Friday night may mark the final game of the 2017-18 season. The Cavaliers are backed into a wall down 3-0, hoping to claim at least one NBA Finals victory for the home crowd. On the other side, the Warriors are looking to pull off a sweep, which would mark the first NBA Finals sweep since 2007, which LeBron James was also on the losing end of.
As there is only one game on the ledger, Fanduel’s single-game scoring format is in use. You choose five players, and the scoring is as follows:
MVP: 2X points
Often, I try to build a semi-balanced lineup. However, with Rodney Hood actually seeing the floor and playing well, and JaVale McGee still at a bargain price despite solid back-to-back efforts, I’m utilizing a Stars-and-Scrubs approach for Game 4.
MVP: LeBron James ($22,000)
In what could be his final game at home in a Cavs uniform, I’m banking on LeBron having an unforgettable performance. Through three Finals games, he’s averaged 37.7 points, 10.7 assists, 9.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.0 block in 46.3 minutes. In the process, he’s tallied no fewer than 60.3 fantasy points in any contest. LeBron undeniably comes at a steep price for Friday’s slate, but has the highest upside of anyone on the court, which is why I’m slotting him in at MVP. Kevin Durant is a close second (and is my STAR), though the amount of talent surrounding him on Golden State drags his usage and big-game potential down, despite what we saw in Game 3.
STAR: Kevin Durant ($16,000)
Durant may have stolen the Finals MVP away from Steph Curry with his Game 3 performance, dropping 69.1 fantasy points on the back of 43 points, 13 boards, seven assists and one swipe, including hitting a clutch three from way beyond the arc to seal the game. Prior to that outburst, he had averaged 26.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.5 blocks (53.6 fantasy points) through Games 1 and 2. Durant is simply the second-best player on the court, and slotting him any lower than STAR is playing with fire.
PRO: Stephen Curry ($15,000)
Curry went ice cold during Game 3, shooting just 3-of-16 from the field and 1-of-10 from beyond the arc. He still managed to put up six assists and five rebounds with only two turnovers, however, scrounging up 27.0 fantasy points. During Games 1 and 2 at Oracle Arena, he averaged 31.0 points, 8.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 steal (51.1 fantasy points). Curry has shot better from home than away all season, but it’s hard for me to imagine him having two duds in a row during the NBA Finals. Or, at the very least, I wouldn’t bet on two bad games in a row.
UTIL: Rodney Hood ($3,000)
Hood got his opportunity to make an impact during Game 3, looking comfortable and delivering with 15 points, six rebounds and two blocks (28.2 fantasy points) in 26 minutes. It’s possible he flounders in Game 4 given his general lack of productivity throughout most of the postseason, but he probably did enough during Wednesday’s contest to earn a similar workload for Friday. And, at dirt-cheap $3,000, I’ll take the risk. Plus, if you believe the game could be a blowout, Hood should get garbage minutes.
UTIL: JaVale McGee ($3,000)
After being given just six minutes during Game 1, coach Steve Kerr has trusted McGee with 32 total minutes across the past two contests. In that time, the center has averaged 11.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks (18.0 fantasy points). There doesn’t seem to be any indication that coach Kerr would decrease McGee’s role during Game 4, and there’s still room for him to grab some more rebounds and have his best fantasy performance of the Finals.