NBA First Look: Thursday, February 26th
Tonight’s slate features Cleveland at home to Golden State and Phoenix up against Oklahoma City.
|HOME||AWAY||VEGAS LINE||VEGAS TOTAL||TIME|
|Cleveland (36-22)||Golden State (44-10)||CLE -4||215.5||8:00 pm EST|
|Phoenix (29-28)||Oklahoma City (32-25)||PHO +5||217.0||10:30 pm EST|
Matchup Preview vs. Cleveland:
Pace of Play: 94.8 (Rank: 24)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.7 (Rank: 12)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 22
Rebounding Differential Rank: 8
Stephen Curry (FD: $10300, DK: $9800 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 28.3) – Curry has as high of a ceiling as any player on Thursday night. Granted there are only two games on tap, but it’s a scary proposition fading Curry in a primetime game against LeBron James and the Cavaliers. He is the premier play at point guard.
Klay Thompson (FD: $7100, DK: $7800 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 27.7) – Thompson is in play on both sites, but is much cheaper on FanDuel. He has been inconsistent recently, but should find plenty of open shots against J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers.
Draymond Green (FD: $6900, DK: $6700 / MPG: 32 / Usage Rate: 16.3) – Green’s minutes are trending upward. He has played at least 33 minutes in six of his last eight games. He draws a favorable matchup against the Cavaliers and his price is depressed. All of the above point to a fine outing from Green.
Matchup Preview vs. Golden State:
Pace of Play: 101 (Rank: 1)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.8 (Rank: 18)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 1
Rebounding Differential Rank: 15
LeBron James (FD: $10400, DK: $10300 / MPG: 36 / Usage Rate: 32.9) – James had an uncharacteristic nine turnovers the other night against the Pistons. He should see close to 40 minutes tonight against the Warriors, who own the best record in the NBA. If the Cavaliers can pull off the win in this one, people will really start to notice.
Kevin Love (FD: $8300, DK: $7800 / MPG: 35 / Usage Rate: 21.9) – Love has played recently, scoring at least 36 fantasy points in five of his last nine games. His price has come up on FanDuel, but he’s still sitting at a very affordable $7,800 on DraftKings. He’s the premier play at power forward, which is a tough position to fill on Thursday.
Timofey Mozgov (FD: $5800, DK: $5300 / MPG: 26 / Usage Rate: 15.5) – Mozgov continues to be a reliable fantasy option at center. He has scored at least 23 fantasy points in nine of his last ten games. While I have Alex Len ranked slightly higher, Mozgov is a strong play at center against the Warriors.
Matchup Preview vs. Phoenix:
Pace of Play: 99.3 (Rank: 2)
Points Allowed Per Game: 105.2 (Rank: 28)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 20
Rebounding Differential Rank: 25
Russell Westbrook (FD: $11000, DK: $11300 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 36.1) – Kevin Durant is not expected to play, which means Westbrook should be locked into your cash game lineups. At this point, he’s a tough fade in tournaments as well. If he goes off for another 60 fantasy point outing, it’s going to be difficult to make those points up on such a short slate.
Serge Ibaka (FD: $7200, DK: $7900 / MPG: 33 / Usage Rate: 19.2) – Ibaka has been terrific with Kevin Durant out of the lineup. He has scored at least 37 fantasy points in each of his last four games. His price has come up, but he draws a favorable matchup against the Suns, who are ranked 25th in rebounding differential this season.
Enes Kanter (FD: $5800, DK: $5900 / MPG: 27 / Usage Rate: 24.9) – Kanter came back down to Earth a bit in his last start, but he is still averaging 29 fantasy points per game since joining the Thunder. He’s in play here, but I have him ranked behind both Alex Len and Timofey Mozgov.
Matchup Preview vs. Oklahoma City:
Pace of Play: 97.5 (Rank: 8)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.5 (Rank: 11)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 9
Rebounding Differential Rank: 2
Eric Bledsoe (FD: $8400, DK: $7900 / MPG: 34 / Usage Rate: 23.7) – Bledsoe’s production has actually gone up with Brandon Knight in the lineup. Rather than having to share the floor with two other point guards, he now only has to share it with one. The best part about Bledsoe is that he is still listed as a shooting guard on both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Alex Len (FD: $5000, DK: $4900 / MPG: 21 / Usage Rate: 13.3) – Len got into early foul trouble on Wednesday night and his minutes took a big hit because of it. He still managed to score 19 fantasy points in 21 minutes though. As long as he can stay out of foul trouble, he should see closer to 30 minutes against the Thunder.
P.J. Tucker (FD: $4900, DK: $5400 / MPG: 29 / Usage Rate: 12.7) – Tucker’s hot streak continued on Wednesday night, as he put up 31 fantasy points against the Nuggets. He has now scored at least 24 fantasy points in each of his last six outings. There are very few options at small forward, making Tucker an easy play on Thursday.