NBA GPP Pivots: Saturday 5/22 Playoff Edition

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Point Guard

Jrue Holiday - Milwaukee Bucks (vs. Miami Heat)

Holiday has a stellar match-up against Kendrick Nunn. Holiday has totaled 19.0 points per game this season against the Miami Heat. Holiday has faced the heat three times averaging 31.3 minutes per game and is shooting 44.7% from the field. Jrue has managed to shoot 52.4% from three-point land in these games against Miami. Over three games against Miami this season, Antetokounmpo averaged just 16.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 9.3 assists. If Miami is able to limit Giannis, other Bucks such as Holiday and Middleton are going to need to step up for Milwaukee in order to keep this game close. If you’re making just one lineup, invest in either Giannis OR Holiday/Middleton for optimal exposure to the Milwaukee Bucks today.
Other PG Option: Damian Lillard & Kemba Walker

Shooting Guard

Norman Powell - Portland Trail Blazers (vs. Denver Nuggets)

With so many people investing in Lillard and McCollum, don’t forget about Norman Powell. Powell is a true scorer. When Lillard and/or McCollum cannot perform, Powell is looked upon to carry Portland (typically in isolation). Powell will be matching up against Denver's small forward situation which quite honestly is lacking. Denver has the options of Michael Porter and Aaron Gordon. In my opinion, Robert Covington and Norman Powell have significant offensive advantages over Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter. My other top bet of the day will be the Portland Trailblazers to win against the Denver Nuggets. The Trailblazers are currently at -105 with a 227 O/U. The Miami Heat and the Portland Trail Blazers are my top bets of the day.

Other SG Option: Duncan Robinson

Small Forward

Trevor Ariza - Miami Heat (vs. Milwaukee Bucks)

Trevor Ariza becomes one of my top players on today’s slate as his experience will be much needed against a talented Milwaukee Bucks team. His matchup(s) aren’t particularly bad. He should mostly match up against Middleton, not known for his defensive abilities. The Bucks are favored by - 5 points with a 227 O/U courtesy of PointsBet.com. Holiday should have the most favorable matchup in this game (against Kendrick Nunn). I’ve mentioned many times throughout this season that Holiday's defensive improvements have impressed me while his offensive abilities have remained elite. In my experience, when analyzing Bucks games, if you’re able to limit Giannis, you’re able to defeat the Bucks. Now the question remains, how has Miami fared against Giannis this season. Well, The Bucks have faced Miami three times throughout the 2021 regular season. Over those three games, Antetokounmpo averaged just 16.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 9.3 assists. These averages are Giannis’ third worst of the season. Antetokounmpo clearly has struggled against Miami. Some might say these numbers are average, but considering his massive totals against the rest of the league an average of just 16.7 points over a three-game span is indicative that the matchup is poor. Give me the Miami Heat today with the points against a Milwaukee team that just beat Miami on May 15th, 122 - 108. Miami last beat the Bucks 119 - 108 earlier this season on December 30th. The Heat have the pieces in place to not only win today but to also compete in this series. Once again, the Miami Heat are my top pick of the day for betting purposes (along with Portland).

Other SF Option: Jimmy Butler

Power Forward

Jayson Tatum - Boston Celtics (vs. Brooklyn Nets)

The most intriguing game on today's slate is the Brooklyn Nets against the Boston Celtics. Everyone knows the Nets are capable of scoring whether it’s with Kyrie, Harden, or Durant. The question is, can they limit the Celtic's offense. Brooklyn’s defense has been quite horrible this season and the Celtics have a handful of skilled players capable of scoring at will tonight. Tatum is one of my top players for multiple reasons. Jaylen Brown is obviously out which allows for an increase in rebounds, shot attempts, and overall usage for Tatum. With that said, he also has a favorable offensive matchup against Kevin Durant. It’s important to make a distinction between a great DFS matchup and a great overall matchup. Obviously, Kevin Durant is an amazing player but defensively he is lacking. I see this game as a fast-paced, high-scoring affair mainly favoring both teams' superstars. It’s important to also remember that when playoff basketball comes around teams tend to run their top six players more frequently, using their bench less. If you can figure out a way to fit three superstars in your lineup today (aka “stars and scrubs”) you will be looking at a lucrative Saturday for this four-game slate. Game stacking is also a huge strategy on small playoffs slates that must be considered. Pointsbet.com currently has the Nets favored by -360 with a 232 O/U. While I do think the Nets ultimately win this game, Boston should have some valuable/lucrative plays.

Other PF Option: Kevin Durant

Center

Value Centers - (Multiple Centers at valuable salaries)

The center position is tough today. It’s important to find value in order to fit the expensive superstars that I mentioned before. I can’t say this enough, for NBA playoffs, teams are not digging into their bench as much as the regular season. Finding value will be difficult but if you are able to do so you’re off to a great start. If you can somehow confidently roster three players under the salary of $4,000 on DraftKings, your remaining salary should be flexible enough to afford two (maybe three) superstars. So, where am I going with this? The center position might be where you can grab that value tonight. Zubac, Lopez, Ibaka, Kanter, and Jeff Green are all viable options in the $4,000 salary range on DK, worth taking a look at. Correlations that would make sense include Powell and Ibaka. Jokic and Kanter as well as Tatum and Jeff Green. Correlation players are huge for daily fantasy success. If you have any questions as to why I believe two players correlate well together, feel free to message me @JaguarDFS on Twitter, and I can go into more detail.

Other C Option: Brook Lopez