This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
We're set for a single-game slate Saturday night as the Jazz and Clippers meet in Los Angeles for Game 3 of a series Utah is already leading 2-0. LA will hope for a boost on their home floor of Staples Center, although the Clippers did drop three games there to the Mavericks in the first round.
With just one game on the ledger, we're dealing with DraftKings' Showdown contest rosters, which are comprised as follows:
· Captain's Spot - Garners points at 1.5x the normal rate
· Five Utility spots - Garner points at normal rate
With players carrying markedly higher salaries when rostered in the Captain Spot, there are definitely strategic elements particular to single-game lineups. Picking the right player for that multiplier spot becomes particularly key to success, as the higher salary that player carries naturally affects the composition of the rest of your roster.
Utah Jazz at LA Clippers (Projected total: 223.5 points):
The first two games of the series have finished with totals of 221 and 228 points, so this number seems to be right in a reasonable range of outcomes. The Clippers have averaged 110 points over the first pair of contests in the series, but they put up 115.6 per home game during the regular season and thus far in the postseason. In turn, the Jazz have been just a bit more vulnerable on the road (110.2 PPG allowed when traveling, compared to 105.4 at home), and they've also put up an impressive 115.7 points per away game. With the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Donovan Mitchell all virtual locks for over 20 points at minimum, there could certainly be a good chance of this total being met.
Injury Situations to Monitor
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written (usually late morning Eastern time), check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.
Mike Conley, UTA (hamstring)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Conley appears to be a 50/50 proposition once again to play after missing the first two games of the series. If he were to sit out again, Joe Ingles should log another start at point guard.
Other notable injuries to monitor:
Serge Ibaka, LAC (back)/ Status: OUT
There are three players with five-figure (non-Captain's spot) salaries on the slate – Kawhi Leonard ($11,400), Donovan Mitchell ($11,000) and Paul George ($10,400). The three are also the top candidates for the Captain's spot, given their typically diversified fantasy contributions and massive usage.
Leonard has averaged 37.9 DK points over the first two games of the series while shooting a solid 47.2 percent, and he's shot 51.4 percent, including 42.0 percent from three-point range, at home this regular season and postseason.
Mitchell has been nearly unstoppable throughout the postseason and especially in the first two games of the current series, averaging 55.1 DK points over those contests while shooting 52.5 percent, including 44.4 percent from three-point range. Mitchell is putting up a jaw-dropping 13.5 attempts from behind the arc alone and 29.5 per game overall, and that type of usage and efficiency is worth every bit of the $11K figure.
George is an interesting case, as he appears to be mired in one of his unfortunate shooting slumps. The veteran wing has posted an abysmal 34.0 percent success rate from the floor over his last three postseason games overall, but thanks to his production in other categories, he's managed 37.5 and 49.0 DK points in the first two games of the series.
With only one game on the ledger, all of the players just mentioned in the previous section will certainly be very popular. Additionally, the Jazz's Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovic and the Clippers' Reggie Jackson should also be heavily rostered based on their performances thus far in the series.
Note: On a multi-game slate, I typically try to highlight players that would be considered under-the-radar plays in this section. Naturally, with such a limited player pool, there will be very few low-rostered players that are likely to also be viable from a DFS perspective, so I'll instead focus on two of the best candidates to provide a strong return relative to salary.
Joe Ingles, UTA at LAC ($6,000)
Ingles thrived in Mike Conley's absence in Game 2, putting up 33.0 DK points on a well-rounded line of 19 points, four rebounds, our assists and one steal. The sharpshooter was locked in with a 70.0 percent success rate from the floor overall, and he'd also contributed a solid 22.3 DK points in Game 1 despite a forgettable 3-for-12 tally from the field in that contest. Ingles is primarily a viable play if Conley is confirmed out again, as he should once again handle starting point guard duties. It's also worth mentioning Ingles was a highly efficient performer on the road this season, shooting 49.5 percent, including 44.8 percent from behind the arc when traveling.
Royce O'Neale, UTA at LAC ($5,400)
O'Neale might lose a bit of his popularity after a Game 2 clunker in which he posted just 16.8 DK points across 41 minutes. O'Neale took just four shot attempts in that contest after putting up between seven and 11 in four of his first five postseason games, and he also had an atypically underwhelming night on the boards with just three rebounds. However, O'Neale had put up 24.8 to 39 DK points in the last five playoff games before Thursday's while shooting 55.3 percent, including 50.0 percent from three-point range. His ability to stuff the stat sheet and also put on an efficient display from long-distance keeps him a viable tournament play at his salary.