Sunday features Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics at 8 p.m. ET. The Celtics emerged victorious in Game 1 thanks to a dominant fourth quarter, but the Warriors are four-point favorites in Game 2. The series will head to Boston for Game 3, so this is essentially a must-win contest for Golden State.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics.
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Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
NBA DFS Stud Picks
Steph Curry is coming off one of his best shooting performances of the postseason in Game 1. He went 12-for-25 from the field and 7-for-14 from 3-point range, resulting in 34 points. However, most of his damage came in the first half.
Only one of Curry’s 3-pointers came after halftime, and the Celtics made a much more concerted effort to keep Curry from beating them.
That’s a bit concerning for Curry’s outlook in Game 2. Curry is capable of finding success in any matchup, but the Celtics are the best defensive team in basketball. They ranked first in defensive rating during the regular season, and their half-court defense has been elite during the playoffs.
Overall, it’s tough to get excited about Curry as the most expensive player on DraftKings. He ranks merely fourth in projected Plus/Minus.
The big reason why Curry isn’t particularly appealing is the presence of Jayson Tatum. He’s slightly cheaper than Curry on DraftKings but grades out far better in our NBA Models. His median and ceiling projections are approximately six points higher, which is a massive difference considering price tags.
Tatum is coming off a terrible shooting performance in Game 1. He went just 3-for-17 from the field and 1-for-5 from 3-point range, and his 12 points were his third-lowest output of the postseason. That said, he still managed to salvage a positive Plus/Minus thanks to 13 assists and five boards.
We shouldn’t expect a repeat as a distributor Sunday, but Tatum can make up the difference with some better shooting numbers. Tatum has displayed a knack for bouncing back following a poor performance during the playoffs. He’s had three games with fewer than 20 points this postseason, and he’s averaged 33.3 points per game in the following contests.
Tatum stands out as the clear top option Sunday, but expect that to be reflected in his ownership. He could approach 70% and will undoubtedly be the most popular choice at Captain.
Jaylen Brown was the unsung hero for the Celtics in Game 1. He sparked them in the fourth quarter, with 10 of his 24 points coming in the final frame. Brown also added seven rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block, giving him a well-rounded 45.25 DraftKings points.
Brown has been putting together strong performances all postseason, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past seven games. His ceiling is a tier below Tatum and Curry, but his cheaper salary makes him comparable on a per-dollar basis.
NBA DFS Mid-Range Picks
There’s a pretty steep drop-off after Brown. Marcus Smart is next on the pricing spectrum, but he surprisingly played just 29.9 minutes in Game 1. He wasn’t struggling with foul trouble either, so that’s a bit concerning moving forward.
Still, Smart has been a massive part of the Celtics’ rotation all postseason, so I’m willing to write that off as a one-game anomaly. He also still managed 36.25 DraftKings points in his limited playing time, so it didn’t have a huge impact on his fantasy numbers.
Smart is likely due for some shooting regression following a 7-for-11 performance in Game 1, but he’s been an outstanding per-minute producer all postseason. Only Tatum, Brown, and Robert Williams have been more impactful on a per-minute basis for the Celtics over the past month.
Al Horford was having a quiet outing in Game 1, but he went absolutely crazy in the fourth quarter. He led the Celtics with 11 points in the final frame, and he was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from 3-point range. That was enough to propel Horford to 42.0 DraftKings points for the evening.
Horford has now scored at least 34.25 DraftKings points in five straight games, yet his price tag over that time frame has barely budged. He remains one of the strongest values on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 98%.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with nearly 39 minutes on Thursday. He didn’t do much with his playing time — he finished with 15 points, two rebounds, and three assists — but the volume is a major positive for Thompson moving forward. No one on the Warriors is projected for more minutes in Game 2, and Thompson is capable of getting red-hot against anyone. He’s a bit more one-dimensional than you’d like for fantasy purposes, but he has plenty of upside for his price tag.
Andrew Wiggins has turned into one of the most consistent members of the Warriors’ rotation. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past seven games, including 34.75 DraftKings points in Game 1 against the Celtics. His ceiling isn’t as high as players like Thompson and Horford, but he’s a good bet to return value.
Draymond Green’s scoring is always a major question mark, and he finished with just four points Thursday. He still managed to contribute in the peripheral categories, but his mediocre scoring limited him to just 27.75 DraftKings points.
I wouldn’t expect a huge leap forward from Green on Sunday, but he should be able to do a bit better than four points. He shot just 2-for-12 from the field, and his usage rate continues to hover around 20%.
He scored in double figures in five of his previous six games, and if he can do that, he’ll have upside for a double- or triple-double in Game 2. Green’s a nice buy-low target.
Kevon Looney was limited to just 25.3 minutes in Game 1, which was a bit less than we were expecting. He had played closer to 30 minutes in previous recent contests, and he’s projected for 29 minutes on today’s slate.
If he can grab a few additional minutes, Looney should provide decent value at $6,800. Only Curry and Tatum have been better on a per-minute basis over the past month.
Robert Williams remains the big X-factor for the Celtics. He’s still clearly limited by a knee injury, but he managed to play 24.2 minutes in Game 1. He finished with 24.5 DraftKings points, and Williams should be able to keep up that level of production on a per-minute basis. That said, his ceiling is mediocre for his price tag.
Jordan Poole is one of the most important players on Sunday’s slate. He’s coming off a poor performance in Game 1, but he’s been a breakout star during the postseason. He’s an outstanding offensive option, so it’s reasonable to expect a bounce-back on Sunday.
However, I’m a bit skeptical about his playing time. For as good as Poole has been offensively, he has been equally bad on defense. The Warriors are allowing +2.4 additional points per 100 possessions with Poole on the court during the playoffs, and opposing teams have hunted him aggressively on that end of the court. Overall, they were outscored by 19 points over Poole’s 25 minutes in Game 1.
The Warriors don’t really need Poole’s offense — Curry, Thompson, and Wiggins have them covered — so it’s possible Steve Kerr prioritizes defense with that spot moving forward. Poole will definitely still have a role, but I don’t think it will be as large as it was earlier in the postseason. That makes him an appealing fade candidate.
Derrick White was another massive factor in the Celtics’ comeback in Game 1. He finished with 21 points and 28.25 DraftKings points in his 31.8 minutes. He should continue to see a few additional minutes at the expense of Williams, but he has gotten a bit pricy at $5,400 on DraftKings. I would much rather target him at $8,500 on FanDuel.
NBA DFS Values & Punts
- Otto Porter ($4,600 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel): Playing time wasn’t an issue for Porter in Game 1. He saw 23.5 minutes off the bench and responded with 22.5 DraftKings points. Porter has always been a strong per-minute producer, so he should continue to deliver around 1.00 DraftKings points per minute. His $4,600 price tag on DraftKings is a bit steep, but $7,500 on FanDuel is an excellent value.
- Grant Williams ($4,200 on DraftKings, $8,000 on FanDuel): Williams was a vital part of the Celtics’ rotation vs. the Bucks, but his role has shrunk recently. He played just 16.3 minutes in Game 1, and Williams is simply not capable of providing value with that much playing time. He’s one of the worst per-minute producers in fantasy, so he’s not in play barring a spike in minutes.
- Payton Pritchard ($3,600 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel): Pritchard played more than I expected in Game 1, and he finished with 19.5 DraftKings points over 15.5 minutes. We currently have Pritchard projected for just eight minutes in Game 2, but it’s possible he’s earned a larger spot in the rotation.
- Jonathan Kuminga ($2,200 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel): Kuminga probably won’t see the court in Game 2, but he’s one of the best per-minute producers in this contest. That alone gives him a modicum of appeal at a minimal price tag.
- Gary Payton II ($1,800 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel): Payton was cleared to play in the Warriors’ last contest, but he did not re-enter the rotation. That means he’s obviously a candidate for a DNP-CD on Sunday, but it’s also possible the Warriors turn to him after a loss. He’s one of their best defensive guards, so he’s an option if Steve Kerr is looking for help on that end of the floor.
- Nemanja Bjelica ($1,600 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel): Bjelica is very similar to Kuminga. Both players are strong producers, but both also have major playing time question marks. Neither player saw the court until garbage time in Game 1.
- Andre Iguodala ($1,400 on DraftKings, $6,000 on FanDuel): Iguodala suited up for the first time since the first round in Game 1, and he responded with 11.5 DraftKings points over 12 minutes. He’s one of the safer bets to see the floor in this price range.
- Moses Moody ($1,200 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel): Moody also didn’t get in the game until the final minute. However, he’s another option if the Warriors are looking to go more defensive in Game 2.
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Pictured: Jordan Poole.