Were you entertained last night by the return of the NBA? If not, you are sure to be tonight with a full slate of games. In what could be a possible Western Conference Finals matchup and likely the most entertaining game of the evening, the Spurs head up I-35 to take on the Thunder in Billy Donovan’s NBA debut. It should be fun to see a healthy Thunder roster and how touches are divided up between Durant and Westbrook.
A larger player pool means our picks are more spread out. That being said, only Damian Lillard finds himself in the Highly Touted category. Lillard will be options 1, 2 and 3 for the Blazers now that LaMarcus Aldridge has taken his talents to San Antonio.
The numbers in the parenthesis are the number of experts that picked that player to give you more context as to the gaps between players and the tiers. So without further delay here are the Industry Consensus picks for the first full night of NBA action.
- Damian Lillard (8x) – Lillard gets the keys to the team this season and has his chance to shine.
- James Harden (6x) – Harden claimed earlier this week that he, not Steph Curry, should have been the NBA MVP last season…well James, go prove it!
- CJ McCollum (6x) – McCollum will provide nice scoring punch as the 2nd option in Portland.
- DeMarcus Cousins (5x) – Boogie and George Karl had a tumultuous offseason in which in looked like he’d be shipped out.
- Anthony Davis (5x) – Davis will look to bounce back from his 4-20 performance in Oakland on Tuesday.
- Terrence Jones (5x) – If healthy, Jones will get plenty of opportunities in the uptempo Houston style of play.
- Emmanuel Mudiay (5x) – Mudiay is the rookie that I’m most excited about watching. He will provide some electric play but is sure to have some rookie stumbles as well.
- Shane Larkin (4x) – With Deron Williams now in Dallas, Larkin takes the reigns in Brooklyn.
- Kyle Lowry (4x) – Lowry has been tremendous the last two seasons.
- Clint Capela (4x) – With Howard and Motiejunas both out, Capela gets the start.
- Andrew Wiggins (4x) – Wiggins showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie campaign last season. He will look to keep it up in his sophomore season.
- Lance Stephenson (3x) – Stephenson and Doc Rivers both are hoping that a change of scenery will be good for “Born Ready”. He has immense talent but sometimes struggles to keep his noggin on straight.
- Trevor Ariza (3x) – Ariza fit in nicely in his first season in Houston.
- Danilo Gallinari (3x) – If the 6’10” Gallinari could boost his rebounding numbers, he’d be a DFS star every night.
- John Wall (3x) – Wall leads the Wiz to start a season full of high expectations.
- Nerlens Noel (3x) – Noel was just a couple of rebounds/game away from averaging a double-double in his rookie season. He will look to build on that in 2015-16.
- Greg Monroe (3x) – Monroe is a horse. He starts his first season in Milwaukee tonight against the Knicks.
Good luck everyone and catch us on Friday for the next edition of Expert Consensus.
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