Nuggets at Pacers Breakdown 2/10
The last time these two teams met, the Nuggets had the upperhand 109-96 (although the game was closer than the score indicates). But when Ty Lawson isn’t playing, everything changes. Why? He’s Denver’s best player, the Nuggets don’t have a true backup point guard and they like to play at a much slower pace (the under on the over/under of 198.5 is a solid pick). Denver will go with a new starting five tonight of Randy Foye, Quincy Miller, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried and J.J. Hickson. There are likely two reasons behind this: 1. Evan Fournier will play backup point guard (and the Nuggets tend to have a lot of turnovers when this happens). 2. Brian Shaw wants Miller’s length to defend Paul George, while Chandler will guard Lance Stephenson.
The Nuggets have looked awful to start their East Coast road trip, getting dominated at the New York Knicks and then being punished by the Detroit Pistons after Lawson suffered his injury. Furthermore, with the Pacers coming off a loss and Lance Stephenson is back healthy, I do believe Indiana easily takes care of business against Denver tonight. However, there is a guy on each team worth playing.
All salaries via DraftKings
Evan Fournier $3,400 – The last time two times Lawson didn’t suit up for the Nuggets, Fournier racked up 40.75 and 20.5 FPTS in 38 and 39 minutes respectively. This came against the Bobcats and Raptors less than two weeks ago, so this was after the Nate Robinson injury and the Andre Miller situation. Even though Fournier will be coming off the bench, I expect him to get at least 30 minutes tonight. He will likely play a combination of point guard and shooting guard pending when Foye, Miller and Chandler are in the game. He will easily surpass his $3,400 salary.
Why not Foye? Other than the fact Foye’s salary is up to $6,600 and that Indiana is strong defensively from top to bottom, the Nuggets are going to play inside-out more without Lawson in the lineup. That doesn’t favor assists for Foye, which he needs to be valuable. Even though he may get 40 minutes, I don’t expect a great night from him, especially on the road.
Why not Miller? He’s only played more than 20 minutes once the entire season. Keep in mind Miller has also started three games. The nice thing is that Miller does contribute some in rebounds and blocks to go with his scoring and $3,400 salary, but I’d be concerned on his playing time with Fournier playing well and Hamilton now getting some minutes too.
Why not Faried or Hickson? Both don’t have particularly good salaries, but Hickson is a much better play than Faried. Hickson is far superior in the halfcourt and Faried really needs Lawson and the fastbreak game to be successful. I wouldn’t play either though.
Lance Stephenson $6,300 – Stephenson’s salary went down from $7,500 to $6,300 with his short-term injury. Honestly, it’s quite a joke. Stephenson put 34.25 FPTS in his first game back and the Nuggets are very weak at defending the SG and SF position. That’s also true in the last 15 games whether Foye, Fournier, Miller or Jordan Hamilton are defending at the 2. However, Foye is the best defender of the group and he will be defending George Hill. Stephenson also played 39 minutes against Orlando and never showed any signs of weakness. This is a pretty easy pick.
Why not Hill? He had one monstrous game when Stephenson was out and Portland’s weakest position in FPTS allowed is PG. Foye will be guarding Hill, which won’t help.
Why not George? I actually believe George could have a great game. But by great, I mean around 45 FPTS. You can find players who are less than $8,600 that can get that mark.
Why not West? West is playing better, but he’s $6,900. He had a huge game against the Blazers (again, Stephenson out and it went to overtime) and a good outing against the weak frontcourt of the Atlanta Hawks. Outside of that, he’s broken the 30 FPTS mark a few times, but that’s it. Wouldn’t you rather have David Lee at $6,800 against the 76ers if he suits up? Or Terrence Jones at his absurdly new low price of $5,100?
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 and start playing Daily Fantasy at DraftKings today!View all posts by Nick Juskewycz