Defenses to avoid: None: There are no clear defensive mismatches on Tuesday. The best defense on paper, the Jazz, lost their best player and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert in Game 1, and he’s been ruled out for Game 2. The Raptors are probably the strongest defense that remains -- at least on paper, but they were just dominated in Game 1 by the Bucks’ offense. The Bucks actually held the Raptors down very effectively in Game 1, but that was an upset and it would be risky to depend on a repeat performance. Thus, for today, it’s about offense and matchups more so than defense.
Offense to use: LA Clippers, vs UTA: Every team playing on Tuesday could conceivably put up points against their opponents. However, the Clippers have a potent enough offense to compete even when Gobert is playing, and without him they should be able to get more of what they want. And since they are one of the teams with the most impetus to win, it seems likely that their veteran offensive core will produce their best game on Tuesday.
Chris Paul, LAC vs UTA ($9,200): Paul has been playing excellent ball for weeks, and Game 1 was no exception. He turned in 25 points with 11 assists, seven rebounds and three steals on Saturday and is expected to come up big again on Tuesday for a Clippers team that must win Game 2 at home to avoid going on the road down 0 – 2.
Rajon Rondo, CHI at BOS ($6,800): This is a bit of a departure for norm, because traditionally this slot would go to a shooting guard. However, Rondo is a better value for the moderate price tag than any shooting guard less expensive than DeMar DeRozan. Rondo scored 36.5 fantasy points in Game 1, despite only playing 26.6 minutes due to foul trouble. He has the size and speed to get into the lane and produce, and he has the motivation of trying to beat the team that raised and then traded him.
Tony Snell, MIL at TOR ($3,700): The only reason this spot isn’t Avery Bradley is because Bradley’s price is just a bit too high, but he still seems like one of the best values on the board for under $6K. Nevertheless, Snell is a reasonable punt-play option. He has scored 22 and 24 fantasy points in his last two games, and his five-game average against the Raptors has been 18.4, which is still above his season average. He doesn’t have huge upside, but he’s in the midst of a productive stretch that could be worth it at his price.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at TOR ($10,300): Antetokounmpo is in a very consistent space right now. He produced 48 fantasy points in Game 1 against the Raptors, he averaged 47.4 fantasy points over his last three games back to the regular season, and in five games against the Raptors this season he has averaged 49 fantasy points. His expected value for Tuesday seems straight forward, and he of course has upside to surpass his averages by quite a bit on a given day.
Blake Griffin, LAC vs UTA ($7,600): Griffin has averaged 37 fantasy points in five games against the Jazz this season, even with the majority of them including Rudy Gobert as a back line of defense for the Jazz. Griffin scored 39.3 fantasy points in Game 1, primarily without Gobert, but he was on a much faster pace before stalling in the fourth quarter. With Gobert out for Game 2, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan both have the potential for big games for the Clippers.
Joe Johnson, UTA at LAC ($5,100): Johnson popped for an unexpected 38.3 fantasy points in Game 1, more than double his season average of 17.7 fantasy points. However, he has the clearly established ability to play at that level historically, and he produced 37.3 fantasy points just eight days ago against the Warriors. He has tended to disappear after big games this season, but that seems to be more about his normal team role than a lack of ability. With Rudy Gobert out, there is a larger likelihood that the Jazz will rely on their veteran professional scorer again in Game 2.
DeAndre Jordan, LAC vs UTA ($7,000): Jordan scored 37.3 fantasy points in Game 2, and has averaged 41.3 fantasy points in his last four games back to the regular season. The Jazz have held Jordan below his averages this season, but that is largely attributable to Rudy Gobert. With Gobert absent, and Jordan having the chance to prepare for the game with that in mind, he has a good chance to really establish himself and dominate Tuesday.
Serge Ibaka, TOR vs MIL ($5,800): Ibaka has played well against the Bucks all season, and Game 1 was no exception. On Saturday, he turned in 19 points, 14 rebounds and three assists, and through five games against the Bucks this season Ibaka is averaging 34.6 fantasy points per game. The big man is dealing with a sprained ankle and is considered a game-time call, but the expectation is that he'll be cleared to play.
Greg Monroe, MIL at TOR ($5,200): Monroe was battling Derrick Favors for this slot, with Favors getting the boost from his start at center with Rudy Gobert out. However, Monroe outproduced Favors in their respective Game 1s (38.8 fantasy points to 26.5). Monroe has scored at least 32 fantasy points in three of his last four games, a foundation of good play that Favors hasn’t been able to demonstrate this season.