Mar 5, 2017; Sacramento, CA, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) dunks the ball against the Sacramento Kings during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. The Utah Jazz defeated the Sacramento Kings 110-109 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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Utah center Rudy Gobert is making his case for Defensive Player of the Year while becoming an elite center option for FanDuel NBA lineups.
Clean looks at the rim are especially rare when Utah center Rudy Gobert is on the court.
No defender in the league has been more aggressive protecting the rim than Gobert, as he leads the NBA in blocks (167), blocks per game (2.5) and defended shots at the rim (10.4) this season.
The 7-foot-1 center is allowing opponents to convert just 43.1 percent of their attempts at the rim, a figure only surpassed by Joel Embiid among the 150 players to defend three or more shots at the rim each night.
Utah is surrendering the fewest amount of points per game (96.6) and its defensive rating of 104.9 ranks as the third best in the league.
Gobert has been even more dominant following the All-Star break. In his nine appearances for the Jazz, Gobert is posting averages of 14 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
The rejection totals keep dramatically increasing for Gobert, as he has registered at least one blocked shot in 36 consecutive games, the longest active streak and tied for the fourth longest in the past six seasons.
For the season, Gobert has produced the fourth-most FanDuel NBA tournament points among all centers. The 2,306.4 points he has totaled breaks down to an average of 34.43 FanDuel NBA points a game, the 23rd highest average in the league.
The tendency of Gobert to get blocks in bunches, as he has registered 12 games with four or more blocks, has made him an elite FanDuel NBA performer and a favorite to be named as the top defensive player in the league.
The NBA has anointed a player as the Defensive Player of the Year since 1983, a span of 33 seasons.
A center has won the award 21 times (63.6 percent), with Gobert trying to supplant San Antonio small forward Kawhi Leonard, the recipient of the award each of the past two seasons.
Opponents believe Gobert talks too much, but with as many shots as he is turning back, there won’t be much to say when he is named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Mar 6, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts after making a three pointer against the Atlanta Hawks in the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The Warriors defeated the Hawks 119-111. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Curry snapped out of his shooting slump by connecting five times from 3-point range on his 29th birthday, helping the Warriors clinch a 106-104 victory over Philadelphia. Throughout his career, Curry has thrived shooting against Orlando, converting 50 of 100 attempts from 3-point range against the Magic in 13 career games. Curry is shooting 50 percent or better from beyond the arc against two other opponents in his career: Washington and New York.
March has easily been the most productive month of the season for Jeremy Lin. Any FanDuel NBA lineups searching for a value play should take an extended look at Lin, as he has averaged 16.4 points, 3.9 assists, 3.3 rebounds and is connecting 2.1 times from long range. Tuesday against the Thunder, Lin scored a season-high 24 points, along with five assists, two rebounds, a steal and a block.
Mar 10, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Opponents may know exactly to expect when the Raptors place the ball into the hands of DeMar DeRozan, only they have yet to develop a consistent tactic to prevent him from scoring. DeRozan is pouring in 8.9 points per game off drives to the rim, the second highest total in the NBA, while managing to generate at least one point 84.6 percent of the time he attacks the basket. Monday against Dallas, DeRozan snapped a four game streak of shooting less than 50 percent from the field by converting 10-of-17 attempts from the field as part of a 25 point effort, restoring his status as an optimal FanDuel NBA shooting guard option.
The long range shot simply wasn’t falling for Denver swingman Will Barton. After connecting just five times out of his previous 21 attempts from long range in his previous six games, Barton found his shooting touch Monday night against the Lakers, sinking 4-of-6 attempts from 3-point range. Barton finished the game with 22 points, his first 20 point outing in 11 games, and could be in line for another lofty scoring night with both Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler both expected to miss Thursday’s game against the Clippers.
Mar 15, 2017; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) drives to the basket past Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Gordon Hayward has been one of the steadiest performers in FanDuel NBA leagues since the All-Star break. The All-Star forward is shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 45.6 percent from 3-point range during an 11-game stretch and has scored 20 or more points in five of his last six games. Wednesday night in Detroit, Hayward helped the Jazz cruise to a victory by totaling 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists, connecting four times from 3-point range, and a steal.
The shift to Orlando at the NBA trade deadline has provided Terrence Ross with plenty of more shot opportunities, but he hasn’t been capitalizing. Ross is shooting the ball 11.4 times a night, 2.5 additional attempts than he received in Toronto, but has converted just 38.6 percent of his attempts with the Magic. Ross still has plenty of upside in FanDuel NBA leagues as he carries a low valuation and is a threat to sink some long range shots. For any FanDuel NBA lineup in need of an inexpensive scoring option, Ross is worth an extended look.
Feb 28, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) dunks the ball as Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) and Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) look on in the fourth quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 112-108. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Draymond Green simply wouldn’t let the losing streak of the Warriors continue. After dropping three straight games, part of a five loss stretch in seven games, Green lifted Golden State with a 20 point, eight assist, eight rebound, six block, four steal effort in Philadelphia. Green helped clinch the victory by swatting away three shots in the final period, helping solidify his case for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
The defensive presence of Serge Ibaka has been revitalized since being dealt to Toronto. In 10 appearances with the Raptors, Ibaka has swatted away 19 shots, up from the 1.6 blocks he posted during 56 games with Orlando to begin the season. The consistent shot blocking of Ibaka, as he has blocked at least one shot in every game with his new team, has restored his valuation in FanDuel NBA leagues, with two coming in Monday’s victory over the Mavericks.
The wide array of talents for Marc Gasol were on full display during a victory over Chicago Wednesday night. Gasol totaled 27 points, seven assists, six rebounds and a block in 37 minutes for the Grizzlies. For the first time in his nine-year career, the three-time All-Star is averaging over 20 points per game, at 20.2. The outing marked the 18th time this season Gasol has managed to score 25 or more points.
Willy Hernangomez has nearly been averaging a double-double since the All-Star break. In nine games, Hernangomez has averaged 10.9 points on 57.7 percent shooting from the field, 9.8 rebounds while posting seven steals and seven blocks. The Knicks have been limiting his minutes, impacting his upside in FanDuel NBA leagues, holding him to 24.3 minutes a game, but with the team coming to the rationalization that the playoffs are out of reach, Hernangomez could see an extended look in the remaining games.
PG Stephen Curry ($10,100) PG Jeremy Lin ($5,900) SG Victor Oladipo ($6,000) SG Caris LaVert ($4,400) SF LeBron James ($10,500) SF Kent Bazemore ($5,300) PF Trevor Booker ($5,100) PF Serge Ibaka ($6,000) C Rudy Gobert ($7,700)