After a busy Wednesday, there are only four games on the schedule Thursday. One of the more interesting games will be a rematch of Tuesday’s close battle between the Clippers and Thunder. However, the Clippers will have to play this time without Paul George (knee). Let’s dig into the options on Yahoo and highlight some players to consider, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
Russell Westbrook, LAC vs. OKC ($23): Westbrook played well against the Thunder on Tuesday, scoring 34.6 Yahoo points over 26 minutes. The Clippers do have some depth behind George with Eric Gordon and Terance Mann, but they are also missing Norman Powell (shoulder). With extra shot attempts up for grabs, and Westbrook’s ability to contribute in so many areas, he’s an appealing option at his reasonable salary.
Cole Anthony, ORL vs. NYK ($18): Jalen Suggs (concussion) will miss his fourth straight game. Anthony has taken on added responsibilities with him out, scoring at least 30.9 Yahoo points in each of the last three games. The Knicks aren’t exactly an easy opponent, but Anthony might be too good to pass up at his salary.
Guard to Avoid
Immanuel Quickley, NYK at ORL ($23): Quickley had another quiet performance Wednesday, scoring 20.3 Yahoo points over 19 minutes against the Heat. When Jalen Brunson was out, Quickley was putting up some gaudy stat lines. However, with Brunson healthy again, Quickley has scored 25.7 Yahoo points or fewer in each of the last three games.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC vs. OKC ($41): If the Clippers are going to hang onto a playoff spot with George out, they need added production from Leonard. He only scored 21 points against the Thunder on Tuesday, shooting 7-for-16 from the field. Given that he is shooting 51.0% for the season and should receive added shot attempts with George out, look for him to bounce back in a big way.
Jalen Williams, OKC at LAC ($29): Williams is a big reason why the Thunder have exceeded expectations this season. The rookie has cranked up his production down the stretch, averaging 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals over his last 17 games. He stayed hot against the Clippers on Tuesday, scoring 38.1 Yahoo points across 37 minutes.
Forward to Avoid
P.J. Washington, CHA at NOP ($23): Playing time is not a problem for Washington. He’s averaging 33 minutes per game for the season. However, his 19.8% usage rate doesn’t exactly leave him with a ton of scoring upside. Combine that with his modest average of 4.9 rebounds per game and Washington comes with too much risk at his salary.
Jonas Valanciunas, NOP vs. CHA ($22): The absence of Zion Williamson (hamstring) should continue to lead to added opportunities for Valanciunas, who has scored at least 33.4 Yahoo points in four of the last five games. He could strive against a Hornets team that has allowed the second-most rebounds per game in the league.
Nick Richards, CHA at NOP ($18): Mark Williams (thumb) is out again, which means Richards should get another start. Across the last five games in that role, Richards has provided 9.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, while shooting 70.8 percent from the field. There is the potential that he could find himself in foul trouble guarding Valanciunas, but he is at least still worth considering in tournament play.
Center to Avoid
Mitchell Robinson, NYK at ORL ($17): Robinson is registering only a 9.7% usage rate, and averaging just 25 minutes across the last seven games. Given that Valanciunas and Richards both have similar salaries and more secure roles, there is no need to take a chance on adding Robinson to your lineup.
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Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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