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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
Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls: The Wizards played well in Game 1 and are a real threat to topple the Bulls, but Washington may not top 100 points again before the end of the series. Both of these teams are better on defense than on offense, and both ranked in the bottom half of the league in pace, with the Bulls (92.72) all the way down at 28th. All of Tuesday's games project as low-scoring affairs, yet this one takes the cake with a 181.5 O/U, while Brooklyn-Toronto is at 188, and Atlanta-Indiana is at 186.5. The Bulls' elite defense slipped up in Game 1, but it looked just fine toward the end of the regular season, so there's little reason to believe Sunday was anything more than a one-game aberration.

I'm also hesitant to use more than one Pacer in a lineup, as Atlanta played much better defense late in the season, and Indiana just looks broken on offense. Over the final 15 regular-season games, the Hawks ranked sixth in defensive rating (102.0), while the Pacers comfortably held the league's worst offensive rating (96.4).

Offenses to Use
Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors: We're dealing in relatives here, as the Nets are no pushover on defense, and the Raptors are far from an offensive juggernaut. However, with Tuesday's set of games likely to be low scoring, this matchup is as good as it gets. The Raptors scored just 87 points in Game 1, but Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas had big games, while Patrick Patterson was surprisingly productive off the bench.

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Point Guard
Kyle Lowry, TOR (vs. BKN), PG, ($8100): After finishing the regular season with five consecutive scoring performances of at least 22 points, Lowry dropped exactly 22 in Game 1 against the Nets, while logging a team-high 44 minutes. As both the offensive and defensive soul of the Raptors, he doesn't figure to spend much time watching from the sidelines during the playoffs. With the expectation of 40+ minutes and a starring role, Lowry is a strong bet to top 40 fantasy points on Draftkings, and his upside stretches much further than that.

Other suggestions: Deron Williams, BKN (at TOR), PG, ($6700)

Shooting Guard
Joe Johnson, BKN (at TOR), SG/SF, ($6200): Johnson's price leapt up from $5600 after Game 1, yet he's still worth a look at the increased cost. Brooklyn's rotation was arguably the most important thing for fantasy gamers to keep an eye on over the weekend, and things now look good for Johnson, who was always the team's safest bet for playing time. Not only did he log a team-high 44 minutes Saturday, but JJ also produced at an impressive clip, finishing with 24 real-life points and 43 DraftKings fantasy points. While that's about 5-10 more fantasy points than you should expect Tuesday, Johnson still makes for a nice bargain.

Other suggestions: Kyle Korver, ATL (at IND), SG/SF, ($4800)

Small Forward
Lance Stephenson, IND (vs. ATL), SG/SF, ($5900): The Pacers' continued offensive woes are worrisome, but Stephenson has at least started producing on an individual level again. He finished the regular season with a triple-double, and then put up 19 points and seven boards (albeit with just one dime) in Saturday's Game 1 loss. Listed at $6700 as recently as March 31, Stephenson should provide solid value, even if his team can't pull things together. If they do? Look out.
Other suggestions: Trevor Ariza, WAS (at CHI), SG/SF, ($5900)

Power Forward

Patrick Patterson, TOR (vs. BKN), PF/C, ($3700): The sub-$4000 options largely dry up come playoff time, and Patterson is the best of a weak bunch on Tuesday. He's far from a sure thing to produce, but with eyes on both Kyle Lowry and Joakim Noah, risks need to be taken somewhere. The impetus for Patterson's selection is Amir Johnson's inability to match up with Paul Pierce in the Nets' odd starting lineup. Johnson ended up logging just 21 minutes in Game 1, while Patterson tallied 26. Patterson actually struggled against Pierce, but he theoretically matches up better than Johnson, and Game 1 indicated that Raptors coach Dwane Casey agrees. I'll feel better about this pick if Patterson replaces Johnson in the starting lineup, but I'm sticking with the former Kentucky Wildcat either way.

Other suggestions: Paul Pierce, BKN (at TOR), SF/PF, ($5700)

Center
Joakim Noah, CHI (vs. WAS), PF/C, ($9400): Disappointing in Game 1 and a few hundred dollars overpriced, Noah is still hard to go against, given that he's the top available player on a night that lacks other high-priced options. Look for the Bulls to get their best player more involved, after Noah surprisingly had just six field-goal attempts and four assists in Game 1. He finished the season with plenty of momentum, averaging 13.5 points, 12.5 boards, seven assists and 1.3 blocks in eight April games. Now one of the league's top triple-double threats, Noah benefits from the extra fantasy points rewarded for 2x2s and 3x2s.

Other suggestions: Nene, WAS (at CHI), PF/C, ($5900)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Andrew Bynum (knee) has been ruled out for the first round.

Game-Time Decision
Paul George suffered a quad contusion in Game 1, but will almost definitely play Tuesday
Greg Smith (knee) did not suit up for Game 1, and is unlikely to play much even if healthy