The NBA play-in tournament tips off Tuesday with two games on the schedule. One of them will be a matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the Charlotte Hornets, two teams that are dealing with injuries. Let’s dive into the matchup and discuss some players to consider for your DraftKings Showdown contest lineups.
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Domantas Sabonis ($16,200 CP): Sabonis (quadriceps) is officially listed as questionable for this game, but he played 39 minutes against the Raptors on Sunday, so it would be a surprise if he doesn’t take the floor. He was a monster down the stretch, averaging 23.0 points, 14.1 rebounds, 10.7 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 three-pointers over his last nine games. Myles Turner (toe) still doesn’t have a timetable for a return and Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) is listed as questionable after missing 10 straight games, so Sabonis could be left to carry the team in this game, as well.
Terry Rozier ($13,500 CP): The Hornets significantly improving the roster around Rozier not only didn’t hurt his numbers, but he actually had the best season of his career with averages of 20.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.2 three-pointers. He shot 45.0 percent from the field, which was by far the highest mark of his career. The Pacers played at the fourth-fastest pace in the league during the regular season, which could leave Rozier with another juicy all-around stat line.
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LaMelo Ball ($9,200): Ball finished the regular season on a high note, scoring 39.8 DKFP against the Wizards on Sunday. After returning from injury, he scored at least 35.8 DKFP in seven of 10 games. While most people expected him to make an immediate impact in terms of assists, his averages of 15.7 points and 1.8 three-pointers per game were a bit surprising. With the Pacers’ up-tempo style of play, Ball could also thrive in this contest.
Miles Bridges ($7,600): Gordon Hayward (foot) still hasn’t resumed on-court work at practice, so he won’t be able to make his return for this game. His absence should mean another start is coming for Bridges. He’s been as good as it gets since Hayward went down, averaging 20.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 3.0 three-pointers over his last 18 games. The key is that he averaged 36 minutes per game during that stretch, which is a significant increase from his season average of 29 minutes per contest.
Doug McDermott ($3,800): With the Pacers battling so many injuries, McDermott has started 10 straight games. He’s provided an offensive jolt in the role, averaging 16.6 points and 2.3 three-pointers. He shot 56.0 percent from the field during that stretch and finished the season with a career best 53.2 percent mark in that category. While his contributions in other areas are normally lacking, he could score enough to provide value at such a cheap salary.
Devonte’ Graham ($7,200): Graham was one of the few bright spots for the Hornets last season. The Hornets didn’t completely forget about him after drafting Ball, but he’s seen his playing time decrease by an average of five minutes per game compared to last season. He’s only shooting 37.7 percent from the field, as well, which further limits his upside. With Bridges sporting a salary that is only $400 more, it’s difficult to justify taking a chance on Graham.
If Brogdon is out again, this is going to be an uphill battle for the Pacers. Playing this game at home doesn’t exactly help the Pacers, either, considering they were just 13-23 there this season. This contest should be close, but with Ball back and Rozier and Bridges both playing well, don’t be surprised if the Hornets pull out a victory.
Final Score: Hornets 119, Pacers 116
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) 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.
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