Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum Duke It Out in LA

The Los Angeles Lakers play host to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night in the latest chapter of the NBA's most storied rivalry.

The Los Angeles Lakers play host to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night in the latest chapter of the NBA's most storied rivalry. The main storyline heading into this game is the matchup of young talent, as both the Lakers and Celtics rely heavily on production from their rookies and sophomores. Los Angeles is anchored by 2017 second overall pick Lonzo Ball, as well as the steal of the draft, Kyle Kuzma. Late first rounder Josh Hart has also stepped into a larger role, with LA sometimes using all three rookies on the court simultaneously.

Boston has a similar setup, with rookies Jayson Tatum and second-year stud Jaylen Brown scoring or assisting on over a third (37.7%) of Boston's points this year. This seems even more impressive when considering the high usage rates of point guard Kyrie Irving (33.2%) and center Al Horford (24.3%). Perhaps even more notable is the fact that Brown and Tatum rank first and third respectively in the entire NBA when it comes to defensive win shares. Al Horford ranks fifth, while Lonzo Ball is sixteenth. With so many talented young players entering the fold, fans can be excited about the next chapter in this classic rivalry.

Los Angeles Lakers Notable Recent 1st Round Picks
2017: 2nd overall Lonzo Ball: Point Guard, UCLA
2017: 27th overall *Kyle Kuzma: Forward, Utah
2017: 30th overall **Josh Hart: Guard/Forward, Villanova
2016: 2nd overall Brandon Ingram: Forward, Duke
2015: 2nd overall ***D'Angelo Russell: Guard, Ohio State
2015: 27th overall Larry Nance Jr: Forward, Wyoming
2014: 7th overall Julius Randle: Forward, Kentucky
* Acquired from Brooklyn as part of D'Angelo Russell trade
** Acquired from Utah in exchange for 28th overall pick Tony Bradley. Los Angeles also received the 42nd overall pick, center Thomas Bryant of Indiana.
***Traded away to Brooklyn before the start of this season. Los Angeles also gave up Timofey Mozgov, while receiving Brook Lopez and the rights to Kyle Kuzma.
Boston Celtics Notable Recent 1st Round Picks
2017: 3rd overall *Jayson Tatum: Forward, Duke
2016: 3rd overall Jaylen Brown: Guard/Forward, California
2015: 16th overall Terry Rozier: Guard, Louisville
2014: 6th overall **Marcus Smart: Guard, Oklahoma State
 * Boston traded the number one overall pick to Philadelphia for the third overall pick and a future first-round pick in either 2018 or 2019. Philadelphia selected Markelle Fultz with the pick.
** Marcus Smart and Julius Randle were picked back-to-back by the Celtics and Lakers respectively. In this year's draft, Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum were also picked back-to-back.

Under The Primetime Lights

Tuesday night's game between Boston and Los Angeles will be nationally televised on TNT (10:30 ET). Lonzo Ball will not suit up for this game, and he may ultimately miss several more games or even weeks. Although Ball's knee injury doesn't appear to be overly serious, Head Coach Luke Walton is making the smart choice by not forcing his point guard back quickly. As for other Lakers dealing with various ailments, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brandon Ingram are both considered questionable for this game. Ingram appears more likely to play than Caldwell-Pope, although it is certainly possible both players take the floor.

With Lonzo Ball out, the Jayson Tatum versus Kyle Kuzma matchup takes center stage. Both players are frequently mentioned in the Rookie of the Year discussion. Lonzo Ball isn't mentioned quite as often as Kuzma and Tatum, which is more indicative of the strength and depth of the 2017 rookie class than anything else. Ball has had a good rookie season, despite all the unwarranted criticism from fans who don't like seeing his father make headlines. Lonzo is very soft-spoken, cool, and collected when he addresses the media. Despite all this, Lonzo Ball remains a hot-button topic for many people. The polarizing rookie point guard overcame early season shooting struggles and is currently posting a very respectable five category stat line. Lonzo averages 10.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 7.1 APG, 1.5 SPG, and 0.9 BPG while playing around 33 minutes per game. For perspective, Tatum averages 13.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.9 BPG. Kuzma has also adjusted well to the NBA during his rookie season. The former Utah Ute has posted per game averages of 16.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.9 APG, and one combined block and steal.

Blue Devil Connection

Jayson Tatum and Kyle Kuzma will spend at least some time guarding one another in this game. However, Tatum will mainly match up with another former Duke Blue Devil in Brandon Ingram. Tatum and Ingram are a year apart from each other, both having played for living legend Mike Krzyzewski for one season in Durham before turning pro. Needless to say, the comparisons between the two are inevitable. Each player offers outstanding offensive versatility in the post and on the wing, with the ability to switch between guarding multiple positions on defense. Tatum is the more polished defender at the moment, although his defensive metrics are slightly enhanced by the Celtics scheme and overall team defense. Despite being a year younger than Ingram, Tatum is arguably better than him in several categories. Tatum's versatility isn't limited to the defensive side of the ball, as he grades out well in almost every offensive category. 

Play Type % Time Points Points Per Poss. Rank Rating FG%
Spot Up 32.70% 231 1.209 91% Excellent 48.70%
Transition 21.10% 154 1.252 78% Very Good 60.90%
Isolation 9.10% 44 0.83 44% Average 37%
P&R Ball Handler 8.60% 60 1.2 98% Excellent 62.20%
Off Screen 6% 29 0.829 28% Below Average 35.70%
Hand Off 5.50% 21 0.656 18% Below Average 33.30%
Post-Up 3.90% 26 1.13 94% Excellent 50%
Cut 3.80% 29 1.318 55% Good 53.30%
P&R Roll Man 3.30% 20 1.053 46% Average 47.10%
Put Backs 2.90% 16 0.941 24% Below Average 50%
Miscellaneous 3.30% 13 0.684 80% Very Good 33.30%
Jayson Tatum's rookie numbers reflect his versatility

As for Brandon Ingram, he is still one of the most promising young players in the entire league. He is enjoying a solid sophomore campaign, with per game averages of 15.7 points, 5.2 boards, 3.4 assists, and 1.5 combined steals and blocks. The 20-year-old will need to improve his shooting and add muscle mass as he continues to mature in Los Angeles.  Across the country, Boston has serious staying power as one of the league's best teams. With an impressive core of their own, and possibly the best General Manager in the entire NBA in Danny Ainge, the Celtics are primed to be contenders for years to come. That is bad news for Lakers' fans as Boston is clearly a few steps ahead of LA at this point. The good news for Lakers' fans? While the Celtics have an equally great young core as the Lakers do, no team in the league can outright claim to have a better group of players 22 and under than the Lakers. With Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma entrenched as long-term pieces---along with Lonzo Ball---the future is extremely bright for the Lakers. They will look to pull off the victory against the Celtics on Tuesday night in this much-anticipated showdown on TNT.

Highlights of Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram during the Lakers game at Boston on November 8th

Daily Fantasy Spotlight

For those of you playing daily fantasy sports on Tuesday, the Celtics-Lakers game will be a big part of your night. In the Lakers only other matchup with the Celtics this season, they lost in Boston 107-96. Julius Randle (16 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 assists) and Jordan Clarkson (18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals) excelled for LA in that game. Randle scored 35.4 Fan Duel points, while Clarkson added a cool 30 of his own. With Lonzo Ball injured and Andrew Bogut gone, for now, there are added opportunities for Randle and Clarkson to increase their production. How long that will last is a different story. Randle's case for being a solid DFS target is bolstered by the interesting narrative of the Celtics passing on him in the 2014 NBA Draft. Many Celtics fans seem to share the opinion that they would have rather drafted Randle than Marcus Smart. It's hard to blame them. The spot to attack the Celtics in DFS is often with a big man, as Boston's only real weakness is its interior size and rebounding.

Since the last time these teams went head to head, the way the Lakers look on Fan Duel has changed significantly. Due to the Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope injuries, Jordan Clarkson's opportunities predictably and immediately skyrocketed. Clarkson is no stranger to this featured role, having filled the void before when either guard has gone down. When KCP, Lonzo, and reserve point guard Tyler Ennis are all off the court this season, Clarkson's usage rate inflates to 32.7%. In that scenario, Kuzma, Randle, and Ingram are all within a point of each other, at just under 30%. In Jordan Clarkson's eruption against the Knicks, he displayed remarkable chemistry with reserve guard Alex Caruso. Luke Walton liked what he saw and hinted at Clarkson possibly entering the starting lineup against Boston.

Position Player Price Projected Fan Duel Points
SG Jordan Clarkson 7000 36.5
SF Brandon Ingram 5800 33
SF Jaylen Brown 5500 31.6
PF Jayson Tatum 5600 29
PF Kyle Kuzma 5200 25.8
C Al Horford 7100 43.1
C Julius Randle 6600 41.8
Based on my projections, the Celtics @ Lakers game will be very fantasy relevant

On Fan Duel, Julius Randle is listed as a center, despite being listed as a power forward throughout his entire career. On Fan Duel, only one center can be played, so it becomes slightly more difficult to justify playing Randle on some nights. At a decent price tag of 6600, Randle is still a solid option tonight, with good upside versus the Celtics. When it comes to Jordan Clarkson, prepare to do a double take. Clarkson is the most expensive shooting guard on Fan Duel's five-game slate. Priced at 7000, the former Missouri Tiger even costs more than Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson. Clarkson will undoubtedly be a popular option after scoring 47.9 and 59.2 Fan Duel points in his last two games. Although Clarkson is a solid option tonight, the Celtics elite wing defense is somewhat concerning. To differentiate lineups, it is completely viable to fade Clarkson and go in a different direction at shooting guard. However, be sure to do so at your own risk, as JC will look to stay hot in his enhanced role. 

The main takeaway from the pricing in this game is that everybody is too cheap. The Las Vegas numbers are respectable, with this game checking in at a decent 208.5 game total and a spread favoring Boston by 4. For tonight's DFS action, searching for NBA starters who are great point-per-dollar options leads directly to this game. All of the prominent forwards are vastly underpriced in a game that should be full of fantasy relevance. With extra usage to go around and the boost of playing on national television, several players are set up to excel in this game. The Lakers should be well rested after sleeping in their own beds the last two nights and getting the day off from practice yesterday. Tonight's game will be must-see TV for many fans, with the action tipping off at 10:30 Eastern on TNT.

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