Game 1 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors is in the books. As crazy as it sounds, Oklahoma City is up 1 to 0 over the defending champion Warriors in Game 1. The way that Oklahoma City took down the Warriors on May 16 is why the Thunder has a big shot to win the series. The Thunder beat the Warriors via a much improved defense. The reason that this is important to understand is because when it comes to daily fantasy basketball both FanDuel and DraftKings offer more points for defensive plays like blocks and steals.
In this blog, I want to go through each position on the basketball court, from center to point-guard, in terms of Top 3 salary. This should give us NBA Fantasy Basketball players a good idea as to how to construct our teams during the NBA Conference Finals.
1.Bismack Biyombo, Toronto Raptors – Biyombo costs the most at the center position because he's going to be on the court almost the entire time against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He's simply the best rebounder on Toronto's team now Jonas Valanciunas is out.
2. Steve Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder – He produced in Game 1 with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks. He's going to cost less than Biyombo and figures to be an important part of Oklahoma City's quest to take down the Golden State. He hit 6 straight free throws versus the Warriors on May 16.
3. Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers – Thompson routinely grabs 10 rebounds or more in every game in which he plays. He doesn't score a lot of points. But, he's usually good for at least 1 or 2 blocks a game.
1.Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors – Green was just okay in Game 1 versus the Thunder. Even though he had 2 blocks and a steal, he also turned the ball over once and only grabbed 5 rebounds. His 23 points were nice but he usually has more than 4 assists like he did on May 16. I think at his likely cost, he may not be worth putting onto your fantasy basketball team.
2. Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers –Love has been awesome in the NBA Playoffs. He's averaging a double-double. I think, if anything, Love becomes more effective versus the Toronto Raptors than he was against the Atlanta Hawks. Toronto isn't that big inside, meaning that Love could dominate in the paint and on the boards.
3. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder – He scored 11 points, grabbed 11 boards, had a block and assist and turned the ball over once in Game 1. I'm not sure he's worth putting on your team over Love. But, it depends on your philosophy. If you like Kevin Durant or LeBron James, it's going to be difficult to have Love on your team. Ibaka might be the right guy for you.
1.LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers – King James can give you a triple-double on any night. But, he won't come cheap. He also has 11 combined turnovers in the last 2 Cleveland games. Like Love, he should be magic on the boards since Toronto's inside game isn't comparable to the Cavaliers without Valanciunas.
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder – Like King James, Durant's going to cost you quite a bit of salary in order to put him onto your fantasy basketball team. He may be worth it. This is especially true after Durant had 26 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block against the Warriors on May 16.
3. DeMarre Carroll, Toronto Raptors/Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors – Carroll with the Raptors and Iguodala with the Warriors should cost you about the same in terms of salary. Out of the 2, Iguodala has the better matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Carroll will probably get you more points. But Iguodala is more defensive minded. He had 3 steals against Oklahoma City to go along with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 points in Game 1 against the Thunder. Iguodala figures to be more involved in Game 2.
1.DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors – DeRozan scored 34 points, 23 points and 28 points in the Raptors last 3 games, 2 wins and a loss, versus the Miami Heat in Round 2. The problem with using DeRozan is that he's a streaky shooter who can turn the ball over more than he gets assists or steals. I'm not sure how much he's worth putting onto your fantasy basketball team considering his cost.
2. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors – Thompson and DeRozan should cost you about the same. The big difference with Thompson is that he appears capable of doing more than DeRozan. Versus the Thunder, Thompson not only scored 25 points, but he also grabbed 9 boards and had 4 assists. That off-set his 4 turnovers. I prefer Thompson over DeRozan.
3. J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers – Yes, he's been a dud in the last 2 Cavalier games. But, he could be a stud on any given night. He not only scores but he also dishes assists, grabs rebounds and comes up with the occasional block or steal. The sure thing out of these 3 is Klay Thompson, but Smith is a viable alternative if you want to go with Curry or Westbrook at the point-guard position.
1. Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors – He's a must use. This is especially true since the Warriors lost Game 1 in the Western Conference Finals to Oklahoma City. Curry's going to step up his game during the rest of the series. Look for at least 30 points with at least 10 boards or 10 assists and at least 5 boards or 5 assists in every game left in the series.
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder – I'm going to try and find a way to put Westbrook on my fantasy basketball team as well. Westbrook can turn the ball over. But, he can also do something amazing like get 7 steals in a game, which is what he did in Game 1 versus the Warriors. He also almost always comes up with a double-double if not a triple double every time he hits the court.
3. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors – From what I've seen, Lowry is going to cost you more than Kyrie Irving. He might make more sense to put onto your team than Irving. The reason is because Lowry has become the focal point of the Raptors offense. He scored 35 and 36 in the last 2 games versus the Miami Heat. He gets rebounds and he gets assists. I like Lowry, but I'd only put him on my team if I was positive that I didn't want both Curry and Westbrook.