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?
Cleveland’s defensive struggles have been well-noted since Isaiah Thomas returned from injury and the Cavs have surrendered an average of 54.9 FanDuel points per game to point guards over their last five contests. Elfrid Payton‘s minutes have taken a slight dip over the last five games, as he’s conceded some floor time to veteran D.J. Augustin, but that doesn’t worry me here.
Having Hezojna in the starting five gives Payton another shooter to dish to on the perimeter and the young point guard has enjoyed playing against the Cavs throughout his career. In two games against Cleveland this season, Payton is averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game. Look for some good across-the-board production from the Magic point guard in this game.
Since Josh Hart has entered the starting lineup over the Lakers’ last two games, the rookie from Villanova has poured in 14.5 points and pulled down 12.5 boards, notching double-doubles in each of those contests. The Lakers went 2-0 in Hart’s two starts, which makes it all the more likely he will be in the starting lineup once again. Hart is an efficient scorer that plays hard on both ends of the floor.
With Kuzma struggling and Ingram playing more of a facilitator role, look for Hart to get some good minutes and put up a solid all-around stat line for L.A. in this game. Given his price on DraftKings and FanDuel, he is well worth the risk, especially against a reeling Suns’ squad.
Speaking of the Suns, Josh Jackson has been one of the few bright spots in Phoenix as of late. The rookie first round pick has taken a leap forward in his development over the past month and Jackson has finally begun to flash some of the potential that made him the No. 4 overall pick in this past year’s NBA Draft. He’s fresh off of a career-high 23 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field in Sunday’s loss to the Hornets and Jackson comes in having scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games.
With Devin Booker out for this one, both Jackson and TJ Warren will likely see a boost in their usage rates and overall value. If you’re looking for another reason to take a Suns’ player tonight, the Lakers have given up the third-most FanDuel points to small forwards over their last five games.
This feels a bit like a punt play, but Ryan Anderson has really been heating up from long range lately. The Rockets’ power forward has hit 12 of his last 23 three-pointers over the last four games and is fresh off of a 21-point performance against the Cavaliers. Brooklyn has surrendered the most FanDuel points to power forwards for the season and over the last five games as well. The Nets will also be without Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in this game, which will undoubtedly hurt their perimeter defense. At his relative price, he’s worth the gamble in what could turn out to be a free-flowing game on offense for both teams.
Enes Kanter has been an absolute monster on the glass as of late. The Knicks’ center comes in averaging 16.8 points and 15.4 rebounds per game over his last five contests. Kanter has posted double-digit rebounds in each of his last five games and has even managed to sprinkle in some defensive stats during that time frame.
On a Knicks’ team that doesn’t have many consistent scoring threats outside of Kristaps Porzingis, Kanter should remain a key cog in the Knicks’ offense on a nightly basis. He torched the Bucks for 17 points and 18 rebounds just two games ago. Look for Kanter to get his daily dose of points and rebounds once again on Tuesday night.