PG – Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers @ New Orleans Pelicans
Ben Simmons and Rajon Rondo have obviously been brilliant in this postseason as they’ve put up triple-double numbers, but you’d think they have to cool off at some point. Simmons, in particular, will be playing his first road playoff game in a building where he averaged just 10.5 points in two games during the regular season. On the other hand, there’s nowhere else for Lillard to go but up following two disastrous games. It’s desperation time for Dame and the Blazers after going down 2-0, and he really needs to show up with a big-time performance this time around. He’s admittedly a huge risk, but he’s a contrarian pick who could pay off in a big way.
SG – Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers
Wade put together a vintage Game 2 performance as he dropped 28 points, seven boards, and two steals off the bench. You’d think there’s not much chance a 36-year-old can put together that type of performance a second game in a row. But this is D-Wade, playing his first game back in Miami, so don’t dare rule out that possibility. Flash can turn it up to another level, especially against this Philly team, so he’s definitely worth a play given his relatively cheap price.
SF – Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors
Gay got the call to start in Game 2 for the Spurs following a strong Game 1. He didn’t quite have the offensive explosion you’d expect, but he did still put together a strong fantasy night as he went for 12 points, five boards, three assists, three steals, and a block. Gay is clearly the Spurs’ best shot at scoring consistently with the Warriors and given the lack of truly reliable small forward options besides Kevin Durant, he represents a relatively safe play.
PF – Al-Farouq Aminu, Portland Trail Blazers @ New Orleans Pelicans
Aminu stepped up in a big way for the Blazers in Game 2 as he had 14 points and 15 rebounds in 36 minutes. The Chief will likely be playing those types of minutes going forward as he matches up much better with the Pelicans’ small-ball lineups. His shooting will always be hit or miss, but if he can rebound at the same rate and pick up a couple of stocks (steals and blocks) like he usually does, he’ll prove to be fine value given his price range.
C – JaVale McGee, Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs
The options at center are not great, with Embiid still doubtful to play and Nurkic and Whiteside marginalized. McGee, who is averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 boards, and 3.0 stocks has arguably been the most consistent center out of all the options available in tonight’s slate (except Davis, who is still classified as a power forward despite obviously playing the 5 in the playoffs.) However, he is questionable due to a quad injury. In case he doesn’t feature, take a hard look at Zach Collins. The rookie has played 22 minutes in the first two games and has been able to contribute fairly well.
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