What’s up NBA fans? Welcome to today’s dose of daily fantasy strategy featuring a recap of last night’s hot contest.
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Today’s Game Recap: Milwaukee Bucks @ Portland Trailblazers
The Portland Trailblazers got the tip but it was Luc Richard Mbah A Moute that made the first field goal. With a name like that I don’t know if he’s on the crew of the Starship Enterprise or hanging out with Arsenio Hall in Queens. Either way the point is Moute because he’s here in Portland with the Milwaukee Bucks this evening. The Bucks were playing hot potato with the ball passing it in all directions but cold tomato with the rim, unable to make a shot. Eventually Monta Ellis cruised through to the basket with electric finesse for a superhero-like layup off the glass. The teams were trading fast jump shots and running up and down the court with urgency. Brandon Jennings was the target of the Portland’s defense and couldn’t get anything going. Ersan Ilyasova was the benefactor, left wide open for a trey. The Blazers didn’t seem to adjust well to Ersan as a threat, and he continued to be left wide open while the defense focused on Ellis and Jennings. The Bucks were on a 15 to 2 run at this point. Dunleavy debuted near the end of the first quarter but looked lost when passed the ball and floundered it out of bounds. Maybe he should pursue that country music career and hang up the hoops. Worst case scenario he can get work as a Randy Travis doppelganger.
Jumpers were traded as the second quarter got underway. John Henson slammed into Luke Babbit and looked stunned on the floor. Marquis Daniels passed the rock to the crowd. Ball handling in this quarter was extremely loose, like someone coated the rock in jelly or Vaseline at the break. Damian Lillard looked impressive shooting from long range. The Bucks kept feeding Henson the ball, unfortunately he was playing more like Jim with his Muppets than John with any buckets. Ellis went on monkey tilt and was trash talkin’ a ref over a call he didn’t like, though he wasn’t penalized. Batum shows up just as the Blazers stick four out of five guys in the paint to try and stop the lightning fast Brandon Jennings. There had been 12 steals in the game thus far and it’s likely that Jennings or Ellis was arrested after the game for grand larceny. ETA? Ellis Theft Auto? Maybe I’m on to something. The Blazers finally started to adjust to the wide open Ilyasova but ended up fouling him on a wild flailing shot anyways. A pattern of foul on one end, foul on the other emerged. I’m sure this exciting stop and go action had the crowd buying lots of hot dogs and car insurance from the litter of ways you can bleed money at a sporting event in a corporate arena. Jennings was deep in the paint at this point. Sanders blocked a shot and the Bucks got the ball but failed to convert off a screen. Portland’s defensive pressure was forcing ugly shots, but Jennings was too fast and Ilyasova was too open resulting in a 62-45 Bucks lead at the half.
Milwaukee started off hot in the third quarter with the Jennings/Ilyasova combo injecting venom in the lethargic and complacent Trailblazers. Both teams were bricking shots and fighting for rebounds, but the Bucks had the rebounding edge. The blurring speed of Ellis and Jennings was a huge factor in this game as the ill-prepared Blazers weren’t able to contain them, resorting to fouls and shrugging. Portland’s starters were held to just half of their average points up to that point. Aldridge was floating around but Batum may as well have taken the day off. Luke Babbit hit a trey and the Star Wars theme rattled off in the backdrop as if he’d just struck down Darth Vader with a lightsaber. He immediately hit another trey and the DJ immediately dropped another Star Wars jingle. At this point Larry Sanders was called for two technical fouls, resulting in an ejection. He was fired up over the referees favoring the Blazers with their calls. Hot heads need cool water. J.J. Hickson hit double double status and came up with a +1 to put his team within 10. The Bucks had noticeably cooled off at this juncture. Wes Matthews picked up a T for “reacting too vigorously” to a call and walked away in disbelief. He can go home and spend the night with a woman if he wants to get away with that. Lillard sunk a buzzer trey to make it an 8 point game going into the last quarter. The Bucks field goal percentage cooled down to 7 of 26 in the third.
Beno Udrih opened the fourth with a long duece. The Bucks were all over Babbit, trying to prevent his three point shooting. A nice screen allowed Dunleavy to drain one from the outside. The announcers then described Aldridge as “long and thick enough that it’s difficult to play him there” and I could go in any dERECTION with a joke on this end. I’ll leave it up to your imaginations. For some reason Udrih began taking all of the shots for the Bucks, while Aldridge and Batum combined for an abysmal 5 of 19 shooting. Jennings with another steal then put the count at 3 for him and 5 for Monta. Urine, err, Udrih, gets another easy basket having taken the place as “open guy” from the radioactive Ersan Ilyasova, who was de-hulking on the bench for the entirety of the quarter. Aldridge suddenly Peter Frampton’ed in the paint and Dunleavy came up with a huge steal resulting in a Jennings 2+1. Lillard scissor kicked as he hit a trey to move the Blazers within 7 with 1:28 left on the clock. Matthews rattled off another trey to put his team within 4 with 44.7 remaining. Lillard looked like his crotch itched when he shot his jumpers, swinging his legs wildly. The end of this game was a smattering of foul after foul. The Febreeze commercials in the background were more interesting and any electricity of a close game was outright murdered by the refs and their obsession with chickens. Bucks win 110 to 104.
Daily Fantasy Strategy Tip #1: Caveat Emptor when you’re looking for value plays. There are a number of teams in the NBA that have a rotating cast of clowns that share minutes at a certain position. Even if someone ran hot in the last game and put up solid numbers, it could be a trap pick. The Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Milwaukee Bucks are a few examples of teams with these rotations. Look for someone to be injured or otherwise out of the game so that you’re guaranteed a boost in minutes for a specific clown. I feel like too many guys get a woody over a couple of hot games without realizing that the rotation or the coach can spell doom for your pick’s minutes.
Daily Fantasy Strategy Tip #2: Brandon Jennings is gifted with explosive speed that can prove lethal in the paint if opposing teams aren’t ready. Portland’s defense tried to contain both Jennings and Ellis and ended up leaving Ilyasova wide open. Ilyasova is a threat. He’s a capable player who isn’t some 30% FG chump who will brick shot after shot. I guess this tip is double ended. Firstly, if you have a team that gives up a lot of points in the paint, Brandon Jennings has increased value. Especially if they’re an older team or don’t have zippy fast guys to keep up with him. Secondly, if the defense is going to focus on 1 or 2 guys and the open man is also a good player, he’s probably a nice pick. If they leave a stinky low FG% guy open, that’s their strategy. They figure he’ll take and brick a lot of shots. The Blazers underestimated Ersan Ilyasova and paid dearly for it.
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