PG: Naturally, Russell Westbrook's ongoing absence looms extremely large, but that same level of elite production is still available via Damian Lillard. Chris Paul, Malcolm Brogdon, Goran Dragic and even Eric Bledsoe are solid alternatives if you need to pay down to a degree.
SG: James Harden didn't exactly explode for one of his top-end efforts in Game 1 despite Westbrook's absence, but he still provided a stellar 37-point, 11-rebound double-double and is a clear-cut top choice at the position. Jimmy Butler, CJ McCollum and Khris Middleton form a solid second tier, but if Victor Oladipo is forced to sit out with his eye injury, that would naturally thin things out a bit.
SF: The duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James are an elite duo up top, but if you're unable to afford their five-figure salaries, T.J. Warren, Danilo Gallinari and Carmelo Anthony offer solid upside at much less expense. Meanwhile, Eric Gordon could turn out to be one of the best point-per-dollar values of the slate in Westbrook's absence.
PF: Anthony Davis is the most expensive option overall and is fully expected to play through his knee soreness, while Bam Adebayo, Robert Covington, Kyle Kuzma and Jeff Green are all lower-salaried options at different price points that could offer strong value. Aaron Gordon's 50/50 status and Zach Collins' confirmed absence does affect depth to an extent.
C: Nikola Vucevic is at the top of the heap and is coming off a 35-point, 14-rebound double-double in Game 1, while Jusuf Nurkic, Myles Turner and Steven Adams are some of your top options below him if you're budgeting at the position. However, there are scarce viable options below that trio.
Injury Situations to Monitor
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written (usually late morning Eastern time), check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.
Russell Westbrook, HOU (quadriceps)
LeBron James, LAL (groin)
James is probable with the groin soreness that's plagued him on and off for several months. He's fully expected to play.
Anthony Davis, LAL (knee)
Davis is probable with right knee soreness and is fully expected to play in Game 2.
Victor Oladipo, IND (eye)
Oladipo is considered a game-time decision after getting poked in the eye in Game 1 on Tuesday. If he's unable to go, Aaron Holiday and Edmond Sumner may be the direct beneficiaries in terms of shooting guard minutes, while the usage for the rest of the starting five should see a boost.
Jae Crowder, MIA (ankle)
Crowder carries a questionable tag to face the Pacers in Game 2.
Rajon Rondo, LAL (thumb)
Rondo is considered questionable for Game 2 and may have a realistic chance to make his Orlando debut. He was able to practice Monday, which lends credence to the notion he may be able to suit up.
Luguentz Dort, OKC (knee)
Aaron Gordon, ORL (hamstring)
Gordon is questionable for Game 2 after sitting out Game 1. If he's unable to suit up, Gary Clarkmay draw the start at power forward again in his stead.
Michael Carter-Williams, ORL (foot)
Carter-Williams is doubtful for Game 2.
Zach Collins, POR (ankle)
Collins will not play in Game 2 against the Lakers.
Other injuries to monitor:
Ersan Ilyasova, MIL (elbow) - OUT
Longer-term injuries of note: Nassir Little, POR
Despite a four-game slate, we have five players with five-figure salaries – James Harden ($11.8K), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11.3K), LeBron James ($10.5K), Anthony Davis ($10.4K) and Damian Lillard ($10K). Naturally, there's a case to be made for all of them, but perhaps none of them carry a better combination of price and expected usage than Lillard, who's simply taken his already highly impressive game to another level in Orlando.
As alluded to earlier, Vucevic ($8.3K) is one player below that salary level that can certainly provide elite-level numbers, as already demonstrated in the Magic's Game 1 upset.
We'll unsurprisingly see all of the names just mentioned in the prior section in plenty of rosters. Additionally, we can expect Eric Gordon to get an abundance of clicks on his name due to a combination of his $4.9K salary and his strong 21-point tally in Game 1.
As usual, I've also compiled the names of some sub-$6K value plays that should also find themselves on plenty of rosters and listed them under the next section.
Danuel House, HOU vs. OKC ($4,200)
Eric Gordon ($4.9K) and Jeff Green ($5.1K) are two other excellent value Rockets options, and accordingly, their names are included in the list below this section. However, House is another member of Houston's rotation that will fit the "under-the-radar" description much more. The versatile wing averaged 21.6 FD points per game this season, and his return Tuesday from a toe injury that cost him the last three seeding games resulted in 17.7 FD points over a robust 28 minutes. House's playing time was one of the most encouraging aspects of his night, and given his above-average three-point shooting, he carries notably more upside. In fact, House scored 22.1 to 32.5 FD points in four of his first five seeding games, and he delivered at least a 5x return on his current salary on 32 occasions in 63 games this season.
JaKarr Sampson, IND vs. MIA ($3,600)
Sampson appears to have a trustworthy role at the moment with the Pacers still looking to make up for the ongoing absence of Domantas Sabonis (foot). Sampson logged 17 minutes in Tuesday's Game 1 loss to the Heat, posting 17.1 FD points during that time. He'd also garnered 21.0 and 21.8 FD points in the last two seeding games while logging spot starts, but he actually played just 16 and 23 minutes in those contests, allotments in the range of what he could see Thursday. Given a salary that's just $100 away from minimum, Sampson could well deliver a 5x-6x return and offer you considerable flexibility elsewhere in your lineup.
Popular value plays to consider: Eric Bledsoe, MIL ($5,900); Steven Adams, OKC ($5,900); Carmelo Anthony, POR ($5,500); Markelle Fultz, ORL ($5,500); Dennis Schroder, OKC ($5,300); Terrence Ross, ORL ($5,300); Evan Fournier, ORL ($5,100); Jeff Green, HOU ($5,100); Eric Gordon, HOU ($4,900); D.J. Augustin, ORL ($4,700); Tyler Herro, MIA ($4,600); James Ennis, ORL ($4,300); Gary Trent, POR ($4,200)