It’s time to get excited basketball fans, the NBA playoffs are here. Here’s my fantasy preview for the first round, as well as my predictions for each of the series’ featuring tomorrow. NBA Playoff:
San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors
A Steph Curry-less Warriors vs a Kawhi-less Spurs. This series won’t be all it should be, but for fantasy purposes, it matters that the depth of both sides will be tested.
For the warriors, that’s going to show at point guard (obviously). The playmaking duties will largely be moved to their forwards in Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant. However, it will also mean the start and more playing time for Quinn Cook. That will make him a viable fantasy play.
Ultimately the guy to shoulder the burden of Curry being out will be Kevin Durant, and potentially playoff Iggy in a mixture of roles with the backups and starters.All of those guys will be fantasy relevant, and should definitely be in contention for tomorrow’s games.
For the Spurs, it seems likely to be a team effort, but obviously, LaMarcus Aldridge is the number one option and should reap a large amount of the fantasy rewards. Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, and Kyle Anderson will be tasked with filling the gaping hole missing on the scoreboard from the wing, which also makes them worth a look.
Prediction: Warriors in 6.
Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors
Who stands up for these teams? Amidst the playoff ghosts of Toronto’s past, and amid the in-fighting of a wizards team out of love with John wall, who can we trust in this series? The answer might be no one, but given the prices of the series’ three best players – especially DeMar – it might be a good play to select one or two of the guards from each team. It’s not often that these guys are automatic targets, but as their burdens amplify in the playoffs, a $7,500 price tag is just too cheap for a team’s best player.
Prediction: Raptors in 6.
Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers
You’re from Australia, so you’ve no doubt seen and heard plenty about the run that Ben Simmons went on to end the season. The believer in me thinks that this can continue into the playoffs – I have no doubt Simmons will relish the big moments. However, the Heat have countless bodies to throw at him, and they’ve devised strategies in the past to help nullify the big, bulldozing, non-shooting, forwards. Personally, I might avoid this one for a game or two, just to see how it goes. But I wouldn’t look down on you for giving him a shot.
For the Heat, it’s hard to pick anyone that may be fantasy relevant. They have countless options at all positions and it could depend on who’s playing well. Also, the biggest criticism of them is that they don’t have that go-to guy. For them, and for us fantasy players, I’d probably hope playoff Wade shows up (I’d bet on it too). He’ll have a few games this series that will well exceed a $4,600 salary.
Prediction: Sixers in 7.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trailblazers
Like most people, I’m of the opinion that this series is won and lost with Anthony Davis. If he’s going to ascend to the levels that most people expect him to, then he probably needs to win on the big stage at some point. This is a good chance for him because the Pels matchup well with the blazers. Jrue Holiday is a first team all defense guard who will help slow down Lillard and McCollum, and they really just don’t have anyone at all who can stay with Davis. Aminu, Davis, Nurkic? Nup.
Davis has had 53.8 and 78.8 in his last games against the Blazers. He also averaged 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks in his last playoff outing – against the league’s best defense at the time. This is his series, and even at his price, Davis will probably be worth it. The only question is will the cattle come with him to match it with a team that’s been playing as well as Portland?
Prediction: Despite the AD love, I just don’t think they have enough around him. I’ll take the Blazers in 6.
All in all it looks like a great first round – after all I’ve picked all the series’ to go to 6 or more games. For basketball fans it will be a great spectacle, so why not up the ante and wager some of your hard earned in tomorrow’sNBA $4,000 Playoffs Sunday Special to increase your investment in the games? I for one, am excited for another great NBA playoffs.