This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Monday's slate kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST with a pivotal Game 5 between Boston and Toronto. Let's first look at the betting lines for today, and a winning lineup from a popular GPP contest that featured our two games.
BOS vs. TOR (+1.5) O/U: 212
DEN vs. LAC (-8.5) O/U: 219.5
|PG Fred VanVleet||47.8||$7,700||37.5|
|SG Gary Harris||16.7||$4,000||19|
|SF Jerami Grant||24.5||$4,900||26.75|
|PF Pascal Siakam||21.7||$7,900||42.25|
|C Nikola Jokic||16..6||$9,500||61|
|G Kyle Lowry||56.7||$7,800||55.25|
|F JaMychal Green||9.4||$3,300||25.75|
|UTIL Ivica Zubac||23||$4,800||25.75|
Green was the value difference-maker in this build, and the lineup relied heavily on successful nights out of Denver and Toronto. Jokic was the elite, and no Murray, Leonard, Tatum or George was on display. On these small slates, the eventual game outcome plays a large role in determining our overall success, because a larger slate can help us find a solid contributor on a losing team with more frequency. Green and Zubac represented the only players from a losing team.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
Nikola Jokic (wrist) QUESTIONABLE
Jokic will play and start, but as we saw with Giannis Antetokounmpo on Sunday, there is some risk in re-aggravating an injury when you're pushing yourself on the court in the playoffs. Those with buyer's remorse from Giannis might steer clear, resulting in a similar roster rate for the big man.
Kawhi Leonard ($10,300) is the only player above 10k on the slate. His 4-of-17 shooting performance in Game 2 was his worst outing in recent memory, and he still managed to churn out 45 fantasy points. The Clippers were caught sleeping at the wheel in Game 2, and you have to believe that they can generate a better defensive performance. The same holds true for Leonard. If you look at the numbers, Game 2 was a blip on an otherwise stellar production graph. I've already mentioned Nikola Jokic ($9,700), and his wrist injury is a bit concerning. The problem with him is the apparent value I can find at this position, and in order to load up on mid-range guys, I am more prone to focus on a lesser target despite his potential. Jokic was probably the most surprising find in the winning lineup, and it required a dart throw from Green to allow for it. Despite the obvious potential of Jamal Murray ($8,900) and Jayson Tatum ($9,300), their salaries take them off the cheat sheet due to the difficulty of beating 5x value.
EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS
Kyle Lowry, TOR ($8,200) vs. BOS
As I said previously, the expected game outcome plays a considerable part in your overall success, and I still believe Toronto can win this series. Lowry has improved with every game against Boston, and coach Brad Stevens has seemed more occupied with containing Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka. That's probably wise considering that's how they won the first two games, but Lowry and Fred VanVleet ($7,800) have destroyed them from beyond the arc in the past two contests, and you have to believe they've drawn up a scheme to stem the tide on that front. Still, I think Toronto will have success on the perimeter, and Lowry will again provide a core element of the offense.
Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,100) vs. BOS
His numbers don't reflect his impact, but the Celtics admitted publicly that they were "out-worked" by the Raptors in Game 4. They were probably thinking of Siakam when they said that. Although he had a horrid shooting night (2-13 from three), he gave the Boston offense more than they could handle, and if he can right the ship offensively, a great night from Siakam is definitely in play. His shooting has been dreadful in this series, and his yearly average of 44.7 percent is eight percent better, so one can only hope that he'll get back in the groove.
Also consider: Paul George, LAC ($8,300) vs, DEN
Jerami Grant, DEN ($5,200) vs. LAC
I firmly believe that Grant is the key to Denver winning this series. While they often run Grant alongside Michael Porter, they are simply a better team with Porter off the floor, and when Grant is occupying that spot, you can visibly see a change on both sides of the ball. They ran Grant for 40 minutes in Game 2 and won, and if they want to keep winning, they should follow that script. I hate to be down on Porter because you can see the potential, but his struggles to stay healthy have limited his ability to gain valuable experience, and it shows, especially on defense.
Marcus Morris, LAC ($5,100) vs. DEN
Morris did not have a good shooting night in Game 2, but the same can be said for the entire Clippers lineup. The loss is another reality check for the Clippers, who had to bounce back against Dallas as well. Morris is a mainstay for Los Angeles defensively, but he's demonstrated an improved shot while in the bubble. While it comes and goes, he's hitting 53 percent of his shots and a remarkable 51 percent from beyond the arc in Orlando - substantially higher than his usual seasonal numbers.
Ivica Zubac, LAC ($4,900) vs. DEN
Television announcers can be repetitive and if they hit on a phrase they like, they'll run it into the ground. I grant that 'Zubacca' is a clever moniker, but to say it's been overused on air is an understatement. It does indicate how frequently he comes up in the play-by-play, however. Doc Rivers is still giving Zubac all the minutes he can despite flickers of production from Montrezl Harrell. After watching Harrell get stuffed a couple of times in Game 2, you can see why Zubac continues to get the green light. He's going to occupy the center spot in a lot of my lineups today.
Gary Harris, DEN ($4,100) vs. LAC
The Nuggets really need Harris at 100 percent because performances from Monte Morris and Torrey Craig haven't been up to snuff in the playoffs. When he's humming on all cylinders, Harris's three-point shot is beautiful, although it lacks the high apex of Nikola Jokic's three-point attempts. His numbers have trended upward consistently since his return, and after giving him 29 minutes in the Game 2 win, we should see more of him Monday.
Also consider: Lou Williams, LAC ($5,800) vs. DEN
As always, check back with RotoWire before game lock to get all the latest information.