We’ve revamped the NBA Targets post to give a little bit more of a diverse look at each slate rather than focusing on just a couple games. Here's a preview of each matchup and my thoughts on the top picks, other picks to consider, and some players to avoid for tonight.
ORL @ HOU over/under 205, Rockets -11
This game has the highest over/under of the night, but unfortunately the second biggest spread as well. If the Magic can keep this game even remotely close, there could be a massive amount of fantasy potential in it. With Evan Fournier out, both Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris have been playing heavy minutes and they’ve been aided by the emergence of Elfrid Payton as a playmaker recently. As for Houston, it’s hard to fall in love with anyone other than Harden in this game as he’s the engine that makes their offense go, but if Patrick Beverley is out, Jason Terry becomes very interesting.
CHA @ LAC over/under 200, Clippers -10
Today’s only other even remotely high scoring game also has a pretty big spread. The Clippers still aren’t at full strength, but getting Blake Griffin back is a huge first step. He nearly triple-doubled in his first game back and looked more than healthy enough to play the 41 minutes he was on the court for. His return is going to dampen Chris Paul’s heroics a bit, but Paul’s usage rate should remain high enough for him to be playable for as long as Jamal Crawford remains out.
Zach Randolph -- PF MEM
Randolph finally broke out of his March swoon with 21 points and 16 rebounds last night against Denver and he heads into a dream matchup tonight. The Pistons have struggled with power forwards on the season, but are second to last in the league against them in March. Now Greg Monroe has been ruled out and he’ll see Anthony Tolliver, more of a small forward masquerading as a power forward, lined up across from him. Look for Randolph to repeat last night’s performance in this one, assuming it remains close.
Nikola Vucevic -- C ORL
Vucevic is a top center play any time he’s healthy and he’s sure looked healthy for the last few games since taking a few games off. Over his past 3 games, he’s averaging 19 points and 13.3 rebounds in 36.4 minutes per night. The Rockets are still without Dwight Howard and are a bottom three team against Centers in March. Vucevic has attempted 19.3 shots per game over the last three and will likely be fed early and often in this one.
Tobias Harris -- SF ORL
We can target the other really weak spot in the Rockets defense as well, small forward. In March, the Rockets are second to last against small forwards and are one of only two teams allowing an efficiency rating of over 25 to the position. Tobias Harris has worked his way into the top 10 in the NBA in minutes over the last two weeks and will likely maintain a spot there until Evan Fournier returns to the lineup, which won’t be tonight. Harris hasn’t had a breakout game recently, but he’s been consistently around 30 fantasy points with some upside in good matchups like this.
Terrence Jones -- PF HOU
Over the last 5 games Jones has averaged 13 points and 10 rebound with a block and a steal each, also known as, exactly what you’d expect Terrence Jones to do in 30 minutes per game. I think there’s some upside for more tonight as the Magic play two bigs pretty often, which could push Jones over the 30 minute plateau against the Magic power forward spot that’s been a revolving door all season. They’ve tried 5 different starters there and have yet to find a good fit next to Vucevic. They are one of only 5 teams in the NBA allowing an efficiency rating of over 30 to the power forward position in March.
DeAndre Jordan -- C LAC
Jordan is going to fly under the radar a bit again with Blake Griffin back in the fold for the Clippers, but Griffin affects him a lot less than you’d think. Jordan was able to pull 20 boards and block 4 shots with Griffin back in the lineup against Houston and Jordan has been out rebounding Griffin for a long time now. The Hornets have been bottom 5 in efficiency defense against centers for the last three months and have a coach that won’t be afraid to send Jordan to the line early and often in this game.
Langston Galloway -- PG NYK
With Alexey Shved likely garnering the attention of Kawhi Leonard tonight, that should leave Galloway to exploit the Spurs league-worst point guard defense in the month of March. Tony Parker has looked excellent on offense, but he and Patty Mills have left a lot to be desired on the defensive end since their returns from injury. It’s been covered up a bit by Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan against good teams, but Galloway should thrive tonight.
Tony Allen -- SG MEM
Allen isn’t a guy you’ll find me listing very often, but it’s a testament to just how well he’s playing right now. Over his last 6 games, he’s racked up 12 points, 5.4 rebounds and his usual 2.7 steals per game. He’s always been able to rack up steals at a league best rate, but when he’s turning in 12 and 5 to go with it at the shooting guard position, there’s some value to be had here. The Pistons play two offensive-minded shooting guards that have left them as a bottom 5 defensive team against the position this season.
Alexey Shved -- PG NYK
Shved has been really impressive as a fantasy asset lately. He’s been throwing up huge numbers and the Knicks really have no reason not to play him right through the blowouts that are occurring almost nightly these days. Over his past 6 games, he’s averaging 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per night. Those numbers are fantastic, except for the fact that it likely lands him the Kawhi Leonard treatment tonight as the Knicks only real scoring threat on the perimeter. I’d prefer to avoid him today for the increased prices.