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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Tuesday-Wednesday

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

All of the available Tuesday contests on DraftKings are two-day contests that include the games on Wednesday. With the playoff field whittled down to eight teams, the two-day contests should assure that daily gamers have plenty of options for each lineup slot. Keep in mind that substitutions can be made up until the tip-off of each individual NBA game on DraftKings, meaning you won't be locked into any Wednesday players that you choose Tuesday.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat: The Nets finished the regular season ranked 25th in pace (93.7), while the Heat (93.3) were 27th. Already, we have the makings of a fairly low-scoring series, though the Heat are efficient enough to pile up points without needing many possessions. This series probably won't be as low-scoring as those pace numbers indicate, but there will almost certainly be fewer points and possessions than in the other series. With the Nets coming off of a tough seven-game series with just one day of rest, Tuesday's game has a good bit of blowout potential. It doesn't help that the Heat looked excellent in the first round, posting a 109.8 offensive rating and 99.6 defensive rating in a sweep of the Bobcats.

Offenses to Use
Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs: These two teams were more middle-of-the-pack in terms of pace during the regular season, with the Blazers (97.5) ranking 10th and the Spurs (97.1) 12th. It's no secret that Portland is much better on offense than on defense, as evidenced by a 104.7 defensive rating that placed them 16th in the league. Only eight teams allowed more points than the Blazers during the regular season, and likewise, only eight teams surrendered more rebounds to opponents. Their shaky defense carried over into the first round, as Portland allowed the Rockets to score 112 points per game with a 109.9 defensive rating. What's more, the Spurs were unstoppable in a Game 7 blowout over the Mavericks. It was truly one of the most dominant team performances we'll ever see in a big game, and San Antonio's key players got to rest for most of the the fourth quarter, making their key players ready to play big minutes if needed.

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Point Guard
Chris Paul, LAC (at OKC), PG, ($8600): I first looked at the Tuesday-Wednesday contests before Monday's games had even started, and Paul was already one of the no-doubt picks. Following a 32-10 performance on 12-of-14 shooting (8-of-9 3Pt) in just three quarters during Monday's Game 1, he's become even more of a must-play. Sure, he'll undoubtedly be heavily used, but this isn't where you should try to deviate from the norm. The value is simply too good, so just take your layup and let Paul shoot for three.

Other suggestions: Russell Westbrook, OKC (vs. LAC), PG, ($9700); Tony Parker, SA (vs. POR), PG, ($7100)

Shooting Guard
Bradley Beal, WAS (at IND), SG, ($6300): Not exactly known for his consistency, the 20-year-old Beal seems to have found that which had eluded him in the past. A strong finish to the regular season carried over to a should-have-been tricky first-round matchup against the Bulls in which Beal registered at least 28 DK points in all five games. Then came Monday's Game 1 victory over the Pacers, which saw Beal record 25 points, seven boards, seven assists and five steals, while shooting 8-of-18 from the floor and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. He'll probably fall quite a bit short of that stat line in Game 2, but he's still an excellent play, with both a reasonable floor and high ceiling. Beal is averaging 41.5 minutes per game (no overtimes) this postseason, and he led the Wizards in minutes in each of the last three games. Grab him while you can, as a price bump is coming for Game 3.

Other suggestions: Wesley Matthews, POR (at SA), SG/SF, ($5800)

Small Forward
Manu Ginobili, SA (vs. POR), SG/SF, ($6000): Heavily rostered for nearly every game in the first round, Ginobili will once again be a popular pick (and rightfully so) as his price is back down to $6000 with the start of a new series. He logged about 30 minutes in all but one of the non-blowout games in the first round, and he topped 30 DK points six times in seven tries. Faced with another offense-first opponent in the Trail Blazers, Ginobili should build on his first-round success.

Other suggestions: Matt Barnes, LAC (at OKC), SF, ($4400); Danny Green, SA (vs. POR), SG/SF, ($4100)

Power Forward

Luis Scola, IND (vs. WAS), PF/C, ($3400): Scola re-entered the rotation in surprising fashion for Monday's Game 1, dropping 12 and five in 27 minutes, while Roy Hibbert failed to record a point or rebound in 18 minutes. The Pacers' rotation has been a bit tricky to deal with this postseason, but I like Scola's chances to top the 20-minute plateau in Game 2. He posted an even plus/minus in Game 1, while Hibbert was an ugly minus-17 despite playing just 18 minutes. A Scola-West frontcourt pairing certainly isn't what the Pacers had in mind, but they appear to be running out of options. There is, of course, some risk here, as Scola could reasonably play anywhere between five-to-30 minutes. With some of the superstars shaping up as particularly attractive options, playing a cheap upside player like Scola is a risk worth taking.

Washington's Drew Gooden ($3,300) is your shakier cellar-dwelling option, as he wasn't even expected to play in Game 1 but then took advantage of a terrible outing by Trevor Booker, who was benched for good in the second quarter. I can't quite pull the trigger on Gooden, and Scola at least seems like a safe bet to avoid the goose egg, with decent upside to boot. If we hear that Gooden is expected to take over Booker's role as the only big guy off the bench for the Wizards, the veteran forward becomes a much safer player. As is, it's unclear whether Gooden, Booker, or some combination of both will get the minutes behind Nene and Marcin Gortat.

Other suggestions: LeBron James, MIA (vs. BRO), SF/PF, ($10,400)

Center
Tim Duncan, SA (vs. POR), PF/C, ($7200): Timmy had a disappointing first round from a daily-fantasy perspective, and the result is a price that's just too good to pass up. Duncan's averaging 36 DK points in 29.4 minutes per game this season, and he typically logs about 35 minutes during the playoffs. He burned me a bit in round one, but the price tag makes it hard not to double down in round two. Duncan's floor is in the range of 25-30 DK points, while his ceiling is around 50. At this price, that's hard to pass up, even on the heels of a disappointing first round.

Other suggestions: Robin Lopez, POR (at SA), C, ($5400)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Hedo Turkoglu (back) is out through Game 2 at the very least.

Game-Time Decision
LeBron James has been nursing a sore quad but doesn't appear to be in any danger of missing Tuesday's game.
Michael Beasley (ankle) did not play in the first round and may not have a spot in the playoff rotation.
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