NBA Quick Hits for August 26, 2020

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bathrobeDFS here with your daily analysis.

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Quick Analysis

ORL “at” MIL – 8/18 – 4pm


Vegas Total:   227 – MIL 120.75 – ORL 106.25

Injuries – ORL:    Aaron Gordon – OUT / MCW – OUT / Melvin Frazier – QUESTIONABLE

Injuries – MIL:   NONE

Pace – ORL:   25th – 98.6

Pace – MIL:   1st – 105.1

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – ORL:   Nikola Vucevic (40th) / Evan Fournier (55th) / Terrence Ross (71st)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – MIL:   Giannis (1st) / Khris Middleton (33rd) / Eric Bledose (59th) 

Quick Hits

  • Same as I’ve been saying the whole time – Usage gets sucked up by Giannis making everyone else an incredibly risky play the more money they cost. There is no one on Orlando to stop him, so there’s no reason for anyone else to get the ball (except Bledsoe and whoever else is running point at the time, though Giannis runs the ball up a bunch too).  Giannis is 11300 and it’s still not enough for his ceiling. He keeps getting about 66 DKP and he’s not even dominating all game, and he hasn’t gotten a triple-double yet. If he does today, he could get you closer to 80 DKP. Especially if this game stays close
  • Vegas does not think this game will stay close. 
  • Neither do I
  • This means I will not be playing Khris Middleton at all. 
  • Eric Bledsoe, as I addressed earlier, is still going to do a lot of stuff. The main issue is he’s only playing 26 minutes so his ceiling is capped. Yeah he could get you 36 DKP or so, but the odds of him getting 50 and helping you win the tourney are slim
  • This also opens up the backup guards for some value, even though, unfortunately, they aren’t sure things and, with all of them healthy, they aren’t getting full runs
  • My favorite is probably George Hill, though I wish he was 3500 again and not 3900. That does make a big difference when it all comes down to it. The other main backup guards – PatCon and Done DiVincenzo – are cheaper, but get less minutes and come with significantly more volatility. If you think this game blows out and no one plays the 4th quarter, these are the guys to take, though.
  • Frank Mason is 3800. He has played less than one minute in the playoffs. That’s more expensive than every backup on the Bucks but Hill. WHAT AGAIN.
  • Wes Matthews had a great game, and he still only put up 22 DKP. So that should tell you how bad a play he is.
  • Brook Lopez is a mediocre play as well. He has 25, 25, and 29 DKP his last 3 games (rounding). So, at 5200, he’s not bad. But, like with Bledsoe, he’s just not showing any type of ceiling (with Giannis taking all the rebounds ). Lopez has been getting his value from shooting 3s. Which I don’t think we can count on for long stretches. If he gets hot and he keeps hitting, he’ll crush it. But I don’t want to bet real money on that. 
  • On Orlando, Vucevic is still an amazing, amazing play. Like I said from the start, he ticks all the boxes that the Bucks are weak against. He had one bad game, one game where he got 50 DKP and 2 games where he got 62 and 63.5 DKP in the playoffs so far. As I said, he should be well over 10k for the production he’s going to get against this Bucks squad. 9200 is a steal. Just one that’s so hard to afford. 
  • Every other play on Orlando is viable but not a lock. Basically, if you’ve been watching the series, it has all come down to riding the hot hand. Especially the hot hand from behind the 3-point line (or after adjusting to stupid ejections). Is that going to be Fournier (5400) today? Probably not. But he’s shown 50 DKP upside before and he’s hurt people enough that ownership will be low. But, like I said, that merely makes him viable. 
  • Fultz (5100) finally had a great all-around game and put up 35 DKP. It feels like you can not play him and Augustin (4800) in the same lineup. One has a good game and the other flops. Will it be Futlz or Augustin today? Both are viable, neither a lock. 
  • Ross (5000) got 30 DKP. That’s the 2nd time he got more than 5x value on his current salary. He also has 19 and 24 DKP. I think betting on him to keep hitting 3s is a good strategy, though, since he is the most prolific shooter on the team. Still, 5k is a lot and there’s a good chance his shot doesn’t fall. You are paying for shooting. If the shooting isn’t there, he could easily tank you. Viable. Not a lock.
  • Ennis (4400) has 2 games, 1 ejection, and 1 mediocre game. He produces across the board, giving some rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He hasn’t had a really great shooting game in the playoffs (he only reached double digits in real points once). So, yeah. Viable. Not a lock. 
  • Gary Clark (4200) has now reached a price where he’s fair. He can get you that 17 DKP or he can get you 26, but more likely than not he’ll get you around 20. And that is just not enough. If he gets you 26? You’re fine. But sometimes the rebounds don’t go his way and his 3 pointer doesn’t fall. He is getting the minutes though, and his price is low enough I understand taking a stab there. Which translates into viable, not a lock.
  • You can play Khem Birch if you’re desperate. You can play Wes Iwundu if you’re playing showdown and you’re super desperate and don’t mind a zero.

OKC “at” HOU – 8/18 – 630pm


Vegas Total:   225 – HOU 114.5 – OKC 110.5

Injuries – OKC:    NONE

Injuries – HOU:   Russ Westbrook – GTD

Pace – OKC:   22nd – 98.8

Pace – HOU:   2nd – 103.7

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – OKC:   Dennis Schroder (28th) / Danilo Gallinari (49th) / SGA (60th)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – HOU:   James Harden (3rd) / Ben McLemore (149th) / Austin Rivers (152nd)

Quick Hits

  • Well, right before writing this Westbrook was upgraded from out to questionable, which is something that would dramatically change the course of the game. We have seen OKC be favorites a lot this series and, today, HOU is the favorite in Vegas. That leads me to believe that Russ is going to play. 
  • Believe it or not, given pricing and everything, this doesn’t change much for me since I thought Harden was already far too expensive compared to Giannis and LeBron (and even Brow). 
  • In the 4 playoff games, against a really hard OKC guard defense, Harden has put up 58, 50, 62, and 74 DKP. For 12k that is basically 1 really good game for the money, 2 mediocre ones, and 1 poor one. Even if Westbrook is out, given his constant popularity, I am going to get off him. If Westbrook plays, I’m even more off. 
  • If Westbrook plays, he’s still over 9k. I doubt he gets full minutes. I doubt he’s not rusty. I just don’t know how you can trust him. His presence, if anything, just demolishes the value of people like Danuel House and Austin Rivers
  • I expect Eric Gordon to keep filling his role. I like him regardless of Westbrook, but i hate his 6100 price tag. I expect him to clear 30 DKP with a shot at 40 DKP, but he really should be in the 5000s. It’s a lot harder to take a shot here, though, again, I think 30 DKP is a pretty safe bet. 
  • Covington is doing defensive things and not producing enough to consider him at that price
  • House, Green, and Rivers are all viable (but not locks) if Westbrook is out. And 3 people I would not consider playing if Westbrook is in. Green sees a significant boost with Westbrook out, believe it or not, and I would trust him to get the 20 DKP more than the 40 DKP today. If Russ is out, though, he’s alternating good and bad stars. He’s in line for another 40. (Don’t actually use this as a metric for if you play someone)
  • PJ Tucker is viable at 4300. He put up 28 DKP last game, but I think that among ot shooting and rebounding is a bit of a fluke. Still, he’s going to get up to 40 minutes a game and he’s gotten 23+ DKP 3 out of 4 games. He doesn’t have a big ceiling, but he’s cheap and consistent and that may be enough
  • I will continue to hammer the OKC guards against Houston, even if Westbrook is back. I would normally like them less if Russ plays, but, again, I expect him to be rusty and I’ll take some dudes who are in playoff shape against Russ (who, in all fairness, always plays at playoff pace). 
  • I wouldn’t take all 3 in a lineup but, if you don’t wanna go with the big stars on this slate, I love taking CP3 (8100), SGA (7400), and Schroder (6400), and their 6-7x upsides. Schroder has found his shot recently and he’s still just underpriced for that. He’s coming off 37 and 46 DKP performances. I think he’s a fantastic play for the money.
  • Similarly, SGA has 44, 52, and 44 DKP his last 3 games. This means he should be 8500 or so. 7400 is a joke. 
  • Gallinari is a GPP play at best, but he sees tougher defense as I have been saying, so I expect less out of him. Ditto Adams.
  • Lu Dort (4200) is getting as many minutes a game as Harden. He put up 26 DKP 2 games ago and, last game, got into some foul trouble and only put up 21. Still, while he doesn’t show prodigious ceiling, he shoots 3s, plays solid defense, and gets rebounds. He’s definitely a decent play for the price. 
  • A Game Theory Note: If Westbrook plays, everyone, like me, will be off Harden. A smart Game Theory play is to get Harden in there and hope he hits his ceiling today, even with Westbrook in. It’s not like it’s impossible. And the ownership will be lower on him than it ever should be given his potential. It’s just not a team against which hitting your ceiling is easy.

POR “at” LAL – 8/18 – 9pm


Vegas Total:   223 – LAL 118.25 – POR 104.75

Injuries – POR:    Dame Lillard – OUT / Zach Collins – OUT / Nassir Little – OUT

Injuries – LAL:   KCP – PROBABLE / LeBron – PROBABLE / Anthony Davis – PROBABLE / Rondo – DOUBTFUL 

Pace – POR:   13th – 100.8

Pace – LAL:   11th – 100.9

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – POR:   Dame Lillard (14th) / CJ McCollum (38th) / Carmelo Anthony (85th)

Top 3 Usage (with NBA Rank) – LAL:   LeBron (11th) / Davis (19th) / Kuzma (70th)

Quick Hits

  • Lillard is out.  Oh man.
  • Will this game stay close enough that it matters? 
  • Vegas says no
  • I say no
  • Ownership on CJ McCollum and the rest of the Blazers is going to be out of hand here.  He will do the ball handling today and he will take more shots. He has a chance at a 2×2 and an outside shot at a 3×2. 8100 is just too cheap for him. On top of that, they need to win this game. So why would they rest him. If they are down, I expect him to be in there trying to get the game within reach. I have no problem locking him in your lineup no matter what
  • Jusuf Nurkic, on the other hand, sees his PPM absolutely tank when Lillard is out of the lineup. While the sample size for this season is, obviously, low I went back and saw it was consistent last season as well – when Lillard is out, Nurkic sees a PPM decrease of over 0.2. That is crazy, but shows you how differently Dame and CJ run the offense. We are going to see a lot of shooting, not a lot of PnR and inside plays. 
  • This means I also like Hassan Whiteside significantly less and, given he’s one of the top 3 most popular plays today, I will be off him. 
  • It does make me love the last 2 (normally) relevant Blazers, though – Carmelo and Gary Trent. Carmelo will be popular today and he should be. There’s going to be a ton of usage and shots to go around, and Carmelo is going to take a bunch of them. He’s not priced for that. 
  • Trent, on the other hand, has been absolutely terrible so far in the playoffs. Like TERRIBLE. He hasn’t gotten more than 17.75 DKP in 4 games. And he played 34 minutes last game. He’s not getting the shots, and, when he does, he’s cold. If a lot of those Lillard shots fall to Trent (and a lot could), we could see him have another one of those 30-40 DKP games we saw during the restart. I think people will ignore him, but, with a CJ led offense, Trent’s upside is huge today. I want in on it.
  • We also open up Anfernee Simons as a value play. I expect him to be an incredibly chalky play here, as people think he will fill the role Lillard filled. But he won’t. CJ will be the PG. Simons has a great chance to get some scoring, but he’s probably going to be far too popular for the 4k price and ownership.
  • On the Lakers side, if you think this game blows out, I don’t know how you can play LeBron and/or Davis at those prices. I would much rather focus on other games/mid priced players. 
  • If you think this game does stay close, you better be stacking the living hell out of CJ and either Brow and/or Bron. 
  • If you think this game blows out, expect Kuzma and Caruso to get some extra run here. I like them both. Kuzma is a lot more of a risk at 5300. Caruso might be super sneaky. 
  • Danny Green is slightly too expensive. 
  • McGee and Howard are also both viable. I like McGee more. If you think this game completely blows out, I don’t trust any old guy to get backup run. That means neither of this guys or Morris or anyone else like that. I don’t think backup players will get blowout run. It’ll be 3rd stringers. That makes it harder to trust anyone here. At all. 

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