While the NBA schedule on Sunday will be empty, there will be two crucial games in Game Seven on Sunday. With the Mavericks and Suns already close, the Celtics and Bucks joined the party, thanks in no small part to Jason Tatum’s mastery. In the other game on Friday, Golden State shut down Memphis with the triumphant return of “Game 6 Klay.”
Celtics 108, Pax 95 (linked chain, 3-3)
For the second game in a row, Boston led by 14 points during the second half. But this time, they didn’t blow the aforementioned feature out with Jason Tatum being the biggest reason behind it. He shot 17 of 32 from the field and 5 of 7 from the foul streak, and scored 46 points in his career playoff with nine rebounds, four assists, one blocking shot, and seven three-pointers in 43 minutes. As a result, the series returns to Boston for the crucial seventh game, which takes place on Sunday afternoon.
Boston was again without center Robert Williams, who still has pain in his left knee caused by a bone bruise. Prior to the game, Celtics coach Aimee Odoka said Williams would not return to the squad until he was at 100%, so there was no guarantee he would be available for game seven. Grant Williams (2/5/1/2 in 28 minutes) is Williams’ favorite fill-in, but Derrick White (9/5/2/2 with a single pointer 3 in 30 minutes) was the better substitute for the DFS players (he and Grant W. You have the same position).
Al Horford (2/10/3/1/4) was offensively quiet, firing 1 of 6 from the field, but made up for it (somewhat) with the five “arrows”. DFS players should feel safe introducing the veteran position into their squad, especially with the Time Lord left out. Jaylen Brown (22/5/4/0/1 with four three-pointers) and Marcus Smart (21/5/7 with five three-pointers) completed Tatum’s offensive lessons, providing more value than Milwaukee’s secondary options.
Milwaukee has stuck with Grayson Allen (3/3/1) in the starting lineup, but continues to offer little in the way of production. He played 22 minutes, shot 1 of 7 from the field and didn’t play at all during the fourth quarter. Pat Connaughton (14/4/2 2 on 3 shots in 33 minutes) was Mike Budenholzer’s favorite in tough times and for good reason, as he was offensively productive and the Celtics couldn’t “chase” him defensively as they did. Allen. The starting lineup may remain the same as for Game 7, but DFS players will be better served to trade with Connaughton when looking for low-cost options.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (44/20/6/1/2 two 3-pointers in 41 minutes) did what he could to put the Bucks on his back and end the streak, but he didn’t get enough assists offensively. At FanDuel, the reigning NBA Finals player of the year netted 80 points, with six turnovers on his stats streak. Antetokounmpo hit 14 of 30 from the field and 14 of 15 from the foul streak on Friday, and will once again be the focus of many formations in Game 7. Jrue Holiday (17/2/4/3/) 2 three-pointers) shot 7 of 17 from the field, and now he’s shooting 35.5% of the field in the series.
The quality of looks that Holiday manages to achieve in this series is just one of many examples of why an injured Khris Middleton is so important to the Bucks. He may be able to return to the conference finals, which begins Tuesday night in Miami, but Milwaukee has to get there, and that won’t be easy. Outside of Holiday and Antetokounmpo, no other rookie player has scored in the Bucks with double digits. They will need more Brooke Lopez (6/3/0/1), who played just 19 minutes, and Bobby Portes in reserve (four points, 10 rebounds in 29 minutes).
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Warriors 110, Grizzlies 96 (Warriors win, 4-2)
Both teams alternately lost two players to injury on Friday, with Ja Morant (knee) remaining on the sidelines for the Grizzlies and Golden State’s Otto Porter as well. The Warriors would close the series, dropping out in the fourth quarter as Klay Thompson had his best game in the series. Shooting 11 of 22 from the field, “Game 6 Klay” scored 30 points to correspond to eight assists, two steals, three blocks, and eight three-pointers in 41 minutes. Thompson’s big night helped the Warriors win despite making 17 turns, Stephen Curry (29/7/5/1/2 with six 3-pointers) and Jordan Paul (12/3/2/0/1) combined to shoot 14 of 42 from the field.
After scoring 21 or more points in three of Golden State’s five games in the first round, Thompson had only one effort before the end of the second round of the final round on Friday. And one could not ignore the effect that the change of warrior lineup had on the outcome. Kevin Looney returned to the starting line-up, giving the Warriors a better match for Stephen Adams (4/10/3/0/1), and he was undoubtedly a star in his role. Looney may have only scored four points, but he racked up 22 rebounds while also scoring five assists, stopping one shot in 35 minutes.
His DFS potential in the conference finals likely depends on the identity of the opposition. If it’s a Phoenix, then Looney’s rotation minutes should be safe. On the other hand, Dallas can be more complex since there is no “real” center in their turnover.
Andrew Wiggins (18/10/0/1/3 with one pointer) was particularly impressive in defense, helping limit Tyus Jones (7/9/8/2 with one pointer) to a 2-of-12 shot from the field. Draymond Green (14/16/8/1) was also a beast on the glass, hitting double digits in the rebound class for the third time in the series. Porter’s absence meant the Warriors went with shorter rotations, with Jonathan Cominga being a DNP-CD. The first game of the Western Conference Finals won’t finish until Tuesday, giving Porter some extra time to get back (or at least get closer) to his full power.
Once again playing without Morant, Memphis didn’t have much margin for error at the end of the offensive floor. Jones’ struggles put the Grizzlies in trouble, as did the incompetence of Dillon Brooks (30/4/1/3/1 with seven three-pointers) and Jarren Jackson Jr. (12 points, four rebounds, four blocks, and a 3-pointer). These two combined to shoot 16 of 47 from the field, and Brandon Clark (8/4/4/1) also struggled, going 2 of 10. Brooks and JJJ’s case from a fictional point of view is the field target ratio class, shooting 43.2 and 41.5 percent of the field, respectively, during the regular season. Becoming more efficient scorers would make these two players more dangerous, whether we’re talking about fantasy basketball or its importance in the Grizzlies’ rotation.
Desmond Bunny (25/7/2/0/1 on four three-pointers) looked as good as he did at any point in this series, as he picked up a back injury. A top 50 player in both 8 and 9 cats, it feels like Bane’s floor is heading into 2022-23, rather than his roof. There are a few factors to consider, most notably whether or not the aforementioned Jones (who would be an unrestricted free agent) will return to Memphis. His exit could mean more time on the ball for Bane, especially if De’Anthony Melton doesn’t see an increase in supply management opportunities.