As the NBA action heats up and the second-round of the playoffs begins, tonight's DFS slate presents an intriguing mix of games that promise excitement and ample opportunities for fantasy success. The spotlight shines first on the clash between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks, where both teams are eager to assert their dominance on the court. Simultaneously, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets lock horns in a battle of skill and strategy, promising a showdown filled with high-flying plays and intense competition. With star-studded rosters and playoff implications at stake, tonight's games are poised to deliver exhilarating moments that DFS players won't want to miss

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Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks

Total: 216.5

Spread: NYK -6.5

NBA Injury Report

Pacers NBA DFS Injuries

Knicks NBA DFS Injuries

Pacers NBA DFS Breakdown

The Pacers have kept it fairly simple with their rotation this postseason, unlike they did during the regular season. They’re running basically eight guys right now.

Starters: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner

Bench: T.J. McConnell, Ben Sheppard, Obi Toppin

We’ll see if that changes at all with a new series and a different front-court that has a lot more size. I could see Isaiah Jackson or Jalen Smith getting some run too.

Anyways, Tyrese Haliburton is still dealing with the back spasms and is listed as questionable on the injury report. He’ll play, but what will the minutes look like? He played 32, 34, and 32 minutes in the final three games of their first-round series. He didn’t close any of the final three games, one of which he was tracking for 38 minutes if not for the blowout. His minutes seem fine in a competitive setting.

Andrew Nembhard and Aaron Nesmith are both interesting values as Nesmith is now priced below Nembhard. Nesmith has a higher minutes ceiling because he’ll be tasked with guarding Jalen Brunson, but he’ll need to stay out of foul trouble. Both guys sit in the .7 FP/min range this postseason and should play north of 30 minutes.

Pascal Siakam and Myles Turner both had fantastic games in their first-round series with Tyrese Haliburton largely average outside of one explosion. Both of them averaged north of 1.1 FP/min thus far while posting USG rates up over 24 and 25% respectively. I think Siakam is tasked with the OG Anunoby assignment, which isn’t fun for anyone.

The bench is where things get interesting. Obi Toppin and T.J. McConnell will play teens minutes in competitive games, but they’ve been their BEST fantasy producers. In fact, McConnell leads the Pacers in usage (25.9%) this postseason and Toppin is second (24.8%). Toppin is first in FP/min and McConnell is second.

Top Play(s): Tyrese Haliburton, Aaron Nesmith, Obi Toppin, T.J. McConnell

Secondary Play(s): Myles Turner, Pascal Siakam, Andrew Nembhard

Punt(s): None

Knicks NBA DFS Breakdown

Jalen Brunson. Jalen Brunson Jalen Brunson Jalen freakin’ Brunson. That’s the tweet. He’s coming off three straight games in which he’s scored at LEAST 40 points and has 39+ in four straight. In each of those games, Brunson’s notched at LEAST 56 DKP. He’s still just 9.5K on DK. But what do we get to after Brunson?

Well, the Knicks rotation is the easiest one to figure out. It’s straight forward.

Starters: Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, OG Anunoby, Isaiah Hartenstein

Bench: Miles McBride, Mitchell Robinson

I guess there’s an outside shot in the first few games we *could* see an eighth player, maybe Alec Burks or Precious Achiuwa, but that’s not a guarantee because they ultimately can just play Miles McBride more than nine minutes like they did in Game 6.

Donte DiVincenzo is the most volatile when it comes to minutes from the Knicks’ starting lineup as his range of outcomes was 24 to 48 in their first-round series. He has a solid ceiling when shots are falling. Miles McBride is the biggest beneficiary when DiVincenzo is taken off the floor. He had two BIG games in the first round and three games that left something on the table.

Josh Hart is only at .92 FP/min in the postseason so far but when you play 42+ minutes a night, you’re going to produce FP at a high clip. Hart didn’t make a shot in Game 4 and put up 36 DKP. That’s what his impact CAN be. He put 36+ DKP in all six games against the 76ers. OG Anunoby broke out in the final few games of the 76ers series scoring 16+ points in the final four games and paired that with 29+ DKP. He also played 45+ minutes in three of those games and 39 in the other.

The only other question we really have is how the Knicks' center room is handled. Isaiah Hartenstein will start, but how will they split the minutes up between he and Mitchell Robinson? Hartenstein was extended to at least 26 minutes in the final five games of the series while he was only out paced by Robinson once and that came in Game 1. I love the 5.2K price tag for Hartenstein is he gets anywhere close to 30 minutes. I also like Robinson’s 4K tag if he’s the guy extended.

Top Play(s): Jalen Brunson, Isaiah Hartenstein (GPPs), Josh Hart, OG Anunoby

Secondary Play(s): Donte DiVincenzo, Isaiah Hartenstein (Cash), Mitchell Robinson

Punt(s)Miles McBride

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Denver Nuggets

Total: 206.5

Spread: DEN -5.5

NBA Injury Report

Timberwolves NBA DFS Injuries

Nuggets NBA DFS Injuries

Timberwolves NBA DFS Breakdown

Game 1 was insane for the Timberwolves as they went into Denver and beat up the defending champs on their home floor. It was on the back of Anthony Edwards’ 43 points, but they played an overall great team game. Everything runs through Edwards, but lets look at the Timberwolves rotation.

Starters: Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert

Bench: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Kyle Anderson, Naz Reid, Monte Morris (could be cut out)

Morris is the most likely to be cut completely out as he played just three minutes in the third quarter in Game 1.

Mike Conley was fantastic in Game 1 notching a double-double and has been VERY good since Game 2 of the postseason posting double-digit points in four straight and 27+ DKP as well. He has a 19% USG and averages .93 FP/min this postseason. Not much needs to say about Anthony Edwards and his 1.4 FP/min and 34% USG this postseason. He’s elite at 9K.

I don’t love this series for Nickeil Alexander-Walker as I think we likely see low-20’s minutes more than we see him up over 30, but we’ll see if Minnesota can keep some of their players out of foul trouble. He’s a GPP option, the same thing for Kyle Anderson. GPPs only.

What will we get from Jaden McDaniels? Who knows on the offensive end of the ball, but we know if he’s out of foul trouble, he’ll be on the floor for nearly 40 minutes. There’s a ceiling because of that, but also know the floor is LOW. 

The front court is where things get MIGHTY interesting. Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert are going to start, but what happens next? Towns matches up against Jokic, so can he stay out of foul trouble? His price for a guy averaging 1.2 FP/min and a 25% USG rate is simply too low, but we haven’t seen him fully extended outside of ONE postseason game thus far because of foul trouble. When he gets in foul trouble, that’s allowed Naz Reid to flourish as we saw in Game 1 of this series. Reid is too cheap for his ceiling and his 24% USG in the postseason. Rudy Gobert is fine at his price too.

Update - Rudy Gobert has been listed QUESTIONABLE for Game 2. His significant other is reportedly having a baby. The media has deemed him a true game-time decision. 

This benefits Naz Reid the most & Kyle Anderson as well. They'd use Kyle Anderson to guard Nikola Jokic off the bench if Gobert doesn't play.

Top Play(s): Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns (GPPs), Mike Conley, Naz Reid (GPPs)

Secondary Play(s): Karl-Anthony Towns (Cash), Rudy Gobert, Jaden McDaniels, Nickeil Alexander-Walker


Nuggets NBA DFS Breakdown

Shock is probably what the Nuggets are feeling after losing Game 1 at home to Minnesota. They have to bounce back here in Game 2 and because of the must-win nature of this one, we could see a very short rotation, similar to the one we saw in Game 5 of their opening round series.

Starters: Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic

Bench: Reggie Jackson, Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Justin Holiday

We may see that shrunk and Justin Holiday isn’t in double-digits in terms of minutes and after only five minutes in Game 1, maybe Watson too.

Jamal Murray just doesn’t look healthy and isn’t going to have free reign for a second this series as Jaden McDaniels and Nickeil Alexander-Walker are going to be draped all over him. His usage rate is as high as Jokic’s, as it sits at 19.2% to Jokic’s 29.3% during this postseason run. He could break tonight’s slate at lower-ownership if his shot falls.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is going to be exerting a LOT of energy on the defensive end of the floor having to guard Anthony Edwards a lot, so his offense might lag a bit here. He’s a fine last piece in to your builds if he makes multiple threes. 

Michael Porter Jr. has been one of my favorite DFS plays night in, night out during this postseason because he’s been Denver’s consistent secondary scorer behind Nikola Jokic. He still just has a 19.9% USG during the playoffs, but that’s third by a wide margin, and is averaging 1 FP/min as well. Aaron Gordon is a pivot off Porter Jr. as he continues to operate as the team’s backup center.

Nikola Jokic is who he is. He had an inefficient Game 1 and still scored 32 points and had 59 DKP. He’s perfectly fine to get to on this two-game slate in a must-win at home.

The bench pieces are tough to want to roster. Reggie Jackson is OK, Christian Braun has done nothing this postseason, and who knows how much Justin Holiday and Peyton Watson even play here.

Top Play(s): Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr.

Secondary Play(s): Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Punt(s): None

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