This article gives a general overview of both Game 2’s and focuses on the 2-game DK slate for Thu/Fri, though some of the info can certainly be used to build Showdown lineups on FD.
Blazers @ Warriors
The Blazers flopped like a beached Jeff Mans in Game 1 at Oracle, turning the ball over 21 times and shooting a paltry 36% from the field and 25% from three. Despite playing so poorly, they were somehow down just six at the end of the third quarter before Klay Thompson’s 12 fourth quarter points helped put the game on ice. The Blazers should play better tonight, and as long as Steph and/or Klay don’t go totally nuclear, particularly in the third, we should see this one stay close, even with the Blazers in a position to steal one down the stretch, though I’d still expect the Warriors to win.
Damian Lillard has now gone a combined 7-29 his past two playoff games, and even more notable to me than the bad shooting is that he took just 12 FGA’s last game (though he did get to the free throw line nine times). This is not a matchup that Dame has struggled with in the past and there’s zero chance he takes so few shots again tonight. While most people will be looking Steph’s way with Kevin Durant out again – and he’s certainly a very good play, obviously – I think Dame comes out looking to set the tone early and we see him much more aggressive in Game 2. This is a perfect bounce back spot for the Blazers’ best player. I’d much rather pay the $8200 for Dame on DK than $7500 for his backcourt mate, CJ McCollum.
The Blazers use their bench fairly liberally, which means Lillard and McCollum are really the only two guys guaranteed to see big minutes game in and game out. Enes Kanter double-doubled in Game 1 in 30 minutes while Moe Harkless had a solid all-around game in 30 minutes as well so those were the two other guys that Stotts turned to for bigger minutes. My one concern with Kanter is that the Blazers had a hell of a time defending Steph Curry in Game 1, and if they elect to change their strategy and double Steph off the pick and roll, he may lose playing time to one of the more mobile bigs like Zach Collins. This is a situation where I’d expect the Blazers to continue to use Harkless against a long and rangy Warriors team (even without Durant).
If I’m taking a shot on a bench guy for the Blazers, it would definitely be Collins, as he already has guaranteed playing time but a change in strategy defensively could also yield more run. He’s been a key contributor for the Blazers in the playoffs and I expect that to continue tonight.
Top Plays: Damian Lillard
Secondary Plays: Moe Harkless, CJ McCollum, Enes Kanter
Value: Zach Collins
Kevin Durant continues to be out for the Warriors and there hasn’t been one particular player who has benefitted from his absence as the minutes have been filled by committee. We basically have five rosterable players from this team, with Steph, Klay, Iggy, and Draymond all playing huge minutes, and Kevon Looney working as a value off the bench.
The story for the Warriors in Game 1 was Steph Curry who poured in 36 points on 9-16 from deep. The Blazers elected to play soft with their big men on the pick and roll and to instead rely on the guy guarding Steph to navigate the screen and try to stay with him. The plan clearly didn’t work and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Blazers try to force the ball out of his hands as much as possible here in Game 2.
The main beneficiaries if that were to be the case would be Draymond Green, who would be in a position to attack the basket and playmake while the defense recovers, Andre Iguodala to a lesser extent but he’s certainly capable of some playmaking as well, and potentially Klay Thompson catching and shooting as the defense scrambles. Steph is going to get his no matter what, but some other guys could see an uptick in production if the Blazers change it up in Game 2.
Kevon Looney continues to play around 20 minutes off the bench and produce, though I’d clearly rather pay just a few hundred more on DK for Brook Lopez.
Top Plays: Steph Curry, Draymond Green
Secondary Plays: Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson
Value: Kevon Looney
Raptors @ Bucks
Don’t be fooled by the relatively modest 208 total from Game 1 – both teams were flying up and down the court all game long, combining for 185 FGA’s, 86 three-point FGA’s, 106 rebounds, 17 steals, and 15 blocks. Only poor shooting by both sides (38%) kept the total score and assist numbers down. Of the two games, this one is actually my preferred to target from despite the projected Vegas total being higher in Blazers/Warriors – I don’t anticipate the pace letting up in Game 2 but I do think both teams shake off the nerves and shoot better.
The Raptors relied very heavily on their starters in minutes for Game 1 with four guys playing 40+ and Danny Green also seeing 35. I’d expect something similar in Game 2, though Serge Ibaka could see more run and Marc Gasol less. Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam are both too cheap on DK for all the minutes and opportunity they’re getting, and even if they don’t shoot the ball well, they’re active enough to cover their salary pretty easily.
Kawhi Leonard is obviously a stud but we’re also paying a pretty penny to roster him on DK at over 10K. I prefer taking a more balanced approach on this two-game slate and using Lowry and Siakam instead, but he’s clearly very much in play. Marc Gasol saw a whopping 40 minutes in Game 1 and shot just 2-11. As mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we saw more Ibaka off the bench in Game 2, but even at 30+ minutes, Gasol is very much playable at just 5100. Danny Green is just kind of whatever. The minutes should be there and if you love the rest of your team and he fits in that last spot, he’s fine.
Top Plays: Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam
Secondary Plays: Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol
Value: Danny Green
Giannis is such a monster and if you’re looking to pay up, I prefer him over Kawhi, though with several mid-priced players getting a ton of minutes and producing, I don’t think you necessarily have to spend all the way up tonight.
The big thing to know for the Bucks is that Malcolm Brogdon is back in the mix and, despite continuing to come off the bench, has taken a huge chunk of minutes away from Pat Connaughton, who is no longer playable outside of a flier if you’re making 150 teams or something.
Brook Lopez went berserk in Game 1, going off for 57 fantasy points in 34 minutes. He’s still just $4100 on DK and I’d expect him to take on a ton of ownership in this two-game slate. We occasionally worry about matchups for Lopez because a bad one can easily drive him off the floor if the game goes small, but this is a good situation against the big and slow Gasol, and even if Serge plays more, that’s not a horrible matchup for him either. He’ll be chalky, but I think he’s pretty good chalk in this matchup.
Khris Middleton shot just 4-12 in Game 1 and will likely continue to draw Kawhi defense going forward. There’s better ways to spend salary, but the minutes will clearly be there. Even with Brogdon back, George Hill is still seeing 20+ minutes off the bench (27 last game), and even though he had a tough shooting night in Game 1, he’s still a good value at just 3900. Nik Mirotic will start once again on Friday and should see right around 25 minutes as he has for most of the playoffs. He’s unlikely to go off being surrounded by so many good offensive players and without much minutes upside, but he’s ok.
Brogdon and Bledsoe are ok as well, but I don’t have a ton of interest in either of them here, especially with the backcourt becoming even more crowded.
Top Plays: Brook Lopez, Giannis
Secondary Plays: Nik Mirotic, Khris Middleton
Value: George Hill