Following on from the NBA Christmas day festivities, a 20 team slate is on the agenda for NBA Thursday.

With most of the big names in the league featured on the Christmas card, there may not be much in the game of big games, but five of the current top eight in the East will be in action.

Just one game features two current playoff teams with the Kings playing the Clippers. When the schedule was planned, few would have tipped the Raptors and Nuggets to be topping their respective conferences, and as a result they both appear on the card here.

There is $20,000 up for grabs in the Thursday jackpot tournament.


Andre Drummond – C – $16,130

Drummond gets a juicy match up against a weak Washington team that gives up the most points in the league and with Dwight Howard nowhere to be seen feature one of the most uninspiring front-courts in the NBA. The Wizards are currently the worst rebounding team in the NBA, while Drummond remains the clear most prolific rebounder in Basketball. With his minutes slightly down, the Pistons fell to the Hawks in their last game on their own court, so expect Drummond and the Pistons to come out and send a message here.

Myles Turner – C – $13,810

If you need a slightly cheaper option at centre, direct your attention to Indiana. Turner has been an absolute monster of late, coming off an 18 point 17 rebound haul against the Wizards, he has posted double doubles in four straight games while also leading the NBA in blocks. The Hawks may have finally pried themselves off the bottom of the NBA’s defensive rankings, but they’re still second to last, while also having the 21st worst rebounding differential in the NBA. It’s just a shame both Turner and Drummond are only available at centre so we can’t take them both.

Buddy Hield – SG/SF – $14,590

The points should be flying in this contest with the Kings tied for 27th in the NBA in points allowed, while the Clippers are only marginally better, joint for 25th. This shapes as great news for Hield, whose 27% usage rate has seen him on a ferocious point scoring spree lately. In his last six outings, Hield has dropped below 27 points only once (21 points) and has dropped below five three pointers made only once (three). The Bahamian is now fourth in the NBA in three pointers made this season.

Nemanja Bjelca – PF/SF – $8,940

Bjelca hasn’t quite managed the type of high ceiling game that people have been hoping for in recent appearances, but he remains a viable threat to do so with the Kings front-court still riddled with injury. He has still been scattering numbers across the stat sheet, particularly on the boards, but punters will be wanting to see more games similar to when he reeled off three straight nights of four 3 pointers and the big point hauls that resulted. The Clippers should be able to help out here with their defense allowing a shade under 115 points a game.

Langston Galloway – PG/SG – $5,860

Galloway went off for the Pistons in their recent game against Atlanta, nearly dragging Detroit to a win with his 18 points including multiple important triples down the stretch. Sure, Galloway was running hot for this third highest point total on the year and it’s unlikely he’ll generate the same heroics here. However, against the worst defense in the NBA, and with the Pistons really struggling for shooters, it won’t be surprising to see Galloway rewarded with some additional looks here in hope that maybe they can stoke the fire a little further. He is close to the Draftstars basement price, so do temper our expectations.

Enter the NBA $20,000 Thursday tournament.


Point Scored = 1 point

Missed Field Goal = -0.25 points

Missed Free Throw = -0.25 points

Assist = 1.5 points

Rebound = 1.25 points

Turnover = -0.5 points

Steal = 2 points

Block = 2 points

3 Point Made Bonus = 1 point

Double-Double = 2 points

Triple-Double = 2 points