DraftKings NBA picks July 30: The NBA is back and so is the King

DraftKings NBA picks July 30: The NBA is back and so is the King

March 11th. That was the last day we had a DraftKings NBA slate. It has been a long wait, but the NBA restart is finally here! This is going to be a new and interesting way to crown the NBA champion. The upped stakes should make the DraftKings NBA contests very interesting as well.

Speaking of, DraftKings is offering their largest ever tournament. 899,227 of your closest friends and adversaries competing for a cool million and a tournament of champions entry. That’s where I’ll be. Best of luck to all of you as well!

Due to the sheer size of this tournament, we have to find a way to separate ourselves. That means playing guys that you may not normally play. The right combination is going to be very hard to find.

Yes, even in a bubble, NBA players have injuries. Here’s what we know right now:

Out: Lou Williams (strippers), Montrezl Harrell (quarantine), Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist), Darius Miller (Achilles), Rajon Rondo (thumb), Avery Bradley (opted out).

Questionable: Anthony Davis (eye), Zion Williamson (quarantine), Patrick Beverley (quarantine).

I can’t stress enough the importance of differentiating yourself on a two game slate. If you think everyone is on Reggie Jackson, switch it up and play Clarkson. It’s okay to use a couple of the top guys, but for the cheaper plays, take the lesser traveled path in a GPP of this size.

Since this is just two games, I’m only going to discuss the theory in putting together a different lineup for the mother of all GPP tournaments. If you are playing cash, this article may not do you any good.

The early game may be where the money is made. A lot of ownership is going to flock to the Battle of Los Angeles, but there are some gems in here, especially if Zion doesn’t play. If Zion is out, Jaxson Hayes gets a huge boost. If Zion plays, Hayes becomes a huge risk.

Jrue Holiday is one of my favorite plays on the slate. So is Mike Conley. That’s why I might use Lonzo Ball. Ball has a nice matchup, and pairing him with Holiday if Zion is out will get off the Mitchell/Reggie ownership. Conley has looked much better in the bubble than he did in March when they shut down. That takes Clarkson down to a bench role, but he can put up a lot of points in a short amount of time, which makes Clarkson perfect for a tournament like this.

With Bojan not entering the bubble, Joe Ingles is going to garner huge ownership and for good reason. However, he’s going to have problems if he’s trying to guard Brandon Ingram. A Pelicans stack is risky against Utah, but their defense isn’t as good as it was in 2018-19. I see a lot of lineups trying to use both Ingles and Ingram at the F slots and running LeBron at PG or UTIL. Fading Ingles gives leverage and opens up the F slot for a guy like Paul George, who has 83 DraftKings points in two games against the Lakers this year.

On to the L.A. game, Davis says he’s playing. If he does, that takes Kuzma out of play and takes some of the luster off of LeBron.

The absence of Harrell creates an interesting conundrum for the Clippers. Do they run Zubac or Joakim Noah? Either one could be a nice bargain play, but sparring with Davis limits both of them.

To me, this L.A. game is more about the interesting asides. Will the Lakers run Markieff Morris against Marcus when the Clippers have him on the court? Where exactly does Dion Waiters fit in for the Lakers? KCP and Danny Green provide the coveted defense, but Waiters can drop points in a hurry.

I see them running LeBron at the point with Rondo out and using Waiters/Green at SF. Waiters is going to be a chalk bargain, but I’m using him anyway.

If you are trying to avoid ownership, try Landry Shamet. If you want a team full of studs, use them both. They should both play enough minutes to hit value for the price.

Speaking of value, in this large of a GPP, 6x value isn’t even likely to win you the top prize. You’re going to need 7x. You can get that out of guys like Waiters, Shamet, and Hayes if Zion is out. Where do you get it among starters? That’s one of the reasons I’m high on the Holiday/Ingram duo from the Pelicans. Even if Zion plays, they’re going to put up good numbers. If Zion plays, he’s way too cheap. The Pelicans aren’t going to limit him like they did in the regular season.

If you’re taking a shot at the million, good luck, and I’ll see you at the top!