Defense To Avoid
Washington Wizards, vs. Atlanta Hawks: While the Rockets certainly turned in an impressive defensive effort against the Thunder in Game 1, it’s difficult to imagine a similar result as an encore. Meanwhile, the Wizards quietly stymied the Hawks over their last three regular-season meetings (92.6 points per game) and were solid in Game 1, allowing just 43.6 percent shooting overall, 28.6 percent from three-point range and forcing 19 turnovers.
Offense To Use
Houston Rockets, vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: While Houston might be hard-pressed to turn in as dominant a defensive performance in Game 2, they should still do their fair share of scoring. Although OKC was effective defensively over the first two regular-season meetings against the Rockets (102.5 points per game), Houston scored 118 points in Game 1 and averaged 127.5 points over the last two regular-season games against the Thunder, with all of those contests coming at Toyota Center. The Rockets also averaged 117.2 points per game (on 46.3 percent shooting) at home this season, furthering their case.
Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: None
DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
James Harden, HOU vs. OKC ($12,000): It’s essentially impossible to go wrong with any of the top three options at guard Wednesday, but since we have to hone in on one, Harden gets the call. The Beard went off for 65.75 fantasy points in Game 1 and is now averaging 53.7 fantasy points against the Thunder over five games this season. Just like Russell Westbrook, who checks in $1,100 pricier, Harden is a threat for a triple-double any time he’s on the floor and is a good bet to return solid value despite his elevated price as a result.
Stephen Curry, GS vs. POR ($8,600): Dennis Schroder ($7,400) and C.J. McCollum ($7,300) are certainly appealing at this level if you need to save, but Curry is underpriced relative to upside. He scored 44.25 fantasy points in Game 1 and is averaging 42.6 fantasy points (on 48.7 percent overall shooting and 46.2 percent from three-point range) over four games against the Blazers this season. Factoring in that Kevin Durant is legitimately questionable for Game 2 with a calf strain – and that the Blazers gave up the third-most points (24.1) to point guards during the regular season – Curry makes for a particularly appealing play.
Evan Turner, POR at GS ($4,800): Turner looks set to see plenty of minutes during the postseason after tallying 36 in Game 1 and parlaying them into 34.5 fantasy points. The versatile veteran is capable of filling out the stat sheet any time he’s on the floor and is now averaging 22.9 fantasy points over 27.3 minutes in five games against the Warriors. With a sub-$5K price and a virtual guarantee of at least 30 minutes, Turner projects as one of the better point-per-dollar values Wednesday.
Draymond Green, GS vs. POR ($7,500): Green exploded for 66.0 fantasy points in Game 1 on the strength of a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double that also included five blocks. While that level of performance is too much to expect on a regular basis, two factors remain heavily in Green’s favor Wednesday—he’s now averaging 42.8 fantasy points over five games against Portland this season, and the Blazers gave up the fourth-most fantasy points (49.5) to fours on the season. Additionally, Kevin Durant is questionable for Game 2 with a calf strain, and it certainly bears noting that Green averaged 1.13 DraftKings points per minute during the regular season with him off the floor.
Markieff Morris, WAS vs. ATL ($5,600): Factoring in the 42.75 fantasy points that Morris scored in Game 1, he’s now averaged 35.7 fantasy points over five games against the Hawks this season. He clearly seems to have their number, as Atlanta was actually ranked in the top half of the league against power forwards in multiple categories, including fantasy points surrendered. With a reasonable price that he’s outperformed consistently in this matchup, Morris gets the call in the mid-tier Wednesday.
Maurice Harkless, POR at GS ($4,300): Taurean Prince ($4,400) and Al-Farouq Aminu ($4,400), despite his struggles in Game 1, both make for viable pivots as well, but Harkless is appealing in his own right at $100 cheaper. He scored 22.75 fantasy points in Game 1 and is now averaging a solid 21.4 fantasy points over five games against the Warriors this season. While the Blazers’ offense will naturally be dominated by Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, Harkless’ track record against Golden State and modest price put him squarely in play.
Dwight Howard, ATL at WAS ($6,500): Howard is about as steady as they come in terms of fantasy production, and following his 29.5 fantasy points in Game 1, he’s now averaging 38.3 fantasy points over 30.4 minutes across five games against the Wizards this season. Washington ranked just outside of the bottom 10 in fantasy points allowed to centers on the season (51.5) and also gave up the fifth-most points (21.8) to the position. Howard has outperformed his current price more often than not against the Wizards, making him all the more appealing on a small slate.
Marcin Gortat, WAS vs. ATL ($5,100): Gortat is also priced very reasonably relative to both Game 1 production and his overall track record against the Hawks this season. The Polish Hammer scored 31.5 fantasy points in the opening game of the series Sunday and factoring in that production, is averaging 28.7 fantasy points in five games against Atlanta.The Hawks were tough against centers this season but did give up 50.0 fantasy points per game to the position over the final 10 contests of the campaign, while Gortat was at his best in games where he’d had two days of rest, averaging 12.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 blocks across 32.9 minutes in 11 games under those circumstances.
Nene Hilario, HOU vs. OKC ($3,900): Hilario averaged 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 19 post-All-Star-break contests, and generated those numbers over a modest 19.8 minutes per game. He also scored 23.25 fantasy points in Game 1 and is now averaging 22.9 fantasy points and 14.4 points (on 78.9 percent shooting) over five games against the Thunder this season, all excellent returns on his current price.
For the latest news on injured players heading into the games, check out our Injury Updates page.