NBA Week 17 Roundup

Though Week 17 in the NBA included just four days of gameplay due to the conclusion of the All-Star break, that short period of time provided quality competition and entertaining matchups. The Cavaliers continued their recent dominance following the firing of Coach David Blatt, and the Miami Heat enjoyed a solid 2-0 week even though they were without star guard Dwayne Wade and forward Chris Bosh for both games. The Golden State Warriors endured a blowout loss, but you would never guess who their opponent was. The Association never ceases to amaze, and fantasy basketball betting should get even more competitive as we near the season’s end in April and DFS players try to get in those last few wins.

Luol Deng led the Miami Heat to surprising victories on the road in Atlanta and at home against the Washington Wizards this past week. He scored a combined 57 points in that span and also grabbed an impressive 21 rebounds. Deng hasn’t looked this good in years, but his play can largely be attributed to the absences of Wade, Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside (against the Hawks but now active). Though Whitside is back in action and Wade is expected to return soon, Chris Bosh’s timetable is unknown because he will most likely start taking blood thinners in the coming days and could sit out the rest of the regular season or longer. In the meantime, Deng presents an appealing, cheap option at the small forward position.  He currently costs just $4,800 on FanDuel and only $4,900 on DraftKings. These prices are ridiculously low for Deng right now, and he is a DFS must-pick as long as he produces at or even near this level.

The Portland Trailblazers took down the Golden State Warriors 137-105 on Friday Night. Yes, you read that right: a 32 point win. Portland was supposed to be a lottery team heading into this season because of the departure of four of their five starters, but the emergence of C.J. McCollum and the heroics of Damian Lillard have lifted them to a respectable 28-27 record and the 7th spot in the Western Conference. Lillard out-dueled Stephen Curry in this contest, dropping a mind-blowing 51 points and adding seven assists and six steals just for good measure. He had scored 31 and 33 points in the two games leading up to this, but nobody could see this explosion coming against the best team in the league and arguably one of the best teams of all time. He shot an efficient 18-28 from the field and an uber-efficient 9-12 from three. The Warriors had no answer for him, and it was clear that Lillard was showing up everyone who believed the coaches and fans were right in not selecting him as an All-Star this year. His 24.9 points per game is good enough for sixth in the Association, and his jump shot has been indescribably hot of late. He costs $9,600 on both FanDuel and DraftKings, but seeing as he has scored at least 33 fantasy basketball betting points in his last 11 games, that price looks like a bargain. Snatch up Lillard while you can, because he is playing at an other-worldly pace right now.