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Tony Parker, SA (vs. DAL) PG ($6,800):
Defenses to Avoid
Charlotte Bobcats at Miami Heat: Even with a healthy Al Jefferson, the Bobcats were going to have some problems scoring against Miami because of their lack of halfcourt options. With Jefferson clearly hobbled, Charlotte simply couldn't find consistent scoring on Sunday, even despite being squarely in the game until the final minutes. That is scarey with Jefferson's status in the air, and even if he were to play — which he most likely will — he should be far less than 100 percent. Anyhow, despite Miami's clear lack of size inside, they actually struggle more on the perimeter, where they allowed 694 three-pointers during the regular season (24th in the league). That's clearly not Charlotte's strength (25th in made three-pointers) but that could leave the door open for another high-scoring game from veteran Gary Neal (although he won't add much else). Also, Josh McRoberts has double-double potential, but neither player should be expected to have extraordinarily large games.
Offenses to Use
Portland Trailblazers at Houston Rockets: While it took overtime, these two teams got into the 120s just as some national analysts joked that they might. Game 2 should be exactly the same, but with a heightened sense of urgency for the Rockets, who cannot afford to head to Portland down 0-2. Despite the high score, it was particularly surprising to see both teams struggle so much from the perimeter. A result of that was a high percentage of offensive rebounds — which led to the high score — but I'd expect much better shooting nights from Chandler Parsons and James Harden.
Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: None
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As expected, Parker's minutes were up in the postseason opener and he naturally put together a solid all-around game. He averages 19.1 points in 174 playoff games, and while he's no kid anymore, he's arguably San Antonio's most potent offensive option especially against a Dallas team that doesn't have the most athletic forwards. Expect more pick-and-rolls and a bigger offensive output from the Spurs in Game 2.
Other suggestions: Damian Lillard
, POR (at HOU) PG ($7,900); Patrick Beverley
, HOU (vs. POR) PG/SG ($4,900).
Dwyane Wade, MIA (vs. CHA) PG/SG ($7,500):
Similar to Parker, there seemed to be little doubt Wade would like his old self once the postseason began. Gerald Henderson
is somewhat of a difficult matchup, but with Charlotte desperate for offense, more Gary Neal
at the 2 should be expected. On the other end, that's a great matchup for Wade and Miami surely wants to get him more involved in the offense considering his lack of playing time over the last month. If you want to break the bank, James Harden
is obviously a safe play as well.
Other suggestions: Manu Ginobili
, SA (vs. DAL) SG/SF ($5,300); Gary Neal
, CHA (at MIA) PG/SG ($4,200).
Chandler Parsons, HOU (vs. POR) SF/PF (7,400):
As noted above, it's pretty much a must-win for the Rockets because of their road struggles. Parsons had some good looks in Game 1, but couldn't get most of them to fall. If he gets 11 three-point attempts again, it's a safe bet he'll knock a few more down. In addition, it doesn't look as though Kevin McHale is comfortable playing anybody else at the 3 in this series, so Parsons should be over 40 minutes again. His counterpart Nicolas Batum
has the type of length to trouble Parsons, and considering they come at identical prices, presents an interesting contrast considering his ability to add more to the box score. Putting the eggs in Houston's basket, I like Parsons more.
Other suggestions: Nicolas Batum
, POR (at HOU) SF/PF ($7,400); Kawhi Leonard
, SA (vs. DAL) SG/SF ($6,800).
Dirk Nowitzki, DAL (at SA) PF/C ($8,400):
This one is simple: don't expect Nowitzki to have another night like he did on Sunday. Neither Dallas nor San Antonio played particularly well (both shot less than 45 percent) and that should change in some fashion Wednesday night. Nowitzki hasn't been held under 20 points in consecutive playoff games since 2009-10 — a span of 27 games — and it's reasonable to think he'll be featured a little more after shooting just 14 times. Anyhow, don't fall into the trap of thinking Dirk has lost a step; he posted his highest efficiency rating this year since 2007-08.
Other suggestions: Tim Duncan
, SA (vs. DAL) PF/C ($8,200); Terrence Jones
, HOU (vs. POR) SF/PF ($6,200).
Dwight Howard, HOU (vs. POR) PF/C ($9,600):
Like usual, Howard's big game on Sunday probably should have been even bigger thanks in part to shooting below 50 percent from the field and missing eight free throws. But it seems clear he's going to get tons of opportunities in this series — his usage rate was way up on Sunday at 35 percent (it was just 22 percent during the regular season). Look for the Houston offense to go through him again, making him the clear-cut safest pick up front regardless of the salary. It'd be a pretty big surprise if he finishes with less than 20 and 10.
Other suggestions: Chris Bosh
, MIA (vs. CHA) PF/C ($6,400).
(knee) hasn't practiced and is unlikely to go through shootaround on Wednesday, but it would be a surprise not to see him on the floor.
(shin) did not practice Tuesday, but should be back in the starting lineup for Game 2.
(ankle) was not able to play in Game 1.
(illness) did not practice Tuesday because of the flu. Look for an update as the day progresses.
(knee) has been cleared to play in Game 2.