What’s up NBA fans? Welcome to today’s dose of daily fantasy strategy featuring a recap of last night’s hot contest.
We’re going deep into a game per day to find out what makes basketball tick and how it relates to daily fantasy strategy. Fire up your daily fantasy sites and grab yourself a brew, we’re going in!
Today’s Game Recap: Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Lakers
The game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat started off sloppy and cold. Both teams were struggling to score but the Lakers were turning the ball over like they were colorblind to which uniforms they were wearing. Dwight Howard dominated the paint and started off warm with his free throw attempts, though the only real bit of finesse that came out of the first quarter was the solidity of Steve Nash’s Elvis-like gel job during his sporadic ducks and cuts on the squeaky court.
In a fast paced second quarter the Heat began to turn up the double team fire on Nash. In fact, the Heat’s constant defensive pressure took a serious toll on the Lakers lack of cohesion. It was abundantly clear that they need more practice together. They need to be more comfortable and more intuitive rather than chucking up scatter-brained shots in desperation, especially when facing top level competition. Their plan of getting the ball to D12 in the paint was successful at first, but the Heat adjusted and Howard had a hard time getting the ball from then on, despite dominating the boards. Similarly, with Nash getting doubled like he was on team Vivid, the Lakers never changed their strategy and floundered under pressure. Somehow, despite all of the buttered fingers and bricked shots they managed to keep the score almost even at the half. The Lakers committed 20 turnovers in this game!
The third quarter involved more double teaming on Nash, lots of ball movement from the Heat to find sweet baskets, and Earl Clark doing his best to contain the hulking beast that is Lebron James. Bryant was double and triple teamed as well, while Metta World Peace was left open and made a couple of three point shots. Up to this point in the game Kobe had been a non-factor. Clearly the Lakers knew that the way to get back in the game was to exploit D12′s edge in the paint and not try to soldier through Dwyane Wade. Even so, it looked like Kobe had wandered off to his Delorean, more interested in searching for a ghost town to stake a mining claim in, as opposed to sticking around and facilitating the offense.
Kobe must have busted his flux capacitor and got stuck in the present though, because he showed up for the fourth quarter. Having started off shooting 3/15 from the field, he started to hit bucket after bucket. The game stayed close until Ray Allen silenced the fans with deadly precision on a three pointer. Shortly after that Lebron and Pau Gasol collided and fell to the floor, each seemingly stunned for a second. Even though Kobe hit a number of important shots this quarter, the last three minutes of the game were dominated by the Heat. All Kobe could do was wipe the slick sweat off of his face with his tired jersey and shake his head as he walked off the court in clear disappointment.
Daily Fantasy Strategy Tip #1: The Heat’s front court is usually weak vs. big men but in this case they knew exactly what they needed to do. Stop Dwight Howard’s ability to get the ball and foul him when he did get it. It’s no industry secret why D12 draws fouls like Todd McFarlane draws Spider-Man comics. It’s usually a solid choice to choose bigs vs. the Heat, unless that big has glaring leaks in his game that they can exploit.
Daily Fantasy Strategy Tip #2: If you think all of us daily fantasy strategy nutcases are the only ones sitting around thinking about the weak spots of opposing teams think again! I would have expected a bit more from Kobe in the first three quarters of this game but the Lakers clearly knew that they needed to feed the rock to Howard. This is similar to how San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich likes to shut down the scoring threats of opposing teams. It’s not uncommon to see the third fiddle put up a nice game vs. the Spurs. Think about who is going to be the primary scoring threat or rebounding threat. Think about who might benefit from someone else being shut down. Who is going to get all the passes from the pressured player? Think about what kind of coaches you’re dealing with. Do they like to double team and shut guys down? Do they like a fast paced up and down the floor offense? Daily fantasy boils down to price vs. production simplistically, but the road to picking winners nightly is way more complex.
Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s dose of daily fantasy strategy featuring game recaps. Don’t forget to check out our site reviews, daily fantasy strategy articles, and links to the best daily fantasy sites to get yourself a sweet bonus on your first deposit!