By this time next week, the Value Index will have turned over a new leaf.
One more week of injury watching, regular season NBA basketball and then it’s Opening Day (insert cheers).
While i am certainly excited for baseball season, we still have some basketball to tackle.
Tonight we have a small, 6-game slate with one marquee matchup – Cleveland at San Antonio.
There are a lot of question marks heading into tonight (what’s new in the March NBA?) Memphis is coming off a game against Golden State and is on the second night of a back-to-back against Sacramento. Marc Gasol sat last night and could sit again considering the opponent.
DeMarcus Cousins is nursing an injury and was ruled out Sunday, Carmelo Anthony hasn’t played in a couple of games, Gordon Hayward is questionable and the list goes on. Don’t be surprised, with the playoffs looming, if star players sit tonight, especially if they are even remotely injured.
Stay close to your lineups prior to lock, there is surely to be some players sitting tonight.
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Analysis: I am almost certain this spot is a potential place for Conley to take a night off. Coming off a competitive game against the Warriors and taking on Sacramento, a team that has nothing to play for. I certainly am not sure that Gasol plays, but I am going to hope Gasol sits and Conley is left to lift this team to a win. Randolph gets the biggest usage bump with Gasol off the floor. Conley is averaging 30 minutes and 35 fantasy points per game in this matchup. Those numbers should see a large bump should Gasol sit.
Analysis: DDR is coming back to form in his past three games. He and the Raptors have been struggling to find answers while Kyle Lowry is out. But a struggling Raptors team against a team in full give up mode in the Orlando Magic has DDR on my radar tonight. In their last five games, the Magic have allowed 49.2 fantasy points per game, 6 more than their season average. DDR has played more than 31 minutes and scored an average of 41 fantasy points in two matchups against the Magic. None of those games have come with Serge Ibaka on the team, but we will get to him shortly. DDR has a 39.2% usage rate with Lowry off the floor, one of the top usage rates on the slate tonight.
Analysis: At some point, LeBron is going to start playing better defense. Maybe reserving that effort for the playoffs, but we can continue to attack the Cavaliers with small forwards. The last time these two teams met, both sides sat all of their players, so we had a nationally televised game full of scrubs. Hopefully that is not the case tonight, so Kawhi fills the SF slot for today’s Index. Kawhi put up a monster game in his only meeting with Cleveland this season, almost dropping 60 fantasy points. Should all sides play their starters, i think we can lock Kawhi in for a full complement of minutes and lots of scoring.
Analysis: #RevengeGame. It’ll be interesting to see how much Ibaka will want to stick it to the Magic in his first game against his former team. With no Kyle Lowry and a lack of defensive prowess at PF, Ibaka is in a great matchup despite the narrative. In their last 10 games, the Magic are allowing 55 fantasy points per game, nearly 10 more points than their season average. That is likely because Ibaka isn’t around anymore. Ibaka is a tournament flyer only for me, but hopefully his recent floor won’t kill you should he struggle.
Analysis: I really had Andre Drummond here, ready to go. But i just can’t. Gobert has been a beast this season and is almost a lock for a double-double every night. His price is elevated, but he is far more productive when Derrick Favors is out and that is what we have here. With Gordon Hayward also questionable, Gobert may be relied on a little more to score down low where New Orleans has struggled some this season. I think Gobert’s more of a cash game play due to his price, but I will lock him into cash games.