Pictured: Nikola Jokic and Andre Drummond
Source: Getty Images North America

NBA EZ Pick Preview 03/18/19

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

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Stephen Curry vs Russell Westbrook

Stephen Curry netted 33 points in 33 minutes on Saturday, adding five triples, seven boards, three assists, two steals and four turnovers in an easy win over the Thunder. Curry scored his 16,000th career point in this one, becoming just the fifth player in Warriors’ history with 16,000 career points, and with his five trey-bombs, he improved his season total to 289 – which ranks as the fourth-most threes in a single season in NBA history. Steve Kerr hinted he could rest some of his stars on the upcoming Monday-Tuesday back-to-back set, so owners will want to confirm Curry’s status prior to both those games.

Russell Westbrook has been suspended for Monday’s game after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season on Saturday. Dennis Schroder should benefit the most in Westbrook’s absence, while Paul George will soak up extra usage and Raymond Felton should join the rotation. For every two techs Westbrook gets after No. 16 he’ll face another suspension, so hopefully he can keep his cool in the final 11 games for which he’ll be active. This also means he’ll play just two games in Week 23, a brutal turn of events for his fantasy owners.

Kevin Durant vs Anthony Davis

Kevin Durant (ankle) will return to the lineup on Monday vs. the Spurs. He arrived early at the arena to get some extra shots up and went through a full shootaround. Despite his questionable tag, coach Steve Kerr was expecting him back in the lineup tonight prior to this update. This is the first game of five for the Warriors this week which includes two back-to-backs, so there’s a good chance KD will be rested at some point.

Anthony Davis returned from a one-game rest with 15 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and one block in 22 minutes against the Suns on Saturday. That’s still a pretty awesome line for his fantasy owners and he’ll continue to put up high value points even with his minutes limit. The good news is that the Pels are done with the back-to-back sets, but they could still sit The Brow with even the smallest injury.

Paul George vs Kawhi Leonard

Paul George scored a team-high 29 points during Saturday’s blowout loss to the Warriors, adding 13 rebounds, four 3-pointers, two assists, one steal and two turnovers in 38 minutes. Golden State did an excellent job of running George off the 3-point line, and overall, their 3-point defense was phenomenal with them holding OKC to 13-of-41 shooting from beyond the arc. PG-13 has struggled against the Warriors this season, but he should be better on Monday vs. the Heat, particularly with Russell Westbrook likely to be suspended for that game.

Kawhi Leonard (load management) is out for Monday’s game vs. the Knicks. Kawhi played three games in a row for the first time in over a month, so this was inevitable against the Knicks. With Serge Ibaka (suspension) out and Kyle Lowry (ankle) questionable, Pascal Siakam is set up for a monster game. The last time Kahwi sat, Norman Powell had 15 points, four assists and three triples in 24 minutes, while OG Anunoby had an 11-3-1 line with two steals and a block in 24 minutes.

Damian Lillard vs Kyrie Irving

Damian Lillard scored 34 points (13-of-29 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs) with six rebounds, five assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 38 minutes against the Spurs on Saturday. C.J. McCollum left the game early in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury, after which Lillard scored 26 of his 34 points. Lillard posts per-36 minute averages of 34.7 points, 5.9 boards, 6.1 dimes, 1.8 steals and 3.4 triples with a 35.6 usage rate and a 58.0 TS% without McCollum this season. If he is out for any period of time, Lillard’s role within the Blazers’ offense will only rise, making him an elite play with their 3-4-4 schedule over the next three weeks.

Kyrie Irving just missed a triple-double during a 129-120 win over the Hawks on Saturday, scoring 30 points with 11 rebounds, nine assists, one steal, two blocks and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes. He just dropped a 30-point triple double on Thursday for the second of his career, and Irving is on some kind of heater since getting a game off on Mar. 6. In those four, he averaged 27.3 points, 7.5 boards, 9.3 dimes, 1.3 steals, 1.3 blocks and 3.0 treys with Boston hitting 115-plus points in each of those. As long as he’s not resting, Irving has massive upside every time he steps on the floor.

Nikola Jokic vs Andre Drummond

Nikola Jokic was ejected from Saturday’s game during the fourth quarter, finishing with 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two 3-pointers and four turnovers in 34 minutes. During Thursday’s game, Jokic didn’t get his first bucket until the fourth quarter, so the Nuggets made sure to get him going early in this one and he wound up scoring 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting through his first 10 minutes of play. On the season, Jokic has been operating with a 27.1 usage rate, but his usage was at 35.1 tonight, and Mike Malone has indicated during recent interviews he wants him to be more aggressive on offense. The ejection was petty, so he shouldn’t face any additional punishment from the league.

Andre Drummond helped the Pistons earn their ninth straight home win on Sunday with 15 points, 17 rebounds, two steals and one assist in 33 minutes. That gives Drummond his sixth consecutive season with at least 1,000 rebounds. He didn’t block any shots today but also committed just one turnover, while making 5-of-8 FGs and 5-of-5 FTs. His efforts helped cement the Pistons’ hold on the No. 6 seed in the East, while giving coach Dwane Casey his third straight win vs. his former team. That’s no small feat, given Toronto’s position near the top of the standings.

Devin Booker vs Jrue Holiday

Devin Booker scored 40 points with five rebounds, 13 assists, one block, seven turnovers and three 3-pointers in 41 minutes during a 138-136 overtime win at New Orleans on Saturday. The Suns got lucky in this one with the Pelicans calling for a timeout when they ran out, so Booker hit the go-ahead free throw. The Suns have won five of their last eight games and they’re only 2.5 games “up” on the Bulls for top lottery odds. Booker has played excellent ball lately as a top-25 player since the break, so keep him locked and loaded.

Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) and E’Twaun Moore (quad) will remain on the sidelines for Monday’s matchup with the Mavericks. Holiday and Moore were scheduled to be re-evaluated today, and while we didn’t get word on those results, the fact that they’ve already been ruled out for Monday’s game isn’t a great sign. Alvin Gentry has hinted that both these guys could be headed for a shutdown, and with each missed game, that scenario becomes more and more likely. Frank Jackson and Kenrich Williams will continue to start with these two on the sidelines.

Luka Doncic vs Draymond Green

Luka Doncic (right knee contusion) is being listed as probable for Monday’s matchup with the Pelicans. Doncic sat out Saturday’s game, but it looks like the knee contusion will only force him to spend one game on the sidelines. With Doncic expected back in action on Monday night, Dorian Finney-Smith or Tim Hardaway Jr. could return to the second unit and Trey Burke could drop out of the rotation entirely.

Draymond Green scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting Saturday, to go with three 3-pointers, eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 34 minutes. Green had his 3-point stroke working for him in this one, drilling two treys through the first quarter of action, and this was the first time he had multiple three-balls since January. Green has been shooting his worst 3-point percentage (24.6) since his rookie year, but he’s been knocking down a somewhat more respectable 30.4% of his 3-point attempts since the All-Star break.

Kevin Love vs Lauri Markkanen

Kevin Love (lower back contusion) is questionable for Monday’s game vs. Detroit. Love has been productive lately but the Cavs are likely to play it safe any time he’s banged up, so his inclusion on the injury report is ominous. Cleveland does play four games next week, though, so even if he misses Monday’s game he could still put together a solid three-game slate.

Lauri Markkanen had 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and one block in 23 minutes during Sunday’s blowout road loss in Sacramento. Markkanen was one of just two Bulls starters with double-digit points tonight, joining Zach LaVine, and coach Jim Boylen opted to bench his key guys for most of the second half. This was a fluky result for Markkanen, in other words, but at least it wasn’t a total loss — he also shot 4-of-8 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line with one 3-pointer. Expect much better vs. the Suns (Monday) and Wizards (Wednesday).

Klay Thompson vs Kyle Lowry

Klay Thompson scored 23 points on 9-of-21 shooting Saturday, to go with three 3-pointers, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals, one block and one turnover in 34 minutes. Thompson passed up Peja Stojakovic for the No. 17 spot on the NBA’s all-time 3-point list in this one, and he was aggressive in seeking out his shot with Kevin Durant (ankle) on the sidelines. As a team, the Dubs dropped in 40 points through the first quarter of action, which accounted for the most points OKC has allowed through any first quarter this year, and they never really let up at any point throughout the game.

Kyle Lowry (ankle) has been upgraded to probable for Monday’s game against the Knicks. Lowry has missed the past two games, but it appears there’s a chance he’ll be able to make it back to the court tonight. If he does play, he could see some more shots falling his way with Kawhi Leonard (rest) unavailable, but he could also take an early seat on the bench if the game turns into a blowout, so he’s not the best DFS target.

DeMarcus Cousins vs Steven Adams

An MRI on DeMarcus Cousins’ sore right ankle revealed no structural damage and he is being listed as day-to-day. Boogie will sit out Monday’s game against the Spurs, and there’s a decent chance he’ll miss Tuesday’s game vs. the Timberwolves, but even if he skips those two he’d still have the opportunity to play in three games this week. Kevon Looney will likely get the start in his place tonight, and Andrew Bogut will have the opportunity to make his Dubs’ debut.

Steven Adams scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting (1-of-4 from the line) on Saturday, adding nine rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks and two turnovers in 33 minutes. Adams did tweak his left ankle midway through the third fighting for a loose ball with Stephen Curry, which required a trip to the locker room, but he eventually returned to the game during the fourth quarter despite the Thunder being down by 20. Adams is one of the toughest dudes out there, so he’ll likely play through the pain, but owners would be wise to just confirm his status prior to Monday’s game against the Heat.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

NBA Daily Rundown

Thursday Fantasy Basketball Games

FanPicks.com has your NBA daily rundown to get you ready for live fantasy basketball contests.

Mavericks vs Thunder

Russell Westbrook’s career triple-double count is now higher than the legendary Larry Bird. He recorded his 60th triple-double in Wednesday’s 114-105 victory over New Orleans to break a tie with Bird and move into fifth place on the all-time list.  Dallas is enjoying its best stretch of the season as it downed the New York Knicks 103-95 on Wednesday for its fifth win in seven games. Power forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting in the victory but will be rested and won’t make the trip to Oklahoma City.

Pacers vs Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns had his chance to carry the young Minnesota Timberwolves, and Andrew Wiggins is stepping up to join him. Towns and Wiggins will try to lead the Timberwolves to a season-high fourth straight win and seventh in the last nine games against the slumping Indiana Pacers. Indiana won seven of eight to climb to three games over .500 before dropping back to even with losses in the last three contests.

Suns vs Nuggets

Nikola Jokic’s sudden rise is helping the Denver Nuggets in the win column and redefining the expectations for the team, which finds itself in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. Jokic will try to guide the Nuggets to a sixth win in the last eight games versus the Phoenix Suns.  The Suns will attack Jokic with defensive anchor Tyson Chandler, who outplayed Minnesota Timberwolves stud Karl-Anthony Towns on Tuesday only to watch his team fall 112-111 on Andrew Wiggins’ last-second jumper. Chandler scored 22 points on 9-of-9 shooting and hauled in 17 rebounds in the loss. It’s the eighth time in his last nine games that he grabbed at least 15 boards.

Lakers vs Jazz

The Utah Jazz played four games in five nights and dropped the last two, including dragging through a 103-93 road loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. They are looking to finish off a four-game season sweep of the Lakers for the first time after winning the first three meetings this season by an average of five points. Los Angeles has dropped seven of its last eight games after suffering a 105-98 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

Posted in NBA

Daily Fantasy Basketball Teams

The NBA All-Rookie teams 2016

It’s time to reflect on the season Daily Fantasy Basketball teams (Click to Join FP). It’s time for the NBA awards and it all starts with the rookies. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns and New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis have both been unanimously selected to the NBA All-Rookie first team. They’ve received all 130 first-team votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada. Towns was selected as the Rookie of the Year and led all rookies in scoring (18.3 points per game) and rebounding (10.5 per game). Porzingis came third among rookies in scoring (14.3), second in rebounding (7.3) and first in blocks (1.86). The Latvian player was the first Knicks rookie to score at least 1,000 points in a season since Mark Jackson in 1987-88.

Joining them on the first team were the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker, the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Jahlil Okafor.Miami’s Justise Winslow, the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay, Indiana’s Myles Turner and Sacramento’s Willie Cauley-Stein all  made it on the All-Rookie second team.

Daily Fantasy Basketball Teams – 2015 NBA Draft Breakdown

7 out of the 10 2015 first pick got selected in the All-Rookie teams. Myles Turner and Devin Booker were the 11th and 13th picks respectively in that draft. Mario Hezonja (6th), Stanley Johnson (8th) and Frank Kaminsky (9th) were the odds men out. As for the tenth player filling the All-Rookie team Nikola Jokic, he got drafted by the Nuggets 2nd round (41st overall) in 2014 and stayed in Europe for one more year before joining the NBA team.

All-Rookie First Team

Player Pos Team
Devin Booker SG PHX Points (13.8/G) Assists (2.6/G) Steals (0.6/G) 3PT Made (1.3/G)
Kristaps Porzingis PF NYK Points (14.3/G) Rebounds (7.3/G) Assists (1.3/G) FG% (42.1)
Jahlil Okafor C PHI Points (17.5/G) Rebounds (7.0/G) Blocks (1.2/G) FG% (50.8)
Nikola Jokic C DEN Points (9.9/G) Rebounds (7.0/G) Blocks (0.6/G) FG% (51.2)
Karl-Anthony Towns C MIN Points (18.3/G) Rebounds (10.5/G) Blocks (1.7/G) FG% (54.2)

All-Rookie Second Team

Player Pos Team
D’Angelo Russell PG LAL Points (13.2/G) Assists (3.3/G) Steals (1.2/G) 3PT Made (1.6/G)
Emmanuel Mudiay PG DEN Points (12.8/G) Assists (5.5/G) Steals (1.0/G) 3PT Made (1.1/G)
Justise Winslow SF MIA Points (6.5/G) Rebounds (5.2/G) Assists (1.5/G) FG% (42.3)
Myles Turner C IND Points (10.3/G) Rebounds (5.5/G) Assists (0.7/G) FG% (49.8)
Willie Cauley-Stein C SAC Points (7.0/G) Rebounds (5.3/G) Block (1/G) FG% (56.3)

 

Posted in NBA

NBA Basketball Fantasy Draft

San Antonio Spurs vs Denver Nuggets

Gregg Popovich’s hot San Antonio Spurs will be heading Colorado to face the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center Friday night after their tough game against arch rivals Golden State Warriors last night. This NBA basketball fantasy draft preview is brought you by FanPicks.com. Come PLAY in our Daily Fantasy Basketball contests at FanPicks and get a free chance to win $1 Million dollars!

NBA Basketball Fantasy Draft

The Nuggets come into this game having lost 5 of their last 6 games. They’re definitely hoping to end this long frustrating season as soon as possible. They’re a young team with some potential to look forward too and possibly one of the best core in the NBA. They’re heading into this game with no possible way to get in the playoffs and will most likely play everyone on their roster. Their opponents, the second biggest powerhouse in the NBA will most likely rest all their top players, therefore, they could potentially snatch up a win with some hard work. San Antonio remains a favorite regardless in this game regardless of the circumstances.

 

San Antonio has only lost 5 games since the end of January. Their only losses have came against elite playoff teams and their solid defense has been nothing less than remarkable all year. Their consistent results just shows everyone how good this team is and they will most likely continue to play this low key fantastic way. Although, their most recent loss last night was pretty emphasized as a loss of their pursuit for the top seed in the Western Conference and moreover, the number one overall, their head coach Gregg Popovich focuses strictly on his players fitness for the important post season right around the corner. It will be surprising if their top players get even over 20 minutes of play in this game.

 

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Posted in NBA

Fantasy Basketball Cash Draft Nuggets vs Pelicans

Dominate your competition with our Fantasy Basketball Cash Draft, create the winning lineup at Fanpicks.com. The Denver Nuggets (32-4) travel to Louisiana to face the New Orleans Pelicans (27-47) at Smoothie King Center.Fantasy Basketball

The Nuggets come into this game victorious in three of their last five and the most recent win over the Memphis Grizzlies secured a winning month of  March. That’s the first month over the .500 record line that this team has had all season and it shows how much they have grown. Youngsters like Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic are both especially talented and may be two of the five best rookies in the league this season.

All the talk in New Orleans is about how they are a cursed franchise and there may be some reality to that with the injuries they have suffered. They are now without Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole for the rest of the season. All of these players have had injury question marks in the past though, so it may not be a matter of luck as much as it’s substandard management. Having this many injury prone players on one roster is too risky and this sort of year shows the worst case scenario. With how shorthanded the Pelicans are, look for them to be a small underdog in this confrontation.

Top Fantasy Picks

G Toney Douglas (NOP)

F Dante Cunningham (NOP)

C Nikola Jokic (DEN)

Posted in NBA

Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup & Value Picks

With just four NBA games on the schedule, assembling your daily fantasy basketball lineup can be a task. You never want to rely too much on one team to produce, but sometimes the matchup points you in that direction regardless.

The first game tips-off at 7:30 pm (est) with the Hawks facing off against the Raptors. Kyle Lowry was a major target but he is probably the most expensive PG in your pool, play him if you can afford him.

The big game is at 10:30 pm (est), when the Cleveland Cavaliers walk into Los Angeles to face the Lakers. Kobe Bryant is listed as a game-time decision for his last date with Lebron James.

James and Kawhi Leonard lead this lineup in the star department, with a lot of pressure on the latter to perform. Leonard let owners down last time out with a sub-par showing (for his price tag), and needs to rebound with a 40+ fantasy point game tonight.

Kyrie Irving may be in the next tier of players but I’m expecting him to play like the elite in this game. The Cavaliers gaurd has had a terrific last two games and should at least match that production against the Lakers.

Value Picks

 

Nikola Jokic – Pau Gasol will put the most daily fantasy basketball points on the board tonight, but Jokic is a great value. With slim pickins’ at the center spot Jokic’s production versus price tag is incontestable.

Taj Gibson –  He isn’t exactly Mr. Consistency, but 33 and 21.4 fantasy points in his last two games provides hope. He played 38 and 37 minutes in those games respectively, a large bump in usage compared to the norm for the Bulls forward.

Tristan Thompson – Another Cav I know, but Thompson is capable of big games from time to time. His inclusion over more expensive options allowed me to afford a more balanced team across the board, so I’m rolling the dice on the Canadian at this cap hit ($4600).

Here is the rest of the lineup for this evening’s contests.

nbafd10

Posted in NBA

NBA Daily Fantasy Picks for February 9th

Premium Picks that are worth the Cost

Player

Position

Team

Projection

Salary

DeMarcus Cousins

C

Sacramento

35.7

8900

DeAndre Jordan

C

LA Clippers

30.1

7200

Chris Paul

PG

LA Clippers

28.1

7900

Carmelo Anthony

SF

New York

27.6

7400

Rajon Rondo

PG

Sacramento

26.3

7500

Nikola Vucevic

C

Orlando

25.2

7100

Paul Millsap

PF

Atlanta

20.9

7400

These are the projections for those premium players, salaries over $7000 but consistent performances that can be relied on. Demarcus Cousins leads the list by over 5 fantasy points as he has continued his huge season with a 30+ fantasy point performance last night. However, you can go a little cheaper at the premium spot with Rajon Rondo, who led the league with 33 fantasy points last night, or Paul and Jordan who have been putting up big numbers to fill that gap of no Blake Griffin in the lineup.

Value Picks

Player

Position

Team

Projection

Salary

Nikola Jokic

C

Denver

24.4

5200

Victor Oladipo

SG

Orlando

24.1

6000

Dwyane Wade

SG

Miami

23.6

6700

Isaiah Thomas

PG

Boston

23.2

6900

Robin Lopez

C

New York

22.4

4900

Rudy Gay

SF

Sacramento

21.9

6700

Evan Turner

SG

Boston

21.8

5200

Jeff Teague

PG

Atlanta

21.3

5700

However, it is the value picks, not the premium picks that win Daily Fantasy Tournaments. Premium picks are reliable but also come with high ownership percentages and when if come to Daily Fantasy NBA Cash Drafts, low ownership picks are key. When you need to save a little cash look for these picks to fill those positions. When you can get a starting center like Jokic or Lopez for such a cheap price he is bound to put up decent numbers just from the minutes on the court alone. Turner and Thomas as well have been very hot lately and their salaries have not yet completely adjusted for their big performances.

Factoring in the Matchups

Home Team

Away Team

Over Under

Spread

Houston

Portland

217.5

-3

Charlotte

Washington

208.5

-4.5

Indiana

Detroit

204

-1.5

Cleveland

New Orleans

209.5

-5.5

Philadelphia

Brooklyn

204.5

-1.5

Memphis

Dallas

193.5

-5.5

Minnesota

Chicago

204

-3.5

San Antonio

L.A. Lakers

200

-8.5

Phoenix

Utah

189

3

Golden State

Oklahoma City

224.5

-4.5

One of the most important factors however is the pace of the matchup, which can be generally defined by two numbers. Over Under and Spread. Over Under is the total number of projected points that will be scored by the 2 teams in the matchup and the spread is the projected win margin, negative meaning the home team is favored. The best matchup is one with a high Over Under and a low spread, meaning it is competitive and fast paced, the best situation for a lot of fantasy points to be found.

Looking at these matchups, the key two are clearly Portland @ Houston and Oklahoma City @ Golden State. Both those matchups look to be higher scoring than the rest, so favor those players just a little bit extra when making your picks.

Posted in NBA

Thunder vs Nuggets

FanPicks.com NBA Preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder (30-12) will take on the Denver Nuggets (16-25) at Pepsi Center in Denver, CO on Tuesday. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $10K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball site

Projected Lineup

Starting Lineup

 

Since the start of the season, the Thunder have been one of best teams in the NBA. They’ve improved their defense, as it rose nearly 20 spots in the defensive rankings since the first few weeks. The offense is still efficient, as they now rank 2nd in points scored. Russell Westbrook comes into this matchup with 2 straight triple-doubles and he may have a good chance at another one here against a poor Denver defense. Not to mention, Westbrook had 30 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists the last time these two teams squared off. Oklahoma City are projected 9 point favorite.

 

Denver has won 4 of their last 6 games; one of their best stretches of the season. Gallinari has been fantastic in that stead. He’s averaging 24 points per game since returning from an ankle injury 8 games ago. It hasn’t been a great season for Denver, but the future appears to be bright with players like Emmanuel Mudiay, Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris all playing great basketball and are all under 21 years-old. In the injury front, regular starters Wilson Chandler and Jusuf Nurkic are still out of the lineup. It will be a tough task for this squad to win tonight against a team with whom they’ve struggled with for years.

Posted in NBA