MLK Day Early Slate NBA picks
With a national holiday today, we have a wide array of game times for NBA today. With the early slate starting at 1 ET, you’re going to have to do some quick research. Here are our picks for early games only.
John Wall, Trevor Ariza, and Marcin Gortat
The Wizards draw the best matchup of the day, facing the Sixers in DC. Both being Eastern Conference teams this is actually the 3rd time these teams will face each other. In the previous two games, the best performers were Ariza and Wall, as both reached value in each game. Picking between the last 3 starters is difficult. Nene did not play in one previous matchup, and did not fare too well in the game he did play in, only registering 10 points and 5 rebounds. Nene’s price has also went up a lot in the last few games making his price a bit high for his average production. While Beal did play well in one game, with a line of 17/5/8 on 20 shots, Beal is much more of a jump shooter than a slasher and his performance does not correlate very highly with DVP, and his role in the offense was much larger earlier in the season when these two teams met. Beal is cheap on some sites however and is worth strong consideration. Gortat on the other hand, did well in both previous matchups and should do well again.
Feel free to start all 5 in cash games but for GPPs I would go with these 3.
Monta Eliis and Dirk Nowitzki
Cleveland is middle of the pack against SG’s and PF’s, but I like this matchup for both guys. Cleveland gives up the 2nd most assists per game, something Ellis correlates highly with. Nowitzki is unlike most power forwards in the league. Among big men on the team Thompson has the worst d-rating, so we should expect Nowitzki to have an easy time scoring against him. This game is at Cleveland and Dallas is only favored by 2 so there’s a very low chance of blow out, making this a favorable game to pick from. Feel free to pick both of these guys in a GPP as oddly enough their performance is positively correlated this season.
If you haven’t heard, Kemba Walker is out and his fantasy points will have to be picked up somewhere on the team. Gerald Henderson and Ramon Sessions will be popular picks, but I like MKG a lot here. Despite a solid rookie season, MKG has actually been worse statistically in his injury plagued sophomore year. That being said, his FG% is up, so its not like he’s just not making any shots. With Kemba out, I think we’ll see MKG step up his offensive role on the team. Being only 20 years old he’s still young enough to have a breakout game.
Good luck today!
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