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: Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics
The game between the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics started off with Kirk Hinrich lolly-gagging around with the ball while the teams felt each other out. It seemed like they were sizing each other up and trying to figure out what the other had planned. Kevin Garnett covered Carlos Boozer and Brandon Bass covered Joakim Noah as the Celtics tried to cut down on the efficiency of the Bulls passing game. The Celtics noticeably didn’t fight over offensive rebounds opting to instead rush back and defend in transition. The Bulls were passing very well and creating space for clean looks but getting sloppy in the paint. Hinrich was getting double teamed while Paul Pierce wandered around, looking incredulously at fouls whether committing or receiving them. Chicago was doing their best Lakers impression, turning the ball over 7 times but the Celtics were unable to capitalize with their ice cold shooting. Rajon Rondo was playing smart basketball, finding open shooters, and made an exceptional pass to Courtney Lee in the corner for three. The turnovers took their toll, and along with Rondo’s keen eye the Celtics were able to close the gap by the end of the first.
Jared Sullinger came out firing, err, fouling, err…. Yeah, he did one of those things early in the second quarter. Though his body movement is impressive and it’s clear that he has above average basketball skill, he’s going to have to do something about his foul rate. It would be OK if NBA games were 20 minutes long, or if the refs had more crossword puzzles to sidetrack their already blurry vision. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and to make matters worse he’s always wearing white sleeves on his giant arms so they stick out further. At this point in the game Courtney Lee was leading the Celtics with 7 points and 5 rebounds. He caught a long board and drove it straight to the rim for a sweet layup. Luol Deng then nailed a key 3 pointer with 1 second left on the shot clock to save a disjointed Bulls possession. The Bulls couldn’t get anything going in the paint, but again the Celtics failed to capitalize, with Paul Pierce serving up enough cold shots that he could seriously consider a night job bar tending. Rondo was zipping up and down the floor so fast he could moonlight as Flash Gordon. Unfortunately, the rim was merciless like Ming and the Celtics couldn’t find their rhythm. Near the end of the quarter the Bulls were shooting 56%, Rondo started to heat up, and Paul Pierce was handling the rock as if he were spinning around in front of a pinata. Bulls up 45-39 at the half.
It was lock down time in the third as both teams were missing shots and defending the interior. The Bulls weren’t allowing the Celtics any access to inside play, forcing Rondo and his cast of merry bench warmers to take jump shots. Rajon was up to the task and reached 8 of 12 shooting from outside the paint. Paul Pierce finally made a shot and passed Robert “The Chief” Parrish on the all-time scoring list at the same time. Joakim Noah has seemingly passed the offensive torch to Carlos Boozer along with his endless supply of “Fountain of Youth” flavored Gatorade as the Bulls are now running most plays through him. He shows no signs of slowing down and there’s no reason to stop picking him while he’s liquid fire. In the midst of all this chess-like battling came a sloppy intermission where Boozer passed the ball to a fan in the front row, then both teams took turns passing to what must have been the ghosts of games past looking for a bit of redemption. The scoring in this quarter was accumulated at a glacial pace as everyone struggled to make baskets. A nursing home full of amputees on craft night could have made more baskets than these guys.
Coming into the fourth quarter the Celtics closed the point gap to a promising 70-68. They were frenetic from the start and you could feel the electricity as they viewed the lead on the horizon. Unfortunately, they were hindered by this energy and it led to them taking impatient shots. Garnett rebounded and found Rondo, who flashed to the basket and tied the game up with 6:53 left to play. The reset button on this Celtics Entertainment System had been hit and it was anyone’s game. Sullinger gave Hinrich a bear hug to pick up his 3rd foul, Rondo continued to heat up, and the Bulls reached 18 turnovers. Boozer continued to rebound and Pierce continued his pinata games. Doc Rivers called a timeout with 22.5 left on the clock with the Celtics up by 1. Garnett hit 2 free throws to put the Celtics up by 3. A held ball was called with 9.4 left in the game. The jump ball was tapped over to Hinrich who spiked a trey to tie the game and off to overtime they went!
When overtime started, players were playing like they were stuck in horror movie mist. You’d need fans to cut up pictures of celebrities from magazines and throw them on the court to find a good look. Jason Terry played miserably all night long and finally redeemed himself with a clutch trey. Rondo fouled out of the game, while at the same time smashing his face into some dude’s kneecap. Pierce being double teamed opened Garnett up for a key bucket to make it a 1 point game again. Sullinger fouled out crashing into Marco Belinelli. Hinrich fouled out too. Jason Terry hit a huge shot in the clutch to put the Celtics up by 1 with 12.5 seconds left to play. Belinelli answered with the game winning shot FALLING BACKWARDS! He wasn’t standing straight, he was literally falling backwards like he was chillin’ on a hammock. The Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 100-99.
This game was played like a championship game and not just a regular season durdle. There was more heart in this game than I’ve seen in a long time. Boozer was running around screaming through a raspy growl “HELL YEAH” as he embraced teammates. It was an amazing game of ball but in the end, the Italian Stallion got the knockout punch. The Celtics should call up the Minnesota Timberwolves and ask them to borrow Andrei Kirilenko for the next game. Then again the Stallion did beat Ivan Drago too.
There was a lot of rough physical play in this game. Garnett and Noah were back and forth with elbows and shoves to the point where it looked like they were going to either come to blows or get ejected. They both ended up with a technical foul in the fourth quarter. Fierce rivalries cause teams to play harder and hungrier. This is good for daily fantasy sports!
Daily Fantasy Strategy Tip #1: The Celtics were not interested in fighting for offensive rebounds. This seems to be a part of Doc Rivers philosophy and it’s something to consider as a part of your daily fantasy strategy. A guy who rebounds like a champ will probably have a good rebounding game against the Celtics in this regards. Knowing specific ways that coaches approach different parts of the game will help you maximize the value of your picks. If a guy is sure to rebound like mad vs. the Celtics his value goes up. Just like on a long road trip or on national TV vs. the Miami Heat, the value of San Antonio Spurs stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker goes down. Thank you, Greg Popovich, for making these examples easy. Also, consider the site you’re picking players for and how their scoring is affected by these variables. On a site like Draft Kings where a rebound is worth 1.25 points, it’s more valuable than the standard 1 point from Draft Day or Fan Duel.
Daily Fantasy Strategy Tip #2: It’s good practice to know which games will be high scoring and low scoring on any given night. You can find this information by searching for NBA lines and seeing what the Las Vegas Sports Bettors have to say. It’s better practice to know who is likely to dominate certain areas of a game. If your game has a low O/U (this Bulls/Celtics game was slated as the lowest O/U of the night) that doesn’t mean that players won’t produce fantasy points or that you should completely avoid them. Consider the team configuration, the match, and where/how fantasy points are likely to be produced. You’d be surprised how often you can find someone worth picking in a low scoring game.
Daily Fantasy Strategy Tip #3: If you get comfortable predicting how a coach is going to approach an opposing team you can likewise make more precise decisions when considering taking more expensive players. Tonight both teams kept the interior relatively off limits but the Bulls specifically put pressure on Rajon Rondo which forced him to take jump shots or pass and he didn’t get a lot of drives to the rim. Looking back, if we knew the Bulls would be likely to employ this sort of strategy, we could consider that Rondo would be taking a lot of contested jump shots and think about how well he does in that situation. He rose to the task and did well this evening, which means that his value may not go down under these variables. Someone else may be terrible in the same environment and make sloppy passes, bad shots, or turn the ball over. The depth of research you’re able to do in daily fantasy is nigh unfathomable. Jacques Cousteau could never get this low!
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!