NBA Deep Dive- May 12-14, 2017

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics

 

Note: It is hard to take anything meaningful away from game 5 since it was a Celtics blowout from the beginning, except for the fact that Jaylen Brown FINALLY played meaningful minutes.  He finished the game with just north of 26 minutes, but 12 of those minutes for fourth quarter garbage time.  Still, we saw him play 14 minutes when it matters, first subbing in at the 4:46 mark in the first quarter.  He did not do anything with those minutes from a fantasy perspective, which is not surprising since his role is to be an additional defensive stopper, but at his incredibly low price point the fact that he appears to finally be a part of the rotation makes him valuable.  Other than that, treat game 6 like we treated game 5.

 

Washington Wizards

John Wall is where we have to start with the Wizards. Wall had a 31.6 percent usage rate in the first round against the Hawks, averaging 29.5 points, 10.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 38.7 minutes per game.  Wall was good, but not great, against the Celtics in the regular season but that should change in the postseason as he is able to consistently get whatever he wants when Isaiah Thomas tries to defend him and the ball will be in his hands constantly as he looks to carry Washington past the Celtics.  Wall was very good in game 1, with 20 points and 16 assists in 39.1 minutes.  He followed that up with a massive game 2, scoring 40 points to go along with 13 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals for a total of 76.25 DraftKings points.  Wall had his worst game of the series in game 3, but he bounced back in game 4 to score 27 points with 12 assists and 59.75 DraftKings points.  He has attempted at least 19 shots in every game of the postseason but one.

 

Bradley Beal will have a difficult matchup with Avery Bradley and the Celtics, but he plays such a large role in the Washington offense it may not matter.  Beal was second on the team to John Wall in first round usage rate at 29.1 percent.  Beal only faced Avery Bradley in two of the four games that he played against the Celtics this season.  In the first game, Beal played only 11.5 minutes and, in the second game, he was limited to 24 DraftKings points in 32.8 minutes.  He did not seem fazed by the Celtics’ defense in game 1 of this series, however, as he shot 4-7 from three and contributed 27 real points.  He struggled from the field in the second game and third games, however, shooting just 8 for 27 combined, but rebounded to shoot 11 of 16 in game 4.  The minutes and shots continue to be there for Beal, it is just a matter of if he makes them or not.  His price is low enough that he is worth the risk in GPPs.

I said coming into the series that Otto Porter was a strong GPP play in a great bounce-back spot and he has not disappointed so far, scoring 37.25, 33.75, 37.5 and 38.0 DraftKings points in the first four games.  Continue to roster Porter in tournaments as the Celtics would much rather force him to beat them than let John Wall do it.

 

Markieff Morris is a key to this series for the Wizards and he should dominate as long as he is healthy and on the floor.  The Celtics do not have anyone to match up with him and it showed in games two and four, as he had 16 points and 6 rebounds in 27 minutes of play and 16 points with 10 rebounds in 35 minutes of play.  Do not be too concerned by his reduced minutes in game three, as he missed his fourth quarter rotation. He remains way too cheap for his upside in this matchup.

 

Marcin Gortat has looked much better in this series matching up with the Boston frontcourt than with Dwight Howard.  He continues to see huge minutes and he is more active on the offensive end than he was in the first round.  His price has increased quickly to match his production, but he remains a solid option.  Gortat played just 26 minutes in game 4, but the Wizards had a commanding lead in the fourth quarter so it is likely that Brooks was just looking to give him a break.  He remains a strong option.

 

Core:  John Wall

Secondary:  Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris

Value:  Kelly Oubre

 

Boston Celtics

 

Isaiah Thomas went nuts in game 2, with 53 points in the overtime win, but followed that up with a dud in game three.  He struggled in a game four blowout as well, but we should see him improve as the series heads back to Boston.  He will need to play extremely well for the Celtics to succeed in moving past the Wizards and into the Eastern Conference Finals.  He makes for a strong tournament option as people may shy away because of his last two games, when he was dealing with a mouth injury and then somehow got to the free throw line zero times.

 

Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder all averaged over 30 minutes per game against the Bulls and that has continued against the Wizards as all three players will be needed on the defensive end.  Crowder and Bradley are the strongest plays of the trio, but Smart is viable as well where he is shooting guard eligible.  Crowder is the safest of the trio, followed by Bradley, but all three have upside.

 

Al Horford played very well against the Wizards in the regular season, averaging 1.11 DraftKings points per minute, and continued his stellar play in game 1 with 21 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds in 35 minutes.  He had another big game in the game 2 overtime win, scoring 15 points to go with 12 rebounds.  He dropped off a little in games 3 and 4, but it is likely he bounces back in what is likely to be a closer game at home.

 

Core:  Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford

Secondary: Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart

Value:  Kelly Olynyk

Washington Wizards

John Wall is where we have to start with the Wizards. Wall had a 31.6 percent usage rate in the first round against the Hawks, averaging 29.5 points, 10.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 38.7 minutes per game.  Wall was good, but not great, against the Celtics in the regular season but that should change in the postseason as he is able to consistently get whatever he wants when Isaiah Thomas tries to defend him and the ball will be in his hands constantly as he looks to carry Washington past the Celtics.  Wall was very good in game 1, with 20 points and 16 assists in 39.1 minutes.  He followed that up with a massive game 2, scoring 40 points to go along with 13 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals for a total of 76.25 DraftKings points.  Wall had his worst game of the series in game 3, but he bounced back in game 4 to score 27 points with 12 assists and 59.75 DraftKings points.  He has attempted at least 19 shots in every game of the postseason but one.

 

Bradley Beal will have a difficult matchup with Avery Bradley and the Celtics, but he plays such a large role in the Washington offense it may not matter.  Beal was second on the team to John Wall in first round usage rate at 29.1 percent.  Beal only faced Avery Bradley in two of the four games that he played against the Celtics this season.  In the first game, Beal played only 11.5 minutes and, in the second game, he was limited to 24 DraftKings points in 32.8 minutes.  He did not seem fazed by the Celtics’ defense in game 1 of this series, however, as he shot 4-7 from three and contributed 27 real points.  He struggled from the field in the second game and third games, however, shooting just 8 for 27 combined, but rebounded to shoot 11 of 16 in game 4.  The minutes and shots continue to be there for Beal, it is just a matter of if he makes them or not.  His price is low enough that he is worth the risk in GPPs.

I said coming into the series that Otto Porter was a strong GPP play in a great bounce-back spot and he has not disappointed so far, scoring 37.25, 33.75, 37.5 and 38.0 DraftKings points in the first four games.  Continue to roster Porter in tournaments as the Celtics would much rather force him to beat them than let John Wall do it.

 

Markieff Morris is a key to this series for the Wizards and he should dominate as long as he is healthy and on the floor.  The Celtics do not have anyone to match up with him and it showed in games two and four, as he had 16 points and 6 rebounds in 27 minutes of play and 16 points with 10 rebounds in 35 minutes of play.  Do not be too concerned by his reduced minutes in game three, as he missed his fourth quarter rotation. He remains way too cheap for his upside in this matchup.

 

Marcin Gortat has looked much better in this series matching up with the Boston frontcourt than with Dwight Howard.  He continues to see huge minutes and he is more active on the offensive end than he was in the first round.  His price has increased quickly to match his production, but he remains a solid option.  Gortat played just 26 minutes in game 4, but the Wizards had a commanding lead in the fourth quarter so it is likely that Brooks was just looking to give him a break.  He remains a strong option.

 

Core:  John Wall

Secondary:  Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris

Value:  Kelly Oubre

 

Boston Celtics

 

Isaiah Thomas went nuts in game 2, with 53 points in the overtime win, but followed that up with a dud in game three.  He struggled in a game four blowout as well, but we should see him improve as the series heads back to Boston.  He will need to play extremely well for the Celtics to succeed in moving past the Wizards and into the Eastern Conference Finals.  He makes for a strong tournament option as people may shy away because of his last two games, when he was dealing with a mouth injury and then somehow got to the free throw line zero times.

 

Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder all averaged over 30 minutes per game against the Bulls and that has continued against the Wizards as all three players will be needed on the defensive end.  Crowder and Bradley are the strongest plays of the trio, but Smart is viable as well where he is shooting guard eligible.  Crowder is the safest of the trio, followed by Bradley, but all three have upside.

 

Al Horford played very well against the Wizards in the regular season, averaging 1.11 DraftKings points per minute, and continued his stellar play in game 1 with 21 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds in 35 minutes.  He had another big game in the game 2 overtime win, scoring 15 points to go with 12 rebounds.  He dropped off a little in games 3 and 4, but it is likely he bounces back in what is likely to be a closer game at home.

 

Core:  Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford

Secondary: Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart

Value:  Kelly Olynyk, Jaylen Brown

San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors

San Antonio Spurs

 

Patty Mills has a big role due to the injury to Tony Parker.  Mills played 30 minutes in game 3 and 43 minutes in game 5 (which went to overtime).  These are the only two games since Parker’s injury that were close and required full minutes.  Mills originally was coming off the bench, but he is now in the starting lineup.  He attempted at least 10 shots in three of the four games since the injury and makes for a top value option in a pace-up matchup against a tough Golden State defense.

 

Jonathon Simmons took on an increased role in the Houston series and is likely to maintain that role against the Warriors.  It is likely that we see plenty of lineups with Simmons on the floor alongside Mills/Murray, Green, Leonard and Aldridge against a Golden State team that loves to play small.  Simmons averaged 0.73 DraftKings points per minute during the regular season.  He is a viable value option whose upside is limited as his price climbs.

 

Kawhi Leonard will be a strong option assuming he returns from the injury that kept him sidelined for game 6 against Houston.  San Antonio will need him to be a presence on both sides of the floor in order for this to be a competitive series with Golden State.  In his only matchup against Kevin Durant this season, Leonard produced 54.8 DraftKings points in 32 minutes of play.

 

LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 1.06 DraftKings points per minute against the Warriors in the six games that he has played against Draymond Green over the last two seasons.  Aldridge was up-and-down against Houston and we can expect more of that moving forward.  He has legitimate upside if he is getting shots, but is also capable of disappearing on offense- especially if Leonard is back.  It is worth noting that his production increased against Houston once he started getting minutes at center and that he should see minutes at the five in this series as well.

 

Pau Gasol is a high-upside tournament option as he should be productive when he is on the floor against a Golden State team that struggled against opposing centers all season long.  Gasol’s minutes are the question mark as the Warriors could force the Spurs to go small for significant stretches of the game.  In two games against Golden State this season, Gasol scored 8 DraftKings points in 18.3 minutes and 40 DraftKings points in 25.7 minutes.  The upside is certainly there to nicely pay off his low-mid range price tag.

 

Core: Kawhi Leonard, Patty Mills

Secondary: LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol

Value:  David Lee, Jonathan Simmons, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green

 

Golden State Warriors

Steph Curry has averaged 1.45 DraftKings points per minute in the last five games that he has played against Danny Green going back to the start of last season.  We know that the Spurs can be vulnerable against opposing point guards and Curry’s price is very reasonable as a result of a second round matchup against a tough Jazz defense in a series of games that did not require huge offensive outbursts from Curry.  He is a viable GPP option as he may be needed to carry more of the offense in, what should be, a more competitive series with Kawhi Leonard likely defending Kevin Durant.

 

Kevin Durant only faced Leonard once this season, scoring 55.5 DraftKings points in 36.6 minutes.  This was his best game in the last three seasons against Leonard, as Durant has averaged just 1.20 DraftKings points per minute during that span.  He certainly has upside, but he is expensive and it is a very risky matchup.

 

Klay Thompson did not have a good series in a difficult matchup against the Jazz and it is unlikely that we see improvement in this series.  Thompson is averaging just 0.76 DraftKings points per minute in 9 matchups against the Spurs with Kawhi Leonard on the floor over the last three seasons.  He has not topped 30 DraftKings points in any of the last 8 meetings.  Factor in that Kevin Durant was not on the team, or at least not active, in most of those games and it is a really tough spot to expect a big performance from Klay.  He has some tournament upside just based on his reduced price because he will get the ball if he gets hot, but there is way more risk than reward in this matchup.

 

Draymond Green was excellent against the Jazz, but we can expect a bit of a drop off in this series.  He has topped 40 DraftKings points just once in his last nine meetings against the Spurs with Leonard on the floor, but he has scored more than 35 in four of the nine games.  His price is elevated as a result of his performance against Utah but, if you can easily afford him, he has a decent floor because of everything he does on the court.

 

Core:  Steph Curry

Secondary:  Draymond Green, Kevin Durant

Value: Zaza Pachulia, Shaun Livingston