16th May 2016
And then there were four! The NBA Conference Finals have been set, and the four teams competing for the Larry O’Brien trophy are the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors in the West, and the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors in the East. Their respective roads to the finals have been anything but easy, and the competition will only get stiffer in the semi-finals. The same goes for fantasy basketball betting, but through taking a look into what happened last week, you can have a successful Week 30.
The Toronto Raptors finally exorcised their playoff demons when they demolished the Miami Heat by a score of 116-89 in Game Seven on Sunday. They did this without their young stud Jonas Valanciunas down low and with an hurting DeMarre Carroll on the wing. As always, their guard tandem of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan led them to another Game Seven victory. They combined for 63 points and shot 47 percent, their best combined performance of the playoffs. Miami surprisingly bowed out without much of a fight, especially considering the Dwayne Wade vs. LeBron matchup that we almost got to experience. Goran Dragic and Wade were the Heat’s leading scorers with just 16 each, but it was Miami’s lack of free throws that led to their demise. The Heat shot just 23 free throws compared to the Raptors whopping 34 freebies. Though both Lowry and DeRozan cost in the $7000s and occasionally $8000s on FanDuel and DraftKings, they are great picks for any DFS contests in Week 30.
In the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder completed the biggest upset of the postseason so far when they took out the San Antonio Spurs in a blowout home win. They won Game Six 113-99, but in reality the game was never close. The Spurs’ offense sputtered the whole game, and their defense simply couldn’t contain Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Thankfully for OKC, San Antonio isn’t the only team that has had this problem this season. The Golden State Warriors have had to grind out victories when playing the Thunder, like the now infamous win when Stephen Curry hit the near half-court three pointer at the buzzer. Kevin Durant especially has stepped up his game against the Dubs, and that should continue in the Western Conference Finals. Though he costs around $10,000, KD regularly puts up 45+ fantasy points a night, making him a must-have for your lineup. As far as point guards go, you can’t get much better value than Russell Westbrook provides. Even if his price tag is slightly higher than Durant’s, his numbers can be as well. He has scored at least 48 fantasy points in his last five games, a feat totally unmatched in the playoffs and nearly unattainable for any other player – even Durant. Westbrook has struggled some against Golden State recently, but expect him to come out firing with his team in line for a trip to the finals.