Welcome to your daily NBA DFS digest at FakeTeams, gents. Every day I’m here with a handful of pro-tips to roster a winning team just a few hours from now. On top of that, I’ll bring you some news, statistical trends from the past few days, some studs/duds from the last slate of games, and much more!
Hoop Land Times: News and notes from around the Association
- One game into the Finals, and they might be over already...
- The Lakers snatched the first W of the Bubble Grand Finale by demolishing an injury-ravaged Heat team. All of Butler, Bam, and Dragic suffered different levels of injuries and had to leave early or played banged up a bit.
- Miami looked good for a quarter... until the Lake Show started working and the injuries popped for the Heat.
- It was always going to be hard for Miami to beat the Lakers, but given what they’ve done so far this postseason it is almost unthinkable to watch a 4-0 sweep happening here. Let’s hope it doesn’t take place.
- Both Bam and Goran have been tagged as “doubtful” for Game 2 tonight. Keep an eye on the news throughout the day, but things don’t look too good for any of them... Anyways, it’s the Finals, so even if limited they will probably be there on the court.
- Adam Silver doesn’t want another bubble-wrapped season next year, but he’s not entirely ditching that possibility depending on how the pandemic progresses over the next few months. The 2021 season is expected to start in January.
- The Philadelphia 76ers have made it official: Doc Rivers will be coaching the team for five years. Oh, and the pair of Embiid and Simmons will remain in town, just in case.
- With that opening out of the way, the Clippers are next in the most-appealing rankings. And with Doc in Philly, it all points toward Ty Lue getting the gig in LA.
- The Jerami Grant sweepstakes are heating up: the Hawks, Suns, and Pistons will make a run at the free-agent forward. The Nuggets want to re-sign him, and he wants to come back, but unless the bag gets filled that won’t happen. Up to Denver to pay the man.
- LaMelo Ball has dropped out of the NBA combine but will still take interviews with team representatives. No risking the biscuit physically for the younger of the Balls. Smart, business decision.
- Victor Oladipo ditched rumors about his potential exit from the Pacers. Doesn’t look like he will force a trade or anything like that, but he also made it clear on an IG session that he wants to win, which Indiana... Meh.
- While it was an option for him since he entered the L, it looks like Marc Gasol is accelerating his decision of coming back to Spain to play for his first-club Barcelona starting next season. Nothing confirmed, but the rumors have been all over the place.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- Unstoppable one-two Lakers punch that of Davis and James. AD led the slate with his 59 DKFP, but James was so close with 58 himself. AD did it to the tune of a 34-9-5 line with 3 blocks, while Bron fell one dime short of a trip-dub with a 25-13-9 line in 36 minutes.
- The best Heat was Jimmy... who could only reach 37 fantasy points in his 33 minutes of playing time. The line was on the low side of things at just 23 points with 2 boards, 5 dimes, and 2 steals... Butler shot a very good 61.5% from the field, but that was the only positive.
- Miami couldn’t put the Lakers on much trouble, but the ROI King award went to... Kendrick Nunn! We’ll see how damaged the Bam/Dragic/Butler goods are, but no matter what it looks like the Heat will need everybody to step up a notch and Nunn was the one doing so in Game 1 with 28 fantasy points. Nunn was able to drop 18 pops on LA, including 2 triples. He also grabbed 5 boards somehow, to go with 2 dimes. Danny Green was good for the Lake Show stuffing the line with a 11-4-1-2-3 performance on the night.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Bam Adebayo! I picked him as someone to hate at least on the first game of the Finals, and although he didn’t get the full DOTS-experience (he got injured and played just 21 minutes) things weren’t going too well for Bam during his run. Adebayo scored just 8 points and rebounded 4 rocks, but that was it. No more to find in his stat line. Sucked to watch. Dragic, also banged up, put on another injury-related dud.
- One dub-dub via points and rebounds (James’ 25-13) and none on points and assists.
- Three players with 2 steals (Butler, KCP, Dragic) and two (AD and Danny Green) with 3 blocks each.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for today’s slate
- Love: (PG/SG) Kendrick Nunn, MIA: Nunn has been an afterthought for most of the postseason. He’s averaged 14 mpg in the 10 games he’s played since the series against Indiana, and his average line reads 4-1-1, which is putrid at best. That being said, it is probable that Dragic misses time or is quite limited after getting injured in G1. In 20 minutes covering for Goran, Nunn reached his best line since Aug. 14th with an 18-5-2 performance committing zero turnovers or personal fouls. He shot an impossible 72.7% from the field and even hit 2 triples. I’m not saying he will be booming against the Lakers and reaching 50 fantasy points, but he has everything going his way to play a heavier role at least for a game or two starting today.
- Hate: (C) LeBron James, LAL: Can’t hate on BronBron. He’s reached 50 DKFP in all but two of his last 14 games, which is mental. But I’m picking him as the worst play of those high-priced (AD, Butler, LBJ). LeBron took it easy in G2 against Portland in the first round and the same happened against Denver in G2 of the WCF. I’m betting on another “resting” day for Bron, who has played 40 and 36 minutes in back-to-back games. He hasn’t done that since the second and third games against Houston, so I think he might get his run cut to around 30 minutes on the night. He could very well reach monster numbers in that time, sure, but he might merit the price he’ll be tagged with.
- Love: (PG) Jimmy Butler, MIA: With Dragic and Bam banged up—and Butler semi-injured too, mind you—I have to think Jimmy will need to eat big-time tonight and get his usage to a sky-high level if Miami wants to have a chance at tying the series at 1-1. Miami is not a one-man wrecking crew, far from it. But today that must change as it would be unthinkable for them to compete if Butler finishes with his average 22.7% usage rate against Boston. He was at just 23.9% in G1 taking just 13 shots, but he’s had games of 20+ fga in the postseason and he should get there tonight. In the four postseason games he’s logged at least a 27% usage rate and attempted at least 15 shots Butler has scored 48, 53, 43, and 38 fantasy points, and topped at 40 pops, 9 boards, and 8 dimes. That’s the Butler I expect in Game 2.
If you have any comment or question about the daily column, tonight’s games, players involved in them, or even season-long fantasy NBA topics, just drop it below or reach out to me on Twitter at @chapulana and I’ll get back to you as soon as I grab a keyboard!