• By Santino Caccone (twitter: @SantinoCaccone)

    We’re on to day three and Game 2’s of the first-round of the NBA Playoffs. I can’t wait to see what the Bubble has in store for us today. As always, pay attention to beat writers and the news to give yourself any edge that you can find as we creep closer to tip-off. And happy hunting!

    Brooklyn Nets vs Toronto Raptors

    Nets

    Caris LeVert $8,200 – The matchup is not the easiest as the Raptors are just a sound basketball team in every aspect of the game. But LeVert is the most trusted guy on this Nets team and the usage will be there whether the shots are falling or not. I expect more than 14 shot attempts in this one, but LeVert has put up at least seven assists and five rebounds in the past four games, with double-digit assists in two, showing that he’s getting it done in multiple ways as well. While the ceiling may be hard against this Raptors squad, LeVert has a relatively safe floor with the usage he is getting as the guy on this Nets team.

    Jarrett Allen $7,100 – The Raptors had the second-best defensive rating during the regular season, so we know that this is a tough matchup. They held opponents to a league-low 33.7 percent from three-point land. Good thing Allen is not a stretch five, because the Raptors also were bottom-five in opponents offensive rebounds and bottom-eight in opponents blocks per game. Now that is what Allen does. There is room here for Allen to do what he does best and exploit the seemingly only weaknesses to this Raptors team. They have a ton of capable bodies to throw Allen’s way, so it won’t be a cakewalk, but he is set up to return value if the game can stay competitive.

    Raptors

    Kyle Lowry $8,000 – Both Lowry and Fred VanVleet $7,600 are in play here with plus matchups. Game 1 saw the edge go to FVV as he put up a 30-point 11-assist double-double on 8-of-10 from distance. On the other end, Lowry managed 37.25 DraftKings points on 3-of-14 from the field. I would lean with Lowry in this one as the talented guards swap the hot hand. 

    Serge Ibaka $5,700 – Ibaka had himself a big Game 1 in only 26 minutes of action. With the game getting out of hand and Marc Gasol and Chris Boucher backing him up, it is easy to limit his minutes. Ibaka has found his groove over his last two games as he was previously dealing with an injury. Not to mention the matchup suits him well as Jarrett Allen is a top-notch shot blocker, but not a defender, and especially not a jump shot defender, something Ibaka is adept at doing. Ideally we’d rather have the price tag closer to $5,200, but there is still room to bring back solid value here.

    Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets

    Jazz 

    Joe Ingles $5,600 – No Conley means Ingles is ensured more playmaking and ball handling duties. Pair that with the back-to-back 37-point DraftKings games he has against the Nuggets, and there is a lot to like with Ingles in this matchup. He’s not the flashiest of players, but he’s a do-it-all player who averages over five assists a game and shoots 40 percent from distance.

    Jordan Clarkson $4,700 – Clarkson played 39 minutes in the OT Game 1 and finished with 18 points on 17 shots. That is a lot of usage for a guy under 5K. With Conley still out, we can go back to the well with this one as Clarkson should once again be second in shot attempts. If he can pitch in a little of the extras, we’ll be sitting on a nice return.

    Royce O’Neal $3,700 – There are very few, if any, players on this slate that we know without an injury or ejection will be seeing over 30 minutes and cost less than 4K. Well, O’Neale will be doing just that, and because such, makes himself stand out amongst the others in his price range. He scored 29 DK points against the Nuggets during seeding play eleven days ago, so there is room to bring back some solid value here as well.

    Nuggets

    Jamal Murray $7,200 & Michael Porter Jr. $7,000 – Both of these guys are very much in play here with these price tags. I am leaning towards Murray with the way he looked in that second half and the matchup he has without Conley there, but Porter’s shot looked smooth and fluid even though it wasn’t falling. If the release point stays clean, the shots will fall, and he will be looking to insert himself more in Game 2. With both having plus matchups, big-time scoring ability, and the usage to tie it all together, it’ll be a lineup construction decision on which one I ultimately go with more in my lineups. Do you prefer the alternatives at Guard or Forward more on this slate?

    Jerami Grant – $4,600 – He seems to have the minutes edge and matchup advantage in this one, and if that is the case, he is in play at this price tag. With the Nuggets wanting to keep Millsap fresh for a deep playoff run, this seems like the right play. Grant has averaged over 30 DraftKings points and 43 minutes in their past two meetings, and with that kind of run, he is sure to have a safe floor. Add in that he has a combined two rebounds in those two games, and there’s room to grow here.

    Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics

    Sixers

    Joel Embiid $9,900 – Embiid under 10K, in a matchup that he could dominate is going to see him garner a lot of ownership. If you read closely, I wrote could, not should. If you look at his 26 point and 16 rebound performance you might think he played well, but for far too many possessions Embiid did not enforce his will and command the basketball the way that a player of his caliber should. He finished with a mere 15 attempts from the field in 37 minutes. This is a smash matchup for him, and if the Sixers are going to win games in this series without Ben Simmons, they need Joel Embiid to be the alpha and omega of this team. After he goes back and watches the film of that first game, Embiid’s going to realize this and come out on a mission.

    Alec Burks $4,600 – Burks has not only inserted himself as the go-to bench option during the bubble, but he’s playing like the go-to backcourt option in general. In the past five games, Burks has averaged more than 14 shots per game and a fraction under 20 points. Aside from threes, he also chipped in with some rebounds, assists and a few steals here and there, which gives him some fallback help to return value at this affordable price tag.

    Matisse Thybulle $3,400 – Thybulle is only a rookie, and he is already proving to be one of the better defenders in this league. He is going to be a name stay on the All Defense team for years to come, but right now they need his versatility to guard the plethora of wings that the Celtics have. Thybulle is also a solid spot-up shooter who should have some open looks as the Celtics collapse on Joel Embiid.

    Celtics

    Jayson Tatum $9,000 – Tatum had a big Game 1 against the Celtics with 57.75 DraftKings points headlined by 32 points and 13 rebounds. And he should see a small bump in usage in this one with Gordon Hayward out for the next month. The Celtics are Tatum’s team and he is ready to continue showing the world why.

    Kemba Walker $6,800 – It’’s been a while since Walker was a serious DFS play, but it’s also been a while since Walker played 35 minutes in an NBA game. This was certainly the most minutes he’s payed in the bubble, and on top of the usage bump and playmaking bump he’ll see with the aforementioned Hayward out of the lineup, Kemba looked spry in Game 1. He had fluid movements and showed a burst that has been missing as he dealt with the knee injury. If Kemba is ready to ball-out with no restrictions, this may be one of the last times we see his price tag under 7K.

    Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers

    Mavericks

    Kristaps Porzingis $8,900 – He’s priced closely to Luka Doncic $11,000, so there is the chance that many avoid him and simply pay up for his ascending superstar teammate. Doncic is certainly in play after dropping 42 points in his playoff debut, but if you want to save some cash, the Unicorn is not a bad lower-owned pivot. He is also in a good matchup, and after playing in only 20 minutes last game after getting ejected, he should be closer to probable than questionable. He made only 3 shots in his 20 minutes but was still able to put up 25 DraftKings points.

    Seth Curry $3,600 – With so much attention going towards Doncic and Porzingis, there will be shots to go around for some other players. Insert Curry, who is a knockdown shooter, and should get some open looks in the flow of this game. With the big discount he is getting in this series, he is a solid play to still get exposure on this team without going with the big guys.

    Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard $10,000 – Playoff Kawhi is here, and he is a different beast than even the superstar that we get through a load managed regular season. He has been playing heavy minutes inside the bubble and the playoffs are only going to increase that ever-so-slightly. The price tag is going to scare people off, and rightfully so, as he is the second highest price on the slate. With that said, he looks locked-in, and if you are a person who loads up on lineups, he should see some of them.

    Lou Williams $5,300 – After joining the bubble late, because of chicken wing gate, Doc Rivers used the seeding games to get Sweet Lou’s feet wet and legs under him. Seeing Williams play 31 minutes in the playoff opener is music to our ears. He notched 27 DraftKings points on only 10 shots, and a 5X value looks to be the floor in this one with Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell likely not ready for a full complement of minutes.

    Ivica Zubac $4,500 – Zubac put up a double-double in the first game in only 22 minutes. In fact, he’s averaging 12.8 points and 10.3 rebounds in 20.5 minutes in four meetings against the Mavs. He’s not likely to see minutes in the thirties, as Rivers hasn’t been shown a willingness to do so. But his role is safe and made more so by the fact the Harrell played his first game of the bubble, and even in his limited time he is bringing back value. Any extra minutes is a bonus.

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