NBA DFS Picks 2/19: Family Dinner, Curry with Cousins
Hi. Remember me? It’s been so long since I’ve gotten to write about basketball and while I enjoyed the brief hibernation of the All-Star break, I’m glad to be back. In my week away from writing about basketball, I graced the hardwood with my presence twice. I’m only 5’7” and I don’t have exceptional handles, so my role in pickup games is really up in the air. Sometimes I get paired with a good point guard who can utilize my screening ability and other times I’m merely a pawn, frustrated by my teammates inability to properly space the floor. I won’t ever make a difference offensively, although I can hit the occasional three, so I make my money on the defensive end of the court. Yes, I’m the guy that annoys everyone because he plays tough defense. I keep my guy from scoring, add in a couple steals, hustle after loose balls and I’m doing my job. I can’t really compare myself to any player in the NBA, but if I had to, it would probably be LeBron James – I don’t know.
While I’m busy being LeBron for my pickup team, the other four guys are forced to settle into the blanket stereotypes that are commonly associated with pickup basketball.
PG: Steph Curry
Pickup Guy: Short, cut off shirt from high school basketball, only shoots three’s
Steph is the best. He’s the guy that doesn’t look like much, but shows up and hits every single shot he takes and leads your team to victory. You don’t even care when he decides not to pass it to you on the break. Steph is the equivalent of that guy. He’s battled adversity based on his size and has shut up all his critics. He has a great matchup with the Blazer backcourt in a game that features a total of 220 and should be primed to get the Warriors rolling to start the second half. I shouldn’t have to boggle your mind with all the crazy statistics, but I’ll show you a few. First, Steph leads the entire planet in player efficiency rating (PER). Second, he has a top-5 usage league wide. Third, he’s freaking Steph Curry – he’s a safe bet for value in cash games and has an enormous ceiling.
SG: Devin Booker
Pickup Guy: Ten years younger than everyone, super skinny, dominates
This would be a magical spot to roster James Harden, but you won’t be able to fit Harden and Steph on the same team unless you sell your soul to the devil. Booker has seen his price rise since receiving significant playing time thanks to all the Suns backcourt injuries, but he’s still on my radar tonight. The Rockets have been atrocious defensively and this game is currently sporting a total of 215. While most of your points from Booker will come from actual points, in his last few games before the break he showcased an ability to pickup peripheral statistics, averaging 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in his last five games. If he can throw that in with nearly 20 points, you’ll be feeling good about his night.
SF: Rudy Gay
Pickup Guy: Older, plays in spurts, will occasionally throw down vicious dunk
You know what is good for older guys? Rest. Alright, yeah, I know Rudy Gay is only 29 years old, but it feels like he’s been around forever (he’s been in the league for 9 years). Gay exploded in a matchup with the Sixers right before the break and will get another excellent matchup with Nuggets tonight. Gay has taken a backseat to DeMarcus Cousins, but still has been able to carve out an average of nearly 18 points and seven rebounds per game this season. Despite seeing a drop in usage, Gay has become a bit more efficient from the field, upping his field goal percentage to 47% this season while still attempting 15 shots a game. The best thing about it is you probably won’t be able to get him at a price like this for long, should he play to his abilities. I’m attacking a soft matchup in a game with a high total and a tight spread with this pick, he could pay off greatly in tournaments.
Disclaimer: There are a lot of really good PF matchups tonight.
PF: Anthony Tolliver
Pickup Guy: Me, Doesn’t do a whole lot, occasionally gets a rebound and hits a 3
Anthony Davis has an awesome matchup. The Nuggets, Kings, Lakers, Suns and Rockets are on the slate. Yes, I know there are a lot of viable guys in this spot tonight. However, I want to recommend a scrub so I can turn around and give you another stud option at center. Tolliver was getting starts prior to the all-star break thanks to some injuries in Detroit and despite the Tobias Harris trade, Van Gundy has said he’ll continue to start for the first few games out of the break. I don’t think we’re guaranteed the 30 minutes or so he was before the break, but he should still see more than 20 minutes for near the bare minimum in price. To top that off, he actually has a decent matchup against the Wizards in a game with a nice enough total. Tolliver won’t run the show when he’s on the court and lots of possessions he probably won’t even touch the ball, but he actually is serviceable from beyond the arc and should be able to get his hands on some loose rebounds while he is out there. He isn’t special, but in a tournament, he’s going to let you unleash the stars.
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Pickup Guy: The Complete Package, scores every time on offense, barely tries on D
You: Did you just recommend Anthony Tolliver so you could then say Boogie?
You: Cool. Does he have a good matchup?
Me: Yes, the Nuggets frontcourt is weak defensively. The game has a nice total and a tighter spread, Boogie should thrive.
You: Is he going to take a lot of shots?
Me: Boogie has the second highest usage rate in the league (33.3) and attempts 21.5 shots per 36 minutes, so yeah, he’ll probably shoot a lot.
You: Will he make those shots?
Me: Probably some of them, he averages like 27 points a game. Oh and also, he grabs a lot of rebounds as well, more than 11 per game.
You: Should I take him tonight?