The NBA playoffs continue with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday as the Miami Heat hosting the Boston Celtics.
The Heat are the more rested team, having dispatched the 76ers in six games the previous round. Meanwhile, the Celtics were taken to the brink by the Bucks, but they continued their impressive playoff run with a Game 7 victory on Sunday afternoon. Not only did Boston eliminate Milwaukee, but it also took out the Nets in a first-round sweep. As we prepare for what should be a fun defensive-minded series, let’s discuss some players to consider for Sportzshala’s single-game contest.
In addition to selecting two flex players, there are three multiplier positions in this single-game format. A player slotted into the Megastar spot will earn double their fantasy points scored. The Superstar spot will earn 1.5x their fantasy points. Finally, the star will earn 1.2x their fantasy points.
With that in mind, let’s discuss who should be in your lineups tonight.
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Jayson Tatum ($42): Coming off an impressive regular season, Tatum has averaged 28.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game during the playoffs. One of the keys has been him logging 41 minutes per contest. Even though this will be a tough series against a very good defensive team, Tatum’s hefty usage rate and ability to contribute in multiple areas makes him an ideal option for one of these important multiplier spots.
Jimmy Butler ($41): Butler put away the 76ers in style, recording 32 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in Game 6. He’s scored at least 32 points in three of the last four games, while also dishing out at least six assists two times during that stretch. Kyle Lowry (hamstring) is out again, so Butler should continue to see added opportunities in that area. Butler carries a tremendously high floor.
Jaylen Brown ($31): Brown has proven to be an excellent running mate for Tatum, putting up 22.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game during the playoffs. Even in a difficult series against the Bucks, he shot 47.7 percent from the field, which was right in line with his regular season mark. He doesn’t have the same overall upside that Tatum and Butler do, though, so Brown might be a better option for the Star spot, rather than the Megastar or Superstar.
Derrick White ($14): News came out Monday that Marcus Smart is listed as questionable with a sprained foot. The Celtics just played Sunday, so Smart won’t exactly have much time off to heal. We saw him miss Game 2 against the Bucks with an injury, as well, so him being sidelined isn’t completely out of the question. Even if he plays, he might be limited. That could open up added opportunities for White, who has already scored at least 23.3 Sportzshala points in three of the last four games.
Victor Oladipo ($12): The absence of Lowry has forced the Heat to rely more on Oladipo. While his numbers weren’t off the charts, he did score at least 23.7 Sportzshala points three times against the 76ers. With Lowry out again, Oladipo has the potential to provide value at near the minimum salary.
PLAYER TO AVOID
Robert Williams ($22): Williams missed nine straight games with a knee injury before returning in Game 3 of the first round against the Nets. He didn’t surpass 25 minutes in any of the five games that he’s appeared in during the playoffs, and knee issues forced him back onto the sidelines for the Celtics’ last four games. He’s reportedly been cleared to make his return for Game 1, but how many minutes he plays, and how effective he will be, is still a question mark.