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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (6/8)
- 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 PHI at 223 points. The game with the lowest over/under is LAC v UTA at 220 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.
Whenever a new series is starting, it’s unclear how and if lineups and minutes will change as a result of the different matchup. I am especially interested in who the Clippers will start and who will play big minutes; they played a small lineup in their first round series against the Mavs, but I doubt that’s what they do against a Jazz team with Rudy Gobert. Will Zubac get back to his normal workload? Will Serge Ibaka come back and return to his normal playoff self? Or, will the Clippers continue to go small and fade Zubac out of their rotation, instead going to guys like Mann, Kennard, and Rondo? This situation is risky but can also play big in your favor. For example, picking Zubac could go one of two ways; he could start and play 30 minutes, or he could not touch the floor at all. Be careful about picking Clippers players tonight (and even certain Jazz guys) because of the unknown.
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. Donovan Mitchell ($8,200)
Unlike the Clippers, who just came off an extremely tough 7 game series, the Jazz are fully rested after a dominant 4-1 series win, which is especially important for Donovan’s lingering ankle injury. He should finally be at 100%, and given the fact that he gets to go up against a tired LAC team, I could see him really exploding tonight. He should be able to take advantage of the quick turnaround for the Clippers, and perhaps he’ll even get back to some of the ridiculous performances we saw in the bubble from him. Without Conley (which should open up more shots and playmaking opportunities), I think you have to love Mitchell tonight.
2. Trae Young ($9,200)
What I saw from Trae in game 1 was very promising. He was able to effortlessly get past his primary defender (Danny Green) on a number of occasions, allowing him to either shoot his floater or hit Capela/Collins for a lob. He was also able to get his 3 ball off with solid consistency. He’s what makes this team go, and he’s going to continue to perform well in this series despite the fact that he’ll probably be defended by Simmons and Thybulle a bit more tonight. I’ll admit, with the lack of ATL national TV games this season, I didn’t really know the full extent to which Trae Young has been dominating by both scoring and facilitating, but what he’s done in these playoffs so far is special, and I don’t see it stopping now.
3. Ben Simmons ($8,100)
Ben Simmons had a lot of success getting down hill in game 1, and I think he realized that he can really use his size to his advantage in this series. I expect him to continue to attack the paint with aggressiveness, and I expect a big defensive game again from him tonight. He should really look to overpower Young, Bogdan, Huerter, and the other Hawks guards. I expect him to be physical on both ends tonight and to come out with urgency, especially with the unknown of how Embiid’s leg will hold up.
Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)
1. John Collins ($5,600)
John Collins put up 21-2-4 in game 1, so I think you’re getting excellent value for him at only 5.6k tonight. The Sixers will likely be even more aggressive with Trae Young tonight in the pick and roll, which should open up some opportunities for John Collins to play a little bit in that Draymond Green role. Additionally, he should see a good number of open threes tonight as a result of Philly’s over-help on Trae Young. I think the floor is pretty certain tonight for Collins, and he could definitely hit his ceiling, which he came close to in game 1.
2. Royce O’Neale ($5,100)
With Mike Conley ruled out tonight, Royce should be locked in for even more minutes than normal. Also, he’ll probably be the 2nd most important defensive piece for the Jazz this series (besides Gobert), as he’ll have to defend both Kawhi and PG at times, two of the best perimeter players in the league. With the focus that should be placed on Mitchell tonight, Royce will get some open looks from three, and he’s been absolutely stroking it these playoffs.
3. Clint Capela ($7,800)
I like Capela tonight for a lot of the same reasons I like John Collins. I expect the Sixers to aggressively trap Trae Young on the pick and rolls, and that should open up Draymond Green-esque playmaking opportunities for both Capela and Collins. This also puts Capela in a great rebounding position, so he should be successful on the offensive glass as well tonight. I love Capela’s role in this offense, and he should shine in it throughout this series. I also expect them to continue to push the pace and really see how Embiid’s knee holds up.
Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)
1. Joe Ingles ($4,900)
Without Mike Conley, I’m almost positive that Joe Ingles will get the start tonight and will play a ton of minutes. He always starts when any of the starters (besides Gobert) sits, so I think you’re getting excellent value for him in the low tier; he’s guaranteed more minutes than the vast majority of low-tier guys, so you have to strongly consider him tonight.
2. Deandre Hunter ($4,100) *if he plays*
If Hunter plays today, which I think he should and will, he’ll be a big piece to this ATL team. He plays great defense against wing-type guys, so he’s gonna be needed a lot against Tobias and Ben. I think by virtue of that he should be able to see a lot more minutes than most guys in this low-tier tonight, and it’s not like he can’t be successful on the offensive end as well. If he plays, he’ll probably start, and if he starts, he’ll probably show why he’s needed as a versatile wing defender, therefore earning himself big minutes.
3. Kevin Huerter ($4,300)
Even if Hunter plays, Huerter has proven that he deserves to be on the court for solid minutes. He can stretch the floor and has shown a growing ability to get to the hoop and make plays throughout these playoffs and especially in game 1. Like Hunter, I think he’s guaranteed more minutes than a lot of the guys in the low-tier, which definitely makes him one of the safer players in this price range.
NBA PLAYOFF MKF PLAYS OF THE DAY
Seth Curry (+1.5 Threes) MORE Three Pointers Made than Bogdan Bogdanovic
I understand that Bogdan lit it up in game 1, but I expect the Sixers to be very physical with him tonight and limit his three point looks. On the other side of the ball, I like Seth Curry a lot, ESPECIALLY with a +1.5 three point boost. I don’t really understand this line to be honest, as it wouldn’t even be that surprising if Curry had more threes outright. They play similar minutes and take similar numbers of threes, so it’s just about who hits them.
Nicolas Batum (+0.5 Rebounds) MORE Rebounds than Ivica Zubac
First of all, it’s very unclear what Zubac’s minutes will look like in this series. It’s assumed that he’ll get back to his normal minutes against a Rudy Gobert led Jazz team, but I could see Ty Lue mixing it up and keeping going with what’s working. Batum seems like a definite to get minutes due to his ability to guard multiple positions and stretch the floor, and he’s a good rebounder when he’s in there.
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