Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/23/17
Another four game slate! By this time we'd expect things to be a little bit more predictable, but each of these series features some real uncertainty. The crazy thing is, I'm still not sure where the value might be hiding. Still, you came here for value, and value we shall find.
And then there's the Blake news - can we really trust Speights? And what about Chris Paul's big usage spike? Let's dive in.
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Cleveland Cavaliers at the Indiana Pacers
Well Cleveland mounted one of the best comebacks in playoff history, and sadly, it didn't show us very much about what their plan will be going forward. Unless you think they are going to tilt pull Kyrie and Love in the future, I think we just have to use game 2 as our proxy for their minutes. I'm still high on Kyrie in particular, and obviously, LeBron is in another world right now.
As for the Pacers, there is a little bit of intrigue there. I'm fairly confident they are going to pack it in and call it a series as soon as even modest adversity presents itself, but they at least tipped their hand as far as what the plan is when the going gets tough. The plan? Try and win on the back of Paul George and Thaddeus Young. Both look like good plays going forward if you can count on the increased minutes, but after that, things get pretty sparse.
Houston Rockets at the Oklahoma City Thunder
Whaddya know, the Thunder won one! While Westbrook was up to his old ones and putting up huge numbers (though barely enough on his astronomical prices), the real take-away from the OKC side is how they deployed their big men. They took minutes from Steven Adams and Jerami Grant and passed them over to Taj Gibson, who was awesome. Gibson also happened to shoot 13 shots, and it looked like the Thunder finally figured out a way to punish the Rockets for paying Ryan Anderson at power forward. Roberson also seems to be playing as many minutes as he can physically survive, and remains a solid value even at increasing prices.
As for Houston, they tightened up to an 8 man rotation and made their best effort to put OKC away. It didn't work, but it's a good lesson to take away from this one. Let's talk about a few specific plays.
Trevor Ariza continued his unprecedented run of playing a ton of minutes and contributing basically zero stats.
Ryan Anderson played 33 minutes, by far his most in the series, and put up some reasonable production. The Rockets also got punished pretty badly for his presence. I couldn't say if 33 minutes is in the plan going forward, but I suspect he'll play more than the low 20s we were anticipating.
Lou Williams and Eric Gordon also played more minutes, but that was likely due to Beverley's foul trouble rather than any big change of plans. All in all, I'd guess that Houston returns to their game 2 and 3 plan unless OKC jumps out to a big lead.
As for Harden - he just looks kind of overpriced to me? He wasn't great against OKC in the regular season, and isn't having a much better time in the playoffs.
Boston Celtics at the Chicago Bulls
Le sigh. This series sadly got a lot less interesting when Rondo disappeared, but I'm still holding out some hope for a more competitive game 3. Jerian Grant and Gerald Green were chalk starts on below minimum pricing, and both generally sucked - but still, if they start again here I'm going to continue to be a buyer. It's just hard to be that bad on those prices, and I truly think we got unlucky there.
It looked like the teams basically stuck to what we figured their plans would be from a minutes perspective, aside from being a little light on the admittedly terrible Jerian Grant.
What can we really take away from how teams behave in games like this? The Bulls got away from all of their starters eventually, and it's really tough to say how much they are going to change things up as a result of Rondo being missing. It's going to be hard to trust Grant again, but on $2,500 on FanDuel, it's awfully enticing.
I don't think there are any big takeaways in the big man department on Chicago - I'd still trust Rolo, and would pass on the power forwards.
Los Angeles Clippers at the Utah Jazz
Nothing sicker than a top 15 player leaving an NBA playoff series, and in this one, we've got two of them now. Let's start with what we know - the Jazz situation.
Utah dove right in and went small, playing Favors for 38 minutes and barely keeping Diaw on the court. Withey never made an appearance, and the Jazz seemed content to let the Clippers try to beat them on the glass and with DeAndre pick and rolls. The Clippers did outrebound the Jazz by 14, but DeAndre did very little offensively, getting just 7 shots in the air. I suspect the Jazz will continue to favor Favors (winky face!) and he'll be a great value for the rest of the series. It's also worth noting that they rolled with Joe Johnson for 34 minutes in spite of him getting 5 fouls, so that seems to be the plan going forward. The last notable change was with Gordon Hayward. With the Clips forced to go smaller (running Pierce at the 4 for 20 minutes), Hayward was able to stay on the court for 42 minutes, providing excellent fantasy value.
Edit: Gobert now listed as questionable - so obviously keep an eye on that before setting any definitive Jazz lineups.
On the Clips side of the ball, things get a little murkier. Marreese Speights started the second half, and was pretty effective. Pierce also got 20 minutes, as mentioned. I can't say as of now who will wind up being the better fantasy play, or if there will be any value to be had.
One thing's for sure, though - the usage multiplier that CP3 and DeAndre normally get during the regular season should be amplified even more here. The very last thing the Clippers want is to have to point to Blake's absence as an excuse for losing this series, so you can expect a full dose of their superstars here.
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- Celtics Suns Basketball: (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)