Washington Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers
Spread: WAS -6
Washington Wizards Injuries
Kristaps Porzingis - OUT
Portland Trail Blazers Trailblazers
Damian Lillard - OUT
Jusuf Nurkic - OUT
Anfernee Simons - OUT
Justise Winslow - OUT
Nassir Little - OUT
Eric Bledsoe - OUT
With Kristaps Porzingis ruled out, it’s back to being the Kyle Kuzma show in Washington. If you remove all the players that are hurt or have been traded from the floor, Kuma leads the team in USG rate at 29.5% and in FP/min at 1.22. There has been nobody worse in the league than Portland lately either, as they’re 0-6 with the worst DRtg since the All-Star break.
Regardless of how bad Portland has played, Trendon Watford is on the floor. Over the last four games, he’s averaged 30.2 minutes and 31.7 DKP/game. Washington, like Portland, has been dreadful defensively since the All-Star break, ranking 28th in DRtg on the year. Watford has double-double upside here.
We saw the upside Brandon Williams has in his bag just two games ago as he scored 27 points and 49 DKP. With Anfernee Simons ruled out, Portland is going to throw Williams out there for 30+ minutes as long as this game stays competitive. Williams is coming off a poor shooting performance but had 21 & 27 actual points in the two games prior.
Rui Hachimura has been playing more and more lately as he played 26 minutes on Friday and has now played 24+ minutes in three of four games. He’s put up 15+ points and 25+ minutes in each of three games he’s played 24 or more minutes. Now there’s no Kristaps Porzingis and the way is being paved for Hachimura to play even more. He has a 23% USG with the guys that are out and/or have been traded away.
If Josh Hart could make a shot, maybe he’d actually be a little valuable. He has not been good in a Trailblazers uniform and has shot 22% or worse in three straight games. He hasn’t topped 27 DKP in any game since the All-Star break. That said, Portland has been getting blown out every game and they haven’t needed to extend Hart very often. This game could actually be competitive and it’s against the 28th ranked defense since the break.
It’s nights like Friday that will depress a player's ownership of the following slate, so let’s jump back on the bandwagon while most people are exiting. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 30+ DKP in three straight games and now there’s no Kristaps Porzingis involved. KCP could become the team's second offensive option behind Kyle Kuzma tonight.
Keon Johnson has had a steady role with the Trailblazers in the past week as he’s topped 26 minutes in three straight games. He’s made the most of his opportunity putting up 14+ points and 25+ DKP in each of them. Johnson’s going to continue to play plenty off of the bench with Anfernee Simons ruled out.
Corey Kispert is nothing more than a GPP dart. If his shot is falling he’s going to approach and likely top 30 minutes, but if it’s not, he doesn’t provide us with much.
With Kristaps Porzingis out, the expectation is one of these two will start, most likely Daniel Gafford is the one in the starting five. Both will have a role, however, both hover around 20 minutes. Gafford has the higher ceiling but Thomas Bryant will likely be the guy checking in with lower ownership. Bryant hasn’t played since the 4th, but with Zinger out he should play. Gafford, however, is the guy I prefer.
Familiarity, maybe, but Tomas Satoranky just plays well in a Wizards uniform. Since signing in Washington he’s played well and had the best game of his season against the Lakers on Friday scoring 14 points and 27.75 DKP. His playing time has fluctuated between 14-20 minutes since arriving in Washington but the last two games have been 19 and 20. That number may only go up if he keeps performing well. Worth a dart.
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