10 Definitely Interesting, Possibly Helpful NBA Notes for February 29, 2016
Every day while doing NBA DFS research, I invariably stumble across some unexpected nuggets of information that are occasionally helpful, but always interesting in one way or another. Here are 10 for Monday, February 29, 2016.
1. Yes, Oklahoma City restricts opposing centers and is particularly stingy on the glass, allowing a league-best 12.1 rebounds per game to the position. No, they still won’t be able to shut down DeMarcus Cousins. In two games against the Thunder this season, Cousins has had one poor game (32.0 FanDuel points on December 6) and one excellent game (60.3 FanDuel points on January 7). In the former game, Cousins made just five of his 20 field goal attempts. That was an anomaly. For perspective, Cousins has had a field goal percentage below 25 percent in just games this season.
2. Since the start of the 2013-14 season, LeBron James has faced Paul George on six occasions. He’s exceeded 40 FanDuel points in each of those six meetings, including a 52.4 FanDuel-point-effort on February 1st of this year.
3. Last night, Jerami Grant became the 10th player this season to record 3+ steals and 5+ blocks in a game. His 37.1 FanDuel points was his fourth-highest output of the season, and while blocks and steals tend to be volatile, Grant seems to have a penchant for being pesky on defense – only six players in the NBA this year have more than Grant’s five games of 6+ blocks plus steals. If Nerlens Noel is out, Grant becomes one of the top value plays of tonight’s slate.
4. According to RotoWorld, Rajon Rondo is likely to play on Monday against the Thunder. If he sits, or even if he’s limited, Darren Collison could be the highest-owned player on the slate. In three games without Rondo this year, Collison has averaged 41.8 minutes per contest. And in the six games this year where he has exceeded 35 minutes, Collison has yet to score fewer than 35 FanDuel points.
5. Gordon Hayward has attempted 10 or more free throws in 31 consecutive games dating back to November 4, 2015. That’s the longest streak in the NBA.
6. With RotoWorld reporting that Danilo Gallinari will miss between three and four weeks, we could see a re-emergence of Will the Thrill. Without Gallinari in the lineup, “(player-popup)Will Barton”:/players/will-barton-13982’s field goal attempts per game have spiked nearly 50 percent this year, increasing from 12.1 to 18.0 per game, and this bump has coincided with a nearly 10-point increase in fantasy production, as Barton’s FanDuel points per game have jumped from 26.4 to 36.1 in Gallinari’s absence.
7. Donald Sloan and the Nets take on the Clippers on Monday, and the Brooklyn point guard looks to exceed his FanDuel point total from the first time he faced the Clippers this year, back on December 12, 2015. It shouldn’t take much. In that game, he earned -1 FanDuel points, playing 6.4 minutes, taking exactly zero shots, and turning the ball over once.
8. John Wall has faced the Ish Smith version of the 76ers (read: the version that’s merely bad, but not “worst team in NBA history” bad) twice this season. In those two contests, he triple-doubled (18-13-10 for 51.6 FanDuel points) and near-triple-doubled (23-8-11 for 49.1 FanDuel points). With Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul in dream matchups and James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins, and LeBron James also on the slate, Wall’s ownership should be down, making him a perfect candidate for the “be contrarian without being stupid” GPP strategy.
9. In his last game, Jared Sullinger only played 24.5 minutes, yet he still scored 12 points and grabbed 12 boards (not to mention 4 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks, totaling 41.4 FanDuel points). On nine different occasions this year, Sullinger has reached a double-double despite being limited to under 25 minutes. Only one player has more sub-twenty-five-minute-double-doubles than Sullinger. Who is that player? Take a guess in the comments thread, but here’s a hint: he plays on tonight’s slate, and he has the second-manliest moustache among centers on his own team.
10. The greatest February 29 leap year performance in NBA history goes to…well, it depends on which site you prefer. For FanDuel, it’s Karl Malone, who in 1988 against the Kings scored 41 points on 15-for-20 shooting and added 15 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks, totaling 65.5 FanDuel points. If you’re of the DraftKings persuasion, Hakeem Olajuwan leads all players on February 29 with his 1996 game against the 76ers. In that contest, he put up 42 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and a meager (for him) 3 blocks, which netted 69.8 DraftKings points.
Thanks for reading! I’ve taken a month off from DFS articles because of general busyness, but if there’s enough interest, I’ll keep putting out NBA content at least until the start of the MLB season. If you enjoyed it, click the green thumbs up in the upper right corner, and leave a comment if you want to discuss tonight’s slate.
In researching for this blog, I consulted Basketball Reference, NBA.com, StatMuse, RotoWire, and RotoGrinders’ own player pages.
Follow me on Twitter @joshuabcole. I’m going to start doing daily polls that relate (sort of) to the night’s DFS slate, and I’d love for you all to chime in. Here’s the first poll: Which will be higher – LeBron James points, or minutes of Undertaker screen time on tonight’s WWE Raw?
Best of luck on Monday night’s slate!