NBA Grind Down: Wednesday, April 16th - Page 3
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Toronto at New York
- Vegas Line – Toronto -5, 199 Over/Under
- Toronto Proj. Starters – Lowry-Derozan-Ross-Johnson-Valanciunas
- New York Proj. Starters – Felton-Smith-Anthony-Stoudemire-Chandler
The Raptors don’t have any injury news out yet but Derozan sat out on Monday so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be at least limited again tonight. There’s a lot of uncertainty in how they’ll approach this game so I’d use extreme caution when targeting TOR players tonight. The only guy whose minutes have been consistently high is Kyle Lowry who saw 37 minutes on Monday, but with his recent injury concerns he seems like a decent candidate to be a late scratch victim tonight.
The big news here is that Carmelo is doubtful to play on Wednesday leaving a ton of shots for the rest of the Knicks to consume. Melo sat out on Tuesday night so we have some idea of what to expect from New York tonight. Tim Hardaway Jr. played 36 minutes, Shumpert saw 30 and even Shannon Brown saw 30 minutes. Meanwhile, J.R. Smith was under 24 minutes and it looks like Woodson is hell-bent on rolling the scrubs out for big minutes tonight. Deciding which scrub will be the most efficient is another discussion though, but you can at least keep those three on your radar for tournaments.
Indiana at Orlando
- Vegas Line – Orlando -4.5, 185.5 Over/Under
- Indiana Proj. Starters – Hill-Turner-Copeland-Scola-Hibbert
- Orlando Proj. Starters – Oladipo-Afflalo-Harkless-Harris-O’Quinn
The Pacers are expected to sit Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and David West out of the starting lineup tonight. That means the only two starters expected to play have been their two weakest links all year in Roy Hibbert and George Hill. I think it’s safe to assume neither of these guys will see a ton of minutes, although neither play monstrous minutes to begin with. The big news here is that we’ll probably see a heavy dose of Evan Turner, Chris Copeland and Luis Scola on Wednesday. All three were extremely productive last time the IND starters sat out.
- Evan Turner and Luis Scola – These are the two premiere value plays of the night in my opinion. Turner has a higher ceiling and Scola is probably the safer play for cash games.
- Chris Copeland – Copeland is more of a punt option and if Turner is around the same price I wouldn’t use him. But a number of sites have Turner priced higher so you could find nice value in a guy who proved he has decent upside in starts for Melo last season in NY.
The Magic have nothing to play for tonight and Nikola Vucevic has already been ruled out. Jameer Nelson is questionable and his status will have a huge impact on where the value lies in the Orlando offense. I don’t trust any of the ORL bigs since the Pacers are leaving Hibbert in the starting lineup but if Nelson sits there are 30 minutes to be spread around the rest of the Magic backcourt. Even with that said, Jacque Vaughan hasn’t been playing many guys over 25 minutes in that backcourt so I would argue you’re best served to just avoid them entirely.
L.A.Clippers at Portland
- Vegas Line – Portland -3, 208 Over/Under
- L.A.Clippers Proj. Starters – Paul-Redick-Barnes-Griffin-Jordan
- Portland Proj. Starters – Lillard-Matthews-Batum-Aldridge-Lopez
Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick didn’t even make the trip to Portland so you already know just how seriously the Clips are taking this game. I’m assuming CP3 is somewhat limited as well but with Redick out you can at least expect increased minutes for Darren Collison and Jamal Crawford. Blake’s absence should open up minutes and production for DeAndre Jordan, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu and Matt Barnes.
- Matt Barnes – I’d assume he plays over 30 minutes tonight and while he’s been quiet of late, Blake’s absence means he should see a nice uptick in rebounds and shot attempts tonight.
- DeAndre Jordan – Doc Rivers has praised Jordan’s ability to stay healthy all year so I think he’s a safe bet to play around his usual allotment of minutes and with Griffin out he’s been superb this year.
- Darren Collison – Collison should see an uptick in minutes with Redick out and should see a few extra minutes at the point with CP3 likely only getting around 30 mins tonight.
The Blazers are going to be interesting tonight. Aldridge is currently listed as questionable but as we’ve seen in the past there is no real one guy who benefits greatly when he is out. If he does sit, look for Thomas Robinson and Dorell Wright to split up the minutes but neither can really be trusted for production. I love the O/U in this game and the pace should be fast but I certainly don’t trust Lillard against the stout defense of Chris Paul and the best matchups are likely upfront where, as I mentioned above, the Blazers could be piecing together a balanced rotation.
- Robin Lopez – He’s averaging around 38 minutes per game over the last three and I don’t expect Stotts to cut him back too far tonight. He’s been slightly better at home all year and is averaging 28 FPPG against the Clips this year.
- Nicolas Batum – He has 40+ FP in three of his last four games in full minutes so I’m banking on him seeing at least 35 minutes again tonight against a defense ranking 22nd against SFs over the last 15 days.
Phoenix at Sacramento
- Vegas Line – Phoenix -2.5, 206.5 Over/Under
- Phoenix Proj. Starters – Bledsoe-Green-Tucker-Frye-Plumlee
- Sacramento Proj. Starters – Thomas-McLemore-Gay-Williams-Evans
The Suns have already announced they’ll be without Goran Dragic tonight and I think you can safely expect to see a deflated team show up in Sac Town. Further, they came out this morning and said that rookies Archie Goodwin and Alex Len will see extended run. That seems to be a pretty good indicator that PHX will limit Bledsoe, Green and some of their bigs (who are hard to predict to begin with). It’s a great matchup with a nice 206.5 O/U, but don’t look for the stars to be anywhere near full-speed tonight.
- Archie Goodwin – Goodwin is likely one of my top values tonight as a guy who will be under the radar and should see at least 25 minutes. Len scares me because of foul trouble but I think the upside on Goodwin is huge for tournament play.
It’s really too bad that DeMarcus Cousins had to go and get himself suspended for the final game of the year because he probably would have been my #1 overall play tonight. Cousins is out and Rudy Gay is currently listed as doubtful so you should see a heavily watered down version of the Kings tonight with Derrick Williams, Reggie Evans and Jason Thompson picking up extra minutes. IT2 is back which is intriguing and he did play 30 minutes in his first game back on Sunday night, much to the chagrin of anyone who took Ray McCallum.
- Derrick Williams – With no Gay or Cousins, Williams becomes a premiere punt play tonight who played 40 minutes on Sunday with Gay out.
- Isaiah Thomas – Not having those two top options in this offense leaves a ton of shots to be taken and even though Thomas was recently injured I still think he plays full minutes tonight and should be under the radar.
Golden State at Denver
- Vegas Line – Denver -8, 210 Over/Under
- Golden State Proj. Starters – Curry-Thompson-Iguodala-Lee-O’Neal
- Denver Proj. Starters – Brooks-Foye-Chandler-Faried-Mozgov
Alright so injury news first: Bogut, Lee, Curry and Klay are all not expected to play tonight. That leaves a starting lineup of Jordan Crawford, Steve Blake, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and Jermaine O’Neal if I were a betting man. Bad news is you can’t target any of the top options on Golden State. Good news is all of these guys are dirt cheap and the Nuggets have been one of the worst defensive teams in all of basketball over the last month.
- Jordan Crawford – I’ll be undoubtedly riding the Crawford train tonight as his upside is extremely high and he is going to chuck up as many shots as humanly possible with no real bench relief to take him out.
- Steve Blake – Blake is a little safer than Crawford and probably the better 50/50 or H2H play, although I wouldn’t really recommend too much cash game action tonight.
- Draymond Green – Green will be my final target as a mid-tier option who should be locked into around 30 fantasy points will all of these injuries.
The Nuggets certainly hoped their season would end up better than this but as Wednesday marks the final day of the 2013-14 regular season, Denver will be grabbing their golf clubs and joining 13 other teams on the links. Injury-wise, Lawson is doubtful again tonight and Mozgov is currently listed as probable. Matchup-wise, it’s tough to know how the Warriors defense will be tonight when benching 4 typical starters but knowing how Jordan Crawford and Steve Blake usually play D I’d assume their backcourt will be a mess defensively.
- Aaron Brooks – Brooks has quieted down but with Lawson out he should see a ton of minutes (he played 42 on Tuesday) and has as much upside as anyone, as showcased by his 2 60+ FP performances this year.
- Randy Foye – 4 consecutive 30+ FP games and I’m back on the Foye bandwagon. Steve Blake will likely cover him and he still has that D’Antoni ole defensive mindset.