AC+ NBA 6/4-6/5


1) Today's Datasheets cover 2 days, Both Friday and Saturday. Draftkings is completely normal (because DK offers 'classic competition' spanning both days). For FanDuel we ONLY have the datasheet and point projections. For those playing Showdown competitions on FanDuel, be sure to give our Writeups a much more serious look.

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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets

 6/4 Excel Optimizer/Datasheet

(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)


- 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 MIL v BKN at 239.5  points. The game with the lowest over/under is LAC v DAL at 216.5 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.

You’ll notice that the top guy from each tier is a Bucks player; that’s because the Nets play at a fast pace and aren’t a great defensive team, especially in the paint. I’ll be hunting MIL players that are able to attack the paint and use their size to exploit BKN’s defense, because I think that’s what their game plan will be in game 1. Other than the Bucks guys, I think the other thing to exploit here is the potential Boban start. If he starts again, I think you have to get him into your lineup. He’ll probably return value, and he allows you to spend up on some other guys 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. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800)

With a new opponent on the horizon, there are a whole new set of weaknesses to exploit for Giannis. He went up against a tough MIA defense in round 1 (who I think matched up fairly well with him), and now he has a way more favorable matchup in round 2. He’s going up against a BKN team that doesn’t really have much of a rim protector, and they aren’t that big or long. Giannis should be able to dominate them in the paint, and I think the Bucks will make a strong effort to establish Giannis’ dominance early on.

2. Kawhi Leonard ($9,600)

With his back up against the wall, in what is literally a must-win game, I think Kawhi shows out. He heard the noise in the bubble about his lack of clutchness and leadership, and I think he will  attack early and often tonight to make a statement. He should take tons of shots, and he should have an extra level of urgency in game 6 knowing that he has to win to stay alive. With Kawhi STILL under the 10k threshold, I find it really hard not to like him in this top-tier.

3. James Harden ($10,900)

James Harden has clearly loved playing for the BKN nets this postseason; unlike his run with the Rockets, he has multiple teammates he can depend on in big moments, and the entire offensive scheme doesn’t rest on his shoulders. It’s allowed him to pick his spots more, and he’s been truly dominant. He’s a triple-double threat every night, and I expect him to come out ready for game 1 - he’s probably the most rested he’s ever been in a second round playoff series (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch some old film of him in the playoffs with HOU).

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

1. Jrue Holiday ($7,600)

I think you’re getting excellent value with Jrue Holiday in this mid-tier, especially considering he’s $300 less than Middleton (someone who I think has just as good a chance at popping off). For a player like Jrue, who’s really effective at taking the ball to the hoop and relies a lot on his strength, I think he’ll be really successful against a BKN team that has no rim protection, let alone no excellent perimeter defenders. Jrue should look to attack early and often (like Giannis) in an attempt to make BKN change their scheme.

2. Marcus Morris ($5,100)

Dallas went to a zone for a good part of the 1st and 3rd quarters in game 5 and it opened up lots of threes for Marcus Morris and some of the other periphery guys. I expect DAL to go back to the zone with Boban in the game, and I think it will continue to open up shooting opportunities for Morris. Given his price tag, and the minutes he’s locked in for, I think you’re getting solid value for Morris at the bottom end of this middle tier.

3. Tim Hardaway ($6,100)

Remember when Kristaps was supposed to be Luka’s sidekick? Well, that guy has turned into Tim Hardaway Jr. He’s scored more than 20 points in 3 of the 5 games this series, and I think he’ll see some openings tonight in the offense as the Clippers try to react to Luka’s ridiculous game 5 performance. If the Mavs are going to close out this game, they’ll have to rely on someone other than Luka to have a big performance, and that guy will definitely have to be Tim Hardaway.

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

1. Brook Lopez ($4,900)

As I mentioned earlier, the Nets are not nearly as big or long as the Bucks, and I expect MIL to try to exploit that as soon as possible. Brook Lopez will probably be guarded by Blake Griffin, and I could see them going to Lopez early, because that’s just a size mismatch that you need to attack. If they start Claxton or Deandre Jordan, Brook should be able to excel at the 3 point line, as either Jordan or Claxton would be worried about protecting the rim from the Nets big 3.

2. Boban Marjanovic ($3,000) *IF he starts*

Boban started the last game and played 20 minutes, putting up 9 and 7. He played pretty well while he was in there and was able to cover lots of ground in the zone, so I could see the Mavs going back to Boban again tonight. And if they do, you’re getting excellent value for Boban at the price minimum; he barely has to do anything to return value, which he would likely be able to do in even 15 minutes.

3. Bobby Portis ($4,000)

This is a risky play (because I don’t know what his minutes will look like), but I think Portis has a chance to be a big part of this series. BKN likes to go small, and I could definitely see Portis fulfilling that small ball 4 or 5 man, matching up with someone like Blake Griffin or Bruce Brown. He allows for more switching on defense, and he adds another guy offensively that can go get his shot. If I had to guess, Portis will see slightly more minutes than last series.


Kawhi Leonard MORE than 30.5 Points

In a game with his back up against the wall, and after a year in which he was disappointing in important playoff games, I think Kawhi Leonard comes to play tonight. He’s gotten basically whatever he’s wanted this series against whoever’s been guarding him, and I expect him to REALLY exploit those matchups tonight in what is a very important game for his legacy.

James Harden MORE than 10.5 Assists

Harden has gotten whatever he’s wanted in these playoffs so far, and no matter who’s guarding him in this series, I expect him to get whatever he wants again. Against a Bucks team that is excellent at defending the paint, I expect Harden to get by his guy and do A LOT of kicking out to shooters; the way to combat MIL’s size and length is to make them close out to great shooters on the perimeter multiple times in a possession, and I think Harden will be a key in that sense.

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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!