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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/30)
- Today's main slate features 4 games. Nobody is on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is BOS v BKN at 228.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is NYK V ATL at 209 points.
Welcome to our brand new section for the NBA Playoffs! This section will provide you with a full breakdown (or 'blueprint') of both players and strategies we like for tonight's games. Our goal is for this section to replace our usual 'Need to Know' and 'Core Plays' sections, as there is typically much less injury news in the playoffs and we want to focus in more on matchups and lineup construction!
Tonight's Lineup Construction:
This sub-section will briefly breakdown lineup construction strategies to consider for tonight's slate. Are there high tier must plays? Is there a ton of cheap value? Should you go Stars and Scrubs? Etc.
I’m feeling very uncertain about virtually every guy in this top-tier tonight. The BKN guys all scare me because any of them could be the one to score 40, Tatum scares me because I think the Nets double him tonight off of pick and rolls and other actions, and some of the other guys’ prices are rising to the point where I no longer find them valuable (Young, Randle, Kawhi). That being said, I like a lot of the guys in the mid and low tiers. I’ll probably start off my lineup by locking in Tristan Thompson, who’s my favorite play of the night due to Rob’s injury. I also really like all three of my low-tier plays, so I could see myself locking them in as well. After that, I’ll probably use our optimizer to see who else I have space for. My advice would be to lock in some of your favorite guys from the mid and low tiers, because I think that’s where you’ll find the best value tonight.
Tier 1 ($8,000+)
Each of the following tiers will provide our top 2-3 value plays (depending on how many games there are) of the night from within the specified price range.
Note: We will be using DraftKings prices for the price-range classifications.
1. Kyrie Irving ($8,500)
Kyrie didn’t play well in game 3, which was somewhat surprising given it was his first playoff game back in the garden since his chaotic departure. I have to think he’s going to bounce back tonight. Boston’s crowd will be even larger and louder (they just increased capacity), and I could see Kyrie getting into a back and forth with them like he did in game 3 at times. He should come out aggressively from the start, and if he hits his first couple shots, it could be a LONG night for the Celtics and their fans.
2. Lebron James ($9,700)
There is most certainly another gear that Lebron James can go to, and I think there’s a good chance he turns on that gear tonight. He hasn’t had more than 25 points in a game yet in one of the first 3 games of this series, and I think he’ll eclipse that tonight as a result of some increased aggressiveness going to the hoop. This is an extremely important game for the Lakers, as they could essentially put the series away with a win. I think Lebron understands the importance of the game, and I think his energy should match it.
3. Luka Doncic ($11,100)
Contrary to my initial beliefs, it seems like the Clippers will continue to single team Luka and switch basically all screens, even though it hasn’t really worked too much this series. Luka has been absolutely dominating, and I don’t think tonight will be any different. Even at his 11k+ price tag, I don’t think you’re overpaying for him. He has a way higher floor than the other top-tier guys, and I think he also has a higher ceiling. There isn’t a world in which Luka doesn’t either kill you himself or kill you by getting his teammates involved, so look for a ton of points or assists tonight, or maybe both.
Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)
1. Tristan Thompson ($5,200)
Without Rob Williams tonight, Thompson should see more minutes than he’s been seeing in this series. His numbers have increased in each of the first three games, and I could see them increasing again tonight. He’s been the energy backbone of this Celtics team, and I expect him to aggressively attack the glass again tonight; it’s what worked well for him last game, and he’ll need to be successful at it again if the Celtics want to have any chance. He put up 19 and 13 last game, and with more minutes on the horizon, I think he’s far too cheap. He might be my favorite play of the night.
2. Deandre Ayton ($6,700)
I’m going to continue going back to Ayton until the Lakers prove they can even remotely limit him offensively and on the glass. He’s put up more than 20 and 10 in each of the first three games of this series, which is excellent value for his 6.7k price tag. Also, because of the injury to CP3, Chris has been a lot more of a facilitator when he’s been in, which definitely bodes well for Ayton’s numbers. If Ayton continues to get 35+ minutes (and there’s no sign he won’t), he’s an excellent value play in this mid-tier.
3. Alec Burks ($5,100)
Burks is at the bottom end of this mid-tier, and I think you’re getting excellent value for him at that spot. He’s a lethal scorer, and he can at any moment pop off for a 30+ point game. After the Knicks tough game 3 loss in which they only scored 94 points, I think they look to Burks sooner off the bench for a scoring spark. He’s one of the best guys on this NYK team at getting off a good shot whenever he wants, and I think he’ll have to do a good amount of that tonight against a stout ATL defense that is peaking at the right time.
Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)
1. Reggie Jackson ($4,400)
Reggie Jackson often flies under the radar as an important piece to this Clippers team. He’s been starting and has been getting 30+ minutes a game in these playoffs, and he’s been playing well in those minutes. He put up 16-4-3 last game, and I think he could be even better tonight if the Mavs shade a little bit more towards Kawhi and PG after their huge performances last game. Not only should this open up some corner threes for Jackson, but it should allow him to see some more 1 on 1 opportunities to attack the rim against likely the worst perimeter defender on the court for DAL.
2. Jae Crowder ($4,800)
Jae Crowder has shot terribly this series against the Lakers, and it has dropped his price below the mid-tier and into the low-tier. I think he has a good chance of turning it around at some point, and tonight could definitely be the night. He’s certainly not shy to keep letting it fly, and he also has the talent (as we saw in the regular season) to knock it down with consistency. He’s needed for defense, so his minutes are definitely locked in, and it would be tough for him to shoot worse than he has so far. Additionally, he should look to go to the glass aggressively as his shot continues to struggle. And finally, Lebron clowned him last game, so he’ll probably come out angry.
3. Deandre Hunter ($4,300)
I’m going to go right back to Deandre Hunter, who has really looked like himself in these past couple games. He’s been getting the start and has been seeing 30-35 minutes, so I feel really confident about his floor at only 4.3k. Additionally, he always has the chance to get hot from three and get some slashing plays to the rim as a result of the attention that Trae requires on defense. No matter what, though, my favorite thing about Hunter is that he plays great defense, which secures him BIG minutes in crunch time.
NBA PLAYOFF MKF PLAYS OF THE DAY
Tristan Thompson MORE than 10.5 Rebounds
I already discussed this in my write up for Tristan Thompson as my number 1 play in the mid-tier, but I really like his chances of scoring points and getting rebounds tonight. The Celtics will be without Robert Williams, which means that Thompson is locked in for both the starting position and probably 30+ minutes. Furthermore, it’s seemed in the playoffs that he’s the backbone of this team, and I think he’ll continue to show that by working his butt off on the glass and taking it to Blake Griffin and Nicholas Claxton in the painted area.
Rajon Rondo MORE than 5.5 Assists
Rondo has had 7 and 8 assists in the last 2 games of the series, and I think that number should stay there or increase in game 4. Rondo’s minutes and usage will continue to increase as the games get more important, and I think that bodes very well for a super important game 4 tonight. Playoff Rondo has shown flashes throughout the series, but I think he could really get unleashed tonight.
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Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!