takes some serious game theorizing to find your edge.
I wish you the best of luck tonight and hope to see you at the top of the leader boards. You can find me on Twitter @DFSnDONUTS and I hope to hear about your victories!
July 4, 2020, 9:35 amCaris LeVertPG-SG, Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert embraces challenge of being a leader.
LeVert has been an active participant in the racial inequality protests and admitted that basketball is very minor right now compared to everything else going on in the world but is ready for the NBA restart saying, "For me, it’s just taking on that challenge of being a leader, being the leader of that group, going down there with some of the most experience on the team, playoff experience." In the 16 games since rejoining the starting lineup, LeVert has put up All-Star numbers with 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leading the Nets to a 9-7 record over that span. The upward trajectory continues for the Nets' 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft.
July 4, 2020, 9:16 amJordan CrawfordSG, Free Agent
Jordan Crawford has agreed to a deal with Russia's Lokomotiv Kuban.
Crawford last played in the NBA for the Pelicans in 2018 with career averages of 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 24.4 minutes. The career journeyman has played for five NBA teams since 2010 with a few stints with China in between. Since the beginning of 2019, he has played in Israel, China, Germany and now we can add Russia to that list.
July 4, 2020, 8:13 amLance StephensonSG, Free Agent
Lance Stephenson is ineligible to sign with the Pacers according to Scott Agness.
Stephenson to the Pacers was being discussed in early March and made sense now with Victor Oladipo choosing to sit out the remainder of the season but this move apparently will not happen. The 29-year old Stephenson spent this past season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the CBA's Flying Leopards.
Source: Scott Agness on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 10:10 pmAnthony DavisPF-C, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis has high expectations for the Lakers when they resume play later in July in Orlando, citing the long layoff as a favorable development for his squad.
As if the Lakers weren't already squarely in the hunt for an NBA championship. When speaking to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Davis said that he believes their "chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go.” Depth seems to be the most glaring issue potentially facing the Lakers as they prepare to make the trip to Disney World, as defensive stalwart Avery Bradley recently opted out of the remainder of the season. Bradley was subsequently replaced by well-traveled veteran guard J.R. Smith (who has a long history of playoff runs alongside LeBron James with the Cavs), but the team is still unsure of veteran center Dwight Howard's status the rest of the way. Other than Howard, the Lakers' roster is seemingly set for Orlando. Davis sounds like he's ready to rock, however.
July 3, 2020, 8:28 pmDeng AdelPF, Brooklyn Nets
Deng Adel, who played 19 games for the Cavs last season as a two-way player, is being pursued by the Illawara Hawks of Australia's NBL, which, notably was the team 18-year-old LaMelo Ball played for last season (and has attempted to purchase).
Adel had two short stints before last season with the Rockets and Nets in the Summer League and the preseason, respectively. He was originally a standout at Louisville but went undrafted in 2018 before hitching on with the Cavs on a two-way pact. This season he had been playing for the Long Island Nets, the Nets' G League affiliate, prior to the pause and ultimately the end of the G League season. Adel had registered averages of 11.1 points, 4.2 boards and 2.6 assists to that point. Also of note, Adel spent the lion's share of his childhood in Australia after his family moved from South Sudan around the time he was eight.
July 3, 2020, 4:35 pmDarius MillerSF, New Orleans Pelicans
Darius Miller is unsure if he will be able to play in Orlando, as he continues to recover from a torn a ruptured right Achillies.
Due to the lockdown, Miller has been unable to participate in any live-action, or else he would have played in 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 by now. At this point, it would be surprising for the Pelicans to risk his health by pushing for him to participate in the eight-game regular season.
Source: Will Guillory on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:26 pmJJ RedickSG, New Orleans Pelicans
J.J. Redick has intentionally lost 10 pounds since the quarantine began.
Redick's goal was to get back to his playing weight during his college days at Duke, and it's not a surprise that one of the most dedicated workers in the league was able to drop weight during the coronavirus pandemic. Redick's shooting will be sorely needed when the Pelicans try to chase down the Grizzlies for a playoff spot, but if he does not come out of the gates making an impact the Pelicans are likely to shift to another hot hand on their deep roster. Redick has only seen 26.4 minutes per game this season, and that is going to limit his impact to strictly 3-pointers (2.9 per game).
Source: Daniel Sallerson on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:14 pmTyler HerroPG, Miami Heat
Tyler Herro said the time off allowed his right ankle to fully recover.
Herro returned to action just before the shutdown due to COVID-19. With the ankle back to 100 percent, he will face no restrictions when play picks back up in Orlando. While Herro's scoring prowess caused some increased expectations for his rookie season, he's largely been an afterthought for the Heat. He can clearly shoot the rock (2.1 treys on .391 shooting), but the rest of his game is lacking, and the Heat do not have time to devote to rookie development when the season resumes.
Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 4:08 pmKent BazemoreSG, Sacramento Kings
Kent Bazemore, who has been a welcomed presence since joining the Kings in January, reiterated that he'd like to stay with the team.
Bazemore had a lot of opportunity before him when the Blazers were faltering due to injuries at the start of the season and he failed to take advantage. However, a change of scenery made a significant difference, as his field goal percentage leaped from .347 with the Blazers, to .426 with the Kings, and his scoring also increased from 7.9 points to 10.3 points per contest. He sounds locked in as the Kings prepare for the Orlando bubble, but a healthy Kings' roster could handicap his opportunity for playing time when things start back up.
Source: James Ham on Twitter
July 3, 2020, 3:57 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Shams Charania is reporting that Victor Oladipo will sit out the remainder of the Pacers' season.
Oladipo decided to exercise caution as his quad tendon is still susceptible to a relapse, and the circumstances of the Orlando bubble are anything but predictable. It's a big hit to the Pacers chances when play resumes, but Oladipo should be close to 100 percent next year as he continues his rehab and seeks to further strengthen his quad tendon. This season was a flop as he only appeared in 13 games, but Oladipo should be looking to return fully recovered and seeking early-round value next year. The Pacers will continue leaning on their depth to fill the void, and Malcolm Brogdon will continue to be the lead guard running the show in Indiana.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter