Matchup Analysis 2/12: Cavaliers at Pistons, Heat at Warriors
There are a whopping 13 games tonight, so we are taking the time to do some matchup analysis. The two games I want to focus on are Cavs-Pistons and Heat-Warriors. With some injuries to consider, the Cavs and Heat on the second of a back-to-back and strengths colliding against weaknesses, these are two contests to pay particular interest to.
(All salaries via DraftKings)
Cleveland at Detroit -8 O/U 209
Noteworthy Injuries: Anderson Varejao – OUT, C.J. Miles – Questionable, Josh Harrellson – OUT
This will be the second meeting between the two franchises, with the Pistons obliterating the Cavs 115-92 the first time around. But that was back on Dec. 23 when the Cavs were starting Andrew Bynum and their rotation looked completely different. I wouldn’t look too much into it.
The Pistons are 8-point favorites primarily that the Cavs are on the road in a second of a back-to-back. Although, the travel distance from Cleveland to Detroit is fairly short. Plus, believe it or not, the Cavs are on a three-game winning streak, which has ironically come after the Chris Grant firing.
The main thing to note here are the absences of Varejao and potentially Miles. Luol Deng has also historically done a great job defending Josh Smith, even going back to when he on Chicago and Smith was on Atlanta. The Pistons should have a substantial advantage in the frontcourt. Therefore, I’m a huge believer in Andre Drummond tonight. He’s $8,000, but going against Tyler Zeller, Drummond should have a field day on the glass and on offense.
I also believe this will be a good game for Brandon Jennings, considering the Cavs are 29th in FPTS allowed to PGs and that he owned Irving in the first matchup. But with an $8,600 salary and so many games happening, you can find better elsewhere.
As for the Cavaliers, I hate being recently biased, but I’m going to make an exception here – Anthony Bennett at $4,000. If you missed it, the No. 1 pick went for 36 FPTS in 30 minutes of play (also missed 5 FTs). Bennett has been recently getting a little over 20 minutes per game, but with Varejao out and Bennett becoming a force on the glass, his value certainly increases. I’m not guaranteeing another 36 FPTS outing, but Bennett has been playing much better and I think he gets near 30 FPTS, which certainly outdoes his salary.
I’m also on board again with Dion Waiters (if Miles is out), who is really flourishing in his sixth-man role. With a $5,300 salary, is the only perimeter scorer off the bench since Jarrett Jack is starting and as someone who has put up over 30 FPTS in his last three games, he’s definitely worth a play. DraftKings doesn’t adjust salaries very well outside of star players, and this is a perfect example.
Miami at Golden State -1.5 O/U 204
Noteworthy Injuries – Dwyane Wade – Questionable (migraine), Andrew Bogut – Doubtful (Shoulder), Jermaine O’Neal – OUT
This is the second and final meeting since it’s an East-West matchup. The Warriors went down to Miami and put on a clinic in South Beach between Steph Curry (36-12-2-2) and David Lee (32-14-3).
A lot of people are going to play Curry, but this is a situation where you fade him. He’s the most expensive PG at $10,400 and the only way he’s going to go over 50 FPTS is if he catches fire from three. Sure, he might do that, but I don’t like being limited to one thing for a guy to hit an expected salary. Miami gives up the fewest turnovers in the league and allows the third fewest FPTS to PGs. So, even though Curry went off in the first matchup, I wouldn’t expect that the second time around.
For the Warriors, the two guys to consider are David Lee and Draymond Green. Miami has really struggled stopping dominant big men (see Lee’s last game, Blake Griffin or Al Jefferson). We haven’t seen it as much recently since the Heat haven’t played many of the All-Star caliber post players, but they haven’t gotten any better and are still very weak on the glass. I really like Lee at $7,400.
As for Green, he benefits from the injuries to Bogut and O’Neal (Bogut hasn’t been ruled out yet, but signs are he won’t play). He’s only $3,500, he went for 4-7-3-4-1 in the first meeting and put up 35.75 FPTS last night. I also think you’ll see at least 30 minutes for Green tonight.
Why not Maurice Speights? Yes, he had a monstrous game, but it was against the 76ers and he only got extended minutes because it was a blowout, he had a hot hand and was able to take it to his former team. Green has a superior all-around player, and the Warriors will need him going against the Heat. Fade Speights.
For Miami, of course Wade is questionable. The only Heat player worth considering is LeBron James, and that’s only if Wade sits out. Other than his outing versus the Jazz, LeBron has been crushing it in February and will have to do more of the work with Wade out. I’d also give a slight bump to Chris Bosh, but again, I’m not crazy about either. With LeBron $10,900 and Kevin Love $11,000, I’d rather go with Love for matchup purposes.
DraftKings is offering a 100% deposit bonus up to $600 if you sign up through Fantasy Winners. With the NBA season just getting under way, now is a great time to get into fantasy NBA on Draftkings. Use our link to sign-up today!View all posts by Nick Juskewycz