NBA Deep Dive- April 26, 2017
Washington Wizards (2-2) at Atlanta Hawks (2-2)
Once again, coach Scott Brooks relied heavily on his starters and it makes them very strong options regardless of format. John Wall continued to play well in Atlanta, but the rest of the team let him down. He is averaging 28.8 points, 10 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 37.1 minutes per game so far in this series. Wall is generally better at home, as he shoots better from three and is probably more likely to get whistles on his drives to the rim. He is going to have to carry this team past Atlanta and into the second round and he makes for a strong option in any format.
Bradley Beal bounced back from a terrible shooting performance in game 3 to score 47.25 DraftKings points on 11-23 shooting in game 4. Beal has attempted at least 20 field goals in each game of this series and is averaging 24.3 points per game. He is a scoring dependent player, but the upside is certainly there and, like Wall, Beal has shot better at home than on the road this season.
Markieff Morris and Paul Millsap are having a war of words and, after dominating Millsap in game 1, things have since shifted in Millsap’s favor as Morris has repeatedly found himself in foul trouble. Morris is the prototypical GPP option as he is difficult for Millsap to defend and he is the Wizards’ best chance at containing Millsap, so he has a very high ceiling, but he could very easily be forced to the bench early again in this one.
Marcin Gortat is a viable option for as long as Ian Mahinmi is sidelined. Gortat is averaging 32.4 minutes per game in the series and played 35.1 minutes in game 4. He needs to do better for the Wizards to advance, but he has been solid in terms of fantasy production, averaging 31 DraftKings points per game in the series with a double-double in both of the games in Washington so far.
Core: John Wall, Bradley Beal
Secondary: Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat, Otto Porter
Value (very risky): Jason Smith
Dennis Schroder was not particularly good against the Wizards in the regular season, averaging just 0.81 DraftKings points per minute. However, he has been outstanding through the first four games of this series averaging 33.3 minutes per game and 38.1 DraftKings points per game. He had his worst game of the series, by far, in game 4 but look for him to bounce back tonight.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. is averaging 30.1 minutes per game in this series, but his shot has not been finding the bottom of the net, as he is shooting just 34.8 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three through the first four games. He shot better in game 4, going 6-12 from the field and 3-5 from three. He actually shot slightly better on the road than at home during the regular season and we should expect positive regression from him throughout the series.
Paul Millsap had a terrible game in Game 1 and, honestly, it was embarrassing to watch. Markieff Morris called him soft in an interview before the game and then proceeded to score against him at will and get in his face after pretty much every basket with Millsap doing nothing to stop the scoring or the talking. The roles have been completely reversed since then, as Millsap averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1 block and 1.7 steals per game in games 2-4. He is averaging 51.75 DraftKings points per game in those three games. Look for more big games from Millsap moving forward.
Dwight Howard has been disappointing in this series, but he did show some life in game 4 with 16 points, 15 rebounds and a +8 plus/minus that was good for second on the team. The minutes have been down from what we expected at the start of the series, as he has seen over 30 minutes just once, but he is still a strong GPP option at a reasonable price because he is capable of exploding in this spot if he trends closer to 35 minutes than 30.
Core: Paul Millsap
Secondary: Dennis Schroder, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Dwight Howard
Value: Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Ersan Ilyasova
Boston Celtics (2-2) at Chicago Bulls (2-2)
Isaiah Thomas has had a productive series so far, averaging 40.1 DraftKings points in 36.5 minutes per game. He has not had a ceiling game yet and we could see one coming soon as the Bulls have struggled against opposing point guards all season long and Thomas has struggled from beyond the arc so far in this series, shooting just 25 percent compared to his season average of 37.4 percent.
Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart are all decent tournament options, with Smart really standing out where you can utilize him as a shooting guard. Each of them is averaging at least 30 minutes per game in this series and are reasonably priced- though not necessarily underpriced.
Al Horford has looked good so far in this series, averaging 1.13 DraftKings points per minute, up from the 0.90 DraftKings points per minute he averaged in three games against Robin Lopez in the regular season. Horford is doing a great job of contributing across the board, as he has attempted more than 10 shots in three of four games so far and is averaging 14.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game so far in the series. His price is very fair for the production that he has been providing.
Core: Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford
Secondary: Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart
Value: Kelly Olynyk
Rajon Rondo is out of action with a fractured thumb. This means the Bulls will become even more reliant on Jimmy Butler and Dewayne Wade. We can expect at least one of these two to be on the floor for every minute of the game and for the ball to be in their hands a lot. Both players underwhelmed in game 3 without Rondo and Wade struggled in game 4 while Butler posted a respectable line of 33 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in 45.5 minutes of play. There is upside for both to improve on their performances from the last two games, and they are both strong options in any format, although somewhat risky since Boston does have strong on-ball defenders to match up with them.
Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant both were phased out of the rotation in game 4 as Isaiah Canaan played 34.1 minutes and led the team by a large margin with a +11 net rating (nobody else on the Bulls had a positive rating). It remains to be seen how the backcourt rotation is handled moving forward, but it is very reasonable to expect Canaan to get an opportunity to repeat his game 4 performance. He makes for a very strong value option.
One of Nikola Mirotic or Bobby Portis should be good in just about every game. If Mirotic is shooting reasonably well, as he has in every game since game 1, he will see plenty of minutes and makes for a strong play in any format. If he struggles, however, he is susceptible to losing minutes to Portis and Portis is very capable of succeeding in this matchup if he gets the minutes. Mirotic is the stronger play and is viable in any format, while Portis is only a GPP option since he has a lot of upside but is dependent on Mirotic shooting himself off of the floor.
Core: Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade
Secondary: Nikola Mirotic, Robin Lopez
Value: Isaiah Canaan, Bobby Portis