Fantasy Basketball 2019: Daily Fantasy Advice for NBA Playoffs Opening Weekend

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 11, 2019

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, drives Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, March 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

The NBA playoffs typically bring out the best in the league's superstar players. 

Over the next two months, plenty of major players will etch their names in postseason lore with some marvelous individual performances. 

For the first weekend of the postseason, there are specific players to keep an eye because of matchups they should be able to thrive in. 

Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook are among those worth a look in daily fantasy contests over the weekend, as both players look to create separation in what are expected to be tight first-round series.

                           

Daily Fantasy Advice For Opening Playoff Weekend

Put Trust in Boston's Stars

The Boston Celtics kick off Sunday's four-game slate against a team they have defeated twice in the last few weeks. 

Boston locked up the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference by knocking off the Indiana Pacers twice, with the most recent win coming by 20 points on Friday. 

In that win, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward combined for 43 points. In the March 29 contest against the Pacers, Irving led the Celtics with 30 points, while Al Horford dropped 19 of his own. 

Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Since plenty of Boston players have achieved recent success against the Pacers, at least one of them should be a top daily fantasy option. 

Irving is the best choice off the Celtics roster, as he comes into the postseason with seven 30-point performances since the start of March.

In his last two postseasons with Cleveland, the 27-year-old averaged over 25 points per game, which makes him one of the top daily fantasy options moving forward. 

But Irving isn't the only ideal daily fantasy choice, as Hayward put together an impressive string of performances over the final few weeks of the regular season. 

The 29-year-old reached double digits in points in his last eight games, and he has eclipsed the 15-point mark in his last three contests. 

If that wasn't enough to convince you Hayward is set for a big postseason, he averaged 24.1 points per game during the 2017 playoffs for Utah. 

                        

Load Up On Stars From Oklahoma City and Portland

The last time the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trailblazers met, the three best players on the floor all scored over 30 points. 

In the Thunder's 129-121 overtime victory on March 7, Damian Lillard erupted for 51 points, while Paul George and Westbrook each eclipsed the 30-point mark. 

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Since his 51-point outburst against the Thunder, Lillard has scored over 20 points in 12 games, and he's reached the 30-point barrier on six occasions during that stretch. 

George and Westbrook have been on a scoring tear lately as well, with the former scoring 25 points or more in seven of his last eight regular-season games and the latter recording at least 15 points in his final 10 regular-season contests.

But the recent form of those players is just one of the reasons why you should throw them into your lineup for the first weekend of the postseason. 

In all four of the matchups between the Blazers and Thunder, each team scored at least 109 points. 

With that trend expected to continue, and the stars on each roster lifting their games to another level, you should benefit greatly from playing them in daily fantasy. 

                   

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.

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