月度归档:2018年01月

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Which players should you build around and which players should you fade in DFS as we tip off Tuesday’s NBA action? Our experts have the answers.

Today’s panel includes ESPN Fantasy’s André Snellings and Kyle Soppe, and DFS expert Renee Miller.

Players to build around
Renee Miller — LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

There are several interesting point guards and small forwards to spend on tonight, but nothing stands out quite as much as the matchup Aldridge gets with the Cleveland Cavaliers. While they have been a top-five matchup for power forwards all season, no team has given up more fantasy points to that position over the past five games than the Cavs. Meanwhile, Aldridge is the anchor this Spurs team needs with Dejounte Murray taking the reins from Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard being hurt or alienated, or whatever it is today. He’s coming off a terrible game for him (though he still double-doubled), and should bounce back nicely tonight in one of the few games expected to be competitive.​

André Snellings — LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

Aldridge has been the focal point of the Spurs offense all season with Kawhi Leonard out. He’s coming off a down game where he netted only a 10-point/10-rebound double-double, but in the three games before that he averaged 25.3 points and 11.0 rebounds. He has an excellent chance to bounce back on Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been in a defensive crisis of late. They are allowing 121.9 points on 50.3 shooting in their past seven games, and have allowed the second-most fantasy points in the NBA to opposing power forwards over their past five games.

Kyle Soppe — Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento Kings

Building around a young King is as scary as it sounds, but hear me out. First of all, opportunity breeds fantasy value, and given that Cauley-Stein has played at least 37 minutes in three of his past four games, he checks that box. And we aren’t talking empty minutes, as his average number of shots per game has increased each month this season and his season usage rate ranks just below that of Karl-Anthony Towns. So if we assume that WCS is going to be heavily involved, how can you possibly avoid him in a matchup against a Magic team that ranks 29th in rebounding and dead last in defending the paint? A double-double feels like a lock tonight with Nikola Vucevic continuing to nurse his hand injury, and Cauley-Stein’s defensive prowess on top of his sheer volume of shot attempts makes him the type of high-ceiling option that I’m rostering in both cash games and GPPs.

Players to fade
Renee Miller — Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers

Clarkson is one of my favorites, but his salary is to the point where I’m not just thinking twice, I’m fading. That is more true than ever against the Boston Celtics tonight. Boston owns the league’s best defensive efficiency rating and plays at a much slower pace than the Lakers are accustomed to. On the season, Boston has limited opposing shooting guards to the fifth-fewest fantasy points, and they’ve been even better defensively during the past couple weeks. Clarkson was spectacular in the previous two games with Lonzo Ball and Kentavius Caldwell-Pope out (likely the case again tonight), but faces a much tougher test versus the Celtics.

André Snellings — Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Love is coming off an illness that limited him to only three minutes on Saturday. He was struggling even before the illness, averaging just 23.9 minutes per game in January with 12.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He was in the midst of arguably his best season in a Cavaliers uniform through December, but physical issues and a changing role have diminished him of late. He has the talent to bounce back at any given time, but that would seem unlikely on Tuesday against a strong Spurs defense that has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing power forwards and the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing centers this season.

Kyle Soppe — Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder

I love what he brings to the table for this team, but given his low usage rate in a game that has blowout potential … I’ll pass. The Nets struggle in plenty of areas, but they are a top-10 defensive rebounding team, thus putting Adams’ point total at risk due to his reliance on putbacks. Even if you believe that Adams is a matchup-proof rebounder, what is going to stop the Nets from wrapping him up should he get the ball in a dangerous position (he has made just five of his past 19 free throws)? There is always the chance that the Thunder blow out the Nets because of Adams, but there is more risk at this price point in an offensively limited player than I am willing to take.

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Jerry Kindall, the first man to win College World Series titles as both a player and a head coach, died Sunday night. He was 82.

The University of Arizona said Kindall died of complications from a stroke suffered Thursday.

Kindall coached Arizona to national titles in 1976, 1980 and 1986 after starring at shortstop on the University of Minnesota’s 1956 championship team. He spent nine seasons in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins.

“Some people talk the talk. He walked the walk,” said Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, a member of the 1980 championship team. “He lived his life just like you’re supposed to. It’s easy to say things, but he lived it.

“In a nutshell, he taught us not only to respect the game of baseball, but respect the people in the game. That was the most valuable lesson any of us learned. He taught us how to act and treat people.”

Kindall coached the Wildcats from 1973 to 1996, finishing as the school’s career victory leader with an 860-579-7 record.

“This is a sad day for Arizona baseball,” current Wildcats coach Jay Johnson said. “Jerry Kindall is one of the greatest college baseball coaches of all-time, but he was much more than that. I don’t think there is anyone that was held in higher regard for the person that they were as Coach Kindall was. He was almost a larger-than-life person, and when you talk about being an elite coach, and more importantly, an elite person, he was and will continue to be the standard. I am honored to be a part of the program that Coach made so great for so long.”

Mike Gillespie is only other man to win titles and a player and coach. He won as a player at Southern California in 1961 and as the Trojans’ coach in 1998.

“Saddened and stunned to hear of the passing of Jerry Kindall,” former Twins teammate Jim Kaat tweeted. “A friend. A wonderful teammate. A gentle and kind man of deep Christian faith. And a coach that impacted many lives. A life well lived.”

Kindall was elected to the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1991, the University of Minnesota Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

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METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said he was just having “good playoff fun” with some fans in Minnesota on Sunday when he turned toward the crowd and made the Vikings’ signature “Skol” clap gesture toward them.

Unfortunately for Payton, the Vikings wound up getting the last clap, as it were, when receiver Stefon Diggs broke loose for a stunning 61-yard game-winning touchdown on the final play of Minnesota’s 29-24 victory.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, former Vikings linebacker and current KFAN radio analyst Ben Leber was the first one to report seeing Payton making the taunting gesture after New Orleans had taken a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds remaining.

At least one fan shared photos on Twitter (though the fan said he did not take the photos himself).

When Payton was asked about making the gesture Tuesday, he said, “Oh there was a few … just a group of fans. It was good playoff fun.”

Payton’s animation and emotion on the sideline should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the coach throughout his 12 years in New Orleans. Players and assistants have described him as “crazy” on game days. And earlier this year he apologized for making a choke gesture toward Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman.

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The mercurial Washington Wizards, playing the NBA’s worst team Wednesday night in the Atlanta Hawks two nights after their best win of the season, needed a spark.

So Washington coach Scott Brooks went with a three-guard lineup midway through the fourth, with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Jodie Meeks, and Otto Porter Jr. at strong forward and Markieff Morris at center.

It didn’t work.

The Wizards, fifth in the East at 19-16, have been unable to shake a reputation for playing down to the competition.

They threw up their hands after the 113-99 loss to the Hawks (9-25).

EDITOR’S PICKS
Schroder, Ilyasova help Hawks get consecutive wins
Dennis Schroder scored 21 points, Ersan Ilyasova added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks won consecutive games for the first time this season with a 113-99 victory Monday night over the mercurial Washington Wizards.
“We talk about it. We say when we play these teams that are not above .500 or not one of the great teams, we go out there playing for stats,” Wall said, according to The Washington Post. “It’s simple as that. We can see it. I think we all can see it when we play.”

Although the Wizards are 10-6 against teams that are .500 or better, the best in the Eastern Conference, they also lead the NBA with 10 losses against sub-.500 teams. The 10 losses to sub-.500 teams are more than they had all of last season.

Despite a bigger, deeper lineup, Washington was outrebounded by Atlanta 53-40. The Wizards, trying for their first three-game win streak since mid-November after beating the Boston Celtics 111-103, also missed a chance to have 10 road wins and 10 home wins before Jan. 1 for the first time since 1978-79.

Wall said the problem for the Wizards isn’t a lack of frank communication.

“We say it all in the locker room. No matter what. We don’t sugarcoat it from anybody,” Wall said, according to the Post. “And we all let him know what it is. We just got to find a better job of providing and keeping it away.”

Beal said, “plain and simple,” the problem was the Wizards were being too selfish — on both ends of the floor.

“Sometimes even myself included,” Beal said. “Sometimes we do one-pass shots, no-pass shots. Two or three passes on one side of the floor versus moving on both sides of the floor. Teams are going to load up on me and John. That’s something that we should know by now. We got to do a better job of creating, putting the ball on the floor and moving it.

“I think everybody as a collective unit, starters and the bench, we’ve got to do better at it.”