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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (6/14)
- Today's main slate features 2 games. Nobody is on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is PHI v ATL at 224 points. The game with the lowest over/under is LAC v UTA at 220.5 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.
Tonight, there are 2 situations that I think make this slate exploitable. Firstly, it’s Kawhi’s injury. Not only is his injury going to open up shots and usage for virtually every player in the starting lineup and even some of the bench players, but it makes the LAC defense way less intimidating, which bodes well for some of the scorers/playmakers on the Jazz. Secondly, I think Embiid’s injury status allows us to find some other value on PHI. If he’s anything like he was last game, he’s not going to be much of a threat offensively, which means the Sixers will have to find offense from some other guys. With these two situations in mind, I think tonight is definitely a stars and scrubs night. I’ll start out by locking in PG and Mitchell (because I think they gain the most value from Kawhi sitting), and then I’ll head over to the low tier and lock in a guy like Marcus Morris, who I think is an awesome value play tonight. I also like Reggie Jackson a lot (and he’s at the very bottom of the mid-tier), so I’ll probably lock him into my lineup as well.
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. Paul George ($8,600)
With the devastating news about Kawhi Leonard, Paul George will have an opportunity to eliminate all of his past playoff deficiencies by putting the team on his back and figuring things out while Kawhi is gone. He’ll see more minutes, usage, and shots than normal, and considering his price hasn’t changed at all, I think he’s essentially a must-play on tonight’s slate. Also, Royce O’Neale (UTA’s best guard defender) has been covering PG for the most part anyway, so Kawhi sitting won’t move a better defender onto George.
2. Donovan Mitchell ($9,000)
With Conley still out, and considering Mitchell won’t have to go up against Kawhi tonight, I think Donovan sees a very solid boost. Kawhi guarded him for a large portion of game 4, and he made it quite tough on Mitchell to get any open space; now, at home and without Kawhi as his primary defender, Mitchell should have a huge performance and should see TONS of shots and usage, like he’s been seeing.
3. Trae Young ($9,900)
Young didn’t even have a good game in game 4, and he ended up with a 26-18-4 stat line. He’s going to always get tons of shots, and the ease with which he gets past his primary defender allows him to set up his teammates consistently. If he shoots a bit better tonight, he could put up an even better dfs performance than he did last game, which would very easily return value for him at below 10k. Trae Young rounds out a very appealing top tier tonight.
Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)
1. Reggie Jackson ($5,100)
The Kawhi injury is going to open up some value for the Clippers, and Reggie Jackson should be one of the main beneficiaries. He’s probably the 2nd best player on tonight’s LAC team at creating his own shot (after PG), so the Clippers will definitely have to look at him to make plays for himself and others tonight. Like George, he should see more minutes, usage, and shots tonight, which bodes really well for him returning value at only 5.1k. Jackson might be one of my favorite plays tonight, although he will likely be very highly owned.
2. Joe Ingles ($5,200)
I’ve liked Joe Ingles in virtually every game this series anyway, but I like him even more tonight without Kawhi's defense. He should be able to get into the paint a bit easier, and he’s still going to start and see good minutes as a result of Conley’s injury, so I still really like him at the low end of this mid-tier. Ingles also seems to play better at home, so I like the fact that he gets to play in front of his fans in this pivotal game 5.
3. Ben Simmons ($7,600)
Embiid wasn’t himself in game 4, and I could see him being limited tonight, again. If he is, Simmons will have to take a larger role in the offense, which he has no problem doing. He should look to get out on the break and find cuts to the rim, and I would expect him to see higher usage and shots as a result of Joel not being himself tonight. With his price staying steady at the top of this mid-tier, I like Simmons, back in front of his home crowd tonight in a pivotal game 5.
Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)
1. Marcus Morris ($4,500)
I already talked about Paul George and Reggie Jackson, but Marcus Morris is a guy that can be counted on to create his own shot, so I think he should definitely see a larger role in the offense tonight as a result of Kawhi sitting. He put up 24-1-6 in game 4, and he should be even better tonight. He’s been able to take advantage of the size of Gobert by hanging around the 3 point line and operating from there, and I think he’ll continue to be successful there tonight.
2. Kevin Huerter ($4,800)
To be completely honest, I absolutely love Huerter’s game and think he’s a star in the making, so my decision on him tonight is partially based on that. But, he got the start last game and played well, so I expect him to stay in the starting lineup tonight, which gives him a good chance to return value at his 4.8k price tag. After Trae Young torched the Sixers last game, Huerter could see some more opportunities to make plays for himself and others tonight as a result of PHI shading towards the Young.
3. Terrence Mann ($3,000)
I’m not sure who will start for LAC tonight, but I could definitely see a world where it’s Terrence Mann that takes Kawhi’s place. He’s able to guard virtually everyone on defense, and he doesn’t make many mistakes on the offensive end, so I think Lue should show some trust in him tonight. Regardless of if he gets the start, he should see more minutes than normal, and at the site minimum, he would barely have to do anything to return value, so I don’t hate Mann as a punt play tonight.
NBA PLAYOFF MKF PLAYS OF THE DAY
Trae Young MORE than 27.5 Points
Young had 18 assists last game, and I don’t envision PHI allowing him to get his teammates involved like that again; I think they’ll trust Simmons and Thybulle to handle him 1v1 without a ton of helpside defense, and that should bode well for his ability to get into the lane and hit his floater. Of course both of those guys are very tough defenders, but there aren’t many guys in the entire league who can guard Young 1 on 1, so he should be able to score a lot of points tonight.
Joel Embiid LESS than 29.5 Points
Embiid only had 17 points last game, and it's because he wasn’t healthy. He has a lingering meniscus injury, and I don’t see one day of recovery making much of a difference in terms of what he can do. He’ll likely continue to be limited tonight, which means he won’t be able to aggressively attack the hoop like normal, and will instead be forced to shoot more outside shots, which will make it tough to score 30+.
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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!