Pictured Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving
Source: Getty Images North America

NBA EZ Pick Preview 03/11/19

Take a look at the matchups set for this Monday’s EZ Pick.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

James Harden vs Russell Westbrook

James Harden (right wrist) got into foul trouble on Sunday, finishing with 20 points on 7-of-25 shooting, five rebounds, four assists, three 3-pointers and one block in 34 minutes. Harden had an X-ray after Friday’s game but the results were negative, and it doesn’t sound as though he needed an MRI. His wrist was wrapped tonight and when asked what else he could do to protect it, he said, “Just try to not fall on it … Keep icing it, keep getting treatment on it. But when you keep falling on it, it keeps aggravating it and it keeps getting worse.” He draws a ton of contact and gets to the line more often than any player in the league, of course, so owners can only hope he manages to avoid any spills.

Russell Westbrook picked up his 15th technical foul of the season in Friday’s 118-110 loss to the Clippers. This means that Westbrook is one tech away from an automatic one-game suspension. If fantasy owners want to plan ahead that means there’s a good chance Westy only suits up for three games in OKC’s upcoming 4-game week unless he manages to keep his cool. As for his stat line, it was just another day in the office with 32 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, one block and two triples before he fouled out in 32 minutes.

Kawhi Leonard vs Blake Griffin

Kawhi Leonard will return on Monday vs. the Cavaliers after yet another rest day. Coach Nick Nurse said on Sunday that Kawhi will continue to rest sporadically and that they have a plan laid out. “I think there’s a few games yet that he’ll probably stay out,” Nurse said. Kawhi has sat out of five of Toronto’s last 13 games, so this will be annoying for his fantasy owners in head-to-head formats. Norman Powell, Patrick McCaw, OG Anunoby and Jeremy Lin all lose streaming appeal with Leonard playing vs. the Cavs.

Blake Griffin dominated the Bulls during a 131-108 win on Sunday, making 10-of-14 from the field for 28 points with six rebounds, five assists, one steal, one turnover and three 3-pointers in just 27 minutes. He had a wrap on his calf in this game, but clearly it didn’t affect his play in this easy win. Griffin had been cold coming into the weekend, but two games against the Bulls has him going again with this and a 27-point Friday. His calf issue could be something to watch with a road back-to-back set in Brooklyn on Monday, and Griffin did get a game off for rest back in January — it was planned well in advance, according to coach Dwane Casey. All that said, the Pistons are in the thick of the playoff race, so that should help keep Griffin out there.

Kemba Walker vs Kyrie Irving

Kemba Walker made 11-of-22 from the field for 25 points during a 131-114 loss to the Bucks on Saturday, adding three rebounds, four assists, one block and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. He was in another mini-slump coming into this one, making just 16-of-57 (28.0%) over his previous three games. Walker continues to run into this dips in efficiency, and it’s made it even worse because of his career-high 30.2 usage rate. He has a very high nightly upside, but all his missed shots has pulled him down for nine-cat value this season.

Kyrie Irving (left thigh contusion) returned to action on Saturday against the Lakers, scoring 30 points (12-of-18 FGs, 1-of-1 FTs) with seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, two steals and five 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Irving missed the team’s last game on Wednesday, but looked no worse for wear in his return in Los Angeles. He took a shot to the jaw on a drive by his former teammate LeBron James, but continued to play and didn’t looked dazed at all. Irving’s been a top-8 player over the last week and looks primed for a big close to the season as the Celtics fight for playoff positioning.

Rudy Gobert vs Clint Capela

Rudy Gobert struggled vs. the Grizzlies on Friday with nine points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and five blocks in 33 minutes. Jonas Valanciunas dominated the interior with 27 points, and Gobert’s struggles at the line continued — he was 3-of-7 for the night which brings him down to 41.7% over his last five games. Maybe it’s just fatigue, but this couldn’t have happened at a worse time for fantasy owners in head-to-head playoffs. The rest of his game has been awesome though as Gobert ranks 11th for the past month if you ignore/punt free throws.

Clint Capela could see reduced playing time with Kenneth Faried (adductor) returning vs. the Hornets on Monday. Clint Capela will still be healthy and starting. 

Donovan Mitchell vs D’Angelo Russell

Donovan Mitchell started at point guard and went off for 38 points in a 114-104 loss to Memphis on Friday, hitting 12-of-24 shots and 9-of-12 free throws. He added five 3-pointers, five dimes, four assists, one block and three turnovers in 39 minutes. This was his fourth game with at least 30 points over his last eight, so Mitchell is heating up just in time for the fantasy playoffs. For those of you punting turnovers, Mitchell has been a top-35 asset in 8-category leagues for the past two weeks and the Jazz have two straight weeks of four games on deck.

D’Angelo Russell totaled 18 points (6-23 FG, 3-12 3Pt, 3-5 FT), six assists, three rebounds and a steal across 21 minutes in the Nets’ win over the Hawks on Saturday. Russell had a solid final stat line in Saturday’s win, though his shooting was poor, draining just over a quarter of his shots. Russell should continue to operate as the team’s leader in points (20.5) and assists (6.8) per game over the last few weeks of the regular season.

Chris Paul vs Kyle Lowry

Chris Paul had nine points, nine assists, three rebounds, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers on Sunday, shooting 2-of-11 from the field in 33 minutes. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said CP3 will play in the second half of this back-to-back on Monday. “[Paul] wants to [play] and the medical staff thinks he can,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll watch his minutes or try to.” It’s a busy stretch for Houston, but they’ve won eight straight games and will try to keep that momentum going while limiting CP to around 30-32 minutes per game — he went slightly over tonight, but not enough to threaten his status for Monday’s game vs. Charlotte.

Kyle Lowry flirted with a triple-double during Sunday’s easy win over the Heat, tallying 24 points, 10 assists, seven boards, six 3-pointers and six turnovers in 35 minutes. Lowry’s usage rate has been at 16.2 this season when he shares the floor with Kawhi Leonard, but with Leonard taking a rest day on Sunday, Lowry saw his usage spike to 25.9 and his 24 points accounted for a team-high. Unfortunately, the Raptors are scheduled for a matchup against the 16-50 Cavs on Monday, and after seeing a relatively heavy workload, there’s a decent chance Lowry will be hit with a rest day on Monday.

De’Aaron Fox vs Buddy Hield

De’Aaron Fox put on a matinee show at Madison Square Garden during a 102-94 win on Saturday, making 11-of-17 from the field for 30 points with five rebounds, eight assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Besides Fox, the Kings came out flat with the rest of the team starting 0-of-11 while Fox started 3-of-4. He had been in a small slump coming into this game with each of his previous four games having a usage rate below his season average (23.6), and this was his first efficient scoring game since Feb. 10 against the Suns (60-plus TS%). Fox’s minutes are back on the rise again with 34.4 over his last five, and the Kings still have several games to go as they make their playoff push. They’ll be leaning heavily on Fox to help overcome their current 3.5-game deficit from the eighth-seeded Spurs, so expect a strong finish from the second-year guard.

Buddy Hield made 7-of-22 from the field for 19 points with four rebounds, two assists, one block and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes against the Knicks on Saturday. He struggled early with five missed shots in the first nine minutes, but he had an uncharacteristic tip slam to get him going. Hield is getting his shots basically every night with a 25-plus usage rate in seven games, and his playing time continues to rise with 37.2 minutes per game over his last five outings. He has cooled off from his tremendous start, but Hield is still an absolute stud in fantasy going forward.

Steven Adams vs Serge Ibaka

Steven Adams fouled out vs. the Clippers on Friday, finishing with six points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes. His value has stalled for the past month, as he entered tonight’s game with 12th-round value in standard leagues over that span with 11.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks. The biggest issue is that he was hitting 39% on 3.4 free throw attempts per game, and his scoring is down by a few points as well. Other than that it’s been business as usual for Adams and he remains a must-start player for OKC’s upcoming 4-game week.

Serge Ibaka sent away another three shots during Sunday’s win over the Heat, on his way to 10 points, eight rebounds and one assist across 22 minutes. Ibaka got off to a hot start in this one, only missing once through the first half of action, but he wasn’t as aggressive through the second half of action and took an early seat on the bench during the fourth quarter with the game being a blowout. The timeshare between Marc Gasol and Ibaka hasn’t been great, but Ibaka has been in a nice groove as of late, racking up a total of 13 swats over his past three games.

Pascal Siakam vs Jayson Tatum

Pascal Siakam went 8-of-12 from the field and 3-of-5 from the stripe on his way to 20 points during Sunday’s 125-104 win in Miami. Siakam added one 3-pointer, five rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and one turnover in his 29 minutes of floor time, and he played some phenomenal defense against Kelly Olynyk, holding him to just one point without a single make from the field. D’Angelo Russell has been campaigning for the Most Improved Player Award this season, but Siakam, who averaged just 7.3 points per game last year, has a much stronger case for the award.

Jayson Tatum (right shoulder soreness) will not play on Monday vs. the Clippers. Tatum told the training staff about the injury on Sunday and he’s been sore since the game vs. the Warriors, but coach Brad Stevens said he’s day-to-day. With Tatum out, Gordon Hayward should see an uptick in usage, while guys like Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris become viable streaming options on a six-game slate. Tatum’s next chance to play will be on Thursday vs. the Kings.

Jeremy Lamb vs Spencer Dinwiddie

Jeremy Lamb (sore left hamstring) is listed as probable for Monday’s game against the Rockets. Lamb was listed as probable heading into Saturday’s game and suited up without issue.

Spencer Dinwiddie played 30 minutes off the bench against the Hawks on Saturday, scoring 23 points with six rebounds, seven assists, one block and four 3-pointers. While it’ll be tough for Dinwiddie to win Sixth Man of the Year over Lou Williams, he set a new single-season franchise record for most points off the bench in a season, surpassing Armen Gilliam in 1994. It took him a few games to get going after a thumb injury, but he’s heating up in a hurry with this game and a 28-point Wednesday. With four games in the upcoming week, Spence should be in all standard-league lineups.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Kyrie Irving Trade Rumors

LeBron James wants to silence the rumors

LeBron James briefly emerged from his silence on social network Tuesday to ensure he was not behind the rumors of a forthcoming Kyrie Irving departure.

“No info, people! Booo, find another source, I take advantage of the summer, do the same, “he tweeted in reference to two articles.

In the first article, Slam magazine ensures that “King James” wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to meet Irving’s request to be exchanged.

The second cites information from the ESPN television channel that the triple champion of the NBA would like to “correct” Irving if the two players meet face-to-face in the same room.

Irving, the Cavaliers’ star-studded playmaker, created a huge surprise by asking to be traded to another team where he would have more responsibilities because he does not want to play with James, who is ubiquitous on the field and outside.

The information, revealed last week by ESPN, has not been confirmed by the Cavaliers or Irving, but since then, other newspapers and media have revealed that Irving had made this request soon after the end of the season.

The Cavaliers prepared for the eventuality of Irving’s departure by recruiting for a season and a $2.1 million contract Derrick Rose, the former Chicago star, whose career is disrupted by repeated injuries since receiving the NBA Best Player Trophy (MVP) in 2011.

Irving, 25, has played the last three NBA finals with Cleveland against Golden State and won the NBA title in 2016. He spent his entire career in Cleveland, which had him sign a five-year contract guaranteeing him $94 million dollars in 2014 before announcing a few days later the return of “King James”.

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Posted in NBA

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors

NBA Preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers blamed a lack of practice time for some lackluster performances of late but got two straight days off over the weekend to work out some kinks and prepare for another NBA Finals rematch. The Cavaliers will return to Golden State for the first time since winning Game 7 of the NBA Finals last spring when they visit the Warriors on Monday (Enter contest). This is your FanPicks NBA preview.

Cleveland overcame a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit on Christmas Day to earn a 109-108 home win over the Warriors in the first regular-season meeting, stretching their winning streak in the rivalry to four straight dating back to Game 5 of the Finals. Cleveland is playing the finale of a six-game road trip and pulled out of a two-game skid with a 120-108 win at Sacramento on Friday. Golden State has been off since knocking off Detroit 127-107 at home on Thursday and is focused on long-term goals.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (29-10)

Kyrie Irving knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer in Game 7 of the Finals last spring and hit the winning jumper with 3.4 seconds left in the Christmas meeting as well. Irving battled a shooting slump in two losses last week. He went a combined 9-of-34 from the field in those two contests. The point guard and started to pick up the pace by pouring in 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting in Sacramento. Irving was able to hoist up that many shots against the Kings because LeBron James decided to show off his skills as a passer while racking up 15 assists. Shooting guard Kyle Korver went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc at Sacramento after going 0-of-5 in his first two games with the team.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (34-6)

Two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry struggled to 40.3 percent from the floor in the Finals last spring and did not enjoy any more success at Cleveland on Christmas, when he was limited to 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Kevin Durant got his first taste of the rivalry in that Christmas meeting and collected 36 points and 15 rebounds but tripped on his way up the court on the final play and could not get off a shot at the buzzer. Durant scored at least 25 points in each of the last five games and is 8-of-15 from 3-point range in the last three contests. Shooting guard Klay Thompson went 4-of-5 from 3-point range on Thursday after going 4-of-20 in his previous three contests.

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy News

Paul George puts 2014 behind him.

Indiana’s forward Paul George found his U.S. National teammates in preparation to the 2016 Rio Olympics without any apprehension, he assured Tuesday. He is two year’s removed from a serious injury that took him out prior to the 2014 FIBA World Cup. He fell awkwardly on his foot while fouling James Harding during a scrimmage at practice in Las Vegas. The team ended up winning the tournament without him. Despite all of that, he’s ready to put it all behind him and give it is all for the Gold. George will finally get the chance to play for his nation, something he is most proud of.

Team USA is currently preparing for Rio in Las Vegas. For George, coming back to train where he got hurt isn’t a problem. He knows that injuries can happen anywhere, anytime to anyone. The injury caused him to miss almost all of the 2014-15 NBA season. He since found his stride scoring a career-best 23.1 points per regular season game. Under his drive, the Pacers made it to the 2016 playoffs. The got bumped early though losing in the first round against the Toronto Raptors.

Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski will lead his third Olympic squad. Under his tutelage, team USA has yet to lose a game since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since that time the teams hold a record of 34-0, which includes two Olympics games and two FIBA world cup.

Team USA will be represented once again by an elite squad of NBA players despite some bowing out due to the unsafe nature of Brazil.  They are still favorite to land the coveted gold medal. The Golden State Warriors will have three representative at the games, with shooting guard Klay Thompson, power forward Draymond Green and newly acquired small forward Kevin Durant. The team will also rely on guards Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, forwards Paul George, Harrison Barnes, and Carmelo Anthony, and centers DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan.

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Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Basketball News

LeBron James will become free agent

LeBron James, FanPicks (click to play) top NBA Finals player, is about to become a free agent… and remain home in Cleveland all in the same time. That’s right, LeBron informed the team that he will not pick up his $24 million player option due for next season. He is going in as a free agent this summer. But he made it clear that he has no intention to move away. He is currently living a love story with the city of Cleveland, where he brought a first championship in over half-a-century just last week.

James chose to become a free agent in each of his last three years, and each time signed a two years contract, that included an option year to his benefit. He never let known of his intentions to signed another short-term contract or if he, this time around, would go for the longer one. The word is that he could go for a 5 year-contract worth from 201 to 205 million. This could make him the highest paid NBA player for a single-season in leagues history.

The decision of James to sign a new contract year-after-year gave him freedom all while pressuring the Cavs owners to continue adding quality players within the team. The Cavaliers, who became the first team in history to come back from a 1-3 deficit in the NBA finals, also counted on the star players Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to bring them their first franchise’s champioship. Both are under contract for the next three years and it’s unlikely that this trio will break anytime soon. And if you add-in promising center like Tristan Thompson to the mix for the next four years, it looks like Cleveland will be a force to be wrecking with in the Eastern conference.

Posted in NBA

Fantasy NBA Basketball Playoffs Game 7 Preview

Well this is it. The ultimate and last game of the 2015-2016 in the best possible win or go home scenario any NBA fans could imagine. This Fantasy NBA Basketball Playoffs Game 7 Preview is brought you by FanPicks where you can participate in the only available Fantasy Cross Sports contests. Will the Cavs go for a 3rd win in a row in the tough Oracle arena this Sunday or it
The suspense and intensity nearing this matchup couldn’t get any higher. Will the Golden State Warriors find a way to end the Cavaliers momentum and scare of being the first team in NBA Finals history to bust a 3-1 advantage? Or will the Cavaliers be able to make an historic comeback and shut down many critics by winning its first ever title?

The pressure is immense for both teams but a defeat, despite having an exceptional record breaking season for the Golden State Warriors will be a dagger in their heart.

On another note, this is the closest Cleveland fans have come to a championship in 52 years. The city championship drought in all sports can come to an end of the Cavaliers keep the same momentum they’ve had the past 2 games.

The Warriors however have been on the brink of winning a back to back championship for 2 games in a row and the pressure in not becoming the team who blew a 3-1 lead in NBA Finals after exceeding expectations all year long.

This will be none other than a classic matchup between the 2 NBA super stardoms, Lebron James and Stephen Curry. The past 2 games have been very different from the previous 3, with shots not falling for the defending champs at the same rate as the regular season and most of the postseason.

All Warriors have expressed the extreme disappointment they’d feel if they were unable to as champs, so look for them to come out focus and flying today.

Despite Curry putting 30 pts in Game 6, James poured in 41 pts for the 2nd straight contest. This ecstatic performance made Lebron joined the elite group of Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Rick Barry and Shaquille O’Neal as the only players ever to score 40 more points in consecutive games.

However, for the Cavs, the real threat comes not only from the Splash Brothers Curry and Thompson, but dominance from Draymond Green and the bench at times makes it an heavier task to overcome.

The Warriors definitely know all about overcoming a 3-1 deficit after defeating miraculously the Thunder in the Western Finals in 7 games. The composure and output from everyone on the team is critical at this point.
The bench has to perform the same way they did all throughout the season as well as early playoff games to stop the Cavaliers at this rate. With Draymond Green missing game 5 and Andrew Bogut out on a season adversity, Steve Kerr’s squad will have to play like champions to retain their crown and put an end to the Cavaliers’ tenacy and hunger for a win.

 

Look for this game to be a tight game but with the Warriors taking advantage of their depth and home court advantage to finish off a spectacular year.

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft Top Picks

NBA Finals Game 6

The NBA Finals resumes Thursday night with Game 6. The Cleveland Cavaliers will fight to stay alive and try to push the Golden State Warriors to an ultimate Game 7. The Cavs staved off elimination Monday winning 112-97 in Golden State. This was the Warriors first home loss during the playoffs and third this entire season. As the momentum shifted in Cleveland’s favor? Don’t say that to the Warriors who looks to repeat the exact same scenario as last year, winning the championship in 6 games at Quickens Loan Arena. The table is set for the NBA fantasy basketball draft tonight, time to play FanPick’s Cross-Sports Grand-Jam (click to play) and select your winning lineup!

Top Draft Picks

Player Pos Team Last Game FP Last 2 Games FP Avg Last 4 Games FP Avg Last 10 Games FP Avg
LeBron James F CLE 58.5 47.2 42.5 39
Kyrie Irving G CLE 41.5 37.5 30.2 28.2
Stephen Curry G GSW 31 29.2 26.3 29.4
Klay Thompson G GSW 30.5 21.8 20.4 22.7
Andre Iguodala F CLE 28.5 20.3 19.7 17.1
Draymond Green F GSW 25 25.8 26.8 24.8
Tristan Thompson C CLE 21.5 20.5 18.7 15.3
Harrison Barnes F GSW 12 19.5 16.4 13.9
Shaun Livingston G GSW 11.5 11 13.5 10.3
JR Smith G CLE 10.5 15 11.9 13.3
Richard Jefferson F CLE 8.5 11.3 10.5 9.6
Iman Shumpert G CLE 6.5 5.3 4.4 5
Festus Ezeli C GSW 5.5 1.8 3.5 5
Kevin Love F CLE 5.5 8.8 16.8 19.1
Marreese Speights C GSW 5 3.2 2.4 5
FP:Fantasy Points

NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft Notables

  • Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut will miss the rest of the finals due to a left knee injury he suffered during last game. He will not need surgery though.
  • Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green will be back for Game 6 after serving a one game suspension for his below-the-belt hit on LeBron James.
Posted in NBA

Fantasy Basketball Draft Top Picks

June 10th 2016

The NBA Finals resumes Friday, with the Golden State Warriors leading the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-1. The Cavs weren’t going to give up easy after losing the first two game. LeBron James & co. bounce back in huge fashion defeating the Warriors 120-90. A win tonight at home is once again so important for Cleveland, with 2 out of the next three games in Golden State. Here’s a look at the Game 4 fantasy basketball draft (click to play) top picks!

Player Pos Team Last Game FP Last Two Game FP Avg Last Four Game FP Avg Last Ten Game FP Avg
LeBron James F CLE 41 37.3 37.9 36.4
Kyrie Irving G CLE 34.5 24.3 27.2 25.6
Tristan Thompson C CLE 24.5 18.8 16 14.9
JR Smith G CLE 24 12.8 13.8 13
Harrison Barnes F GSW 24 15.8 14.6 13.4
Richard Jefferson F CLE 18.5 12.3 11 8.9
Draymond Green F GSW 18 28.5 28 24.9
Stephen Curry G GSW 17 20.3 28.3 29.9
Shaun Livingston G GSW 12 15.5 12.1 9.8
Klay Thompson G GSW 10.5 15.7 21.8 23.2
Andre Iguodala F GSW 10 15.8 15.1 15
Leandro Barbosa G GSW 10 10.7 6.9 5.4
Kevin Love F CLE 7.5 21.7 21.3 22.6
Iman Shumpert G CLE 7.5 4.5 3.6 6.3
Andrew Bogut C GSW 5.5 10.5 10 11.5
Marreese Speights C GSW 4.5 2.3 2.3 5.4
Jordan McRae G CLE 4 14.7 10.1 5.4
Mo Williams G CLE 4 2.3 1.5 2
Anderson Varejao F GSW 4 3.2 2.1 2.9
Timofey Mozgov C CLE 3.5 4.2 4.5 3

Fantasy Basketball Draft Notables

  • LeBron Jame s and Kyrie Irving combined for 62 points in game 3.
  • Kevin Love (concussion) will once again be a game time decision. He was part of the morning practice with the team Friday morning.
Posted in NBA

NBA Finals Fantasy Game 1 Recap

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors began their NBA Finals rematch this past thursday at the Oracle Arena. With the Cavaliers coming into this game with the best postseason record thus far (12-2) and outscoring opponents by a combined 177 pts, Game 1’s result was quite a surprise and unusual for NBA Fans.

Not only that the season record breaking Golden State Warriors took game 1 to the Cavaliers, 104-89,  in comfortable fashion, the fact that Stephen Curry and and Klay Thompson struggled throughout the game will raise many questions to the Cavs.

The response from the bench when both Splash Brothers were unable to make their presence felt was nothing but astounding.

Shaun Livingston put up some impressive numbers in game 1 with a career playoff high of 20 pts. He went 8 for 10 from the field with 4 boards and 3 assists.

The Cavaliers just couldn’t cope with the Warriors’ reserve unit which outscored their opponent’s bench 45-11.

Leandro Barbosa’s 11 pts and Andre Iguodala’s tough defense against the Lebron James were quite impressive.

Iguodala, last season’s NBA Finals MVP definitely picked up where he left off against the Cavaliers’ large forward. He made James do a number a mistakes and bad shots. He was able to also to contribute offensively with 12 pts with 7 boards and 6 assists. The size advantage of James on Iguodala is quite huge and its hard to believe how well the Warriors’ player is coping with it without drawing many fouls. A mix of experience and smart defending is key in his matchup to slow down James’ dominance in the game.

The Cavaliers only shot 33% from long range and 38% from the field but its really the cold streak of certain of their players that stepped up in the early series.

With the Warriors extremely difficult to beat at the Oracle Arena, the key games the Cavaliers should be focusing on winning are games 3 to 5. This could shift momentum in the series and keep them on pace for what could maybe be a 7 game series.

 

 

 

 

Posted in NBA

Fantasy Basketball Playoffs

Eastern Finals

The Toronto Raptors took care of the Heat yesterday’s Game 7 in dominating fashion, moving on to the NBA Eastern Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s not much of an fantasy basketball playoffs series compared to what could’ve been the Cavaliers vs the Heat story-wise, but we still end-up watching the two best teams in the East go at it. Cleveland stands as the team to beat in the East winning all 8 games they’ve played these playoffs. Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday May 17, and you can enter this matchup in cross-sport contests now at FanPicks (click to join). LeBron James and co. will begin fresh off a week rest, which the Raptors have barely benefited from. It’s enough for Dwayne Casey’s squad that they have made it this far, pushing to within four victories of The Finals for the first time in franchise history. When this postseason started, Toronto had never even won a seven-game playoff series. One month later, and they have won two of them. Despite the East’s defending champions coming in as favorites, the Raptors edged them out in the regular season, winning 2-out-of-the-3 contests. Both victories came at the Air Canada Centre, and they shot 50.2 percent during the three games. Will that, along with whatever momentum gained from the Miami series, be enough to pull off the improbable and access the conference finals? Time will tell. After all, the Cavaliers are arguably their best edition ever too.

CLEvsTOR 5-16-16

This series offers several fascinating individual confrontations, with the Kyle Lowry-Kyrie Irving clash at point guard dripping with talent and competitiveness. DeMar DeRozan will get the sort of VIP defensive attention from J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert that essentially shut down the Hawks’ Kyle Korver in the last round. Then there’s DeMarre Carroll, who as an Atlanta Hawk had to deal with LeBron James in last year’s conference finals and will have the same assignment wearing a Raptors uniform.

The East’s final doesn’t seem to offer the sizzle of what will be going on out West. The gap between the Cavaliers and the Raptors on paper seems much larger than that single game that separated them in the regular-season standings. But Toronto makes for a much bigger Cinderella story, not only representing a city but also an entire country.

Posted in NBA

Fantasy Basketball Projections – April 22nd 2016

The NBA playoffs continues with a couple of Eastern conference Game three’s and one Western conference. All three better-seeded teams could take a 3-0 lead in the series tonight, but it’s back at home for the underdogs. The first matchup sets LeBron and the East number 1 Cavs against the Pistons at 7PM ET. Following at 8 PM will be the Hawks in Boston’s TD Garden Arena, while at 9:30 PM, the second best team in the West take on the Grizzlies. FanPicks has you prepared with Friday’s fantasy basketball projections, charting the top 20 best performers for all three games.Top 20 4-22-16

It’s no surprise that LeBron James takes number one in the top 20 fantasy picks. His level of consistency is tremendous, scoring over 30 FP is past 10 games. Along with LeBron, Kyrie Irving his the only other player in today’s lineup to score an average of over 30 FP during the playoffs. Kyle Korver suprisingly ranks number two with 25 FP, having had a huge Game 2 against Boston. His numbers don’t usually reflect that. He’s got a post-season average of 12.5 FP and a past four game average of 10.1 FP. His teammate, Al Horford, scored the same number fantasy points, and it’s clear that his status his much better than Korver’s. Reggie Jackson is the best fantasy draft player from Detroit, and he’s not even the most expensive. That goes to rebounding machine Andre Drummond. The Piston and Hawks share the most players listed in the top 20 with 5 each. The Hawks leading scorer, Paul Millsap, didn’t make the cut. Proves that the Hawks have a nice arsenal on their hands.  The Spurs and Grizzlies are lacking in that list, mostly due to the fact their Game 2 ended in a 94-68 win for San Antonio. Off the board, you could see guys like Celtics Isaiah Thomas, Spurs Kawhi Leonard and Grizzlies Matt Barnes provide more than they did last time around. It will also need to be seen if Kent Bazemore could make the Hawks starting five, as he is a game time decision. Thabo Sefolosha is the one who could take his spot if unavailable. The Swiss player has been increasingly good and could line-up as an amazing sleeper pick.

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Fantasy Basketball Courtside Watch

There is a three NBA Playoffs Game 2 set for the evening. The Hornets are in Miami, the Cavs host the Pistons and the TrailBlazers  hope to win in L.A. against the Clippers. All home team have taken Game 1 of the series. It will be the last chance for those visiting clubs to take over the series lead at home for Game 3. So expect a lot of pressure from the underdogs tonight. We’ve listed the top 20 fantasy points producers from their previous game in FanPicks Fantasy Basketball Courtside Watch.Fantasy Basketball

Cleveland’s big three got things done in the first game versus Detroit. Kyrie Irving was the biggest draw with a total of 36.5 fantasy points. LeBron James and Kevin Love came a close second and third with 36 and 35 fantasy points of their own. No other Cavs players were that significant in Game 1, leaving to wonder that they must just be relying on those three to provide the score day in and day out. There’s is no doubt that LeBron is the main man of the bunch, and could enjoy some huge fantasy production for at-least the first two rounds of playoffs. Love, for his part, should be providing regular rebounding defense in the double-digits. This leaves Irving with doubts on if his production level will stay in par with his teammates. He collected 31 points in the game, which contributed for most of his fantasy points production. The point guard came second in Cleveland’s scoring, behind poster boy LeBron James. So it would be doubtful that Irving could score more than King James on the regular, leaving him on the outside looking in. Other top 20 options at the guard position would be L.A.’s Chris Paul, Portland’s, Damon Lillard and Miami’s Dwayne Wade. Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum led the charge against the Heat, he should be a sleeper to provide the points again today.

Which player is going to stand out in tonights fantasy basketball matchups? Can Chris Paul top the list once again? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to enter in your DFS lineup at FanPicks .com. Don’t forget to keep a lookout for the fantasy basketball courtside watch posted daily.

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NBA Fantasy Basketball Money Picks Rockets vs Cavaliers

Dominate your competition with our NBA Fantasy Basketball Money Picks, create the winning lineup at Fanpicks.com. The Houston Rockets (36-38) make their way to Ohio to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (52-21) at Quicken Loans Arena.
Fantasy Basketball
Houston is in a scramble to make it into the postseason, as a recent span of poor play has left them hanging on to the eight seed by a thread. They fell down to the Pacers in their most recent game by a score of 104-101 on Sunday night. James Harden no doubt led the Rockets’ attack, registering 34 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and a steal. As has too often been the case nevertheless, he received very small support from the rest of his teammates. Trevor Ariza was the next closest in scoring with a moderate 14 points, as he also added two rebounds, two assists and a steal. Dwight Howard added 11-point, 10-rebound double-double that also included a pair of blocks. No other Houston player provided double-digit scoring in that game. The Rockets are currently ranked third in the Western Conference’s Southwest Division. They’ve lost four of their last five contests, and four straight road games.

Cleveland took care of the Knicks in fairly easy fashion Saturday, 107-93. Kevin Love gave in a second outstanding game in his last three, collecting 28 points, 12 rebounds and two assists. LeBron James, who has been confirmed to be out of the lineup for Tuesday’s contest in order to rest, was incredible as well. He posted a triple-double. He stacked up 27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, two blocks and a steal. J.R. Smith contributed 13 points, three boards and two assists. Matthew Delladedova, who subbed in for the resting Kyrie Irving, supplied 10 points, four rebounds and two assists. The Cavs remain atop the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Toronto Raptors. They’ve won five of their past seven games, and have a modest three-game winning spell at home.

Top Fantasy Picks

G James Harden (HOU)

G Kyrie Irving (CLE)

F Kevin Love (CLE)

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