The NBA playoff races are heating up as we are only a couple weeks away from the first non-bubble version of the play-in games! Tonight we have some players playing for teams on the playoff bubble who are poised for BIG nights. Let’s get into the the top NBA picks and projections for tonight!
Colin Sexton (1.35x) – Cleveland is usually a slow-tempo team, but the game is at a 229 total, so lots of scoring is expected (even though the 12-point line favors the Blazers. Sexton is in a great spot with Darius Garland out. Dating back to the 2019-20 season, in the 11 games that Garland has missed, Sexton has averaged an additional 1.5 minutes played, an extra 1.16% of usage, an extra 0.23 fantasy points per minute, all resulting in a +9.38 fantasy point delta.
Domantas Sabonis (1.15x) – It is a phenomenal matchup for Sabonis as Sacramento is one of the most attackable defenses in the league. Sabonis oddly seems to benefit from the absence of Myles Turner, even though Turner’s absence doesn’t really have any significant impact on Sabonis’ usage or minutes. It seems to be purely an efficiency thing. Dating back to last year, in games that Turner has missed & Sabonis has played (18), Sabonis has averaged an extra 0.17 fantasy points per minute, which adds up when you consider Sabonis plays minutes in the 35-40 range. In games that Turner is out, Sabonis rebound rate, block rate, and offensive efficiency are +2.2%, +0.1%, and +2 respectively. All small but not insignificant numbers that contribute to Sabonis having just a little bit more juice on non-Turner nights.
Kelly Olynyk (1.3x) – It’s purely a minutes thing with Olynyk tonight. Houston’s roster is absolutely decimated with a number of players out due to a combination of adherence with health protocols and injuries. The key injury is Christian Wood, who is doubtful. With Wood doubtful, D.J. Wilson out, and other forwards like Danuel House & David Nwaba also out, Houston is very thin on frontcourt bodies. We’re expecting Olynyk to play minutes in the high 30s and potentially low 40s.
D’Angelo Russell (1.2x) – Since returning from injury, DLo hasn’t really gotten his full run. He hasn’t played more than 31 minutes in a non-OT game in his 15 games back. While he is a high usage player who doles out his fair share of assists (31% assist rate), he is a near zero as a rebounder (4.7% rebound rate), he turns the ball over a lot (14% turnover rate).
This article expresses the personal views of the writer and does not reflect the view(s) of SuperDraft in any way.
Featured Image Source: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports