The first round of the playoffs are winding down with four teams battling it out to move on to the second round. The Utah Jazz have a one game lead on the Denver Nuggets with the series at 3-2. The Nuggets picked up a win in the last game with another tremendous game by Jamal Murray. He dropped 42 points (33 of the cane in the second half) while adding eight rebounds and eight assists. They will need another big performance from Murray to stay alive. The LA Clippers also have a one game lead over the Dallas Mavericks with the series at 3-2. The Mavericks will be without Kristaps Porzingis and potentially Luka Doncic as he is listed as questionable. It is looking grim for the Mavericks if Doncic can not go, but he is viable as always if he suits up.
The other game on the slate is the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors. This is the first game of the second series.
With the series on the line last Tuesday, Murray took it upon himself to keep his team alive. In the second half alone he dropped 33 points for a total of 42 on the game. Over the last two games Murray has taken 57 shot attempts, grabbed 19 rebounds and dished out 15 assists. This is the type of player I want on my team. He is doing everything possible to keep the teams playoff dreams alive. I expect a similar effort today.
The Celtics start a new series against the Raptors today with the first game of the day. The Raptors will put focus on slowing down Jason Tatum and Kemba Walker. Kyle Lowry has done a solid job defending Tatum limiting his shot attempts and scoring. This brings Brown into play today as I expect a similar game plan by the Raptors. In the previous series he averaged over 20 points and five rebounds while adding a few defensive stats.
The start of the first series Gasol was very disappointing barely reaching value in the first game and underperforming in the second. He turned it up a bit during the last two games exceeding value on both games. The Celtics are a very good defensive team, but the one area they struggle with is big men. Gasol is a cheap option that can hit value even with 20 minutes. A better option on DraftKings.
Nikola Jokic started off last game on fire then gave way to Murray. The Nuggets need a big game from both today.
Delon Wright is a GPP play. The Mavericks have a few players listed as questionable(Doncic, Hardaway and Burke). Depending on who sits out this game most likely won’t stay close. This allows Wright to pick up more minutes.
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