It’s deja vu all over again. One of the more interesting aspects of this season’s playoff schedule in the NBA is the repetition. With the limitations of the bubble in Orlando, we’ll literally be getting what feels like the exact same slate over and over for the next week. For instance, Wednesday’s four-game featured slate involves the exact eight teams and matchups from Monday.
How can we use this quirk to our advantage? How much should we be reacting to Game 1 success? Who’s price has changed the most in 48 hours? Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you need to know.
Kyle Lowry, TOR vs. BRK, $8,000 - A few things worth noting from Toronto-Brooklyn Game 1. First and foremost, the Nets can’t defend anyone, as the Raptors scored 132.7 points per 100 possessions on Monday. Second, the contest was relatively high-paced, checking in as one of four matchups in the the opening two days of the playoffs that averaged more than 100.0 possessions per 48 minutes. Third, in a script where Toronto at one point led by 33, Lowry still logged over 38 minutes of action. Nick Nurse runs a tight rotation and it’s clear that the veteran point guard is a central cog. Lowry also managed to score 37.25 DKFP while shooting just 3-for-14, so, if he can add some efficiency to that volume, the sky is the limit.
Other Option: Jamal Murray ($7,200)
Alec Burks, PHI at BOS, $4,600 - With Ben Simmons (knee) and Glenn Robinson III (oblique) sidelined, there are a lot of minutes available for Burks in Philadelphia’s backcourt. Apparently, there are also a lot of shots. The veteran’s 32.4% usage rate from Game 1 was a team-high for the 76ers and his 15 raw field goal attempts tied the output of Joel Embiid ($9,900) and Tobias Harris ($7,700). I’d imagine that gets course corrected on Wednesday, but there’s no denying Burks is a hired gun off the bench.
Other Option: Marcus Smart ($5,600)
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Jaylen Brown, BOS vs. PHI, $7,500 - For as much as this is a reaction to the Gordon Hayward (ankle) news, it’s not as if Brown is simply a product of circumstance. The former lottery pick broke out in 2019-20, averaging a career-best 20.3 points per game with a remarkable .583 true shooting percentage. In short, he’s been very, very good. However, he’s now one of few players Brad Stevens can count on. Maybe it’s a little crazy to expect a microscopic rotation this early in the playoffs, but the Celtics got eight total bench points on Monday and only six men exceeded 13 minutes of work. The stars are going to have to play like stars. That includes Brown.
Other Option: Caris LeVert ($8,200)
Joe Harris, BRK at TOR, $5,000 - While no one really stood out from a usage perspective in Game 1 for the Nets, the Raptors game plan was very obviously centered around making LeVert pass the ball. So, if Toronto is going to continue to double the Michigan product, that makes Harris’ ability to hit open shots even more vital. However, I’d be remiss if I limited the 28-year-old’s offensive arsenal to just that. Harris actually drove five times on Monday and he continues to look more fluid creating with the ball in his hands. He’s also scored more than 27.0 DKFP in every game he’s played in the bubble.
Other Option: Josh Richardson ($5,100)
Luka Doncic, DAL at LAC, $11,000 - There’s no reason to be afraid of Doncic in this matchup. Yes, the Clippers have the assortment of wing defenders capable of shutting the sophomore sensation down; however, that doesn’t mean they’re actually going to do it. Plus, Doncic appeared to see a lot more Marcus Morris ($4,800) than he did Kawhi Leonard ($10,000) or Paul George ($8,600) in Game 1. In any case, Doncic has now cleared the 65.0 DKFP plateau in two of his four matchups with Los Angeles in 2019-20. If he’s going to play 38 minutes again on Wednesday, I like his chances of reaching that mark a third time.
Other Option: Kawhi Leonard ($10,000)
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, BRK at TOR, $4,700 - Look, if anyone is setting people up for a massive let down, it’s Luwawu-Cabarrot, who is sure to be very popular after leading the Nets with 26 points in their Game 1 loss. Still, it’s hard to see how he doesn’t at least get the volume to try and recreate that performance a second time. As mentioned above, Toronto’s No. 1 mission is to get the ball out of LeVert’s hands and that’s going to come at the cost of open looks — specifically in the corners — for players like TLC. Well, the 25-year-old shot 44.6% on his corner 3-pointers this season. He also started the second half and finished Monday as the only Brooklyn player with a positive net rating. How doesn’t he play 30-plus minutes?
Other Option: Joe Ingles ($5,600)
Jayson Tatum, BOS vs. PHI, $9,000 - In the bubble, without Hayward on the floor, Tatum has posted a 33.6% usage rate while registering 1.37 DKFP per minute. Essentially, take everything I said before about Brown and amplify it slightly. Tatum is easily the No. 1 scoring option on Boston — especially with Kemba Walker ($6,800) still not looking quite right — and he’s going to be asked to carry a huge workload on Wednesday.
Other Option: Pascal Siakam ($7,500)
Royce O’Neale, UTA at DEN, $3,700 - Classic bounce-back spot. Everyone got burned by O’Neale on Monday and I’d expect that left a bad enough taste in people’s mouths where the forward’s ownership rate will be minuscule on Wednesday. However, nothing’s changed. The Jazz are still incredibly short-handed without Mike Conley (personal) and that’s going to create the need for O’Neale to log a huge amount of minutes. He also remains the guy that averaged 30.6 DKFP in Utah’s first five games in the bubble.
Joel Embiid, PHI at BOS, $9,900 - Will the squeaky wheel get the grease on Wednesday? I say yes. To be fair to Embiid, it wasn’t really him going out to the media and demanding more touches after being virtually invisible in the final few minutes of a Game 1 loss; yet almost every other member of the 76ers organization has noted that their All-Star needs to be more involved. On top of that, Embiid proved on Monday that he can handle a massive amount of minutes with the absence of Simmons. There’s seriously no one on Boston’s roster that can stop the Cameroonian in the paint.
Other Option: Nikola Jokic ($9,700)
Ivica Zubac, LAC vs. DAL, $4,500 - Zubac’s viability to 100% tied to the fate of Kristaps Porzingis ($8,900), who is questionable to play with a knee issue. To be blunt, that’s just his assignment in this series. While Zubac did register a double-double and 29.5 DKFP in Game 1, he was basically taken out of Los Angeles’ rotation as soon as Porzingis was ejected. It’s a nice matchup if the former All-Star plays, but he absolutely needs to be active to make this work.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.