• It’s always an easier slate when we don’t have to make the tough decision of fading or playing Westbrook/Harden. Luckily, only Westbrook plays today on the second half of a back-to-back set versus the Mavericks — who he’s struggled against this season. Let’s dive into this six-game slate.

    Editor’s Note: Hoop Ball Premium Subscribers get access to even more info, articles, live chats, tools and more.  Subscribers to our Hoop Ball Fantasy Pro Service get in-depth analysis on a one-on-one basis from our pros.  Check it out!

    Point Guard

    Stud: Kyrie Irving ($7,900)

    With Kevin Love back in the lineup, we’re not going to see as many big games from Kyrie Irving. The Cavs are now tied with the Boston Celtics for the first seed in the East and that bodes well for Irving, especially tonight against the Spurs. This game should remain close and Irving should see minutes in the 37-40 range. The matchup isn’t great but this game has the highest O/U and there’s a good chance he’s the leading scorer for the Cavs.

    Value: George Hill ($5,900)

    Gordon Hayward is in serious jeopardy of missing tonight’s game versus the Pelicans. Derrick Favors has already been ruled out and that would leave just George Hill, Rudy Gobert, and Rodney Hood as the healthy starters. Hill doesn’t see a massive usage spike with Hayward and Favors off the court, but he’s still a solid option with Shelvin Mack also on the shelf.

    Shooting Guard

    Stud: DeMar DeRozan ($8,600)

    I’m not a fan of DeRozan at this price, but he’s the only SG that is in a decent spot tonight with upside. He’s a fine cash play, but if you play him in tournaments, you’re gonna need 40 actual points from him. I’d recommend spending down at SG tonight, though.

    Value: Joe Ingles ($4,100) 

    Joe Ingles is always the primary beneficiary when Gordon Hayward sits and there’s nothing different tonight. The issue with Ingles is that if Hayward ends up suiting up, he’s likely going to kill your lineup. Ingles has a very low ceiling, but he has a decent floor and is worth deploying at an ugly position.

    Small Forward

    Stud: Kawhi Leonard ($9,500)

    It’s one of the best matchups in all of the NBA: Kawhi vs. LeBron. This is going to be a great game and look for Leonard to make a statement. He’s played very well against LeBron in the past and is likely going to play well again. He’s a great play in both formats and Leonard may end up being a cash game lock for me tonight.

    Value: Mindagaus Kuzminskas ($4,200)

    This value play obviously hinges on the availability of Carmelo Anthony. Even if Melo suits up, he’ll still get minutes in the mid-20’s but that’s not what we want. Kuz needs to be in your lineups if Melo sits. Luckily, the Knicks game is at 7:30, so we’ll get confirmation on his status before lineups lock. Also, Lance Thomas’ availability is something to monitor as well. Joe Johnson is a good pivot option of Melo suits up and Hayward does not.

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    Power Forward

    LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,000)

    Yes, another player from the marquee matchup of the night. LaMarcus Aldridge is easily the top PF play of the night, in terms of players over $6,000. He’s played 37.5 mpg over the last three contests and Pop will play him heavy minutes yet again versus the Cavs. Locking him into cash games is not a bad idea at all.

    Value: P.J. Tucker ($4,400)

    There are a few other options as value PF’s if Tucker doesn’t start such as; Zach Randolph, Willie Cauley-Stein, JaMychal Green. The key player in regards to Tucker’s usefulness as a DFS play today is DeMarre Carroll. If he sits, Tucker is arguably the top value play at the PF position and he should be able to hit value.

    Center

    Stud: Rudy Gobert ($8,000)

    The title of the article gave it away and that’s unfortunate because I’m all for surprises. Rudy Gobert sees a three percent increase in his usage rate with Favors and Hayward out. He’s been scoring the basketball in ways we’ve never seen him do it before. He’s scored a combined 61 actual points over the last two games and he could keep it up tonight. The scoring barrage is going to end sooner rather than later, but Gobert could still score 20 points or so tonight. Oh yeah, he’s probably going to get you a double-double with a couple of blocks too.

    Value: Pau Gasol ($5,200)

    I’m likely going to try and play Vucevic and Gobert in a few lineups but for the other lineups, Gasol could be an interesting value play. We haven’t seen him play the Cavs this season and who knows what Pop will do against the Cavs. It’s a bit of a mystery play, but Gasol is a great per-minute player so if he sees 30 minutes or so, you can almost lock in 6-7x value. He’s more of a tournament play tonight.

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    Good luck!

     

     

     

Fantasy News

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    On Tuesday afternoon, AmicoHoops reported (via Twitter) that an unidentified NBA GM told them the league has seriously discussed resuming the current NBA season on Wednesday, July 22.

    Nothing has been officially announced, by any means, and this is the first we've heard of specific target date(s) from anyone. It's looking like the continuation of the season will occur in Orlando at Walt Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which has accommodations for at least some of what the NBA has planned for a resuming activity. As we have relayed numerous times recently, the next week or two seem to be a likely window for some decisions from Adam Silver and Co. at the NBA league office to start to come down. Stay tuned, hoops fans.

    Source: AmicoHoops on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.

    "If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.

    Source: Yahoo! Sports

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    The Sixers, who have their practice facility located in nearby Camden, NJ, will allow voluntary player workouts at the facility beginning on Wednesday, raising the number of NBA teams who have been able to do so to 22.

    The Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, Mavericks, Spurs and Warriors are the final teams remaining who are unable to return to their practice facilities. The NBA seems to be inching ever so close to, at the very least, announcing a plan for a continuation of the current season. This next week or two should be very eventful on that front.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Clint Capela
    C, Atlanta Hawks

    Hawks GM Travis Schlenk indicated on Tuesday that Clint Capela (right heel, plantar fasciitis) could very well play in the event of an NBA restart.

    "Clint [Capela] says he's feeling better, and there's a possibility that we can get him back on the court," Schlenk said in a phone interview with ESPN. "Practicing and playing five games would be valuable to us." Capela has yet to see the floor for the Hawks since he was acquired at the deadline from the Rockets, and one would have to surmise that he would be under a heavy minutes restriction if the league resumes and if the Hawks deem him healthy enough to give it a go. Still two big "ifs," but this is obviously positive news for the Hawks and potentially for fantasy owners who have managed to stash Capela in an injury slot this long.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Mohamed Bamba
    C, Orlando Magic

    Magic center Mo Bamba said on Tuesday that he's spent the quarantine period bulking up, self-proclaiming that he's put on close to 30 pounds of muscle.

    Bamba said of his time off, ""I’ve worked my tail off during this quarantine. This is going to sound weird, but I put on probably about 28 pounds since quarantine (started)." He laughed and added that only about 2.5 percent of the weight he's put on is body fat. Bamba, along with many other NBA players, "can’t wait to get back out there and work" which is a great sign for the Magic and their fans. Jonathan Isaac is becoming more and more of a potential option for the team when/if the season is resumed as the days pass, so his presence would limit Bamba's chances on the offensive end of the floor. The team has yet to decide whether or not they want to play Isaac at all the rest of the season, regardless of the rumblings about a restart from the league office. However, this bulk-up on Bamba's part is nonetheless pretty impressive and is certainly noteworthy.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.

    With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.

    Source: Charlotte Hornets

  • Jon Leuer
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.

    Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.

    Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram

  • Kyrie Irving
    PG, Brooklyn Nets

    Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's greenlight from earlier on Sunday, the Nets will reopen their practice facilities on Tuesday.

    The team will open its doors to voluntary player workouts. The team's statement went on to elaborate that they would strictly follow NBA and infectious disease expert protocols as they resume activities. It's another small step in the right direction as the NBA continues its climb towards trying to play actual games.

    Source: Malika Andrews on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker feels that his left knee hampered him earlier this year because of all of the basketball he's played over the course of his career.

    The knee pain has been a constant this season, and Walker has missed eight games due to the injury overall. He should be fully recovered for when the season does resume at this point, and if he is able to get enough practice reps in he'll be able to avoid any restrictions whenever the league-wide shutdown is lifted.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Ante Zizic
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    If Ante Zizic chooses to leave the NBA when he hits free agency this offseason, he could draw interest from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    Zizic had a lot of success in 2016-17 when he was last in the Euro League with Darussafaka, averaging 9 points and 6.7 rebounds in under 21 minutes per game. In comparison, he's been an afterthought for the Cavs this season, only averaging 10 minutes per game. Moreover, the Cavs declined to pick up his player option for next season, and they already have plenty of options for the frontcourt between Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., and possibly DeAndre Drummond (player option). Maccabi will have to see how much salary flexibility they have this offseason as ticket sales are likely to take a hit in Israel next year.

    Source: Euro Hoops