Each morning we provide the fantasy basketball tipoff, in which we examine several key angles to get you ready for this evening’s seasonlong and daily fantasy action. We have only four games on tap Saturday, so let’s tip it off.
Plus matchup: Paul Millsap vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Millsap notched his 19th double-double of the season Friday night against the Heat, setting him up for the big 2-0 mark in that category vs. the young Bucks tonight.
Starting Milwaukee forward Jabari Parker is ranked 84th of 92 eligible power forwards in ESPN's defensive real plus-minus metric, and despite the Giannis Antetokounmpo defensive prowess, Millsap, who had Antetokounmpo on him for most of their game back in January, had 23 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four blocks and two steals. Add in that the Bucks are allowing the fourth-highest field goal percentage between 10 and 14 feet (42.7 percent) -- where Milsap is shooting 45.9 percent on the season -- and that they're the worst defensive rebounding team in the league, and you can expect Millsap to load up the stat sheet tonight.
Minus matchup: DeAndre Jordan vs. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors come in allowing one of the lowest field goal percentages in the league within five feet of the basket, where Jordan has taken 308 his 323 shots this season. In two previous matchups, Jordan’s averaged just 10 points and 11.5 rebounds against the Warriors, along with four personal fouls.
Golden State center Andrew Bogut didn’t play in the first matchup this season, but helped limit Jordan’s production in the second game. Bogut is the second-best defender among centers behind Tim Duncan, according to defensive real plus-minus, and will likely play 20-plus minutes vs. Jordan tonight.
The Warriors also rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in fantasy points allowed to centers in their past 10 games on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Key stat: Warriors' 'Death' lineup
New faces in new places
Although Hinrich was dealt at the trade deadline for reasons more financial than practical, he should see about the same amount of minutes (15.9) in Atlanta as he did in Chicago. He’ll help more on the defensive end in his return to the Hawks, though, so his ownership shouldn’t change much.
As ESPN Fantasy writer Joe Kaiser stated right after the deal was done, Morris is now in a position to be the player who averaged “15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals for the Suns last season.” In a full-time starting role (he started 24 of 37 games in Phoenix this season), he has the potential to break out in the second half of the season.
Green was averaging almost 20 points in his last eight games in Memphis, but that came in over 30 minutes of action per night -- minutes he just won't see in Los Angeles. As ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton pointed out, Green gets his points from volume (“30.9 percent from 3-point range this season, 34.0 percent last year”). Maybe leave him on the waiver wire.
NBA Saturday Primetime
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers
By far the highest implied point total of the four-game slate (223), this will be Game 3 of the Warriors-Clippers rivalry this season. The first two games went to 220 and 241 total points, so expect these fast-paced teams to get up and down the court and score.
Stephen Curry and Chris Paul are two of the top point guard defenders in the league, but that won’t mean much for the box score tonight. Paul is averaging almost 30 points, nine assists, three steals and four rebounds vs. the Warriors this season, all before his uptick in production following Blake Griffin’s injuries. On the other side, Curry is averaging over 35 points, eight rebounds, two steals and four assists in two games against Los Angeles.
The reigning MVP is more expensive on both sites, but Narrative Street might rear its head in this matchup following the Warriors being blown out Friday night by the Trail Blazers. Curry, along with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, will have a massive chip on his shoulder.