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NBA DFS Playoff Primer (FREE!): Can You Trust Brook Lopez to Bring It Versus The Raptors Again At Home?

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Game 2 of the Western Conference finals featured some interesting new wrinkles like the addition of Meyers Leonard as well as the emergence of Seth Curry, something we were able to project thanks to the plus-minus success I wrote about in yesterday’s NBA DFS Playoff Primer. I’ll bring that same approach today to assess what we might see in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, a situation where the Raptors would undoubtedly like to plug some of the holes that caused them to get substantially outplayed down the stretch after mostly holding a lead all game. What are the NBA DFS ramifications of what we saw in Game 1 and how can you take advantage in tonight’s single-game Showdown slates? I’ll walk you through everything I observed from the game as well as the research and data since in our latest Awesemo.com NBA DFS Playoff Primer for tonight’s Game 2 between the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.

Toronto Raptors (105.5 implied points, -8.9 on season average) at Milwaukee Bucks (111.5 implied points, -6.6 on season average)

 

Kawhi Leonard’s price remains high but with 26 shot attempts in Game 1 along with 42 minutes, I’ll be there with him today. This matchup will not be as easy for him as the Philly one was but we knew that going in. The run and usage are all that matter and it’s hard to imagine either of those factors changing; in my opinion the only reason to not have him in lineups is just to get some different looks with other guys

Kyle Lowry had a big Game 1 with a hyperefficient 10-for-15 shooting day with 7-for-9 from deep and he should continue to get those looks. Whether they fall or not is a separate issue for Lowry given his mediocre 34.7% shooting from deep on the year

Marc Gasol before the series seemed like someone who should see less minutes as the series goes on but he was productive from a fantasy perspective and realistically needs to be willing to shoot even more given the open looks Milwaukee allowed him from deep. Gasol had 33 FP on 2-for-11 shooting, including 2-for-7 from deep, but was in Toronto’s two best plus-minus groups in Game 1 so there logically may not be as much of a reason to go to Serge Ibaka as it seems on paper (even though I will continue to have some Ibaka exposure in case they go that way). Assuming he gets the same run, Gasol looks like the best value out of Toronto’s starters

-As I speculated before Game 1, Pascal Siakam could a ton of open looks from deep but was brutal with 6-for-20 shooting and 2-for-9 from deep. He may be a guy to target more heavily back at home if he has a bad Game 2 but if his shot starts to fall, he could really blow up with a ceiling that would break the slate

Danny Green got some looks from deep but not as much as the other guys and was just 1-for-4 on the day. He shoots at a 45.5% clip on the year from deep, best on Toronto, so Milwaukee is likely to continue to contest his looks all day unless the other guys hurt them

Serge Ibaka appeals to me the most out of the bench guys with only Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet seeing any minutes besides him. Ibaka would only be useful to me in lineups without Gasol on the assumption it’s a pivot away while I still could see a minor bit of interest in VanVleet given that he’s been a part of many of Toronto’s best units vs Milwaukee all year

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 60 FP in 37 minutes of Game 1 and they seem unlikely to uncover an answer to him as the series goes on. Giannis works as a Captain if you can afford him but I’ll have him in both positions all series

-I figured that Khris Middleton would see the most Kawhi defense and he did indeed, though he still had 32.75 FP despite 4-for-12 shooting. The shooting won’t get easier for him this series so while he can work at his price, he’s far from a lock like he may have been vs Boston

Eric Bledsoe’s poor run continued in Game 1 and I’ll still have some exposure today because of his price being down. He still has 12 shots which does offer some opportunity if he heats up but his confidence seems super low right now. His performances in the last few playoff rounds make him hard to trust at much volume

Malcolm Brogdon’s confidence was not low and he may be a safer play than Bledsoe even though his more expensive price is not the most appealing. Brogdon had 24.25 FP in 27 minutes and he closed the game out in addition to being in Milwaukee’s most effective plus-minus group of him, Bledsoe, Middleton, Lopez, and Giannis. It seems likely that Nikola Mirotic loses minutes this series if things continue as is and Brogdon would definitely benefit

Brook Lopez looked like a new man in Game 1 with a monster 57.25 FP effort on 12-for-21 shooting along with 11 boards. If Gasol is out there again, Lopez should continue to feast with his athleticism and caginess making him look like his most vintage self versus the slightly slower footed Gasol. Even if Toronto moves to Ibaka, it seems hard to imagine Lopez being materially affected as long as the usage doesn’t flow away from him. And it seems unlikely to do that with Mirotic looking a bit lost on the defensive end, Middleton well-handled by Kawhi, and Bledsoe way in his own head with his minutes threatened by the other guards

Nikola Mirotic was impacted by both Lopez’s success as well as Brogdon’s while he was also hurt by his own defensive weaknesses, a situation where he was on most of Milwaukee’s worst plus-minus groups. I think he still can heat up and rebound enough, particularly if Lopez falters, and his 22 FP in 25 minutes weren’t that bad productionwise. But losing a start to Brogdon would be tough for him to dig out of at his current price and it seems likely he sees some less minutes as the series goes on

George Hill still saw 27 minutes last game with Bledsoe’s mediocrity and despite Brogdon’s reemergence. I’d have some exposure still because he can do better than the 0-for-6 day he had in Game 1

Pat Connaughton was the most adversely affected by Brogdon and he’d be mostly out of the mix for me at this point. I’d likely take a shot at Ersan Ilyasova over him at this point but definitely Hill over both those two

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags and I’ll see you back on Monday for some more NBA DFS Playoff Primers.

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