One series appears set for close, drama-filled contests, while the other is all but over tonight if the Brooklyn Nets win. Tonight’s two game slate locks at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Jrue Holiday and the Milwaukee Bucks picked a bad time to disappear after the beatdown they took in Game 2. Holiday was playing OK prior, but it has not mattered against the Nets’ offense. The series shifts to Milwaukee where the Bucks must win Game 3. Holiday was brought in to be a key cog in the Bucks’ playoff success. To do so, he must shoot better than 25% from the three-point line while continuing to keep Kyrie Irving in check. Holiday has the best Projected Plus/Minus among point guards on FanDuel and DraftKings while also being rated top two at the position using the FantasyLabs NBA Model.
Mike James has a 98% Bargain Rating on DraftKings with a price of $3,800. He has played more than 54 minutes in the series and is the primary backup at point guard with James Harden out. His projected ownership on DraftKings puts him behind only Holiday and tied with Irving and makes sense as a salary saving option on FanDuel at $4,800.
Mike Conley is questionable to play in Game 2 for Utah. Prior to reinjuring his hamstring, Conley was having a rough end to his series against Memphis. Utah needs their veteran ballhandler, but he is one tweak away from potentially missing the rest of the playoffs. Joe Ingles will continue to start in Conley’s place if he remains out.
Irving has topped 40 FanDuel points twice and 40 DraftKings points three times in seven postseason games.
Rajon Rondo played 28 minutes for the Clippers in Game 1, his most of the playoffs. He also had a usage rate below 10 percent for the third time. He is a boom-or-bust play who will be in at least one of my lineups.
Like Holiday, Paul George will need to step up for the Clippers if they want to avoid a 2-0 hole against the Jazz. George’s stats look good until you look at his poor field goal percentage. That point total that was saved by nine made free throws. He has excellent Leverage scores on both platforms and has a 95% Bargain Rating on DraftKings. He is the top-rated shooting guard on FanDuel, where he has the top projected fantasy score and is $300 cheaper than Donovan Mitchell.
Luke Kennard can do one thing very well — shoot the ball. After starting the series against Dallas glued to the bench and then shooting 0-for-4 from three, he has made seven of his last 11 from deep and kept the floor spaced for the Clippers on offense. Kennard is only $3,300 on DraftKings.
Donovan Mitchell showed out with Conley sitting and did so smartly. Los Angeles has to find a way to prevent Mitchell from switching if they do not want a similar performance in Game 2.
Bruce Brown is top four on both sites in Points Per Salary and is tied for first in that category among small forwards on DraftKings. Brown only has small forward eligibility on DraftKings.
Terrance Mann lost playing time to Kennard in Game 1, but is a much better defender. I would expect to see more Mann in Game 2, but not necessarily in a role that benefits DFS players.
Kevin Durant has the top Projected Plus/Minus among all players and is the top-rated small forward on both sites. Pricing is interesting as Durant is $1,000 more than Kawhi Leonard on DraftKings, but $400 cheaper on FanDuel. He has 61 points in two games and has made every player defending him look bad. At this point, rostering Durant feels inevitable.
Brown and Kennard have small forward eligibility on DraftKings but not FanDuel. Targeting Bojan Bogdanovic makes sense as he is the cheapest small forward with a safe, known role. He is tied with Leonard for the best Leverage Score among threes on FanDuel.
Khris Middleton leads the position in Pro Trends on FanDuel and is priced to play as a salary saver. Fantasy points are fantasy points and Middleton has scored 20-plus points in three of six games and has two double-doubles. He has been a disappointment in terms of real-life basketball and needs to find a way to ease the pressure off Giannis Antetokounmpo. Nets-Bucks has the highest projected game total by 12 points, giving Middleton more value at his salary with points expected.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the top overall player on FanDuel and DraftKings. He is the Alpha and Omega on offense for Milwaukee, but has been trying to carry it on his back with little effect. It also does not help that he is being asked to slow Durant when playing defense. Giannis will continue to be the driving force for the Bucks, whether he gets a double-double scoring 30-plus points or wills his way to 18 and 11 rebounds in a potential blowout. Vegas believes in the former, as the Bucks have the highest projected team total.
Jeff Green’s injury has allowed Blake Griffin to post two straight solid games with starter’s minutes. He is only $4,800 on DraftKings, good for a 95% Bargain Rating.
Royce O’Neale is $300 more than Griffin on both sites but is as likely to score 25-plus fantasy points with less ownership. O’Neale has a four-game steals streak and only two turnovers this postseason. Game 1 was also his first game without a three-pointer made since May 12. He has also topped his projection in five consecutive contests.
Rudy Gobert was taken out of the offensive game plan by the Clippers, leading to a $200 decrease in his salary on DraftKings. He has a 99% Bargain Rating on DraftKings (a trend with their pricing) and has the highest Leverage Score. Gobert is the only center with projected ownership over 30 percent on FanDuel.
Welcome back to the playoffs, Ivica Zubac! He played more than 20 minutes for the first time since Game 2 against Dallas and forced his way to seven free throw attempts. Zubac will be an integral piece for the Clippers’ backcourt if they expect to keep games close and continue to frustrate Gobert.
Brook Lopez has double-digit shot attempts in four straight games, and of course had his worst performance of the four in Game 2. His incorporation in the Bucks’ offense will continue to matter with the Nets playing smaller lineups. Of course, this idea could mean nothing if the Nets continue to run circles around Milwaukee. He is averaging 15.3 points per game in the playoffs after scoring 12.5 per game during the regular season.
Photo Credit: David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images
Pictured: Jrue Holiday