Round 2 has been the most exciting round of the NBA Playoffs in recent memory. Not counting the games Monday night, every series is either 2-1 or 2-2. Following a week that included a quadruple overtime in Portland, the stakes are heating up as we near the close of Round 2.
NBA Round 2 is a tug of war
Tuesday’s games feature a pair of deadlocked series. Toronto will host Philadelphia while Denver hosts Portland. Portland’s Damien Lillard cooled off a bit last game and Jamal Murray caught fire in Game 4 as the Nuggets recaptured home court.
In Toronto, the Raptors rebounded from a tough matchup in Games 2 and 3 to take home court back despite an injured Pascal Siakam. Thus far, Kawhi Leonard has been the best player in the series, dragging the Raptors to victory as Joel Embid went two of seven from the field, clearly under the weather in another very critical game. I’ve been avoiding Embid all postseason as he seems to be carrying a different ailment into each contest.
For Tuesday’s games, we are targeting more hot players at good value at DraftKings.
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Jamal Murray (DK-$6,500)
Murray has been inconsistent all season, but it seemed to roll the right direction last game as Murray went for 34 points on 10/20 from the field and a perfect 11/11 from the line, including the two game-sealing free throws. Murray is returning home for Game 5 and is substantially cheaper than Lillard, McCollum, and Simmons. He’s a safe value play at home.
Will Barton (DK-$4,000)
Will Barton is the ultimate hot/cold player remaining in the playoffs. He’s a low-priced option worth taking to sacrifice cap space for the bigger dogs in your lineup. I tend to favor the hot/cold 6th man-type players on home court because if things are going well, it’s either because of them, or it means they’re getting quite a bit of playing time.
Kawhi Leonard (DK-$9,500)
This is why we go Will Barton at guard. Kawhi Leonard might be the most valuable player of the entire playoffs at this point. As the Raptors stole Game 4, Kawhi was again the engine that drove them to victory. In a critical Game 5, the Raptors will need everything they can get from Leonard again. Expect another high floor and high ceiling from the lifeblood of the Raptors.
Tobias Harris (DK-$6,700)
Harris was not good in the Game 4 loss to Toronto. He had a lot of good looks from the perimeter and couldn’t cash-in. As the Sixers take on the Raptors on the road in Game 5, Harris should expect to see a lot more opportunity on the perimeter. For the price, he is a good play this week.
Nikola Jokic (DK-$10,500)
Jokic has had a pretty favorable matchup this series with Enes Kanter. The loss of Jusef Nurkic prior to the playoffs was critical to the Blazers and is revealing their lack of depth in the frontcourt. Collins and Kanter just have not been able to contain Jokic on defense and exploit him enough on offense in the series so far. As the pressure builds on McCollum and Lillard, Jokic will continue to face a relatively soft matchup for the remainder of this series.
JJ Redick (DK-$4,500)
It’s back to the value pool as JJ Redick is a go-to player for this very purpose, round after round. Redick is a sharpshooter and a defensive liability. His time on the floor will be focused on getting him clean looks and hiding him against the opposing team’s worst scorer. If the Sixers expect to take this series, they’ll need a big scoring output from Redick.
Serge Ibaka (DK-$3,900)
This is the sneaky play of the week. In Game 4, Ibaka racked up 29 points, largely in part to the inability of Siakam to play effectively on his injured calf. I expect Siakam to play better than Game 4, but it’s also safe to assume Serge is a great value play at the low price of just $3,900.
Danny Green (DK-$4,200)
Green is another hot/cold type of guy. For the minutes he’s going to play, Green should get more open looks if the Sixers decide to finally commit to stopping Kawhi, which seems like it should be a top priority for the Sixers at this point. Until Green starts hitting more threes, he will continue to get looks. Seriously, what are they even doing letting Kawhi carve them up each game?
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who will watch any sport and gamble with anyone willing. This is his second year writing for dailyfantasysports.codes.
Follow Collin on Twitter @CollinHulbert