The Core Four
Anthony Davis– Finally New Orleans gets to play Denver. Davis has had a day to rest his hip that he hurt last week and New Orleans needs a win in a desperate way. Nobody on Denver has the size or skill to defend Davis so I expect Davis to dominate Denver. What will be interesting to see is how many shots Davis blocks. I expect at least five because of the size of the big men for Denver, and the youth Denver has on the perimeter in Mudiay and Barton attacking the basket with reckless abandon. Absolutely zero reason to not play Davis tonight.
Dennis Schroder– This is a obvious play anytime Teague misses time. Schroder is the kind of player who just needs playing time to put up good numbers. This game being in Brooklyn against Jarrett Jack should make Schroder a fantastic play today. It seems Schroder likes playing in big markets so he can showcase to the teams with money why he deserves a big contract after his rookie deal expires.
Thabo Sefolosha– Kent Bazemore will also be missing tonight’s game against Brooklyn. I kind of expect Atlanta to use somewhat of a committee to absorb Bazemores minutes, but Sefolosha should get at least 25 of those and is extremely cheap.
Marvin Williams– With PJ Hairston missing the game tonight Charlotte will be going with a bigger lineup and playing with Williams at small forward. Williams will probably still get time at power forward so his minute’s floor should be solid. I think the best thing for Williams is getting the start at small forward and getting the matchup with Anthony instead of Porzingis who has a huge height advantage on Williams.
Jeremy Lamb– I am going to assume that if for whatever reason Williams does not have a good game it is because Lamb took some of his minutes. Lamb has found new life in Charlotte after being disappointing in Oklahoma City as apart of the James Harden trade years ago. Lamb seems to have a solid floor tonight due to the Hairston injury.
John Wall– It looks like Beal will be out tonight I think Wall explodes tonight. Wall has had a poor shooting season and I fully expect Wall to get out of that funk tonight. Wall knows that he has to take on the offensive load without Beal so I expect him to get going early scoring the ball and get his teammates involved as the game goes on.
Dwayne Wade– Wade has not played in a week so he will be extremely fresh tonight. His matchup with Wiggins is not ideal at all, but with all the rest I can see Wade doing all the non-scoring things to help Miami win.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope– I think playing it safe with Pope tonight is a fantastic idea. Pope gets to play so much, but never plays good enough to get a salary boost. With J.R Smith guarding him tonight I can see Caldwell-Pope hitting his salary with relative ease. Detroit has lost four straight games and Stan Van Gundy is going to have a short leash with his bench against Cleveland.
Otto Porter– With Beal out Porter will obviously be more involved in the offense. The way Milwaukee plays is the exact style that benefits Porter. Think of it like when Thad Young plays Milwaukee. Porter is a better athlete and shooter so think of how much upside that presents with Porter getting more shots in the offense.
Harrison Barnes– This game has small ball written all over it. Toronto will take out Scola and play Carroll at the four. I like Barnes in situations when this happens. Barnes tends to attack the basket more and get rebounds much easier.
Kristaps Porzingis– Power forward is not the best position today so going with Porzingis is your best bet outside of Marvin Williams. When Porzingis gets consistent minutes one day he will be a fantasy stud (Hard to believe I am saying that). You could also play Humphries if you wanted to spend as little money as possible on your second power forward.
Al Horford– Horford seems like the logical choice tonight with his usage going up with no Teague. I really do not think that center has any strong plays and Horford is the default option for me. If you want to go cheap at the position go with Robin Lopez.
Cory Joseph– As well as Joseph has been playing lately giving him consideration is probably a good idea in a game that could feature him playing down the stretch as in the small Toronto lineup mentioned earlier.
Eric Gordon– Just like Davis, you can expect a solid offensive output from Gordon against Denver tonight.
Bojan Bogdanovic– I assume Coach Hollins has figured out Bojan is his only scorer off the bench and needs him in the games to help space the floor for Brooklyn.
Justice Winslow– With all the rest Miami has gotten the past four days I would expect the starters to play more minutes.
Andre Drummond-Drummond has finally got too expensive to just play him against whomever. No need to play him against Mozgof.
Karl- Anthony Towns– People seem to think that Towns against Whiteside is a good spot to play him in. I disagree.
Arron Afflalo– Basically not sure on how much he will play right now and he still needs to get into game shape. The tempo of the game is also going to be slower so his opportunities will be limited.
Final Notes: I do not collaborate with Mike when writing this article every day. For all I know he could be leaning towards using everyone I say to fade. This article is intended to be another viewpoint. Always use the RotoMinds projections and Optimal Linueps as a primary source and use The Eye Test as another look on everything