Defense to avoid: Memphis Grizzlies, vs SA. First of all, it’s the playoffs, so no defense should be avoided as a whole. It’s all about individual matchups. That said, the Grizzlies have been one of the best defenses in the league all season and are playing at home in a Game 4 with a chance to even the series. The counter-argument could be that the Spurs are the better team and will pull out all the stops to take control back in the series -- and that could certainly be the case. But playing the odds, after the way the Grizzlies shut down the Spurs in Game 3 at home, there’s a reasonable chance that they replicate that on Saturday.
Offenses to Use: Golden State Warriors, at POR. The Warriors have had no trouble scoring against the Trail Blazers this postseason. The only question was whether the Trail Blazers would put up enough resistance to make the Warriors dig deep the whole game. With Game 3 being in Portland, and the Trail Blazers being down 0-2, presumably they’ll play their best, which should force the Warriors to flex their offensive muscle all game.
John Wall, WAS at ATL ($10,800): Wall enters Saturday with the highest fantasy scoring average of anyone playing on the day, having averaged almost 58 fantasy points through two games. Even allowing for the venue shifting to Atlanta, Wall has a good chance to produce with a six-game average of 49.8 fantasy points against the Hawks this year.
C.J. McCollum, POR vs GS ($7,000): McCollum was masterful with 56.5 fantasy points in Game 1, but also suffered a minor ankle injury that may have hindered him a bit to only 20.3 fantasy points in Game 2. On Saturday, the game is in Portland, the Trail Blazers have to have a win to stay in the series, and McCollum has had three days since Game 2 to rest his ankle. Plus, he’s been productive with a six-game average of almost 37 fantasy points against the Warriors all season.
Tony Parker, SA at MEM ($4,200): Parker completely disappeared in Game 3, failing to score a point on his way to 0.8 fantasy points. Coming on the heels of his averaging 16.5 points, 2.5 boards and 1.5 assists through the first two games that Game 3 seems like a fluke. While the Grizzlies are a tough defense at home, Parker has a chance to bounce-back to the low-20s of fantasy points that he was averaging in the first two games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs TOR ($10,200): Antetokounmpo has scored 48, 57.3 and 42.5 fantasy points in the first three games of the series. The only reason he “only” scored 42.5 fantasy points in Game 3 was due to the blowout nature of the game, as he clearly had more to offer if he’d have played the whole fourth quarter. As such, he makes a strong play in Game 4, on his home court, against a Raptors squad that will be very motivated to not fall down three games to one.
Paul Millsap, ATL vs WAS ($7,400): Millsap bounced back from a putrid 21 fantasy point Game 1 effort with an outstanding 51 fantasy points in Game 2. His expected value probably lies somewhere between those two extremes, as he has averaged 33.8 fantasy points through five games against the Wizards this season. If 33.8 is the mean, Saturday seems like a day to expect the over with the Hawks at home, down 0–2, and needing a win to stay in the series.
Maurice Harkless, POR vs GS ($4,900): Harkless’s playing time and production have been up-and-down all season, but he seems to be in an ‘up’ stretch thus far in the playoffs. He has played 32 minutes per game, and is averaging almost 29 fantasy points per game. On Saturday, playing at home, Harkless and the other role players on the team would generally be expected to play better than they did on the road.
Draymond Green, GS at POR ($8,100): Green has been the dominant player in this series so far, scoring 66 fantasy points in 37 minutes of Game 1 and following that up with 44.5 fantasy points in only 30 minutes of a blowout in Game 2. With Jusuf Nurkic out, the Trail Blazers have been playing more small-ball which fits right into Green’s wheelhouse.
Marc Gasol, MEM vs SA ($7,100): Gasol has scored 46.3, 27 and 35.5 fantasy points in the first three games of the series. On Saturday, he gets Game 4 on his home court, with his team needing a win to even up the series headed back to San Antonio. He seems like a good bet to play at his best in this situation.
JaVale McGee, GS at POR ($3,400): McGee scored 30.3 fantasy points in only 13 minutes in Game 2, which seems like a fluke. But if you look at his past few weeks, he has scored between 17.8 and 30.3 fantasy points in eight of his last nine games, including six efforts over 20 fantasy points. Not bad, as a punt option.