AC+ NBA 6/22


Announcements 

We're doing BOTH Classic AND Showdown competitions!

1) DraftKings is offering Classic Competition OVER 2 DAYS, so you can find our datasheet/optimizer and Tier plays for that below!

We will ALSO be providing you guys with our Playoff Showdown Blueprint, which contains our Captain/MVP plays, Dark horse plays, as well as ownership projections for Showdown!

2) We are hosting the Official Standings for the Clockwork Sports NBA Playoff Challenge on our website! Compete for a chance to win $25 cash, Clockwork sports VIP access for the NBA finals, or an NBA TopShot moment! Learn more here.

3) Our AC+ MLB Newsletter/Membership is OUT NOW! Our tools have been tried and tested over the first month of the MLB season, and we truly can't wait for you guys to use them. Read more about the membership here!

Today's Optimizers and Datasheets

(Optimizer is only for DK Classic Slate, FD Datasheet is for Showdown)

 6/22 Excel Optimizer/Datasheet

(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)

 6/22 Google Sheets Optimizer/Datasheet

QUICK HITTERS (6/22)

- 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 ATL v MIL at 226 points. The game with the lowest over/under is LAC v PHO at 223 points.

Classic Blueprint

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 and tomorrow's Classic Competition Contests. 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 definitely think I’ll be going for more of a balanced lineup tonight. I don’t expect Giannis to be Giannis-like in game 1; the Bucks need to get Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday going if they’re gonna be successful in these playoffs, and I think that’ll be their main priority in game 1. In terms of PHO, I think Booker should have a big assist night tonight; after what he did in game 1, the help should be a little more prevalent against him, which means he should find some of his other teammates for open shots tonight - I don’t see him dropping 40 again. I also think LAC needs to find more guys besides George and Jackson to carry their offense, and I think that’ll be a priority for them as well. A large reason why I’ll go balanced tonight is because I don’t like the low-tier, though. I’ll definitely lock in Bridges (who might be my favorite player on the slate), but besides that I’ll try to stay away from these guys.

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. Devin Booker ($9,600)

It’s quite tough to go away from Booker considering he’s the 4th most expensive player on this slate and could easily be the highest scoring player. He put up a 40 point triple-double in game 1, and he should have similar minutes, usage, and shots again tonight without CP3 in the lineup. He’s played more of a PG role and has been quite successful in it, so I expect him to do something similar tonight.

2. Trae Young ($10,100)

Trae Young is not one to take the first game of the series to “figure things out”. He’s going to come out firing tonight and I fully expect him to play very well, especially since he’s playing in MIL and always feeds off the boos from the crowd. He’s put up ridiculous numbers throughout this entire postseason, and that shouldn’t stop tonight, even with a presumably tough Jrue Holiday matchup.

3. Khris Middleton ($8,200)

Khris Middleton always plays a lot better at home, so I think he’ll start off the series super well tonight. ATL doesn’t exactly have the best perimeter defenders, so I think he should really be able to take advantage of whoever’s guarding him, and I could really see MIL making an effort to get him going early in this series after he had some really tough moments against BKN.

Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)

1. Jrue Holiday ($7,600)

I feel pretty strongly that MIL will make an aggressive attempt to get Jrue Holiday going early. He had a really tough series against BKN, and if they want to have a chance at winning the Championship, Jrue is going to have to be more of an offensive threat than he’s been. He should be aggressive early and often tonight, and that bodes really well for him returning value. He should also have a major size mismatch against Young.

2. Reggie Jackson ($6,200)

Reggie Jackson has had an unbelievably productive playoffs on the offensive end, and with Kawhi continuing to be sidelined with his knee injury, Jackson is going to continue to be a prominent offensive option for LAC. He’s got an amazing ceiling and a solid floor, and I’ll definitely be locking him into most of my lineups tonight - it’s time we start thinking of him like the 20+ ppg scorer he is.

3. Marcus Morris ($5,000)

Morris was briefly on the injury report with a knee injury, but he’s not on it anymore, so I’m going to assume he’s healthy. He’s probably the 3rd best scoring option on LAC, so I expect him to have a bounce back game after a really poor game 1; he’ll continue to be aggressive, and he can get hot at any point, so LAC will go to him early tonight.

Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)

1. Mikal Bridges ($4,900)

You should get Mikal Bridges into your lineup while he’s in this low-tier. He had a fairly unproductive game 1, but he’ll definitely get more looks at the hoop tonight simply because the defense will shift a bit more towards Booker than normal as a result of his massive game two nights ago. Bridges is SO solid and will continue to play massive minutes, so I love his floor at 4.9k.

2. Ivica Zubac ($3,300)

Zubac only played 18 minutes in game 1, but I could definitely see him getting more minutes tonight after he played well in his minutes and Ayton had a very productive game. I don’t think small-ball will work as well against the Suns as it did against the Jazz, and I think that means Lue will have to make an adjustment to play a little bit bigger. At only 3.3k, I definitely like Zubac’s ceiling tonight.

3. Bryn Forbes ($3,400)

Like virtually everyone besides Mike Budenholzer, I have no clue what Forbes’ minutes will look like tonight. He didn’t play at all towards the end of the BKN series, but I think he matches up a lot better against the Hawks. He can hide on defense a bit more than he could against BKN, and I could imagine ATL going to him early in this series like they did earlier in these playoffs. That being said, I think this low-tier is really poor tonight, and I’ll probably stay away from it.

Showdown Blueprint!

This section will provide you with my 3 favorite captain plays, my 3 favorite dark horse plays, and game-specific lineup construction strategy!

Captain/MVP Plays

This section will highlight my 3 favorite Captain (DK) and MVP (FD) plays.

Note: For DK, picking a player as your captain means that they will receive 1.5x bonus on their normal points, but their price will increase by 1.5x as well. For FD, the MVP receives a 2x bonus without any adjustment to their price.

1. Devin Booker ($11,800 DK and $14,500 FD)

Booker is the most sure thing in this game, and the fact that he’s priced behind PG on both DK and FD makes me really like him tonight. He’s going to see more pressure than normal (maybe a double team or some extended help), but he showed in game 1 that he’s very comfortable finding his teammates for open shots, and I expect him to look even more to do that tonight without CP3 at the helm of the offense.

2. Reggie Jackson ($8,600 DK and $12,500 FD)

We need to start thinking of Reggie Jackson as a premier scorer, because that’s what he’s shown he is in these playoffs. He’s been the number 2 option without Kawhi in the lineup, and he’s been successful against tons of different matchups. On DK, Jackson is cheaper than Ayton, and on FD he’s cheaper than Batum (!), so I really like the value you’re getting in Reggie tonight.

3. Cam Payne ($6,200 DK and $11,000 FD)

Without CP3, and after an excellent game 1, Payne should be locked in for tons of minutes and playmaking opportunities tonight. He’s basically the number 2 playmaking option for PHO tonight, so he’ll have the ball in his hands a bunch and should stuff the stat sheet. I absolutely love Payne’s game, and I could really see him breaking out tonight with a HUGE game.

Dark Horse Plays

This section will provide you with some value towards the lower end of the price spectrum. These guys will also be low ownership plays that give you a good chance to differentiate your lineup from the field!

1. Rajon Rondo ($2,600 DK and $6,500 FD)

Rondo played 22 minutes in game 1 and had a very productive game, so I could see him getting even more minutes tonight. As I’ve talked about at length, the Clippers need to find as many pieces that can be productive offensively without Kawhi in their lineup, and Rondo is definitely one of those guys. At his ridiculously low price tag on both sites, I think the ceiling you’re getting is pretty excellent, and locking him in would allow you to spend up elsewhere.

2. Ivica Zubac ($4,600 DK and $7,500 FD)

In my opinion, the Clippers won’t be able to go small in this series like they were able to against the Jazz; Ayton is able to take advantage of the lack of size in the post, and that means LAC will have to match his size with either Zubac or Cousins, both of which are guys who played well in game 1. I could see a lineup change tonight, but more likely I think Zubac will just get more minutes, and when he gets solid minutes, he plays really well and is quite productive.

3. Mikal Bridges ($7,800 DK and $10,000 FD)

I especially like Bridges on FD where he’s priced behind guys like Morris, Mann, and Crowder, so I’ll DEFINITELY be locking him into my FD showdown lineups. I think the defense will shade over towards Booker a bit tonight, which should lead to more open looks and drive opportunities for guys like Bridges and Crowder. He was fairly quiet in game 1, but I would look for him to be a larger part of the offense tonight.

Lineup Construction Strategy

This section will highlight some game-specific trends and adjustments. Remember, the playoffs force teams to beat their opponent 4 TIMES, meaning game 1 looks A LOT different than game 7 most of the time.

The biggest adjustment I see tonight is LAC not letting Devin Booker operate with as much space as he was able to operate with in game 1. He had too easy of a time getting to his spots, and I think he’ll either see a double-team or will be helped aggressively on tonight, which should mean some of the periphery Suns guys will see more productive offensive nights. Another adjustment I could see LAC making is going a bit bigger; Ayton was able to punish them in the paint in game 1, and I could see more minutes for guys like Zubac and Cousins as a result of Ayton’s dominance there. Finally, the Clippers are going to need to find more scoring from guys other than Jackson and George, and I think they’ll potentially look to some of their bench guys for that boost (Rondo, Kennard, etc). 

Showdown Ownership for DraftKings and Fanduel

Note: The scoring is the same for DK Classic and Showdown, so the points projections are the same and can be found in the downloadable datasheet above.

Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!