RotoWire Partners

NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Sunday

Michael Chua

Michael Chua

Michael Chua is a basketball statistics expert from the Philippines. He has worked as a student manager for the University of Wisconsin Men's basketball team. He is also the basketball program consultant for his high school alma mater, Shanghai American School, in China.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
With a small slate of games Sunday, there aren't any defensive matchups to avoid in particular.

Offenses to Use
Cleveland Cavaliers at Sacramento Kings: The Kings have been on an offensive tear over their last five games, averaging 108.6 points during that span. Rudy Gay has finally found a home on his new team, shooting a career-best 51.4 percent from the field. Other key players such as DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas have been playing better alongside Gay, as opposing defenders are forced to pick their poison against Sacramento's multiple scorers on the floor. With only three games Sunday, the Kings should make solid plays for daily games.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: San Antonio Spurs

Second game of a back-to-back: None

DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

Point Guard
Kyrie Irving (at SAC): Irving will be playing in just his third game back from a knee injury, though there shouldn't be any concerns as to how he'll be able to perform. He put up 25 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and five steals in 37 minutes of action against the Jazz on Friday. It's certainly an encouraging sign that he was able to put up such numbers, and it appears he's nearly, if not 100 percent healthy. The Kings are among the worst defensive teams against opposing eligible point guards, giving up 28.1 points (third-worst), 11.3 assists (third-worst), 3.0 three-pointers made (third-worst), and 45.2 percent FG (worst) per game.

Other options: Isaiah Thomas (vs. CLE)

Shooting Guard
Dion Waiters (at SAC): Waiters is finally beginning to demonstrate some consistency, as he's averaging 17.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 three-pointers made over his last five games. Even more encouraging is the fact that he's reached double-digits in scoring eleven times over his last twelve games, allowing owners to have a little more faith in him. While he certainly isn't a lock for another strong performance, Sunday's shooting guard options are extremely limited. Waiters' price tag isn't too high on most sites, and he could certainly fit the bill if he catches fire.

Other options: Kyle Korver (at MEM) [could benefit from the absence of defensive specialist Tony Allen (hand)]

Small Forward
Rudy Gay (vs. CLE): As mentioned earlier, Gay has been playing excellent basketball on his new team, and he's one of just a few mid-to-high-end options in Sunday's slate. With Luol Deng still adjusting to the Cavaliers' defense, Gay should be able to exploit the matchup. He's averaging 22.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 0.6 steals over his last five games, and has yet to shoot below 47 percent from the field in any of them.

Other options: DeMarre Carroll (at MEM) [averaging 9.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.4 steals over the last five games]

Power Forward
Kevin Love (at SAS): Love should be considered a solid pick for Sunday's matchups, as he's one of the few high-end options available for the taking. He's been on a slump of late, averaging just 22.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.6 three-pointers made over his last five games. The fact that I called those numbers part of a "slump" should open eyes as to how monstrous Love can become in fantasy. In the Timberwolves' last meeting against the Spurs, Love exploded for 42 points, 14 rebounds, and eight three-pointers made. Superstars rarely find themselves in extended cold streaks, and Love will be aching to find his touch sooner than later.

Other options: Paul Millsap (at MEM), Derrick Williams (vs. CLE) [averaging 31 minutes over last two games]

Center
DeMarcus Cousins (vs. CLE): Cousins has been gobbling up his prey, averaging 27.0 points, 13.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.8 steals, and 1.0 block over his last five games. There's a good likelihood that he won't keep up those numbers for the entire season, but he's yet to show any signs of slowing down. Subscribers who read my daily articles know that Cousins is my go-to player at the center spot when I can't find better value plays. He's yet to let me down when I've penned him down, though all streaks are meant to be broken. Outside of Cousins, Nikola Pekovic, and Anderson Varejao, the center spot is extremely limited, leaving me no choice but to place my wager on the beast once again for Sunday's games.

Other options: Nikola Pekovic (at SAS)

INJURY REPORT

Out for Season
Al Horford (shoulder)
Quincy Pondexter (foot)

Out
Marc Gasol (knee) has been cleared for light on-court action but is still out indefinitely.
Tony Allen (hand) will miss approximately two weeks.
Tiago Splitter (shoulder) will be sidelined for three-to-five weeks.
John Jenkins (back) will not play Sunday.
Carl Landry (hip) remains a few weeks away from returning to action.

Game-Time Decision
Manu Ginobili (hamstring) is likely to return to action Sunday.