NBA First Look: Thursday, February 19th
The NBA is back! We’ve got two games on the cards for Thursday.
|HOME||AWAY||VEGAS LINE||VEGAS TOTAL||TIME|
|Oklahoma City (28-25)||Dallas (36-19)||OKC -5||211.5||8:00 PM EST|
|L.A. Clippers (35-19)||San Antonio (34-19)||SAS -3||203.0||10:30 PM EST|
Matchup Preview vs. Oklahoma City:
Pace of Play: 97.2 (Rank: 8)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.8 (Rank: 11)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 10
Rebounding Differential Rank: 4
Monta Ellis (FD: $7200, DK: $7400 / DvP: 8 / Usage Rate: 28.3) – Ladies and gentlemen, the NBA is back! Unfortunately, there are only two games on tap for Thursday night. Ellis should be able to pick up right where he left off. Prior to the break, he had scored at least 35 fantasy points in four of his last nine games. He should be the focal point of the offense, as Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler will both be working their way back from injuries.
Dirk Nowitzki (FD: $6500, DK: $6700 / DvP: 21 / Usage Rate: 26.1) – Nowitzki is an extremely safe cash game play on this two-game slate. He has scored at least 25 fantasy points in five of his last nine games and is a tough cover for anyone. While Serge Ibaka is known as an elite defender, the Thunder have allowed the tenth-most fantasy points to power forwards this season.
Chandler Parsons (FD: $6400, DK: $6600 / DvP: 19 / Usage Rate: 20.5) – Prior to the break, Parsons had been playing some of his best basketball of the season. He has scored at least 33 fantasy points in four of his last six games and should be asked to play big minutes against Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Parsons should excel in a game that is expected to be played at a brisk pace.
Matchup Preview vs. Dallas:
Pace of Play: 96.6 (Rank: 10)
Points Allowed Per Game: 101 (Rank: 23)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 14
Rebounding Differential Rank: 29
Kevin Durant (FD: $10700, DK: $10600 / DvP: 15 / Usage Rate: 29.1) – It’s a rare slate where both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are in play together. Over his last four games, he is averaging 45 fantasy points in 35 minutes per game. He should see closer to 40 minutes against the Mavericks in what is expected to be a close, high-scoring affair. With the lack of other options at small forward, Durant is a no-brainer on Thursday.
Russell Westbrook (FD: $10900, DK: $10600 / DvP: 27 / Usage Rate: 36.5) – Westbrook is fresh off of an MVP performance at the All-Star Game. He was knocking down shots from all over the court and finished one-point shy of the all-time record. He draws a premier matchup against Rajon Rondo and the Mavericks, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to point guards this season.
Matchup Preview vs. L.A. Clippers:
Pace of Play: 96.4 (Rank: 13)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.7 (Rank: 21)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 19
Rebounding Differential Rank: 19
Kawhi Leonard (FD: $7700, DK: $7500 / DvP: 29 / Usage Rate: 22.5) – While Tim Duncan and Tony Parker can still play at a high level, Kawhi Leonard is the Spurs’ best player. He’s an elite player on both ends of the floor and can fill up all areas of the stat sheet. If you aren’t paying up for Durant at small forward or need to take two on a site like FanDuel, Leonard is a great option. The Clippers have really struggled to defend small forwards, allowing the second-most fantasy points to the position.
Tim Duncan (FD: $7700, DK: $7400 / DvP: 14 / Usage Rate: 23.8) – Coach Pop is going to Pop, but Duncan and the veterans should be well rested after the All-Star break. Duncan’s price is at a very affordable level across the industry and he sees a sizable boost with Blake Griffin out. The biggest concern is that the Spurs play again on Friday night.
Tony Parker (FD: $5400, DK: $4900 / DvP: 3 / Usage Rate: 25.1) – Parker showed some signs of life before the All-Star break, scoring at least 20 fantasy points in seven of his last nine games. His price is down, which also helps his fantasy appeal. His matchup against Chris Paul leaves much to be desired though.
Matchup Preview vs. San Antonio:
Pace of Play: 95.3 (Rank: 22)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.7 (Rank: 3)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 3
Rebounding Differential Rank: 9
Chris Paul (FD: $10000, DK: $9800 / DvP: 7 / Usage Rate: 22.7) – Without Blake Griffin, it’s going to be the Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan show. In the three games without Griffin, Paul has averaged 46.2 fantasy points per contest. He is being asked to carry the load offensively and is one of the top overall options in this small two-game slate.
DeAndre Jordan (FD: $9000, DK: $7800 / DvP: 18 / Usage Rate: 12.3) – Jordan is coming off of back-to-back 20+ point, 20+ rebound performances. In the three games without Griffin in the lineup, Jordan has averaged 49 fantasy points in 39 minutes per contest. While the Spurs are a good rebounding team, Jordan should be in line for another monster double-double on Thursday.
J.J. Redick (FD: $4500, DK: $3300 / DvP: 1 / Usage Rate: 19.7) – Reddick provides much-needed salary cap relief on a night without many value plays. With Griffin out of the lineup, there are plenty of shots to go around in the Clippers’ offense. He’s close to a must play on DraftKings at $3,300 and he’s a strong play on FanDuel at $4,500.