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1 Philadelphia 76ers vs 8 Washington Wizards
DFS/Angle: Every now and then you have to zig when everyone else zags - when constructing a DFS lineup, this series specifically might present a good opportunity to do that. Philly won all three games in the regular season against Washington and in those three games, Seth Curry averaged a tick above 18 points per game and shot 8-for-15 from the three-point line. Ownership will skew heavy towards the "Big 4" in this series, but with Beal still not 100%, we can certainly look elsewhere for low price/solid ceiling.
2 Brooklyn Nets vs 7 Boston Celtics
DFS/Angle: Much of the headlines surrounding this series will center around Brooklyn’s trio of superstars - Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden – all being on the court together and attempting to gel accordingly. But who do you want to invest the most in? Irving is likely the best bet here in a revenge spot that saw him end his situation in Boston sourly. Irving missed Brooklyn’s games against the Celtics in 2019-2020 due to a shoulder injury, but in three games against the Celtics this year he averaged 30.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists. Things didn’t always go smoothly between Irving and Celtics coach Brad Stevens when Irving was in Beantown, and he now he gets a chance to eliminate Stevens & Co.
3 Milwaukee Bucks vs 6 Miami Heat
DFS/Angle: In a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinal series won by Miami in five games, Khris Middleton is back after averaging 25.6 points per game to go with 6.8 assists and 6 rebounds in that series last year despite a loss for the Bucks. It was Milwaukee’s lack of depth that ultimately was its undoing, not Middleton. The Bucks also made an aggressive play for Jrue Holiday in the offseason and now they get the same team that they lost to without Holiday one year ago. Expect the former Pelican to play a key role in the series and for Middleton to be undervalued in both the player prop/DFS markets to start.
4 New York Knicks vs 5 Atlanta Hawks
DFS/Angle: New York’s Derrick Rose, as well as Atlanta’s Clint Capela and Danilo Gallinari, are the only players in this series that have played meaningful playoff minutes in the past in their careers. That should be pretty valuable against a bunch of playoff novices and especially for Gallo, who had his own stint in New York and will be motivated to show one of his old teams that he's still got juice left in the tank. Look for coach Thibs to also lean on the veteran Rose against a young and inexperienced ATL backcourt here. While the Knicks deployed a deep rotation for stretches of the regular season, we project Rose to garner 30+ minutes per game throughout the season and come close to averaging 20+ points per game while taking advantage of Trae Young's weak perimeter defense. Take advantage yourself while the price tag is too low.
1 Utah Jazz vs 8 Memphis Grizzlies
DFS/Prop Angle: He might not be the first person you think of when it comes to revenge spots, but Mike Conley should outperform his DFS price in this series. Conley certainly showed some emotion in describing what a series would be like going up against his former team. It's Conley's second go-around in the postseason with the Utah Jazz now, and there are serious expectations for a deep run in Salt Lake City this postseason. Deep run or not, I'm sure Conley would love to eliminate the team that traded him away two years ago and is gushing over a new young point guard, albeit an inexperienced one, in Ja Morant. Conley's numbers were modest against Memphis during the regular season, but with Donovan Mitchell still not at full strength (even if he plays), we expect Conley to take charge in the first unit for Utah vs. the Grizzlies.
2 Phoenix Suns vs 7 Los Angeles Lakers
DFS/Angle: We often give out buys when it comes to player spots, but we’re going to give out a pretty decent fade here - De’Andre Ayton had 26 and 17 points respectively in his first two games in the regular season against the Lakers. However, the third time around Anthony Davis returned to the lineup for the purple and gold and held the young big for Phoenix to just six points while only attempting three field goals in the process. Now Ayton has to battle Davis again and gets his first taste of the playoffs? No thanks.
3 Denver Nuggets vs 6 Portland Trail Blazers
DFS Angle: Out of all the guards in Denver’s rotation, it was Austin Rivers who actually played the most minutes against the Trail Blazers this season. Granted Rivers played two games against Portland with the New York Knicks, but with the Nuggets still trying to figure out what combination of guards works best in their backcourt sans Jamal Murray, it doesn't sound like a backcourt ready for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum either way. Both Portland guards are sure to be expensive, but at least one of them is likely worth paying up for against a Murray-less Denver team that might struggle to defend on the perimeter with Rivers, Campazzo & Company. Don't sleep on Nurkic as a contrarian/lower-cost option to Jokic either.
4 Los Angeles Clippers vs 5 Dallas Mavericks
DFS Angle: Much like Milwaukee vs. Miami in the Eastern Conference, we have another playoff rematch from one year ago in the West with the Clippers meeting the Mavericks. We’re also taking a similar angle here and targeting a player added to the team that lost the series one year ago and expect him to make a difference in narrowing the gap at the very least. In this case, it’ll be Dallas’s Josh Richardson. Richardson averaged a tick below 14 points per game against the Clippers in three regular season games but will be needed both contain the Clippers defensively and provide a much-needed scoring/shooting spark outside of Doncic and Hardaway. We all know that Kawhi and PG13 will be highly-owned on DraftKings and rightfully so, but if you're looking for a low-cost option who can chip in with rebounds (3.7 per game vs. LAC), assists (2.0), steals (2.0) and blocks (0.7), look no further than Richardson to help fill the stat sheet with extended minutes to boot for the Dallas Mavericks- and at a tag of $4,300 we're OK with the floor.