NBA Deep Dive- April 27, 2017

San Antonio Spurs (3-2) at Memphis Grizzlies (2-3)

San Antonio Spurs

Tony Parker’s minutes have been very fluid throughout this series, but we saw him play about 13 minutes more than Patty Mills in game four and 8 minutes more in game five, which is a good sign.  The Grizzlies have made this a series and forced the Spurs to give Parker more minutes as long as they keep the games close.  Parker is still a risky option because we can expect Popovich to have a short leash on him if the game gets even remotely out of hand, but he has legitimate upside at his price.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard will continue to be the two most popular players from the Spurs, and rightfully so.  Aldridge matches up well with a Memphis frontcourt that struggles to defend stretch fours.  It is concerning that Aldridge has not been very involved on offense despite playing heavy minutes, but all it takes is one game for him to go off and help win a GPP.  Leonard has seen more freedom without having to deal with the defense of Tony Allen who is on the shelf with an injury.  Without Allen, there is nobody on the Memphis roster to defend Kawhi and we can expect him to continue posting massive stat lines throughout this series.

David Lee drew another start in game five and played 25.9 minutes with 11 points, 8 rebounds, an assist and a steal.  He remains too cheap for his role, especially with value much more difficult to find at this stage of the postseason than it was early on.

Core:  Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge

Secondary: Tony Parker

Value: David Lee

San Antonio Spurs (3-2) at Memphis Grizzlies (2-3)

Memphis Grizzlies

Mike Conley continues to have a big series for the Grizzlies, which makes sense since the best way to attack the Spurs is through their backcourt.  Conley is averaging 37.1 minutes per game in the series if we exclude the game 1 blowout.  He is also averaging just over 17 field goal attempts per game in those four games.

Marc Gasol has a difficult matchup that he has been pretty mediocre in throughout the regular season and so far in the postseason.  On the plus side, he is averaging 40.2 minutes per game in games two through five.  On the negative side, he is averaging just 0.83 DraftKings points per minute in those games.  His price remains very reasonable, however, so he is worth consideration as one of the last guys in.  Zach Randolph matches up very well with the Spurs and he is averaging 31.4 minutes per game since game 1.  He only played 26.5 minutes in game 5, but that was mostly due to foul trouble so we should not be concerned about his role moving forward.  We have not seen a ceiling game out of him yet, but he has 45 fantasy point upside in this matchup.

Vince Carter and James Ennis are in play as punt options.  Neither player has been productive at all in this series, but Carter is averaging 32.4 minutes per game in the series and Ennis drew the start in games four and five and played over 30 minutes in both.  JaMychal Green is also a risky punt option as his price has decreased but he has played more minutes in games three through five than he did in games one and two.  The Spurs have trouble defending stretch fours at times, so it is possible that we see a big game out of Green before this series ends, which makes him worth having some exposure to in large-field GPPs.

Core: Mike Conley

Secondary: Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph

Value: Vince Carter, James Ennis, JaMychal Green

Toronto Raptors (3-2) at Milwaukee Bucks (2-3)

Toronto Raptors

Kyle Lowry has struggled through five games in this post-season matchup despite logging heavy minutes.  At $7,800 on DraftKings he is still an enticing tournament option since he has upside despite the difficult matchup with Milwaukee.

DeMar DeRozan finally saw his shot falling in game four and he went 12 for 22 finishing the night with 33 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals for 55+ fantasy points on most scoring systems.  He was not as productive in game 5, but he still shot 50 percent from the field which was nice to see.  He does not match up well with Milwaukee because he is not a perimeter shooter and he needs the ball in his hands to score.  That being said, much like Lowry, the opportunity is there due to his minutes and role in the offense so he is a viable option.

Serge Ibaka continues to dominate the Bucks, albeit in limited minutes.  While Lowry and DeRozan match up very poorly with the Bucks, Ibaka matches up very well.  Milwaukee is most vulnerable to spot-up shooters and Ibaka leads the Raptors in catch-and-shoot attempts per game this season.  As an added bonus, he is also starting at center now for Toronto which makes him more valuable.

Norman Powell was tabbed as a starter on Saturday and he responded by sinking all three of his shots behind the arc, ending the game with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and a block.  He started again in game 5 on Monday and played 34.4 minutes, finishing with 25 points on 8-11 shooting and a +23 net rating that was second only to Kyle Lowry.  We should continue to see Powell play extended minutes as a member of the first unit.

Core: Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell

Secondary: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan

Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 1.35 DraftKings points per minute against Toronto in the regular season and is underpriced for the minutes he is going to play and the role and upside that he has.  In Game 4 he saw his shot attempts approach 20 once again, however, he only made half a dozen.  He shot much better in game 5, knocking down 12-of-19 field goal attempts and going 6-for-9 from the line.  He remains a strong option in all formats.

Malcolm Brogdon is averaging over 30 minutes per game in this series, but he is being asked more and more to focus on defense at times.  It was a good sign, however, to see him get 11 shots up in game 5.  He is still in play as his price has fallen and the minutes are there in a matchup that is good if he looks to take advantage on the offensive end.

Khris Middleton has played at least 34 minutes in each game of this series and topped the 40-minute mark twice.  He has attempted at least 13 field goals in every game but one.  He has not shot particularly well, which has kept him from hitting his ceiling, but he has still been productive for his price which has stayed very reasonable throughout the series.  He is capable of contributing assists, rebounds and defensive stats as well so, if his shot does start to fall, he should easily outperform his salary.

Greg Monroe has been productive, but he is capped to about 22-24 minutes with the emergence of Thon Maker.  He is also still relatively expensive, sitting at $5,700 on DraftKings.  If he were closer to $5,000 it would be worth the risk since he is very clearly capable of topping 30 fantasy points in 24 minutes but, at his current price point, you are more or less hoping for a surprise change in the rotation or foul trouble for Thon Maker if you roster Monroe.

Thon Maker himself makes for a decent option and is a stronger play on FantasyDraft or DraftKings where multiple centers can be deployed.  He has been impressive on both ends of the floor by all accounts so far and averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute this season.  He appears locked in to 20-25 minutes per night which makes him a decent play.  He has limited upside, but his price is still very reasonable.

Core:  Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton

Secondary: Malcolm Brogdon, Greg Monroe

Value: Thon Maker, Tony Snell