–Dirk Nowitzki sat out Saturday with a right adductor injury and we haven’t gotten an update on the severity yet. With Chris Kaman also out, Shawn Marion picked up a ton of minutes at power forward while the Mavericks continued to rotate their centers in an annoying fashion.
–Stephen Curry sat out again for the Warriors with an ankle injury, while Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson picked up tons of minutes and shots once again. He was a true game time decision, so it doesn’t look like he’ll be out too much longer.
–Mike Conley was one player who did return to action and scored 17 points with 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 threes. Conley took 9 threes in the game, which he doesn’t usually do, so he may not be fully healthy yet, but he did play a ton of minutes for the shorthanded squad, so he should be safe to put back into lineups going forward.
–Vince Carter continues to be a big part of the Mavericks rotation right now as he continues to look years younger than he is. He was recently rated one of the top 10 perimeter defenders in the NBA by ESPN and has been playing well offensively also. Carter tallied 22 points on 4 threes on Thursday.
Top Lines to Target:
(Those who target the night’s highest over/unders should reap fantasy success)
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MIL @ NYK
NOH @ DEN
LAL @ MIN
(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: Ricky Rubio
Holiday gets the Kings at home in a matchup that’s almost impossible to pass up even with all the games tonight. Vasquez continues to roll along after his one game benching and he should perform well again in a fast-paced game versus undersized Ty Lawson. Bledsoe will likely start yet again for the injured Chris Paul and gets Kyle Lowry an already poor defender with a bad back. Rubio is finally starting to look like himself and the Lakers are a great matchup for that to continue.
Value Play: Jimmy Butler
Bryant has changed his game, but he’s still one of the few reliable shooting guards from a fantasy perspective and he’s got a good matchup with converted point guard Luke Ridnour tonight. Iggy should thrive against a turnover prone Hornets team in what should be a pretty high-scoring game. Evans has been playing heavy minutes of late and if that can continue his upside will be immense most nights. Butler is playing a lot and well, even with Luol Deng back in the lineup and he’ll be needed against Joe Johnson tonight.
Value Play: Michael Beasley
Anthony is so consistent fantasy wise and his price is significantly lower than LeBron, who has a tough matchup with Paul George, on most sites. Pierce has been facilitating more since the injury to Rajon Rondo and that’s going to continue going forward. Deng is priced nicely after being hurt and a couple poor shooting games, but he should bounce back tonight. Beasley went nuts against the Lakers and new coach Lindsey Hunter seems to want him to succeed.
Value Play: Earl Clark
Aldridge has been on fire and has a nice height advantage on Paul Millsap that should do his jumpshooting game well. Ilyasova bounced right back from his first slow game in a while versus the Bulls and should continue to perform well in extended minutes. Amir Johnson is locked into heavy minutes now with Ed Davis gone. Earl Clark has now played 30 minutes in back to back games and has more upside with both Dwight and Pau banged up heading into Friday.
Value Play: Aaron Gray
Noah’s high effort game should thrive against Brook Lopez and the Nets tonight. With Glen Davis out again, Vucevic should be back to playing heavy minutes every night and continue to consistently double-double. Cousins is obviously a gamble, but it’s one I’m probably going to take a bit tonight against the Sixers weak center defense. Gray has now played 32 minutes at least in each of the last two games and the Raptors don’t really have anyone else to play.