DraftKings NBA Picks March 24: Kyrie Dominates Late
The NBA just can’t let the college guys have their moment. There are eight NBA games today. The early bird at noon eastern gets it’s own showdown slate in the Garden. The other three early games are the early slate, and the main one has the last four. These slates are just big enough to give us a few interesting choices.
It was a truly awful NBA night last night. Lillard, Bryant, and Bagley were strong, but Ellington, Durant, and Chandler Parsons were duds.
The winning lineup was a modest 348.75 DraftKings points. He built with Trae Young, Simmons, Butler, and the Miami front along with Portis, Jonas, and birthday boy Quinn Cook. Cook was about the only Warrior to come anywhere near value!
I get asked a lot why I chose one player over another in a certain tier, so I am switching things up a little. Instead of just putting the plays I like from each price tier, I’m going to put in more of my thought process in here instead of just telling you what to do. If you don’t think my logic is sound, then you can make your own choice.
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DraftKings NBA Showdown: Clippers at Knicks:
There is kind of a putrid matchup in Madison Square Garden today, but the NBA wants to try to make it important. Really, who is going to watch this over the NBA tournament?
As far as showdown slates go, this is about as boring as it gets. On top of that, you have to deal with the horrendous Knicks rotations. It is arguably easier to deal with on a showdown since you can throw two or three guys in there that SHOULD crack the rotation. You don’t have to be quite as precise.
For the captain here, I think Montrezl Harrell is the kind of consistent pick I want there. He can smoke the Knicks up front, who are still without Noah Vonleh. Lou Williams is a close second, but I chose to just insert him into the lineup regularly. You could go with Emmanuel Mudiay, who has arguably the most upside, but also a massive downside. Right now playing for the Knicks is a downside in itself.
I decided to pass on Danilo Gallinari since that is the one position the Knicks have actually defended with consistency. That’s where my one Knick comes in. Kevin Knox has been playing huge minutes, and he’s really the only Knick I went out of my way to put here. Honestly, he’s the only one I trust.
I understand wanting to use DeAndre Jordan because he has destroyed his former team. The only issue here is the Knicks rotations. I’m choosing to prioritize the Clippers side of this and basically ignore the Knicks like the rest of the league has.
DraftKings NBA Early Picks:
The status of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kyle Lowry are going to define this slate. Both are listed as questionable, but Lowry is much closer to doubtful at this point. The Raptors are already in the playoffs, so the worst case scenario would be to play him in a relatively meaningless game and possibly lose him for the playoffs.
The same is true for the Bucks. They do want to keep the number one seed, but at what cost? Not at losing Giannis! I expect the Bucks to sit Giannis. I know that Cleveland beat them with Giannis out last week, but what are the chances of that happening again?
Darren Collison is expected back, but I won’t be rushing out of my way to play him. Honestly. I see no reason to even mess with the Denver-Indiana game at all. Both teams are pretty deep and the rotations can be inconsistent.
That means leaving the highest priced player in Nikola Jokic off the slate. I am comfortable doing that, but many will not be. I see both sides of it, but I believe we can get the same production as Jokic out of Kawhi Leonard with Kyle Lowry out. I prioritized Kawhi and Pascal Siakam here against Charlotte.
Running that back with Kemba or Charlotte value is the way to go. However, if you play Kawhi and Siakam, we can only afford one of Khris Middleton or Kemba. If Giannis is out, I’m going with Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Eric Bledsoe. If Giannis ends up playing, it’s an easy pivot off of both to Kemba and Fred VanVleet and Kevin Love.
With the big names of Kahwi, Bledsoe, Siakam, BroLo, and Middleton taking up $37,300 of our $50k salary, we have three slots to fill and only 12,700 to do it. That’s a shade over $4,000 per piece.
Pat Connaughton has been seeing big minutes with Brogdon and Giannis both out. He has produced very well, and is still priced very reasonably. The same is true for Danny Green with Kyle Lowry out. So plugging in Connaughton and Green, that gives us only $3,900 for the last slot.
This one was pretty easy. You look for the other injury on the slate. Nicolas Batum. That has left a lot of minutes open for Miles Bridges, and the rookie has been exceptional lately. You could move down to Malik Monk or Dwayne Bacon, but since I have the money, it’s Bridges for me.
DraftKings NBA Main Picks:
The day slate had no major stars on the slate, but we have a couple here. Maybe. The Lakers are saying that LeBron will play, but I’m not messing with this at all. The Lakers are going to rest him every chance they get since the Lakers will be watching the playoffs on TV just like us common folk.
The other one is Stephen Curry. Curry is expected to play after resting last night and giving the birthday boy a chance to shine. Now the Warriors are back to playing for keeps (maybe) against Detroit.
The Pistons are in the six spot right now and can’t really move up. They wouldn’t mind moving down either and winding up with Toronto over Philly. Boston is just trying to get a home playoff series right now. The Warriors are trying to run down the top seed. Same with the Rockets. The Kings still have an outside shot at the playoffs, but they can win without trying against the Lakers, right?
James Harden is the highest priced guy out here, but the Pelicans are a mess. Harden has back to back games over 80 DraftKings points, but they wont need him to do that tonight. My first instinct was to go with Elfrid Payton, but the Pelicans rested him in a blowout on Thursday. They will here again. I think Kyrie is the way to go since it’s situation critical for Boston and he has a great matchup.
The next few positions are going to be filled by Kings against the Lakers. The Lakers can’t guard off the ball, so Buddy Hield is a priority here. With the way that Harrison Barnes, and Marvin Bagley are playing right now, I don’t want to fade them either. Honestly, I just don’t like any of the options at SF, and Barnes was the best thing left since Wayne Ellington pissed me off.
At center, how can we not go with JaVale McGee after his last game? The Kings aren’t as bad up front as the Nets are, but they are trying! Speaking of horrid interior defense, the Celtics were chewed up by LaMarcus Aldridge in the first meeting. Smart can handle DeRozan. No one can handle LMA!
Now we are at a position where we need value again. Irving, the Kings, McGee, and LMA are going to take up $41,300, leaving us only $8,700 for the remaining two slots. I still love Ish Smith as a value pick, but Jaylen Brown could grab lightning in a bottle again. Cheick Diallo is an option if the Pelicans sit Davis, but no indication has been made of that happening.
DraftKings NBA Sample Lineups:
DraftKings NBA Early Sample Lineup:
PG: Eric Bledsoe
SG: Pat Connaughton, Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard, Miles Bridges, Khris Middleton
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Brook Lopez
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DraftKings NBA Main Sample Lineup:
PG: Kyrie Irving, Ish Smith
SG: Buddy Hield, Jaylen Brown or Marcus Smart
SF: Harrison Barnes or Marcus Morris
PF: LMA, Marvin Bagley
C: JaVale McGee
The early slate is pretty simple if you can make the decision to ignore the Denver/Indiana game. If you insert Jokic into the lineup, You either have to move off of Kawhi or not play Bledsoe/BroLo/Middleton. If Giannis is out, there’s no way I’m doing that.
The night slate is a place where I tried to go with stars that play in games that matter (Irving, LMA). There’s too much risk with Harden and Curry for my taste. Same for Durant. There is risk with the Kings too, but they are favorites to win, and not by a blowout. You could play LeBron here, but I still think the Lakers keep him to 32-35 minutes.
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