This is our primary in-depth DFS NBA advice article, and it will be free this season. The goal of this article isn’t just to give you a few plays to plug into your lineup, but to dig a little bit deeper into why projections may (or may not) like certain players. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a better feel for the slate as a whole. Combining the context from this article with the raw data that is available in our Boom/Bust tool, Projections and Ownership Projections should allow you to build strong lineups and make optimal NBA DFS picks for any type of contest on DraftKings and FanDuel.
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I plan to update this article with notes at the top until about 5 p.m. ET each day. After that, be sure to check out the Deeper Dive show with Loughy and me from 5 to 6 every weekday and Live Before Lock in the hour leading up until lock each day on the Awesemo YouTube channel.
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Paul George is the top projected player on the slate, as Kawhi Leonard will once again be sidelined. George has averaged 1.41 DraftKings points per minute and 41.7 minutes per game in seven games played without Leonard this postseason. He has a 35.3% usage rate, 15.3% rebounding rate and 25.6% assist rate in those games. In the five games against Phoenix, George has produced 1.38 DraftKings points per minute and averaged 41.2 minutes per game.
Devin Booker has only averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute in the three games against the Clippers that Chris Paul has been active. Booker has a 32.6% usage rate in those games, however, so he still has an extremely high ceiling. He has also averaged 40.5 minutes per game in those three games. This postseason Booker has averaged 1.06 DraftKings points per minute and 40 minutes per game with a 31% usage rate in 13 games played alongside Paul.
Chris Paul has shot poorly since returning from COVID, but that shouldn’t continue. In the three games against the Clippers, Paul is just 19-for-60 from the field and 2-for-16 from 3. The fact that he has shot at least 19 times in all three games is more important than the fact that he has shot poorly. He has a 30% usage rate and has averaged 1.01 DraftKings points per minute in 37.3 minutes per game against the Clippers despite his poor shooting.
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Deandre Ayton has played well this postseason. Overall, he has averaged 0.98 DraftKings points per minute. In five games against the Clippers, he has produced 1.12 DraftKings points per minute and has averaged 37 minutes per game. Ayton is relatively expensive, but he is a strong option if the salary is there.
Reggie Jackson has also played well this postseason, which is a surprise to just about everyone. In the five games against the Suns, Jackson has produced 0.92 DraftKings points per minute and has averaged 37.9 minutes per game. His salary has increased based on his performance, so he looks more like a secondary option than a priority, but he is playing a big role without Leonard as he has a 26.5% usage rate in the series.
Ivica Zubac is questionable for tonight’s game after missing the previous game. Zubac has played a lot more minutes in this series than he did in the previous series against Dallas. In the four games that he has played against Phoenix, Zubac has averaged 31.1 minutes per game and 0.97 DraftKings points per minute.
If Zubac is unable to play, it benefits several players on the Clippers. DeMarcus Cousins played about 11 minutes without Zubac last game and was extremely productive. His salary has increased, however, so he isn’t as strong an option as he was last slate. Luke Kennard played about 20 minutes last game and didn’t score a point. The playing time is appealing at a very inexpensive price tag, however, if Zubac is unable to play. Zubac’s absence would also open the door for Nicolas Batum, who played about 30 minutes last game and is inexpensive due to the limited playing time that he has received in the games that Zubac has been active.
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Patrick Beverley played 30.9 minutes last game and has now averaged 29.5 minutes per game in four starts against Phoenix. Beverley has averaged just 0.57 DraftKings points per minute in those games. In seven total starts without Leonard and with George this season, including the postseason, Beverley has averaged 0.63 DraftKings points per minute and 27 minutes per game.
Marcus Morris will benefit if Zubac is unable to play because it would solidify his playing time. Morris played 38.8 minutes without Zubac last game, compared to 21, 25, 24 and 22 minutes in the first four games. If Morris plays well, he should be able to find playing time regardless of Zubac’s status, but if Zubac is unable to play, the Clippers will need to give Morris more minutes regardless of how well he is playing. Morris has averaged 0.84 DraftKings points per minute and 30.9 minutes per game in 12 total starts without Leonard and with George this season, including the postseason.
Cameron Johnson has averaged 23.8 minutes per game and 0.81 DraftKings points per minute in the series against the Clippers. In the three games that Paul has been active in this series, Johnson has averaged 0.81 DraftKings points per minute and 23.5 minutes per game.
[osBestBetsSingleGameOdds league=”nba” date=”06/30/2021″ team=”suns”]
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Our DFS basketball projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. View our Yahoo! NBA ownership, our FanDuel ownership projections and our DraftKings NBA ownership projections. Looking for more NBA DFS tonight and the best NBA DFS picks? We also have FanDuel ownership rankings, Yahoo! rankings and DraftKings rankings for today's slate. Check out our DFS NBA rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA projections DraftKings.
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