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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Wednesday

Chris Winkler

Chris Winkler

Master's candidate in mass communication at the University of South Carolina. Covering NBA and college football for RotoWire.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Boston Celtics at L.A. Clippers: The Celtics put up 98 points Tuesday, but did so on 39 percent shooting while getting outrebounded by 21 in a blowout loss. That was against Denver's 15th rated defense. Now, they're on a quick turnaround to Los Angeles, where they'll face the Clippers — the eighth best defense in the league — who dismantled some fellow interior-challenged offenses such as Charlotte (26th in field goal percentage inside 5 feet) and Orlando (22nd) in the last week. Boston fits that profile too, shooting 55 percent inside 5 feet, good for 27th in the league. Look for coach Doc Rivers to rev it up against his former team, too.

Offenses to Use
L.A. Lakers at Houston Rockets: This looks like the pure mismatch of the night, with Houston's third-rated offense hosting the Lakers' 22nd-rated defense. The Lakers haven't been playing that well lately. They've lost eight of nine and have allowed at least 100 points in all but two games. But those came against the Jazz (99) and the lowly Bucks (94) in a game they lost. Sunday's 137-point debacle against Denver at Staples should be enough for you. But if not, take solace in knowing the Lakers own the league's second worst defensive rebounding rate. Houston, meanwhile, is ninth best on the offensive glass and even better at home. This has blowout written all over it.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None

Second game of a back-to-back: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards

ROTOWIRE DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

Point Guard
Jeremy Lin (vs. LAL): He's still coming at shockingly good value despite the injury to usual starter Patrick Beverley. And with Wednesday's matchup against the Lakers, who own one of the worst defenses in the league, in addition Lin going up against the surprising, yet completely untested Kendall Marshall, this figures to be a nice play.

Other options: Stephen Curry (at BKN), Damian Lillard (vs. ORL), Kendall Marshall (at HOU), Tony Parker (vs. DAL), Darren Collison (vs. BOS)

Shooting Guard
Bradley Beal (at NOP): There's some value lurking at the shooting guard position, but Beal has a nice matchup against New Orleans, whose guards are allowing opponents to shoot 40 percent from the corner, ninth worst in the league. Beal takes just a healthy amount of corners three's and has been shooting nearly 45 percent at it. He also matches up well with Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans.

Other options: Wesley Matthews (vs. ORL), Terrence Ross (vs. DET), Gerald Green (at MIN), James Harden (vs. LAL), DeMar DeRozan (vs. DET)

Small Forward
Kawhi Leonard (vs. DAL): Fantasy owners have probably been a little disappointed in Leonard lately, but his 17-point, six-rebound night against Memphis on Tuesday might get him going again. He should do wonders against an older Dallas team on the second game of a back-to-back, especially in a head-to-head matchup with whoever the Mavs decide to start in place of Shawn Marion (shoulder).

Other options: Harrison Barnes (at BKN), Corey Brewer (vs. PHO), Chandler Parsons (vs. LAL), Jae Crowder (at SAS)

Power Forward
Anthony Davis (vs. WAS): Outside of a couple of tough matchups against Indiana and Minnesota over the last week, Davis has scored 20-plus points in all but one game since returning from injury. The Wizards are a lovely matchup on paper, struggling mightily in all defensive categories inside the three-point line, including being second worst in the paint and dead last against mid-range shots. And with the likes of Trevor Booker, Marcin Gortat, Nene Hilario, and Jan Vesely getting the possible assignment, it's an absolute green light for Davis.

Other options: David Lee (vs. BKN), Terrence Jones (vs. LAL), Tobias Harris (at POR), Paul Millsap (vs. IND)

Center
Andre Drummond (at TOR): He hasn't exactly been tearing it up lately, but his value seems low to me considering his prowess on the glass. He's clearly not getting enough looks on offense, but look for him to be a focal part of the Pistons' game plan in Toronto, especially against Jonas Valanciunas, who Drummond owns nearly 40 pounds on. Barring something unforeseen, he should be a lock for a double-double.

Other options: Roy Hibbert (at ATL), Robin Lopez (vs. ORL), Andrew Bogut (at BKN)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Al Horford (shoulder) is likely out for the season with a torn right pectoral.
Kris Humphries (ankle) did not play in Tuesday's game against Denver.
Rajon Rondo (knee) is probably out for at least another 3-4 weeks.
Devin Harris (toe) should resume practice next week.
Rodney Stuckey (shoulder) sat out Tuesday's game and is questionable for Wednesday.
Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) is likely out for at least another 6-8 weeks.
Omer Asik (thigh) is expected to be out for at least another week.
Patrick Beverley (hand) is out several more weeks.
Chris Paul (shoulder) could miss the next six weeks.
J.J. Redick (wrist) is expected to return in the next two weeks.
Steve Blake (elbow) is out for another 2-3 weeks.
Kobe Bryant (knee) is probably out until early February.
Jordan Farmar (hamstring) will miss at least another three weeks.
Xavier Henry (knee) is out for the foreseeable future until next week's examination.
Steve Nash (back) is hoping to return in February.
Chase Budinger (knee) could be back in uniform this week.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (groin) missed Monday's game, but should be back sometime over the next week.
Ryan Anderson (back) is out indefinitely.
Tiago Splitter (shoulder) should be back by the end of the month.
Tyler Hansbrough (ankle) missed his third straight game Tuesday.
Al Harrington (knee) is still without a timetable.
Deron Williams (ankle) will not play Wednesday.
Eric Bledsoe (knee) out for another week.

Game-Time Decision
Chandler Parsons (knee) will be a game-time call on Wednesday.
Nick Young (back) struggled Tuesday and is questionable in the second leg of a back-to-back.
Nikola Vucevic (concussion) did not practice Tuesday and doesn't appear to be ready for game action on Wednesday.
Alex Len (ankle) hardly played Tuesday but could be inactive on the end of a back-to-back.
Nicolas Batum (finger) started and played 39 minutes Tuesday night.