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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Tuesday

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers: The Warriors have been a bit disappointing on offense this season, scoring a modest 104.0 points per 100 possessions, good for the 12th best offensive rating in the NBA. Most of Golden State's improvement has come on the defensive side, where the Dubs rank third in points allowed per 100 possessions (99.3), ninth in points allowed per game (98.8), and third in opponents' field-goal percentage (43.3). With the Pacers leading the league in each of the aforementioned defensive categories, Tuesday's matchup figures to be rather low scoring, despite the fact that Indiana has played at a surprisingly fast pace over the last few weeks. The Pacers have played at the league's 14th fastest pace (97.36) over the last 10 games, but don't let the glimmer of hope fool you. It's still best to avoid the Pacers at home, where they own a ridiculous 90.2 defensive rating this season.

Offenses to Use
Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns: Even with a slate full of potential shootouts, the Clippers' matchup sticks out as being particularly friendly. Both the Suns (7th) and Clippers (8th) rank among the league's top 10 teams in pace, while the Clips carry the NBA's second-best offensive rating (109.0). The Suns own respectable season-long numbers on defense but have slipped over the last few weeks. They rank 14th in defensive rating (103.5) for the season, but are just 23rd over the last 10 games (106.5) and 27th over the last five games (113.0). Meanwhile, the Clippers have scored 113.9 points per 100 possessions in nine games since Chris Paul returned from a shoulder injury.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers
Second game of a back-to-back: Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
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Point Guard
Goran Dragic, PHO (vs. LAC), PG/SG, ($7800): Dragic's price went down after he missed last Wednesday's game with a minor ankle injury. The price is climbing back up, but it still hasn't reached $8000, and Dragic's last two games left little doubt about his health. After returning with a 40-point performance against the Pelicans on Friday, the Slovenian guard piled up 19 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and two blocks in Sunday's win over the Hawks. Los Angeles' Chris Paul has been a menace to opposing point guards this season, but with Tuesday's game likely to be a fast-paced shootout, it's still hard to pass on a healthy Dragic at this price.

Other suggestions: Darren Collison, PG, LAC (at PHO), ($4300) Russell Westbrook, OKC (vs. PHI), PG, ($8500)

Shooting Guard
Tyreke Evans, NO (at LAL), SG/SF, ($6000): In three games since joining the Pelicans' starting lineup, Evans is averaging 38.9 minutes, 21 points, 5.7 assists and eight rebounds. He's been even better over the last two contests, averaging 40.5 minutes, 24.5 points, 6.5 assists and 9.5 rebounds, after putting up modest numbers (14-4-5 in 36 minutes) in his first game as a starter. Facing a Lakers team that ranks 29th in points allowed per game (106.5) and second in pace (99.96) this season, Evans couldn't ask for a better matchup that doesn't involve the 76ers. The banged-up Lakers have surrendered 112.4 points per game over their last five contests, despite playing two of those games against the slow-paced Grizzlies and Nets.

Other suggestions: Brian Roberts, NO (at LAL), PG/SG, ($4500), Jodie Meeks, LAL (vs. NO), SG, ($5400)

Small Forward
Kawhi Leonard, SA (at CLE), SG/SF, ($5600): After missing five weeks of action with a finger injury, Leonard hasn't missed a beat in three games since rejoining the lineup, topping 30 fantasy points on DraftKings in each of those contests. He's shooting 55.6 percent (15/27) from the field and 54.5 percent (6/11) from three-point range since his return, and he's already back to handling his full complement of minutes. Leonard figures to see a lot of Cleveland's Luol Deng, which isn't ideal, but the Spurs small forward still makes for a nice bargain at this price.

Other suggestions: Chandler Parsons, HOU (vs. MIA), SF/PF, ($6600), P.J. Tucker, PHO (vs. LAC), SG/SF, ($4300)

Power Forward
Blake Griffin, LAC (at PHO), PF/C, ($9300): Griffin has slowed down a bit over the last 10 days or so, and with his price falling back down, this is the perfect time to pounce. He was going in the $10,000-$10,500 range for most of February, and a recent “slump” has still seen the high-flying big man average 21.2 points and eight rebounds over the last four games. With Tuesday's contest lining up as a likely shootout between two fast-paced, offensive-minded teams, Griffin should, at the very least, continue his 20-game streak of 20-point performances. It helps that the Suns lack the size and strength to contain Griffin, who has been too much for even the bigger teams like Memphis to handle.

Other suggestions: Tim Duncan, SA (at CLE), PF/C, ($7300), Anthony Davis, NO (at LAL), PF/C, ($9200)

Center
Henry Sims, PHI (at OKC), C, ($3300): A surprise winner of the trade deadline, Sims is averaging 24.8 minutes in four games (three starts) since joining the 76ers and 26 minutes in three games since he moved into the starting lineup. He's only turned the playing time into 8.3 points, 5.5 boards and 0.8 blocks, but he logged 31 minutes in Sunday's game and could conceivably top the 30-minute mark again Tuesday. The matchup isn't good and neither is Sims, but there aren't many value plays available on Tuesday's slate, and Sims costs just $3300, with a chance to crack 30 minutes on the league's fastest-paced teams.

Other suggestions: DeAndre Jordan, LAC (at PHO), C, ($7200), Omer Asik, HOU (vs. MIA), PF/C, ($3500) if Dwight Howard doesn't play

INJURY REPORT

Out
C.J. Miles (ankle) has been out since Feb. 19 and won't play Tuesday.
Anderson Varejao (back) is out for an 11th consecutive game Tuesday.
Kendrick Perkins (groin) is out through the end of March, at the very least.
Thabo Sefolosha (calf) is out 4-6 weeks.
Jamal Crawford (calf) is expected to miss the next 1-2 games.
J.J. Redick (hip) is two weeks into a 3-to-5 week timetable.
Jrue Holiday (leg) is out for the season.
Ryan Anderson (back) is likely out for the season.
Kobe Bryant (knee) remains out indefinitely.
Steve Nash (back) probably won't play again this season.
Nick Young (knee) didn't play Monday and seems highly unlikely to return Tuesday.

Game-Time Decision
Dwyane Wade (rest) sat out Monday and is a perpetual game-time decision.
Dwight Howard (back) participated in Tuesday's morning shootaround and will likely be a game-time decision.
Jeremy Lin (back) took part in Tuesday's morning shootaround and is a game-time decision.
Chandler Parsons (illness) returned to practice Monday and is expected to play Tuesday.
Dion Waiters (knee) expects to return Tuesday.
George Hill (shoulder) missed games on Saturday and Sunday, but is expected to play Tuesday.
Eric Bledsoe (knee) is nearing a return but may need a few more days.
Xavier Henry (knee) returned Monday but only played five minutes.