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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Friday

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
Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards: The Pacers continue to thwart opponents' offensive efforts with their suffocating defense, giving up an average of just 95.5 points per 100 possessions. The Wizards have been above-average on the offensive end this season, but any momentum they carry into Friday could instantly disappear like magic. They've already played the Pacers twice this year, both losses in which they struggled to score, pulling off measly 73-93 and 66-93 performances against the league's best defense. Loaded with 12 games to choose from, consider other plays for Friday's slate.

Offenses to Use
Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves: The Lakers have been giving up multiple blowout performances to opponents over recent play, losing their last seven losses by an average margin of 21.1 points. If that wasn't a good enough reason to deploy their opponents, consider this: even over their last five wins, their opponents managed to score 105.6 points per game. In short, they've allowing opponents to put up high-scoring performances against them, which has paved room for fantasy outbursts all through the matchups. However, it hasn't necessarily gone too badly for the Lakers themselves from a fantasy perspective, as various on-and-off injuries have allowed their budget players to put up big games. Consider both the Lakers and Timberwolves valid plays for daily contests on Friday.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set

First game of a back-to-back: Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards
Second game of a back-to-back: Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers


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Point Guard
Ty Lawson, DEN (vs. SAS), PG ($7,500): Lawson has been on a little rough patch over the past few games, averaging just 14.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.3 three-pointers made over the last four contests. He's been a stud throughout the season, and despite his recent slump, his low price tag does not justify what he's capable of producing. Lawson is bound to get back into form sooner than later, and perhaps he'll be worth investing in for Friday's matchup against the Spurs, who give up 21.3 points (fifth-worst) per game to opposing eligible point guards.

Other suggestions: Isaiah Thomas (at OKC), PG ($7,600), Tony Parker (at DEN), PG ($6,300), D.J. Augustin (vs. POR), PG ($4,500)

Shooting Guard
DeMar DeRozan, TOR (vs. BOS), SG/SF ($7,900): DeRozan remains as one of the underpriced players in daily games, charted Friday at just under $8,000 despite averaging 23.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.8 three-pointers per game over his last five. He's coming off a relatively poor performances against the Celtics where he posted 20 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, and chances are he's looking to redeem himself after Wednesday's lousy outing. Consider him a valid investment for Friday's slate.

Other suggestions: Eric Bledsoe (vs. NYK), PG/SG ($7,800), Kevin Martin (vs. LAL), SG/SF ($5,700), Manu Ginobili (at DEN), SG/SF ($4,800)

Small Forward
Kevin Durant, OKC (vs. SAC), SF/PF ($11,400): Coming off a disappointing loss to the Mavericks on Tuesday, the leading candidate for MVP will look to return strong against the Kings on Friday. It's trivial at this point to even mention Durant's stats, as his dominance this season is already known to all, hence such a hefty price tag in daily contests. Yet, considering his averages of 38.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 3.8 three-pointers made over the last five contests, $11,400 is worth taking on. The Kings give up 21.2 points (second-worst) and 45.6 percent FG (fourth-worst) to opposing eligible small forwards this season, and perhaps Durant will continue his MVP run as the fantasy season comes to its final weeks.

Other suggestions: Josh Smith (vs. MIA), SF/PF ($7,400), Tobias Harris (vs. CHA), SF/PF ($6,400), Luol Deng (at BKN), SF/PF ($5,700)

Power Forward
Jordan Hill, LAL (at MIN), PF/C ($4,300): With Pau Gasol (vertigo) not with the team for Friday's contests, Hill may get the start at the power forward spot once again. In Thursday's game against the Bucks, Hill exploded for a monster 28 points and 16 rebounds, and it's a wonder what extended minutes can do for an energetic bruiser big man. He's averaging 18.5 points and 12.0 rebounds over the last four contests, and despite matching up against fantasy beast Kevin Love, Hill's price tag is worth the gamble for Friday's contests.

Other suggestions: Kevin Love (vs. LAL), PF/C ($11,100), Greg Monroe (vs. MIA), PF/C ($7,400), Channing Frye (vs. NYK), PF/C ($4,700)

Center
Anthony Davis, NOP (vs. UTA), PF/C ($10,100): Davis has been playing excellently in March, averaging 26.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals, and 2.6 blocks per contest. He's posted nine double-doubles over the last ten contests, and he'll have a favorable matchup Friday against the Jazz, who give up 23.0 points (fourth-worst), 13.3 rebounds (seventh-worst), 3.3 assists (sixth-worst), 1.9 blocks (sixth-worst), and 53.3 percent FG (second-worst) to opposing eligible centers.

Other suggestions: Andre Drummond (vs. MIA), PF/C ($7,500), Nikola Vucevic (vs. CHA), PF/C ($7,100), Chris Bosh (at DET), PF/C ($6,400)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Kyrie Irving (biceps) will be re-evaluated next week.
Pau Gasol (vertigo) will not play Friday.
Nene Hilario (knee) is out for at least another week.
Andrew Bynum (knee) will be out for "a little while" with swelling on his knee.
Andrea Bargnani (elbow) is still without a timetable to return.
Kevin Garnett (back) is still without a timetable to return.
Steve Nash (soreness) will not play Friday.

Game-Time Decision
LaMarcus Aldridge (back) is a game-time decision Friday.
Isaiah Thomas (quadriceps) is expected to play Friday.
Dwyane Wade (hamstring) is a game-time decision Friday.
Nikola Pekovic (ankle) is doubtful to play Friday.
David Lee (hamstring) is questionable to play Friday.
Andre Iguodala (knee) is expected to play Friday.
Jameer Nelson (knee) is a game-time decision Friday.
Eric Gordon (knee) is questionable to play Friday.
Brian Roberts (knee) is questionable to play Friday.
Wilson Chandler (groin) is a game-time decision Friday.
Marcin Gortat (back) is a game-time decision Friday.
Jeff Green (neck) is a game-time decision Friday.
Patrick Patterson (elbow) is doubtful to play Friday.
Ray Allen (illness) is doubtful to play Friday.
Alec Burks (ankle) is a game-time decision Friday.
Mo Williams (knee) is a game-time decision Friday.
Danny Green (foot) is questionable to play Friday.
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