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page. Make sure to check it out to see where the best values are for your team.
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The Best of the Best
LaMarcus Aldridge - This is what happens on a Thursday with two games and no Carmelo Anthony or Tony Parker to be found: LaMarcus Aldridge will be in virtually every single lineup tonight. The man may have the highest price on every single platform we have projections for, but he's worth it. Going against the Knicks' 17th-ranked defensive rating certainly never hurts, and although his rebounds take a bit of a hit from normal (the Knicks are first in defensive rebound percentage), his 8.9 projected rebounds still sits third among all players tonight behind pointsless-wonders Tyson Chandler and teammate J.J. Hickson.
Tim Duncan - Dallas has an average defense; they're 18th in defensive rating. That especially falls apart at center, where opposing big men are shooting a .519 effective field goal percentage (eFG%) against them this year. Duncan himself has averaged 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games against them, right in line with our projections. And despite his high cost (second behind Aldridge in three of the four platforms), well, who else are you going to spend your money on tonight?
Nicolas Batum - Apply the #firstworldproblems hashtag if you want, but it was tough finding a third "Best of the Best" option for tonight's games. The high-priced options simply aren't there. So we're left with Nicolas Batum, who would be in the upper-middle range on most days but counts as a high-priced option today. And a good one he is: the Knicks allow opposing small forwards to shoot an exceptional .557 eFG% against them this season, the highest of any one position on the floor.
Top Mid-Range Values
O.J. Mayo - Only once in his past eight games has Mayo posted less than double-digit points, and that game against Milwaukee, he had eight rebounds and seven assists. Yeah, I feel confident saying that Mayo will make his contribution one way or another tonight. The Spurs obviously have a tough defense, but that lightens up a teeny-tiny bit at shooting guard (.478 eFG% to SGs, .476 eFG% to whole team). With his 22.7 percent usage rate, the amount of shots he'll take shouldn't be a problem, either.
Manu Ginobili - Who needs big minutes? Recently, Manu has been getting by just fine without them. With at least 12 points in four of his past five games and an average of four assists per game over that same span, Ginobili has been putting up the points for a cheap cost. Adding to the value is that Dallas has a relative defensive weakness at shooting guard: their .505 eFG% allowed is the second-highest allowed to a floor position, only behind center (as already covered with Duncan).
Darren Collison - I love this quote from his last game: "I was guarding Monta, and I saw two Ellis's." Yeah, I'd say that's a decent explanation for his down game against Milwaukee. Assuming that his vision is fixed, though, he should be in line for a bounceback game against San Antonio, and specifically Cory Joseph. Even though Joseph's 102 defensive rating is fairly decent, even the perception of "No Tony Parker!" could mean the Mavs go Collison's way more than normal. Really, with so few other options, that's about the best I've got today.