The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Tuesday features a three-game slate starting at 8 p.m. ET.
In his last four matchups with the Thunder, Damian Lillard is averaging 36.5 points, 6.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. The resulting fantasy output has been a monstrous 59.56 DraftKings points and an average Plus/Minus of +19.08. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook is averaging 28.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 9.5 assists against Portland, but that’s been good for a +1.95 average Plus/Minus due to his steep cost.
Thunder-Blazers was decided by 5 points in Game 1 and has a 2-point spread in Game 2 (view live odds), so paying up for both in guaranteed prize pools in hopes of overtime could be a somewhat contrarian option that could pay huge dividends.
I tend to bet against role players having back-to-back strong games on the road in the playoffs, but the FantasyLabs NBA Models suggest otherwise with Derrick White. Fresh off a 16-point, five-assist, three-rebound effort highlighted by his posterization of Paul Millsap, White is our top projected value under $6,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Even in a game in which he registered no assists and had only four assist chances (per NBA Stats), Jamal Murray found a way to pay off his DraftKings and FanDuel salaries against the Spurs for the fourth straight game. The third-year Kentucky alum shot an inefficient 8-of-24 from the field for 17 points, but he added an eye-popping six steals. He’s another player who is overpriced on FanDuel but undervalued on DraftKings, where his Projected Plus/Minus is top-three at the position.
Once you factor in price, there’s not much separating C.J. McCollum from DeMar DeRozan. McCollum is a few tenths of a point behind DeRozan in Projected Plus/Minus in DraftKings and has the superior mark on FanDuel.
Gary Harris is a top-two projected value on both sites. He benefits from Mike Malone’s tighter postseason rotation, which saw him play 36 minutes in Game 1 after averaging 28.8 in the regular season.
Dennis Schroeder shot only 5-of-17 in Game 1 against Portland — including 0-of-7 from 3 — but he was on the floor for 36 minutes. He should continue to see heavy playing time, as the Thunder sorely need a third scorer, especially with George laboring through a shoulder injury.
Balky shoulder and all, Paul George still has a top-six Projected Plus/Minus among all players on DraftKings. On FanDuel, though, his $10,600 price tag leaves him with a slightly negative mark, giving Kawhi Leonard the slight edge among the two high-end options at the position.
Will Barton also saw his minutes jump, from 27.7 in the regular season to 32 in Game 1. The spike is enough to make him the top value at the position on DraftKings and third best on FanDuel.
Speaking of minutes increases: Jonathan Isaac went from 26.6 in the regular season to 39 in Game 1. In our NBA Models, we are projecting 34.5 minutes for Isaac tonight, making him the top value at the position on FanDuel.
Pascal Siakam keeps taking this “most improved” thing to new heights. After struggling all year against Orlando to the tune of 8.8 points per game on 35.1% shooting, Siakam erupted for 24 points on 12-of-24 shooting in Game 1. He sits atop the Projected Plus/Minus throne by over 1.5 points on DraftKings and a full 3.0 points on FanDuel.
Al-Farouq Aminu has been Terry Stotts’ forward of choice over Moe Harkless against the Thunder all season (although Harkless forced his hand by committing five fouls in 22 minutes). Aminu played 35 minutes in Game 1 and is averaging 34.2 across his five meetings with OKC. He’s hit value on DraftKings in all five of those games, averaging a +7.31 Plus/Minus, yet he’s expected to be one of the lowest-owned power forwards on the slate.
Jerami Grant has been right around value against the Trail Blazers in all four games he’s faced them despite not exceeding a 14.4% usage rate in any of them. We have him projected for 34.3 minutes, which gives him some sneaky GPP appeal on DraftKings with his 13-16% projected ownership.
Paul Millsap has fallen short of value in all three of his games against the Spurs this season but does have couple of metrics in his favor on FanDuel: He’s second in Projected Plus/Minus at the position, and he’s averaging a +4.71 Plus/Minus and 64% Consistency Rating at home compared to -3.61 and 32% on the road. The numbers feel better than I do about him.
Nikola Jokic‘s Game 1 was promising and troubling all at the same time. He wasn’t able to impose his will scoring-wise, finishing with 10 points on nine shots in 36 minutes in a game in which his team scored 96 and lost by five — but he did add 14 assists and rebounds apiece. The latter is what matters most in DFS, as it leaves Jokic with the second-highest projected ceiling on the slate behind fellow Game 1 triple-doubler, Russell Westbrook.
That said, Jokic offers much more value at $9,200 on DraftKings, where his Projected Plus/Minus is second behind that of Siakam among eligible centers. At FanDuel, where he’s $10,300, his Projected Plus/Minus is on the wrong side of zero.
Centers usually don’t see as much of a playing-time increase in the postseason as other players, but Marc Gasol played just under 32 in Game 1 after averaging 24.9 during the regular season with Toronto. That’s unlikely to change because the Raptors need him on the floor to contain Nikola Vucevic, who shot 3-of-13 on 56 possessions while being guarded by Gasol in Game 1. Gasol is the top value under $6,000 at the position on both sites.
Enes “Can’t Play” Kanter didn’t live up to Thunder coach Billy Donovan’s slanderous moniker for him in Game 1, posting a 20-point, 18-rebound double-double in 34 minutes. Among centers on the slate, Kanter trails only Jokic in his ceiling projection.
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.
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