PG: Jeff Teague, Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks
Jeff Teague is having himself quite a moment. The Pacers point guard had another exceptional game against the Brooklyn Nets has he went for 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 15 assists. That was just three games removed from Teague setting a new career-high with 17 dimes against the Chicago Bulls. Over his last 11 games, Teague is averaging 17.5 points, 10.3 assists, 4.8 assists, and 1.1 steals.
Teague has had the good fortune of starting 2017 facing the Nets, the Pistons, and the Magic, who are all notoriously bad against opposing point guards, but credit Teague for taking advantage of those matchups. Tonight’s matchup against the New York Knicks, who will be on the second night of a back-to-back, will be equally advantageous. Teague knows that first-hand, as he torched the Knicks for 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 12 assists back in December.
SG: Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets
Victor Oladipo just continues to prove his worth as one of the more dependable fantasy shooting guards out there. Just check out what Dipo has done since the New Year: three games, 17.7 points, 5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 3.7 3-pointers. His shot still isn’t quite right after he missed all that time with an injured wrist, but the rest of him looks back up to speed. He just led the Thunder with 41 minutes in their last game against the Rockets, which was the second night of a back-to-back.
Dipo usually doesn’t stray too far from his season averages, but this matchup tonight against the Denver Nuggets could be an exception. The Nuggets are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season, and Oladipo took full advantage of that faulty defense earlier this season to the tune of 26 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, and 2 3-pointers.
SF: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs vs. Charlotte Hornets
Kawhi Leonard is back, everyone. After missing the last two games of 2016 with gastroenteritis, Leonard has rediscovered the outstanding form that he had pre-stomach problem. After torching the poor Toronto Raptors for 25 points, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 5 3-pointers in just 28 minutes, Leonard dropped 24 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 3-pointers on the Denver Nuggets last time out.
Next up for Leonard and the Spurs will be the Charlotte Hornets, who will be without Nicolas Batum. That could mean more Jeremy Lamb and Marco Bellineli defending Leonard, which likely won’t end very well for Charlotte. It sure didn’t end well for the Hornets the last time they crossed paths with The Claw, who crushed them for 30 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 3-pointers.
PF: Tobias Harris, Detroit Pistons @ Portland Trail Blazers
Tobias Harris is making a run at that 6th Man of the Year award. In six games since being moved to the bench by Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy, Harris is averaging 22.3 points and 2.5 3-pointers while shooting a sizzling 56 percent from the field. Harris had another field day in his most recent game against the Charlotte Hornets, whom he torched for 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting with 3 3-pointers.
Harris should be absolutely licking his lips at the prospect of tonight’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers have been the most generous team to opposing power forwards fantasy-wise this season. They’re allowing opposing 4s to score 23.3 points per game on 49.6 percent shooting with 2 3-pointers, so expect Harris to feast once again tonight.
C: Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks
The New Year has brought an even better Myles Turner. The Indiana Pacers center has been sizzling hot to start 2017, averaging 21.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, 1.3 steals, and 1.7 3-pointers. Turner simply tore the Brooklyn Nets to shreds in his latest game as he went for 25 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 2 3-pointers. He joins an exclusive list along with Anthony Davis, Paul Millsap, and Raef LaFrentz as the only players ever to go for 25 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 3s in an NBA game.
Don’t discount Turner’s ability to put up that kind of historic stat line on back-to-back games, either. The New York Knicks have just the poor defense to accommodate that. Turner actually came pretty close the last time he faced the Knicks as he went for 21 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 3-pointers. Who knows, with the Knicks going on the second night of a back-to-back, maybe Turner does get those extra rebounds tonight.
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