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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets for Celtics vs. Heat Showdown on May 21

Zach Thompson gives his top NBA lineup advice for Saturday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Heat and the Celtics.

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Conference Finals continue Saturday night after the Heat and Celtics split a pair of contests in South Beach earlier this week. Miami took Game 1 with a monster third quarter, and Boston dominated Game 2 from the jump and built a big lead and cruised to the win.

Coming home, Boston is a six-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook even though they are the lower seed. There remain a few injuries for each team, but for the most part, it looks like they’ll be at full strength. As you get your lineups assembled for a full set of DraftKings contests, check out some of my favorite options to consider for this Showdown slate below.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $555K Shootaround [$105K to 1st] (MIA vs BOS)

Captain’s Picks

Jimmy Butler ($16,200) – Throughout the postseason, Butler has been on point as the focal point of the Heat’s offense. He dominated Game 1 with 72.75 DKFP on 41 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots. Even with his team trailing big in Game 2, Jimmy Buckets delivered 42.0 DKFP in 32 minutes on 29 points, six rebounds and three assists. Butler has a 30.8% usage rate in the playoffs, which actually goes up to 32.1% with Kyle Lowry ($9,300 CP; $6,200; hamstring, questionable) on the floor, so don’t worry about him losing too much usage if Lowry returns. Butler has averaged 1.64 DKFP per minute in the playoffs with Lowry on the floor and 1.41 DKFP per minute overall, second only to Luka Doncic in terms of production per minute among remaining players. Butler has posted over 50 DKFP in each of his five road playoff games, and he has to carry even more of the offense without his supporting role players getting a homecourt boost.

Marcus Smart ($11,400) – While he doesn’t have the pure scoring upside of either of his two higher-priced star teammates, Smart is critical to the Celtics’ offense and brings a high ceiling with his balanced production across the board. After missing Game 1 with a foot injury, he returned in Game 2 and went off for a playoff-high of 64.75 DKFP on 24 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds, three steals and one block in 40 minutes. If Lowry returns as expected, he may be at less than 100%, which could open things up for Smart to be even more aggressive on offense. He has averaged 0.94 DKFP per minute during the postseason and should continue to be a key piece of the Celtics’ plans for Game 3. If he can truly emerge as a third option alongside Jayson Tatum ($16,800 CP; $11,200) and Jaylen Brown ($14,100 CP; $9,400), the Celtics will be very hard to beat. He also comes at a steep discount to Tatum and Brown, allowing you to spend to get Butler and another big star in a flex spot.

Flex Plays

Jayson Tatum ($11,200) – Tatum has consistently produced solid multi-category numbers throughout the playoffs, posting at least 23 points, five rebounds and four assists in each of his past five games. He had 29 points and 55.5 DKFP in Game 1 and showed he has an even higher gear by dropping 46 points and 66.75 DKFP in Game 6 against the Bucks in the last round. This game is pivotal in the series, so Tatum will be looking to take charge and get his team the big win at home. He has the highest ceiling on the Celtics, although he does get enough help that Butler has to consistently carry a heavier load, which is why I think Jimmy Buckets is a slightly better Captain’s Pick than Tatum.

Max Strus ($6,600) – Strus continues to start and play big minutes for Miami, and he has really been Butler’s wingman for most of the playoffs. He had a huge game with 34.75 DKFP in 32 minutes the last time the Heat were in Boston, which was a regular-season matchup at the end of March. He only had 24.0 and 19.75 DKFP in the first two games of the series, but Miami will need more from him in Game 3 to turn the tide in their favor. Strus did finish the last round with a pair of double-doubles and 36.0 and 43.75 DKFP against the 76ers, and he’ll be a great flex play if he can return to that form Saturday.

Value Plays

Payton Pritchard ($5,000) – Pritchard has scored double-digit points in three straight games for the Celtics and posted a ridiculous +/- of +39 in 23 minutes in Game 2. He had 18.5 DKFP on 10 points, two assists and two rebounds after an even better 33.75 DKFP in Game 1, when he took some of the workload vacated by Smart. Even with Smart back, though, Pritchard was involved and effective enough, that he should stay firmly part of the rotation even with Derrick White ($6,000) available after missing Game 2 for the birth of his first child.

Dewayne Dedmon ($1,800) – The Heat’s backup big man has been productive in his limited minutes this postseason, averaging 0.88 DKFP per minute. He played 11 and 13 minutes in the first two games of the series, posting 13.0 and 6.0 DKFP. He provides solid defense down low and grabs enough boards to be the best punt play on the board who regularly gets involved. Caleb Martin ($1,000) is another cheap flier you could take a chance on at the end of the Heat’s rotation, but his role could be impacted by Lowry’s return while Dedmon’s should stay consistent.


Bam Adebayo ($8,000) – More concerning for Miami fans than the injury to Lowry has been the weird absence of any impact from Bam in this series. He had only 10 points and 23.5 DKFP in the Game 1 win and was even worse with just six points and 19.75 DKFP in 29 minutes in Game 2. He has produced under 26 DKFP in four straight games and hasn’t really gone off since the first two games against the 76ers, when they were missing Joel Embiid. Al Horford ($7,800), Robert Williams ($6,800; knee, questionable) and Daniel Theis ($3,600) haven’t been putting up big numbers themselves, but they have been playing great defense against Bam. At this point in this matchup, the fantasy production is coming from the backcourt and the wings, so I’d sidestep these big men for the most part.

The Outcome

Aside from a brutal third quarter in Game 1, the Celtics have looked better and deeper than the Heat. Lowry’s return could change that, but he hasn’t looked right in a while and doesn’t have a sterling record of playoff success in his career. For the Heat to win, Lowry, Adebayo and Strus have to offer more support to Butler, and they haven’t shown they can do that against the Celtics. For Boston, Smart’s continued emergence as a third playoff contributor has been critical, and they should continue to get contributions from their bench and role players, especially at TD Garden. The injury to Robert Williams is definitely still a concern, but they’ve shown they can succeed even without him already this postseason, so I think they’ll have enough to get the win and take a 2-1 series lead.

Final Score: Celtics 122, Heat 110

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $555K Shootaround [$105K to 1st] (MIA vs BOS)

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Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $555K Shootaround [$105K to 1st] (MIA vs BOS)

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is z.thompson) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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