Three more playoff games head our way Wednesday. One of the biggest question marks is the status of Grizzlies star Ja Morant (hand) against the Lakers (7:30 ET, TNT). Let’s look at all three games and highlight some players to consider on Yahoo, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
Jrue Holiday, MIL vs. MIA ($31): The Bucks could also be shorthanded for their game against the Heat with Giannis Antetokounmpo (back) entering the day listed as doubtful. However, despite his uninspiring status on the injury report, it would not be surprising to see him play with the Bucks down 0-1 and preparing to head to Miami after Game 2. Whether Giannis plays or not, Holiday, who scored 50.4 Yahoo points in Game 1, is an excellent option as the Bucks try to even the series.
Luke Kennard, MEM vs. LAL ($12): If Morant can’t play, Tyus Jones will replace him in the starting five. That could also lead to more minutes off the bench for Kennard. He averaged 28 minutes over his final 13 games in the regular season, providing 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists during that span. He’s worth the risk in tournament play at near the minimum salary.
Guard to avoid
Mike Conley Jr., MIN at DEN ($22): Despite Jaden McDaniels (hand) being out, the Timberwolves have their two top scorers healthy in Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns being back in the fold has contributed to Conley scoring 26.7 Yahoo points or fewer in four of his last seven games. Since his salary doesn’t come at much of a discount, it might be best to keep him out of your lineups.
Jimmy Butler, MIA at MIL ($40): Butler was the reason why the Heat won Game 1 on the road. He dominated the Bucks, recording 35 points, five rebounds, 11 assists and three steals over 43 minutes. That came on the heels of him scoring 45.5 Yahoo points in their previous game against the Bulls. The playoffs are when Butler shines the brightest, and he should carry an extremely high floor into Game 2.
Max Strus, MIA at MIL ($13): The Heat will need someone to help take some of the scoring pressure off Butler with Tyler Herro (hand) out. Strus can do a ton of damage when he gets hot, which was evident when he made seven three-pointers on his way to scoring 31 points against the Bulls. Despite scoring just 16.0 Yahoo points in Game 1, it was encouraging that he logged 38 minutes. Playing time should not be an issue for him again in Game 2.
Forward to avoid
Aaron Gordon, DEN vs. MIN ($24): The Nuggets excelled against the Timberwolves in Game 1, which meant Gordon only needed to log 23 minutes. He provided a modest 22.5 Yahoo points, marking the seventh time he scored 27.8 Yahoo points or fewer over his last 10 games. Even if he plays more in a closer game, his modest 21.1% usage rate during the regular season should continue to limit his upside.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. MIN ($56): Jokic played just 28 minutes before fouling out in Game 1. Given the lopsided score, he may not have played much late anyway. Even in his limited minutes, he provided 13 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. If the Timberwolves can find a way to keep this game close, Jokic could be on his way to yet another triple-double at home.
Bobby Portis, MIL vs. MIA ($20): With Giannis going down early in Game 1, Portis scored 30.6 Yahoo points across 27 minutes. If Giannis cannot play, Portis should shift into the starting lineup. Even if the Greek Freak does suit up, Portis is one of the more appealing center options with a salary that won’t significantly impact your budget.
Center to avoid
Rudy Gobert, MIN at DEN ($27): Gobert (back) is listed as questionable again, but the expectation is that he will play. He grabbed 13 rebounds in Game 1, but the blowout score limited him to just 26 minutes. He doesn’t have a ton of scoring upside, and there is the potential that he gets into foul trouble trying to guard Jokic, which makes him a risky option.
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
A multi-lingual talent head, Allen is fluent in languages such as Spanish, Russian, Italian, and many more. He has a special curiosity for the events and stories revolving in and around US and caters an uncompromising form of journalistic standard for the audiences.