It’s Memorial Day Weekend but the NBA hits keep coming with the Cavaliers facing down elimination tonight in Cleveland. Can LeBron force a Game 7 like Vegas currently projects? Or will Boston pull off the upset and sit around waiting for whatever team hobbles out of the Western Conference slugfest?
Awesemo’s rankings are already up and ownership projections will be available closer to lock, crucial for helping you build your lineups. Yesterday’s ownership projections and a slight glimmer of hope may have put you onto the 2% owned David West, a necessary player to win DraftKings’ big GPPs, and these kind of cheap and underowned flyers that our premium articles provide can be the differentiation point you need in these tightly priced single-game slates. But without further adieu, my breakdown:
Boston Celtics (97.75 implied points, -7.1 on their last 10 games) at Cleveland Cavaliers (104.25 implied points, -2.2 on their last 10 games)
The Celtics brought Aron Baynes into the starting lineup for the first time since the Philadelphia series to counter some of Cleveland’s “go big or go home” lineup moves and the shift paid off with a win for Boston and an adequate 29 minutes of performance for Baynes. He’ll likely be very popular in a way that could merit a fade but his price is a great value in a slate in need of it. Al Horford was solid but unspectacular at home in Game 5 and I would expect a similar effort from him tonight. He really hasn’t been as great on the road in the playoffs so while I think you can play him I wouldn’t make him a frequent part of my lineups. Terry Rozier has continued to do a good job distributing despite an awful 3-for-15 shooting effort in Game 5. I’m interested in him tonight, particularly as a pivot off of the sure to be highly owned Jayson Tatum. I don’t mind Tatum and really admired his aggression in Boston in his first really good game this series. But with his price on the way up, his age, and the fact that he has to be a major defensive focus for Cleveland today beyond just JR Smith’s aggressive but mediocre defense, I’m more interested in finding other Celtics pieces who may be lower owned and can pick up that slack. Jaylen Brown is another player who could find himself as a nice play tonight given that his usage has remained steady despite less results in Game 5. His shot wasn’t there last time but the looks certainly were. Marcus Smart found himself getting less run while Marcus Morris got more despite not starting as a result of the trickle down effect of playing Aron Baynes. I’d likely go Morris’s way over Smart’s although the ownership for Morris should be significantly higher. Semi Ojeleye found his way out of the rotation, something that greatly confused Ty Lue:
Ty Lue says that the Celtics "threw us (the Cavs) for a loop" by not playing Semi Ojeleye. Lue says he didn't play Kyle Korver during the 1Q because Ojeleye, "his matchup," didn't check in.
— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) May 24, 2018
A dark day for Mr. Five Point Upside and competent coaching but more a reason to not even take a flyer on Semi tonight. Ditto Greg Monroe. The Celtics’ minutes are getting very constricted and coach Brad Stevens will only tighten his rotations more as we get towards the end of this series.
LeBron was a disappointment in Game 5 and fading him was actually the right move in order to win a tournament. I find it hard to believe that will be the case with LeBron back home in a must-win game. At least half my lineups will have LeBron in them, probably more. Kevin Love is a fine play who may get lost in the shuffle due to his pricing and the love Jayson Tatum will get but he’s been pretty close to value and has a lot of upside if the game breaks his way. Tristan Thompson and George Hill would be guys who look like solid values that I feel like are due for some positive regression and Thompson in particular picks up Bs in both points and value in Awesemo’s rankings while George Hill remains encumbered by the existence of being George Hill. JR Smith also seems well overdue for a good game and being back home at a really decent price is the best possible situation you can have for that. Both he and Jeff Green look like the best value plays in my eyes and Awesemo’s. Larry Nance looks look a decent lower priced play while Jordan Clarkson’s 32% usage and 15 minutes of run in Game 5 seem noteworthy. Clarkson would be the only super cheap guy I’d roster today since I don’t think the Celtics get blown out and the Cavaliers likely won’t yield until their season is officially over.
And there we go, a big holiday weekend game many people may be too busy enjoying life to watch. Follow me on Twitter, tune in for our special “Holy shit is anyone going to watch?” livestream on YouTube today at 6PM Eastern and I’ll see you guys soon for more game breakdowns.
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