Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Clippers
Spread: LAC -3.5
Goran Dragic - OUT
Gabe Vincent - IN
Avery Bradley - OUT
Meyers Leonard - OUT
Chris Silva - OUT
Kawhi Leonard - OUT
Paul George - OUT
Patrick Beverley - OUT
Nicolas Batum - OUT
Jay Scrubb - OUT
Defense vs. Position (DvP)
MIA - 10th vs. PG / 20th vs. SG / 17th vs. SF / 20th vs. PF / 3rd vs. C
LAC - 14th vs. PG / 21st vs. SG / 1st vs. SF / 1st vs. PF / 5th vs. C
We’ll slot Butler in first here with both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard sitting. Butler has been tremendous this year despite his team not really following suit. Goran Dragic is out which means a team-high 26.8% USG and 1.33 FP/min average is on deck for Butler in this contest. He’s made out like a bandit as both George and Leonard are sitting out because now he’ll be guarded by Nicolas Batum and Marcus Morris and neither of them are the former duo.
Williams might be my favorite captain of the entire showdown slate with Paul George , Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley all ruled out. Look what he did on Sunday! He went ape s%^& pouring in 30 actual points while dishing out 10 assists while playing 32 minutes. He’s now played 29+ minutes in 3-of-4 and has put up 31+ DKP in four straight. He’s really finding his groove. Williams has a 29.9% USG and averages 1.2 FP/min with George, Leonard and Beverley on the floor.
I’m not being very contrarian at the captain spot tonight because we can pretty much afford everyone. Nunn is in line to once again play 30 minutes here considering there is no Goran Dragic once again. He’s played 30+ in two straight and has put up 34.25 DKP in each contest. With Dragic off the floor this year, Nunn has a robust 24.1% USG rate and the 1.3% bump is the best on his team.
Marcus Morris Sr.
We’re starting to see Morris really come into form lately as he’s poured in 20+ actual in two straight as well as 33+ DKP in each of those contests as well. Morris has a big 25.4% USG and averages 1.1 FP/min without Leonard, George and Beverley on the floor this year and if this game stays competitive -- and it should -- he could approach the 30 minute mark. Don’t forget, Morris was averaging 20 PPG with the Knicks before he was traded last year, so this is a guy who can fill it up when given the opportunity.
The big man has struggled from the floor the last two games, but overall has shot the ball well over the last five games posting a 52% clip from the floor and 44% from three. The key has been Olynyk playing 30+ minutes in three straight games. He’s also been a major factor on the glass notching 10 and 13 the last two nights and if he can do that again along with hitting his shots, we could be in for a big night.
We saw 29 minutes from Ibaka on Sunday and the production followed putting up 44 DKP as he fell just one rebound shy of a double-double and chipped in six assists and two blocks as well. It’s hard to ignore the fact that he averages 1.37 FP/min without George, Leonard and Beverely on the floor this season. VERY hard. He’s an elite tournament play. One of the better ones we have on this showdown slate.
The Clippers rotation has obviously shrunk significantly without three key pieces, which should thrust Kennard into extended action here. He played 28 minutes on Sunday and scored 12 actual and 20.5 DKP. We’ve seen him score in bunches in the past and his 20.7% USG and .89 FP/min with Leonard, George and Beverley off the floor are strong for a value guy.
With Nicolas Batum ruled out, Mann is entering the starting lineup in his stead. In his two starts this season, Mann averages 30.4 minutes, 11 points, six rebounds, two steals and 1.5 assists per contest. He'll llikely play even if this game blows out as well.
I’m not sure we need to dip our toes down this far, but, that said, Strus has been productive in each of the last two games, especially in the scoring department. He’s scored 15 and 21 actual points over the last two -- both without Goran Dragic . If Strus continues playing 20+ minutes a night, he’s intriguing considering we’re being spoon fed this play considering how cheap he is.