Wednesday’s slate features one-game contests for Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
If you’re new to single-game formats, be sure to check out these guides by Matt LaMarca:
- 5 Tips to Dominate the DraftKings NBA Showdown Format
- How Does the Single-Game NBA Format on FanDuel Differ From DraftKings?
Stephen Curry is averaging 51.8 DraftKings points per 36 minutes with Kevin Durant (calf, out) off the floor, and that vaults to a whopping 61.3 when both KD and Klay Thompson (hamstring, questionable) are off, according to our NBA On/Off tool. Though our NBA Player Models are assuming Klay will play at the time of this writing, Steph trails only DeMarcus Cousins in Projected Plus/Minus. Much has been made of Toronto’s success playing box-and-1 with Klay off the floor in Game 2, but Steve Kerr is one of the best adjustments coaches in the league, so the odds should still be in favor of Curry getting his regardless of what Toronto does schematically on defense.
Our models favor Draymond Green over Kawhi Leonard ever so slightly in terms of projected value. Green’s numbers with KD/Klay on vs. off have stayed the same more or less, but either way he is a strong tournament play in the captain spot, as Steph and Kawhi will each likely garner higher ownership.
Kawhi, on the other hand, owns the highest floor projection on the slate and is an excellent cash-game play. He’s averaging an absurd +9.21 Plus/Minus and 75% Consistency Rating this postseason with no games under 43 DraftKings points.
Projecting an optimistic outlook regarding Klay’s status also doesn’t stop our models from pegging DeMarcus Cousins as the top value on the slate. Raptors coach Nick Nurse has been hesitant to deploy small-ball lineups with Pascal Siakam at the 5 and both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka off the floor, which minimizes Cousins’ defensive limitations to some extent. That may change with Kevon Looney out, but either way Cousins will likely be relied upon heavily for offense when he’s out there. He hung a 10/11/6 line on Toronto in Game 2, and another double-double is likely in the cards. Our projections have Boogie at 28 minutes for Game 3. Cousins’s DraftKings salary hovered in the $8,000-$10,000 range for most of the season; $7,200 is a massive discount.
Save for Kawhi, we have every Raptor projected for a negative Plus/Minus. Among the team’s mid-tier salary options, the player closest to the green is Marc Gasol. Masai Ujiri’s pivotal midseason acquisition has been a boom-or-bust play in this series, turning in a 20-point, seven-rebound performance in Game 1 but registering just 6 and 6 in Game 2.
Gasol’s inconsistency shows up in a major way in his home/road splits:
Danny Green finally snapped out of his multi-week shooting woes with a 5-of-12 showing from deep in Games 1 and 2. Toronto’s more unsung acquisition from the Spurs is nowhere close to even being in the same zip code as a lock, but as of this writing he owns the top spot in Projected Plus/Minus among players below median salary (though that could obviously change if Klay is ruled out and Warriors role players get a bump).
At a salary of just $4,000, Serge Ibaka makes for a nice play if fading Gasol. Ibaka is averaging 1.33 DraftKings points per minute, affording him the potential for a huge stat line if he manages to get minutes in the mid-20s instead of the high teens. Also note that Ibaka’s production has been negatively correlated to Siakam’s (R^2 = -0.16) and Leonard’s (-0.14).
Quinn Cook played 21 minutes in Game 2 and would become a more attractive target should Klay sit. Cook’s usage rate jumps 8.2% with both Klay and KD off the court this season, and he costs just $3,200 on DraftKings.
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 center DeMarcus Cousins (0)
Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.