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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
Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies: The Trail Blazers have been an offensive juggernaut this season, but they've slowed down a bit since the beginning of the month, scoring just 103.2 points per 100 possessions in five March games, despite facing the Nuggets, Lakers, Hawks, Mavericks and Rockets. The run of favorable offensive matchups comes to an end Tuesday, with the Blazers taking on a Memphis team that's fully healthy and on a roll. The Grizzlies rank third in opponents' points per game (94.8) and 10th in defensive rating (102.3) this season, despite the fact that defensive studs Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Tony Allen have missed a combined 58 games. With those three healthy, the league's slowest-paced team should be a nightmare matchup for daily gamers for the rest of the season.

Offenses to Use
Milwaukee Bucks at Minnesota Timberwolves: The Bucks have actually shown signs of competence lately, winning three of their last eight games and generally avoiding blowouts since the beginning of February. Don't be fooled by the progress, as Milwaukee owns a putrid 112.4 defensive rating over the last 10 games, worse than every team besides the Hawks. The Bucks have held just two of their last 15 opponents under the century mark, while playing at the league's 12th-slowest pace (94.81) over that stretch. Facing a Minnesota team that ranks fifth in pace (100.26) this season, the Bucks may not be able to slow things down the way they want to, and they clearly aren't capable of shutting down a strong offensive team. The Timberwolves have been particularly efficient since Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic returned from injuries, posting a 111.3 offensive rating over the last five games.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors
Second game of a back-to-back: Milwaukee Bucks

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
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Point Guard
Brandon Knight, MIL (at MIN), PG/SG, ($6500): Knight's featured role on a bad Milwaukee team may not lead to efficient numbers, but luckily, DraftKings won't punish you for the ill-advised trey attempts and poor shooting percentage. It's hard not to love the volume, with Knight averaging 39.7 minutes, 20 field-goal attempts and 21.3 points over the last three games. If the Bucks can stay in Tuesday's game, Knight often pushes the 40-minute mark in close contests. That's obviously no guarantee against an above-average Minnesota team, but at least the Bucks have been surprisingly good on offense over the last few weeks.

Other suggestions: Mike Conley, MEM (vs. POR), PG, ($7200), D.J. Augustin, CHI (vs. SA), PG, ($4800)

Shooting Guard
Kyle Singler, DET (vs. SAC), SG/SF, ($3800): Averaging 17.4 fantasy points on DraftKings in 27.1 minutes per game, Singler has been remarkably unproductive on a per-minute basis. However, he's reached the 30-minute mark in 16 of his last 18 games, and he typically plays about 35 minutes when the Pistons are in a close contest. With all that playing time, he becomes an intriguing option at $3800 against a Sacramento team that's been giving the bulk of its shooting-guard minutes to rookie Ben McLemore and backup point guard Ray McCallum. It can't hurt that the Kings rank 29th in opponents' three-point percentage (.381) and 27th in three-pointers allowed per game (8.8).

Other suggestions: Lance Stephenson, IND (vs. BOS), SG/SF, ($6600) Devin Harris, DAL (at GS), PG/SG, ($3700)

Small Forward
Khris Middleton, MIL (at MIN), SF/PF, ($4400): With Caron Butler out of the picture and O.J. Mayo seemingly back in the doghouse, Middleton has averaged 32 minutes in six March contests, turning the playing time into 29.4 fantasy points per game on DraftKings. The second-year pro has been particularly active over the last three games, averaging 35 minutes, 14 field-goal attempts, 20.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He won't maintain the recent production but still makes for a strong value play, particularly against a fast-paced Minnesota team.

Other suggestions: Chandler Parsons, HOU (at OKC), SF/PF, ($6500), Josh Smith, DET (vs. SAC), SF/PF, ($8000)

Power Forward
David West, IND (vs. BOS), PF, ($6800): West is averaging a modest 12.3 points, six rebounds and 4.3 assists in three games against the Celtics this season, but he should be able to take advantage of Boston's defensively-challenged frontcourt Tuesday night. The Celtics have been starting Kris Humphries and Brandon Bass up front, with Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk coming off the bench. Detroit's Greg Monroe found the matchups rather to his liking Sunday, when he exploded for 22 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.

Other suggestions: Taj Gibson, CHI (vs. SAS), PF/C, ($5600), Serge Ibaka, OKC vs. HOU), PF/C, ($7400)

Center
Dwight Howard, HOU (at OKC), PF/C, ($9200): With noted Howard antagonist Kendrick Perkins sidelined, the Thunder will turn to some combination of Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and Hasheem Thabeet to limit the star center's impact. Having faced some of the league's top defensive centers over the last few weeks, Howard should be rather excited for Tuesday's matchup. His price has dropped over the last two weeks, but there's no reason to think that the mini-slump is anything other than the result of those tricky matchups. Howard appears to be fully healthy, and he should make a run at 15 rebounds in what projects as Tuesday's highest scoring, fastest-paced game.

Other suggestions: Marc Gasol, MEM (vs. POR), C, ($7600), Kris Humphries, BOS (at IND), PF/C, ($4500)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Avery Bradley (ankle) is expected to return Friday against the Suns.
Gerald Wallace (knee) is also out for the season with a torn meniscus.
Andrew Bynum (conditioning/soreness) may make his Pacers debut Friday.
Thabo Sefolosha (calf) is not expected to return until April.
Joel Freeland (knee) is hoping to return for the final few games of the regular season.
Jae Crowder (abdomen) underwent an MRI on Monday and is out Tuesday.

Game-Time Decision
Ian Mahinmi (bruised rib) is day-to-day.
C.J. Watson (elbow sprain) missed the last three games and is day-to-day.
Rudy Gay (ankle) left Sunday's game in the third quarter but returned for the fourth quarter.
Ekpe Udoh (ankle) remains a game-time decision but hasn't played since Feb. 10.
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