This going to be a crazy NBA slate! It is already a crazy injury news day. We’ll get to that, but just know that you better be glued to your computer between 6:30pm and 7:00pm today. And shut down PornHub, so you actually absorb what news is hitting for this 9 game NBA slate…. A quick look back at last night before we get to today’s NBA action. Did you get Popped last night as he played Dejounte Murray a whopping 17 minutes in an overtime loss to Cleveland? Yes, to Cleveland. And yes, that game was in San Antonio. And yes, the Cavs were playing in a back-to-back matchup. It is getting very close to the time when people start questioning Pop’s coaching ability/judgment (Spurs 9-15 this year) and wonder if the Spurs won all those titles just because of their superior talent level. I did not play Murray on DK, but it didn’t help me cash as Ben Simmons flopped and my value play de jour Kevin Porter busted hard. I could take some solace that the rest of my lineup was solid and guys like Jordan Clarkson, Jerami Grant and Tobias Harris were great calls, but I won’t. A no cash night is simply that. No cash.
This 9 game Friday slate is going to be crazy. Oh yeah, I already said that. So far today, the guard-lite Clippers (Beverly out, Shamet out) have announced that Lou Williams is out. Al Horford is out again for the Sixers. Mike Conley is sitting for the Jazz. Draymond Green and Eric Paschall are out for the Warriors. Giannis is questionable with a legitimate quad injury and with the Bucks on a back-to-back tonight and tomorrow, we could see him sit. Ja Morant, Grayson Allen and Clarke are out for Memphis in their tilt with Milwaukee. Dragic, Winslow, Waiters and perhaps Herro (questionable) are missing for the Heat. And it is only 1:30pm! There will be other injury/resting announcements later today. You don’t believe me? What about the Rockets on a back-to-back tonight and tomorrow? Westbrook will likely sit out one of those two games. Why not tonight versus the Magic? Once again, I have to implore you to not set your lineups until all the news is out between 6:30 and 7:00.
So, using the information we have so far today, here are some thoughts on some appealing options today. Let’s play the “If, Then” or “Since, Then” game in discussing the slate.
1) Since Pat Bev and Lou Williams are out, play Paul George and/or Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers play an up pace game with the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. Even if the Clips were at full health, you’d want to target some guys on this team. Now, the Clippers have no real guards. And no, Jerome Robinson, Terrence Mance and Derrick Walton are not real guards. The ball and all the usage tonight will flow through PG and Kawhi. I am guessing that Doc Rivers will stagger these two minutes even more tonight and thus they will both have the ball in their hands all night long. I prefer PG slightly over Kawhi, but both are great plays at $8.8k and $9k, respectively on DK.
2) Since the LAC/MIN game is in Minneapolis, run it back with KAT. The Clippers/Timberwolves games has a 233 total and will be played at a fast pace. With the game in Minneapolis and the Clippers being at well less than full strength, I think the game can stay competitive deep into the fourth quarter. As such, you need to have someone on the TWolves side along with your PG and/or Kawhi plays. And that guy is Karl Anthony Towns. At $9.9k on DK, KAT is affordable. Plus, he will dominate Zubac and Harrell like he has done his entire career. 50-60DK points is my projection for KAT and I love him tonight in this matchup.
3) If Giannis sits, play Bledsoe and Middleton. Rewind your minds to Wednesday night and just do the same thing you did that evening. You play Middleton and Bledsoe every time Giannis sits. Especially in a matchup with the fastpaced, defensively challenged Memphis Grizzlies. Plus, these two players are only $6.7k and $6.8k on DK. Please Giannis sit. Take care of your health.
4) Since Horford is out, play Embiid and/or Tobias versus the Pelicans. The Pelicans play very fast. They play no defense. They are the best rebounding spot in the league for opposing players. With Horford sitting, Tobias and Embiid are the Sixers’ bigs. Play these guys. The only risk here is a potential blowout.
That’s it for now. There will be more news to dissect later, so stay alert my friends. Good luck in all of your contests tonight.