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.
TOR @ BOS over/under 208, Raptors -1
This is the game I’d love to target heavily tonight, but the problem is, there aren’t really many plays that stand out. The Raptors are still fighting with the Bulls for seeding, while the Celtics have just secured a playoff spot. The Celtics rotation is just too deep for me to really love many of their options tonight, but reigning player of the week Isaiah Thomas is hard to ignore, while the Raptors continue to get solid production from DeMar DeRozan and Tyler Hansbrough, filling in for Amir Johnson at power forward.
LAC @ PHO over/under 206.5, Clippers -10
This game is a little lower scoring of a line than I would have expected, but with the blowout potential, it makes some sense as the benches for both of these teams are atrocious right now. I think the Suns put up a fight in this one though, but they’ll be at a big size disadvantage if Brandan Wright can’t go, as expected, they will start the Morris brothers up front last game he was out. Blake Griffin has been playing heavy minutes as the Clippers have struggled to put teams away, which makes him my top play tonight.
Blake Griffin -- PF LAC
Griffin is quietly having a pretty killer season despite missing some time with injuries and ailments. On the season he’s averaging a pretty awe inspiring line for a power forward, with 22 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists. As usual, his steals and blocks numbers could be higher, but it’s hard to complain when you’re getting more than five assists per game from a power forward. In three games against the Suns and Markieff Morris this season, he’s racked up 29 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
DeMar DeRozan -- SG TOR
DeRozan has really come into his own since Kyle Lowry started dealing with back issues. He’s been basically a lock for around 40 fantasy points for the last two or three weeks and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. His post-up game has thrived against the small Celtics backcourt his season, racking up averages of 30.5 points and 4.5 assists against them on the year including a 38-point game when these teams met recently. He’s the top play in tonight’s best game to target.
Isaiah Thomas -- PG BOS
Thomas was surprisingly last week’s East Player of the Week despite some very low minutes totals. He’s been playing exceptionally well and efficiently, especially given the fact that he had been dealing with a painful back injury. Thomas offers some outstanding upside as the one true creator on the Celtics roster, coupled with the awful point guard defense the Raptors have been playing since the All-Star break.
DeAndre Jordan -- C LAC
Jordan’s price has never come all the way back down since his Blake Griffin-less run through the league around the All-Star Break, but it’s for good reason. His upside remains immense and he’s displayed it again recently, racking up 36 points and 37 rebounds over the past two games. The Suns will be playing most of tonight’s game without a true center, which should mean more massive rebounding totals for the likely Defensive Player of the Year.
PJ Tucker -- SF PHO
Small forward is absolutely awful on this slate, but we’re going to have to roster them anyway. PJ Tucker has played 33 and 39 minutes over the past two games and the Suns will be playing incredibly small again tonight with no Brandan Wright, so his rebounding should be very solid with plenty of minutes at the power forward position. He has some offensive upside with his jump shooting, but he hasn’t shown it off much lately, shooting just 32.6% over the past five games.
Archie Goodwin -- PG PHO
While Goodwin may get another start tonight as the Suns play small, he’s also a guy that should play in garbage time if it comes around as well. That makes him an extremely high-floor play for someone of his price despite some struggles of late. He shot just 5-for-15 in his last start, but he’s been a decent peripheral producer this year when given minutes and the shot volume looks like it’ll be there on a team with few creators left.
Jonas Valanciunas -- C TOR
Valanciunas is one of those guys I hate to play, yet still stands out on a small 3-game slate like this. He’s shown off some nice upside at times this season and his biggest question mark has been foul trouble of late, that’s led to many of his down games. However, it’s hard not to love him as a GPP option at worst in a matchup with the Celtics terrible interior defense that he’s posted averages of 13.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2 blocks against over two meetings. He’s hard to trust in cash games, but there aren’t many center options tonight to avoid him for.
Kyle Lowry -- PG TOR
Lowry still just doesn’t look right to me and I’m not really sure why he’s playing at anything less than 100% right now. He draws a tough matchup with Marcus Smart tonight, who is one of the few point guards in the league that can match his strength. I don’t dislike Lowry overall, I just think there are better places to spend and not spend at point guard tonight.