The last main slate before the weekend is here. Three first-round NBA playoff series are set to tip-off on Friday. Two teams will look to secure 3-0 leads on enemy turf while another is still knotted at one win apiece. There can be a lot to keep track of in the earlier rounds of the postseason, so we've identified three things to watch from a Fantasy perspective alongside a Friday play here.
The Celtics' guard play
The Boston Celtics forward duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have done the heavy lifting for the Eastern Conference's second-ranked team, but guard depth has made a ton of difference in the first round so far. White's the most impressive among them thanks to his series averages of 25.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. However, his backcourt partners have been impressive as well. If you're looking for high-level production without paying up for a stud in Fantasy contests, consider White, Marcus Smart, and Malcolm Brogdon.
Also: Smart is averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 3.0 steals per game in the series.
The Cavs' rotation changes
Isaac Okoro logged 23 minutes in a start when the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the New York Knicks in Game 1, but was benched after three minutes in the first quarter in Game 2. LeVert notched 24 points in 40 minutes off the bench in Game 2 and started for Okoro in the second half. The Auburn product is averaging just 3.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, and an assist over his previous two games. It only makes sense to run a lot more LeVert moving forward, so Fantasy managers should value him accordingly and expect an uptick in playing time.
Also: LeVert boasts averages of 20.7 points, 8.0 assists, and 5.3 rebounds through six career playoff starts.
Jamal Murray's return to dominance
Murray, who averaged 26.5 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game in the 2020 playoffs, is back with a vengeance. The Denver Nuggets point guard is pouring it on against the Timberwolves in his return to postseason play. Murray followed up his near-triple-double performance from Game 1 with 40 points in Game 2. He's shooting 50 percent from the field and deep on 22.0 attempts per game.
Also: Murray is now averaging 33.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists through seven career playoff games vs. Mike Conley.
Friday DFS play
Trae Young is supposed to be running the show for the Atlanta Hawks, but Murray has been the better playoff performer this year. The two-way guard leads his team with a total of 76 minutes through two games while averaging 26.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 3.5 steals. Murray's defense will be of paramount importance against a Celtics team that has three starters totaling more than 23.0 points per game. He'll likely pace Atlanta in minutes in their first home game after having so much success in Games 1 and 2.
Still deciding who to lock in for your DFS roster? We've identified some great trios to stack ahead of the action. You can get those plays by heading over to SportsLine.