Tuesday brings two more playoff games in the NBA, one of which will be Game 1 between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers. This matchup will also be a Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s discuss some players to consider for your entries.
Editor’s Note: Jazz PG Mike Conley (hamstring) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Clippers.
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Kawhi Leonard ($16,200 CP): Leonard shot 51.2 percent from the field during the regular season and took his efficiency to another level against the Mavericks, shooting 61.2 percent across their seven games. He averaged 19.1 shot attempts in the series, which helped him score at least 55.0 DKFP six times. While keeping up that kind of efficiency will be difficult against a tougher Jazz defense, Leonard still has an incredibly high floor given his leading role on the Clippers.
Rudy Gobert ($13,800 CP): There are a few top-tier players in this game, so if you want to go with a more well-balanced lineup, then deploying Gobert at the Captain’s spot could be a wise move. He dominated the Grizzlies in the first round, averaging 17.4 points, 13.0 rebounds and 3.2 blocks across five games. That came in a tough matchup against Jonas Valanciunas, who is one of the better rebounders in the league. The Clippers don’t have anyone even close to the player that Valanciunas is, so Gobert could feast in this series.
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Jordan Clarkson ($7,000): The Jazz might be shorthanded at point guard for this game with Mike Conley (hamstring) uncertain to play. He only played 12 minutes in Game 5 against the Grizzlies before going down and he’s officially listed as questionable for Game 1 of this series. If he doesn’t play, that would likely mean more minutes and shot attempts for Clarkson. If Conley does manage to take the floor, he could be limited, which would also stand to benefit Clarkson.
Reggie Jackson ($6,600): A key adjustment that the Clippers made in the first round was moving Jackson into the starting five in Game 3. He wound up starting each of the final five games, averaging 18.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 3.8 three-pointers. The Clippers need his scoring to take some of the pressure off of Leonard and Paul George ($10,200), so don’t expect him to relinquish his starting job anytime soon.
Ivica Zubac ($3,200): With the Mavericks going small, Zubac eventually fell out of the starting five in the first round. That could all change in this series with Gobert manning the center position for the Jazz. Serge Ibaka (back) is unlikely to play, which means Zubac will be left as the primary option to battle with Gobert. With Zubac averaging 9.0 points and 7.2 rebounds over just 22 minutes per game during the regular season, any added playing time could leave him with an opportunity to provide value.
Joe Ingles ($5,800): Ingles might seem like a more appealing option if Conley isn’t able to take the floor. That could be the case, to an extent, but Clarkson would likely be the main beneficiary in that scenario. Donovan Mitchell ($9,600) could also take on more ball-handling responsibilities, so the Jazz might not be forced to give Ingles a ton of extra minutes. Given that he didn’t score more than 23.3 DKFP in any game in the first round, there’s not much upside to get excited about here.
If Conley were to sit out, his absence would be a big one for the Jazz. Still, with Mitchell healthy and Clarkson waiting in the wings, they have enough talent to help cover for him if they need to. The mismatch between Gobert and Zubac also provides them with a significant edge. Add in this game being played at home and the Jazz are in a favorable spot to open this series with a victory.
Final Score: Jazz 113, Clippers 109
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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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