What in the world are the NBA schedule makers doing? These teams haven't played since Tuesday, and it's hard to understand why there's such a significant break in the middle of the series. A traveling day or two is one thing, but Tuesday to Saturday is bizarre. In any case, it should have these teams fully rested and give some of these nicked-up players time to get right. One of those will feature in the guard section, so let's start there!
What Morant did in Game 2 was special. He scored the final 15 points for Memphis in that critical victory, finishing with 47 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals. This feisty guard has been playing at that level for a while, scoring at least 43 Yahoo points in all eight playoff games. He's also averaging 55 fantasy points per game and has walloped the Warriors all season. In fact, he is averaging 32.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 2.2 steals in their five matchups this year!
Marcus Smart, BOS at MIL ($20)
Smart missed Game 2 because of a thigh bruise, but he should be ready to go here after a week off. The Defensive Player of the Year is averaging over 30 Yahoo points per game since the end of January. That's really all you can hope for from a $20 player, and it seems likely that he'll play 40 minutes. That's been the case in this Milwaukee matchup, posting a 34-point average across 35 minutes in their five meetings this season.
Guard to Avoid
Desmond Bane, MEM at GSW ($23)
Bane has not looked right in this series. He was arguably the Grizzlies' best player at times against Minnesota, but he's taking a backseat to Morant in this series. Bane has 15 or fewer Yahoo points in both games against Golden State, combing for just 27 Yahoo points in total. This guy averaged 35 fantasy points per game over the final two months of the regular season, and it's clear he's hampered by the way he's grabbing his legs during every break. Facing the Warriors isn't making that any easier, with Bane failing to crack 20 Yahoo points in four of their six matchups this year.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. BOS ($57)
Fading Giannis on a two-game slate is silly. This is one of the most reliable players in fantasy, scoring at least 35 Yahoo points in all but two games this season. He's been even better recently, averaging 59 Yahoo points per game since February 1. Facing this stingy Boston defense may worry some, but Giannis has at least 48 fantasy points in each of their last four matchups. That alone makes him tough to fade, especially since he's not going to sustain the 39 percent field goal percentage that he's been posting in this series. He's a 56 percent career shooter, and a night like that will put him in line for 70 Yahoo points.
Grant Williams, BOS vs. MIL ($12)
Grant and Giannis are a great pairing. We say that because Williams is playing nearly every minute Antetokounmpo is out there, playing some of the most stifling defense he's seen. Williams is more than just that, averaging 24 Yahoo points per game across 33 minutes a night over the last five outings. That might not sound like much, but it's brilliant production from such an affordable player. The math is simple: It's much easier to get 80 Yahoo points from Giannis and Grant at $70 than it is to get 40 fantasy points apiece from two $35 players.
Forward to Avoid
Andrew Wiggins, GSW vs. MEM ($22)
Wiggins was already struggling when he had to battle Curry, Thompson and Green for touches, but with Poole in the picture now, it's nearly impossible for Wiggins. The Canadian has only cracked 31 Yahoo points twice in his last 18 games, generating a 27-point average in that span. That's simply not good enough, and it's going to be tough for him to produce with those four swallowing up all of the usage in Golden State.
Draymond Green, GSW at MEM ($23)
Green is a risky play, but we can't fade him at $23. The stat-stuffing big man is averaging 32 Yahoo points per game across 29 minutes a night over his last 13 outings. That's the guy we've seen all year, and he should provide a 40-point average in the 35 minutes we expect. He's mauled Memphis all year, too, averaging 37 fantasy points per game against them in the regular season. His only dud was that Game 1 ejection, but 18 Yahoo points in the first half indicate that he was well on his way to another 35-40 fantasy points.
Bobby Portis, MIL vs. BOS ($19)
It was unclear who would step up for Khris Middleton, but Portis is proving that he's the guy. The big man is averaging 35 Yahoo points per game without Middleton this year. His minutes, rebounds, usage and shot attempts have all skyrocketed in his absence, with Portis averaging 14.8 points and 12.4 rebounds since that injury. The challenging matchup with Boston hasn't slowed him down either, scoring at least 27 Yahoo points in five of their six matchups this year.
Center to Avoid
Brook Lopez, MIL vs. BOS ($16)
Lopez has gotten pretty cheap, but he's not a part of this offense right now. The big man is playing just 26 minutes a night over the last five games while attempting just six shots a night. That's terrifying since Lopez is one of the worst rebounding centers around, with his 2.2 blocks being the only thing keeping him fantasy relevant. If you take those out, he's averaging fewer than 15 Yahoo points per game and is severely limited in this matchup. Not only was Boston the best defense in the regular season, but they also surrendered the fewest fantasy points to opposing centers as well.