April 18, 2017, 8:54 pm
We have three games on the slate for tonight, and all three games have the potential to be high-scoring and competitive. The main concern tonight is the status of Kevin Durant who is questionable with a calf strain. His status has big implications. Let’s look at five plays tomorrow who you should consider.
Stephen Curry ($8,600)
If Kevin Durant is out, Steph becomes a must play. Even if KD plays, I like Steph tonight. Last game, Steph scored 29 points on 9/19 shooting including 3/8 from three. He also chipped in four points and five boards. This was the 12th game in a row where Steph scored 40+ DraftKings points. He’s been consistently valuable and has a nice matchup opposing Lillard, a below average defender. Also, the Blazers are fast-paced which is a plus.
During the playoffs, Steph should be playing more minutes than he played throughout the regular season. He’s been valuable under average circumstances, and he should continue to be valuable in a positive matchup. If Durant is out, he’s a must. I’ll have Curry in all formats.
C.J. McCollum ($7,300)
Since All-Star Break, CJ McCollum has a 30.9% usage rate with Jusuf Nurkic out of the lineup. Nurkic has been ruled out for tonight, so another big McCollum game may be on the horizon. Against the Warriors last game, CJ had 56.5 DraftKings points. He shot better (16/28, 4/6 from three) than can be expected tonight, but he is going to be chucking enough shots to be valuable even at a more realistic shooting percentage.
The Blazers will have a tough time winning a game against the Warriors, but if KD is out, tonight could be a big opportunity. Regardless of Durant’s status, the Blazers are going to lean on McCollum and Lillard in the absence of Nurkic. CJ’s predictably high usage tonight raises his floor to where he’d have to shoot terribly to kill your lineups tonight. I’ll have a lot of CJ in cash games.
Evan Turner ($4,800)
ET is another great option tonight from the Blazers. He has scored 20+ DraftKings points in seven of his last eight games, and his role without Nurkic increases. He stuffed the stat sheet (relatively speaking) on Sunday with a 12p-10r-4a line in 36 minutes. I am particularly encouraged by that performance because his usage rate was only 11.2% in that game. Lillard and McCollum cannot carry the entire team. As we saw in the second half of Sunday’s game, the Lillard and McCollum magic runs out eventually.
The point is that Turner’s usage should be much closer to about 18% tonight while he continues to assist and rebound. And his high minutes totals should persist throughout the playoffs. I think he’s an incredibly safe option with very high upside.
Paul Millsap ($6,900)
I understand the appeal of Draymond Green tonight (especially if KD is out), but I really like Millsap. He struggled with the physicality of Sunday’s game, but he should be able to bounce back tonight. From a DFS perspective, his scoring was fine, but every other area of his game was lacking. In the four games he played before playoffs started, Paul Millsap averaged a 27.9% usage rate and had a 15% rebound rate.
In Sunday’s game, Millsap had a 20.9% usage rate and rebounded at just a 3.1% rate. I expect a bump in usage, and I can guarantee an increase in rebounding. Millsap voiced his disapproval of the physicality in Sunday’s game, and I anticipate an aggressive, attacking Millsap tonight. He’s very cheap and can be deployed in all formats.
Steven Adams ($4,600)
Many have reacted to the video of Thunder coach Billy Donovan saying “Can’t play Kanter” to his assistant as the Thunder got blown out by the Rockets. I do not know how Donovan will distribute minutes tonight in the frontcourt, but it’s clear that he needs minutes out of Adams. Adams played 28 minutes last game, but it was a blowout. So I think it’s fair to assume Adams will play at least 28 minutes tonight.
Tonight’s game should be incredibly fast (Vegas o/u 223 currently) and there should be a lot of rebounds up for grabs. As long as Adams gets the minutes, he should have a double-double and score close to 30 DraftKings points. The Thunder need a spark and would benefit tremendously from a big Adams game. His price tag is too low for his potential tonight, so I am rostering him in cash games and tournaments.
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