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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
Orlando Magic at Golden State Warriors: The Warriors have played some offensive juggernauts recently, with matchups against Portland, Dallas, Phoenix, and the Clippers over the last five games. Having held up to the five-game stretch with a 3-2 record and respectable 104.1 defensive rating, Golden State should find a home matchup against Orlando rather appealing. This game will likely be played at a relatively fast pace, but the Magic are still terrible on offense, ranking bottom-six in offensive rating over the last five games, last 10 games, last 20 games, and for the season. Once you factor in Golden State's excellent defense and the ample blowout potential, it's hard to get excited about the likes of Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, and Nikola Vucevic (ankle.) If you're going to target a Magic player, it's best to focus on guys like Kyle O'Quinn and Victor Oladipo, both of whom could potentially benefit from added minutes in the event of a blowout.

Offenses to Use
Milwaukee Bucks at Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers have been surprisingly effective with LaMarcus Aldridge (back) absent from the lineup this season, averaging 109.4 points per game with a 5-2 record. The star power forward will be out again Tuesday, as his 20.8 field-goal attempts per game are forced to the bench for a third consecutive contest. While the team lacks an effective alternative at power forward, the Blazers have had some success using smaller lineups, and the Bucks don't have enough skill in the frontcourt to force Portland out of said lineups. Aldridge's absence means there are more shot attempts and rebounds to go around for everyone else, and the sliding Blazers (1-5 in their last six) won't take this one for granted as they cling to the No. 5 seed. Moving on to the obvious, the Bucks are a dreadful defensive team, ranking 29th in defensive rating this season (108.1) and 30th over the past 10 games (115.7). Luckily, Milwaukee has been surprisingly competent on offense over the last few weeks, meaning a blowout may be avoided.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set

First game of a back-to-back: Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic
Second game of a back-to-back: Atlanta Hawks

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Point Guard
Jarrett Jack, CLE (vs. MIA), PG/SG, ($4500): With Kyrie Irving (biceps) sidelined for at least two weeks, Jack will handle the starting point guard role as part of a four-man backcourt rotation with Dion Waiters ($5300), Matthew Dellavedova ($3000), and C.J. Miles ($3000), the latter of whom is expected to return from an ankle injury Tuesday. The matchup obviously isn't good, but Jack could easily top 35 minutes and should pile up some assists as the Cavs' primary ball handler. Meanwhile, Waiters should be free to put up more shots while Irving's sidelined, and with Miles possibly limited in his return from 12-game absence, the 22-year-old Syracuse product is also a candidate for the 35-minute mark Tuesday.

Other suggestions: John Wall, WAS (at SAC), PG, ($9100),

Shooting Guard
DeMar DeRozan, TOR (at ATL), SG/SF, ($7400): DeRozan hasn't been playing well lately, and his struggles have led to a price drop from the $8000 range. Take advantage of the price dip while you can, as he's still getting to the line at an impressive rate, with 7.8 free-throw attempts per game over his last 5 contests. DeRozan has a .392 shooting percentage over that same period, but he should get back on track Tuesday in a friendly matchup, against an Atlanta team that plays at a middling pace with sub-par defense. In two previous games against the Hawks this season, DeRozan scored 31 points each time, going a combined 25-of-42 (59.5 percent) from the field.

Other suggestions: Dion Waiters, CLE (vs. MIA), SG, ($5300)

Small Forward
Nicolas Batum, POR (vs. MIL), SG/SF, ($7700): With Portland struggling for a solution at power forward in LaMarcus Aldridge's absence, Batum has taken on a bigger role than ever, hitting the 38-minute mark in six consecutive games, with averages of 15 points and 11.8 rebounds over that six-game span. Working with a smaller sample size, he's averaging 42 minutes, 19.3 points and 15.3 rebounds over the last three games. While that level of production obviously can't be expected moving forward, Batum should be plenty active on the boards against a Milwaukee team that doesn't have the personnel to force Portland into bigger lineups.

Other suggestions: DeMarre Carroll, ATL (vs. TOR), SF/PF, ($4800)

Power Forward
Kyle O'Quinn, ORL (at GS), PF/C, ($4100): O'Quinn has scored 15.5 fantasy points per game on DraftKings this season, despite averaging just 15.2 minutes. His solid per-minute production has translated with increased playing time, as the 23-year-old big man has notched 23.4 fantasy points in 23.3 minutes over the last three games. O'Quinn hasn't been seeing as much of the floor as Tobias Harris, but that could change Tuesday, with Nikola Vucevic (ankle) questionable and the Magic facing a bigger power forward in GSW's David Lee. O'Quinn is a solid play if Vucevic plays and an excellent option if the Montenegrin center sits.

Other suggestions: Khris Middleton, MIL (at POR), SF/PF, ($4200)

Center
Pero Antic, ATL (vs. TOR), C, ($3800): Antic returned to the starting lineup March 8 and has since averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 boards, 1.8 assists and 2.4 treys in 26 minutes over five games, good for 24.75 fantasy points per contest on DraftKings. With the Hawks riding a four-game winning streak following two months of poor play, the rotation shouldn't change much Tuesday, meaning that Antic is again in line for about 25 minutes. His rebounding isn't quite what you'd expect from a center, but the Macedonian big man makes up for it with three-point shooting, and he's 16-for-39 (41 percent) from beyond the arc in seven games since returning from an ankle injury March 5.

Other suggestions: Robin Lopez, POR (vs. MIL), C, ($5600), DeMarcus Cousins, SAC (vs. WAS), PF/C, ($9400)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Kyrie Irving (biceps) will be re-examined in two weeks and may be done for the season.
Anthony Bennett (knee) is expected to miss two more weeks with a patellar strain.
Patrick Patterson (elbow) was scheduled for an evaluation Monday.
LaMarcus Aldridge (back) is out Tuesday and doubtful for Thursday.
Joel Freeland (knee) is aiming for a postseason return.
Nene (knee) is three weeks into a timetable of 4-6 weeks.

Game-Time Decision
C.J. Miles (ankle) has missed the last 12 games but is expected to play Tuesday.
Kyle Lowry (illness) said that he's okay but also said that he felt "like crap" Monday.
Lou Williams (personal) missed games on Friday and Saturday, following the birth of his daughter, but he seems likely to return Tuesday.
Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) missed games last Tuesday then again on Sunday, but he played Thursday and Saturday.
DeMarcus Cousins (knee) got a day off to rest Sunday and will likely return Tuesday.
Nikola Vucevic (ankle) is questionable for Tuesday, after turning his ankle during Friday's game.
Andrew Bogut (ankle) briefly left Sunday's game with a left-ankle issue but returned for the final possession of the contest.
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