Welcome back fans of guys putting an orange ball through an eerily similar shaped rim! The Day Before Tomorrow is back in action this season to give you all the news and notes from around the NBA the day before… well… tomorrow. That’s actually today if you are calendar impaired or just don’t like to think. Let’s dive in…
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-Can we all agree now that James Harden was not being used to his full potential with the Thunder now? The man with the dragon beard looked like a soon to be superstar last night, finishing his night with 37 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 steals and 4 threes. He played 44 minutes in the game, a number he never would have approached in OKC coming off of the bench and was the clear focal point of the Houston offense. I don’t usually like to overreact to one game, but his per 48 numbers look pretty similar to this and I don’t think his assists were a fluke considering how often he had the ball in his hands.
–Damian Lillard was exactly what he was hyped to be in his debut. He had 23 points and 11 assists while playing 35 minutes. The Blazers are going to be a great fantasy team because they ride their four studs in Lillard, Matthews, Aldridge and Batum and don’t concern themselves with much else. Lillard can be even better than this as he had 6 turnovers and didn’t shoot particularly great. These are the kind of numbers he can average night in and night out though.
–Eric Gordon is out indefinitely with a knee injury the doctors can’t find, but he won’t play through. This situation is weird and I would avoid it if at all possible.
–Gerald Green struggled a bit in his Pacers debut, totaling 6 turnovers while only scoring 6 points. The good news here is Green is still uber-athletic and led the Pacers in minutes last night playing 37 of them. He will no doubt be better going forward and still retains near must-own status for as long as Danny Granger remains out.
–Steve Nash has more bad news today as he suffered a knee contusion last night. This shouldn’t be super serious, but at his age and with the Lakers approaching it cautiously, he could miss something like a week. If you read this column yesterday, you’ll already know I’m low on Nash and this does nothing to improve his situation.
–Luis Scola was an absolute beast, just like we expected he would be against David Lee. Scola had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds while also adding 3 steals and 3 blocks. Scola isn’t flashy, but he shows up almost every night and with Kevin McHale no longer toying with his playing time, Scola is going to end up being one of the best value picks of this season.
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
SAC @ MIN
UTA @ NOH
Lillard doesn’t have the great matchup he had Wednesday versus Steve Nash, but for his value around the web, there is no better point guard start right now. Chris Paul however, does get the Lakers on Friday, get him in your lineups if you can. Jamal Crawford was nothing short of spectacular in the season opener and is even getting time with Chris Paul, which leads to easier shots than he’s used to. Don’t expect an explosion every time out, but he will be solid.
Paul George continues his chance to take over as the Pacers focal point on offense while Danny Granger sits, he can explode in any category like he did with rebounds on Wednesday reaching 15. Harden has exploded up rankings after the first game, but if he can approach his production for Wednesday, there is no reason to move away from him. Aaron Afflalo should be the focal point of the Magic offense assuming he’s healthy and is being seriously undervalued in fantasy so far this year.
Nic Batum showed why everyone hyped him so much in the preseason. 26 points, 6 rebounds, 3 threes and 3 steals just isn’t done much. Ride him while the price is right. Rudy Gay finally looked like the player we all hoped he would be on Wednesday, he took advantage of mismatches and rebounded well. He gets the Warriors next, start him again. Gerald Green struggled on Wednesday, but with Granger out, he played a team-high 37 minutes. That combined with his talent should yield production sooner than later.
Byron Mullens has been a trendy name all preseason. He should start and play a lot for the Bobcats, making him a legit double-double threat; he also gets a big boost in 3-point heavy formats. Zach Randolph is next up to ride the David Lee turnstyle, work him in wherever the price is right. UPDATE: Cunningham is no longer starting. Tobias Harris now becomes the top cheap play at PF, he is starting for the Bucks tonight per beat writers, very solid roto game.
Davis is being undervalued despite finishing last season on a tear and no real competition in the Magic frontcourt. Cousins should bounce back from a slightly down game against a much weaker Wolves frontline. Pekovic should be a monster on the boards while Kevin Love is out and that hasn’t been fully reflected in his value yet.