This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
It looks like this season is quickly winding down to the end, with the Lakers looking poised to capture that elusive Larry O'Brien Trophy. Miami will have to win four of the next five and certainly have an uphill battle ahead with all their injuries. That'll obviously be a huge factor here, so let's go ahead and get into it!
Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Los Angeles is a 9.5-point favorite, with the total sitting at 219. This spread could change based on injury information.
After a blowout in the opener, Game 2 was much more competitive. Los Angeles actually entered as a 10-point favorite and it landed right on the number with a 124-114 victory. The Lakers were in control throughout, leading by at least eight points for the entire second half.
These teams played twice during the regular season with the Lakers prevailing in both outings, thereby making the season series 4-0 in their favor.
FanDuel single-game rosters don't have traditional positions that match those on a starting five, so we'll instead break down some candidates for the top three multiplier positions instead:
MVP (2x): These slates are pretty simple. You have to ride either LeBron James or Anthony Davis for your MVP slot. The reason for that is because both dominate in every outing by averaging over 50 FanDuel points per game on the season. The guy we're going to ride here is Davis. The big man has absolutely destroyed Miami in this series by averaging 33 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. His floor has been amazing recently, scoring at least 45 FD points in 11 of his last 13 while posting a 50-point average during that span.
STAR (1.5x): You can't go wrong picking LeBron James for your MVP slot, but we're going to slide him in here at the STAR space. LBJ has surprisingly been the better player, but Davis faces a better matchup and the higher ceiling. We can't overlook the fact James has produced at least 45 FD points in 10 of his last 11 games while averaging 57 fantasy points. He's also an absolute monster in the NBA Finals by averaging 28.3 points, 10 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.7 steals over 52 career games. These guys are interchangeable at these two slots.
PRO (1.2x): Now that the two big stars are out of the way, things get interesting. With that said, I think there's one simple pick here: Jimmy Butler. The Heat star has led them all season long and he's essentially playing point guard with Goran Dragic sidelined. That was evident when he collected 25 points, eight rebounds and 13 assists across 44 minutes in Game 2 en route to his best fantasy performance in months. Those 44 minutes are a huge factor and Butler's almost impossible to fade with such a big role and so much usage in his favor.
UTIL: That leaves us with $7,750 per player and there's enough value in order to fill those slots. Rajon Rondo represents one of the best options, averaging 30 FanDuel points per game since returning from injury. Andre Iguodala and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are both in play at $8,500 while Kelly Olynyk is a brilliant play at $8,000 if Adebayo is out again. If you choose to fade one of those three aforementioned studs, don't forget about options like Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn and Jae Crowder.
Injury Situations to Monitor
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written (usually late morning Eastern time), check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.
Goran Dragic (MIA)
Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia injury in Game 1. He did not play in Game 2 and is doubtful for this game.
Bam Adebayo (MIA)
Adebayo suffered a shoulder injury in Game 1 and missed Game 2. He comes into this matchup with a questionable tag and we won't know his status until close to tipoff.
Dion Waiters (LAL)
Waiters is questionable with a groin issue but hasn't been part of the rotation anyway.
Elite Players/Expected Chalk
These two sections are intertwined, so let's go ahead and combine them. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be in every lineup out there and rightfully so. In fact, James was used in 96.8 percent of lineups in Game 2 while Davis was in 95.9. Jimmy Butler wasn't far behind sitting at 77.1 percent. Kendrick Nunn was also used in a lot of lineups at 44 percent. If Bam makes his return, expect him to also be in over 40 percent of lineups.
Rajon Rondo, LAL ($9,000)
This salary really doesn't make sense. Not only has Rondo scored at least 16 FanDuel points in all 12 games since returning from injury, but he's also averaging 27.1 FD points per game over that stretch. He's done a lot of that damage in limited minutes and there's not many better per-minute producers in this series.
Kelly Olynyk, MIA ($8,000)
If Adebayo is out again, Olynyk is the free square play of the day. In fact, we anticipate him being in over half of the lineups out there, but that's the right choice. The reason for that is Olynyk ranked second on the team with a 26 percent usage rate in Game 2 and played 37 minutes off the bench. He did some serious damage with that usage and playing time by dropping 36 FanDuel points in his best game this postseason. The simple fact is, you can't fade Oly if Bam is out.
Meyers Leonard, MIA ($6,000)
This one is totally a GPP punt play and only viable if Bam is out. While Olynyk definitely will play more, it's hard to overlook the fact Leonard is at the minimum salary. He started in Game 2 and ranked third on the team with a 24 percent usage rate. If he somehow gets hot, Leonard would have to earn more minutes and just a few threes and a handful or rebounds would make him a tremendous value at this low valuation.