AC+ NBA 6/24


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)

 6/24 Excel Optimizer/Datasheet

(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)

 6/24 Google Sheets Optimizer/Datasheet

QUICK HITTERS (6/24)

- Today's main slate features 1 game. Nobody is on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest and lowest over/under is LAC v PHO at 221 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 think the biggest outcome of game 1 in ATL-MIL (in terms of adjustments) is the fact that Brook Lopez cannot defend Trae Young in the pick and roll. He got absolutely killed in his drop coverage, and he’s not going to be able to hedge on Trae, so I imagine the Bucks will go more to other guys (Portis, Connaughton, etc). This should benefit Capela, because he’ll be able to score and rebound over a shorter defender. In terms of LAC and PHO, I think LAC will respond tonight. This is a position they’re actually quite comfortable with, and I expect their main guys to be stars tonight, especially since they’re back at home. The Clippers have tried both small ball and their Zubac lineup, and I personally think they’ve looked better with Zubac in there, so I think he’ll get the start tonight and will continue to get big minutes. Given those two adjustments that I discussed, there are some really solid players in that low-tier, which means I’ll be going stars and scrubs tonight. I’ll probably lock in Zubac and Portis and then see what kinds of stars I can get in that top-tier.

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 ($10,300)

The Clippers are in a familiar position. They lost the first two games in both of their first 2 series (against the Mavs and Jazz), and they've lost the first 2 here as well. In their past 2 series, this was the point where PG and Kawhi really started taking over, and I could see that happening again tonight for PG, who had a rough game 2. He’ll be very aggressive early and often, and the home court advantage should help him tonight.

2. Trae Young ($10,000)

Trae Young got WHATEVER he wanted in game 1, and it’s going to take multiple adjustments from the Bucks in order to slow him down. Perhaps these adjustments will happen eventually, but I don’t see them figuring it all out in game 2, especially because Trae will have a counter to whatever they throw at him. Also, even after Young hit his shimmy three in game 1 (and the Bucks got fed up with him), he still continued to dominate after, which tells me the Bucks have a lot to handle moving forward.

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300)

Giannis had a very productive game 1, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Bucks to a win. Giannis was the player in the huddle that showed frustration at the ease with which Trae Young was scoring, and I think he takes some of that anger out on ATL in game 2. He deferred a bit to Jrue and Khris in game 1, but I think he’ll be a lot more aggressive going to the rim and finishing with contact in game 2.

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

1. Reggie Jackson ($6,300)

As long as Reggie Jackson is in the 6k range, I’m really going to like him. He’s been playing huge minutes every game, and without Kawhi in the lineup, he’s taken on that secondary playmaking role; he’s played super well, he’s shot the ball super well, and I don’t really know why he’s 6.3k given the consistency with which he’s been producing, not to mention his 30+ point ceiling.

2. Clint Capela ($6,700)

The big lineup with Brook Lopez was really unsuccessful in game 1, and I see the Bucks going away from Lopez a bit in an attempt to do a better job defending the pick and roll, specifically Trae off of the pick and roll. So, presumably with Lopez playing fewer minutes, Capela will have a much easier time scoring in the paint and on the boards (even though he put up 12 and 19 in game 1). I expect the Bucks to shade over a bit to Trae’s floater, which should open up some lobs.

3. Marcus Morris ($5,300)

Marcus Morris can flat out score the basketball, and since he’s had a rough first 2 games in PHO, I expect him to respond with aggression and anger tonight while back at home. He’s going to need to be the 3rd scoring option if LAC is going to be successful tonight, and once Morris hits a shot, it can be over from there for the defense. I really like Morris’ upside at only 5.3k tonight.

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

1. Ivica Zubac ($4,200)

Zubac played 34 minutes last game, and if he sees that many minutes tonight, I would almost guarantee he’s going to return value on his 4.2k price tag. He put up 14 and 11 last game, and I expect Ty Lue to continue starting him and playing him a lot given how solid he is. He can block shots at the rim and is surprisingly versatile on defense, and he’s actually able to punish Ayton in the paint a bit, which is not something Batum or Mann do.

2. Bobby Portis ($3,100) 

In only 15 minutes in game 1, Portis put up 11-1-8. As I talked about earlier, I don’t see the Bucks continuing to look to Lopez in this series as a result of how unable he is to defend Trae in the PnR, so Portis should be someone that takes a lot of his minutes. He’s more versatile on defense, and if he’s in the game, he’s going to get points and rebounds, because he has a knack for both.

3. Pat Connaughton ($3,700)

Pat has been the leading minutes guy on the Bucks bench in these playoffs, and I don’t think that’ll change now. Especially due to Lopez’s inability to defend in the PnR, the Bucks will likely go small a lot more in game 2, which means Pat could see even more minutes than he’s been seeing. He missed some open threes in game 1, but he’s going to continue to get those shots, and it’s just a matter of if they go in.

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. Paul George ($11,200 DK and $15,000 FD)

Paul George has already been in this position (down 0-2) twice in these playoffs, and he’s responded very well both times. I expect him to be ultra-aggressive from the start tonight, and that should bode really well for his fantasy numbers. He’s shown a lot of fight in these playoffs, and after a rough game 2, I think he’s going to respond tonight, especially at home in front of the crowd.

2. Reggie Jackson ($7,800 DK and $12,500 FD)

Reggie Jackson is currently the 2nd best player on the Clippers, and I will not entertain an argument otherwise; he’s had an absolute breakout playoffs, and he’s underpriced on every slate and in every contest. He scores, he passes, he rebounds, he plays defense, and he’s going to be a huge piece for the Clippers tonight if they want to make this a series. He’s back at home, and I expect him to continue to light it up from three and attack the rim with confidence and aggression.

3. Jae Crowder ($5,800 DK and $10,500 FD) *especially on DK*

Crowder had a great game 1 and a subpar game 2, but I think he gets a big boost from CP3 returning to the lineup tonight. Tons of pressure and help will be focused on both Chris Paul and Devin Booker, and that’ll open up 3 pointers for Crowder and Bridges on the perimeter. In addition to that, Crowder has been playing big minutes and will continue to get rebounds and defensive stats, so I think the ceiling you’re getting with Crowder is awesome, especially on DraftKings.

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. Ivica Zubac ($5,200 DK and $9,000 FD)

Zubac played 34 minutes in game 2, and I think he’s going to continue to get the start and play lots of minutes tonight, because the small ball lineup hasn’t gone well against this PHO team. And IF Zubac gets 30+ minutes again in game 3, I would feel very confident in his ability to return value, and I would also really like his ceiling. He’s surprisingly skilled and should be able to get some easy buckets off of PG and Reggie Jackson drives.

2. Rajon Rondo ($2,800 DK and $7,500 FD) 

I could see Rondo playing more minutes being an adjustment for the Clippers. He can defend, and he brings calmness and IQ to the LAC offense, so I could really see him getting more minutes in this game 3. Whenever he plays, he seems like he’s effective, and it’s getting to the point in the series where Ty Lue usually tries something new. Also, Rondo is priced behind Beverley on both sites, which is quite frankly a crime.

3. Mikal Bridges ($7,400 DK and $10,000 FD)

As I talked about earlier with Crowder, I think both Bridges and Crowder will be able to get more open looks from 3 than they’ve seen this series so far. With CP3 inserted back into the lineup tonight, he should operate in the pick and roll like he always does and should find shooters on the 3 point line spotting up. We’ve also seen a growing ability from Booker to get his teammates involved, and I expect both of them to have tons of pressure on them tonight and therefore will look to get their teammates involved.

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.

With Chris Paul back in the lineup tonight, a couple things should change. Cam Payne is going to go back to his backup point guard role, and will therefore most likely not be worth his price tag in any of the contests on either site. The other thing that’ll happen with CP3 back in the lineup is that he’ll be able to get his shooters involved better than they have been this series. With the amount of help and attention that both CP3 AND Book require, Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges are going to be able to get more open looks than they’ve gotten in these first 2 games. 

The other thing I expect to happen tonight is a big response from the Clippers across the board. They’re used to being in this situation - they actually seem comfortable in it - and I expect them to have a lot of confidence in themselves to take home a win tonight. I think there will be big performances from everyone; PG and Jackson, but also guys like Morris and Zubac and the rest of the bench. Ty Lue is calm, and so is their team, so expect a good performance tonight, especially back at home.

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!