There are six games in the NBA on Thursday with excellent teams in the Warriors, Raptors, Celtics and Thunder all taking the floor. That leaves a lot of high end talent to choose from your Yahoo entry, so letís take a look across the entire price scale for players to both target and avoid to hopefully create a winning lineup.
Dennis Schroder, ATL at ORL ($26): Schroder hasnít been great lately, scoring 29 Yahoo points or less in five of his last seven games. However, Thursday brings a great matchup against a Magic squad that allows the most Yahoo points per game (47.9) to opposing point guards. In his first two meetings against them this season, Schroder scored 35.9 and 46.5 Yahoo points, respectively. The price is right to take a chance on him repeating that success in their third meeting.
Josh Hart, LAL vs. OKC ($14): Hart has started and scored at least 34.2 Yahoo points in each of the last three games. He posted a double-double in all three contests, one of which came against these same Thunder on Sunday. The Lakers won all three of those games, so look for Hart to get plenty of playing time again Thursday, especially in the absence of Jordan Clarkson. At this price, itís hard to pass him up.
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Guard to Avoid
Elfrid Payton, ORL vs. ATL ($28): Payton has had some rough performances recently, scoring 24.9 Yahoo points or less in three of his last six games. He hasnít played well against the Hawks this season, averaging just 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in their first two matchups. It makes a lot more sense to take a chance on Hart for half the price than risk using Payton.
Paul George, OKC at LAL ($40): The Thunder could be short-handed Thursday with both Russell Westbrook (ankle) and Carmelo Anthony (ankle) listed as questionable. If either of them canít go, George becomes a must start. Even if they both do play, George is still an excellent option considering the Lakers play at the fastest pace (103 possessions per game) and allow the fifth-most points per game (109.7) in the league.
Michael Beasley, NY at TOR ($18): With Kristaps Porzingis (knee) out for the season, Beasley is expected to take over as the Knicks starting power forward. Heís not afraid to shoot and has played well when given extended playing time, averaging 25.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 blocks in six games where he has played at least 30 minutes this season. He wonít be priced this low for too long, so take advantage of it while you can.
Forward to Avoid
Jayson Tatum, BOS at WAS ($22):Tatum can throw up some real clunkers, scoring 12 Yahoo points or less in three of his last eight games. The Celtics are finally starting to get healthy as both Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris returned Tuesday, which leaves Tatum with fewer opportunities to be productive. Beasley has a much higher upside and costs less, so it might be best to avoid Tatum on Thursday.
Steven Adams, OKC at LAL ($28): Adams continues to produce, scoring at least 30.4 Yahoo points in 12 of his last 13 games. The Thunder have no depth at center, leaving Adams with all the playing time he can handle. Not only is he a threat for a double-double any given night, but he is also averaging 1.3 steals and 1.0 block per game. At this reasonable price, he is someone to consider for your entry.
Dwight Powell, DAL at GS ($11): Powell has moved into the starting lineup for the Mavericks, starting each of the last three games. Heís shown he can provide value, averaging 10.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in those three contests. The key is he averaged 29 minutes per game compared to 19 minutes per game on the season overall. He will cost you just above the minimum price Thursday, making him a viable option with upside.
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Center to Avoid
Marcin Gortat, WAS vs. BOS ($16): Remember that the NBA trade deadline is Thursday, so some players who are scheduled to take the floor might not if they are dealt. Gortat is someone to keep an eye on as the Wizards have been reportedly shopping him this week. Even if he does play, he doesnít bring a lot of value, scoring 22.3 Yahoo points or less in 10 of his last 11 games. It might be best to avoid him all together.