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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Thursday

Eric Kohlbeck

Eric Kohlbeck

Eric Kohlbeck writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers: With the top-seeded Pacers struggling against the eight seeded Hawks, Atlanta has been able to hold the Pacers to an average of 93.4 points per game. In Indiana's win in Game 5, even then they managed just 91 points. This has been a low-scoring series overall, with at least one of the teams failing to reach the 90-point mark in three out of the five games. Thursday will likely be more of the same as the Hawks will do their best to shut down the struggling Pacers, score the upset win, and advance into the second round of the playoffs.

Offenses to Use
Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors: Unlike the Hawks-Pacers series, the Clippers and Warriors have put up large point totals each game, which was expected as two of the better offenses in the NBA faced off against each other in Round One. Neither team has scored less than 96 points in the series, and the Clippers have fallen below the 100-point mark just twice, although they still managed 98 and 97 points in those two games. With a chance to thrust themselves into the second round of the playoffs with a win on Thursday, expect the Clippers to continue to score in bunches against the Warriors.

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

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Point Guard
Mike Conley, MEM (vs. OKC) PG ($7,800): Conley has been steady throughout the first five games of the Grizzlies' series with the Thunder. In those games, Conley is averaging 7.2 points, eight assists, and 4.6 rebounds, en route to averaging 33.5 fantasy points per game. With Stephen Curry ($9,700), Russell Westbrook ($9,400), and Chris Paul ($9,200) all having lofty prices, Conley has been a solid option for daily fantasy in the playoffs if you're unwilling to shell out the big bucks for one of those three players. He should see more of the same point totals in Thursday's Game 6.

Shooting Guard
Tony Allen, MEM (vs. OKC) SG/SF ($5,400): Allen has been playing starters minutes over starter Tayshaun Prince in the Grizzlies' series against the Thunder. Largely known for his defense rather than offense, Allen is being used to try and shut down Kevin Durant, which for fantasy owners, means he's been on the floor for an average of 33.4 minutes per game in Round One. In that extra time, Allen has produced solid fantasy numbers, averaging 11.6 points, nine rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 1.8 assists in five games. With the Thunder facing elimination in Game 6, Durant will be looking to do even more, meaning Allen will be out there just as much trying to shut him down, which could translate to another solid fantasy night for Allen.

Small Forward
Andre Iguodala, GSW (vs. LAC) SG/SF ($6,000): After struggling in the first two games of the Clippers-Warriors series, scoring just eight and four points, Iguodala has provided a nice offensive spark for the Warriors, especially the last two games. In the last three games of the series, Iguodala is averaging 17 points, seven rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.3 steals. With the Warriors scoring at such an efficient pace, Iguodala has kept up. With no signs of the Warriors' offense slowing down, Thursday could be four straight solid fantasy games for Iguodala.

Power Forward
Serge Ibaka, OKC (at MEM) PF/C ($7,100): Unless you're willing to pay for Kevin Durant ($10,400) or Blake Griffin ($8,600), Ibaka comes as a strong second-option at power forward for a significantly cheaper price. With the help of several overtimes, Ibaka has played under 40 minutes just twice this series which, overtime or not, is still a good amount of minutes. He's had double-digit point totals each game and has eclipsed double-digit rebounds in three of those contests, while averaging over two blocks per game as well.

Center
DeAndre Jordan, LAC (at GSW) C ($8,200): Forget Jordan's Game 4 when he laid a goose egg in the scoring column and had just six rebounds, and pay more attention to Game 5 when he bounced back in a big way scoring 25 points, 18 rebounds, and four blocks. Expect more of a Game 5 performance from Jordan on Thursday, as the Clippers will be looking to advance to the second round and the Warriors will be trying to force a decisive Game 7. With the Clippers and Warriors shooting at such high volumes, Jordan will have plenty of opportunities for blocks, rebounds, and blocks.


INJURY REPORT

Out
Andrew Bogut (ribs) is still listed as out indefinitely and is unlikely to play this weekend.

Game-Time Decision
George Hill (hip) missed Wednesday's practice due to a hip-pointer, but is expected to play Thursday.
C.J. Watson (hip) did not practice Wednesday, but should be OK for Thursday's game.
Hedo Turkoglu (back) suffered a lower-back contusion in Tuesday's game and is a game-time decision for Thursday.
Festus Ezeli (knee) is still working on coming back from knee surgery and has been practicing, but will unlikely play on Thursday.