The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Saturday features a two-game slate starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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Outside of an explosion in Game 3, Derrick White has failed to reach his salary-based expectations in all other games this postseason. However, White’s salary has dipped to just $5,200 on FanDuel, leading to a 95% Bargain Rating. Each of the last four games have been decided by double-digit margins, but Saturday’s game currently holds a six-point spread. White carries the slate’s best Projected Plus/Minus at the point guard position by a landslide.
Kyle Lowry remains too affordable on DraftKings at $7,000 after exceeding his salary-based expectations in each of the past four playoff games. In the first-round series, his floor was strengthened with an average of 8.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game. While his scoring output can be volatile, he tallied at least 20 points in three of four regular-season matchups against the Sixers this season.
After a string of three consecutive disappointing performances, Gary Harris has seen his salary drop to $4,800 on FanDuel. Two of the last three games have been on the road, while Game 5’s home blowout led to limited minutes. In this series, Harris has averaged 26.8 FanDuel points at home compared to 22.9 on the road. Coach Michael Malone has moved Will Barton to the bench in favor of Torrey Craig, and Harris has benefited from a team-high 1.7% usage rate increase with Barton off the court this season, per the NBA On/Off tool.
In the first round, Jimmy Butler suffered from inconsistent playing time in large part because of lopsided scores. The Sixers will desperately need his defense against Kawhi Leonard, and it’s no surprise that Butler leads all shooting guards with 38.6 projected minutes on Saturday. He profiles better as a tournament option on DraftKings at $6,800, as the Raptors carried a top-five defensive rating in the regular season and are currently tied for first this postseason.
Kawhi Leonard is another player who saw inconsistent playing time because of blowouts in the first round, and coach Nick Nurse mistakenly brought him in too late in the fourth quarter of Game 1’s close loss. Expect a longer leash this time around in a more important game.
Exposure to the Raptors is necessary given their slate-high 114.8-point total, and Leonard has easily led the team with a 31.2% usage rate this postseason. His salary is simply too cheap on DraftKings at $8,400.
Despite coming off the bench the entire series, Rudy Gay still benefits from a favorable projection in Saturday’s series finale. His $5,500 price tag on FanDuel is appealing with a 77% Bargain Rating, and he provides the position’s second-highest projected ceiling at 37.8 FanDuel points. The small forward options are weak in the two-game slate outside of Leonard, but Gay’s upside is necessary for guaranteed prize pools.
The Nuggets will need more out of veteran Paul Millsap to head to the second round after a stretch of lackluster performances. FanDuel has been extremely aggressive in slashing his salary, bumping him all the way down to $4,800 — his lowest price point of the entire season. He’ll only need 20.3 FanDuel points to reach his salary-based expectation, and he’s projected to play a respectable 31 minutes.
Power forward is arguably the most enticing position for tournaments with several players offering high ceilings. Pascal Siakam blends the best balance of floor and ceiling, leading all power forward options on FanDuel in Consistency Rating and Upside Percentage throughout the season. OG Anunoby (appendectomy) remains without a timetable for a return, and Siakam is tied with Lowry for a team-high 38.5-minute projection as a result.
Jakob Poeltl has bested his salary-based expectations in each of the past five games and has only seen his price tag minimally increase, leaving him as the slate’s safest value option once again. No matter if his defensive efforts have been unsuccessful, his size in the starting lineup is necessary for matchup purposes. Just like his real-life game, his non-flashy repertoire is perfectly suitable for cash game exposure.
There is an argument to be made that Nikola Jokic has been the most impactful player in the playoffs thus far, leading all candidates in Box Plus-Minus, Wins Over Replacement Player, Offensive Win Shares and total rebounding percentage. The Spurs do not have the personnel to slow him down, and the Nuggets will once again look to feed him the ball after a Game 6 masterpiece that led to 77.9 FD points.
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.
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.
Pictured: Nikola Jokic