Although its Super Bowl Sunday, the NBA continues to roll ahead with three intriguing contests, kicked off at 12 PM ET by the Toronto Raptors (30-21) traveling to New York to face the (9-41) Brooklyn Nets. Toronto have been out of sorts lately largely due to their All-Star DeMar DeRozan missing four straight games.
Toronto have dropped to equal fourth in the East after losing eight of their past ten matches and will need to turn things around quickly if they wish to regain second place in the East. Meanwhile, the Net’s look to get back in the winning column after eight straight losses and a woeful 1-15 record in the month of January.
Furthermore, one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Boston Celtics (32-18) host the Los Angeles Clippers (31-19). Boston have closed the gap on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East winning six straight contests and are now only two and a half games behind the Cav’s. Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas has been phenomenal as of late. Thomas is averaging a whopping 40 points the past four games and is validating himself as a legitimate MVP candidate. Clippers forward, Blake Griffin is starting to look like himself again since his return from a knee injury. Griffin has averaged 30 points and 8 rebounds his past two games as he looks to lead the Clippers without a fellow star, Chris Paul. Tipoff for this game is at an earlier time of 2 PM ET.
NBA Sunday wraps up with a Western Conference battle between the Portland Trail Blazers (22-29) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (29-22). Portland have struggled this year on the road going 8-18 mainly due to their struggling defense. The Trail Blazers are the 6th worst defense team in the league with a defensive rating of 108.7. If Lillard and the Blazers want to make a push for the playoffs they need to work harder defensively and be more aggressive. Russell Westbrook is coming off a huge game against the Grizzles scoring the last 15 points for OKC to will them to a victory. Westbrook finished with an astounding 38 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
OUT:Enes Kanter (wrist), Chris Paul (thumb)
Monitor:Kyle Lowry (illness), DeMar DeRozan (ankle), Patrick Patterson (knee)
Each day I will be providing you guys with advice to help you score well in Draft Kings to give you the best possible chance to succeed. This will range from high-priced superstars to value players to cheaper players who can carry upside. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with everything basketball!
Fred VanVleet ($3,000) Toronto Raptors
The Illinois undrafted rookie earned the minutes over Corey Joseph in the loss of the last games to the Magic. Joseph has been struggling with his shot as of late and with Kyle Lowry considered questionable with an illness, VanVleet may get the start. Against the Magic, VanVleet scored a career-high 15 points to go with 3 assists and 3 rebounds. At the cheapest price, there can be of $3,000, VanVleet is a major steal.
Joffrey Lauvergne ($3,200) Oklahoma City Thunder
With Enes Kanter out, and Domantas Sabonis going 2 of 14 from the field in the past two contests. Lauvergne stepped up in the win over the Grizzlies scoring 16 points with 8 rebounds. At such a cheap price, Lauvergne has tremendous upside.
Lucas Nogueira ($3,600) Toronto Raptors
Patrick Patterson is considered questionable with a knee injury, if he can’t go, Nogueira’s value increases even more. The Brazilin center has been solid the past two weeks averaging 7.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2 blocks. These numbers will only rise if Patterson can’t play.
Norman Powell ($5,700) Toronto Raptors
Powell has been terrific since DeRozan’s injury averaging 17.3 points in six starts. With Lowry questionable, Powell may be heavily relied on to produce against the worst defense in the league. Powell is a must start.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4,500) Brooklyn Net’s
The shutdown defensive forward has been very solid the past month with averages of 7.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2 assists. With slim options at the small forward position where Jae Crowder is the highest priced player, Jefferson presents some solid value against a struggling Raptors side.
Raymond Felton ($4,900) Los Angeles Clippers
Felton has been the biggest beneficial since Chris Paul injured his thumb. The veteran guard has scored double-digits in seven of the past 9 games including averaging around 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Felton will continue to receive big minutes until Paul returns.
Russell Westbrook ($12,800) Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook is averaging 30.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.3 assists. That stat line alone should give you enough confidence to get past the hefty price-tag and start Westbrook.
Isaiah Thomas ($9,900) Boston Celtics
This man is winning games for the Celtics on his own. NBA fans haven’t seen a player this small and exciting since the great Allen Iverson. In the past 30 days, Thomas is averaging 34.3 points and 6.2 assists. Start Thomas until his hot streak ends.
Blake Griffin ($8,600) Los Angeles Clippers
Blake is back. Averaging 30 points in his last two contests and without fellow star Chris Paul. Blake will have to carry the workload which will result in great production. Feel confident in picking Griffin who will have a high usage rate.
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Norman Powell
SF: Raymond Felton
PF: Joffrey Lauvergne
C: Steven Adams
G: Russell Westbrook
F: Caris LeVert
UTIL: Lucas Nogueira