This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Defense to avoid: Detroit Pistons, vs IND. The Pistons have a strong defense across the board, ranking 9th in production allowed to opposing point guards, 4th against shooting guards, 7th against small forwards, 1st against power forwards, and 9th against centers.
Offenses to Use: Golden State Warriors, vs POR. The Trail Blazers have struggled this year against opposing point guards (25th in production allowed, according to Draft Kings), small forwards (19th) and power forwards (28th). This bodes well for Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green to put up even larger numbers than usual
Teams on Back-to-Backs:
First game: none
Second game: Hawks, Hornets, Pistons, Rockets, Lakers
Stephen Curry, GS vs POR ($8,500): Curry still has the ability to explode at any time, but he doesn't have to do it as often on this iteration of the more-balanced Warriors. However, Curry has had some memorable shootouts through the years with Damian Lillard, who is following in his footsteps and challenging all of Curry's early 3-point records. The Trail Blazers also have difficulty against opposing point guards, ranking 25th in the NBA in production allowed to the position.
C.J. McCollum, POR at GS ($7,200): McCollum has stepped up huge as a scorer this season next to Damian Lillard. He has scored 24 points per game in his last six outings while adding 3.5 assists, 3.2 boards, 3.2 treys, a block and 0.3 steals as well. He faces a Warriors defense that is 26th in the NBA in production allowed to opposing shooting guards.
Patrick Beverley, HOU at MIN ($5,200): Beverley has found his level as an all-around garbageman, playing off of James Harden. In his last six games, he has averaged 10.3 points, 7.7 boards, 6.5 assists, 2.5 treys and 1.5 steals per game. On Saturday, he faces a Timberwolves team that struggles against opposing point guards.
LeBron James, CLE vs LAL ($9,800): LeBron James sat out Wednesday's game for rest purposes, meaning he should be full speed on Saturday against the Lakers. In his last four games, James is averaging 29.8 points, 8.3 assists, 7.3 boards, 2.5 steals 1.8 treys and 0.8 blocks per game. The primary risk for him on Saturday is that he might sit late if the game becomes a blowout.
Kristaps Porzingis, NY at DEN ($7,500): Porzingis laid an egg in his last outing against the Warriors, struggling to score from the field against a superior team. He may have also been influenced by the absences of Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose, but Melo is set to return on Saturday and Rose was able to practice on Friday so could return as well. Porzingis should be in store for a big bounce back game against a beatable Nuggets frontline.
Thabo Sefolosha, ATL vs CHA ($4,900): Sefolosha is another across-the-boards garbageman. Over his last four games he is averaging 9.8 points, 6.0 boards, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. On Saturday, he faces a Hornets defense that ranks last in the NBA in production allowed to opposing small forwards.
Draymond Green, GS vs POR ($7,800): Green is a potential triple-double on any given night, having produced one on Tuesday against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. On Saturday he faces a Trail Blazers team lacking the kind of versatile four that could give him trouble all around the court.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs NY ($6,800): Jokic moved into the starting lineup on Thursday and turned in 13 points, five assists and four boards in only 19 minutes due to foul trouble. In his six previous games, he averaged 17 points, 10.7 boards, 3.3 assists and a blocked shot in 26 minutes per game. The Knicks are very beatable up front, and if he doesn't get into foul trouble he has a chance to expand upon his excellent play of late.
Mason Plumlee, POR at GS ($5,800): Plumlee is consistently productive at an affordable price. In his last six games he has averaged 12.8 points, 7.7 boards, 3.7 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.3 steals per game and he has nightly upside for bigger assists numbers than that.