NBA Breakdown: Philadelphia vs Sacramento
The biggest game of the night for fantasy is the Kings against the 76ers. Not only is the over/under on this game 218.5, one of the highest of the season, the game features two of the worst fantasy defenses in the NBA. Nearly everyone in the game will be a good pick, but what will separate you from the pack is researching thoroughly and finding out who will perform exceptionally.
Philadelphia is bad against every position, but they give up the most to point guards. This is pretty sensible for a team that also leads the league in giving up assists, something Thomas leads his team in doing. Thomas is also one of the league leaders in drives per game at 8.3. Players who go for easy baskets have performances that tend to correlate highly with bad defenses, which helps an habitual driver to the hoop in Thomas. It seems like the Rudy Gay trade, which took Greivis Vazquez off the team and left Thomas with all the PG minutes, happened long ago but its only been less than a month since that occured, so his price is still hampered down by his statistics from earlier in the season when he was sixth man. Really easy pick tonight.
It’s tempting to choose Michael Carter Williams because the fantasy defensive numbers show that Sacramento is very bad against point guards and not fantastic against small forwards. But looking through the game logs, it’s easy to see that against bad defenses such as the Cavaliers, Magic, Pelicans, and Lakers, that it’s been Evan Turner who has feasted. Turner is a point guard like player as he 4.1 assists a game and has been very close to triple doubles this year, so expect him to have the best game out of the 76er bunch.
Gay has not performed as well in Sacramento as he did in Toronto. He is not the focal point of the offense anymore and that has given him a hit in the points and assist department. That being said there’s a lot to like about the matchup against Philly for him. First off, Rudy Gay is unusual for a small forward since he drives to the basket 6.5 times a game, which bodes well against a bad defense. He also had a great game earlier against Philadelphia when he was on the Raptors, scoring 18 points along with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Gay’s game matches up very well against Philly, and given he probably won’t be a popular pick, he may be worth a gamble.
McLemore is a talented rookie which always makes him an intriguing pick since he could have a game where he seriously emerges. That being said, McLemore’s strength is his great jump shot, so we should expect his performance to be more correlated to the pace of the game rather than the quality of the defense he is facing. That’s held true for the most part as McLemore’s best games have been against Golden State, Phoenix, and Miami, faster paced teams with good defenses. Philadelphia does play at the fastest pace in the league but with Sacramento finding so many easy baskets there shouldn’t be too much opportunity for McLemore.
Michael Carter Williams
MCW is probably the leading rookie of the year candidate this year, averaging 17.8 ppg, along with 7.5 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.1 steals. That being said, some of his best games this season have come against monster fantasy defenses such as Miami and Indiana. It appears big games are big motivation for Williams and a driver in his production. MCW has been injured often this year and since returning in the last 5 games his fantasy numbers have been down, failing to hit 35 points in his last two. He probably will do well against Sacramento, but I expect Turner to fare much better.
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