The NBA playoffs are underway, and there is NBA DFS on DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft. Greg Ehrenberg breaks down some of the key news in his Switch and Hedge article.
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Is Russell Westbrook Healthy?
There is a lot of evidence that Westbrook isn’t healthy, and I am not sure he should play tonight. Nonetheless, it looks like the Rockets are set on playing Westbrook as many minutes as he can handle, although he remains on a restriction. After how Westbrook looked down the stretch of Monday’s Game 6 loss to the Thunder, it seems like the Rockets might have a better chance to win if Westbrook remains on the sidelines. He took ill-advised shots down the stretch of a game that Houston looked like it had in hand. The Rockets ended up getting outscored by nine points in Westbrook’s 27 minutes.
I don’t want to turn this into a Westbrook bashing column because that’s what Twitter is for. Not only did Chris Paul come up huge down the stretch for the Thunder on Monday, we can’t forget about what looks like an awful trade in hindsight prior to the season. Houston traded Paul and two first-round picks to land Westbrook. While neither future Hall of Famer is in their primes, it looks like Paul is the player with a bit left in the tank. Of the two, Paul is the stronger DFS option tonight.
Eric Bledsoe Questionable Again
Bledsoe is questionable to play for the second consecutive game. He was a game-time decision on Monday and ended up getting ruled out minutes prior to the game locking. At least for Bledsoe, this deflects from the narrative that he can’t play well in the playoffs. For now, he just can’t play in the playoffs. Instead, all the blame shifted to Giannis Antetokounmpo. He was terrible in Game 1 against the Heat, but this isn’t reason to fade Giannis. He’s still the best per-minute fantasy producer in the NBA and a bounce back is my expectation.
If Bledsoe sits, I am willing to go back to the well with George Hill as a value play. Even though he struggled to get much of anything going on Monday, he played 36 minutes, and that is more than enough for me to expect a decent fantasy game relative to his NBA DFS pricing. Due to his poor play, his salary didn’t change for tonight’s game. Hill averages nearly a fantasy point per minute, so scoring around 30 fantasy points is what I expect from him if Bledsoe is out again.
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It’s Time For More Minutes From Bucks Starters
This is infuriating. It’s fun to complain about coaches, and this is what I am about to do. I can’t coach in the NBA, but the one thing I do know is that extending the playing time of starters in the playoffs is a good practice. This is something Mike Budenholzer refuses to do. Giannis played 36 minutes on Monday, which is nice, but he should play more. Brook Lopez was putting up a great game and only played 27 minutes. Lopez scored 24 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3. Surely he can play extended minutes. With Milwaukee down 1-0 in the second round, I think we will finally see close to 40 minutes for Bucks starters. If this is the case, Giannis, Lopez and Khris Middleton are all in line for big nights.
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