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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Thursday

Eric Kohlbeck

Eric Kohlbeck

Eric Kohlbeck writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Chicago Bulls vs. Houston Rockets: The Bulls rank second in the NBA in fewest points allowed at 92.3 per game and lowest opponent field goal percentage at 43.3 percent. While the Rockets have one of the better offenses in the league (106.5 points per game), the Bulls have done a solid job of holding strong offenses to low scoring totals as of late (Heat to 88 on March 9th). In their last two games, they've held their opponents, Miami and Memphis, to 88 and 85 points respectively.

Offenses to Use
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers: The Thunder haven't always dominated the Lakers this season, but they have put up big offensive numbers. In their three meetings this season, the Thunder have put up point totals of 110, 107, and 122 against the Lakers. Maybe this should come as no surprise as the Lakers give up the second most points in the NBA at 107.9 while the Thunder put up the fifth most points per game at 105.8. So, things likely won't change on Thursday as far as scoring goes.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Los Angeles Lakers
Second game of a back-to-back: None

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
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Point Guard
Brandon Knight, MIL (at ATL) PG/SG ($6,700): Knight has been a large part of the Bucks' offense as of late, consistently scoring the most points on the team. Over his past five games, Knight is averaging 22.0 points, 1.6 three-pointers, 2.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game, which are right around his season averages. Knight is averaging 30.8 fantasy points per game according to DraftKings, so his price tag of $6,700 is plenty worth paying for when there aren't too many big-name options at point guard on Thursday.

Shooting Guard
Jodie Meeks, LAL (at OKC) SG ($5,300): Let's remind ourselves of Meeks' most recent performance against the Thunder that was coincidentally the Lakers' last game. Meeks scored a career-high 42 points on 61 percent shooting with six three-pointers, four steals, and two rebounds. He likely won't have that outstanding of a performance again on Thursday, but Meeks had been playing well prior to Sunday's game. If you take out Sunday's game, the six games prior to that, Meeks averaged 20.4 points per game (averaging 15.3 for the season), two treys a game, while shooting a blistering 57.6 percent from the field. So, if Meeks even has half of the performance on Thursday than what he had on Sunday, it could be another solid night for him.

Small Forward
Chandler Parsons, HOU (at CHI) SF/PF ($7,100): Other than Kevin Durant and James Harden, the small forward position doesn't have the most consistent options for Thursday night. Parsons should be one of those players that you can rely on to have a good stat line without having to pay the big bucks for Durant or Harden, if you're looking to save some money here. On Monday, Parsons played 46 minutes and filled the box score with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and making three treys, so there's a good chance that Parsons could have another night like that in Chicago on Thursday.

Power Forward
John Henson, MIL (at ATL) PF/C ($5,100): There are plenty of solid options at power forward for Thursday night but Henson could be a guy that could have a nice stat line at a cheap price. Henson started on Tuesday in place of Ersan Ilyasova who missed the game with an ankle injury and his status for Thursday is unknown. If Ilyasova can't go (for the record, Ilyasova is a nice option as well if he plays), then Henson, who has disappointed somewhat in the second half of the season, could be a nice daily play on Thursday. In his past four games, Henson is averaging 11.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 blocks on 64.7 percent shooting from the field in 25.5 minutes. Those minutes should increase if Ilyasova can't go.

Center
Pero Antic, ATL (vs MIL) C ($3,400):Antic has now played four games since he returned from an ankle injury that held him out for over a month. Over the four contests, Antic has put up 12.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 treys while shooting an impressive 53 percent from the field. His return from the injury is likely the cause for such a low price tag but against the Bucks who give up the 26th most points to opposing center, Antic could have a nice performance on Thursday in Atlanta and at a very low price, allowing you to spend bigger elsewhere.

INJURY REPORT

Out
Greg Smith (knee) is out indefinitely after having arthroscopic surgery to his knee earlier this month.
Jordan Hill (knee) is considered doubtful for the Lakers' games on Thursday and Friday.
Nick Young (knee) is considered doubtful for the Lakers' games on Thursday and Friday.
Kobe Bryant (knee) is officially out for the season.
Thabo Sefolosha (calf) will remain sidelined with the injury.

Game-Time Decision
Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) missed Tuesday's game in Minnesota and his status for Thursday is unknown.
Jeff Teague (ear) hasn't missed anytime due an issue with his ear but there is a small chance it could get worse and force him to miss a game.
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