Offense to Use:
Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs
After struggling on offense in Games 2 and 3, the Rockets woke up from their slumber in Game 4 on Sunday. Houston dropped 125 on the Spurs in the win to even the series 2-2. Now, the Rockets will head back to San Antonio with a bit of confidence on offense, and some hot shooting from outside. Houston hit 19-of-43 (44.2 percent) from downtown in Game 4.
Defense to Avoid:
Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz
This pick is more of a testament to the offensive deficiencies of the Jazz, rather than the defensive prowess of the Warriors. Though donít discredit Golden State entirely, since the Dubs have held Utah to 43.6 percent shooting from the floor in the series. The only one not struggling with his shot is Rudy Gobert, who doesnít shoot a ton anyway. The Jazz may also be without starting PG George Hill again, and unless Joe Johnson wakes up this could be a very long night for Utah.
DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
James Harden, PG/SG, HOU at SA ($11,000): After struggling in the first two games vs. the Spurs, Harden finally broke out in Game 3 with 43 points (59.0 DKFP). He followed that up with 28 points, five rebounds and 12 assists in a blowout win in Game 4 on Sunday. It would appear the Rockets offense is back after not showing up in back-to-back losses, and Harden possesses the highest ceiling of any player for the combined contest. Donít risk striking out with Kevin Durant or Steph Curry on Monday. Go with the sure thing.
Klay Thompson, SG, GS at UTA ($5,700): Speaking of striking out, Thompson has scored over 20 points in just one of seven games this postseason. Heís ceding shots to Durant and Curry, but isnít necessarily playing well enough to warrant them anyway. Still, this is Klay Thompson weíre talking about and his price has fallen below $6,000, which seems like pure insanity. The Warriors are in a closeout game and if Thompson can get it going early, he could pay big dividends.
Jonathon Simmons, SG/SF, SA vs. HOU ($3,400): Simmons may be getting the benefit of garbage time minutes, but if that trend continues in Game 5, he could be a solid tournament play. Heís scored in double figures in three of four games vs. the Rockets, including a playoff career-high 17 points in Game 4 on Sunday. Pop should spread out the minutes at guard with Tony Parker out and Simmons has certainly played well enough to earn more minutes.
Gordon Hayward, SF/PF, UTA vs. GS ($8,000): There will be a lot of lineups on Kawhi Leonard and Durant, so going with the Jazzís only offensive option in Hayward makes sense. Heís more affordable than the two high-priced forwards and is averaging 41.9 DKFP in his past five games. Haywardís usage rating should be at an all-time high with Utah clinging to its playoff hopes.
Trevor Ariza, SF/PF, HOU at SA ($5,200): Ariza followed up his impressive showing in Game 3 (34.25 DKFP) with another solid performance in Game 4. He scored 16 points with six boards, five assists and two steals Sunday to help the Rockets tie it up with the Spurs. Thatís back-to-back games with at least 16 points, five rebounds and five assists for Ariza, who has also drained at least five 3-pointers in two of four games in the series.
David West, PF, GS at UTA ($3,500): West has been a solid GPP play in the playoffs coming off the bench for the Warriors. Heís played at least 15 minutes in the past four games, and hasnít been reliant on scoring to put up DKFP. West is averaging 18 DKFP in his past three games despite scoring four points a contest, widely because of his 4.7 RPG and 3.3 APG. He may also see increased minutes in garbage time if Golden State locks up the series early in the game.
Rudy Gobert, UTA vs. GS ($7,900): Gobert has been giving the Warriors fits and they likely wonít be able to do anything about it. But thatís worked so far in the series, so rolling with the towering Frenchman would be a smart move for cash games. Heís the highest priced center because of his past two games, in which heís posted at least 16 points and 15 rebounds (over 41 DKFP in each). Like Hayward, the Jazz will need everything they can get out of Gobert in order to stay alive.
Clint Capela, HOU at SA ($5,500): The Rockets may be without Nene Hilario, who left Game 4 on Sunday after pulling his left groin. Should Nene sit, that would mean the bulk of the minutes at center would go to Capela, who is already seeing a ton of playing time anyway. Heís posted over 40 DKFP in two of four games in the series with his defense becoming a huge factor. Capela has at least two blocks (11 overall) in four games vs. San Antonio.
Boris Diaw, UTA vs. GS ($3,400): If youíre looking for a tournament filler at center rather than going with Gobert, look to playoff starter Boris Diaw. Yes, thatís right, Diaw started Game 3 and the Jazz were actually pretty competitive for most of it. He finished with 10 points and five boards in 26 minutes, and has played over 20 minutes in two of the past three games. Diaw also has appeal should the Warriors pull away.