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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
Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards: In one of the more surprising matchups of the playoffs, the Wizards take a 2-0 lead back to their homecourt for Game 3. In both Games 1 and 2, the Wizards have limited the Bulls to just 93 and 99 points, respectively, and things should be easier now that theyíre playing back in Washington. Meanwhile, itís tough to imagine the Bulls going down without a fight, and theyíre still known as one of the top defensive teams in the league. Banking on consistent fantasy play from the Bulls-Wizards matchup is going to be a tough game to play, and daily players should consider other series for daily contests.

Offenses to Use
Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers: Both offensive powerhouses are matched up in a first round battle thatís going more lopsided than some would imagine. The Blazers have taken a 2-0 lead, scoring 122 and 112 points in the first two games, but the Rockets have been providing fancy offensive production themselves, scoring 120 and 105 points. Given the fact that both teams have been known to put up high-scoring matchups throughout the regular season, itís a safe bet to expect strong fantasy lines in Portland on Friday.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: None

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
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Point Guard
Jeremy Lin, HOU (vs. POR), PG/SG ($4,800): The Rocketsí bench has given them no help in the postseason so far, providing just one double-digit scoring performance from one player (which happens to be Lin) over the past two games. They havenít gotten much going in the disappointing series so far, and thereís a chance they could change their approach with more bench firepower. Leading the squad figures to be Lin, whoís shown his ability to post star-like fantasy lines when given the opportunity. He hasnít been getting the chance to shine lately, but being down 0-2 may cause coach Kevin McHale to rethink his strategy. At a low price of $4,800, daily players with a high-risk appetite should consider Lin.

Other suggestions: Kyle Lowry, TOR (at BKN), PG ($8,100)

Shooting Guard
Greivis Vasquez, TOR (at BKN), PG/SG ($5,300): Vasquez has been consistent as a backup to Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan throughout the season. Heís averaging a solid 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 0.5 steals, and 2.0 three-pointers made per game in the postseason so far. While heíll always have a cap on his minutes, if either Lowry or DeRozan struggle, Vasquez will be the primary beneficiary. His price tag is affordable if youíre looking to cut costs at the combo guard spot, and he should be a solid play for Friday.

Other suggestions: Wesley Matthews (at POR), SG/SF ($5,700)

Small Forward
Paul Pierce, BKN (vs. TOR), SF/PF ($5,500): Pierce has been struggling in the playoffs so far, and based on his historical play in the postseason, itís hard to believe heíll continue to do so. Heís been relatively consistent this season, and the Nets will need veteran presence to carry them to a 2-1 lead. His ability to contribute in all categories makes him a worthy investment at $5,500, and daily contest players shouldnít shy away from the veteran.

Other suggestions: Nicolas Batum (vs. HOU), SG/SF ($7,000)

Power Forward
Nene Hilario, WAS (vs. CHI), PF/C ($6,400): Nene is averaging 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks during the postseason so far, and it appears heís rejuvenated after struggling with a knee injury in the second half of the regular season. His price tag is still relatively low for what he can produce, and the Bulls have struggled to guard him in the first two games so far. Nene has limited upside, but heís dependable to produce his share of fantasy numbers, making him a safe option Friday, barring any injuries.

Other suggestions: Amir Johnson (at BKN), PF/C ($5,600)

Center
Jonas Valanciunas, TOR (at BKN), C ($6,900): Valanciunas has been standing out late in the regular season and in the postseason so far. Heís averaging 16.0 points, 16.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1.0 blocks in the series, and it doesnít appear that heíll slow down anytime soon. Itís clear heís been slowly improving as the season has progressed, and the postseason is the ideal time to finally play to his full potential. The Raptors wonít be shy to give him big minutes as long as he stays out of foul trouble, and daily contest players should continue to ride him until he proves heís no longer worth the hefty investment.

Other suggestions: Robin Lopez (vs. HOU), C ($5,900)

INJURY REPORT

Game-Time Decision
Greg Smith (knee) is a game-time decision for Game 3 against the Wizards.
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