NBA Player Prop Pick | Fade Damian Lillard in Bucks vs Cavaliers (Wednesday, Jan. 24)

NBA Player Prop Pick | Fade Damian Lillard in Bucks vs Cavaliers (Wednesday, Jan. 24) article feature image

(Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images). Pictured: Damian Lillard.

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NBA Player Prop Pick | Wednesday, Jan. 24

Wednesday, Jan 24
8:00pm ET
Damian Lillard Under 11.5 Rebounds + Assists (-115)

Since Damian Lillard is now playing with All-Stars like Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo, he has had to adjust to sharing the ball more than he did in Portland. The star point guard is averaging a combined 10.9 rebounds plus assists over his last 15 games.

Lillard comes into tonight's matchup in what I see as a sell-high spot for his ancillary stats. He averaged 15 rebounds plus assists in his last two games versus Detroit, inflating his averages against a bottom-tier team that allowed the most points per game (128.3) in January and ranks as the second-worst team in defensive rating.

However, in tonight's game against the Cavaliers, I expect regression in a tough matchup.

Since January, Cleveland has allowed the second-fewest rebounds plus assists to opposing point guards. Despite missing Evan Mobley and Darius Garland, the Cavaliers' defense remains elite. Over its last 15 games, the team has the best defensive rating and the second-best rebound percentage, and it holds teams to an average of 107 points per game (second lowest).

Lillard's teammates figure to draw difficult matchups most of the time against Jarrett Allen, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade and Max Strus, all of whom are in the 78th percentile of defensive plus-minus, per – one reason why Cleveland's defense is holding teams to the fewest assists since the new year.

In the last meeting between these two teams with Giannis healthy, Lillard combined for only six rebounds plus assists, and I'm buying the fact that it won't be easy to stat-stuff against a Cleveland defense that rebounds well and won't give up easy shots.

Action Network's model projects Lillard will finish with 10 rebounds plus assists, a nice 13.3% edge to go under his prop.

Pick: Damian Lillard Under 11.5 Rebounds + Assists (-115)

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC