Nine games are on the NBA schedule for Friday, with the Houston Rockets hosting the Golden State Warriors in the day's most noteworthy contest. The Warriors, who are ranked first in the NBA in defensive rating, will face an elite player for the second time in as many games with the Rockets being led by James Harden ($12,200). Harden's averaging 54.1 FanDuel points per game this season, and it's been mentioned many times over how his productivity has taken off in Mike D'Antoni's offensive system. Harden has the freedom to do what he sees fit with the basketball, and while that may not be a whole lot different than the situation he played in last season the philosophy and execution are.
Last season there was the need to account for Dwight Howard's need for post touches; this season with Clint Capela, Nene and Montrezl Harrell, Harden has big men who work well with him in the pick and roll game and they also don't need a high number of 1-on-1 post touches to remain engaged. That approach requires an adjustment on the part of Golden State defensively, which was an issue in the first meeting between the teams this season. Houston beat Golden State 132-127 in a double-overtime classic December 1, with Harden finishing with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. Despite turning the ball over seven times, Harden tallied 65.5 FanDuel points in the win, with Ryan Anderson (29 points on 9-for-17 shooting) and Eric Gordon (23 points on 9-for-19 shooting) also performing well.
With the number of quality perimeter shooters around Harden, the Rockets can be a tough matchup for the Warriors, which makes he and his teammates players worth considering for tonight's lineup. Here are our FanDuel picks for Friday, using a $60,000 salary cap to fill out a nine-player roster. (Getty)