Last year, the Toronto Raptors outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, going on to win their first NBA title. This year, the Bucks and Raptors are again going to be the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively. And perhaps they could meet again in the Eastern Conference Finals.
On Monday, we'll get a preview of that matchup as Milwaukee and Toronto are set to face off at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Although both teams are locked into its seeds (so there won't be anything on the line), each is looking to continue to tune up ahead of the NBA playoffs.
That game is one of five seeding contests taking place Monday as teams continue to battle for position before the start of the postseason on Aug. 17. Of the 16 playoff berths, 15 teams have already clinched spots, with only the final team in the Western Conference still to be decided.
Here's a look at Monday's schedule, followed by picks for several players to consider starting in daily fantasy lineups.
Aug. 10 Schedule
Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns (-5.5), 2:30 p.m. ET
Dallas Mavericks (-3) at Utah Jazz, 3 p.m. ET, NBATV
Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks (-5.5), 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN+
Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat (-2.5), 8 p.m. ET
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers (-5.5), 9 p.m. ET, TNT and Watch TNT
Daily Fantasy Picks
Chris Paul, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder ($7,500 FanDuel; $8,200 DraftKings)
There aren't a ton of great point guards to play in daily fantasy Monday night. That's why Paul is the best option, because he's been playing well of late and justifying the price it will take to play him.
Through the Thunder's first five seeding games, Paul is averaging 18.4 points, 7.0 assists and 5.4 rebounds per contest. He's also coming off a solid performance in a win over the Wizards on Sunday, in which he had 13 points, nine assists, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Oklahoma City is the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, but it still has the potential to rise or fall in the standings, so it will have motivation to keep playing well (in addition to tuning up for the playoffs). And with a matchup against the red-hot Suns, who are 5-0 in seeding games, on Monday, the Thunder could be playing a competitive, high-scoring matchup, which should give Paul another opportunity to fill the stat sheet.
Although Paul took only nine shots from the field in Sunday's win over Washington, he'll likely put up more against Phoenix, which should lead to another high-scoring output. The 35-year-old point guard has been a reliable player all season, and people should feel comfortable plugging him into their daily fantasy lineups as the best option at the position on Monday.
Tim Hardaway, Jr., SG, Dallas Mavericks ($4,900 FanDuel; $5,600 DraftKings)
On Monday, the Mavericks are set to take on the Jazz, another Western Conference playoff team. However, Dallas is going to have some challenges against Utah, primarily because of the players it won't have on the floor for the seeding contest.
Luke Doncic (right ankle), Kristaps Porzingis (left knee) and Dorian Finney-Smith (left hip) have all been ruled out for the Mavericks, which means they'll be without a trio of starters, including their two leading scorers (Doncic and Porzingis). However, that could lead to several other players becoming great plays in daily fantasy lineups.
That includes Hardaway, Dallas' third-leading scorer who has been a bit inconsistent since the season resumed. He scored 24 and 22 points in games against the Rockets and Kings, respectively, but he's tallied eight or fewer points in the team's other three games. His worst showing came against the Suns on Aug. 2, when he had only two points on 1-for-12 shooting.
Although Hardaway hasn't been consistently reliable, he's going to be relied upon to carry a big offensive load against the Jazz, which means he should get plenty of shot attempts. And because the 28-year-old shooting guard is a bit due for a good showing, it's worth taking the risk and putting him in daily fantasy lineups at an affordable price.
Bam Adebayo, C, Miami Heat ($7,600 FanDuel; $7,900 DraftKings)
It's not a surprise that Adebayo has continued to play well for the Heat since the season resumed. The All-Star center has put up some big numbers during Miami's seeding games, including Saturday against Phoenix, when he had 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and a steal.
Adebayo is typically a solid daily fantasy play, but his Monday matchup should help him put up even bigger numbers than usual. That makes him a must-play as a decent-prized center who may be able to power a lineup.
The Heat are set to take on the Pacers, who are without Domantas Sabonis (foot injury). So, if Myles Turner gets into foul trouble, it could become even more difficult for Indiana to find a way to stop Adebayo in the post. And Adebayo should have no trouble collecting a lot of rebounds.
Because Adebayo does more than score and rebound, he's a strong player to have in a daily fantasy lineup with the numbers he posts in other stats. Getting that kind of production out of the center position is valuable, and Adebayo should be poised for one of his best showings since the season resumed in the Heat's matchup vs. the Pacers.