Every game has been decided in the first quarter, and there hasn’t been enough fight from two of the best teams in the NBA. Seeing non-competitive games is the last thing we want in the conference finals, but we’re fortunate to have a 2-2 series. I’d be surprised if we get another blowout here, so let’s dive into this Game 5!
- Robert Williams (knee) Questionable
- Kyle Lowry (hamstring) Questionable
- Jimmy Butler (knee) Questionable
- Max Strus (hamstring) Questionable
- P.J. Tucker (knee) Questionable
- Tyler Herro (groin) Questionable
- Marcus Smart (ankle) Questionable
- Jayson Tatum (shoulder) Questionable
- Gabe Vincent (hamstring) Questionable
Either Tatum or Butler will win the Larry Bird Eastern Conference finals MVP trophy. Tatum is probably the better bet of the two because Boston is more likely to win. JT is a primary reason why, averaging 46 Yahoo points per game over his last eight games played. His usage is what makes him so valuable, taking nearly 21 shots while playing 39 minutes a night. If those things continue (which they will), JT needs to be used in every lineup out there.
Cash Game Considerations
JB has been terrible the last two games, but one of those was a blowout, and the other was shortened due to injury. This guy was the best player in this series before that, averaging 53 Y! points per game across his last 12 playoff games. We expect that player to show up here because this is a must-win matchup in a 2-2 series. Much like Tatum, Jimmy will be leading his team in usage and will rarely come off the floor, making these two the easiest selections on this slate.
We have to put Smart in the GPP section because we’re not exactly sure if he’ll play. If he does, Marcus is one of the best plays on the board. The Kia Defensive Player of the Year is averaging over 30 Yahoo points per game over the last two months, posting a 38-point average across his last six outings. That makes him way too cheap, and it’s clear that Smart is playing more aggressively the deeper we get into these playoffs. If he’s out there, Smart needs to be in your lineup. If he ends up sitting, don’t forget about Derrick White.
Oladipo was the only Miami player who showed up in the Game 4 blowout. Victor finished that loss with 38 Y! points across 30 minutes of play. Part of that was stepping up for the injured Tyler Herro, but he’s been playing like that for weeks. In fact, Vic is averaging 26 fantasy points per game across his last 14 outings. This guy is too talented to be this cheap, especially if he’s going to play 30 minutes a night and run this offense at times.
Lowry struggled along with the rest of Miami on Monday, but he’s going to play better here. He’s being priced like a bench player, but Lowry averaged over 30 Yahoo points per game in the regular season. We have to believe he’ll step up more here in this critical Game 5, particularly since so many of these Miami players are nicked up. This is a former All-Star who can drop 40 fantasy points on any given night. The track record is too tasty to pass up at this sort of pricing!
Williams is playing too much to be this cheap. The feisty forward has played at least 28 minutes in 14 straight games, amassing a 21-point average across 33 minutes a night. That’s really all you can ask for from such a cheap player, and it looks like he could be asked to do more if Smart has to sit here. His pricing is his most significant asset, and he makes it much easier to squeeze in with studs like Butler and Tatum.
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