NBA EZ Pick Preview 04/02/19
Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.
Russell Westbrook (vs LAL) or Stephen Curry (vs DEN)
Russell Westbrook triple-doubled during Sunday’s narrow loss to the Mavs, tallying 25 points, 11 boards, 11 dimes, three triples, two steals and three turnovers in 38 minutes. As an added bonus, Westbrook finished 4-of-4 from the line, something that hasn’t happened all that often this season (he’s shooting a career-low 65.4% from the stripe). Unfortunately, he also picked up his 17th technical foul of the season in this one after swinging his arm to get Devin Harris off him on a drive to the hoop, and if that isn’t rescinded, he’ll be just one more tech away from invoking another mandatory one-game suspension.
Stephen Curry hit 8-of-14 shots and five 3-pointers for 25 points, five rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block in 27 minutes of Sunday’s ridiculous 137-90 win over the Hornets. Klay Thompson also played 27 minutes and hit 9-of-16 shots and six 3-pointers for 24 points, while Kevin Durant hit 5-of-5 shots for 11 points, two rebounds, nine assists and a 3-pointer in his 27 minutes. Unfortunately for KD, Curry and Klay were on fire and took care of all the heavy lifting against Charlotte. The Warriors are a game up on the Nuggets now with the No. 1 seed in the West, and while all of these guys may get a day off between now and the end of the season, it’s a great sign that the Warriors are still playing at full speed this late in the season. They clinched the Pacific Division title tonight, handed the Hornets their worst loss of the season, and Curry has now made five or more 3-pointers in a career-high eight straight games. They could possibly put Denver away with a win over the Nuggets at Oracle on Tuesday.
LaMarcus Aldridge (vs ATL) or Nikola Jokic (vs GSW)
LaMarcus Aldridge notched 27 points with 18 rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 36 minutes of a 113-106 loss to the Kings on Sunday. This was his 22nd game of the season with a 20-10 line, the most by a Spur since Tim Duncan in 2008-09. LMA also racked up a career-high 10 offensive rebounds, the most by a Spur since Duncan in 2011 (h/t to stat guru Jordan Howenstine). The Spurs play four times next week which includes games against the Hawks and Cavs, so be on the lookout for a possible rest day.
Nikola Jokic was ejected from Sunday’s game vs. the Wizards for two technical fouls. He should have walked away after his first tech but had plenty to say to the officials. Joker suffered a bloody nose earlier in the game when Bobby Portis extended his arm on a dunk attempt and may have still been fired up about that. The good news for fantasy owners is that The Joker had a phenomenal night in the box score with 23 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.
Trae Young (vs SAS) or De’Aaron Fox (vs HOU)
Trae Young hit the game-winning shot against the Bucks on Sunday, adding a double-double of 12 points (5-of-19 FGs) with 16 assists, five rebounds, two steals, two 3-pointers and just one turnover in 35 minutes. This was Young’s second game-winner in just over a week. He struggled with his shot for most of the game, but hit two big shots in the lane to give the Hawks a hard fought win at home. Young passed Chris Paul for 12th in assists in a rookie season and now owns all five of the top-5 assists performances from a rookie this season. Young might just snatch that Rookie of the Year Award right out of Luka Doncic’s hands at this rate.
De’Aaron Fox is scoring 17.5 points per game and averaging 3.8 rebounds for the Kings.
Klay Thompson (vs DEN) or Chris Paul (vs SAC)
Klay Thompson contributed 24 points (9-16 FG, 6-9 3Pt) and one rebound in 27 minutes Sunday in the Warriors’ 137-90 win over the Hornets. If not for the Warriors turning the game into a runaway victory after three quarters, Thompson likely would have seen enough minutes to make a run at his third 30-point game of March. Thompson settled for cracking 20 points for third time in four contests, during which he has shot 50.8 percent from the field while knocking down 16 treys.
Chris Paul scored 22 points with two rebounds, five assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes against the Kings on Saturday. It’s the first time he’s hit the 20-point mark since Mar. 17, but CP3’s dimes continue to trend down with just 7.8 per game this month. He’s going to turn 34 in May, so his fantasy stock for next season may drop him to out of the top 30 in ADP for the first time in years.
Steven Adams (vs LAL) or DeMarcus Cousins (vs DEN)
Steven Adams hit 10-of-17 shots on his way to 20 points, 15 rebounds, two assists and two blocks over 39 minutes in a three-point loss to the Mavericks on Sunday. Adams dominated the Dallas bigs, and he was quite a force on the offensive glass (nine O-boards), creating numerous second-chance opportunities for the Thunder. He was arguably OKC’s best player in that game, and as an added bonus for 9-cat owners, he didn’t commit a single turnover while he was out there.
DeMarcus Cousins was ejected with a flagrant 2 foul on Sunday vs. Charlotte. He got tangled up with Willy Hernangomez and extended his elbow. It’s not worthy of a suspension, so expect Boogie to be back in the lineup on Tuesday vs. the Nuggets as both teams battle for the No. 1 seed. He finished with eight points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal and three blocks in 11 minutes.