Inspired by public criticism from coach George Karl, the Sacramento Kings raced to a 31-9 lead in Toronto on Sunday and never gave it up. Tonight’s back-to-back against the Wizards is an even tougher assignment.
John Wall $9500 led Washington to an impressive home victory on Saturday despite Bradley Beal (leg) and Otto Porter $5800 (thigh) being sidelined. Garrett Temple $4000 had his best game yet in place of Beal, and rookie Kelly Oubre Jr. $3300 filled in capably for Porter, except for some foul trouble. The vastly-improved Rajon Rondo $8600 double-doubled again (19 & 13) and will try to handle Wall. DeMarcus Cousins $10000, Rudy Gay $7000 and Omri Casspi $6000 comprise a large, talented front line compared to Marcin Gortat $6400, Jared Dudley $4400 and Oubre.
Minnesota is at Boston in another fast-paced matchup. Isaiah Thomas $7700 and Jae Crowder $5600 were outstanding on Friday despite the Celtics losing their third in a row. Home court and two days of rest makes them very dangerous against the Timberwolves, who won handily yesterday in Brooklyn. Karl-Anthony Towns $6900 was strong (24 PTS, 10 REB in 28 MIN) and even coming off the bench, Gorgui Dieng $5300 got 36 minutes for his own double-double (20 & 10.) With Amir Johnson $4400 (foot) questionable, it could be a long night for Jared Sullinger $5800 against those twin towers.
Plays of the Day
DraftKings contests spanning all nine NBA games close at 7:00 EST and offer the largest payouts. The $250K Sharpshooter is a mere $3 buy-in (FREE with your first deposit) where the top 19,550 finishers (from up to 95,833 teams) win cash. First place is worth $20,000. Enter early; you can make lineup changes until each player’s game begins to take advantage of breaking news. There’s also Turbo play on four games at 8:00 and Late action at 9:00 covering only the final two games.
The nightcap is a star-studded affair in Los Angeles, with Russell Westbrook $10400 and Chris Paul $8100 going head-to-head, while Kevin Durant $10100 and Blake Griffin $8900 take turns being unstoppable. Austin Rivers (ankle) is hurt, so J.J. Redick $4800 and CP3 might get extra minutes and Jamal Crawford $4500 will play some PG.
There’s a mismatch in Atlanta. Damian Lillard $8800 (foot) and C.J. McCollum $6900 (ankle) were limping after yesterday’s loss in Miami, so Allen Crabbe $3900 may have to play big minutes. Meanwhile, six Hawks scored in double figures to win in Orlando. Al Horford $6600 and Paul Millsap $8000 are simply better than Mason Plumlee $5000 and Meyers Leonard $3700.
Another key game is in Houston, where James Harden $10600 and Dwight Howard $7200 will be difficult to contain. Trevor Ariza $6000 was also sharp as the Rockets defeated the Clippers on Saturday. We do like the bargain prices on Jeremy Lin $5200 and P.J. Hairston $3400. Defensive specialist Patrick Beverley $5100 will be all over Kemba Walker $7400 but Nicolas Batum $7500, recovered from the flu, may flirt with a triple-double.
Chicago should whip the Nets, with Pau Gasol $7600 freshened since that quadruple-OT loss on Friday. The Bulls were exhausted the next night against the Knicks, except for Bobby Portis $3300, who was sensational — 20 points and 11 boards in just 23 minutes. That price is tempting, but the rookie is still behind Gasol, Taj Gibson $4300, Joakim Noah $5400 and Nikola Mirotic $4700 on the depth chart. Unless Fred Hoiberg shifts Mirotic to SF, Portis must wait his turn. Jimmy Butler $7400 scored 43 points in 56 minutes on Friday as the #1 option.
The Knicks and Carmelo Anthony $8400 are rested, at home and on a four-game win streak as they meet Orlando. Arron Afflalo $4900 has been a hot shooter the last five games, just as Kristaps Porzingis $7400 is dealing with the “rookie wall” of fatigue.
I doubt the Pacers can beat the Spurs, but can’t recommend anyone with confidence. Presumably Kawhi Leonard $8500 will try to neutralize Paul George $9200, who has cooled off a little in the last two weeks. George Hill $5200 vs. his former mentor Tony Parker $5100 will be fun to watch. LaMarcus Aldridge $6800 was brilliant (26 & 13) on Friday and may be the go-to guy again, though Gregg Popovich is always full of surprises.
One game separates Phoenix and the Jazz for eighth place in the West. Rested and at home, Utah will bring the D against the Suns, who let one get away on Sunday. Although Gordon Hayward $7200 and Rodney Hood $4500 are reasonably priced, there are no must-starts on either side.
Putting it all together, I’m content with “second choice” players who are slightly more affordable than the superstars. Good luck!
|PG||Russell Westbrook $10400||John Wall $9500||Jeremy Lin $5200|
|SG||James Harden $10600||Jimmy Butler $7400||J.J. Redick $4800|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10100||Carmelo Anthony $8400||Kelly Oubre Jr. $3300|
|PF||DeMarcus Cousins $10000||LaMarcus Aldridge $6800||Bobby Portis $3300|
|C||Dwight Howard $7200||Karl-A. Towns $6900||Gorgui Dieng $5300|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.