Welcome To Balling Stats – Preview of Monday February 3rd

Hello everyone, my name is Beau Russell and I am super pumped to welcome you all to my new NBA news and editorial blog!

I am a fanatical Lakers fan, born and raised in Los Angeles, but I will always present the facts as facts, and my opinions as opinions. As a life-long Lakers fan, this last week has been rough for me, as well as many others, as we come to accept a world without Kobe Bryant. It’s my hope that for the rest of the season we can all watch the game of basketball with the joy and appreciation that Kobe had for the game.

Without further ado, I would love to get into the games of this week.

Monday February 3rd:

New York Knicks Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

This game is going to be a disaster.

The Knicks, who have been an inconsistent shooting all year, have marked forward Julius Randle as questionable against the Cavs on Monday. Guard Frank Ntilikina also has a questionable tag placed on him, meaning that their two top scorers may or may not play. RJ Barrett will also sit. This leaves the door open for some guys such as Bobby Portis who haven’t seen as much playing time to show what they got against a team who simply does not protect the basket.

The Cavs however will be playing all five starters led by Collin Sexton and Kevin Love. Sexton and Love have been shooting 46% and 45% respectively, which aren’t bad figures. The issue is that the Cavs have adopted a team policy of only playing their five starters, who are averaging 31 minutes per game, leaving very little time for rest. This has shown itself on the court with inconsistent scoring, and almost non-existent defense.

I look at this game as a high scoring affair, with everyone getting open shots. If you plan on taking the over/under, take the over. If you’re looking for value fantasy picks for your DFS slate on Monday, I would look to the Knicks bench for some unusual scoring.

Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Miami Heat

The 76ers are coming off a two game losing streak against the dismal Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics. They are going into Miami, who are 21-3 at home. Not only have they not been able to score well as a team, there is clearly something seriously wrong with their star center Joel Embiid. Embiid is coming off of a game against the Celtics where he shot… wait for it… 1 for 11. The man is 7 feet tall. Playing against the Celtics. Embiid was matched up against Daniel Theis, who is only 6’8, and is one of the WORST paint defenders in the league. If the Sixers hope to get out of this slump and start looking like a play off team again, the big man has got to figure out what’s going on with his scoring.

I predict he won’t, and Bam Adebayo, who is one of the best defensive players in the league, will shut Embiid down. The 76ers have lost to Miami in their two last meetings, and I expect the trend to continue here.

Minnesota Timberwolves Vs. Sacramento Kings

These are two teams I don’t see generating much excitement, but I feel there is one glaring stat that needs to be addressed, because it is simply depressing.

Karl Anthony Towns has been all the hype for the last two years, and now the big man is averaging 26.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists, while shooting 51% overall, and 41% from beyond the arc. The guy is a bonafide BEAST.

However….the man has not won a game since NOVEMBER 27th. It is February. What is happening with the Timberwolves? They have gone on two 11 game losing streaks this season, and can’t seem to figure it out, even with their monster presence in the paint.

I expect them to beat the Kings tomorrow, and I expect a monster game from the big KAT. However, I won’t be too surprised if they fall short again, and add to the losing column.

Fantasy Picks:

PG: Spencer Dinwiddie | Brooklyn Nets (With Kyrie Irving out, I expect big numbers from him.) $8,000

SG: Alec Burks | Golden State Warriors $5,300

SF: Cedi Osman | Cleveland Cavaliers $4,200

PF: Kevin Love | Cleveland Cavaliers $7,100

C: Karl Anthony Towns | Minnesota Timberwolves $10,600

G: Duncan Robinson | Miami Heat $4,400

F: Isaac Bonga | Washington Wizards $3,400

Util: Jarrett Allen | Brooklyn Nets $6,700

Thanks so much for reading guys, be sure to check back in tomorrow for more fantasy picks, game predictions, and more!

– Beau

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