We’re right back at it with a Tuesday-Wednesday slate for the conference finals, and some overlap on yesterday’s picks is naturally part of the equation. I kept many of the suggestions I highlighted in yesterday’s article, but also threw in a couple of alternatives. Ditto for Wednesday’s Game 2 of the Thunder-Warriors series, from which we’ll highlight a player not previously mentioned.
Without further ado, here’s our look at Tuesday-Wednesday Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball:
Kyrie Irving, CLE vs. TOR ($35) - Irving shot 52 percent form the field against Kyle Lowry and the Raptors over two games in the regular season, and checks into Tuesday’s matchup on nine full days of rest. Irving will undoubtedly have his work cut out for him against Lowry’s stingy defense, but he brings fresh legs and considerable upside at a significant savings over the elite duo of Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry
Klay Thompson, GS vs. OKC ($41) - If you’re seeking some potentially explosive Golden State exposure without paying up for Curry, consider Thompson, who averaged 23.7 points on 53 percent shooting versus the Thunder during two regular-season meetings. He also topped 30 points in three of the five games against Portland in the Western Conference semis, scoring 56.0, 41.2 and 40.9 fantasy points in those games. With Curry sure to be busy trying to keep up with Westbrook, Thompson could have some extra opportunity to shine in this series.
Guard to Avoid:
Shaun Livingston, GS vs. OKC ($17) - Livingston has fallen back to his bench role now that Stephen Curry is without limitations. Rotations also tend to get increasingly tighter the deeper you go into the postseason, and Curry figures to be out there a ton against Westbrook and company. Livingston averaged just over 18 minutes against the Thunder in three contests this season, and a similar allotment would likely yield around the 11.9 fantasy points he generated in that same amount of playing time against the Blazers in Game 5 of the WC semis. That output would be acceptable if he was back to his near-minimum price, but he remains too expensive for the potential return.
LeBron James, CLE vs. TOR ($51) - We can’t completely steer clear of suggesting at least one obvious play on a two-game slate, and LeBron is a logical candidate. He averaged a solid 23.0 points, 7.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals during three regular-season games against the Raptors while shooting 49 percent from the field. Like Irving, he’ll be extremely well-rested and chomping at the bit to get back on the court, while DeMarre Carroll is coming in banged up and likely a bit worn out from an intense seven-game battle versus the Heat.
Serge Ibaka, OKC at GS ($23) - Ibaka averaged 14.3 points and 9.7 rebounds in his three encounters with the Warriors during the regular season, playing an average of 37.7 minutes in that trio of contests. Despite Draymond Green’s active presence down low, the Warriors were only middle-of-the-pack this season in fantasy points allowed to power forwards (43.61 per game) while surrendering the fourth-most rebounds per contest (12.85). Ibaka can certainly be bit up-and-down with his offensive involvement, but brings some nice upside at a reasonable price.
Patrick Patterson, TOR at CLE ($12) - Jonas Valanciunas has been confirmed out for Game 1 on Tuesday, which means Patterson should continue to see a heap of minutes. He played no fewer than 33 over the last five games of the semis against the Heat after Valanciunas went down, and scored between 18.7 and 29.2 fantasy points in the final three contests. While he wasn’t particularly efficient in two of those games, Patterson doesn’t have to do much to return value on his near-minimum price.
Forward to Avoid:
DeMarre Carroll, TOR at CLE ($15) - Carroll will likely be a bit worse for the wear after a tough series against the Heat that also saw him hurt his wrist and ankle. He’s priced reasonably enough, but a matchup against LeBron only further dims his prospects. With Lowry and DeMar DeRozan clearly taking the overwhelming majority of scoring responsibility, Carroll becomes an avoid candidate.
Tristan Thompson, CLE vs. TOR ($16) - I wrote up Steven Adams ($17) in this spot yesterday while not mentioning Thompson, so we’ll give the Cavs center his due today. Thompson is a nice value play himself, having scored 21.6 to 31.8 fantasy points in three of the four games against Atlanta in the conference semis, with double-digit rebounds in each of those contests. He and Bismack Biyombo should have an entertaining battle down low for boards on both ends of the floor.
Bismack Biyombo, TOR at CLE ($18) - With Jonas Valanciunas ($28) still sidelined, Biyombo is the second value play you can consider at center. While you shouldn’t expect the same level of production he provided against a Hassan Whiteside-less Heat squad—considering the Cavs allowed the third-fewest fantasy points (42.46) and fewest rebounds (12.13) per game to opposing fives—Biyombo will inevitably see a heap of minutes if he does garner another start in Game 1.
Center to Avoid:
Timofey Mozgov, CLE vs. TOR ($10) - Mozgov won’t cost you much at all, but the return is very likely to match his near-invisible price. He didn’t even see the court in the last two games versus the Hawks, and played a total of seven seconds in one of the two contests he did participate in. He netted a grand total of 1.2 fantasy points for that series, and 1.5 fantasy points in the last two games he participated in during the quarterfinal round versus the Pistons. With coach Tyronn Lue opting to give Tristan Thompson the bulk of minutes at the five, Mozgov has become a forgotten man and may not even see the court in Game 1.