UPDATE: Jan. 23, 12:42 p.m. — Durant will be available to play in Saturday night’s game vs. the Miami Heat. He was held out of Friday’s loss to the Cavs, the second straight game the Nets dropped to Cleveland in a row. Kyrie Irving is also expected to play on the second leg of a back-to-back set. James Harden is also in there. So the “Big 3” is good to go.
UPDATE: Jan. 22, 12:47 p.m. — Durant has been ruled out for Friday’s game vs. the Cavs after playing 50 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland. So with Durant sidelined, we should see Harris enter the starting lineup at SF. The Nets’ depth will be tested and I have some analysis below on how to approach DFS options and the lines, we’ll see how they adjust to the KD news.
Nets rule Kevin Durant out for tonight's game against the Cavs. He played 50 minutes on Wednesday. Nets have a back-to-back against the Heat tomorrow.— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) January 22, 2021
Brooklyn Nets SF/PF Kevin Durant is questionable to play in Friday’s game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers due to a sore Achilles tendon. This is with the Nets coming off a 2OT loss to the Cavaliers on Wednesday. In that game, Collin Sexton dropped 42 points on the Big 3 of Kyrie Irving, KD and James Harden, which was operating for the first time this season. Durant may be held out on the first half of a back-to-back set to start this weekend.
Durant has missed four games this season due to quarantine/injury management. He’s coming off a ruptured Achilles, though the All-Star forward had plenty of time to recover from the injury, which was sustained during the 2019 NBA Finals. With Durant sidelined, we should see the offense run through the two top guards — Irving and Harden. This sort of lineup look will be very similar to last year’s Houston Rockets team featuring Russell Westbrook and Harden.
From what we saw on Wednesday, this is a good spot for both Irving ($9,000) and Harden ($10,800). The Beard struggled for most of the first game against Cleveland, but 2OT helped him finish with a triple-double. Irving had 17 points in the first half and finished with 37 points in 48 minutes on some impressive shooting. Irving is the more appealing GPP play on DraftKings given his price. Harden may cede to Irving on offense but the extra shots should boost him a bit. Both players are good tournament plays.
If we’re looking for value, Joe Harris ($5,300) should enter the starting lineup at SF for Durant. He had an off shooting night on Wednesday, finishing 2-of-10 from the floor and 2-of-7 from beyond the arc for 6 points in 42 minutes. Not exactly efficient. Jeff Green ($4,600) should also play a ton if KD sits. Reggie Perry ($3,000) at min-price is an interesting value. He played 11 minutes on Wednesday night but could see some more run with the Nets sporting a short bench.
The Nets are favored by 8.5 points on the road. This is a line I’d be looking to get on the Cavs getting points coming off the win. The Nets just can’t play defense at all and Durant is one of their better defenders. Sexton should eat up Irving and Harden again. Brooklyn also lacks depth and the Cavs are actually getting somewhat health and just got rid of the headache that was Kevin Porter Jr.
There’s a decent amount of appeal in the under at 225.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook if Durant sits as well. Had it not been for 2OT, the total in last game would have fallen short of this. Couple that with one of the best scorers ever being sidelined and we’re looking OK. Even Cleveland on the ML at +295 is looking good, though that could be more of a trap.
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