• Now that we’ve entered playoff season, I will be writing up one cash game play and one tournament play just like I did on Wednesday. With few options at each position, I think it’s more beneficial to the reader to go into more depth on two players rather than briefly discuss five players. Tonight is a three game slate where the point totals are low and value is tough to find. Here are two players you cannot ignore.


    Cash Game Play

    Chris Paul ($10,300)

    The Clippers are currently six-point underdogs in what should be a low-scoring game. However, Chris Paul is my favorite play on this slate, and it’s not even close. With Blake Griffin off the floor, CP3’s role expands dramatically. In the two full playoff games Griffin played, Paul had usage rates of 27.1% and 29.6%. In the next three games (Griffin got hurt during Game 3 and played 18 minutes), Paul had usage rates of 37.4%, 34.5%, and 30.6%.

    In the game with the 30.6% usage rate (Game 5), J.J. Redick was red hot. He had 26 points on only 12 field goal attempts (and 10 free throw attempts) with a usage rate of 25.7%, about 6% higher than his rate in any other game this series. J.J. was hot and looked to score nearly every time he touched the ball. This decreased Paul’s usage rate slightly, yet Paul still had a 30.6% usage rate.

    If Redick has a more typical night, Paul’s usage should bump right back up to 32%-35%. Additionally, when Griffin is off the floor, Paul actually gets a bump in pace. The Clippers are faster with Blake on the sidelines which some may not dig deeply enough to discover. Paul has 47+ DraftKings points in each game of the series, and I’d be stunned if that discontinued tonight as the Clips face elimination.


    Tournament Play

    Gordon Hayward ($7,900)

    Fully recovered from food poisoning, Gordon Hayward should be ready to roll again tonight as the Jazz seek to end the Clippers’ season. Gordon was spectacular last game, scoring 27 real points on 9/16 shooting en route to 48.5 DraftKings points. In games he’s been healthy for  in this series, Hayward has scored 38+ DraftKings points in all four.

    Hayward is playing about 40 minutes per game in this series (excluding the game in which he was sick), and his shots are falling. Down the stretch of games this series, the Jazz have relied upon Joe Johnson to take shots. Despite Johnson’s output, Hayward has been productive. If Johnson regresses which seems inevitable, the Jazz will need Hayward to pick up even more of the workload.

    George Hill is not a prolific scorer, and Joe Ingles has been erratic with his scoring. Without Hayward draining shots, the Jazz offense is not super potent. Lastly, as mentioned above, the Clippers pace should be slightly faster with Blake Griffin gone. This is will be the second game Hayward gets to play healthy where Griffin is gone, so he should be a beneficiary of the uptick in pace. I like Hayward in tournaments tonight as he could get hot and score 50+ DraftKings points.



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