A six-game NBA slate features one game I’m excited to monitor — Brooklyn-Portland.
If you’re looking for crisp zones, disciplined man defense or anything in that realm, this game is absolutely not for you. Both the Nets and Trail Blazers are defensively challenged, to put it lightly. But that means great opportunity for offensive contributors in daily fantasy — especially on Thrive Fantasy.
Players in other games are worth playing, too, but I’m salivating at the thought of plugging the likes of Damian Lillard and James Harden into a lineup when both have supremely favorable matchups. We’ll get into both of them shortly, but let’s look at a player not associated with that matchup first.
29.5 PTS + ASTS vs. Los Angeles Lakers — OVER (100 PTS)
Without Anthony Davis and LeBron James, the Lakers won’t play at the same level defensively. And Zion Williamson has been on an absolute tear.
He’s scored at least 23 points in six straight games and eight of the last nine. He’s exceeded 29.5 PTS + ASTS in three of the last four.
This is just the perfect marriage of player and opportunity. That’s baked into the points total of 100, but that’s OK. This is one of the easiest paths to 100 points on the slate, capitalizing on a high ceiling player who is performing at arguably his best right now.
The Lakers are a stellar defensive team when everyone’s on the floor. Losing Davis and James (and both for an extended period) means we’ll be able to attack them more so than before. We’re doing that with Zion.
31.5 PTS vs. Brooklyn — OVER (110 PTS)
The NBA’s second-leading scorer is in for another big game tonight.
Exactly one week removed from a 50-point game against New Orleans, Lillard has been electric all season. He’s averaging 31.8 points per game this month (the most in a single month this season), and with a soft matchup against the Nets, he’s in line to be a fantastic prop pick this evening.
He’ll probably be a popular one, too. Not that being a popular pick necessarily matters here. But you don’t want to be the one who misses on Lillard and his 110 points for exceeding 31.5 PTS.
Slam the Over.
45.5 PTS + REBS + ASTS at Portland — OVER (100 PTS)
A triple-double machine, James Harden can go off on any night. Despite the point total only resting at 100, I’m actually more confident in the Lillard play than this one. That’s not to say I’m hating the Harden pick, though.
A 25-point triple-double will be just enough to get him over the 45.5 prop total here. Of course, he doesn’t need the triple-double if he has a 30- or 40-point game — something that’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility in this matchup.
He last played Portland in the season’s first game when he was still with Houston. Circumstances were far different (including a much less talented supporting cast), but Harden went off for 44 points, 17 assists and four rebounds.
Again, the situation’s different with Brooklyn, but the fact remains that the Beard should feast in this matchup.
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