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
- It’s a wrap in the Western Conference, folks. The Lakers defeated Houston and this looks pretty much done, with LA leading 3-1, same as the Clippers who face Denver tonight and can seal their tickets to the WCF.
- Perhaps Houston thinks it can beat the Lakers scoring 12 field goals in a whole half... but history says nope. That’s the fewest FGM in any first half under Mike D’Antoni for the Rockets, and you know what ended happening.
- As ridiculous as it sounds, Russ passed Kevin Garnett on the playoffs-scoring list reaching 2,602.
- Danuel House Jr. didn’t play yesterday after the whole COVID/female/chicken wings/room story and investigation of the issue broke.
- Kevin Durant dropped the hammer on the Knicks yesterday, stating that he “didn’t want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York; didn’t care about being the King of New York.” Just in case you Knicks fan out there keep hoping your super franchise lands Giannis (LOL).
- Also interesting from KD: he declared Caris LeVert as a bonafide third-banana to him and Kyrie entering the 2021 season, seemingly “blocking” a trade for another superstar. Did he mean it, or is KD just hyping Caris to get more in return? Hmmm...
- Speaking of the upcoming 2020-21 season: it was confirmed that it will not start before Christmas Day. In fact, the word out there is that we could even have a February tip-off (Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 18 has also been floated around) with the season getting deep into the summer once more.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- The Brow led the slate in fantasy points, followed by teammate LeBron James yesterday. While AD played all of 40 minutes to reach his 29-12-5 line, Bron only needed an under-34-minute run to finish with a near trip-dub of 16-15-9, and the Lake Show ran away with the third W in the series against Houston and pretty much the deciding one.
- The only other player to reach 50+ DKFP from yesterday’s lone game was James Harden. The effort was sound with a 21-4-10-2-3 stuffed line, but Harden shot 11 (!?) field goals from the floor, hit only 18.2% of his shots, committed 3 TOs, and his game came down to hitting 80% of his 20 freebies. Not the greatest of performances from Harden, let alone Houston.
- Russ (25-3-3-3-1) and Rondo (11-10-8) both finished with 40+ fantasy points, which was great for the latter but not so much for the former.
- The Lakers are this close to getting to the WCF since forever, so it makes sense that the ROI King award went to... Rajon Rondo! It’s been three games in a row for Rondo playing incredibly well for the Lake Show. It scares me to say this, but we might actually be in front of a pretty nice Rondo that surely looks to be for real and playing to his actual levels of talent. This can be no fluke as the sample is growing larger, and yesterday’s near trip-dub proves it.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Robert Covington & PJ Tucker! The Rockets needed a win to keep their chances up entering Game 5, but they just became a two-man team yesterday as Harden and Russ provided some goodies, but RoCo and PJ were horrible, to say the least. RoCo finished with 3 points and 3 rebounds, and PJ Tucker’s line read like this: 0-3-0-0-1 in 32 minutes! Insanely low production that definitely hurt Houston and left them on the verge of getting a flight back home in a couple of days.
- Three dub-dubs via points and rebounds (AD, LBJ, Rondo) and one between points and assists (Harden’s 21-10).
- Russ was the only player with 3 steals while Harden led yesterday’s game with 3 blocks.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for today’s slate
- Love: (PG/SG) Kyle Lowry, TOR ($8600, vs BOS): No discussion here. Game 7. Toronto. Lowry. If Kyle plays 47 minutes tonight I wouldn’t be surprised just one bit, and if he alone tries to will the Raps to a win I’d have zero hesitation in pulling off the feat. Barring a potential Game 7 between the Lakers and the Clippers, this matchup is probably the best we’re going to have in the whole postseason. It will be tough, it will be rough, it will probably even be ugly. But if I had to bet on someone giving it all and brute-forcing his way to the top of the leaderboard I’d put all of my money on Kyle. This fool played 53 minutes two days ago, finished with a monster 33-8-6-2-1 line, and hit 6 treys. Nuts all around.
- Hate: (PG/SG) Jamal Murray, DEN ($8500, at LAC): Being against the wall, Denver needs everyone to step up tonight. Will they do, though? Allow me to have some doubts. MPJ had some bonkers words after Game 4 demanding more balls going his way—the way of a rookie—while Murray had a dud with just 34 DKFP in 44 (!) minutes of playing time. The game was pretty much finished after a quarter. Only once has Murray hit more than 18 points against the Clippers in this series, has not grabbed more than 4 boards once, and has yet to dish out double-digit dimes... It’s just been a nightmarish series for Jam facing Kawhi/PG, which are definitely a tier above what Utah had to offer Murray.
- Love: (PG) Kemba Walker, BOS (at TOR): It seems impossible Kemba can have a worse game than he did two days ago: 51 minutes... and a putrid 5-4-7 line shooting 18.2% from the field and reaching just 19 fantasy points. That was an atrocious performance that had nothing to do with Kemba’s early exploits against Toronto. Walker is almost a lock to reach 40 fantasy points any day, and we’re talking about Cardiac Kemba entering a Game 7. I mean, if there is anyone you trust in a win-or-go-home game entering the final possession tied at 103-103, that’s your man Walker. A game-winning shot won’t win you the fantasy slate, sure, but to hand Kemba the ball in that possession he must have done something good during the prior 47:45 minutes. Bet on Kemba today.
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!