Sunday’s NBA slate features Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
If you’re new to single-game formats, be sure to check out my previous work on the subject:
- 5 Tips to Dominate the DraftKings NBA Showdown Format
- How Does the Single-Game NBA Format on FanDuel Differ From DraftKings?
DraftKings is offering a guaranteed prize pool tournament with $250,000 available for first place, so it’s definitely worth brushing up on your single-game strategy prior to tonight’s contest.
Golden State Warriors @ Toronto Raptors (-2) – 213.0 total
Two players stand out above the rest on today’s slate.
Let’s start with Steph Curry. He continues to dominate the basketball for the Warriors with Kevin Durant out of the lineup and is coming off 50.25 DraftKings points in Game 1. That said, it wasn’t exactly a great performance.
He was pretty pedestrian from the field, shooting 44.4% on 18 attempts, and struggled mightily when matched up with Fred VanVleet. He shot just 1-6 over 33 possessions in that matchup, which continued VanVleet’s dominance over Curry from the regular season:
Final count was 2 Curry points on 29 possessions as VanVleet as his defender, according to @SecondSpectrum.
So, in 2 games this season, 6 points on 68 possessions.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) May 31, 2019
Curry was able to salvage his fantasy performance by making 14 free throws, but he’s going to have to figure out how to beat VanVleet if the Warriors are going to win their fourth title in five years.
Still, Curry offers the highest ceiling in our NBA Models, making him a strong choice at Captain or utility.
Kawhi Leonard is the most expensive option on DraftKings, and the Warriors did their best to limit him as a scorer in Game 1. He posted a usage rate of just 23.5%, which was his lowest mark of the entire postseason. That said, their plan of attack backfired. Leonard may not have beaten them, but it didn’t stop the Raptors’ offense from firing on all cylinders.
One thing that working in Kawhi’s favor is the injury to Andre Iguodala. He served as Kawhi’s primary defender for most of Game 1, and he managed to hold Leonard to -26.3 points per 100 possessions below his regular season average. If he’s limited in any capacity on today’s slate, Kawhi could see some improvement in that department.
Overall, locking Kawhi and Curry into 100% of your lineups feels like the sharp play. They were only owned at 79.7% and 72.1% respectively in Game 1, and both players were in the winning lineup despite relatively pedestrian production. They combined for just 93.25 DraftKings points, and I’ll gladly take the over on that today.
Pascal Siakam was the big winner in Game 1 of the Finals. He shot a blistering 14-17 from the field en route to 55.5 DraftKings points and was the Captain on the $1 million winning lineup.
Can he repeat that performance today? I’m skeptical. His usage rate of 23.8% was mediocre, and he made up for it with ridiculous efficiency. Selling high on those types of players is usually a smart decision in NBA DFS. He’s been priced up and will likely command higher ownership on today’s slate despite the fact that he hit his ceiling in his last performance.
I’m much more interested in spending the extra $600 on DraftKings for Draymond Green. He posted a “lazy man’s” triple-double in Game 1, recording exactly 10 points, rebounds, and assists, but he has the potential to improve across the board in Game 2.
For starters, he shot just 2-9 from the field in his last game. No one is going to mistake Draymond for one of the splash brothers anytime soon, but we should still expect him to shoot better than 22.2%. He’s shot 50.6% so far this postseason and has posted a significantly higher usage rate with Durant out of the lineup.
Where Draymond really makes his living though is with his peripheral statistics. He totaled 19 potential assists and 18 rebound opportunities in Game 1 of the Finals (per NBA.com), both of which were tops among all players. If he sees some positive regression in those categories tonight, he could be looking at a monster performance.
Game 2 is also a nice opportunity to buy low on Kyle Lowry. He remains a low-usage option for his salary, but he managed to score 29.0 DraftKings points in Game 1 despite shooting just 2-9 from the field and 1-5 from 3-point range. He’s one of the best sources of peripheral stats outside of Draymond, ranking sixth in rebound opportunities and second in potential assists in Game 1.
Last but not least is Marc Gasol, who took advantage of Golden State’s biggest defensive liability in Game 1. The Warriors have struggled against opposing centers all season, giving Gasol an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.07. DeMarcus Cousins is still severely limited – we’re only projecting him for 9.6 minutes in our NBA Models — and he’s the only player on the Warriors’ roster that can match Gasol’s combination of size and strength.
VanVleet has been priced up pretty aggressively since the middle of the Eastern Conference Finals, moving from $1,600 to $5,800 on DraftKings. That said, it’s hard not to like him in this series. His defensive ability on Curry is going to result in a lot of playing time, and VanVleet has shot the ball extremely well over his past four games.
Andre Iguodala looks like an elite option at $4,600 on DraftKings. He was priced at $6,600 from Game 1 and responded with 25.0 DraftKings points in 29.2 minutes, but the uncertainty surrounding his calf injury has resulted in the massive price decrease. Still, he’s not listed on the injury report, which means he should be expected to be a full go. The Warriors need his defensive impact on Kawhi, and Matt Moore views him as the biggest X-Factor in tonight’s contest.
The value department is thin on today’s slate, but you’ll need to take some chances here if you want to roster multiple studs. Stars and scrubs has proven to be the preferred strategy in the Showdown format, and Shaun Livingston was in the winning lineup in Game 1 despite scoring just 16.5 DraftKings points.
- Livingston ($3,200): He’s probably the safest bet for minutes in this price range, although he has been priced up a bit following his Game 1 performance. That said, he does have the potential to improve on his 16.5 DraftKings points after shooting just 2-6 from the field.
- Jordan Bell ($2,000): He played 11.6 minutes in Game 1 but responded with just 7.25 DraftKings points. Still, he’s capable of averaging well over 1.00 DraftKings points per minute, giving him nice upside at his current salary.
- OG Anunoby ($1,400): He’s probable to suit up after missing Game 1 of this series, although its unclear how much he’ll actually play. Still, his defensive ability means he could see a larger role than expected, and getting on the court is half the battle in this price range.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA News Feed.
Pictured above: Golden State Warriors Forward Draymond Green (23)
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports