With only two games in the NBA last night it made it hard to select lineups. Tonight there are 12 games, which is great for NBA daily fantasy games.
Last night the Grizzlies took on OKC without their top scorer Rudy Gay, and it showed. The game got out of hand very fast as the Grizzlies had no answer for Kevin Durant (27 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast) and Russell Westbrook (21 Pts, 9 Reb, 6 Ast), both of whom were very solid in the win. Jerryd Bayless (23 Pts, 6 Ast, 3 Reb) got the start at SG with Tony Allen (8 Pts, 9 Reb) sliding over to the SF to try to guard KD. Given his huge day on the boards, Zach Randolph (9 Pts, 19 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl) could have had a monster night if not for his small scoring total.
The late game was much more competitive, with Golden State pulling out a close win at home against a Dirk-less Mavs team. Dirk was a late scratch due to a right adductor injury and surely hurt many daily fantasy players with a big fat zero. Shawn Marion (18 Pts, 17 Reb), O.J. Mayo (25 Pts, 6 Ast, 5 Reb) and Vince Carter (22 pts, 4 Reb) picked up the majority of the slack for Dallas. Elton Brand (4 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 BS) drew the start in his place, but played very mediocre. For GS, it was David Lee (15 Pts, 20 Reb, 9 Ast) & Klay Thompson (27 Pts) carrying the load.
Looking ahead to tonight’s matchups and a full slate of games (12) on the schedule, we have many more options to pick from and lots of decisions to be made.
In Toronto, Rudy Gay has a chance to make his Raports debut against the Clippers but we won’t know for sure until later today. Also, Jonas Valanciunas and Andrea Bargnani took part in this morning’s shootaround, and both are being called game-time decisions for tonight after long stints on the injury report. Eric Bledsoe will draw the start at PG for the Clippers once again, as CP3 is going to miss yet another game.
UPDATE: Rudy Gay will be in uniform tonight and is expected to start for the Raptors.
With Glen Davis suffering a season-ending foot injury, the Orlando PF position is up in the air again. Remember that Nicola Vucevic put up monster numbers the first time Big Baby got injured and should do the same against the Celtics tonight who struggle against bigs. For the C’s, look for Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry to all see big minutes once again.
In Brooklyn, the Nets take on the Bulls who might be without Carlos Boozer (hamstring) – Taj Gibson would make a great spot start. Jimmy Butler has maintained minutes and production even after Loul Deng’s return, as he is playing more SG and taking minutes away from the aging Rip Hamilton.
Memphis will play Washington at home tonight and will be without their newly-acquired players, meaning big minutes for Jerred Bayless once again.
UPDATE: Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis & Austin Daye are all expected to play tonight against the Wizards. Prince is expected to start at SF.
Dirk Nowitzki, who missed last night’s game, will be out Friday against the Suns as well. Shawn Marion played great last night in his absence and usually puts up much better numbers when Dirk is out of the lineup. For the Suns, keep you’re eye on Michael Beasley, who’s scored double-digits in three straight games and continues to receive praise from coach Lindsey Hunter.
In the late game in Minnesota, the Lakers will most likely be without Dwight Howard, who went down with a shoulder injury once again. Pau Gasol was also seen in pain after the game with a foot injury, but if he plays, look for Gasol & Earl Clark to see big minutes in Dwight’s absence.
Picks of the Night
Jrue Holiday – Holiday will be at home, where he plays best, against a Sacramento team that really struggles defending the point guard. All signs point to Jrue having a very solid night.
Blake Griffin –It really feels like he puts the team and the offense on his shoulders much more when CP3 is out, and his numbers definitely reflect that. Other than one dud game against Phoenix, he’s been an absolute stud lately.
Carmelo Anthony – His price and match-up are way too appealing to pass on. Melo is a guy who rarely hurts you and has potential to blow up on any night.
Earl Clark – If Dwight doesn’t play, look for Clark to see big minutes. There’s also a chance Gasol misses this game (check his status), which would mean even more opportunities for production.
Michael Beasley – Beasley has been very solid over the past three games, while his price is still in value range on most sites. Look for him to keep the hot hand going tonight against Dallas.
Chris Johnson – I know he laid a dud last night, but he still played the minutes (21) and is going to have to do the same tonight. Memphis has only nine guys available on their roster, and I expect better numbers from Johnson tonight against a Wizards team that is a much better match-up compared to OKC.
UPDATE: With Prince, Davis & Daye in uniform, Chris Johnson probably won’t see much court time.