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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 Sunday slate full of offensive-minded matchups, there are no defensive matchups to avoid for daily play tonight.

Offenses to Use
Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers: Amidst several solid options for strong daily play Sunday, the matchup between the Thunder and the Lakers easily stood out as a game to exploit. Over the Thunder’s last three games, the average final score yielded 121.0-106.3 points per game in the favor of the Thunder. Meanwhile, over the Lakers’ last three games, the average final score yielded 136.0-115.0 points per game in favor of the Lakers’ opponents. In each case, the Thunder, Lakers, and their opponents have put up high-scoring performances. The Lakers have been dealing with a myriad of issues throughout the season—from injury, to internal conflicts, to injury. Bruised up over their freefall of late, the Lakers are bound to give up another high-scoring loss to the offensive-minded Thunder, while at the same time providing some value fantasy plays of their own kind. Look for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and Pau Gasol (ankle) to continue playing up to their standards, while Reggie Jackson, Jodie Meeks, Kent Bazemore, Kendall Marshall, Jordan Farmar, and possibly others to put up solid performances on a tight budget.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors
Second game of a back-to-back: None

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Point Guard
Reggie Jackson, OKC (at LAL), PG/SG ($4,800): Jackson serves as a speculative play for Sunday, as he’s capable of producing solid numbers when given the minutes. Though Russell Westbrook isn’t dealing with any injuries, Jackson figures to have a good run if the Thunder can blow out the Lakers early on. As mentioned above, both teams have been playing in extremely high-scoring games for the past week, and the Lakers have always had trouble containing fast guards like Jackson.

Other suggestions: Ty Lawson (at NOP), PG ($8,000), Jordan Farmar (vs. OKC), PG ($5,000), Kendall Marshall (vs. OKC), PG ($4,800)

Shooting Guard
Joe Johnson, BKN (vs. SAC), SG/SF ($5,300): Johnson is averaging 20.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 3.0 three-pointers made over his last three contests and should be considered a value play for Sunday’s matchup against the Kings, who have struggled to guard perimeter players this season. With Paul Pierce (shoulder) a possibility to miss the game, Johnson should be a solid investment for Sunday.

Other suggestions: Lance Stephenson (at DAL) SG/SF ($6,400), Eric Gordon (vs. DEN) SG ($5,700), Jodie Meeks (vs. OKC) SG ($4,600)

Small Forward
Wilson Chandler, DEN (at NOP), SG/SF ($5,800): Chandler has been on a hot streak, averaging 21.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.7 three-pointers made over his last three contests. In two games against the Pelicans this season, Chandler is averaging 20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.5 steals, and 2.5 three-pointers made per game. Consider him a solid mid-priced option for Sunday’s slate.  

Other suggestions: Josh Smith (at BOS), SF/PF ($7,900), Kent Bazemore (vs. OKC), SG/SF ($4,900), Kyle Singler (at BOS), SG/SF ($3,900)

Power Forward
LaMarcus Aldridge, POR (at HOU), PF/C ($8,800): We’ve all been waiting for Aldridge to return to his dominating ways after dealing with a groin injury that kept him out for five games. He finally exploded for 30 points and 17 rebounds Friday against the Mavericks after the Blazers lifted his minutes limit, and it appears he could be only getting better from here on out. His price tag is still lower than what he’s capable of producing, and Aldridge happens to find himself in a favorable matchup Sunday. In three games this season, Aldridge is averaging 26.3 points, 16.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game against the Rockets, making him a rather intriguing option to pick for daily play.

Other suggestions: Anthony Davis (vs. DEN), PF/C ($9,500), Dirk Nowitzki (vs. IND), PF/C ($7,500), J.J. Hickson (at NOP), PF/C ($5,600)

Center
Dwight Howard, HOU (vs. POR), PF/C ($9,200): Howard has been dealing with a sore back over the past few days, but it hasn’t limited him from posting solid performances over his last few games. Still, we could expect a resurgence is his fantasy game on Sunday, as he’ll be matched up against Robin Lopez and the Blazers. Similar to Aldridge, Howard has stepped up his game when the Rockets and Blazers have matched up. In three games this season, Howard is averaging 28.3 points, 14.0 rebounds, 20 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. Perhaps deploying him together with Aldridge wouldn’t be such a bad idea in a marquee matchup against two of the West’s better teams.

Other suggestions: Andre Drummond (at BOS), PF/C ($8,000), Taj Gibson (vs. MIA), PF/C ($5,700), Kelly Olynyk (vs. DET), C ($4,000)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Eric Bledsoe (knee) expects to return to action Wednesday against the Cavaliers.
Ryan Anderson (back) is still without a timetable to return.
Kobe Bryant (knee) will miss at least one more week.
Steve Nash (back) could miss the entire season.
Kendrick Perkins (groin) will miss approximately four more weeks.
Thabo Sefolosha (calf) will miss approximately three-to-five more weeks.
Avery Bradley (ankle) expects to return to action Friday against the Suns.

Game-Time Decision
Nicolas Batum (nose) suffered a nasal contusion but is expected to play Sunday.
Klay Thompson (back) suffered a back injury but is expected to play Sunday.
Pau Gasol (ankle) had an X-ray on his ankle return negative, and he’s expected to play Sunday.
Nick Young (knee) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Jordan Hill (knee) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Paul Pierce (shoulder) is questionable to play Sunday.
Kevin Garnett (back) is questionable to play Sunday.
Miles Plumlee (knee) is questionable to play Sunday.
Peyton Siva (ankle) is questionable to play Sunday.