Beware the ides of March. If you’re an emperor or a salad dressing, March 15th is a day to be careful. We’re also in the dog days of the basketball season and you have probably seen the same analysis on the same guys.
With that in mind, I thought I’d change it up in a big way today. I’m sure the DFS people will like this because that’s what this column is all about.
We’re going to focus on where players get minutes and their efficiency/usage. If you want points, boards, and rebounds, then you can hit up the blurbs or box scores.
We’ll be looking at each teams’ lineups based on where the guys are used. It should be pretty helpful, especially if players are shut down. The following tables show where the players got their minutes from Tuesday. These numbers are rounded, so there are some positions at 47 or 49. I also added the usage rates and true shooting percentages of every player.
Let’s get to it:
Nuggets 110 at Magic 116
Notes: Hey, Scott Skiles kept it tight for a change. He had a clear second unit with Mario Hezonja backing up both Victor Oladipo and Evan Fournier. The Magic were on fire early and Fournier finished with 30 points. Gordon was also red hot early, but only finished with 16 points. He looks really good and not having Vooch around should help everyone. He seems like he might be out for a bit. Jason Smith was awesome with 25 points and 13 boards, so Skiles probably trusts him now.
Takeaways: Basically you have to like the four non-center starters and Jason Smith here. I still wouldn't add Smith unless it's 16 teams or deeper.
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Notes: Faried tweaked his back, so that explains the low output on his minutes. That really opened up some run for Darrell Arthur and the Nuggets also went small, too. We also saw some Barton at the four again. Gary Harris is getting all he can eat and he added three steals. He looks poised to be a difference maker. Hey, Will Barton also had some efficiency with 15 points, four boards and two turnovers. Mudiay was also very solid in a losing effort. He's coming around.
Takeaways: Arthur is a pickup in standard leagues now and make sure Barton wasn't cut. There will be usage to go around. Harris should be owned in all leagues, obviously.
Celtics 98 at Pacers 103
Notes: Coach Brad Stevens mixed it up with Marcus Smart starting next to Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. The starters played 17 minutes together and they were actually good with a plus-13.8 net rating, but their bench was killed. Jonas Jerebko was actually really good with 17 points, but Olynyk could hurt him. Smart really can't hit his shot right now, but he still has upside. Evan Turner was also awful with six points, five boards, five dimes and one turnover.
Takeaways: Smart and Turner should benefit while Crowder is out. We also didn't see much small ball, too. That is likely a matchup move by Stevens, though. The Pacers don't go small anymore as you'll see.
Notable absences: Ty Lawson (foot)
Notes: Eww, George Hill. He can't make shots and has been really bad. He had just 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, one block and two turnovers. Paul George is not getting PF minutes anymore and he seems like he's coming around again. Plus, he's adding a lot of stats these days. Jordan Hill was also briefly hurt, but he looks like he's OK.
Takeaways: Hill owners are in a bad spot. He's really struggling, but chances are you won't find anyone better on the wire. We also really need to see Myles Turner hit jumpers right now. He's also a cut candidate in shallower formats.
76ers 114 at Nets 131
Notes: The 76ers were BAD on defense and allowed the Nets to score the most points in a regulation game since 2000. Like, Y2K or Nokia phones were poppin' back then -- and saying poppin'. Hollis Thompson looked OK in the starting lineup with 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two treys. Isaiah Canaan looks like the winner from the Covington injury with 20 points in this loss. Carl Landry had some offense run through him and he had a nice line of 10 points, eight boards, four dimes, one steal and one block. He'll be a nice value this week. Sauce Castillo was also very productive with 18 points, seven rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers.
Takeaways: I'm kind of feeling Sauce. He has two good games in a row, so one more and I'd think about grabbing him over Hollis. Canaan is also a nice piece to own right now and the same goes for Landry. This is DFS value heaven right now.
Notable absences: Willie Reed (knee)
Notes: DON'T MESS WITH THE BOJAN! He matched his jersey number with 44 points, adding eight rebounds, two assists, four 3-pointers and three turnovers. Thaddeus Young also went off with 14 points, 16 boards, four dimes, two steals, three blocks and no turnovers. Sean Kilpatrick continues to impress with 19 points.
Takeaways: You kind of have to add Bojan here. I'd also consider adding Kilpatrick in 16-team leagues. He's got some skills and is a nice fit. The Nets have to sign him.
Raptors 107 at Bucks 89
Notes: If you had the guts to start Norman Powell, you were probably on Nickelodeon GUTS as a kid. He went off for 17 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers. Summer League matters, apparently. Powell was really good in Vegas. Biyombo was also really good, as expected. He put up 12 points, 13 boards and two blocks. Ross was a big letdown with just 11 points, three rebounds, one assist and three 3-pointers.
Takeaways: It makes sense to add Biyombo as JV insurance, but this was a great matchup for him. JV should be back very soon, though. Also, keep an eye on Lowry resting on Thursday.
Notes: Hey, Jabari is getting small forward minutes and he did on Sunday, too. He's really growing and his career trajectory looks nice. Obviously Giannis Antetokounmpo is a stud, posting 18 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, three blocks and one turnover. He's a "small forward" but it's PGiannis to the fullest. The PGiannis started in Summer League, of course. Bayless only had 11 points, one steal and one 3-pointer.
Takeaways: Bayless is worth a look, but he is going to be so up and down. Giannis is a monster.
Clippers 87 at Spurs 108
|Luc Mbah a Moute||23||23||0||6|
Notes: This was a pretty boring night, which is nothing new when it's in San Antonio.
Notable absences: Jonathon Simmons (illness)
Takeaways: Kevin Martin isn't going to have value, but we knew that.
Kings 106 at Lakers 98
Notable absences: Ben McLemore (hand)
Notes: So much for more minutes for Seth Curry, but Willie Cauley Stein did get some extended run. Darren Collison is getting a ton of run, posting a line of 22 points, one rebound, six dimes, one steal and one 3-pointer.
Takeaways: Collison looks really good and WCS should be added now.
|Metta World Peace||19||19||17||16|
Notes: Nothing really to see here. The Lakers were out of sorts and their young guys should get more run next time. Don't expect Huertas to play this much
Notes from Tuesday
Jimmy Butler is probable for Wednesday against the Wizards. The Bulls are trying to cut down the length of his stints to prevent swelling. He should be good to go, which means less run for Doug McDermott.
Derrick Rose (groin) is questionable for this game, as well. He said he will listen to his body and chances are it says, “Derrick, nah.” E’Twaun Moore would get another start.
Mike Dunleavy (illness) is questionable again. His absence helps out Justin Holiday and Doug McDermott. Be careful on McDermott because he was en fuego in the first half with 24 points. I’d be fairly surprised if he scores 15 actual points with only a few other stats.
Bradley Beal did not practice on Tuesday and is questionable for Wednesday against the Bulls. That’s not good and he’s a cut candidate now for owners in do-or-die situations.
Norris Cole (back) is questionable again. He missed the last four games with his sore lower back. Toney Douglas destroyed it in garbage time on Monday, so be careful in counting on him again.
Arron Afflalo is going to come off the bench because why not get some shooting guard post-up possessions in the second unit? Sasha Vujacic is not an option even as a starter. Kristaps Porzingis is back.
Coach Ty Lue said he’s planning on resting players. There is a very good chance players sit on Thursday against the Magic. Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith are more likely to rest, but obviously LeBron James and Kevin Love are candidates, too.