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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
Dallas Mavericks at Indiana Pacers: There's nothing wrong with the Mavericks offense, which has actually been playing very well lately. They had an eight-game 100-plus point streak snapped Tuesday night, and they're fourth in offensive efficiency in the NBA. This is all about the Pacers, who have been especially stingy at home. The Mavs, meanwhile, are finishing up a road trip that had them in five cities (including their own) in seven days. Dallas shoots a high percentage close to the basket (4th inside five feet), but as we all know, that is where Indiana particularly excels. This is hardly a lock, but it's always wise to stay away from the Pacers in Indianapolis.

Offenses to Use
Philadelphia 76ers at Utah Jazz: It's not all about long road trips, but in the last third of the season, the trends are there. Philadelphia has been on as demoralizing of a road trip as you could imagine, trailing by nearly 50 points in each of their first two games (before the fourth quarter no less) on this trip and will plod into Utah mercifully welcoming the impending All-Star break. They've allowed at least 110 points in six of their last seven games, and while Utah's offense isn't anything worth bragging about, they're certainly playing better basketball as of late, especially at home. How can you not bet against the Sixers right now?

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Brooklyn Nets
Second game of a back-to-back: Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
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Point Guard
Rajon Rondo, BOS (vs. SAS) PG, NYK ($6,500): This certainly comes with a level of risk, as Rondo has missed two of Boston's last three games. But both were general maintenance, and perhaps a hint of Boston's wish to tank. With a couple days off with the All-Star break looming, it's hard to imagine the Celtics' brass holding him back again. When he's been on the court, he's looked close to his old self, posting two double-doubles in his last three games (at least 10 assists in all of them) while approaching double-digit rebounds in each contest as well. With Tony Parker (rest) sitting out Wednesday's game, Rondo is as good of a value play as you're going to find.

Other suggestions: Brandon Jennings, DET (vs. CLE) PG ($8,600); Patrick Mills, SAS (at BOS) PG ($4,100); George Hill, IND (vs. DAL) PG/SG ($5,900)

Shooting Guard
Gordon Hayward, UTA (vs. PHI) SG/SF ($7,000): Hayward has been slumping lately, but if you haven't noticed, the Sixers' defense couldn't stop your alma mater's jayvee team from breaking 100 right now. He's Utah's leading scorer — he'll get his shots — and with respect to Trey Burke, Hayward is the guy that stirs the drink for the Jazz. the Sixers are absolutely horrendous defending the wing. Opposing guards are shooting 46 percent against Philly (26th) primarily because of how easy it is to get to the rim. And it's certainly fair to consider Hayward overdue.

Other suggestions: Lance Stephenson, IND (vs. DAL) SG/SF ($6,800); Bradley Beal, WAS (at HOU) SG ($6,100); J.R. Smith, NYK (vs. SAC) SG/SF ($5,600)

Small Forward
Wilson Chandler, DEN (at MIN) SG/SF ($6,000):Truthfully, he's been one of the better scorers in the league since the New Year and has now seen his scoring average (and shot attempts per game) rise in every single month. He's averaging 18.4 points in five February games and is hitting shots from just about everywhere on the floor. The Timberwolves aren't particularly any good defending the wing, either, and look like a good matchup on paper.

Other suggestions: Tyreke Evans, NOP (at MIL) SG/SF ($5,400); Khris Middleton, MIL (vs. NOP) SF/PF ($5,100); Paul Pierce, BKN (vs. CHA) SG/SF ($6,100)

Power Forward
David Lee, GSW (vs. MIA) PF/C ($7,400): Although he wasn't really needed, Lee played well in his return to the lineup against the Sixers on Monday by posting a double-double. He's been slowed down by injuries recently, but if Monday was any indication, he looks fine. Athletic big men are always a good play against the Heat, too. In the Warriors' last game against Miami (Jan. 2), Lee scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. The Warriors typically elevate their game with a big opponent in town, and there's not a bigger one than the Heat.

Other suggestions: Zach Randolph, MEM (at ORL) PF/C ($7,800); Anthony Davis, NOP (at MIL) PF/C ($9,800)

Center
DeAndre Jordan, LAC (vs. POR) C ($7,800): We know he's an absolute bear on the glass, but Jordan has now scored in double-figures in five straight games. His salary might be a tad bit high for a guy who probably has no shot at breaking 20 points, but it's a hot hand worth riding. No, he's not going to get a ton of shots, but he's been doing a better job at the line lately (respectively speaking) and should be close to a lock in what should be a high-scoring game against Portland.

Other suggestions: Derrick Favors, UTA (vs. PHI) PF/C ($6,000); Jonas Valanciunas, TOR (vs. ATL) C ($5,700); Tyler Zeller, CLE (at DET) PF/C ($3,300)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Avery Bradley (ankle) said he highly doubts he'll play before the break.
Anderson Varejao (back) is not traveling for Wednesday's game.
JaVale McGee (leg) has been out since November and is still without a timetable.
J.J. Redick (back) will not play Wednesday.
Caron Butler (ankle) will not play Wednesday.
John Henson (ankle) will not play Wednesday.
O.J. Mayo (illness) will not play Wednesday.
Larry Sanders (eye) is out indefinitely.
Kevin Martin (thumb) will be reevaluated in two-to-three weeks.
Nikola Pekovic (ankle) will not play Wednesday.
Ryan Anderson (back) is still at least a month away from returning.
Jrue Holiday (leg) is still without a timetable.
Andrea Bargnani (elbow) will be out until at least after the all-star break.
Eric Bledsoe (knee) is at least out until after the all-star break.
Manu Ginobili (hamstring) likely won't return until after the break.
Kawhi Leonard (finger) is still a few weeks away from returning.
Tony Parker (coach decision) will not play Wednesday.
Tiago Splitter (calf) will not play Wednesday.

Game-Time Decision
Kevin Garnett (head) was injured, but returned, last time out on Sunday.
Kemba Walker (Achilles) is questionable for Wednesday.
Devin Harris (knee) was injured Tuesday, but didn't look serious)
Dirk Nowitzki (ankle) said he would play on Wednesday despite an injury on Tuesday.
Ersan Ilyasova (back) "has a chance" to play Wednesday.
LaMarcus Aldridge (soreness) played Tuesday and should be a go.
Isaiah Thomas (wrist) has been playing through the injury.
Danny Green (finger) is expected to play Wednesday.
Patrick Mills (ankle) expects to be fine for Wednesday after Monday's injury.
Trey Burke (back) played Tuesday against the Lakers.
Ty Lawson (ribs) did not play Monday.
Rajon Rondo (soreness) did not play Monday.
Dwyane Wade (head) missed Tuesday's game with a migraine.
Mike Conley (ankle) did not play Tuesday.
Andrew Bogut (shoulder) will get a cortisone shot and is unknown for Wednesday.
Tony Allen (hand) still hasn't returned, but is listed as day-to-day.
C.J. Miles (foot) did not play Tuesday.
Amir Johnson (ankle) did not play Monday.