The Shot Dude: Different Animal
Now that the NBA playoffs have begun, I expect things to go a bit differently.
Since there's an increased emphasis on defense, expectations for fantasy output are a whole different animal.
Your favorite Shot Dude is not expecting high scores in these NBA games or for fantasy lineups, but somebody has to win, so why not us?
I've found a few dudes who played hot down the stretch and who will help with that goal.
With four heavyweight showdowns today, you'll want to get the low-down on each with the help of the Bovada data tool on our Home page:
FanDuel has all the NBA fantasy games you'll want to join. Don't be timid about including some of these ballers in your squad:
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland ($7500) ... had averages of 35 minutes and 29 points in two regular-season games against Detroit this season. In addition, dude's averaged just under 40 fantasy points in his last 10 games to close the season. The Pistons were 14th in the league at defending point guards but ranked 28th in the last three weeks of the season.
Reggie Jackson, Detroit ($6500) ... also ended the regular season playing well. Dude's average fantasy point output for his last five games was just under 39. Jackson also draws the best matchup of any Detroit player today. Cleveland's defense against point guards ranked 17th for the season, but slipped to 21st over the last three weeks.
Dwayne Wade, Miami ($7500) ... averaged just under 31 minutes per game in the regular season. Since there's no tomorrow for series losers, I expect Wade's minutes to increase to at least mid-30s. It only makes sense that dude's already good fantasy production will see an uptick against Charlotte's 18th-ranked defense against shooting guards.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit ($5200) ... is not my favorite play today. That being said, with just four games, you have to find some value for your lineup. I do like that Caldwell-Pope has only played less that 32 minutes once in his last nine games. With that much time on the floor, dude's chances to reach fantasy value are strong.
LeBron James, Cleveland ($10500) ... showed why he's called King with his play down the stretch, joining such luminaries as Elvis, Henrik, and Kong. While many eyes were on Kobe's last contests and the Warriors' historic record, James averaged just under 52 fantasy points per game the last few weeks prior to the playoffs. Losing in the finals last year doesn't sit well with anyone -- especially this dude -- so sit back and watch as LBJ -- the hoopster, not the dead prez -- puts on a clinic.
Jeff Green, Los Angeles ($3800) ... is another low-salary player you can count on today. Dude's not a starter but makes the most of his minutes on the court. Green scored in double-digits 8 times in the Clippers' last 10 games. He's also exceeded five times fantasy value 7 times in his last 9 games. Green should also benefit because Portland's second unit wasn't very good in defending small forwards this season.
Luol Deng, Miami ($6300) ... played 31 minutes or more in every one of Miami's last 10 games of the season. Dude's motor has been running; he's put up double-doubles in 4 of his last 9 games. Deng draws the best matchup here because Charlotte's defense against power forwards ranked 23rd in the league this year.
Ed Davis, Portland ($4000) ... like Green, is not a starter, but gives the Blazers' second unit a great scoring boost. Davis had 7 games of 22 or more fantasy points during Portland's last 10 games of the regular season. During the last three weeks, the Clippers have been the NBA"s fifth-worst team at defending power forwards.
Hassan Whiteside, Miami ($8700) ... had 38 or more fantasy points in 7 of Miami's last 10 games, and that was coming off the bench! Head coach Erik Spoelstra has already stated that Whiteside will start throughout the Heat's playoff run. As long as dude stays out of foul trouble, he should eat against Charlotte.
Your favorite Shot Dude hopes you get a chance to watch some great NBA playoff action and have a winning fantasy day.
Pay it forward whenever you can, and always give it your best shot!
As in life, you can't score unless you give it your best shot!
You can follow me on twitter@fsofia8.