• Stephen Curry

    As soon as we all began to count Toronto out, they show why they were the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined to score 65 of the team’s 105 points.

    Looking toward tonight’s affair in the Western Conference, the Thunder have a shot of surprising most NBA fans and analysts by taking a 3-1 lead over the Warriors before heading back to Oakland. On the flip side, Golden State caught a huge break with news surfacing on Monday that power forward Draymond Green would not be suspended.

    Editor’s Note: Test your skills in Hoop Ball’s free FanDuel league. Winners get a shout out at the end of each tournament and hold  all the bragging rights. Click here to join.

    Point Guard

    Stephen Curry ($9,900)

    I fully understand the desire to go after Russell Westbrook, but with how the season went for the Warriors, capturing 73 wins, you’ve got to believe the league’s MVP is going to give an MVP performance. This is a must win game for Golden State and if they have any intention of winning they’re going to need Curry to need to have one of his Curry performances.

    Russell Westbrook ($10,000)

    Yeah, I couldn’t pull him from my card. Westbrook is a walking triple-double and if you give him something to be mad about or something to fight for, then you’re just adding more fuel to a raging fire. The Warriors seem to have no answer for his athleticism and quickness. He’s playing at an MVP caliber level and with the chance to go up 3-1, don’t expect him to slow down anytime soon.

    Shooting Guard

    Dion Waiters ($3,900) / Andre Roberson ($3,500)

    I did this in last week’s leagues and it worked out quite well for me. With so much talent on the table and repetitive lineups, it’s time to spark different ideas. Instead of punting one, two or even three players, I’ve decided to punt an entire position. I’m expecting a combined score of at least 25 FDPs. As you will read down the card, you’ll see that the money saved from punting the shooting guard position gives me the opportunity to stack my roster.

    Small Forward

    LeBron James ($10,100)

    Although his team has been getting beat in the last two outings, LeBron James remains unstoppable for the Raptors. He’s entering Game 5 on back-to-back losses, so you can definitely expect James to be his dominant self in front of the home crowd.

    Andre Iguodala ($4,500)

    You’ve seen his name countless times, but the fact remains that Iguodala is a reliable fantasy option and at $4,500 he’s a bargain. He has the capability of filling a stat sheet from top to bottom and with a series defining game on the line for the reigning champs, you can expect Iguodala to clamp down on defense and be more aggressive on offense.

    Power Forward

    Draymond Green ($9,400)

    The Dubs’ pit bull is about to be unleashed. Green seems to love these ‘count me out so I can prove you wrong’ kind of moments. The sporting news world seems to have done a complete 180, as now many are asking if the Warriors can even get past the Thunder? Has OKC figured out how to defeat the offensive juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors. I’m not ready to move away from the favorite quite yet, especially with Green looking to be very aggressive from the jump.

    Serge Ibaka ($5,000)

    Ibaka has returned to form right when OKC needed him most. Through his last four games, he has averaged 25.8 FDPs per game. What’s helped his production is his rebounding as he’s been averaging 9.2 rebounds over the team’s last four outings. He finished 30.6 FDPs in the Game 3 blowout victory and while I may not be expecting that same type of output from him, it would not be too surprising if he’s able to produce or even surpass his Game 3 numbers. Ibaka has the potential to give you multiple defensive stats, most notably blocks and that’s where you see his value when placing him in your lineup.

    Center

    Andrew Bogut ($3,700)

    It’s another value play here at the center position. However, the expectation from Bogut is for a 15-20 FDP outing. I look for guys that can fill a stat sheet and Bogut is that guy. He’s an underrated passer, can rebound and can block shots. The Warriors are going to need his size against OKC’s Steven Adams and (as I said for every Warriors’ player in my lineup) it’s a game in which Golden State needs to win. As long as you have reasonable expectations, Bogut comes as a very smart value play at just $200 above minimum salary.

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