NBA Deep Dive- May 15, 2017
Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics
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 two. He will need to put the Wizards on his back to get them into the Eastern Conference Finals and has a ton of upside even at an expensive price tag.
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. Porter has dropped off in the last two games, partly because Bradley Beal has stepped up. Continue to roster Porter in tournaments, however, as his most recent games should get his ownership back down.
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, four and six. He remains way too cheap for his upside in this matchup.
Core: John Wall
Secondary: Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris
Isaiah Thomas is a strong GPP option at a lower price than John Wall. Thomas has not come close to matching his game 2 outburst, or even his game 1 production, in the next four games of this series, but the upside is clearly there in a game 7 at home. Thomas could very easily be on tonight’s winning GPP team.
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. He has scored at least 30 DraftKings points in five of the six games of this series, and makes for a strong play in any format in a good matchup at a relatively low price point.
Jaylen Brown played just 11.2 minutes in game six after seeming like he cracked the rotation in game 5. I have no idea what Brad Stevens is doing, as Brown should clearly be playing over Amir Johnson. Brown is a risky play in game 7 since Stevens seems to hate him, but he is in play as a GPP option since the Celtics HAVE to win and maybe Stevens will do his best to make that happen.
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). Mills then played 37 minutes in game 1 against the Warriors. Mills originally was coming off the bench, but he is now in the starting lineup. He makes for a top value option in a pace-up matchup despite a tough Golden State defense.
Jonathon Simmons took on an increased role in the Houston series when Leonard was injured and is going to be an important piece for the Spurs in this series for as long as Leonard is sidelined. Simmons played 25.5 minutes in game one, with most of those minutes coming after Leonard’s injury in the third quarter.
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. He has legitimate upside if he is getting shots, and he should see plenty with Leonard sidelined. 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. Aldridge is an excellent play coming off a game 1 where he got 24 field goal attempts.
Core: LaMarcus Aldridge
Secondary: Pau Gasol, Patty Mills
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, and the absence of Kawhi Leonard makes the entire Spurs defense worse. Look for more big games out of Curry following his game one explosion.
Kevin Durant will benefit, along with the rest of the Warriors, from the absence of Kawhi Leonard. The entire Spurs defense gets worse without Leonard on the floor and there is nobody that can provide his level of defense against the superstar Durant. Durant got up 21 field goal attempts and got to the line 12 times in game one, showing that he can be productive in the same games as Curry.
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. We can expect those numbers to increase somewhat as a result of the weakened San Antonio defense sans Leonard. 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, Matt Barnes