In the Paint: Daily NBA Primer (February 24)
February 24, 2017 | Justin Bales
Last Night’s Games
Blazers 112 – Magic 103
Damian Lillard led the offense for the Blazers, but Jusuf Nurkic looked outstanding last night. He drew the start for Portland, scoring 12 points with 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks in 34 minutes. We will finally get to see the talent level of Nurkic now that he isn’t stuck behind or next to Nikola Jokic.
Nikola Vucevic picked up right where he left off, as he was the most dominant player for the Magic last night. He scored a team-high 25 points to go along with nine rebounds, two assists, and one block.
Hornets 108 – Pistons 114
Kemba Walker showed off his elite scoring ability with solid versatility. He led the Hornets with 34 points, but also was able to add seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals to an impressive line.
The Pistons had quite a bit of solid play last night, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the way. He scored a team-high 33 points with nine rebounds and three assists. His expiring contract caused a few rumors to swirl around him during the deadline, but it’s great to see he did not let that affect him.
Rockets 129 – Pelicans 99
Lou Williams made his Rockets debut last night, and he dominated, but a lot of that was in garbage time. Regardless, he scored 27 points with two rebounds and two assists in only 25 minutes off the bench.
Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins looked good together, but the rest of the Pelicans team flopped. Cousins dominated with 27 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, five steals, and four blocks with his new team.
Knicks 104 – Cavs 119
Courtney Lee was extremely efficient last night, as he shot 10-15 from the field for a team-high 25 points. He also had a dunk stuffed by LeBron James on a breakaway steal, but that is beside the point. Lee also added six rebounds, five assists, and one steal to his line.
LeBron James is making his case for MVP, as he posted another triple-double last night. He only scored 18 points, but he also added 13 rebounds, 15 assists, and three blocks to an impressive line.
Clippers 113 – Warriors 123
DeAndre Jordan played 31 minutes for the Clippers last night, and he was the only Los Angeles player that was able to double-double. He scored 17 points with 11 rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry led the Warriors with two elite lines, but Durant’s double-double was slightly better. KD scored 25 points with 15 rebounds, seven assists, one steal, and one block.
Nuggets 100 – Kings 116
Wilson Chandler played solid minutes off the bench for Denver, and he looked like their best player. Yes, even over Nikola Jokic last night. Chandler scored 18 points with 10 rebounds and one assist.
Willie Cauley-Stein didn’t start, but he finally was given big minutes with DeMarcus Cousins out of town. He looked like an elite center, scoring a team-high 29 points with 10 rebounds and one block. He’s going to be a fun player to watch if he continues to play huge minutes.
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Grizzlies vs Pacers
The Grizzlies have multiple high upside players, who also come with terrible risk. Marc Gasol falls up this category, and he’s a solid tournament option. Indiana has struggled against the center this season, and Gasol has more than enough upside to exceed value at his current price tag.
The Pacers aren’t my favorite team to attack tonight, but Myles Turner makes a solid option. He has dominated at home this season, and he comes with a surprisingly low price tag. He’s best suited for tournaments, but he isn’t the worst cash game option for his price.
Wizards vs Sixers
Otto Porter Jr. has quietly been on fire for the Wizards, as he has scored at least 39 fantasy points in four of his last five games. He has been a great scorer recently, but he can also contribute peripheral stats, as well. He comes with a bit of risk because of the addition of Bojan Bogdanovic, but that shouldn’t steal too many minutes from Porter. He can be used in all leagues.
Tonight is all about Dario Saric. Saric scored at least 38 fantasy points in each of his last four games before the All Star break, and he will have the keys to the offense with Joel Embiid out tonight. There’s no reason to avoid Saric for his current price tag, and he should be one of the first players in your lineups tonight.
Celtics vs Raptors
The Celtics did not make any moves at the deadline, which was a bit surprising, but it makes their fantasy values easy to evaluate. Kelly Olynyk looked outstanding before the break, and he should continue to play big minutes. He’s still extremely cheap for his recent production, and he can be used in all leagues.
The Raptors offense will look a bit different with Serge Ibaka tonight, but DeMar DeRozan will not lose any of his shots. That makes him the safest option in Toronto. He also gets a matchup against the Celtics, who he has dominated this season, but he’s still best suited for tournaments tonight.
Mavs vs Wolves
Wesley Matthews comes with a shockingly low price tag tonight. He is a player that scores around 30 fantasy points per night with the potential for more. Every now and then, he drops a dud, which keeps his price tag. He’s locked into big minutes, though, and Matthews can be used in all leagues tonight.
Andrew Wiggins has been a great scorer this season, and he was on fire before the All Star break. He scored 40 and 41 points in his last two games, and he’ll continue to be an elite scoring option for the Wolves. He has been playing well enough to be used in all leagues tonight.
Lakers vs Thunder
Lou Williams is now in Houston, which means D’Angelo Russell will likely be locked into big minutes for the Lakers. He has looked outstanding when given the minutes, and he’s a player that is much safer now that he doesn’t have to split minutes with guards off the bench. Russell can be used in all leagues tonight.
It’s tough to fit Russell Westbrook into your lineups with his ridiculous price tag, but he has been playing more than well enough to be used. He gets a great matchup against the Lakers, who Westbrook is averaging more than 70 fantasy points per game against this season. He can be used in all leagues that he fits.
Heat vs Hawks
Hassan Whiteside has had his ups and downs this season, but he’s averaging 16.8 points, 14.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game through his first 52 games. He has looked good against the Hawks in three games this season, and Whiteside is a solid option in all leagues tonight.
Dennis Schroder has been ruled out tonight, and Malcolm Delaney has been announced as the starter. Delaney has played well in limited minutes this season, and he should have no problems hitting value tonight. He’s an elite salary relief option tonight.
Suns vs Bulls
P.J. Tucker was traded to the Raptors, which will likely have a trickle down effect on Marquese Chriss’ minutes. Chriss could play a few extra minutes tonight, and he has seen his role grow right before the break. He comes with tremendous upside, but he also comes with a ton of risk. He’s strictly a tournament option tonight.
Bobby Portis has been named the starter for the Bulls tonight, and he makes a great option in all leagues. He has looked good in limited minutes, and he has dominated in extended playing time. Portis can safely be used in all leagues for his low price tag.
Jazz vs Bucks
Rudy Gobert has been enjoying a great season, as he has been a double-double machine with the potential for assists, blocks, and steals on a nightly basis, as well. He gets a great matchup against the Bucks tonight, and Gobert can be used in all leagues.
Greg Monroe isn’t in a good spot tonight against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, but he’s a player that is impossible to ignore. He’s still extremely cheap, and he has scored 42, 51.25, and 38 fantasy points in his last three games. He has also been a significantly better fantasy option at home this season, and he can be used in tournaments tonight.
Nets vs Nuggets
Jeremy Lin will return for the Nets tonight, and it looks like he’s going to draw the start. He’s averaging 30.3 fantasy points in only 25 minutes this season, and he should have no problems hitting value if he plays that many minutes tonight. Still, he may be best suited for tournaments.
The Nuggets are a tough team to judge because they have so many weapons. Nikola Jokic has a high usage rating, though, and he gets a great matchup against the Nets tonight. He is a tournament only option for his price tag tonight, though.
Spurs vs Clippers
Kawhi Leonard has been the focal point of the Spurs offense the entire season, and he has been playing well recently. He also comes with a fairly low price tag for his recent production, and he’s a player that can be used in all leagues on this slate.
Blake Griffin is coming off a terrible game against the Warriors, but he was on fire before the All Star break. He is seemingly fully healthy, and he’s a player that comes with elite upside. He isn’t the worst cash game option on this slate, but he’s best suited for tournaments tonight.