This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have an intriguing two-game slate, one that features a pair of matinee contests for series on opposite ends of the continuum. We start with the Hawks-76ers Game 1 clash in Philly, which is followed by a Game 7 showdown between the Mavericks and Clippers at Staples Center. The biggest pregame storyline for the former is the iffy status of the Sixers' Joel Embiid, while the latter contest decides which team gets the unenviable task of facing the top-seeded Jazz in the next round.
Here's a closer look at the two contests:
Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers (Projected total: 220.5 points)
The three regular-season meetings between these teams finished with totals of 206, 210 and 230 points, so this current number certainly falls within a conceivable range of outcomes. The Hawks come off having averaged a modest 104.0 points during their opening series against the Knicks, but New York entered with the league's stingiest defense. In turn, the 76ers are allowing the fifth-fewest points per game (108.2) including the playoffs, but their ability to prevent scoring would naturally be compromised if Embiid is forced to sit out. Meanwhile, Atlanta held New York to 96 points or fewer in the last three of their series, but the 76ers bring much more offensive firepower with an average of 118.0 points on their home floor - which also covers the postseason.
Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers (Projected total: 210.0 points)
The six matchups in this series have finished with totals of 216, 248, 226, 187, 205 and 201 points, with the last three particularly making an argument for this relatively modest number. They know each other's tendencies well after already meeting nine times since the start of the regular season. And with the main sources of scoring for each side constituting a narrow pool of players, it's fairly easy to predict how much offense could be generated. Luka Doncic has gotten occasional help from Tim Hardaway in this series, but Kristaps Porzingis' inconsistent play (12.7 PPG) has capped the Mavericks' overall offensive upside. Meanwhile, the Clippers have been marginally more balanced with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George supplemented by Reggie Jackson over the last five.
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. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, 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.
Luka Doncic, DAL (neck)/ Status: PROBABLE
Doncic is fully expected to continue playing through his probable designation, as he has since Game 4.
Joel Embiid, PHI (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Embiid is legitimately questionable after missing Game 5 against the Wizards and also sitting out practice Saturday. If he were to miss Game 1, Dwight Howard would likely step into the starting five while Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons would be set for the biggest boosts in usage on the first unit.
De'Andre Hunter, ATL (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
If Hunter were to sit, Kevin Huerter would likely enter the starting lineup at small forward.
Other notable injuries:
Serge Ibaka, LAC (back)/ Status: DOUBTFUL
Maxi Kleber, DAL (Achilles)/ Status: PROBABLE
JJ Redick, DAL (heel)/ Status: OUT
Kris Dunn, ATL (illness)/ Status: OUT
Cam Reddish, ATL (Achilles)/ Status: OUT
Both players have been outstanding this series and make for excellent plays even at their hefty salaries in a contest that should see both carry massive usage.
Doncic is averaging a whopping 59.8 FD points over the first six while putting up a massive 27.7 attempts per contest and shooting 47.6 percent, including 40.0 percent from three-point range.
Leonard just tied his career playoff scoring high in Game 6 and is averaging 53.8 FD points overall while shooting an incandescently hot 60.5 percent, including 43.2 percent from three-point range. He doesn't have quite the level of offensive involvement as Doncic due to more consistent help around him, but Leonard is still posting an elevated 19.8 shots per game.
Embiid's status is naturally one to monitor ahead of tip-off. If he's deemed healthy enough to play, it's worth noting he'll be in a matchup that's given him trouble this season as the big man only averaged 19.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.7 blocks across 24.3 minutes in three meetings against Atlanta.
George has averaged 44.2 FD points over the first six games while shooting 48.1 percent, making him an extremely viable Game 7 play at his salary.
Finally, Young just averaged 46.1 FD points against a tough Knicks defense and an impressive 29.0 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds in two regular-season contests versus Philly.
In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:
Tobias Harris, PHI ($8,800)
Harris averaged 46.5 FD points on 50.5 percent shooting in five first-round outings against the Wizards and could have an even bigger role than usual if Embiid misses out.
Ben Simmons, PHI ($8,600)
Simmons also stands to benefit greatly if Embiid remains sidelined and is coming off having scored 52.5 FD points in Game 5 against the Wizards without the big man available.
Clint Capela, ATL ($7,900)
Capela's offensive contributions were down against the Knicks, but he still averaged 34.3 FD points in those five contests.
Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,800)
Bogdanovic carries an appealing salary and should continue to be a consistent source of supplementary production this round after averaging 33.2 FD points over the last five.
John Collins, ATL ($6,500)
Collins bounced back from a scoreless effort in Game 2 against the Knicks to average 16.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist across the final three contests.
Tim Hardaway, DAL at LAC ($5,500)
Those who've rostered Hardaway this series already know what a rollercoaster that experience can be as the veteran wing has interspersed a quartet of 20-point efforts with tallies of four and 12 points over the first six. However, as those numbers indicate, he's been more on than off and is averaging a solid 24.4 FD points while shooting an impressive 45.8 percent from distance. With everything on the line Sunday and Kristaps Porzingis struggling to get anything going offensively down low, Hardaway should be heavily involved and always offers a chance to deliver a big return on such an affordable salary.
Reggie Jackson, LAC vs. DAL ($5,500)
Jackson has been a pleasant surprise for teammates Leonard and George over the last five by averaging 28.0 FD points on the strength of 18.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He's been especially effective from three-point range with a 42.2 percent success rate during that span (9.0 three-point attempts per contest) and should be heavily involved again after taking a total of 31 shot attempts the last two games.
Seth Curry, PHI vs. ATL ($4,900)
Curry becomes especially appealing if Embiid sits out, but he remains strongly under consideration at his salary under any circumstance. The veteran sharpshooter tallied double-digit scoring in four of the five versus the Wizards and is coming off producing a season-high 30 points in Game 5. Curry posted 27.0 to 31.0 FD points in three of those games while averaging a solid 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 45.5 percent three-point shooting in two regular-season meetings against the Hawks. Atlanta also checks in ranked in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency surrendered to shooting guards (22.8 percent) and 57.5 FD points per game to the position from the last 10 contests.