The NBA will kick off this week with two games on Tuesday. The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will face off to begin the Eastern Conference Finals before the Los Angeles Clippers duke it out against the Denver Nuggets to determine what team will meet the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. I’ll go over how to attack Tuesday’s classic slate on DraftKings below.
Heat vs. Celtics, 6:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Bos (-1.5)
The Heat are well rested after taking out the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the second round while the Celtics are coming off an intense seven-game series against the Toronto Raptors. However, I don’t think fresh legs will matter much here. The Celtics have had three full days to recover and both teams should be firing at all cylinders.
The two players I’d key in on for this matchup are Jaylen Brown ($8,000) and Bam Adebayo ($8,400). Most of the Heat’s defense will be focused on stopping Jayson Tatum, and they have a plethora of versatile wings to throw at him. Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder will likely spent the most time covering Tatum, and that could result in Duncan Robinson having to guard Jaylen Brown. The sharpshooter doesn’t have the quickness to keep up with Kemba Walker in pick-and-roll sets and lacks the athleticism to stay in front of Brown. Brown got more aggressive during the second round as the series went on, and he could be the game’s highest scorer if he attacks his matchup.
The Celtics took advantage of Daniel Theis’s quickness against Toronto, but few centers can match Adebayo when it comes to his lateral mobility. He can defend on the perimeter and in the post, so playing against a smaller big could play to his advantage. He averaged 17.2, 12 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game against a Milwaukee team that posted the best defensive rating in the NBA during the regular season. Theis is a big step down from Brook Lopez when it comes to defending the pain.
Nuggets vs. Clippers, 9:00 p.m. ET
Spread: Clippers (-7.5)
It’ll be difficult to find value in this game when Jamal Murray ($8,700), Nikola Jokic ($10,000), Kawhi Leonard ($10,400), and Paul George ($8,600) account for so many fantasy points. Leonard is the only player among the four who doesn’t have a dud game under his belt in the series, but I’d say Jokic is the most safest play above $10,000. The edge in this matchup could come down to the power forward position.
Michael Porter Jr. ($5,300) and Marcus Morris ($5,000) have similar prices and your choice between the two could be important. Both could serve as the third scoring option for their respective teams. Porter is likely more expensive despite getting less playing time than Morris because he has higher upside. He’s a wild card that could find himself on the pine if he can’t be an impact player on defense. MPJ is more of a GPP play in my mind while Morris seems better for cash games. Morris has cracked 30 minutes in five of the six game she’s appeared in while reaching double-digits in points in every game but game 6.
Lock of the Day: Nikola Jokic ($10,000)
Jokic has the highest floor in the slate and has eclipsed 50 DKFP in five straight games. He’s eclipsed 60 DKFP three times in the series, which is more than any other player.
Value: Duncan Robinson ($4,500)
There is a chance Robinson will bust, but he’s also averaging 14.3 points and 4 rebounds per game against Boston. He plays more than 30 minutes per game on average against the Celtics and could return big-time value if he gets hot from deep.