It’s the ‘HalleLuka’ slate. Luka Doncic ($12,500) is THE best player on the slate by a wide margin. I faded Team USA on the last slate due to the depth they possess and blowout risk, but Doncic is a lock button for me, regardless of ownership and point spread. He’s is the alpha of the Slovenian team and will garner a massive usage rate. The minutes could possibly taper off if there’s a blowout, but he will have been a major reason for that scenario coming to fruition. It’s only a two-game slate so get cute somewhere else. Slovenia is a 20.5-point favorite over Japan with an implied total of 101.5, while Spain is an 8.5-point favorite over Argentina with an implied total of 86.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position on DraftKings.
Luka Doncic, Slovenia vs. Japan ($12,500) – All he did in the opening game against Argentina was go for 48 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in 31 minutes. He shot 18-for-29 from the field, 6-for-14 from downtown and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. Coming into the Olympics, Argentina was ranked fourth in the FIBA rankings. HalleLuka indeed! There is no one on the slate who can match the floor/ceiling combo that he provides. Don’t be a hero.
Other Options – Ricky Rubio ($10,600), Facundo Campazzo ($9,900)
Luca Vildoza, Argentina at Spain ($3,900) – Vildoza played 23 minutes against Slovenia and went for 11 points, three rebounds, five assists and three steals. That was good for 28.25 DKFP. He only shot 3-for-8 from the field, but the eight attempts were encouraging. The three steals can’t be counted on every game, but it’s nice to know he has that ability. The Argentina team is deep and they play a ton of guys, so it’s unlikely Vildoza gets more than 24 minutes. That said, he has skills. Against Team USA a few weeks ago in an exhibition game, he displayed the ability to get his own shot against NBA defenders. He showed off step-back and side-step jumpers along with a good handle package to freeze defenders. He signed a four-year, $13.6 million deal with the Knicks back in May so he’s 2 Legit 2 Quit.
Other Options – Sergio Rodriguez ($3,300)
Jaka Blazic, Slovenia vs. Japan ($7,300) – Shooting guard is gross. It doesn’t help that it’s a two-game slate, but still. I was thinking of just leaving this section blank but I decided against it. So, Slovenia is all about Doncic, but they surround him with plenty of shooters. Blazic, Zoran Dragic ($7,700) and Klemen Prepelic ($5,600) can all shoot the long ball and space the floor. I have a feeling that on any given night, any of those three can pop off. Prepelic was the one in the opening game, but he only played 22 minutes. It was Blazic who led the trio with 28 minutes, yet he only shot 1-for-6 from the field. I don’t think I can pay this price for Blazic, but if I had to, I will side with the minutes.
Other Options – Zoran Dragic ($7,700), Klemen Prepelic ($5,600)
Alex Abrines, Spain vs. Argentina ($3,400) – Abrines played three seasons in the NBA with the Thunder from 2016 to 2018. In the opening game against Japan, he played 22 minutes and shot 4-for-8 from the field. He did grab three rebounds, but he doesn’t do much outside of making it rain from downtown. He led the team with seven attempts from beyond the arc.
Other Options – Patricio Garino ($4,100)
Gabriel Deck, Argentina at Spain ($7,600) – Against Slovenia, Deck played 27 minutes and put up 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal. He attempted a whopping 17 shots, which was second on the team behind only Luis Scola ($9,400). The six-foot, six-inch forward usually camps out for corner threes, but he does have the ability to drive to the rim and can post up smaller defenders. He reminds me of Lou Ferrigno and I’ve seen him turn into the Hulk after slamming it down.
Other Options – Vlatko Cancar ($8,400)
Gavin Edwards, Japan at Slovenia ($6,500) – Against Spain, Edwards played 25 minutes and contributed eight points, seven rebounds and four assists. He won’t see many attempts since Rui Hachimura ($9,800) and Yuta Watanabe ($10,100) handle most of the offensive load, but he did go 3-for-7 with four of those attempts coming from beyond the arc. Edwards is six-foot, nine inches, 243 pounds and played college ball at UCONN.
Other Options – Yudai Baba ($5,900)
Yuta Watanabe, Japan at Slovenia ($10,100) – Power forward is stacked on this slate. Watanabe went for a whopping 43.0 DKFP against Spain. He contributed 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and five steals in 36 minutes. He shot 7-for-18 from the field and 2-of-5 from downtown. Hachimura is more of the offensive threat and will put up more volume, but Watanabe has the more well-rounded game which provides a higher floor. Don’t count on another five steals, but he did show the ability to stuff the stat sheet in his limited time with the Raptors this past season.
Other Options – Rui Hachimura ($9,800), Luis Scola ($9,400)
Gavin Edwards, Japan at Slovenia ($6,500) – While the top of the power forward position is stacked, there are no value options. So, Edwards makes another appearance into this piece. If you missed it, scroll up three clicks on the mouse and you will see his break down.
Mike Tobey, Slovenia vs Japan ($9,000) – Tobey is the pick-and-roll partner for Doncic so there’s some correlation. He can also space the floor and shoot from downtown, but he makes most of his hay on the boards. He and Doncic lead Slovenia in rebounds. Slovenia should have no issues with Japan and they are slated to put up a ton of points. Doncic and Tobey should both be able to feast. Against Argentina, Tobey went for 11 points, 14 rebounds and one assist. He did play 28 minutes, but ended up fouling out with a tick under five minutes left to go in the game. It’s possible that he may have gotten a few more minutes.
Pau Gasol, Spain vs. Argentina ($5,000) – I hate the price for both Gasol brothers. Marc Gasol ($9,200) played 20 minutes and is priced over $9K. Crazy. However, maybe it was due to playing Japan, as 11 of Spain’s players logged over 10 minutes with no one over 23. Pau played 14 minutes in the opener. He’s still expensive, but at least the price is more palatable. At 41 years old, he likely won’t get a heavy workload, but he can still get buckets efficiently and contribute in other aspects of the game.
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