Wednesday’s NBA slate features Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Hawks were able to even up this series at two games apiece with a win in Game 4, but the series shifts back to Philadelphia on Wednesday. The big storyline continues to be the health of Joel Embiid ($12,600). He looked as dominant as ever in the first three games, but he struggled mightily in the second half of Game 4. He was 0-for-12 from the field over that time frame, which allowed the Hawks to secure the victory.
Embiid is questionable once again on Wednesday, but he’s expected to be in the lineup. The 76ers are favored by seven points on DraftKings Sportsbook, but they’re going to need a better performance from Embiid to secure the victory.
DraftKings is offering up a Showdown slate for this contest, so let’s break down some of the top options to consider for your lineups.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Joel Embiid ($18,900 CP) – What to do with Embiid is one of the biggest questions on today’s slate. His knee injury is obviously a huge deal, but it didn’t appear to hinder him in the first three games of the series. He came crashing back to reality in Game 4, and he finished with a series-low 49.25 DKFP.
As long as Embiid is in the lineup, he possesses arguably the highest ceiling on the slate. He could also carry reduced ownership after his poor performance in his last outing, which makes him an interesting high-risk, high-reward option. I like the idea of paying up for him at Captain in a bounce-back spot.
Danilo Gallinari ($7,800 CP) – If you’re not going to pay up for Embiid, paying down at the position makes a lot of sense. Gallinari is my preferred target for that strategy. He’s averaged a strong 0.94 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s seen a boost in playing time recently with De’Andre Hunter (knee) out of the lineup. He hasn’t exactly crushed the past couple of games, but he’s shot just 5-for-15 over that span. That makes him a strong candidate for some positive regression.
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Trae Young ($11,800) – Young is coming off a masterful performance in Game 4. Not only did he deliver a win for the Hawks, he also delivered 61.0 DKFP for his fantasy owners. The scary thing is that he didn’t even shoot well in that contest, making just eight of his 26 shots from the field and going 3-for-11 from three-point range. He made up for it by handing out 18 assists, but he could’ve had an even bigger performance with some better shooting numbers.
Unfortunately, he’s been priced up to $11.8K for Game 5. He’s still capable of paying off that price tag, but I’d rather use him as a UTIL than at Captain.
Ben Simmons ($9,400) – Simmons is the other stud option I’d like to get into my lineups. He’s coming off 45.0 DKFP in Game 4, and his salary has decreased by $1,000 since the start of the series. This is a very fair price tag for Simmons, who is capable of racking up fantasy points in every category across the board.
George Hill ($2,200) – There are some nice value options on this slate, but Hill is someone who could fly a bit under the radar. He’s given the 76ers some good minutes in this series, and I think he could see a boost in playing time moving forward. The 76ers’ have some playing time available with Danny Green (calf) out of the lineup, and Hill is someone who can help them fill that role.
Clint Capela ($8,800) – Capela is someone who has delivered excellent fantasy performances at times this season, but he has really struggled vs. the 76ers. That’s not surprising given his matchup vs. Embiid. Not only is Embiid one of the best defensive centers in the league, but he has a knack for putting opposing centers in foul trouble. Even in games where Capela hasn’t been in foul trouble, he’s displayed virtually no upside in this matchup. He’s scored 37.0 DKFP or fewer in each of the first four games, which makes him tough to roster at his current price tag.
How to approach Embiid is the biggest decision on the slate. I like the idea of using him at Captain, but he should be in your lineup one way or another. He still put up nearly 50.0 DKFP in his last game despite shooting horribly in the second half.
After that, Trae Young is the next-highest priority. They own the two highest ceilings on this slate, so pairing both players together is a good start to your lineups.
Then it comes down to the value options. I like Hill as a contrarian differentiator, but guys like Gallinari, Furkan Korkmaz ($4,400) and Matisse Thybulle ($1,000) are also excellent choices.
Overall, I’m expecting the 76ers to pull out a victory, with Embiid leading the way in a bounce-back performance.
Final Score: 76ers 113, Hawks 108
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