Fantasy Weekend: Priming an important stretch for Oklahoma City

OKC Thunder

WASHINGTON, DC -¬JANUARY 30: Paul George #13 of the OKC Thunder handles the ball against the Washington Wizards on January 30, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The OKC Thunder have an important three games in four days this weekend. These players will likely have the biggest impact in each outcome.

You all are probably thinking today is Friday by reading this lovely column at this very moment. I hate to disappoint you, but it is only Thursday. We thought it would be more compelling to add in an extra day for our weekly fantasy focus, so here we are.

Sitting at 30-21, the Oklahoma City Thunder have an important stretch of games starting tonight in Denver against the Nuggets. They follow that up with a contest against the Pelicans tomorrow – the LA Lakers then come to town on Sunday afternoon. Not a true gauntlet of opponents, but any time a team like OKC has to play 3 games in 4 days, it is very difficult.

The Thunder are still working through the kinks without Andre Roberson, so it will be interesting to see how they perform in the next few games. But for now, the focus is fantasy basketball. With the risk of rambling, we now move on to who is going to ball out this weekend.

Paul George

Without his defensive running mate in Roberson, Paul George’s elite-level defense is now more important to the OKC Thunder than ever. He still leads the NBA in steals with 2.17 per game, which is quite insane. Some of his steals seem to come so easy it’s as if he is reading the opposing team’s mind.

George’s offense, not to be outdone, has been great in recent games. Even though his teammates forgot about him in the second half of last game in Washington, George is still shooting the ball extremely well. He averages 21.3 points per game, so don’t be surprised if he has a few monster games this weekend.

Jamal Murray

The second-year guard out of Kentucky has had a very solid season for the Denver Nuggets. This month alone he has had four games over 20 points. Also, he posted back to back 30 point performances just a few games ago. It appears that Jamal Murray could be a problem for the OKC Thunder tonight.

He averages a relatively pedestrian 16.2 points and 3 assists per game. Murray has also shown the ability to explode at a moment’s notice. Keep an eye on him for a big night, especially without the lock down defense of Andre Roberson.

Anthony Davis

I believe this is the Brow’s second appearance on Fantasy Weekend. Every time the OKC Thunder play New Orleans, it seems that Davis is the focus. If you can stop him from dominating, normally there is a good chance to win.

Unfortunately for the Pelicans, they also lost a big part of their team when Demarcus Cousins went down with a ruptured Achilles last week. So now more than ever, the focus is on Davis’ shoulders once again. In the last two games without Cousins, he is averaging 24 points, 15 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. Look for him to have similar numbers on Friday night in OKC.

Kyle Kuzma

Since there is those aforementioned three games this weekend, we decided to place a third opponent in this slot. The LA Lakers are spiraling out of control, with their youth and lack of top end talent being the main culprits. However, rookie Kyle Kuzma has been a revelation for this team. With all the spotlight his teammate Lonzo Ball gets, Kuzma has proven to be the better player, at least at this point in their young careers.

The young man out of Utah is averaging 16.3 points and 5.9 boards per game. He only scored 7 in the last matchup with the OKC Thunder, so I predict a bounce back performance from him on Sunday.