I should probably preface all this by letting you know that I’m not the slightest bit religious, but, to me, the concept of purgatory really hit its cultural awareness peak in 1990 when the Patrick Swayze vehicle “Ghost” hit theaters. Why does this matter? Well, much like Swayze’s character Sam, we’re currently stuck in a strange in-between limbo in the NBA Playoffs. As such, tonight’s two-game featured slate on DraftKings features one matchup from the second round and one matchup still in the first. It’s a crazy world, I know.
Let’s break it all down position-by-position.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC vs. HOU, $7,100 - Gilgeous-Alexander is coming off a terrible performance in Game 5, yet his volume is going to be impossible to ignore in an elimination scenario. No player in the Western Conference is averaging as many minutes per game in the playoffs as the Canadian guard (39.8), who still managed to log 34 in his team’s blowout loss on Saturday. In fact, Gilgeous-Alexander has exceeded 36 minutes of action three times in this series and in those spots he’s produced 46.8 DKFP per night. Pretty good stuff.
George Hill, MIL vs. MIA, $4,200 - The biggest injury news on this slate is the questionable status of Eric Bledsoe ($5,900; hamstring). If Milwaukee’s starting point guard is unable to go, Hill would suddenly become a chalk value option. I’m of two minds here. On the one hand, Hill’s a low-ceiling, low-usage option that generally wouldn’t be on my radar in GPPs. However, it’s hard to justify a pivot to someone like Donte DiVincenzo ($3,400), as Hill logged almost twice as many minutes as his teammate in the first round.
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Jimmy Butler, MIA at MIL, $8,100 - This is a really interesting spot for Butler. We last saw the veteran a week ago, when he was clearly hampered by a shoulder issue in Miami’s Game 4 victory over Indiana. Yet, Butler stated on Sunday that the injury is no longer limiting him and he did not appear on the Heat’s injury report for Monday. I’ll take him at his word. With Erik Spoelstra likely to tighten his rotation against an elite opponent, give me Butler’s upside in a matchup with a Bucks squad that played at the fastest pace in Round 1.
Tyler Herro, MIA at MIL, $5,500 - While it wasn’t the flashiest performance in the NBA’s first round, Herro certainly put himself on the map in the Heat’s sweep of the Pacers. Despite coming off the bench in all four contests, the rookie averaged 32.3 minutes and 16.5 points per game and was consistently on the floor in crunch time in the fourth quarter. He’s obviously earned Spoelstra’s trust and you can never have enough perimeter shooting against the Bucks.
Eric Gordon, HOU at OKC, $6,100 - At this point, how could I quit Eric Gordon? The man has been as consistent a fantasy asset as humanly possible in Houston’s series against Oklahoma City, scoring at least 30.0 DKFP in all five games. Also, even with Russell Westbrook ($9,700) back in the fold on Saturday, Gordon still maintained a respectable 24.3% usage rate as he collected 33.0 DKFP in 32 minutes of work. Simply put, he’s going to get his shots up.
Andre Iguodala, MIA vs. MIL, $3,500 - I mentioned above that Erik Spoelstra would likely tighten up his rotation to an even further degree now that Miami has made it to the second round of the playoffs. Well, if that were to happen it would surely translate into more minutes for Iguodala. I mean, this series is the exact reason the Heat traded assets to acquire the veteran forward. The 36-year-old’s 6.0% usage rate against the Pacers was hilariously small but at this depressed price, Iguodala only needs a couple of steals or blocks to hit 5x value.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. MIA, $11,400 - I’m past the point of ever truly believing that Mike Budenholzer is going to extend Antetokounmpo’s workload but this Heat team is good enough to make the Bucks sweat. Also, the dream of the Greek Freak playing 40 minutes doesn’t even have to come to fruition for Antetokounmpo to reach value. The reigning MVP has averaged an eye-popping 1.95 DKFP per minute logged so far in the playoffs. For the sake of comparison, James Harden ($11,300) has posted a rate of just 1.63 DKFP in the same span.
Robert Covington, HOU at OKC, $5,800 - Covington hasn’t had the most consistent series from a DFS perspective but with Jeff Green ($5,400) and Danuel House Jr. ($5,100) hovering in a similar salary tier, I can definitely say he’s the Rockets asset I trust most in this class. It doesn’t hurt that he hit six three-pointers in Game 5, either.
Steven Adams, OKC vs. HOU, $5,800 - This is a weird situation. With no true opposing center to work against on the glass, Adams has been understandably productive in the first five games of this series, averaging 11.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 28.2 DKFP. However, the Thunder have been outscored by 18.1 points per 100 possessions with Adams on the floor. Will Billy Donovan make a serious rotation adjustment with elimination a loss away? That doubt might be enough to keep Adams’ ownership low.
P.J. Tucker, HOU at OKC, $4,300 - Think of Tucker as a slightly more expensive version of the aforementioned Iguodala but with center eligibility. Tucker is a floor play, with almost all of his value derived from the fact that he’ll likely be on the floor for at least 35 minutes in anything resembling a close game. At a position devoid of much talent on this slate, that’s enough to be viable.
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