Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Friday 8/13/20Friday is the last day of the bubble regular season and what a run it's been. We've had a little of everything in these games with the Nets-Blazers going down to the wire on Thursday night. We now have a close-to-clear idea of the playoffs, though Friday won't bring the final piece of clarity. And this slate is kind of a mess with
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Denver Nuggets at Toronto RaptorsDenver is walking into a first-round matchup against the Utah Jazz and have been very cautious with starter’s minutes in these final bubble games. They are still dealing with injuries to Gary Harris and Will Barton who haven’t played a single game in Orlando. With a little break before the playoffs, I think we see some moderate minutes out of the starters and they still work to fully gel. This is a team that didn’t play significant minutes together during the regular season with Michael Porter Jr. (FD $7000 DK $7900) really putting a stamp in the bubble as a dynamic offensive player.
The Nuggets don’t have anyone on the injury report (who’s been playing) meaning we could be looking at a starters’ minutes maintenance game from them. That would make them awfully tough to project with the team basically all meeting in the middle.
The Raptors will get the surprise Nets in the two-seven matchup and could be really gearing up for a repeat run to the Finals. O.G. Anunoby and Serge Ibaka both rested on Wednesday and should return on Friday. The rest of the starters are a bit of a mystery. With nothing to play for we could see them do something like the Lakers on Thursday and play the main guys the first half. That’s something of the theme for this slate in that teams might choose maintenance over full rest. That makes for even dicier fantasy prospects. No injury news is coming out of Toronto so this is a wait-and-see team.
Miami Heat at Indiana PacersThe Heat played hilarious minutes in their last game with only three players cresting over 20 minutes of run and then the lone Tyler Herro inexplicably playing 35. The Heat have already ruled out Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo for Friday’s game. That could actually leave a lot of minutes for Tyler Herro (FD $5300 DK $5700) and Kendrick Nunn (FD $4800 DK $5200) who has returned to the bubble and isn’t on the injury report. It’s reasonable, I think, to stack these guys in cash with the Heat potentially playing extremely shorthanded. They’ve already shown no issue with running Herro a ton in a meaningless game. Nunn could see plenty of minutes too with the team without the other ballhandlers.
And without Adebayo, there’s a reasonable scenario in which Meyers Leonard (FD $3500 DK $3300) and/or Kelly Olynyk (FD $4200 DK $5500) play a lot up front. It’s worth noting that Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder are also questionable so Miami could be playing with a real skeleton crew.
The Pacers have already ruled out Victor Oladipo, T.J. Warren and Myles Turner for Friday. Malcolm Brogdon (FD $6600 DK $7400) could return in a limited fashion. I do think there will some value with someone like TJ Leaf (FD $3500 DK $3000) especially if Goga Bitadze also needs to sit. Justin Holiday (FD $4600 DK $4600) could see a lot of minutes as well. If Brogdon sits then Aaron Holiday (FD $4300 DK $5100) and Justin Holiday (FD $4600 DK $4600) could run a lot.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles ClippersChris Paul has already been ruled out for this game and Dennis Schroder continues to be out of the Orlando bubble. That should leave Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (FD $6900 DK $7600) at the helm and with all the usage at least to start. But there’s also no reason to think he plays a ton with the Thunder playing for nothing. There could be plenty of run for Darius Bazley (FD $5200 DK $5400) who’s averaged 21 points and nine rebounds per per game over the last three.
The Clippers could very well rest anyone meaningful in today’s game. There’s no reason to push Paul George and Kawhi Leonard with the two playing 36 and 33 minutes respectively in the last game. While the Clippers haven’t played full strength at any point in the bubble, this could still be a rest day. Though their maintenance might look more like the starters getting meaningful minutes together before hitting the playoffs. Almost no matter what, Reggie Jackson (FD $3900 DK $5400) makes a solid DFS play if the team is playing shorthanded and they are already without Patrick Beverley. Additionally, if Lou Williams (FD $5300 DK $5800) is ramping up his minutes this could be a conditioning game and he’d make a fine play especially if Kawhi and PG were limited.
Philadelphia 76ers at Houston RocketsThe Rockets were dealt a pretty brutal blow with the news that Russell Westbrook will miss at least a few games with a strained quadricep. This is a tough one entering the playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden (FD $11500 DK $11500) will have to shoulder the full burden. I suspect the Rockets to take it easy in this game though Harden is coming off a 45 point,17 rebound, nine assist game against the Pacers last time out. That game still had a couple of seeding implications though. This one doesn’t. Again, wouldn’t be shocked if Harden just sat out completely with the knowledge that he’ll run all the minutes come playoffs.
If Houston goes to the end of the bench, we might get a lot of minutes out of Chris Clemons (FD $3500 DK $3200) and Michael Frazier II (FD $3500 DK $3300). I doubt Houston presses the current core of Eric Gordon, PJ Tuckerand Robert Covington much, if at all.
Philadelphia will face the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs and do so without Ben Simmons and serious questions about Joel Embiid’s health. The latter played only 14 minutes against the Raptors on Wednesday. The rest of the starters ran only maintenance minutes as well. We could definitely see an end of the bench game for Philly here. That could mean actual big minutes from either Kyle O'Quinn (FD $4500 DK $3500) or Norvel Pelle (FD $3500 DK $3200) who both have significant fantasy upside if given enough minutes. If they fully punt the game then Mike Scott (FD $3800 DK $4200) and Furkan Korkmaz (FD $3900 DK $3900) could see a bunch of quality minutes.
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