All the studs balled out yesterday (Davis: 75.5, Harden: 74, LeBron: 61.5, Curry: 69.25) and they are right back at it tonight. The only one of those four who doesn’t play on this eight game schedule is LeBron James. So let’s talk a bit about the other three. Commentary based on DraftKings strategy and scoring.
It’s really not fair what Steph Curry ($10,400) is doing right now. He’s pouring in points, scoring no less than 25 in any game, but averaging 35.5. It looks like he is actually better than season than he was last year in his MVP campaign. He’s the safest, chalkiest play tonight as he travels to SAC to face the woeful Kings. The only knock against Curry was that he had to play 35 minutes last night even after the Warriors led by 30 at the half. GSW is another big favorite tonight, so HC Luke Walton might be willing to rest his starters more this evening if they get out to another big lead. They are currently listed at 13 point favorites.
Last night was the game we were waiting on from Anthony Davis ($10,600). A ridiculous 43-10-4-3-3 line to rack up 75.5 DraftKings points. It was only a matter of time before Davis found his shot and he made ATL pay last night. Davis is in another sneaky good matchup tonight. The Pelicans and the Mavericks are both in the top 11 when it comes to pace, meaning there should be plenty of possessions for AD to put his fingerprints on. I am not putting much stock in the perceived bad DvP matchup with Dallas (9th fewest points allowed to PFs). It’s a little early in the season for that to matter and if anyone is matchup-proof, it’s Anthony Davis.
James Harden ($10,000) is the most interesting of the three. Harden is catching fire after a slow start and has filled the hoop with 43, 28 and 37 real points in his last three games. He know steps into the toughest matchup that he will likely face this season. The Clippers have been excellent at shutting down Harden in recent memory. Over the last two seasons (when Doc Rivers became coach of the LAC), the Clippers have limited Harden to just 36.4 DraftKings points per game in eight meetings. That’s well below Harden’s usual output and by far the worst to any opponent.
This feels like a big Ty Lawson ($6,100) game. If the Clippers lock down on Harden, someone will have to benefit. The logical benficiary would be Lawson who is already consuming a ton of minutes for the Rockets (no less than 36 in any game this season) and has played well as of late. The speedy PG has scored 43 points in his last three games and has threatened double digits assists in every game. He is a volatile player, but this massive total (218.5), facing off with a banged up Chris Paul and potential lock down defense on Harden present an excellent opportunity.
Keep an eye on the Point Guard situation for the Pelicans. There isn’t an official report yet, but earlier discussions lead me to believe that Jrue Holiday will be rested tonight, on the second end of the back-to-back. That would open up more minutes for Ish Smith ($4,500) who already played 35 last night. His court time has been very volatile, but the Pelicans continue to be hampered by injuries and there would be plenty of opportunity for Smith is Holiday sits this one out. Remember this is the third highest O/U on the board (209) and a torrid pace could benefit Smith.
A very ugly SG position has me looking to Kent Bazemore ($4,600) to provide a little value. Bazemore is averaging 29.49 DraftKings points over his last five games and continues to start for the Hawks. He’s not going to do anything spectacular, but he should be able to provide a little diversity to each scoring category. It should be noted that he will most likely lose 5 or so minutes tonight to Thabo Sefolosha, but Bazemore has been fine through this situation all season.
I am spending up at SF for either Kawhi Leonard ($7,900) or Giannis Antetokounmpo ($7,300). Both players have such high floors that they could be used in cash game. I think Giannis is especially interesting. He’s quietly having a really great season, averaging 21 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He hasn’t scored less than 30.75 DraftKings points in any game this season and he’s firmly in the Bucks rotation, earning big minutes.
Power Forward is much more interesting and dollar-for-dollar, I love Tim Duncan ($6,100) tonight. He’s averaging 29.9 DraftKings points per game this season and hasn’t scored less than 25.5 in any game. It’s clear that he’s not the stat-stuffing threat he once was, but he can still get the job done as he has threatened a double-double in every game this season. This is the perfect spot to deploy Duncan, who should be well rested with the Spurs last game coming back on Wednesday night. Not to mention, the matchup with Charlotte is sublime, as the Hornets have surrendered the third most DraftKings points to opposing PFs.
Greg Monroe ($8,500) is going to make for an interesting option tonight as well. Coming off his worst game of the season against the Knicks, Monroe will look to get back on track against Brooklyn. We’ve talked before that Brook Lopez is one of the worst defensive bigs in the league so Monroe, who does most of his damage in the paint, should get a nice boost from the lack of resistance. The Bucks faced Brooklyn back on Nov. 2 and Monroe has a massive 23-13 tonight for 45.25 DraftKings points, his second best game of the season. Monroe should be under-owned at a deep position and has plenty of upside.
I am really interested in Dwight Howard ($7,000) tonight for the Rockets. The Rockets have been very careful with Dwight this season, limiting him to just one half of back-to-backs. He sat out last night, so he should be ready to roll tonight in this marquee matchup with LA. He’s logged 22, 35, and 31 minutes in his three games this season with increasing usage in all three. Howard is averaging an excellent 1.18 DraftKings points per minute this season which would return 35 DraftKings points in 30 minutes tonight. However, I like to think there’s more upside to Howard who had a ridiculous 23-14 against the Magic the last time he suited up. Finally, the Clippers have been shredded by center this young season, surrendering the third most DraftKings points to the position.
Marcin Gortat ($5,300) checks in as your value center. Gortat logs a very consistent number of minutes, earning 26, 26, 28 and 26 over his last four, He’s always a double-double threat as he’s averaging 9.6G PP and 7.6 RPG this season. His ability to pass the rock is above average for a big man and leads to a handful of assists. A good matchup here against ATL who’s on the second night of a back-to-back and have not been good defending big men this season.