Grizzlies vs Hornets: Memphis has started their 2019-2020 campaign exclusively at home, and against two international squads in Maccabi Haifa and the New Zealand Breakers. After defeating those two teams, they had almost a week off to rest and Grizzlies vs Hornets Live adjust scheme as necessary. Practice time is vital for a team as young as the Grizzlies, and they have had plenty of it. Here’s to you, preseason schedule maker. You did a good job.
Now, after about two weeks in Memphis to prep, the Grizzlies finally begin their NBA portion of the preseason against the Charlotte Hornets, a team also in transition. Kemba Walker, their best player of the last few years, is now with the Boston Celtics, and in his place is Terry Rozier…which is not ideal for any team. The Hornets may very well be the worst team in the NBA this season, which again makes easing in to the 2019-2020 season that much easier for Memphis to do. Seriously, Grizzlies preseason scheduler, great work.
Here are some keys to tonight’s first televised preseason for Memphis.We’ve got an eight-game featured NBA slate this evening on DraftKings, one that is highlighted by a pair of unlikely marquee matchups. Seriously, I don’t think there’s been another year in the history of the league where anyone would suggest they’re legitimately excited by the prospect of watching Brooklyn-Utah, let alone anything to do with Phoenix. Yet, here we are.
As always, there are injuries aplenty to keep track of, so make sure you stay up to date all the way to tip-off by downloading the DK Live app. They’ll have all the news and notes you’ll need and I’ll supply the picks. Let’s get into it.
Donovan Mitchell, UTA vs. BRK, $7,900 – A majority of tonight’s games feature two teams that rank in the lower-half of the NBA in pace. Utah’s down there. It manages only 99.6 possessions per 48 minutes this season, making it the fourth-slowest squad in the league. However, Brooklyn is one of the few opponents that might make the Jazz change that approach. The Nets just inspire points. Their up-tempo style and defensive lapses have resulted in all nine teams playing Brooklyn scoring at least 109 points. With that as a floor, Mitchell should be able to work his magic. The third-year guard has been hyper-involved in Utah’s past four contests, posting a 34.7% usage rate and 1.24 DKFP per minute within that span. Such aggressiveness is rewarded against the Nets. Always. Other Option: Trae Young ($9,200)
Cory Joseph, SAC vs. POR, $3,700 – The generally passive nature of Joseph isn’t all that appealing a fantasy trait. However, that’s going to be the next development of the discussion surrounding his viability as De’Aaron Fox (ankle) sits out the next month. For now, with his price point yet to adjust to the news, Joseph’s just someone you have to put in a lineup or two. He’s started 95 games in his career and averaged 9.8 points and 3.8 assists in just under 30 minutes of action. It’s likely he’ll share the burden of initiating the offense with Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,400) and Buddy Hield ($6,600), but the fact remains he’ll see a heavy workload. Coming off his best two performances of the season with Fox still active, Joseph’s an obvious target.
Luke Kennard, DET at MIA, $6,000 – The Pistons slowly are getting healthier, but minutes restrictions and the continued absence of Reggie Jackson (back) have forced Kennard to expand his game in 2019-20. So far, he’s done quite a nice job. Kennard’s hit 5x value in all six games Detroit’s played in November, a fact that’s not all that difficult to understand when you look at the numbers. Since the month began, Kennard’s paired a .618 true shooting percentage with a 23.6% usage rate. That efficiency has allowed the Duke product to collect 21.5 points and 4.5 assists per contest within this stretch.
Also, in his past two starts specifically, he’s averaged more than 40 minutes of playing time. That definitely will raise your floor. Other Option: Malcolm Brogdon ($7,600) Anfernee Simons, POR at SAC, $4,900 – Simons’ salary has been climbing as he’s shown off his scoring prowess in recent games, but, with a price tag still below $5K, I think you can go back to the well with the sophomore one more time. Simons has attempted double-digit field goals in four straight contests coming into this evening’s matchup with Sacramento, a span where he’s averaged a massive 1.3 points per possession used and has logged the fourth-most minutes of any Trail Blazers player. That last part really seems to be the key, as Simons has exceeded 6x value all three times he’s seen at least 24 minutes of action in 2019-20. Playing in the game that features the slate’s highest implied total, Simons is clearly viable.