NBA: Four Winner in Free Agency and the Knicks

The first day of NBA free agency played out like a fantasy draft on 2K.  With 40% of the league available it wasn’t about teams trying to make themselves better as it was about teams trying to build themselves.  An array of stars swapping cities took over the sports world, blockbuster sign and trades along with monumental decisions have swung landscape of the league.  While arguably the biggest name in free agency Kawhi Leonard still sits on the top of every teams wish list there were still a number of clear winners on day one….and there was the New York Knicks.

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets will not immediately see the impact of their moves to begin free agency.  The additions of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Deandre Jordan headlined the day’s events.  Brooklyn fans have a right to be excited, they will though have to find a way to be patient.  Kevin Durant must be allowed to fully recover from his ruptured achillies tendon.  Still with the moves made by Brooklyn they are set to be a staple in the Eastern Conference for the next four years.

Assuming Durant doesn’t play this year, the Nets should still have a solid top five seed in the East. The underrated signing of Deandre Jordan and veteran Garret Temple will be great locker room leaders to go along with the at times frustrating personality of Kyrie Irving.  Brooklyn has great young pieces as well with Caris Levert, Rodans Kurucs and Jarrett Allen.  Joe Harris will provide great shooting and Spencer Dinwiddie may be the best backup point guard in the NBA.  

Brooklyn crushed day one of free agency.  Unless there is an injury, they should be setting for next season already.

Utah Jazz

The Jazz mad some “noise” picking up underrated veteran point guard Mike Conley in a trade with Memphis before free agency.  They continued to develop their roster on day one with the additions of Bojan Bogdanovic and Ed Davis.  While the Conley move was a step in the right direction, Utah just added to players that will immediately step into their rotation and fit in.  

Bogdanovic took over as team leader of the Indiana Pacers last season after the injury to Victor Oladipo left them team without a primary scorer.  Stepping straight into the role Bojan averaged a career high 18.4 ppg while shooting a career high 42% from behind the arc. He will step into a situation in Utah where he will be second fiddle to Donovan Mitchell but will have a veteran core of proven performers along with him. 

Ed Davis, was a bruiser for the Brooklyn Nets last season. Not the flashiest of players, Davis is a rebound machine averaging eight boards a game while playing just about 17 minutes per game.   Davis will be able to step right in for the dominate Rudy Goebert giving opposing front courts nightmares on the glass.

New Orleans Pelicans

David Griffin is showing his worth over and over again.  While there were no major additions made by the Pelicans, sometimes it’s the smallest ones that make an impact.  New Orleans was able to add veteran shooter JJ Reddick to a roster full of youth and also full of mediocre shooters. Reddick is entering his age 35 season, he will not be asked to go out and take over a game, he will simply be the outlet when the Zion show causes the defense to pack the middle.

The Pelicans have had a solid offseason in a time that could have been disastrous. They wanted a veteran and a shooter and they got exactly that.

Philadelphia 76ers

Philly did not look like they were going to do much after a lack luster draft and a slow start to their conversations with key free agents.  GM Elton Brand magically turned a negative into a positive on Sunday signing Al Horford, Tobias Harris and working out a trade with the Miami Heat for Josh Richardson. The trade for Richardson means that despite losing Jimmy Butler they were still able to get a quality asset.

The additions of Richardson and Horford provide strong defensive capabilities, they do however lack the shooting of a JJ Reddick whom had more threes then Horford and Richardson combined last season.  The 76ers will still have a chance to sign a few more shooters to friendly contracts, if they do that, they will be looking at a great chance to take the East.  Depending on the decision of a certain NBA Champion of course.

And then there is the New York Knicks

To call the Knicks losers in day one of free agency is an understatement.  Not because the players the signed are bad.  Bobby Portis, Julius Randle, Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock are a solid core for a team if you have a star to build around.  The Knicks openly told their fans that they were going after the big names, clearly, they were not.  Playing the waiting game is not an option in New York.  Based on the deals they signed it would look as if they are trying to wait two years to make moves when free agency is going to be great again.  This is New York and you just got embarrassed by a team that plays 30 minutes away.  Sorry Knicks fans you deserve better.

Breaking down the AD Trade

The deal is finally done.  Anthony Davis finally got his wish, the six-time All-Star was traded to Los Angeles over the weekend finalizing a saga that started last season.  Davis’s wish to move on from New Orleans

Obvious winners:  Lebron James – Anthony Davis

Lebron James went from best player in the world to aging star in a two-month span during last season.  James was tasked with mentoring a group of talented unproven players.  Entering his 15th NBA season James did not have the energy to overcome the deficiencies of his team and the relative inexperience of the coaching staff.  Lebron has reached a point in his career where he can’t develop the talent, he needs established players that agree with their role on the team.  Now that he has a running mate with the same skills that he possesses, the Lakers will now just have to fill in the gaps of their roster with affordable role players.

Anthony Davis got what he wanted, moved to a franchise that will allow him to build his brand.  Davis sees himself as the future of the NBA, playing alongside the NBA’s best promoter in Lebron James as well as the center of the basketball universe LA is right where he wants to be.

No-so obvious winner:  Zion Williamson

Most would assume that Zion losing a potential All-NBA player from his potential new destination would be a bad thing. With the loss of Davis there will be no immediate team expectations.  Zion will be able to come into the league and not have the weight of immediate success on his back.  The Pelicans will now be able to build completely around their future #1 pick.  The Pelicans already transitioned to a run and gun team last season averaging the second fastest pace of play in the league, with the addition of Lonzo Ball and Williamson, Alvin Gentry should continue his upbeat play. Williamson will have a chance to excel in this situation.

Losers: Boston Celtics

Danny Ainge has done his best to rebuild the Celtics by accruing assets over the past few years.  They have yet to bring in the star that will bring the championship back to Bean Town.  Kyrie Irving was supposed to be the missing piece to the championship puzzle but he was unable to mesh with the young talent of the Celtics.  While Kyrie was the appetizer for the Celtics the main course was supposed to a be a player that Ainge could bring in to be the long term future star.  Anthony Davis seemed like the perfect fit for the organization, unfortunately Davis was added to the list of stars that seem to have no interest in playing in Boston. With Davis off of the table and Kyrie out the front door what do the Celtics do now???

Final Thoughts

Anthony Davis got what he wanted.  Good for him.  Hopefully he and Lebron mesh because it would be fun to watch.

The Pelicans got themselves the talent they need to build around.  With the #4 pick they can add a player like Darius Garland to help on the perimeter or Jarrett Culver to help on the defensive end.  If all of my personal dreams come true New Orleans could have RJ Barrett fall to them at put together a Dukes dynamic duo to build a future juggernaut. 

Both the organizations did well in this trade.  But as the old saying goes, the team that got the best player wins the trade and the Lakers undoubtable got the best player.

NBA Finals Preview and Prediction

Why the Warriors will win.

They are the Warriors.  While I am going to get more into why I think they can win the facts are that they are the two-time defending champions.  They have the two best shooters in the NBA, Draymond Green has returned to form, cementing their legacy as the greatest basketball dynasty since the Bulls of the mid-90’s. 

The Warriors that are able to play are well rested after a four game sweep of the Portland Trailblazers.  Even without Boogie Cousins and Kevin Durant the Warriors should they were a superior team shooting the lights out against a Portland team that seemed to run out of steam after two hard fought early round series against the Thunder and the Nuggets.  The story of the series though was the reemergence of the Splash Brothers both having defining moments in the series.  Steph Curry showed the world that he is still the engine that runs the machine averaging 36.5 PPG and shooting a ridiculous 47% from the field.  

The Warriors will most likely be without Durant for a large portion of this series but they have rediscovered themselves during the Western Conference Finals.  They remember what it’s like to be hungry.  The game plan will be obvious against the Raptors, force Kawhi to give up the ball and make the formally playoff refugee Kyle Lowry make big shots.  The Warriors will most likely play small if Demarcus Cousins is unable to play forcing the Raptors to take Marc Gasol off the floor and running with an inconsistent Serge Ibaka as a small lineup center.  While the Raptors can play fast they won’t be able to stay with the speed of the Warriors, fall down early and that will be it. 

Why the Raptors will win.

The Raptors made a move in the offseason that potentially could cause the entire franchise to begin a rebuild after the 2019 season.  Picking up Kawhi Leonard was a gamble.  That gamble has paid off getting over the hump in the Eastern Conference on the back of their free agent to be. 

Leonard has excelled as a member of the Raptors while also elevating the play of the players around him.  Pascal Siakiam will most likely take home the NBA Most Improved Player Award, while Kyle Lowry has discovered how to win in the playoffs thanks to the KLAW. 

The Raptors have the perfect player to lead them into battle against the “evil” dynasty Golden State Warriors.  Kawhi Leonard never lets his emotions get in the way of his game, something that can’t be said for many previous contenders to the crown.  The Raptors also feature by far the best defense that the Warriors have played so far in the playoffs. If the Raptors get a lead like the Blazers they will have the defense to take control of the game.  Sure Steph Curry is going to get his but they rest of the Warriors will not.  Golden State will need the services of Kevin Durant or this series is going to “The North”.

My Prediction:

No Durant means big problems for the Warriors.  No home court means big problems for the Warriors.  Kawhi Leonard means big problems for the Warriors. 

This series is going to be tougher than people think for the Warriors without Kevin Durant.  I am going to go with the underdog.  Raptors in 7.

The Right Choice for Michigan

The legacy of the Fab Five lives on in college basketball history.  Any time there is a vaunted recruiting class they are compared to the greatness of the 1991 Michigan rookie class.  Three notable future NBA players Jalen Rose, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard highlighted a group that was able to reach two national championship games. Despite not winning either their impact on the game and their style of play was a look into the future of college basketball.

The Fab Five’s greatness was tarnished after leaving Michigan, allegations of paying players forced the university to take down banners that were earned from the sweat and hard work of 19-year-olds.  Whether or not you find the allegations right or wrong in the landscape of college basketball, I will never agree with a university ultimately punishing is student athletes by trying to take away the history they built in their time there. 

Michigan basketball has quietly been one of the most consistent programs in college hoops, since 2013 they have been in the national title game twice, reaching the sweet sixteen twice and the elite eight twice.  Only in 2015 did Michigan not make the NCAA tournament.  Add in one Big10 regular season title and two tournament title and you can see why the loss of longtime coach John Beilein was a punch in the gut to the program.  The loss of Beilein accompanied by the loss of last season top three scorers, Ignas Brazdeikis, Charles Mathews and Jordan Poole, all have announced they’ll being entering the draft and signing with agents temporarily left Michigan with a lot of questions heading into next season.  But with the quick acquisition of Howard as Head Coach things are looking positive for the future of the program.

Howard will have a tough test in his first season.  Returning team leaders Zavier Simpson, Jr., Guard and Jon Teske, Jr., Center will be the cornerstones of the rebuilding process.  While Howard brings a lot of name recognition and NBA star endorsements he is still going to be starting from behind in recruiting.  While eventually this will be a projected strength Howard has spent all of his coaching career within the NBA ranks and will most likely have to rely on his staff for current recruiting efforts.  Still based on the recent success of NBA stars to college coaches the turnaround of talent in the program shouldn’t be a multi-year problem. 

I believe that Juwan Howard will be a great college coach but most importantly Michigan made a choice that is great for the school and allows the alumni to remember a great time in their sports history.  Jalen Rose recently spoke about the hiring of Howard squashing the beef between the Fab Five and the university.  With Rose on board and Howard at the helm the next step will be to bring back Chris Webber and finally end this unfortunate saga.

Kudos to Michigan on getting a great coaching and reigniting a legacy that shouldn’t have been forgotten.

NBA Draft Sleepers

Carsen Edwards, Purdue Boilermakers

Let’s talk about Carsen Edwards.  The best player in the south regional during the NCAA tournament carrying Purdue all the way to the elite eight until fate intervened for the Virginia Cavaliers.  Edwards has negatives, he is small, defense is questionable, he will undoubtable have to sped up his footwork on that end.  Edwards became accustomed to having the ball in his hands constantly his junior season, that won’t be the case in the NBA. 

Those are the negatives, but there are a lot of positives.  Edwards is a scorer, that is the equivalent to a great hitter in baseball if you can’t play defense they still find a way to use you.  In today’s NBA team defensive concepts have become more of a team concept.  His defensive deficiencies can be masked in the right concept. 

Edwards can score. That works in the NBA.

Louis King, Oregon Ducks

The Oregon Ducks were a force to be reckoned with out of the Pac12 to start the season.  Then the injury to Bol Bol and suddenly they went into a downward spiral.  The Ducks forced their way into the tournament and began their drive to the sweet sixteen.  A big reason why, Louis King.  King seemed to mature overnight waking up NBA scouts from a dream of Zion to a reality of stealing a role player late in the draft. 

King’s measurables are NBA gold.  6’8” 205LBS with a 7foot wingspan.  Those equate to a future potential star in the NBA.  King also developed more as a scorer as the season went on. He shoots the ball at almost 39 percent from beyond the arc and 43.5 percent overall from the floor. He also scored 13.5 points per game while snagging 5.5 rebounds and dishing out 1.3 assists per game.While his overall shooting percentage might be concerning, a lot of that can be chalked up to extra shots taken with his teammate Bol Bol having missed the majority of the season.

King may not be a top pick but he has everything it takes to be a future NBA star.

Admiral Schofield, Tennessee Volunteers

Admiral Schofield is a mystery to me.  Good size, solid shooter a grinder in the paint or outside.  But what kind of NBA player can he be?  Jae Crowder has been the biggest comparison.  That doesn’t seem too bad, but I see more from the Tennessee senior.  Schofield will enter the league with an NBA level body type, he should be able to develop as an event better shooter.  His ability to shoot will be an asset for whatever team chooses to give him a chance, he has the athleticism to become a diverse player on the offensive end.

Dedric Lawson, Kansas Jayhawks

Dedric Lawson lacks one thing the NBA looks for: 3-point shooting.  But he brings with him something that most teams lack, toughness in the paint. We have seen the improvements of Montrez Harrell as an interior scorer that brings toughness.  If Lawson can put on some more mass and improve his footwork he can be a similar type player. 

Lawson will take some time to develop, which is why he is a projected second round pick.  Give him a few years in the league and we see the production.  He is a future force in the middle off of a contenders bench.

Marial Shayok, Iowa State

Seniors in the NBA draft often go overlooked unless they have made a big run the NCAA Tournament.  Marial Shayok out of Iowa State could be that player in the 2019 draft.

Shayok starred at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a showcase for some of the best college basketball seniors in the country. From there, he was invited to the NBA’s G-League Elite training camp. From there, he transferred to the big-time NCAA Draft Combine. Most will forget Shayok spent time with the Virginia Cavaliers where he learned to play defense.  Transitioning over to the more offensive minded Big12 he developed an offensive game.

Shayok will enter the draft at 24 years old, he is a matured player that has played in multiple systems that will allow him to play for almost any NBA team.

MLB DFS Lineup 4/19/19

P: Anibal Sanchez, Washington Nationals ($8,100)

Anibal Sanchez has a terrific matchup against the Miami Marlins.  This matchup is in Miami which is a pitchers paradise. The Marlins also feature one of the weakest lineups in baseball scoring just three runs in their last 4 games, while striking out an average of 9 times per game.

P: Jordan Lyles, Pittsburgh Pirates ($7,900)

Lyles is coming off one of his best games of the year striking out ten Cubs hitters over six innings on April 10th.  Lyles now gets a matchup with the San Fransisco Giants offense that ranks bottom three in runs per game and bottom ten in strikeouts per game. The Giants have seen Lyles as a team for over 100 at bats but only have one career home runs versus the Pirates righty.

C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals ($3,700)

The Cardinals are a favorable potential stack tonight.  Guys like Goldschmidt, Ozuna, and Dejong should be on your radar but in this case I am going to bank on Molina.  Yadier has had a rare two day break after sitting out the last game of the Milwaukee series coinciding with the day off.  Molina has hitting Met’s starter Jason Vargas very well over his career going 5 for 11 off of the veteran lefty including an average exit velocity of 92.9. 

1B: Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros ($4,200)

The Astros in total are a good stack tonight along with the Cardinals as they face off in Texas against Drew Smyly.  Yuli smashes lefties over the last two seasons, in 2019 Gurriel is hitting .368. Gurriel is a low cost option at a prime position tonight.

2B: Gleybor Torres, New York Yankees ($4,300)

Gleybor hits better at home and will be sitting in the middle of the lineup for the Yankees against a homer prone Royals starter.

3B: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros ($4,600)

Bregman will join in on my mini Astros stack, a .548 slugging percentage over the last three years versus lefties should put him in a great position to succeed.

SS: Marcus Semien, Oakland Athletics ($4,200)

Semien has always been more known for his offense then defense, so far this season the offense has been showing.  Semien is also 4 for 7 in his career against Marcus Stroman. Good price for a good hitter.

OF: Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics ($4,700)

Khris Davis is going to hit a home run tonight.  That is all.  Have a great day.

OF: Tommy Pham, Tampa Bay Rays ($4,300)

It feels like the price for Tommy Pham is way to low here but that works for me.  Coming off a huge night with a homer and a stolen base.  When Pham gets going he can carry a slate.  Red Sox pitching has been giving up runs all year so Pham at just 4.3K is a great play.

OF: Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers ($3,900)

Castellanos has not had a torrid start to the season but coming off a game where he put up major points grab him before the price goes up.  Castellanos is 3 for 5 against White Sox starter Carlos Rodon and is a another pick from the bargain bin for this slate.

Beasts of the East: Preview of Eastern Conference First Round

#1 Milwaukee Bucks versus #8 Detroit Pistons- Season Series 4-0 Bucks

Detroit took care of business on the final game of the season locking in their matchup with the East’s best Milwaukee Bucks. Detroit will make their first playoff appearance since the 2015-16 season, only the second time in the last ten seasons. 

This matchup will be tough for the Pistons as it showed in the regular season with Milwaukee sweeping the series.  Brook Lopez is a tough matchup for Andre Drummond because to his developed 3-point shooting.  Lopez will draw Drummond away from the basket on the defensive end which will open up offensive boards for Giannis and Khris Middleton.

To sum it up Giannis and company are a matchup nightmare across the board for the Pistons with a banged up Blake Griffin.  If Detroit is able to pull out a single game it should be considered a victory.

Prediction: Bucks in 4

#2 Toronto Raptors versus #7 Orlando Magic- Season Series 2-2

The Orlando Magic make their return to the playoffs for the first time in six years.  They will get a matchup with the Toronto Raptors and Kawhi Leonard.  The Magic are one of just seven teams that beat the Raptors twice this season.  Both Magic victories had small asteris’s next to them as Kawhi Leonard was out for a game and Kyle Lowry also missed one game.

Orlando and Toronto are both defensive minded teams that have premier players that lead the way.  Toronto’s mid-season acquisition of Marc Gasol could play a big factor in defending Magic Center Nikola Vucevic who has owned the Raptors this season 20.0 points (55% shooting, 45.5 % 3-point shooting), 15.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists.

The Magic have a punchers chance due to their defensive ability but they lack the guard play to win a major series, Terrance Ross has been their most consistent guard throughout the season but if he goes on one of his classic cold streak it will be too much offensive from the Raptors for Orlando to keep up.  Orlando will make it tough but Raptors have Kawhi Leonard this year and that means a win in the series.

Prediction: Raptors in 5

#3 Philadelphia 76ers versus #6 Brooklyn Nets- Season Series 2-2

When Philadelphia picked up Tobias Harris from the Clippers it seemed like the final piece that was needed to finish the puzzle.  That puzzle would be the Eastern Conference Championship.  Unfortunately for the 76ers their proposed “super team” starting lineup of Reddick-Embiid-Harris-Simmons- Butler has only played a total of ten games together this season. Heading into this series there are questions about the health of Embiid which could be disastrous for a team that has very high ambitions. 

The 76ers will have a tough series ahead of them facing a young Nets team that has nothing to lose, they have already exceeding most expectations up to this point.  D’Angelo Russell has shown the NBA why he was the #2 pick of the Lakers back in 2015.   The Nets are a tough team to figure out, they are the only team in the entire NBA with a winning record and a negative point differential.  The Nets are ahead of schedule but they still tend to be lazy on the defensive end and if Embiid is healthy they will have no answer for the big man.  Anyone in the DFS community knows what bigs can do to the Nets. 

The key though will be Jimmy Butler most likely matching up against D’Angelo Russell.  Butler will be able to handle the size Russell brings from the point and at the very least will slow down their offense.  The Nets will make games close because of their superior second unit lead buy Spencer Dinwiddie.  I will be watching this series to see some fireworks from both ends but if Embiid can play 76ers will take the series. 

Prediction: 76ers in 6 (If Embiid can’t play Nets in 6)

#4 Boston Celtics versus #5 Indiana Pacers- Season Series 3-1

The Celtics had an underwhelming 2018-19 regular season.  The clear favorite in the East seemed to go into funks every other week.  A change to the starting lineup has seemed to spark the Celtics though as Aaron Baynes replaced Marcus Morris providing more punch off the bench and more size in the starting lineup. 

The Pacers have been overachievers all year especially since the injury to Victor Oladipo. They have survived due to their defensive efforts allowing 108.0 points allowed per 100 possessions.  Indiana has also feasted on the lower level teams going 11-1 against non -playoff teams since the Oladipo Injury. 

The Pacer have played at a high level despite the loss of their star and team leader Oladipo.  They enter the playoffs with a lot of talented role players similar to the Celtics team of the previous season. Boston will come out to a 2-0 lead a home and ultimately win this series.  I would go with a sweep but the Pacers are good enough at home to feed off the crowd.

Prediction: Celtics in 5

NBA DFS 3.11.19

PG: De’Arron Fox, Sacramento Kings ($7,300)

Fox is always a questionable play.  He can dominate a game or play 20 minutes.  This matchup is ideal for both teams with a total reaching into 240 for the game.  The Kings and the Wizards are up pace teams that don’t play a lot of defense.  Fox at $7,300 is a good play.

SG: Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards ($5,800)

Satoransky has play 37 minutes +  over his last three games. A matchup with the Kings is great for PG’s and bigs.  Satoransky doesn’t rely on one thing to provide value, even if he isn’t scoring he can give you boards and assists.

SF: Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings ($5,800)

The veteran Barnes has been playing big minutes since joining the Kings.  The former Warrior is hungry and has proven himself to be a solid contributor to the Kings and will continue it.

PF: Bobby Portis, Washington Wizards ($5,900)

Portis feasts off of weak defenses, the Kings are weak.  Should have solid value here for another medium priced player. 

C: Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons ($9,100)

Coming off of 30 minutes that didn’t take him to much effort puts Drummond in a great spot against the second worst defense against bigs.  The Nets are a team you always plug the center in against no matter what.  The Pistons have quietly become one of the most efficient offenses in the second half.

G: Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets ($6,000)

I love Spencer Dinwiddie.  While not starting his still provides starter minutes and starter production. Dinwiiddie has been shooting the three at a 37% clip this season making him valuable even if the Nets are behind.

F: Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics ($4,600)

With not Tatum in the lineup Hayward and Jaylen Brown should see more minutes in a favorable matchup with the Clippers. Hayward’s price is too good without Tatum.  If he starts look for big points, if he doesn’t he should still hit value.

UTL: Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz ($5,900)

No Ricki Rubio has turned Joe Ingles into a versatile option.  Averaging 7 assists a game when getting the chance to play the point.  Russell Westbrook will most likely have the matchup with Spider Mitchell which should free up some play making for Ingles.

Other players to consider:

Frank Kaminsky, Charlotte Hornets

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics,

Trevor Ariza, Washington Wizards

3 Reason why its Lebron’s fault If the Lakers don’t make playoffs.

The Lakers pulled off a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans behind Lebron James and Brandon Ingram.  The playoffs are still a long shot for the historic franchise.  If they do not make it to one of the top eight teams in the West the blame should lie on the supposed “GOAT”.  Here is why.

Lebron’s a destructive locker room presence.

It’s really not a great idea to openly tell the world that you don’t think your team is good enough.  It’s even worse to basically tell them you hope they are traded.  James has always manipulated management based on his needs but the Lakers front office has allowed him to unwillingly be their mouthpiece. 

The Lakers are a young core that have spent most of their young lives watching Lebron James dominate the league.  They strived to be Lebron, they played him on video games, wore his jersey, pretended to be him when playing pickup games in the park.  When you get the once in a lifetime chance to be on his team you hope that it is everything you dreamed.  Instead you are told you are not good enough and openly disrespected.  While he is the one that takes the criticism in the media they are the ones that the blamed is cast upon. 

Lebron and Luke Walton were never going to work.

Luke Walton was a hot commodity when he was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers.  The fill in for Steve Kerr for a handful of games in 2015 impressing may around the league leading the Warriors to a historic 39-4 start.  Walton had a team that was built around multiple players that were willing to work hard as a unite.  All they needed was a string leader to set the course and they would execute to the highest level. 

Lebron James is not the type of player that wants to be lead.  He is the type of player that wants you to fall in line, that is the same with his coach.  To many times we have seen Lebron run a coach out of town.  David Blatt made it to the finals and was fired the next year because of Lebron. It’s his way or the highway.  Luke Walton is young enough and bold enough to step up to Lebron, which is not a good thing for his career.

Lebron is more worried about the summer then the team.

I love the set-up of the All-Star game over the last two years.  This year especially showed why it can be very interesting.  If you checked the roster of team Lebron it featured Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.  There is no coincidence that the core of his roster was comprised of potential running mates for next season.  Lebron knows that his team his not good enough to beat the Warriors right now so why should he give max effort, he can just wait until the summer so that the excuse can be that he needs help.  Lebron always needs help.  If Lebron loses it’s because the players around were not good enough. 

Telling the world “playoff” Lebron is kicking hasn’t seemed to help his effort on the defensive end.  What about “playoff” Lakers?  Shouldn’t that be what he is focused on.  The King is the greatest player of my generation.  I was never able to watch Jordan in his prime while I was old enough to appreciate it, so sadly I am stuck with Lebron, a selfish player that thinks about excuses rather than taking ownership.  It’s cool though this summer the Lakers will probably sign someone to play alongside him and become the new scape goat.

NBA DFS 2.26.19

PG: Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics ($8,800)

Kyrie was able to torch the Raptors in their last matchup.  With the obvious popularity of Russell Westbrook tonight going different with a hungry Kyrie can set you aside from the pack.

SG: Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,300)

In a 3 game slate someone has to standout.  Schroder at a low cost in a high total game can bring major upside.

SF: Gordan Hayward, Boston Celtics ($4,300)

Before his injury Gordan Hayward had three straight games of over 30 DK points.  If he is fully healthy he can be a tough matchup for the Raptors second unit.

PF: Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic ($6,400)

This isn’t an ideal spot for Gordon against a slower paced Knicks team but if the choice is between him or Jonathon Isaac the choice has to be the upside of Gordon

C: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets ($10,000)

Jokic like Westbrook is always a smart start no matter what.

G: DJ Augustin, Orlando Magic ($4,100)

Backup point guard Isaiah Briscoe is out which means Augustin is the only point guard on the roster that has played any minutes.  Augustin and Terrance Ross have been going off lately either will be a solid start tonight.

F: Al Horford, Boston Celtics ($6,300)

Big game Horford will show up tonight.

UTL: Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder ($5,600)

This was a tough choice but with the bigs that Denver can bring at you Adams is a must play for the Thunder.  Tip ins and blocks will be huge tonight for Adams.

*also consider playing Jamal Murray in UTL spot.  Just sub Isaac for Gordon.