NBA Analysis for September 1, 2020

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bathrobeDFS here with your daily analysis.

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BOS “at” TOR – 530pm


Vegas Total:   217.5 – TOR 109.5 – BOS 108

Injuries – BOS:    Gordon Hayward – OUT / Waters – OUT / Jevonte Green – OUT

Injuries – TOR:   McCaw – OUT

Pace – BOS:   17th – 99.5

Pace – TOR:   12th – 100.9

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – BOS:   Jayson Tatum (21st) / Kemba Walker (30th) / Jaylen Brown (48th)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – TOR:   Pascal Siakam (24th) / Serge Ibaka (54th) / Kyle Lowry (68th)


  • The biggest surprise in game 1 was that this game blew out, to the point that 3rd string players came in at the end of the game. Which means we can discount the last half of the 4th quarter, basically. We aren’t going to see Vincent Poirer, Romeo Langford, Chris Boucher, Matt Thomas, or RHJ unless the game blows out again. 
  • That means we can expect Boston to play 9 deep (with Grant Williams and Semi Ojeleye) getting a very, very small handful of time on the court. 
  • We can also expect Toronto to run an (even better) 8 man rotation, with Terence Davis getting a small handful himself.
  • Let’s look, therefore, at where everyone would have been, minutes wise, had the game not blown out (approx.)
  • For the Celtics, we would have seen Daniel Theis get 30 minutes, Jaylen Brown get 34 minutes, Marcus Smart get 34 minutes, Kemba Walker get 37 minutes, and, finally, Jayson Tatum would have gotten an astounding 42 minutes, assuming he played the last 5 minutes of the game had it been close. Those are all great. Especially Tatum, though the defense he has to go through is even tougher than the tough Philly D he got the better of.
  • For the Raptors, we would have seen Marc Gasol get between 26-30 minutes, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam get 35-36 minutes, Kyle Lowry get 39 minutes, and Fred VanVleet get the astounding 42 minutes here. That is not a fluke anywhere. We can expect similar numbers today. 
  • Were there any big surprises? As far as I’m concerned there was one. And not only was it a big surprise, it was incredibly consequential, and opens up an interesting deep GPP value today in both the TWOGAMESLATE and the 1 game showdown. 
  • That surprise? Enes Kanter got 0 minutes. The backup C time went to Robert “Time Lord” Williams instead. Not only that, he didn’t play the 4th quarter at all due to the blowout (and them protecting him with his injury history), and he still wound up with nearly 19 minutes!! If he had gotten a couple minutes for Theis in the 4th quarter (which is not, at all, a given), he would have pushed over 20 minutes and topped the 25 DKP he already put up. He got 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal in his time. Given that Kanter is one of the worst defenders in the NBA at C, I am going to take a bet that Williams is going to be the backup this series for defensive purposes. 
  • If we want, we have a 3300 C with 25+ DKP upside in 20 minutes of game time today. And more if Theis runs into foul trouble, which is perfectly reasonable given the way Toronto plays. I know I am going to be all over him. I’m sure he’ll be incredibly popular. If not, and you’re playing GPPs and don’t mind the risk it will be Kanter today, get the Time Lord in there. 
  • The best performers from Game 1 were the ones you would expect, given matchup. Fred VanVleet from Raptors played the most minutes (and will play the most again today). He provides a ton of scoring, and stats from all over the place (including defensive stats).
  • I also want to point out that FVV got 40.5 DKP last game at 7700 even though he went 3-16 from the field, and 2-11 from 3. He only scored 11 real points. Which, for him, is about half what we would normally expect. He racked up the points by getting 4 rebounds, 8 assists, and 6 steals. For some folks, I would say that isn’t sustainable. But FVV is a fantastic defender and, while 6 steals is a bit much, I think 40 DKP is on the low side of our expectations here. I think he’ll get 40-50, if this game stays close. With more than 50 a distinct possibility.
  • Don’t get me wrong, he’s no Murray or Donovan. I don’t think he’s going to get 50 real points and push 70-80 DKP. But he’s only 7800 and I think he’s clearly one of the best plays and best values of the day. He should/could be 9k by the end of this series.
  • Kyle Lowry is also someone who is producing across the board, and will get a bunch of minutes here. I don’t like him as much as FVV. He had a good shooting day, had a bunch of rebounds and assists, and still put up only 36.5 DKP. He always has 40-50 DKP upside, but I think he has less of a chance to get there than FVV. 
  • The Celtics spent most of their energy trying to stop Pascal Siakam, which was BRILLIANT and worked splendidly. Siakam went 5-16, including 0-3 from 3, while putting up only 3 rebounds. That’s 13 real points and 22.75 DKP in 34 minutes! Ouch and Yuck. While I think that is too low to be what you expect here, I do think that they will continue to focus on Siakam and I would be very hesitant to play him at 8k if you’re playing one lineup. If you’re doing MME, his upside demands some exposure, though.
  • Serge Ibaka wound up getting extra run in the blowout. He played a very solid 26 minutes. The problem is, due to some blowouts in the first series against a BK team that can’t defend Cs, his price is a ridiculous 6200. He’s a backup getting backup minutes and, in a good game, he just put up 28.75 DKP. Hard pass here. 
  • I consider OG Anunoby a cash type play. He plays around the same minutes and gives you the same 20-25 DKP every game. He can get you 30, he can get you 20. At 4800 it’s fair and he shouldn’t kill your lineup if you have a spot to fill.
  • Norm Powell is the opposite of OG. But that is what you should expect. 
  • Why? Because OG is someone who produces across the board stats and Norm Powell is a shooter who requires a hot shooting day to produce. Can Norm get you 45 DKP today? Absolutely. It’s not likely but it’s possible. But he can also get you 10 DKP again, like he has 2 of the last 3 games. 
  • Marc Gasol is cheap but he doesn’t do enough. He could easily be outscored by Time Lord again at 800 more. 
  • On the Celtics side, the best play was (and I think will continue to be), the hot shooting and ball-handling Kemba Walker. Kemba got only 32 minutes cause of the blowout. If not, he would have gotten 36 or so. Which means that 41.25 DKP could have been closer to 45+ DKP. That’s pretty awesome for 7600! He’s either shooting or getting potential assists. Either way, he’s putting up points. And he’s too cheap due to DK’s slow moving algorithm keeping him low priced after his slow build up earlier in the restart.
  • The 3 other most expensive Celtics besides Kemba are dudes I do not like that much. I mean I love them as ballplayers, but I hate them for what their facing and what their prices are
  • Jayson Tatum saw his price skyrocket after taking over the Sixers series. Last game, seeing the very tough defense of Siakam and company, Tatum still put up a decent game. I mean, let’s look at it – 2 games ago, against Philly, he shot 10-18 including 2-5 from 3 and put up 60.75 DKP. Last game, he shot 9-18, including 2-5 from 3, yet he only got 36.25 DKP. The reason? 2 games ago, he got a really unsustainable 15 rebounds, with 4 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal and, a real difference – he went 6-10 from the FT line. Last game against Toronto? He went 1-1. 
  • I think 40-45 DKP is a safe bet for Tatum, though I wouldn’t be shocked if he was a little higher or lower. Either way, that’s not good enough for 9200. His price hasn’t come down yet. We’re gonna have to wait. 
  • Jaylen Brown ran into the horrorshow of the Toronto wing D. He put up 29.75 DKP, and he had a decent shooting day considering the D he was going against. He hasn’t topped 33.25 DKP in the last 4 games. 7300 is way too much for that
  • In the 4 games against Philly, Marcus Smart went 0-3, 1-7, 0-3, and 1-2 from 3. In game 1 against Toronto, Smart went 5-9 from 3 en route to 36.5 DKP. That is a fluke from him and I hope people chase those points. His ancillary stats were all normal. If his scoring had been normal, he would have wound up with around 25 DKP. That’s not gonna cut it for 6k.
  • Daniel Theis is the only player I played from this game last slate. I wanted to spend up elsewhere, and 4300 was too cheap for his upside. Luckily for me he got 38.75 DKP. Unlucky, his price went up 900. In one game. Cause he put up as many rebounds that game as he did in the entire Sixers series. Yes, that’s not a joke. 15 rebounds in game 1. 3+3+5+4 = 15 in all 4 games of the Sixers series. I like Theis just fine, but don’t chase those points today. I’d rather take the chance with Time Lord or, if you want, spend up on one of the big guns in the other game. 

UTA “at” DEN – 830pm


Vegas Total:   218 – DEN 109.5 – UTA 108.5

Injuries – UTA:    NONE

Injuries – DEN:   Will Barton – OUT / Cancar – OUT

Pace – UTA:   24th – 98.6

Pace – DEN:   29th – 97.1

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – UTA:   Donovan Mitchell (13th) / Rudy Gobert (147th) / Joe Ingles (159th)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – DEN:   Nikola Jokic (32nd) / Jamal Murray (45th) / Jerami Grant (126th)

Full Analysis

  • Game 7. We’ve seen 6 games of this series so, unsurprisingly, we should know what to expect.
  • What has happened – Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell have taken over almost all usage from their respective teams, dropping 70 DKP games and 50 real point games regularly
  • I’m not kidding or exaggerating either – If you go by usage%, last game Murray and Mitchell both got nearly 40% of the usage on the team. That is insane. That’s Luka-Doncic-Without-Porzingis levels. That’s James-Harden-Without-Westbrook levels. 
  • What price are Doncic and Harden normally? 11000-12000. 
  • While the two most expensive players on the slate, Murray and Mitchell are only 9700 and 9900 respectively
  • I’m going to say that again:
  • Murray and Donovan are seeing usage rates that, if sustained for an entire season, would put them both in the top 3 in the entire NBA. People who have similar usage rates consistently put up 60+ DKP and are priced upwards of 12000. Donovan and Murray have seen a price increase but no one else this series is even close to seeing their usage and that price increase isn’t nearly enough for what they are doing.
  • I am starting my lineups today with Murray and Donovan. I don’t know how you can’t. 
  • I don’t know how you can comfortably play anyone else on these teams that cost any real salary. I mean, you can play them, but you have to know their upside is severely limited unless the entire game script changes for both teams. And I just don’t see it. If anything, both teams have been moving towards consolidating the usage. 
  • Usage is a zero sum game. If someone is getting all the usage, someone else isn’t. That means they aren’t getting shots. They aren’t getting assists. They just aren’t getting their hands on the ball enough. 
  • The last couple of games we have seen the same thing – Mitchell and Murray getting a tremendous amount of usage. Jokic and Mike Conley seeing usage in the low 20% range. Everyone else is left fighting for scraps. 
  • Jerami Grant had the 3rd highest usage on the Nuggets last game. That’s real bad for everyone else on that team.
  • Jordan Clarkson also had usage in the mid 20% range, which is great. But his TS% was 39%, so he’s just not getting the job done against that D. Even harder now with Gary Harris shoring up DEN’s D. 
  • Rudy Gobert was 5th on his team in usage. That’s terrible. 
  • So What Does it All Mean???
  • Again, starting my line with the underpriced Murray and Mitchell.
  • Not playing Jokic in single lineup but having some exposure. Especially in cash, where he’s a pretty safe bet for 5x, but shows less upside cause of Murray’s usage. 
  • Not playing Gobert.
  • Conley, like Jokic, is a pretty safe bet for around 5x, but sees a production cap. Not only due to Donovan, but due to Clarkson getting so many shots. I would love Conley if he was still 5900 or so. At 6800 it’s a much tougher sell. I know it’s a 2 game slate, though, so we gotta take what we can get.
  • Even with his 2nd-on-the-team usage this series, Clarkson has comfortably topped 5x on his current 5400 only once, barely topped 5x twice, and then underperformed the other 3 games. Last game, with Harris back and playing 20 minutes, Clarkson had his worst game, going 5-14 and 1-6 from 3, putting up only 22.5 DKP. I’m not sure that’s a coincidence
  • During the restart, when the Nuggets were fucking around and letting backups/young kids get a ton of usage, Mike Porter was crushing it. He was getting 20 shots a game. He was sinking multiple 3s. He was getting double-doubles. Then the games started to matter, and we saw Porter’s usage disappear. As I said at the beginning of this series, in order for Porter to be relevant, he would have to start out white hot and stay that way for all 4 quarters. And he has to do it in the 24 minutes of playing time he’s getting (instead of the 40 he was). 5500 is a stark decrease, but it’s just not nearly enough for what he’s doing now. Hopefully people will keep playing him, because, as we see, they make their minds up based on a small sample size and then cling onto it, no matter how much things may have changed. 
  • Joe Ingles is a shooter. So, like the aforementioned Norm Powell, he is only relevant so long as he is a) getting shots and b) sinking those shots. Well, with Mitchell getting all the shots, he is just not being asked to do anything. 4 games ago, Ingles got 2 shots the entire fucking game. 3 games ago, he got FOUR.  Last game? FOUR. That means, in 3 of the last 4 games, Ingles has seen 4 or less total shots from the floor. 
  • Someone who does that should be under 4k. Not 5300.
  • Even with the usage and minutes he’s getting, Jerami Grant is playing more D than O. He is 5100 and he hasn’t topped 5x on that since game 1. While the 23 DKP the last 2 games is promising, it’s still just not enough for 5100. Again, though, twogameslate.
  • Everyone else is, at best, a GPP play. At best
  • I don’t play Paul Millsap. He just doesn’t get asked to produce.
  • Royce O’Neale is tasked with the same. He may get you 20 DKP. That’s still not 5x. 
  • Monte Morris was not seeing enough usage as it was. Now he’s seeing even less time and usage with Harris back. 
  • Harris is a GPP play at 3900 here. He had good usage and 20 minutes is more than enough time to pay off that price. I worry they will task him to play more D and not shoot enough, but 3900 could be worse. And, hopefully, people will see the 9 DKP from last game and be completely off him. I’m not expecting 30 DKP out of Harris. But 20 or so isn’t out of the question. And, on a 2 game slate for 3900, I’ll take that chance
  • Torrey Craig will produce 1 out of 20 games. He had his game last game. Don’t chase those points.
  • Deepest GPP play goes to Georges Niang, who is getting decent usage, 15-20 minutes a game, and is only 3500. Is it likely he gets you 5x? No. Is it possible he gets you 20 DKP? Sure. In 20 minutes last game, he went 3-6, including 2-4 from 3, and put up 15 DKP. And that’s without getting the assist and 2-3 rebounds he would normally get. Again, this isn’t someone I would bother to mention, but it’s only 2 games and people need deeper looks than normal.

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