NBA EZ Pick Preview 03/12/19
Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs Anthony Davis
Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 27 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, one block and one 3-pointer in a 121-114 road loss at San Antonio on Sunday. The Spurs game-planned for the MVP front runner and did a good job containing him tonight. “When he gets downhill we have to try to keep him out of the paint,” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said before the game. “That’s how they really get going, by getting into the paint and kicking out to their three-point shooters. Yeah, It’s going to have to be a team effort on Giannis for sure.” He still racked up a terrific fantasy line, even if his team didn’t get the victory, and continues to hover around top-five value in almost any format.
Anthony Davis (back) returned to action on Sunday, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, one steal, four blocks and three 3s in 21 minutes. AD continues to be a beast even when only on the court for 20-ish minutes, and the Hawks obviously offered a very friendly matchup on Sunday. The four blocks were the most he’s had in a game since early January. Davis has averaged 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 3.0 blocks and 1.3 triples in his four games so far this month.
Karl-Anthony Towns vs Nikola Jokic
Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) has been upgraded to probable for Tuesday’s game against the Nuggets. Coach Ryan Saunders said that KAT would be a game-time call, but Towns himself said he’ll be good to go for tonight’s game, so we should get official word on his status in a few hours. Assuming he plays, that would likely shift Taj Gibson back to the second unit, and he could be extremely busy with Derrick Rose (elbow), Andrew Wiggins (quad) and Jeff Teague (foot) all questionable.
Nikola Jokic made just 5-of-10 from the field for 16 points during a 122-105 loss to the Warriors on Friday, adding six rebounds, four assists, four steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes. The Warriors continue to really limit Denver when Jokic is on the floor with Jokic’s -29 in this loss. In the previous two, he only had a -22.3 net rating, so that could be something to watch in a playoff matchup. It’ll be a while until we see that and Jokic has been an absolute star in fantasy. He has one more week of a subpar schedule, then Jokic’s 4-4-4 after that could help lead to fantasy titles.
Damian Lillard vs Ben Simmons
Point guard Damian Lillard has been on fire against the Clippers with an average of 31.3 points in three contests versus Los Angeles this season. Lillard scored 18 points against the Suns two nights after exploding for a season-best 51 points during a 129-121 overtime loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 50-point effort was the fifth of Lillard’s career. Lillard (12,540 career points) needs 23 points to pass LaMarcus Aldridge as the second-leading scorer in franchise history. Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler (18,040) is Portland’s all-time leader.
Ben Simmons tallied 15 points (6-10 FG, 3-5 FT), four rebounds, six assists and a steal over 35 minutes Sunday against the Pacers.
Jrue Holiday vs DeMar DeRozan
Guard Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) is sidelined and will miss Tuesday matchup against the Bucks.
DeMar DeRozan produced 28 points (10-20 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 8-9 FT), six assists, four rebounds, two steals, and one block in 36 minutes during Sunday’s 121-114 victory over Milwaukee.
Luka Doncic vs Kevin Love
Luka Doncic (left knee strain) is questionable for Tuesday vs. the Spurs and was spotted getting treatment to the side of Dallas’ practice. In case you missed it, Doncic said he felt a “pop” during Sunday’s game but it sounds like he escaped with a minor injury. The Mavericks have plenty of incentive to be cautious, so they won’t throw him out there if he’s not at or close to 100 percent.
Kevin Love (rest) will not suit up for Tuesday’s game against the 76ers. It’s the second night of a back-to-back, so Love will get his standard rest day. Larry Nance (ribs) is questionable, so we could see a lot of Ante Zizic and Marquese Chriss tonight, with Zizic offering a bit more upside.
Tobias Harris vs Lauri Markkanen
Tobias Harris racked up 16 points (7-16 FG, 2-5 3Pt), eight rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block in 35 minutes Sunday against the Pacers.
Lauri Markkanen knocked down three 3-pointers en route to 17 points on Sunday, shooting 6-of-13 from the field to go with six rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal in 26 minutes against the Pistons. Markkanen hasn’t been shooting the ball all that well of late, sitting at just 37% over his last five games. The Bulls losing big against Detroit really limited his ability to have a bigger game, but he still produced a nice line. After producing top-30 fantasy value for much of the last few months, Markkanen has fallen out of the top-100 over the past week of play. Even with these recent struggles, he’s still a must-start player down the stretch.
Tim Hardaway Jr vs CJ McCollum
Tim Hardaway Jr. would see a big boost in value if Doncic is ultimately ruled out. He’s seen a usage bump of +6.4% with Doncic off the court since joining the team on Feb. 6.
C.J. McCollum made 11-of-14 from the field for 26 points during a blowout 127-120 win over the Suns on Saturday, adding three rebounds, four assists, one block, one steal and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes. It was 24-23 at the end of the first, but the Blazers just poured it on with 42 points in the second quarter and 36 in the third. McCollum has caught fire with four 25-plus scoring games over his last five, averaging 23.8 points, 3.2 boards, 3.4 dimes, 0.8 blocks, 0.6 steals and 3.8 treys. He is getting hot at the right time and it looks like he’ll play in 80-plus games for the fourth straight season.
Otto Porter Jr vs Khris Middleton
Otto Porter made 6-of-12 shots (2-of-2 FTs) for 17 points on Sunday against Detroit, adding six rebounds, one assist, one block and three 3-pointers in 26 minutes. Porter was limited to fewer than 30 minutes of action for the first time in four games, in large part because the Bulls got blown out. His move to Chicago has seen him return to the fantasy relevance owners had gotten used to over the past few seasons. Porter has been in the top-10 in nine-category leagues across the last two weeks and is a must-start option when healthy.
Khris Middleton has averaged 6.7 rebounds and added 19 points per game over the last 10 games for Milwaukee.
Jamal Murray vs Eric Bledsoe
Jamal Murray has averaged 16.4 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 40.2 percent over the last 10 games for Denver.
Eric Bledsoe had 21 points on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs.
CJ McCollum vs Lou Williams
The Trail Blazers, who just split a two-game homestand, are beginning a three-game road trip that includes visits to the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs. “It would have been nice to get a little more time at home, but that’s life,” shooting guard CJ McCollum told reporters after practice Monday. “You got to be ready to get back on the road, win a lot of games on the road against tough teams, teams that need every game. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready to play.” McCollum scored 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting Saturday in Portland’s 127-120 victory over the Phoenix Suns. It marked his third straight game with 25 or more points. McCollum is averaging 22.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games against the Clippers this season.
Lou Williams put forth one of his best efforts of the season Monday, as he scored 34 points (14-of-21 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs) with five rebounds, five assists and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes. Williams moved past Dell Curry into the top spot on the NBA’s all-time bench points list, as he has 11,148 points to Curry’s 11,147. And Lou Will sat for a significant portion of the fourth quarter, as the Clippers led the Celtics by a comfortable margin. Williams is one reason why the Clippers have won five straight, as he’s averaging 26.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game during the streak. Over the last two weeks he’s been ranked just outside of the top-100 in nine-category leagues, but over the last week Williams is ranked fourth. It’s fair to say that he’s got it rolling right now.