Thursday is set up to be a quiet night in the NBA with only four games on the schedule. There are still a couple of exciting matchups, though, with the Sixers hosting the Celtics and the Thunder taking on the Rockets. We also have another opportunity to play Yahoo DFS, so here are some players to target for your entry, as well as a few to avoid.
Chris Paul, OKC vs. HOU ($30): Paul came on strong in the second half against the Nets on Tuesday, finishing with 28 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals in the Thunder's overtime win. Danilo Gallinari (calf) did not play in that contest and will be out again Thursday. Over the last five games that Gallinari has missed, Paul has scored at least 35.4 Yahoo points four times. Expect him to carry a high floor into this matchup, as well.
Darius Garland, CLE at DET ($12): Garland has averaged 35 minutes across his last five games, which is a significant boost compared to his season mark of 29 minutes a night. While he hasn't been out of this world, he has been able to provide value by averaging 14.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and one steal during that stretch. With Dante Exum (illness) already ruled out, Garland should receive no shortage of playing time in this contest, either.
Guard to Avoid
Marcus Smart, BOS at PHI ($24): The Celtics were beaten soundly by the Spurs on Wednesday, a contest in which Smart scored only 16.5 Yahoo points. He logged just 25 minutes, part of which can be attributed to the return of Kemba Walker. This could be a low-scoring affair between two of the better defensive teams in the league, so paying this much for Smart might not be a wise idea.
Kevin Love, CLE at DET ($31): These two teams just met Tuesday. The Pistons had no answer for Love, who posted 30 points, nine rebounds and four assists over 36 minutes. When he's on the floor, Love has generally remained productive. The problem is that the Cavaliers get blown out so often that he sometimes plays limited minutes. This should be a close contest considering how poorly the Pistons have played, so don't be surprised if Love provides another juicy stat line.
Sekou Doumbouya, DET vs. CLE ($13): Now that Blake Griffin (knee) has opted for surgery, the Pistons look ready to give Doumbouya a chance to shine. He's started and logged at least 27 minutes in each of their last four games, averaging 13 points, seven rebounds and 1.5 steals. At such a cheap price, he could be well worth the risk in tournament play.
Forward to Avoid
Eric Gordon, HOU at OKC ($14): Gordon moved into the starting five Wednesday with Russell Westbrook sitting out for rest and scored 17 points across 30 minutes. The problem is that he provides very little outside of the scoring column, which resulted in him recording just 22.7 Yahoo points. Westbrook is expected to return for this game, meaning Gordon should shift back to a limited role off the bench. Add in the Thunder playing at the eighth-slowest pace in the league and this has the makings of a quiet night for Gordon.
Andre Drummond, DET vs. CLE ($47): Drummond is the unquestioned centerpiece of the Pistons right now, although he could be moved before the trade deadline. He destroyed the Cavaliers on Tuesday, scoring 60.5 Yahoo points over 38 minutes. That marked the fifth time across the last six games that he has scored at least 51.1 Yahoo points. While pricey, he could be well worth it.
Tristan Thompson, CLE at DET ($20): Tasked with trying to slow down Drummond is Thompson, who is an excellent rebounder in his own right. He came through with 36 Yahoo points when these teams met Tuesday and scored 28.8 Yahoo points when they faced off earlier in the season. There aren't a ton of great cost-effective center options, so Thompson might be worth taking a chance on if you want to fade Drummond.
Center to Avoid
Christian Wood, DET vs. CLE ($14): It sure looks like Doumbouya has surpassed Wood in the pecking order for the Pistons. Wood has only averaged 21 minutes across the last four games, scoring 21.7 Yahoo points or fewer each time. Even though he's not overly expensive, his limited upside still makes him an unappealing option.