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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Wednesday

Chris Winkler

Chris Winkler

Master's candidate in mass communication at the University of South Carolina. Covering NBA and college football for RotoWire.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies: Although both teams have clinched playoff spots, both will have plenty to play for in hopes of avoiding the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. Granted, the Thunder (or Clippers) aren't much of a consolation, but both teams should be dialed in for one of the few meaningful games on a full, 15-game docket Wednesday. Memphis has been one of the better defensive teams all year (8th in defensive efficiency at 102 points allowed per 100 possessions according to NBA.com) and Wednesday's game should resemble that of a methodically paced playoff game. That favors Memphis. It should be known Dallas has won all three contests against the Grizzlies this year while averaging 108.6 points per game. But they haven't met since early February, and haven't played the Grizzlies at full strength in any of them.

Offenses to Use
Detroit Pistons at Oklahoma City Thunder: Whether it's enough to play at full strength is unknown, but the Thunder can fall down to the Western Conference's No. 3 seed with a loss to Detroit coupled by a Clippers win over Portland. So they should be at full strength, or at least close to it, considering their recent slide. On paper, the matchup against the Pistons is a welcome sight for OKC. Likely without Josh Smith (knee), Detroit will have a more traditional lineup, but Kyle Singler will have his funds (and then some) against Kevin Durant. Overall, Detroit is dead last in defending the mid-range (15-19 feet) by allowing opponents to shoot 44.2 percent. They're also bottom 10 in other areas around the perimeter. Oklahoma City doesn't necessarily live out there, but the well-balanced offense tends to do plenty of damage in that area. According to NBA.com, they're top 10 in field goals made in the mid-range (798) while shooting a league-best 42.7 percent.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None.
Second game of a back-to-back: Brooklyn Nets, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks.

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Point Guard
Ramon Sessions, MIL (vs. ATL) PG/SG ($6,300): Yeah, there's 30 teams to choose from on Wednesday, so why pick anyone from the Bucks? But Sessions has actually played fairly well since coming over from Charlotte, and Milwaukee has no reason not to win considering they're locked into the league's worst record and can't lose any ping pong balls. Sessions has logged at least 40 minutes in 10 of Milwaukee's last 11 games and is averaging 18.4 points and 6.1 assists over his last 10 games. He's also scored at least 20 points in four straight games. The Hawks, meanwhile, should be resting a few starters considering they're locked into the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed.

Other suggestions: Rajon Rondo, BOS (vs. WAS) PG ($7,800); Trey Burke, UTA (at MIN) PG ($6,000); Mike Conley, MEM (vs. DAL) PG ($7,300); Aaron Brooks, DEN (vs. GS) PG ($6,000); Isaiah Thomas, SAC (vs. PHO) PG ($7,600).

Shooting Guard
Gerald Green, PHO (at SAC) SG/SF ($6,400): With Goran Dragic (ankle) out for the Suns' finale, Green will be back in the starting lineup at the 2-guard. He's obviously very comfortable there and played extremely well while filling in for Eric Bledsoe earlier in the year. He averages 17.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 47 starts this year. If you didn't know, Sacramento hasn't been defending the three — or anything for that matter — that well this year. They've allowed 688 three-pointers, 25th in the league heading into the season's final day. Part of Green's resurgence this year, of course, has been that of a newfound outside stroke, where he ranks 4th in the league with 202 makes.

Other suggestions: Greivis Vasquez, TOR (at NY) PG/SG ($5,300) if DeMar DeRozan sits; Jimmer Fredette, CHI (at CHA) PG/SG ($3,500) if D.J. Augustin sits; Rodney Stuckey, DET (at OKC) PG/SG ($5,100); Tim Hardaway Jr., NY (vs. TOR) SG ($5,000).

Small Forward
Tyreke Evans, NOP (vs. HOU) SG/SF ($7,700): Nursing a knee injury, Evans poured in one of the finer games of the entire season Monday, scoring 41 points and coming within one rebound and two assists of a triple-double. His numbers were extremely disappointing over the previous two weeks, so this comes with a grain of salt (as does virtually every player on the season's final day), but with Anthony Davis (back) out and a handful of other Pelicans likely not going to play, Evans figures to be a major part of the gameplan.

Draymond Green, GS (at DEN) SF ($6,000): He had been playing well all season, but his monster night Monday is perhaps the springboard to a big postseason. Remember, Golden State went small during last year's postseason that led to Harrison Barnes' explosion. Green, a bit more physical than Barnes, could be in line for bigger minutes considering Andrew Bogut's (ribs) prognosis. You would have to think Green would play another big role Wednesday.

Other suggestions: Corey Brewer, MIN (vs. UTA) SG/SF ($5,800); Evan Turner, IND (at ORL) SG/SF ($4,600); Thaddeus Young, PHI (at MIA) SF/PF ($7,300).

Power Forward
Serge Ibaka, OKC (vs. DET) PF/C ($7,500): There aren't a ton of safe plays at PF, but the Thunder still need to win the finale to lock into the Western Conference's No. 2 seed. They've also lost two in a row and four of seven, and should be looking to get back on the right track before hitting the postseason. Ibaka has played well lately, and although he is typically an afterthought in the Thunder's offense, he's scored double-digits in nine straight and is fresh off of a 22-point, 16-rebound game Monday against the Pelicans. He's also been blocking a few more shots lately, including a season-high eight against New Orleans last Friday.

Other suggestions: Kenneth Faried, DEN (vs. GS) PF ($8,300); Jeff Adrien, MIL (vs. ATL) SF/PF ($5,100); Mike Scott, ATL (at MIL) PF ($4,000) if Paul Millsap sits; Luis Scola, IND (at ORL) PF/C ($4,600); Michael Beasley, MIA (vs. PHI) SF/PF ($3,800);

Center
Joakim Noah, CHI (at CHA) PF/C ($9,000): He's basically approaching a triple-double every single night at this point, but this comes with the caveat he'll play his full allotted amount of minutes on Wednesday. Chicago can still get the No. 3 seed, which would offer a more favorable matchup (so long as Brooklyn doesn't fall to No. 6). So conventional wisdom suggests the Bulls will play most of the usual suspects, barring injuries. And if that's the case, it's practically impossible to argue for someone else in favor of Noah.

Other suggestions: Timofey Mozgov, DEN (vs. GS) C ($6,000); Jordan Hill, LAL (at SA) PF/C ($6,500); Gorgui Dieng, MIN (vs. UTA) C ($6,400); Kelly Olynyk, BOS (vs. WAS) C ($5,200).

INJURY REPORT

Out
Chris Bosh (Coach Decision) will sit out Wednesday.
LeBron James (Coach Decision) will sit out Wednesday.
Jared Sullinger (ankle) probably won't play after missing Monday's game.
Alan Anderson (abdomen) did not play Tuesday and is likely to get additional rest with Brooklyn in the playoffs.
Shaun Livingston (toe) did not play Tuesday and is, at best, looking at limited minutes Wednesday.
Mirza Teletovic (personal) did not play Tuesday.
Luol Deng (back) will miss the Cavs finale.
C.J. Miles (ankle) is likely out for the rest of the season.
Andrew Bogut (ribs) has been ruled out for the regular season finale and is unknown for the postseason.
Andre Iguodala (knee) did not play Monday and with the Warriors locked into the 6 seed, he's probably unlikely to go Wednesday.
Andrew Bynum (knee) hasn't been ruled out and could be in line to shake off some rust on Wednesday before the playoffs begin.
Paul George (Coach Decision) will get the regular season finale off to rest.
Lance Stephenson (Coach Decision) will get the regular season finale off to rest.
C.J. Watson (Coach Decision) will get the regular season finale off to rest.
David West (Coach Decision) will get the regular season finale off to rest.
Danny Granger (hamstring) has been ruled out until the postseason.
J.J. Redick (back) played Tuesday but will not play Wednesday.
Blake Griffin (suspension) was handed his 16th technical Tuesday and will serve his one-game suspension Wednesday unless the league rescinds it before then.
Pau Gasol (head) is out for the rest of the regular season.
Xavier Henry (knee) had successful surgery to repair a torn ligament.
Chris Kaman (calf) is doubtful to play Wednesday.
Steve Nash (hamstring) is doubtful to play Wednesday.
Nikola Pekovic (ankle) shouldn't be expected to play Wednesday.
Anthony Davis (back) has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season.
Brian Roberts (ankle) didn't play Monday and shouldn't be expected to play Wednesday.
Andrea Bargnani (elbow) will not play Wedneday.
Jameer Nelson (groin) didn't play Monday and shouldn't be expected to play Wednesday.
Nikola Vucevic (Achilles) is done for the year.
Goran Dragic (ankle) will not play Wednesday.
DeMarcus Cousins (suspension) will serve his one-game suspension Wednesday.
Marvin Williams (knee) missed his third straight game Monday and shouldn't be expected to play Wednesday.

Game-Time Decision
DeMarre Carroll (Coach Decision) rested Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Kyle Korver (Coach Decision) rested Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Paul Millsap (Coach Decision) rested Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Pero Antic (ankle) didn't play Monday and is unlikely to go Wednesday.
Jerryd Bayless (knee) hasn't been ruled out but is highly unlikely to play.
Kris Humphries (knee) missed his second straight game Monday.
Joe Johnson (calf) played 31 minutes Tuesday.
Paul Pierce (shoulder) played 21 minutes Tuesday.
Deron Williams (knee) played 30 minutes Tuesday.
D.J. Augustin (personal) did not play Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Anthony Bennett (knee) hasn't been ruled in or out for the finale.
Dirk Nowitzki (ankle) is likely to go considering the Mavs seeding is still undecided.
Ty Lawson (ankle) did not travel for Tuesday's game and is unknown for Wednesday.
Darrell Arthur (knee) was active for Tuesday's game.
Will Bynum (foot) missed a sixth straight game Sunday and shouldn't be expected to play.
Josh Smith (knee) missed his fourth straight game Sunday and shouldn't be expected to play.
Mike Conley (hamstring) was injured Monday and could sit Wednesday with the Grizzlies locked in the playoffs. Their seed hasn't been locked yet, though.
O.J. Mayo (ankle) hasn't played since March 24 and shouldn't be expected to play.
Carmelo Anthony (shoulder) won't play Wednesday.
Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) played Tuesday, but is unlikely to play in the back-to-back Wednesday.
Russell Westbrook (Coach Decision) sat Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
LaMarcus Aldridge (Coach Decision) may sit out Wednesday's regular season finale.
Joel Freeland (knee) is expected to play in 5-minute stretches.
Mo Williams (Coach Decision) may sit out Wednesday's regular season finale.
Rudy Gay (back) should be back in the lineup for the finale after missing the last game.
Danny Green (Coach Decision) rested Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Kawhi Leonard (Coach Decision) rested Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Patty Mills (Coach Decision) rested Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Tiago Splitter (Coach Decision) rested Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Manu Ginobili (Coach Decision) played Monday and is unknown for Wednesday.
Tony Parker (back) could play again Wednesday despite leaving Monday's game early.
DeMar DeRozan (hand) has been playing through an injury, but could get the needed rest.