Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/20/17
420, man. Let's smoke... all of our opponents.
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Cleveland Pacers at the Indiana Pacers
Cleveland's stars combined for 89 points from the field in game 2, leading Cleveland to a 2-0 lead in a game that felt nowhere near as close as the final score would indicate. It was a little disconcerting that they couldn't close the Pacers out more convincingly, but that's more important for people who actually care about who wins and loses these things. What we're looking for is close games, and this series has provided them so far. I'm really keying in on the 44 combined shots from LeBron and Kyrie after 47 from them in the first game. It's clear that the Cavs feel like they're heavily favored at those positions, and it's hard to believe they'll try and fix what doesn't seem broken.
But what to make of Kevin Love? The single digit shots in back to back games weren't great, but you have to love the huge increase in minutes and rebounds from Love in game 2. It bore out what we thought might happen going into the series - Love should be a mismatch for Young, but it didn't play out that way in game 1. Love DID run hot from the field (and the line) in game 2, so I don't think we want to count on him for quite the same final line as we did in game 2, but he's still a very interesting option.
The big question mark on the Cleveland side of the bar is obviously JR Smith. I don't think we want to trust him (even on a clean bill of health), but what if he sits? I guess it depends who gets the nod, but you could almost take the combined line from all the other shooting guards from game 2 and be disappointed on a minimum salary. I might consider Korver there? But I can't say I'd be excited.
As for the Pacers, we saw more minutes out of their starters than we did in game 1. Paul Gerorge got there even on increased prices, and it's pretty clear that he's plans A, B, and C. It was reassuring to see more minutes out of Myles Turner, and we got solid performances and out the non-Monta Ellis starters and Lance Stephenson. All the Pacers fall into the same category for me - I wouldn't be sad to see any of them show up in my lineup,s but I won't prioritize them either.
Toronto Raptors at the Milwaukee Bucks
Toronto flipped the script in game 2, blessedly giving us a better look at what these teams were planning to do in a normal game. Here's what we learned.
Milwaukee leaned very heavily on Giannis and Khris Middleton. Both of them appear to be solid, high floor cash game options going forward. Brogdon played a lot of minutes, but had the ball in his hands way less than he did when playing minutes like those during the rest of the season. It looks like he's out there to chase Lowry down primarily, and I'm sure if we can count on him for much offensive production. Greg Monroe was still excellent on a points per minute basis, but it was disheartening to see him lose so many minutes. He's looking more like a big tournament only play for game 3.
On the Toronto side of the ball, we saw the Raptors make some unsurprising choices in the back-court, shifting minutes away from the backups and into the capable hands of Lowry and DeRozan. Neither was particularly inspiring compared to what you have to pay for them, but should be reasonable high floor options.
Let's talk about the rest of the Raptors, though. A lot of people (myself included) thought the Raps might lean more heavily on Jonas Valanciunas given the Bucks' questionable front court situation, but they've actually gone in the other direction, playing him even less. If they feel JV's defense is so suspect that he can basically on share the court with Thon Maker, I think we can safely say his DFS hopes can rest in peace. The same can likely be said for Demarre Carroll. It just ain't happening. PJ Tucker played a lot of mintues but wasn't really part of the plan.
The only other bright spot here was Serge Ibaka. He had a line that is more well rounded than we're used to, but I actually think the assists are just a function of him having the ball in his hands more than we're used to. He looks like a terrific play in this series moving forward.
San Antonio Spurs at the Memphis Grizzlies
Is every game in this series going to be a blowout? Is that just the game script we need to prepare for?
For our DFS purposes, the Grizzlies are at least leaving their dudes in regardless of how the game has progressed. Gasol, Conley, and Z-Bo all played big minutes (and Randolph and Conley provided reasonable production) since there really isn't anything left to rest up for. James Ennis flashed some promise here as well - he might have played even more minutes if he hadn't been in slight foul trouble, and it's clear that Wayne Selden isn't the key to the series. Vinsanity provided 12 points, and managed no other stats. No rebounds, assists, turnovers, nothing. I'm going to miss him when he's out of the league.
The Spurs stuck with Aldridge and Kawhi very deep into the game as well, with Kawhi going off, and Aldridge no-showing.
Really, the same can be said of the entire team. Is there anyone besides Leonard we can trust here? I'd say probably not. Memphis is just a terrible match-up for basically every position, and it's going to take a close game for the Spurs to even consider playing guys like Parker more minutes. Gasol has a bad match-up with... Gasol, and there just isn't a lot to see there unfortunately. Maybe some of this changes if we get to see what the plan in is in a little bit of a closer game, but for now I'm fairly unlikely to play a pile of Spurs.
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