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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Saturday

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
Sacramento Kings at Chicago Bulls: The Bulls are the league’s second-best defensive team, giving up just 98.0 points per 100 possessions to opponents. They also play at a pace of 92.85 possessions per contest, the second-slowest in the NBA. The Kings, on the other hand, have been struggling to score of late, sans their recent 115-98 win against the lowly Sixers. In three games prior, they’ve averaged just 88.3 points per game, all losses. Though many of Saturday’s matchups feature slow-paced, defensive-minded matchups, consider the game at Chicago one to avoid in terms of fantasy.

Offenses to Use
Memphis Grizzlies at Philadelphia 76ers: It’s true that the Grizzlies are the league’s slowest team, often making them hard to deploy for daily play. Yet, in a matchup against the Sixers on Saturday, things can be a little different for Mike Conley and company. The Sixers have been giving up high-scoring throughout their epic 19-game losing streak, and even a Grizzlies team averaging 95.7 points per game could put out some fantasy gold. Consider the Grizzlies solid options for Saturday’s slate.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings
Second game of a back-to-back: Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards

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Point Guard
Mike Conley, MEM (at PHI), PG ($7,000): Conley has seen his effectiveness decrease ever since returning from an ankle injury. Still, he’s providing solid value in March, averaging 14.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.5 three-pointers made per game. He’ll be in a favorable matchup Saturday against the Sixers, who give up 21.0 points (eighth-worst), 5.7 rebounds (second-worst), 9.5 assists (worst), 2.2 steals (second-worst), 0.5 blocks (second-worst), and 2.3 three-pointers made (fifth-worst) per game to opposing eligible point guards.

Other suggestions: Ty Lawson (at ATL), PG ($8,700), Jeff Teague (vs. DEN), PG ($6,700)

Shooting Guard
James Anderson, PHI (vs. MEM), SG/SF ($4,600): Anderson is averaging 16.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 3.4 three-pointers made over his last five games, and has been playing consistently as the Sixers have continued to tank. He’s in a favorable matchup Saturday against the Grizzlies, who give up 22.7 points (seventh-worst) and 47.7 percent FG (second-worst) per game to opposing eligible shooting guards. Consider Anderson a low-risk, low-reward value play on Saturday.

Other suggestions: Lance Stephenson (at DET), SG/SF ($6,200), Kyle Korver (vs. DEN), SG/SF ($5,200)

Small Forward
Paul George, IND (at DET), SG/SF ($8,500): George is averaging 21.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.0 three-pointers made over the last three games, and he hasn’t been playing as effectively as early in the season. Still, his price tag has taken a dump to appropriate proportions, and he’ll have a good chance of putting up a strong performance against the Pistons, who give up 19.7 points (eleventh-worst), 6.8 rebounds (tenth-worst), 4.1 assists (fourth-worst), 1.7 steals (tenth-worst), 2.4 three-pointers made (sixth-worst), and 46.0 percent FG (fourth-worst) per game to opposing eligible small forwards.

Other suggestions: Trevor Ariza (vs. BKN), SG/SF ($6,000), DeMarre Carroll (vs. DEN), SF/PF ($4,600)

Power Forward
Thaddeus Young, PHI (vs. MEM), SF/PF ($7,200): Young has been playing excellently of late, averaging 19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 three-pointers made per game. Although he was playing at a higher level two weeks ago, his recent struggles are still producing fantasy-relevant numbers that are worth his price tag. He’s been a solid option throughout the season, and Saturday should give him an opportunity to produce once again.

Other suggestions: Paul Millsap (vs. DEN), PF/C ($7,900), Zach Randolph (at PHI), PF/C ($7,100)

Center
Marcin Gortat, WAS (vs. BKN), C ($6,400): Gortat is averaging 14.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.2 blocks over the last five games. He’s seen his production increase thanks to the injury to Nene Hilario (knee). Saturday’s matchup will have him play against the Nets, who have been playing shorthanded at the center spot as well. Look for Gortat to produce solid numbers as a mid-priced option on Saturday.

Other suggestions: DeMarcus Cousins (at CHI), PF/C ($10,000), Marc Gasol (at PHI), C ($7,500)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Larry Sanders (eye) is out for at least two more weeks.
Nene Hilario (knee) is out for at least two more weeks.
Andrea Bargnani (elbow) is still without a timetable to return.

Game-Time Decision
Bradley Beal (ankle) is a game-time decision on Saturday.
Tyson Chandler (personal) is expected to play Saturday.
Amar’e Stoudemire (rest) is expected to play Saturday.
Kevin Garnett (back) is a game-time decision on Saturday.
Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) is doubtful to play Saturday.
Louis Williams (personal) is expected to play Saturday.
Andrew Bynum (rest) is a game-time decision Saturday.
Mike Dunleavy (face) is a game-time decision Saturday.
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