Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings 5/14/15

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls


Though this series has been somewhat compromised by Pau Gasol missing time, Cleveland nevertheless took game five and with it a commanding lead in the series. Lebron went full beast mode in the game, putting up a king-like performance with a ridiculous 38/12/6/3/3 game. Statistically, this was a statement game for James who looked unstoppable on both ends of the court. Of course, the Bulls were able to make a game out of it, pulling into within a few points in the closing minutes (after being down double digits). But Cleveland held strong.

Game six is in Chicago and you can bet the Bull faithful will turn up the volume in a big way. The play on the court has been chippy at times with Taj Gibson getting somewhat of a ticky-tack ejection at the beginning of the fourth. Without both he and Gasol, the Bulls lost a great deal on the interior though a Jimmy Butler flurry did pull them close. Expect another tough, grind it out game in this one.


Top Plays

LeBron James - FD 11700 DK 11400
Not sure how many ways to say this. He is the top play on the slate and has been for some time. He has gone into Lebron mode, especially for last game, as it was clear he was taking over for better or worse. It ended up being for better. I suspect more of the same volume in game six as the Cavs will want to end this thing.

Jimmy Butler - FD 7900 DK 8200
He took over some of the scoring duties late that helped bring up his overall line, but he's had a consistent series all in all. Jimmy Minutes is a bit on the expensive side, but if you are playing Lebron then you really can't pay all the way up for Harden. I like Butler in that upper middle tier.

Joakim Noah - FD 5700 DK 5900
The minutes are there for now, though I don't know how much that changes with Gasol coming back. Even if he saw run in the low 30's I' think I'm playing him at these prices rather than paying all the way up for the foul machines that are Dwight and DeAndre.

Derrick Rose - FD 8500 DK 8700
Rose or Kyrie, Kyrie or Rose? That's the question at point guard. Because I think you can play Terry in one of the slots safely, I'll go Rose because Kyrie just doesn't seem 100%.


Value Plays

Tristan Thompson - FD 5400 DK 5300
With the Bulls’ size, the Cavs need to play Thompson big minutes to compete down low. He’s been solid on the boards and is still very much affordable considering his run is close to forty minutes a game right now. Won’t blow it out of the box in scoring though they were able to run a few pick and roll sets with him in game five.

Mike Dunleavy - FD 4500 DK 5000
He's a value on these small slates because few other players are coming this cheap and play as many minutes as Dunleavy. He is up and down on any given night, so I don't think he's particularly safe. But if he can knock down a couple of three pointers then you are feeling good about him considering the price.


Los Angeles Clippers vs Houston Rockets


I will never understand NBA coaches. It’s very clear that the Clippers need DeAndre Jordan in the game to provide defensive stability on the interior. They also need him to keep opposing defenses honest in the paint for fear that he will pick and roll dunk them into oblivion. This plus the fact that in some ways the Clippers are playing with house money being up three games to one in the series and playing on the road. So what does Doc do? Plays DeAndre a total of 9 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. You can’t die with these fouls and it’s clear the Clippers are a different team without him on the court. And yet idiotic NBA coach group think subscribes to the idea that when a guy gets in foul trouble you need to sit him come hell or high water. Even if it costs you the game. Which it did. Not that +/- is the be all, end all stat to determine optimal matchups but the Clips were 0 with DeAndre on the court and negative with everyone else. Does it seem like I’m annoyed? I am, because I get personally offended by errors in logic.

Now the game shifts back to Los Angeles for game six. The Clippers are still very much in the driver’s seat here of course. But they had a chance to close it out in game five but didn’t give themselves the chance by making decisions based on antiquated ideas around “foul trouble”. Oh and Harden was awesome, but I’m convinced much of that was from lack of good interior defense. See how things cascade?


Top Plays:

Blake Griffin - FD 11400 DK 10300
Look, he's great and the Rockets have no real answer for him. It's just a matter of whether or not the Clippers can get him the ball enough. With DeAndre out for long stretches last game Blake put up a huge 30/16 line. Jordan cuts into some of those rebounds if on the court, so don't expect a repeat performance. But of the big money guys, it's Blake and Lebron for me.

A note on Harden: It's getting closer because the price is dropping. I wouldn't blame you obviously for playing him. But I think the case for Blake is that you can find other shooting guard value whereas the power forward pool is thin now that Taj's minutes will be cut back.


Value Plays:

Jason Terry - FD 3300 DK 4200
Bargain basement and close to a must start especially on FanDuel. Terry allows a lot of flexibility and as long as those minutes are in the high 20's/ low 30's then he is paying off. The big thing for him has been the scoring and if he is going to but up double digit points then you are good at this price point.

J.J. Redick - FD 5000 DK 5000
Nice, safe guy to slot into the second shooting guard spot if need be. Has all the minutes with the added upside that if the three is falling he can really crush his price.

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image sources

  • lebron: AP Images

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