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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
Los Angeles Clippers at Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobcats are probably a playoff team this year with even a remotely average offense although anything goes in the East, anyhow. They're 27th in offensive rating (98.0 points per 100 possessions) and are surprisingly worse at home (97.4). On Wednesday, they'll be without point guard Kemba Walker, one of their only two above-average offensive weapons, and face a Clippers team that is eighth in defensive rating. The Clippers are also surprisingly playing some of their best basketball with Chris Paul sidelined (they're 8-2 in January), but will certainly welcome a matchup of backup point guards.

Offenses to Use
Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets: Houston may be without Terrence Jones, who will be a game-time call, but this is one of the bigger lop-sided games on paper, anyhow. Houston is fourth in offensive rating (107.6 points per 100 possessions) while the Kings are 28th in defensive rating (106.1). Certainly, the Rockets are without a full compliment of players, but the trio of James Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Dwight Howard present so many problems for the Kings. They're second last in three-point field goal percentage defense, clearly opening the door for Harden and Parsons, while also second last inside five feet, a concern for keeping Howard at bay.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder

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Point Guard
Jeff Teague, (at ORL), PG ($6,500): Although he's been slumping lately, Teague seems like as good of a candidate as any to break out Wednesday with a favorable matchup against the veteran Jameer Nelson. In three games against Orlando this season, he's averaging 18.7 points, 9.0 assists, and 1.3 steals. Yes, his numbers have been down across the board for all of January, but so is his salary. It's down roughly 20 percent in most daily leagues since Jan. 1.

Other suggestions: Michael Carter-Williams (at NYK), PG ($7,600), PG ($6,100), Isaiah Thomas, (at HOU), PG ($7,300), Ramon Sessions (vs. LAC) PG/SG ($4,800), D.J. Augustin (at CLE), PG ($4,900).

Shooting Guard
Evan Turner (at NYK), SG/SF ($6,800): This is probably more about the Knicks than it is Turner, but we know the Sixers are going to play at a high pace (102.4 possessions per game, highest in the NBA) and Turner is going to get plenty of looks (16.0 shots per game, 19th highest in the NBA). And the Knicks have been especially awful lately, allowing 109.3 points per game over their current four-game losing streak. Plus, you probably know Turner is hardly just a scorer (6.1 assists, 3.7 assists, 0.9 steals). He should fill the stat sheet against a Knicks team that sorely lacks the intangibles.

Other suggestions: Arron Afflalo (vs. ATL), SG/SF ($6,200), J.R. Smith (vs. PHI) SG/SF ($4,900), Gerald Green (vs. IND), SG/SF ($4,500), Manu Ginobili (vs. OKC), SG/SF ($4,600), Lance Stephenson (at PHO), SG ($6,100).

Small Forward
Tobias Harris (vs. ATL), SF/PF ($6,800): To be fair, there's not a whole lot here on Wednesday, and although Harris is a tad-bit overpriced at this salary, his value is much lower elsewhere. He also struggled for much of the night Tuesday against Brooklyn, breaking a stretch of seven straight games scoring in double-figures. And with his prowess on the glass lately and his 35.9 minute per game average in January he's a constant threat for a double-double. Plus Nikola Vucevic looks to remain sidelined.

Other suggestions: Chandler Parsons (vs. SAC), SF/PF ($7,200), Terrence Jones (vs. SAC), SF/PF ($6,000), Jimmy Butler (at CLE) SG/SF ($6,100).

Power Forward
Dirk Nowitzki (at TOR), PF/C ($6,800): At this current salary, Nowitzki is as good of a value pick as you can find, especially at a position completely over-loaded with double-double guys near $10,000. His 30-point, 10-rebound days are pretty much in the past, but he's still capable of hitting those every once in a while. Toronto has been much better defensively lately, but not enough to scare off this value.

Other suggestions: Taj Gibson (vs. CLE) PF/C ($4,900), Amir Johnson (vs. DAL), PF/C ($5,500), Paul Millsap (at ORL) PF/C ($8,200), Andrea Bargnani (vs. PHI), PF/C ($4,700).

Center
Marcin Gortat (vs. BOS), C ($6,100): There aren't many other players as underappreciated as Gortat, who's raised his numbers (especially on the glass) over the past few weeks. He also put up 19 points on Monday, the most he had scored since late November. Washington typically plays better when he does (he scores 3.2 points more per game in wins) and with him in a solid stretch lately, perhaps the Wiz will make more of a concentrated effort to get him the ball.

Other suggestions: Anderson Varejao (vs. CHI), PF/C ($6,800), Andre Drummond (at MIL), PF/C ($7,400),

INJURY REPORT

Out
Kirk Hinrich (hamstring) did not travel for Wednesday's game.
Kemba Walker (ankle) is out for the next two weeks.
Omer Asik (thigh) could return by the end of the month.
Chris Paul (shoulder) is back with the team, but out indefinitely still.
Amar'e Stoudemire (ankle) is probably out for the next two weeks.
Russell Westbrook (knee) could be back by the end of January.
Nikola Vucevic (concussion) missed his eighth straight game Tuesday night.
Tony Wroten (ankle) is wearing a boot and unlikely to be back all that soon.
Eric Bledsoe (knee) should be back some time after the All-Star break.
Danny Green (finger) should be back around the All-Star break.
Tiago Splitter (shoulder) could be back next week.

Game-Time Decision
Jerryd Bayless (toe) is expected to miss 7-10 days..
Avery Bradley (ankle) sprained an ankle and did not return to Tuesday's game. He shouldn't be expected to play Wednesday.
Samuel Dalembert (shoulder) could play depending on Tuesday's MRI.
Terrence Jones (thigh) will be a last-minute decision. Must be monitored.
Caron Butler (illness) missed Sunday's game.
O.J. Mayo (illness) missed Tuesday's practice.
Luke Ridnour (wrist) practiced Tuesday and is expected to play Wednesday.
Larry Sanders (illness) missed Tuesday's practice.
Metta World Peace (knee) "hopes" to play Wednesday.
Miles Plumlee (ankle) was hurt in Sunday's game but continued to play.
Tony Parker (lower leg) will probably play Wednesday.
Derrick Favors (hip) did not play Tuesday.
Gordon Hayward (hip) started Tuesday's game.