Today kicks off the 2011 NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. If you’re still in a fantasy basketball league or you stumble upon daily fantasy basketball games for tonight’s action, here’s some advice to give you the extra edge.
The word is that Dwyane Wade is healthy and not battling a significant injury, so we’d have to say start him as you normally would. He or LeBron James should get the defensive annoyance that is DeShawn Stevenson, but that shouldn’t keep you from plugging an electric performer like Wade in your lineup.
Rodrigue Beaubois is still not 100% and Dallas looks to be running their offensive show without him, at least to start the NBA Finals. The Mavericks are also unlikely to get Caron Butler back for the Finals, although head coach Rick Carlisle says he wouldn’t rule out the possibility. Butler tore his patellar tendon in January and remains a severe long-shot to play at all in this series.
The Can’t Misses
Even if Dirk Nowitzki goes down in flames in this entire series, you still have to start it off with him in your lineup. He took over against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and there’s reason to believe he can do the same against the Miami Heat. That won’t necessarily translate to the Mavericks winning the title, but it should mean solid fantasy numbers.
In addition to Dirk, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have to be as close to can’t miss as it gets when taking a close look at the fantasy performers on these two teams.
The Almost Can’t Misses
Jason Terry needs to get some mad love, as he should be able to get you a minimum of 2-3 treys per game, and is always good for going off in the fourth quarter. Tyson Chandler should be able to get you around 8-10 rebounds per game, and should be a force on defense with his blocking ability.
Chris Bosh stepped up his game last series and really throughout the playoffs, but you just never know with this guy. He’s close to a can’t miss and should probably still be in most lineups, but there’s a chance he disappears, as well.
I love J.J. Barea (pictured) for this series, as Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers will have their hands full trying to keep up with him. He has shown a consistent ability to score the ball effectively, while he’s also prove to be a very solid passer. He’ll be hit or miss throughout the series, but the potential for a very solid series is definitely there. Plug him in for game one, as the Heat should find it difficult to get used to him in their first contest.
Peja Stojakovic might not get monster minutes in this series, but he’s a veteran with experience and a golden shooting stroke. I think he could really go off in this series, as he stretches the floor when he’s out there the same time Dirk is. He can also help with some rebounds here and there, but his main asset his obviously his ability to rack up the points.
This could be a coming of age series for Mario Chalmers, but I seriously doubt it. I think the only guy in Miami outside of the big three that really has the ability to do some damage in these Finals is Mike Miller. He has a killer stroke, elite versatility, and finally stepped up in the Heat’s last series against the Chicago Bulls. He needs minutes to be effective across the board, but if the Heat plan on winning, he’ll certainly be getting them.
Bang it back here every day before the next Finals game, as we hand out injury updates and break down the fantasy performers you may or may not want to use in daily fantasy basketball games.