This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
I wrote an article on Friday covering the same slate and we were unfortunately treated to an underwhelming Game 1 with a ton of whistles and no rhythm. That's even worse when you consider how poorly Denver was taking care of the ball, leading to a LA win. We'll discuss that more in the next section, so let's go ahead and get into it!
Despite the Lakers being off for six days, they took care of the Nuggets in dominating fashion in Game 1. While the 126-114 scoreline doesn't look too authoritative, it was a blowout. In fact, the Lakers led by 24 points going into the fourth quarter, with numerous starters on both teams sitting out the majority of the final minutes. A major part of that was due to the fact Los Angeles out-assisted Denver 33-23 while winning the turnover battle 16-11. As someone who was around Nuggets fans living in Denver, I can tell you they weren't happy about the whistles either as the Lakers took 37 free-throws in the contest.
All of that has LA entering Game 2 as a 7.5-point favorite, with the total sitting at 213.5.
These teams have now played five times this season, with the Lakers winning four of five.
Almost all of the valuation remains the same, but here's a breakdown of how it looks by position.
PG: Jamal Murray had just 21 points and five assists in Game 1, remaining at $13,000. Rajon Rondo follows him up at $11,000 and has been awesome since his return. Alex Caruso is the only other viable PG at $8,000.
SF: LeBron James remains the top-notch option at $16,000. Markieff Morris follows him up at $9,500. Jerami Grant is way undervalued at $8,500. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was one of our favorite values of the day in the last slate and remains too cheap at $7,500.
PF: Anthony Davis was our favorite per-dollar option on the last slate and was the highest-scoring player on the board. He got his salary raised to $15,500. Kyle Kuzma is a bit pricey for my liking at $10,000 while Michael Porter Jr comes in at $9,500 after a double-double in garbage time. Paul Millsap needs to play well for Denver to succeed and comes in at $9,000.
C: Nikola Jokic sufferd one of his worst games in these playoffs during Game 1 but still sits at $15,000. LA's centers aren't quite as formidable, with JaVale McGee at $7,000 and Dwight Howard at $8,000. Howard started for McGee in the second half and may repeat that here.
Injuries to Monitor
Will Barton (DEN)
Barton remains out with a knee issue and it's unclear if he'll be able to return for any part of this series.
Rajon Rondo (LAL)
Rondo is probable with a back injury, but it seems unlikely he'll sit after playing in Game 1.
Dion Waiters (LAL)
Waiters has been inactive recently and it would be hard to imagine him getting involved in the rotation even if healthy.
Avery Bradley (LAL)
Bradley opted out of the restart and obviously won't play here. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has taken over his role.
LeBron James (LAL)
James is always probable, but he always plays and dominates.
This section really hasn't changed. We have Nikola Jokic, LeBron James and Anthony Davis all at $15,000 or above. You can squeeze all three into your lineup, but it leaves you extremely thin everywhere else. With that said, I ended up filling out all of my lineups with those three in the multiplier spots and it worked out well because of Game 1's blowout nature. That forced my cheaper guys into big minutes and we were fortunate to get production from them. I'm unsure if that will work again here, but it's hard to argue with all of the usage Jokic, James and Davis swallow up.
I actually predicted Jokic would be the most-used player in Game 1's slate, but I was wrong. LeBron James was that guy at 77 percent. Anthony Davis ranked next highest at 74 percent. Jokic was 52 percent used while Murray was 65. That seems strange to me, but Jokic remains a great choice if that's happens again here. In terms of cheap players, Dwight Howard is probably going to be used in over half of the lineups after a huge Game 1.
Rajon Rondo, LAL ($11,000)
People appear to be sleeping on Rondo. He was used in less than 30 percent of lineups in Game 1 and that simply makes no sense. We're talking about someone who's averaging over 30 FD points per game since returning from injury. In fact, Rondo's now scored at least 21 FD points in all six games since his return, averaging 31.1 fantasy points across 26 minutes of action over that span.
Jerami Grant, DEN ($8,500)
I hate to go back to the same two picks, but it's going to be tough to fade Grant and KCP. The reason I say that is because of their minutes. Grant actually played 37 minutes in Game 1, despite sitting most of the fourth quarter. That tells us 40 minutes is in his future and it's really no surprise when you consider he's the only one who can guard LeBron James. You simply can't fade a player who sees 40 minutes and is valued below $10,000, no matter how unproductive he may be. It's not like Grant is some bum, as he's averaged over 20 FD points per game since the bubble began.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL ($7,500)
KCP was in this section on Friday and provided us with the best value on the slate. He actually led all players with 3.8x value and it's hard to understand why his salary is so reasonable. We're talking about someone who will likely play 30 minutes and take close to 10 shots. That doesn't even include KCP's ability to record a few steals, making him a great value once again.