A must-win Game 7. A really compelling Game 1. Today’s playoff NBA slate is an interesting one and I, @ChrisSpags, am here to help you try to think through it in the NBA Switch and Hedge for today’s slate.
As always, Awesemo’s rankings and ownership projections for premium members are going to be key places to start with building your lineups for such a tight slate along with this column. But without further adieu since it’s Saturday and the hardest working man in daily fantasy basketball sports writing needs to go to brunch (me, I’m talking about me) so let’s hit the slate:
Milwaukee Bucks (95.25 implied points, -15.5 on their last 10 games) at Boston Celtics (100.25 implied points, -4.6 on their last 10 games)
That total for this game is scary so it strikes me as the strategy to only take the key pieces here who’ll almost undoubtedly get extended run to try to win the series. Eric Bledsoe will likely find a good amount of ownership given his hugely depressed price. He’s been mostly bad this series but given how many shots he takes and his ability to put up peripheral stats, it’s hard to make a case against him other than potential chalkiness. It’s a little easier to make a case against Khris Middleton who has been legitimately struggling versus Semi Ojeleye and Marcus Smart’s defense. I can see a bounce back game from him here but going solely off his recent performance, you may want to avoid getting too tempted by his price. I’ve mostly liked Jabari Parker this series and with John Henson out for Game 7, I’m fine going back to him tonight. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the big ticket here, though. At $10100 on DraftKings, I’m very fine looking his way tonight in a game where he really should be trying to prove that he’s a star in this league. I’m not into Malcolm Brogdon with his last game’s success feeling like a bit of a mirage to me and as much as it pains me I can’t imagine Shabazz Muhammad getting any run to be a nice cheap punt either. Those guys, Tony Snell, and Thon Maker all seem avoidable to me even though you’ll want a cheap flyer. There could be a case for Maker but there’s a lot of risk there, as people have learned time and again this series.
On the Celtics’ side, one has to assume Al Horford is bringing it tonight. He’s risen to the occasion at home whenever the Celtics’ backs have been against the wall this series and I’m fully in on him doing the same tonight. He gets a B in fantasy points and A in value in Awesemo’s rankings and I agree completely. Terry Rozier put up the most shots he’s taken since Game 1 in the Celtics’ loss in Milwaukee and he exceeded value despite going just 5-for-17. I’m okay with him given how that usage shook out with Marcus Smart receding to the background a bit. Jaylen Brown didn’t shoot well in Game 6 but he can absolutely recover tonight given his opportunity and penchant for gunning when the Celtics need it. We saw Marcus Smart’s godawful floor in Game 6 and I would be interested in him again today while being mindful of the risk he just showed us. Marcus Morris had the usage to be successful last game but didn’t hit value, an ongoing theme for him in the series. I’m fine with him tonight as a shot to get to 5x but not one I’d fully trust. Jayson Tatum’s usage in Game 6 was really interesting and he hit value despite 6-for-14 shooting. There are a lot of guys who’ll take shots to try to put the Celtics over the top tonight so he carries some risk but Tatum has shown the ability to be a series-closing player.
New Orleans Pelicans (108 implied points, -4.3 on their last 10 games) at Golden State Warriors (117 implied points, +7.2 on their last 10 games)
The Pelicans are not getting a lot of love from Vegas here but I’m curious to see how Game 1 plays out with how much rest the Pelicans have been able to get. They could come out a little rusty in this big semifinal series but I think they have a lot of appealing players given how much more likely this game is to become a high pace, high scoring matchup than the Celtics-Bucks one. E’Twaun Moore has played well versus the Warriors all year and is priced to move on DraftKings at $3900. He carries some risk given the mouths to feed on the Pelicans’ side but he’ll likely draw the most lax defense while the Warriors gameplan to limit Rajon Rondo’s passing lanes and Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, and Anthony Davis’s offense. I don’t love the Warriors’ chances of stopping any of those guys, though. Rondo, Holiday, and Mirotic are at playable prices with a solid chance at 5x and more and we all know at this point what AD is capable of. I will absolutely be loading up on Pelicans tonight and despite the spread I honestly think there is a chance they can steal Game 1 if they play anything like they played throughout that Blazers series.
Steph Curry went through shootaround today but is questionable for the series opener. If he plays, he’s a tremendous value at his current price, particularly on DraftKings where he gets an A in points and value from Awesemo. His return would take some usage away from Kevin Durant but Durant is at a very appealing price given the pace-up matchup. Draymond Green looks totally fine to me again and I could see Javale McGee having some value as a cheap punt who can pull down some boards if he gets run. Klay Thompson looks like a good play as well with a strong price and Andre Iguodala should be better off running the second unit versus New Orleans than he was with all of the usage monsters starting versus San Antonio. Loading up on this game while taking only the key cogs from the Boston game will likely be a popular strategy tonight.
There we have it, a couple of interesting and likely completely different playoff matchups in the books. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags, check Awesemo’s rankings and ownership projections and I’ll catch you guys again soon with more Switch and Hedge breakdowns.