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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Saturday

D.J. Trainor

D.J. Trainor

D.J. currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison while writing and managing NBA content for Rotowire. He also makes appearances on Rotowire's Fantasy Basketball Podcast and has a pulse on the Utah Jazz.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets: With just two games on the docket Saturday, Miami is clearly the defense to avoid. They've been able to hold the Nets to an average of just 84.0 points in the two games that have been played in the series. A major reason why this has happened is because the Heat have stymied Joe Johnson, the Nets' number one offensive option in the postseason. Johnson has averaged just 15.0 points over the past two games against the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Normally, teams get a slight bump in motivation when they return to their home court, but the Heat are poised to counterattack that potential boost from the Nets.

Offenses to Use
San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers: Just as the above mentioned Heat are the clear defensive option, the Spurs are the day's best pick to provide an offensive onslaught. Portland's lackluster defensive showing hasn't been all too surprising, considering that they allowed the Rockets to put up a staggering 112.0 points per contest over the course of their six-game series in round one. The Spurs are taking advantage of that deficiency on defense and have averaged an even better 115.0 points so far in the first two games of the series.

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
Tony Parker, PG, SAN ($8,200): Parker has been the catalyst for the Spurs' success during Games 1 and 2 and goes into Game 3 averaging 24.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.0 steal. These numbers by themselves are great, but more importantly, the point guard slot is very shallow for Saturday, and Parker has been shelling out reliability. The Spurs' utter dominance over the Trail Blazers during the first two games of the series seems to denote that Parker will be able to have his way yet again on Saturday.

Other suggestions: Damian Lillard, PG, POR ($8,200)

Shooting Guard
Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, MIA ($7,500): The shooting guard slot is best utilized with a player that offers some assists potential. Wade and the Heat were successful against the Nets during the first two games of the series, and he's been able to dish out 6.0 assists per game to contribute to that effort. With the limited amount of options for assist-able shooting guards on Saturday, Wade offers some versatility in terms of where he can draw from his overall production.

Other suggestions: Manu Ginobili, SG/SF, SAN ($6,300)

Small Forward
Kawhi Leonard, SG/SF, SAN ($6,900): For whatever reason, Leonard was quiet in round one against the Mavericks, but he's emerged from nonexistence to help the Spurs explode offensively in Games 1 and 2. In fact, he's contributing 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.0 block during the series. The best part about these numbers is that they've come from limited time on the court as Leonard and the Spurs have put both games away relatively early. He's averaging 31 minutes in the first two games and stands a chance to improve his production if Portland keeps it competitive on Saturday and Leonard has to spend more time on the court.

Other suggestions: Nicolas Batum, SG/SF, POR ($7,400)

Power Forward
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, POR ($9,500): Aldridge's price tag may seem a little daunting when you're trying to figure out how to squeeze him into your lineup, but keep in mind that this price is significantly lower than it was during the height of his postseason success against the Rockets. While his price is down, his potential for a breakout game still exists. This is especially true since the series moves to Portland for the first time, and Aldridge will likely benefit from some home-crowd motivation.

Other suggestions: Chris Bosh, PF/C, MIA ($6,600)

Center
Robin Lopez, C, SAN ($5,800): Lopez' best asset heading into Saturday's contest with the Spurs is his price tag. He gives you some flexibility to go out and get more expensive talent on your roster card while holding down the fort in his slotted position. Lopez often goes unnoticed because of his more influential teammates, but he's able to deceptively amount production under their shadow. On top of this, the series heads to Portland where the Trail Blazers will have an inspirational advantage. The center comes into Saturday averaging 9.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 2.0 blocks in the series thus far.

Other suggestions: Tiago Splitter, C, SAN ($6,000)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Mo Williams (groin) is not expected to play in Saturday's Game 3.
Brook Lopez (ankle) is out for the season.
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