• It’s been a sub-par playoff year. The basketball we’ve seen has been either blowout games or close games because of bad play from both teams. However, now we get to see four teams battle it out to see who makes it to the NBA Finals. In the East, we have the No. 1 seeded Cavs facing the No. 2 seeded Raptors.

    Toronto has been a roller coaster through the postseason while the Cavs have shown their superiority. The Cavs are viewed as the heavy favorites and rightfully so. The Raptors are going to continue to be without their big man, Jonas Valanciunas, as he is still out nursing an ankle injury. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan finally had themselves a breakout game in Game 7 against the Heat, but can they keep that going against LeBron James and the Cavs?

    In the West, we had ourselves a big upset as the Thunder knocked off the No. 2 seeded San Antonio Spurs. OKC is an offensive juggernaut and they are playing at such a high level thanks to their star players Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder will now face the reigning champions in the Golden State Warriors. It’s going to come down to who can stop who in this series, and if the games we saw during the regular season are any indication of what we will see in this playoff series, we are in for a big treat.

    There’s a lot of talent on the table and with just four teams to choose from, you’re going to see many lineups looking the exact same as yours. That’s why my advice to you would be – don’t be shy about taking risks. When looking over these two-day cards, money strategy is going to be pivotal in creating a winning roster.

    Do you think you can build a better lineup? Test your skill in Hoop Ball’s free entry FanDuel league. Click here to join.

    Point Guard

    Kyrie Irving ($7,300)

    Irving has had over a week to rest and prep for the Eastern Conference Finals. He has been great throughout the entire postseason and I wouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon. The Raptors’ defense has been mediocre and at times non-existent. If Irving is given the opportunity to take an open jumper or carve his way to the basket, he is going to capitalize. I know it seems crazy to fade from Westbrook and Curry, but as you will see later in the card, the money will be spent to get more talent in other positions.

    Cory Joseph ($3,700)

    Joseph is a guy that I have been placing in my roster quite a bit recently. A big reason why is because of his salary. Just $200 above minimum salary, Joseph has the potential to get you 20-25 FanDuel points. He only saw 19 minutes of action in Game 7, but that was due to Kyle Lowry finally having a slump-breaking game. You can expect Joseph to see his normal 25-28 minutes, which is plenty of time for him to put up fantasy numbers.

    Shooting Guard

    DeMar DeRozan ($7,900)

    DeRozan seems to finally be breaking out of his postseason slump, averaging 37.2 FDP’s over his last three games. This could be a bit of a risk if the Cavs look to put LeBron on DeRozan, but like I said earlier, you got to risk it to get the biscuit. The Cavs don’t have any big-time shot blockers down low, so DeRozan should be attacking their big men relentlessly.

    J.R. Smith ($4,900)

    Smith is getting kind of expensive, but with how well he has been shooting the basketball it’s hard not putting him in your lineup. I understand the reasoning of pairing Klay Thompson and DeRozan together, but Smith has 30 FDP potential. Plus, you’re going to need to have a good small forward on your card, so I wouldn’t spend too much at the two guard position.

    Small Forward

    LeBron James ($10,000)

    It’s a coin flip for me between Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Both hold the same price tag and both have the potential for 60 FDP nights. I had to come to a decision, and as you can see, I chose James. What swayed me was his opponent. The Raptors have not been strong defensively and even if they throw DeMarre Carroll at James, I still don’t think that is enough to slow him down.

    Andre Iguodala ($4,500)

    Iguodala has been a hit-or-miss guy during the postseason (and throughout the entire season for that matter). However, I’m going with Iguodala, not for his offensive output, but for his potential defensive stats. The Warriors are going to be throwing everyone they can at OKC’s two superstars and one of their best defenders just so happens to be Iggy. I’m expecting a 20-25 FDP night.

    Power Forward

    Draymond Green ($9,600)

    As I said on Thursday’s episode of the Fantasy NBA Today podcast, I’m always putting Green in my lineup. He does a little bit of everything and takes pride in being the Warriors’ pit bull. He looks to have a good matchup against the struggling Serge Ibaka and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Warriors look to have Green’s usage go up a bit more. His price has dropped $800 and at $9,600 you should feel confident placing Green in your lineup.

    Kevin Love ( $7,700)

    Love was huge for the Cavs in their series against the Hawks. He was able to play both inside and out while also getting plenty of looks from beyond the perimeter. Love has a very favorable matchup against Patrick Patterson and if the Cavs continue to use Love the way they did against Atlanta, you can expect to see him having a big night.

    Center

    Andrew Bogut ($4,400)

    Bogut is currently listed as a game-time decision, but after going through practice on Sunday, all signs seem to be pointing to him playing (stay close to Hoop Ball for updates on his status before tip-off). Bogut is my biggest value play. Not only has his fantasy numbers fluctuated, but so have his minutes. However, even in limited minutes, Bogut was able to score over 20 FDPs in three out of his last five games. Steven Adams is a tough, young center and the Warriors need to throw some size his way.

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