Trail Blazers Defeat Lakers; Spoil Lebron James's Debut in LA
The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in Lebron's debut with Los Angeles. What happened?
We gave out a ton of value on Tuesday. Josh Hart, Josh Jackson, and Enes Kanter all had big days for their respective teams, so hopefully DFS players were able to get them in their lineups last night. We’ll try to keep that momentum going with our FanDuel and DraftKings NBA sleepers for Wednesday, Feb. 7th.
This is a bit of a revenge game for the Nets’ point guard. Spencer Dinwiddie was drafted by Stan Van Gundy and the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft. After rotting on the bench in Detroit for a few seasons, the former second round pick has found a home in Brooklyn.
Dinwiddie has emerged as one of the most improved players in the NBA this season, locking down the starting point guard spot in the absence of D’Angelo Russell. The 6-foot-6 point guard comes in averaging 13.5 points and 6.6 assists per game this season, despite starting the year coming off of the bench.
Dinwiddie has been even better over his last five games, averaging 17.6 points and 7.8 dimes per game during that span. He’s managed to add three steals in each of his past two games as well, giving him legitimate defensive upside.
Eric Gordon just returned from a back injury, but his 28 minutes against the Nets on Tuesday were a good sign. The Rockets’ shooting guard has the ability to go off on any given night and James Harden will continue to attract a ton of defensive attention after scoring 36 points in his last game.
Gordon is shooting just 33.6 percent from three-point range for the season and he shot 0 of 7 from three-point range in his only game against the Heat earlier this year.
Miami comes in having lost four straight and six of their last eight games, while allowing at least 100 points in each of their last three contests. However, with the shooting guard position a little thin on Wednesday, Gordon looks like the player most likely to be overlooked by fantasy owners.
Josh Richardson has arguably been Miami’s best player this season and he even drew some All-Star consideration when the teams were announced. Richardson is averaging 16.0 points, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game over his last five contests and he’s been hounding opposing wing players all season long. His defensive versatility gives him a lot of upside in fantasy and he’s still very reasonably priced on DraftKings.
Houston has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to small forwards over their last five games, making Richardson worth a look for fantasy owners who don’t want to pay up at the position for LeBron or Jimmy Butler.
Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler have had a running rivalry with LeBron James and the Cavaliers since their days in Chicago. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has a lot of trust in Gibson at the power forward slot, especially in big games. The Wolves have struggled on the road this season, but will get the benefit of the doubt against a reeling Cavs’ squad that has really struggled on defense as of late.
Gibson is averaging one block and one steal per game over his last five contests, which adds to his upside. The TWolves’ power forward had 16 points and 13 boards against Cleveland earlier this season and should be in line for another big game against the Cavs on Wednesday night.
Pau Gasol isn’t really a sexy pick, but the Spanish center is still productive on a per-minute basis. Gasol still has the ability to put up good fantasy lines in limited action and has topped the 30-point mark in six of his last nine games. The Spurs have used Gasol to help stretch the floor on the offensive end and it has paid off. The 37-year old is shooting a career-high 1.8 three-pointers per game, while hitting 41.3 percent of those attempts.
Gasol should be able to pull away Alex Len and Tyson Chandler away from the hoop in this game. He’s played 25.5 minutes per game in two contests against the Suns this year. Look for him to produce if he’s given a similar workload on Wednesday night.