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
- Tale of two halves in yesterday’s Game 5, with Miami dominating the first one and Boston flipping the script to snatch the win, put the series at 3-2 Miami, and live to fight at least another day.
- Seriously, check this out: Boston shot 25% in the first quarter, but they stepped up slowly but surely as the minutes keep getting off the clock to pull off the feat of overcoming Miami’s advantage and close the game at 121-108 after outscoring the Heat 41-25 (!) in the third quarter.
- Miami better improve its three-point shooting, because the 7-for-36 is not going to cut it many days...
- Win or go home game tonight for Denver, which will face Anthony Davis after his injury hasn’t put him on any sort of risky situation to miss G5. As if the task wasn’t going to be tall enough even without AD around, now he’s a virtual lock not to miss any time. Ugh.
- It seems the NBA is determined to bring fans back to stadiums come next season, and they have already sent some manuals to all of the franchises in the Association with instructions on how to disinfect an prepare the arenas.
- The Cavs want to re-sign Tristan Thompson, but I don’t think there is any way TT wants to come back to Cleveland any time soon. Expect him to sign with a contender even if it means lowering his demands. Remember Andre Drummond is opting into his player option to remain in Cleveland next year, too.
- A little over a month until the 2020 draft, and the Warriors seem to be higher on Tyrese Haliburton than on LaMelo Ball. Truth be told, it never made much sense for the Warriors to draft him in terms of fit, with a biggie being their best option unless they wanted Ball to flip him later that same night or before the start of the 2021 season. How much will the younger of the Balls drop? We’ll see come draft day.
- Nikola Mirotic moved to Europe to play for Barcelona this season, and is now re-signing with the Spanish club until 2025. Kudos to the Spanish league MVP for making a decision of his own and take his own path even if that meant ditching the NBA.
- Incredible bit here: Zach LaVine will enter the 2021 season at 25 years old. It’ll be his seventh NBA season and he will play under his sixth head coach in that span. Crazy.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- Back-to-back no. 1 slate-finishes for Jayson Tatum, who played all of 43 minutes yesterday and completed a 31-10 dub-dub for 56+ DKFP. He added 6 nice assists to that mark and also stole a ball while shooting a putrid 36.4%... Tatum’s shots are finding it hard to drop, but hey, that only makes his cases stronger as he’s not even needing them to help the Cs stay alive.
- Two more Celtics finished with 40+ fantasy points, and only Jimmy Butler reached that mark for Miami. Jaylen put up a 28-8, Marcus Smart stuffed the line with a 12-8-8-4 line, and Butler reached another 17-8-8 game similar to Smart’s only without the steals.
- Let’s at least mention Daniel Theis and Bam Adebayo, who both finished with 38+ fantasy points yesterday.
- Speaking of Boston’s victory and a certain big man, the ROI King award went to... Daniel Theis! Very great game by Theis, who finally got it right and in just under 35 minutes he was able to drop a sweet 15-13 double-double on Miami while blocking three shots and shooting 60% from the floor, leading all men in the game at it. Smart gave a lot of value back to his owners too, with Duncan Robinson coming in third.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Tyler Herro! It is crazy that Herro is even making it to this category, let’s be honest. The rookie has been booming around through this series, but yesterday just wasn’t his day. The price has sky-rocketed lately, and he just couldn’t live up to it with a paltry 14-3-1 game in which he hit 2 triples but was far from reaching his Game 4 exploits. Gordon Hayward was another horrific play yesterday finishing with a silly 10-3-2 line in 30 minutes off the pine.
- Two dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Tatum’s 31-10 and Theis’ 15-13) and none on points and assists.
- Shouts out to Marcus Smart for stealing 4 rocks, and kudos to Daniel Theis for leading the slate with his 3 blocks.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for today’s slate
- Love: (C) Nikola Jokic, DEN (at LAL): Jokic kicked off the WCF with a rather bad game of 31 DKFP but rebounded to lead the G2 slate in fantasy points. He had a good G3 (45 DKFP) but his G4 performance was really low on the scale with just 35 DKFP and foul trouble limiting his minutes to 35. I’m all in for some positive regression here and another rebound in a do-or-die Game 5 for Denver. I have zero confidence in the Nuggets pulling off another comeback down 3-1 to these Lakers, but I fully trust Jokic putting on a much-needed show today. Also, you saw how LeBron ate Murray alive on D when it mattered most, so I like the Joker chances more than Jam’s. Give me a 15-10 line as Jokic’s baseline tonight.
- Hate: (C) Dwight Howard, LAL (vs DEN): Can’t hate on Dwight so much because he’s a really cheap play with upside—you saw what he did in G4 starting and playing just 22 minutes. But what are the odds DH put on another gem of a game on back-to-back matches? I don’t trust Howard tonight, and I believe Jokic will thrive, which means no cookie for Dwight. High-stakes game this one for Denver trying to stay alive and LA trying to close the series and go rest a bit, so I don’t think any guy outside of the top-four will play a high role or be fantasy-relevant today.
- Love: (SF/PF) Michael Porter Jr., DEN (at LAL): Paul Millsap is plainly sucking against Los Angeles. See, I get that he plays good defense and all, but he’s just a zero on offense that you can trust him for heavy minutes. His playing time was already cut to 17 in G4, but Porter only logged 20 himself. I think this will keep going the rookie’s way and he’ll play more and more for as long as the Nuggs have chances and keep playing games. If there is a potential player with chances to have a big game outside of the fantastic four that must be MPJ exploding for some high-scoring outing while grabbing some boards and dishing out some dimes here and there.
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!