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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Sunday

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
Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks: The Bulls are the league's second-best defensive team, allowing opponents to score just 97.7 points per 100 possessions. Over the past six games, the Bulls have given up just 87.5 points to opponents, and they'll look to continue their defensive toughness against the Knicks on Sunday. In three matchups with the Knicks so far this season, New York has scored an average of just 84.7 points against the Bulls. With the Knicks mathematically eliminated from the playoffs this season, Carmelo Anthony and company will have little motivation to perform beyond standards. In light of this, one can look elsewhere for fantasy production in daily contests.

Offenses to Use
Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers: The Warriors and Blazers are both already locked into the playoffs, but they may be looking to secure better seeding for matchup purposes. They are among the better offensive teams in the league, boasting a 108.2 (Blazers) and a 105.0 (Warriors) offensive rating this season. Each are stacked with a full starting lineup worthy of deploying in daily contests, and as the final games of the regular season take place, colorful fantasy lines could result from this matchup. Consider Stephen Curry, LaMarcus Aldridge, and company solid buys for Sunday's slate.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors
Second game of a back-to-back: Sacramento Kings

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
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Point Guard
Jordan Farmar, LAL (vs. MEM), PG ($4,200): Farmar is averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.0 steals, 1.0 blocks, and 2.0 three-pointers made per game over the last two contests since returning from a long absence due to injury, and he could continue his run to end the season. The Lakers are dealing with injuries throughout their entire roster, and barring any setbacks, Farmar should be able to put up significant minutes, leading to a solid line against the Grizzlies on Sunday.

Other suggestions: Jameer Nelson (at BKN), PG ($5,800), Reggie Jackson (at IND), PG/SG ($4,900)

Shooting Guard
Rodney Stuckey, DET (vs. TOR), PG/SG ($4,800): As Josh Smith (knee) continues to sit, Stuckey continues to put up solid production at the shooting guard spot, averaging 23.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.0 steals in 32.8 minutes per game over the last four contests. He'll keep shooting the ball in high volumes as long as he gets the minutes, and the upside he can provide for his price tag will be worth the gamble for Sunday's contests. Consider Stuckey a high-risk, high-reward player.

Other suggestions: Jimmy Butler (at NYK), SG/SF ($6,500), Terrence Ross (at DET), SG/SF ($4,100)

Small Forward
Paul Pierce, BKN (vs. ORL), SF/PF ($5,500): Pierce has just recently returned from a one-game absence due to a hip ailment and he's averaging 13.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 1.5 three-pointers made over the last four games. He's shown that he still has the capability to put up big numbers during his hot stretches of games throughout the season, and his price tag comes at a bargain because of his recent injury. The Nets are hoping to avoid playing the Heat in the first round of the playoffs, and a strong performance Sunday could lock a top-six seed in the Eastern Conference. Look for the veteran to produce well if he can log enough minutes.

Other suggestions: Rudy Gay (vs. MIN), SF/PF ($7,200), Tobias Harris (at BKN), SF/PF ($5,300)

Power Forward
Ryan Kelly, LAL (vs. MEM), PF/C ($4,800): Kelly is averaging 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks, and 1.0 three-pointers made over the last two games. He's locked to play heavy minutes with Pau Gasol (vertigo) and Chris Kaman (calf) doubtful to play, and his price tag may be worth taking up against the Grizzlies, who don't often focus on guarding post players at the perimeter. Consider Kelly a low-end budget option for Sunday's slate.

Other suggestions: Jordan Hill (vs. MEM), PF/C ($6,500), Kyle O'Quinn (at BKN), PF/C ($5,000)

Center
Jonas Valanciunas, TOR (at DET), C ($6,400): Valanciunas has been playing excellently of late, averaging 19.8 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks over the last four games. His confidence has clearly been on the rise, and his recent 14-point, 21-rebound outburst makes him hard to resist for Sunday's slate. He'll be a gamble against the Pistons, who have Andre Drummond anchoring the low post. However, his price tag isn't too high for what he could potentially bring, and daily players shouldn't shy away from Valanciunas for Sunday's contests.

Other suggestions: Gorgui Dieng (at SAC), C ($6,400), Mason Plumlee (vs. ORL), PF/C ($5,000)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Pau Gasol (vertigo) may miss the remainder of the season.
Andrew Bynum (knee) is still without a timetable to return.
Andrea Bargnani (elbow) is still without at timetable to return.

Game-Time Decision
Kevin Love (elbow) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Kevin Martin (foot) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Nikola Pekovic (ankle) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Nikola Vucevic (Achilles) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Isaiah Thomas (quadriceps) is doubtful to play Sunday.
Josh Smith (knee) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Deron Williams (knee) expects to play Sunday.
Shaun Livingston (toe) is doubtful to play Sunday.
Andre Iguodala (knee) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) is a game-time decision Sunday.
Steve Nash (hamstring) is doubtful to play Sunday.
Chris Kaman (calf) is doubtful to play Sunday.