There were no NBA games on Monday due to baseball’s opening day and the NCAA Championship Game. Congratulations, Villanova! What a game! Here’s a preview of Tuesday’s super-busy 11-game slate. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!
Suns @ Hawks – The Hawks are still battling for playoff position and the Suns keep running their veterans out there despite not having anything to play for. P.J. Tucker and Tyson Chandler have been particularly fun to own lately and should make for solid DFS options tonight. Brandon Knight is out for the year, so Ronnie Price and Archie Goodwin should get some extra run at point guard.
Pelicans @ Sixers – This could be a DFS bonanza with low-salary producers at every turn. Luke Babbitt, Toney Douglas, Jordan Hamilton, Tim Frazier, Alexis Ajinca, Dante Cunningham and Jeff Ennis are all cheap options for the Pelicans, and all of them put up some numbers on Sunday night. The Sixers are in a similar situation, as Carl Landry, Jerami Grant and Isaiah Canaan all put up big stats on Saturday and should be ready to roll again tonight.
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Hornets @ Raptors – Both of these teams are in the playoff mix, although the Raptors are also in a form of rest mode. The Hornets should give big minutes to Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller, Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum (questionable with a sore knee) and Courtney Lee, while Jeremy Lin and Frank Kaminsky should play at least 20 minutes off the bench. For the Raptors, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and DeMar DeRozan are not locks to play and Lowry and DeRozan both sat out on Saturday. The good news is this is a home game, so hopefully the Raptors will play their studs. Watch for updates on their status on Tuesday and look for Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross and Patrick Patterson to step up if any of their teammates are rested. And don’t sleep on SG Norman Powell, who starts and has scored in double figures in six straight games.
Pistons @ Heat – The Pistons are clinging to life as the No. 8 seed right now, so they should be going all out against the Heat, who currently sit at No. 5. The Pistons are two games up on the surging Bulls, and will be treating this as a must-win game. Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should all be good to go. For the Heat, Dwyane Wade has now sat out two straight games with a neck injury. Gerald Green is filling in, but is completely hit or miss, and my guess is Wade will be back for this one, anyway. Joe Johnson, Luol Deng and Goran Dragic should all be reliable starters tonight, while Hassan Whiteside looks like the Sixth Man of the Year for Miami. If Wade can’t go, Josh Richardson will see some additional run while backing up Green, but hasn’t been very reliable lately.
Bulls @ Grizzlies – Jimmy Butler is going crazy right now and looks like a must-start in DFS. Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson are both banged up and haven’t been playing for the Bulls. It doesn’t sound like either is a lock for tonight, so look for more Pau Gasol and Butler. Bobby Portis has been starting, but not doing much, and the same goes for Mike Dunleavy. E’Twaun Moore is relevant again, Aaron Brooks isn’t a great replacement for Rose, and Nikola Mirotic is as hit-or-miss as they come. The Grizzlies are fading fast, but will make the playoffs, as Zach Randolph, Matt Barnes, Jordan Farmar, Tony Allen, JaMychal Green and Lance Stephenson should all see big minutes. Farmar and Allen were benched for much of Sunday’s loss to the Magic, when Barnes got loose for 24 points. No-name Xavier Munford was a factor on Sunday and had 10 points in 34 minutes. I expect Farmar will reverse that trend tonight. The Grizzlies, who have lost six straight games, desperately need a win and are just two games away from being knocked out of the postseason.
Cavaliers @ Bucks – The Cavs are 3.5 games up on the Raptors and this is a roadie, so there’s a chance guys could get a rest. Kyrie Irving sat out on Sunday, while LeBron James nearly triple-doubled, Kevin Love scored 25 and J.R. Smith actually got hot and scored 27 in a win over the Hornets. Matthew Dellavedova started for Irving and had six points and nine dimes, and Irving is questionable tonight. In short, check in on Tuesday afternoon to see who’s in and who’s out for the Cavs. The Bucks are out of the playoff hunt and don’t really have a point guard to speak of. They’ll try to win one for the home crowd and play spoiler tonight. Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo are hot, while Damien Inglis and Rashad Vaughn started for the Bucks on Sunday. John Henson has really cooled off lately and you can no longer trust him. And Tyler Ennis had seven points, eight assists and two steals in 31 minutes on Sunday, making him a sleeper at point guard. Khris Middleton sat out on Sunday with a thigh injury and will be questionable for this one.
Thunder @ Nuggets – The Thunder basically a lock for the No. 3 seed in the West and the Big 3 are due for a rest. So far they’ve kept on trucking, so just verify on Tuesday afternoon that Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are all good to go for this road game. Denver won’t be playing in the postseason but Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris should all be good to go tonight. Kenneth Faried played just 16 minutes on Saturday and he’s just not very trustworthy right now. Will Barton’s in the same boat and scored just two points in his last game after missing all nine of his shots. Joffrey Lauvergne had 15 points and six boards in 24 minutes off the bench, and Jusuf Nurkic had nine points and nine boards in 16 minutes. The three-headed center thing is happening in Denver, while a guy named Axel Toupane scored 14 points in 19 minutes. Don’t take the bait on Toupane and look for Barton to bounce back in this one.
Spurs @ Jazz – The Spurs won’t care about this road game and don’t have much of a chance at catching the Warriors. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard both started and went off against the Raptors on Saturday, but whom the Spurs will start tonight is anyone’s guess. If LMA and Kawhi start tonight, go ahead and turn them loose, but I really don’t trust any other Spurs players the rest of the way. The good news is that this is not a back-to-back situation, so hopefully the regulars will play. The Spurs do have a road back-to-back on Thursday and Friday at GSW and at DEN, and my guess is Gregg Popovich will sit out his studs in Oakland on TNT, which would be so Pop. The Jazz are clinging to life and the No. 8 seed in the West so they’ll really be trying to win this game. Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert, Shelvin Mack and Rodney Hood all played pretty well on Sunday against the Suns, and those are the guys you want to mess with tonight. Trey Lyles came off the bench for 13 points and a couple 3-pointers on Sunday, but he’s only an option if Favors is sitting out.
Blazers @ Kings – The Blazers are still fighting for playoff position and Al-Farouq Aminu, Moe Harkless, Mason Plumlee, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum all played pretty heavy minutes in Sunday’s loss to Golden State. Ed Davis and Allen Crabbe have been getting nice minutes off the bench, but Aminu, Harkless, Lillard and CJM are the only Blazers you’ll want to rely upon right now. The Kings are a mess and DeMarcus Cousins has missed two straight games. It sounds like he may play in home games, though, so he could be out there tonight. Stay tuned to the Rotoworld News Feed to see if he’s playing tonight. Rudy Gay actually played well in Saturday’s win over the Nuggets, while Willie Cauley-Stein, Darren Collison and Ben McLemore all scored 14 points in that one. Kosta Koufos, Seth Curry and James Anderson all came off the bench on Saturday, and all played pretty well. I don’t think you can touch Koufos is Cousins plays tonight, but if he’s out, Koufos is a great and cheap option as a DFS center. And WCS hasn’t been playing well alongside Cousins, so think twice about using him if Boogie’s a go. Curry is hot and looks like a great DFS value play either way. Omri Casspi is out with a hamstring injury.
Wolves @ Warriors – The Wolves have nothing to play for but would love to be a spoiler for the record-chasing Warriors. Gorgui Dieng, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins should all be solid fantasy plays tonight. The Warriors’ dream of going undefeated at home is dead and this should be a pretty easy win for them, as they pursue the Bulls’ record of 72 wins in a season. Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson all went off on Sunday and Harrison Barnes played 33 minutes. The Warriors will hope to seal up a victory early in this one and owners of the aforementioned studs have to worry a bit about a blowout benching in the second half. The Warriors are three wins away from tying the Bulls with five games left. They host Minnesota tonight, the Spurs on Thursday, are at Memphis on Saturday, at San Antonio on Sunday and finish up at home with Memphis on Wed., April 13.
Lakers @ Clippers - The Lakers are having fun despite their record, as Kobe Bryant’s career winds to a close. Kobe had 34 points on 11-of-28 shooting against the Celtics on Sunday and my guess is he’ll play against Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan tonight. Julius Randle is hot, Jordan Clarkson scored 17 on Sunday, and Roy Hibbert has actually been playing well over his last few games. D’Angelo Russell hit just 4-of-14 shots but still had eight points, nine rebounds and six assists on Sunday. Using any of the Lakers’ starters makes sense in this one. Blake Griffin was back for the Clippers on Sunday and had six points, five rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes. He should be better tonight, assuming he plays. DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul double-doubled on Sunday, J.J. Redick scored 18 points and Jamal Crawford scored 19 off the bench. Austin Rivers had 10 points and a nice line, but played just 18 minutes. He’s worth a look if CP3 sits out, but my guess is that it’s all hands on deck as the Clippers say goodbye to Kobe “at home.” The Clippers and Lakers play back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday is at the Clippers, and Wednesday is at the Lakers, even though both games will take place in the same arena. Owners of Clippers will want to be sure to see who is in and who is out for both games.
Enjoy a busy Tuesday night!!