Welcome to your daily NBA DFS digest at FakeTeams, gents. Every day I’m here with a handful of pro-tips to roster a winning team just a few hours from now. On top of that, I’ll bring you some news, statistical trends from the past few days, some studs/duds from the last slate of games, and much more!
Hoop Land Times: News and notes from around the Association
- What about these Raptors!? The reigning champs survived two overtimes against Boston to force Game 7 Friday after bringing their series to a 3-3 draw. This was already the largest NBA championship reign—COVID allowing—, but the Raps are determined to extend it for as long as possible.
- The Nuggets, though, found it impossible to stop the Clippers and thus are now down 1-3 and facing elimination from this point on. Not that they didn’t overcome such a situation in the past, but odds are pretty slim they beat LA three out of three times to advance to the WCF...
- I know, I know, two-overtime game, but all of Tatum, Lowry, Brown, Siakam, Kemba, and FVV logged over 50 minutes of playing time yesterday with Lowry staying on the court for the last 43 minutes of the game without sitting. Jeeeeeez.
- Danuel House Jr., from the Houston Rockets, is being investigated by the NBA after seemingly bringing some chicken wings inside the bubble, if you know what I mean... If proved guilty, his postseason could be very well over even if Houston advances past the WCSF.
- News on the head-coaching front: the Pacers are interested in Chauncy Billups... and Becky Hammon! The Spurs assistant was already allowed to coach a game with Pop handing her the reigns, and if she could land an actual head coaching gig that could turn into a massive feat and change the future of the NBA as we know it. Here’s to hope she gets real consideration and makes a deep contention run!
- It took no time for pundits all around the league to start talking about Giannis upcoming 2021 free agency... but the name making the most headlines during the past 24 hours has definitely been Chris Paul. CP3 is pumping out rumors about potential trades to every team you can think of from Philly to Milwaukee, going through New York and Brooklyn.
- It looks like the Bucks didn’t re-sign Malcolm Brogdon because of medical concerns. Dunno if that’s a cheap excuse, but the fact is that Brogdon played awesome ball for Indiana this season and that Bledsoe didn’t make up for Brogdon absence in Milwaukee...
- The NBA and the NBPA reached an agreement on delaying the draft and free agent dates, and the latest news are telling us that they have also agreed to a delay to the start of the 2020-21 season, which was planned for Dec. 1. No way we watch the ball bounce again prior to the start of the 2021 year, most probably, after we leave the bubble for good in a month or so.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- Kawhi bend reality and broke for 70+ DKFP yesterday in just under 39 minutes, which was the 56th-best performance in that playing time through this season schedule and the first 70-fantasy-point game since Aug. 30... when the very own Kawhi reached that mark against Dallas. The Klaw reached that tally via 30 points, 11 boards, 9 dimes, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. Can’t ask for much more on any department.
- That Leonard game is even more impressive considering Toronto and Boston played two overtimes, which meant four players from those two teams finished in the 60-to-70 clip: Tatum (29-14-9), Lowry (33-8-6 with 6 triples), Smart (23-11-10 with 6 treys), and Jaylen (31-16).
- Jokic (26-11) and FVV (21-9-7) were the only other two players to finish with 50+ DKFP. From them to the next guy in the leaderboard there was a 17-DKFP gap, as Jamal Murray could only reach 34.5 fantasy points ranking 8th in the slate.
- Boston dropped their chance at making the ECF, yet the ROI King award went to... Marcus Smart! Quite a dog-level game by Smarf, who put on a freaking show by getting himself a sweet trip-dub of 23-11-10 with 6 treys and a steal to spare. The usage was super low at 17.2%, but Smart just played a ton of minutes, hit 46.7% of his shots from the floor, scored all of his 3 freebies, and only turned the ball over a couple of times. The other mega-play? Toronto’s Norman Powell, who finished with 23 points on 11 shots and 9 free throws.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Paul George! Tight battle here between PG13 and Kemba, but George gets the edge because of his slightly-more-expensive price on yesterday’s slate. Neither of these two reached even 20 DKFP, even while Kemba played almost 52 minutes! Horrific game for the C finishing with a 5-4-7 line while George only played 27 minutes and finished with a 10-3-3-1 line shooting 40% in what reminded us of some his past duds in earlier games this postseason.
- Not bad five dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Jaylen, Tatum, OG Anunoby, Kawhi, Jokic) but none between points and assists.
- That being said, shout-out to Marcus Smart for bringing the trip-dub back! Smart finished with a strong 23-11-10 line, added a steal to it, and scored 18 points from long-range with 6 triples to his name.
- Kawhi led the slate with 4 steals, while Serge Ibaka was the only one to block 3 rocks.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for today’s slate
- Love: (PG/SG) Russell Westbrook, HOU (vs LAL): While Russ hasn’t been otherworldly since coming back from injury, he’s been leveling up lately and he’s broken for more than 44 fantasy points in two of the last two games against the Lake Show. The Game 3 performance was pretty much horrific, sure, but he bounced back with a 30-8-6 shooting 54.2% two days ago and I bet he’ll keep it up next. Houston is far from a one-man wrecking crew so it’s not that LA can just focus on stopping Russ, which will give him more chances at having good games going forward—which Houston needs being down 1-2 at this point.
- Hate: (SG/SF) Eric Gordon, HOU (vs LAL): Gordon hasn’t been super bad, but he hasn’t been as good as Houston probably needs him to be these days. Gordon has scored 10+ points in each of his past four games going back to Game 7 against OKC, and he’s had three 20+ point-games in four of those (two against LAL). That being said, all of Gordon’s value comes from his long-range scoring, as the rest of his averages are ridiculously low with just 2 rpg and 2.6 apg against the Lakers. The minute Gordon stops dropping treys his value plummets, and with Harden and Russ expected to take a bigger and bigger load going forward, allow me to doubt Eric’s value.
- Love: (PG) Rajon Rondo, LAL (at HOU): I can’t stop loving Rondo. There will be a point when he goes and hits the wall, but you gotta ride the hot streak, don’t you? RR has put up 37 and 39 DKFP in his last couple of games, he’s broken Houston in a totally unexpected way, has scored 10 and 21, and most importantly he’s been this close to having two dub-dubs finishing those matches with 9 dimes in each. The shooting was ridiculous the last time out with a 72.7 fg% and hitting 3 treys, something Rondo had not done since Feb. 10. Let’s hope he keeps it up.
If you have any comment or question about the daily column, tonight’s games, players involved in them, or even season-long fantasy NBA topics, just drop it below or reach out to me on Twitter at @chapulana and I’ll get back to you as soon as I grab a keyboard!