–LaMarcus Aldridge struck lightning in a bottle against the Thunder on Sunday. We knew coming in that the Thunder have been getting torched by big men, but with Aldridge banged up it looked like it might be JJ Hickson to take advantage. That was not the case however, as Aldridge dropped 33 points and 11 rebounds on the reigning Western Conference champions. He also blocked two shots, but the Blazers were unable to top the Thunder at home.
–Dwight Howard returned from his shoulder issue to dominate the Cavs for 22 points and 14 rebounds. It looked like a non-issue at this point and he should be good to go moving forward. Look for Howard and Gasol to both become bigger parts of the offense moving forward.
–Harrison Barnes looks to be heating up again for the Warriors. He had about a two-week useful stretch earlier this year, but has been pretty inconsistent for the most part. Barnes has been playing better over the last few weeks and stepped up again last night with 21 points, on 5 threes, with 6 rebounds and a steal. There are a lot of options with the Warriors, but he can be useful while he’s hot, especially if he starts hitting threes in volume.
–Deron Willliams is finally getting hot as well. He’s been pretty terrible by his standards so far this season, but since Avery Johnson was fired and he reduced his practice workload, he’s been pretty good. Last night he looked like vintage D-Will with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists in 41 minutes. He and Joe Johnson are finally playing well together and that’s great news for the Nets and fantasy owners.
–Danilo Gallinari has finally got things going consistently for the Nuggets. He’s played well now in four straight games and posted a 21 point, 8 rebound, 6 assist effort against the Warriors. The Nuggets are a much more dangerous team when Gallo plays like this and George Karl looks to be fully turning him loose in big games.
Top Lines to Target:
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
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OKC @ PHX
MIA @ UTA
CLE @ SAC
(Guys I am trying to get into lineups tonight, ranked on comparison to perceived value.)
My early daily DraftDay Freeroll lineup is to the right.Check out our EFF Matchups to determine the best plays for yourself.
Value Play: John Wall
Kyrie Irving gets another plus matchup tonight in what should be a much more competitive game against the Kings, Isaiah Thomas isn’t a bad on the ball defender, but he gives up a lot of height to Kyrie. Rondo hasn’t been spectacular of late, but he gets a solid home matchup tonight versus Kemba Walker and the Bobcats. Thomas looks likely to pick up a lot of run again tonight in a good matchup with the Cavs with Aaron Brooks still sick. Wall played 21 minutes in his first game and I see him getting closer to 25 tonight for a better price.
Value Play: Tony Allen
OJ Mayo won’t have to deal with Tony Allen tonight and has been impressive at home this year. Evans is rejoining the starting lineup tonight and should pick up extra ball handling duties with Aaron Brooks sick still. Bradley Beal is playing heavy minutes again and will see a lot of JJ Redick on defense tonight. Allen doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he’s consistently providing value of late.
Value Play: Alonzo Gee
James looks to be getting healthier and the Jazz don’t have anyone who matches up well on defense outside of DeMarre Carroll. Deng gets another home game and should be matched up with Kyle Korver a decent amount. AK47 continues to be rock solid with Kevin Love out of the lineup. Gee gets a good matchup with the offensive minded Kings wings tonight.
Value Play: Lamar Odom
Dirk takes on the combo of Dante Cunningham and Derrick Williams tonight, he should have a field day for a great price. Vucevic gets the Wizards bigs tonight and he’s just been fantastic since Big Baby’s injury and should get one more game of it. Boozer doesn’t have a great matchup, but his priced dropped into a range where you have to take him considering he’s had 7 double doubles in his last 8 games. Odom continues to play well of the Clippers bench for a dirt cheap price.
Value Play: Tyler Zeller
Cousins gets another premium matchup with the Cavs weak frontcourt that was abused by Dwight Howard last night. Jefferson gets the Heat tonight after posting multiple solid games in a row on the road, he averages almost 5 more PPG at home. Gortat is the next big up against the Thunder and with Ibaka banged up, the matchup is even tastier.