It's time to update where we are in the NBA Playoffs. Surprisingly, the Oklahoma City Thunder has a 3 to 2 lead over the San Antonio Spurs in their best of 7 series. Not surprisingly, Toronto and Miami are battling it out in a tough second round Eastern Conference throw down. Golden State is up 3 to 1 over the Portland Trailblazers in a series that saw 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry return from an injury on May 9. Also not surprisingly, Cleveland sits at home waiting to see who will win in the Toronto or Miami series.
As far as Daily Fantasy Basketball is concerned, there is a single player, except for the Spurs who have 2 players, from each team left in the playoffs that fantasy basketball fans pretty much have to put onto their teams. The stars have shined. My guess, is that they'll continue to shine.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook, PG – Kevin Durant scored 41 points in the 111 to 97 win over San Antonio on May 8. I certainly understand why you want him on your team. But, Westbrook has been the most consistent player out of the 2 during the playoffs. In the Thunder's 95 to 91 win over the Spurs on May 10, Westbrook scored 35 points, grabbed 11 boards and dished 8 assists. He did have 8 turnovers but let's be honest, without Russell there's no way that OKC wins that game.
San Antonio Spurs
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF and Kawhi Leonard, SF – You could go with Leonard or Aldridge as the Spurs most important player. My guess is that if the Spurs want to get back into this game, they're going to let both Leonard and Aldridge go one on one against the Thunder on the offensive end while working to set up their defense on the other end of the court. When the Spurs run the offense through Aldridge or Leonard, they have a lot of success against Oklahoma City. Both guys are going to have to play a lot of minutes in the next 2 games for the Spurs to have any chance of beating OKC.
Dwayne Wade, SG – With center Hassan Whiteside out, the onus has been placed on the Heat's guards to step it up. Goran Dragic is a terrific player, but Wade has put the pressure on himself to take it to the Raptors in the series versus Toronto. In the last 2 games, D-Wade has scored a combined 68 points, dished a combined 6 assists and grabbed a combined 12 boards. It's going to be up to him if Miami moves on. He knows this.
Kyle Lowry, PG – Finally, Toronto's point-guard has kicked it into gear. His line in the 96 to 92 win over Miami on May 5 was 18 points, 4 boards and 8 assists. In the 95 to 91 win over the Heat on May 7 was 33 points, 2 boards and 2 assists. Even though he only scored 10 points in the 87 to 94 loss on May 9, he dished 9 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds. Lowry has to play well in order for Toronto to beat Miami in the series.
Kevin Love, PF – Once the Cavaliers get back onto the court, it's going to be difficult to find better value than you will from Kevin Love. LeBron should be the high cost player that dings your salary cap every time the Cavs play. Guard Kyrie Irving is going to cost you a pretty penny as well. While Kyrie can be up or down, Love always produces. He scored a total of 48 points, dished 7 assists and grabbed 28 boards in the final 2 wins over Atlanta in Round 2.
Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry, PG – Now that Steph Curry is back, he's the man for the Warriors. In 36:34 minutes, Curry scored 40 points, dished 6 assists and grabbed 8 boards in the Warriors' 132 to 125 overtime victory over Portland on May 9.
Damian Lillard, PG – Even though Golden State should close out Portland on Wednesday, May 11, I should mention Damian Lillard. Lillard has a combined 76 points, 20 assists and 11 rebounds in the last 2 games in this series. Lillard is going to do whatever he can tonight to keep the Warriors from winning the series, meaning that if you can put him on your team at less of a cost than Curry, do it. He should eclipse 40 points and 10 assists in a bid to extend the series.