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
- Somehow Denver came back from 19 points down to beat the Clippers and force Game 7 tonight. That stupid thing meant that the Nuggets are 5-0 in elimination games this season with a chance to go a perfect 6-0 and complete their second 1-3 comeback in a row after defeating Utah during the first round in such way.
- Good fact found by Jorge Sierra over Twitter: “Full list of players to average 25, 10 and 5 in the NBA playoffs history: Nikola Jokic.”
- We’re here laughing at Houston all day because they can get it totally right, but the Clippers have never reached the WCF and they are now this close to fall short once more. Ugh.
- Speaking of the Rockets, everybody is dropping hot takes on Harden’s future, and the chance Houston ends eventually trading him—or Russell Westbrook, that is.
- One that won’t be in Houston next year: Mike D’Antoni. With his deal expiring this postseason, D’Antoni has made it clear that he won’t be re-signing with the Rockets. Philly and Indiana look like potential landing spots for Mikey, with Houston probably making a run at Ty Lue.
- Latest odds for Pacers head coach: Billups leads the way with D’Antoni coming in second, followed by Kenny Atkinson.
- While Gordon Hayward has been back practicing inside the bubble, and the four-week rehabbing time would come by Game 2 of the ECF, it looks like Hayward won’t be available until later in the series. The ECF will have an extended period of rest from G3 (this week’s Saturday) to G4 (next week’s Wednesday) so that could help Hayward chances at a return in time for Game 4.
- The Bucks brass met Giannis yesterday and seemingly let him know that they’ll spend big-time in order to improve the roster around him. We’ll see...
- Shaun Livingston beat all odds, completed a 15-year career after getting seriously injured, and is now officially retired. He’ll be joining the Warriors staff as part of the front office.
- Exact same story with Leandro Barbosa. Barbosa just retired at age 37 and is joining the Warriors coaching staff.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- Jokic murdered the Clippers left and right, north to south. The Joker led the slate with 67 DKFP while getting an enormous 34-14-7 dub-dub to which he added a steal and a block, all of that shooting 59.1% and hitting 4 treys, also the most in the game.
- Only Paul George was able to reach more than 50 fantasy points finishing with 57 himself. He stuffed the line with 33 pops, 6 boards, 3 dimes, 5 (!) steals, and a block. Rather nice performance by PG13, although the Clips flopped big time...
- Kawhi finished with 49 DKFP (25-8-5) while Murray and Gary Harris were the only other two players to end with 30+ DKFP.
- The Nuggets were able to snatch a very improbable win (they trailed by 19 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter) and the ROI King award went to... Gary Harris! G-Hache reached 31 fantasy points while playing 42 minutes (!) and dropping 16 pops on the Clips. He only needed 19.9% of possessions to do so, and also contributed a nice 2-4-4 rebounds/assists/steals to round his nice night. Not many more valuables plays out there...
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Marcus Morris! You could have given it to Monty Harrell too, because both sucked too much. MaMo played almost 30 minutes and all he could do was score 5 points and grab 3 boards... while Monty finished with a superb 5 points and 1 rebound in his 15 minutes of playing time. That’s horrifying, to say the least.
- Only one dub-dub via points and rebounds (Jokic’s 34-14) and none between points and assists.
- It was a day for the thieves. Three players finished with 3+ steals, including Lou Williams (3), Gary Harris (4), and slate-leading Paul George (5). Nobody blocked more than 2 shots with Zubac getting to that mark and grabbing 12 boards.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for today’s slate
- Love: (SG) Paul George, LAC ($8600, vs DEN): Make it or break it, dawg. PG13 had tough stretches through this playoffs, was criticized, etc etc... but he’s stepped up his game against Denver although the Clips have somehow trashed a 3-1 lead and face elimination tonight in a critical G7. George has finished the last two games (both losses) inside the top-5 fantasy players of those slates scoring 50 and 57 fantasy points. He had a silly-bad fourth game, but other than that he’s mostly got it right and the last couple of matches he’s averaged a sweet 29-6-4 line while hitting 4 treys in each of them. He was able to steal five balls two days ago, and has three blocks too in those two games. The minutes are super high, also, and it is not that that will change tonight.
- Hate: (PG) Goran Dragic, MIA ($7300, at BOS): Dragic had a pretty good series against Indiana but he’s been steadily slowing down since the mid-point of the second-round affair with the Bucks. His fantasy points have gone from 40+ to 32, 35, and just 24 in his last three games while still playing 33+ minutes in all of those matches. Dragic keeps starting for the Heat, and will remain to do so, but allow me to doubt his upside against the Celtics. The Bucks were able to cut his production a bit short, and Boston will deploy Kemba and Smart on Dragic, which are both defensive dogs. I wouldn’t risk a roster spot on Goran at least for Game 1, and until we see how Dragic deals with Boston’s defensive system and assignments.
- Love: (C) Nikola Jokic, DEN ($10000, at LAC): Jamal Murray ate Utah alive in the first round, but it’s been all about Jokic beating on the lack of talented interior men on the Clips squad this series. The Joker has known no foe able to stop him during the past five games. He’s put up five consecutive dub-dubs, never scored fewer than 22 points or grabbed fewer than 11 rebounds, he’s playing 38+ minutes a night, and the line reads 28-14-6 while shooting 54.6% from the field and scoring at least 2 long-rangers per game (four in Game 6). No matter how much LA knows about Jokic exploits, they just can’t do anything to stop him. He will keep thriving against no opposition either in the zone, or outside of it launching bombs from distance. Seemingly the best play from tonight’s slate, by far.
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!