Tuesday brings us the shortest playoff slate yet, making it a lot more challenging to find some non-obvious plays. We've already seen one key injury in the form of Avery Bradley's hamstring, which does open a couple value spots on the Celtics. There's also a couple other options performing above their price, which could offer the flexibility to fit the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Kawhi Leonard and Paul Millsap into a lineup.
Jeff Teague, ATL vs. BOS ($26) - Despite the Celtics' sporting one of the top backcourt defenses in the NBA, Teague continued the hot streak that he finished the regular season with during Saturday's Game 1 victory. He scored 45.8 fantasy points on the strength of a 23-point, 12-assist double-double, and he should encounter even less resistance Tuesday with the absence of Avery Bradley (hamstring).
Marcus Smart, BOS at ATL ($18) - Speaking of Bradley's absence, Smart figures to be one of the primary beneficiaries in terms of playing time, though Evan Turner ($21) naturally stands to gain as well. However, Smart is at a bargain price and already took on a much bigger role in the Game 1 loss, scoring 30.5 fantasy points with three 3-pointers in less than 29 minutes. The Celtics will require him to remain aggressive, particularly from long distance, as they attempt to make up for the loss of Bradley in multiple areas.
Guard to Avoid:
Danny Green, SA vs. MEM ($13) - While Green certainly won't break your bank, he probably won't do much for your point total either, especially if Game 2 eventually gets out of hand in the Spurs' favor. Green offered extremely limited fantasy upside all season, save for rare instances, and scored just 13.1 fantasy points in Game 1. He's simply not looked to as a primary scoring option, and even cheaper alternatives like teammate Manu Ginobili ($12), Kyle Korver ($11), Jordan Farmar ($10) and Vince Carter ($10) seem to offer greater potential upside on most nights.
Kent Bazemore, ATL vs. BOS ($16) – Bazemore's price doesn't come close to matching the level of production he provided over the final stretch of the regular season, and even more important, that of the Game 1 victory. The Hawks forward scored 34.9 to 45.3 fantasy points in four of the last five games, the exception coming in the finale against the Wizards when he played little more than 21 minutes and still totaled a respectable 19.6 fantasy points. Bazemore then contributed 39.1 fantasy points Saturday night, and should continue encountering success against a Celtics defense that finished the regular season allowing the eighth-most fantasy points (40.44) and sixth-most points (21.49) against small forwards.
Zach Randolph, MEM at SA ($27) - You likely won't go wrong with Paul Millsap ($36), but in looking for alternatives to what should be one of the highest-owned plays on the slate, we land on Randolph. In contrast to Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge ($36), Randolph's ownership should be pointing in the other direction a bit after a 13.5-fantasy point performance in Game 1 versus the Spurs. However, Zebo suffered through an atypical 3-for-13 shooting performance, and with the Grizzlies' backs undoubtedly against the wall and little place else to turn for offense, Randolph should be primed for a bounce-back effort.
Forward to Avoid:
David West, SA vs . MEM ($12) - West's time on the court is likely to be limited regardless of score. Even in a lopsided victory, coach Gregg Popovich seems to find a way to cap his veteran reserves' playing time. Conversely, if the Grizzlies do make Game 2 more competitive, expect LaMarcus Aldridge to see as many minutes as necessary to help insure the victory. In either scenario, West's upside is limited, while the slightly more expensive Amir Johnson ($14) could be poised for extended playing time with Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) looking increasingly doubtful to play.
Tim Duncan, SA vs. MEM ($16) - Duncan scored an efficient 24.2 fantasy points in just under 22 minutes on the court in Game 1, and certainly would have been in line for an even better stat line had the score required him to put in more minutes. He encountered little resistance down low, hauling in 11 rebounds and recording two blocks over that span. With a highly affordable price and the possibility of an even better return should Game 2 be more competitive, he carries considerable appeal.
CENTER TO AVOID:
Kelly Olynyk, BOS at ATL ($11) - Olynyk could have certainly been an attractive option at his near-minimum price with his ability to provide some long-range shooting in the absence of Avery Bradley (hamstring), but he might miss Game 2. He didn't practice Sunday or Monday due to his shoulder injury, saying he's not sure if he'll suit up Tuesday. He managed only 3.7 fantasy points Saturday in less than 12 minutes, as well, and likely will be limited if he takes the court.
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