Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Doug Norrie

    Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/25/17

    Lot of questions for tonight. Is this the last time we see Mr. Triple-Double for the playoffs? Do the Grizz keep fighting? Will Gordon Hayward be able to keep down his dinner? So much to ponder for a three-game slate of playoff NBA.

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    Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets

    Oof what a game that was on Sunday. I was at a family birthday party and missed the candles getting blown out because it was in the midst of the Hack-a-Roberson, OKC furious comeback and I have a little thing called priorities. It was a near gut punch loss for OKC who battled and ultimately had a couple of mistakes along with run bad that stopped them from picking up the win.

    Russell Westbrook is obviously the main attraction here and it’s hard to imagine him not just playing practically the whole game considering the impending elimination. He’s not exactly efficient and dude’s crazy expensive but he’s been basically getting there on these insane prices. I don’t see him as a must play with the price and lack of solid cheap options across the board, but the 35/14/14 line from Game 4 is tough to argue with and he’s looking at a lot of court time.

    Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo could be cash game staples tonight considering how much they also stand to play. Adams saw big minutes (kind of out of nowhere) in Game 4 and was productive on both ends of the court. Considering how concentrated the Thunder minutes are at this point, starting all three in cash (with maybe an Andre Roberson toss in) makes a bunch of sense.

    The fact that James Harden had by far his worst game of the series and the Rockets still pulled off the win tells you almost everything you need to know about this matchup. Look for a bounce back game from him especially in regards to getting to the line. He only had 6 FT attempts in Game 4 after 18 and 20 the two games prior. The rest of the Rockets are all a little overpriced even for a short slate. I can see some people playing Nene after last game, but I’d rather play Adams at the same price.


    Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs

    After the Thunder and Rockets game, this is going to be a slow, defensively minded rest of the night in the NBA. But it doesn’t mean it lacks drama. The Grizzlies have clawed their way back into this series, winning games two and three at home before heading back to San Antonio tonight. They’ve reconfigured their starting lineup and Zach Randolph has caused serious mismatch issues for the Spurs’ D. He still makes an excellent power forward option even with the moderate price increase on both sites.

    Meanwhile Marc Gasol and Mike Conley should both continue to see heavy run. The downgrade from each them to the next best option off the bench for Memphis is so stark that they effectively have to play the whole game to give the Grizz a fighting chance. Conley was fantastic last game putting up a 35/8/9 line that led the way for Memphis while Gasol went 16/12/4. The rebounding numbers are the most encouraging on that front.

    Kawhi Leonard should continue as a popular play tonight though it will be interesting to see how folks allocate salaries with Russ and Harden also on this slate. You won’t be able to roster all three of course and that is likely the toughest decision to make here. Kawhi’s was back to his dominant self last game with a 43/8/3/6 (steals) log in the overtime loss. It’s a little tough to figure the Spurs’ minutes beyond him (and to some degree LaMarcus Aldridge who is a little overpriced) as they’ve played matchups and were without Dewayne Dedmon last game. Leonard is easily the safest play on their squad.

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    Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers

    You have to kind of feel for both of these teams right? It just seems like they are always running bad in some way or another. Take the Jazz who play with someone basically hurt all season long, get healthy for the playoffs and then lose Rudy Gobert in the first nanoseconds of Game 1. Then they get him back for Game 4 only to lose Gordon Hayward to food poisoning.

    Then there’s the Clippers who get healthy (kind of) for the playoffs only to lose Blake Griffin for the rest of the season. It’s kind of nuts.

    The series is knotted at 2-2 going into Game 5 and Hayward’s status is iffy. I suspect he plays but it could be a game time decision considering how sick he was for the last one. Without him we saw guys like Joe Ingles and Joe Johnson pick up a lot more of the scoring slack and were two of the primary reasons Utah pulled out the win. Robert only played 24 minutes and they may still be looking to ease him back into the rotation. George Hill played a ton but struggled to get really anything going from a fantasy perspective mostly because Utah played so much iso-ball wth Johnson on offense. For the Jazz we will likely have to take a wait-and-see approach to lineups which could be tricky considering they are the late game.

    Meanwhile, it’s clear that without Blake the Clippers are going to run anything and everything through Chris Paul. He took 21 shots last game (by far the highest usage on the team) and finished with a 27/12/9 line in 38 minutes. He has such a high floor considering how LA will use him in the offensive game after losing one of their primary scoring options in Griffin. From as a points/$ perspective he has as much upside as anyone in his price tier.

    The rest of the Clips, for their prices, were rather underwhelming. J.J. Redick has struggled mightily to get anything going in this series and Mareese Speights didn’t do much in his spot start for Blake. Jamal Crawford did see a slight uptick in minutes and makes for an interesting SG option considering how weak the position is tonight.


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