After an off day Thursday, the NBA semi-final round restarts Friday in new locales. The 76ers and Mavericks are both down 2-0, so they'll be hoping that the comforts of home will make a difference and help them halve their deficits. Philly could also be in line for a major boost if Joel Embiid is able to clear concussion protocol.
Miami Heat (-3) at Philadelphia 76ers (O/U: 209.5 points)
Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks (-1) (O/U: 219.5 points)
The Heat have unsurprisingly looked dominant in the first two games with the 76ers playing short-handed. But with rumblings that Embiid could make his return, an already narrow spread could get a lot smaller or perhaps even flip. Although the first two matchups have been lopsided, they haven't been without useful DFS performances from the likes of Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo.
The Suns have also thumped the Mavericks in their first two games. But for Dallas, there's no hero potentially riding in to save the day. Luka Doncic, the Mavs' best player by far, has already been thriving and Dallas still hasn't come close to keeping up with the regular-season conference champs. While the change of venue may help, a healthy Suns side may simply have too many weapons for the Mavs to overcome. Injury Situations to Monitor Joel Embiid, PHI (concussion/eye): OUT Coach Doc Rivers intimated Thursday that Embiid's "out" status is as a result of him still being in the concussion protocol, which could change at some point Friday. If the big man returns to action, he may jump right back into a normal workload. Tyler Herro, MIA (ankle): QUESTIONABLE Herro has been playing through his ankle issue. But if he were to sit, Victor Oladipo could be in line for more minutes. Kyle Lowry, MIA (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE If Lowry returns, it would lead to a smaller role for Gabe Vincent (knee). Other notable injuries: Gabe Vincent, MIA (knee): QUESTIONABLE Max Strus, MIA (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE P.J. Tucker, MIA (calf): QUESTIONABLE Elite Players We have two healthy players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate – Luka Doncic ($11,500) and Jimmy Butler ($10,200). Despite the Mavs' struggles, Doncic has been outstanding over the first two games averaging 58.5 FD points while shooting 53.8 percent, including 42.9 percent from distance. The Suns don't seem to have a clear answer for slowing him down Doncic and could certainly be in for another bountiful night given he'll be at home with the team in desperation mode. Butler bounced back from a poor Game 1 shooting effort to post 51.2 FD across 37 minutes on Wednesday. With the chances of Friday's game being closer than the first two thanks to the change in locale and the possibility of Embiid playing, Butler could be in for another busy, productive night. Expected Chalk Other likely chalk plays include: Chris Paul, PHO ($9,700) Paul has scored 34.5 and 47.2 FD across the first two games of the series, which should keep him popular Friday. Devin Booker, PHO ($9,000) Booker was sharper from the field in Game 2 posting 41.8 FD points on an 11-for-19 tally from the field. Tobias Harris, PHI ($8,000) Harris has been doing a solid job trying to make up for Embiid's absence by averaging 39.8 FD points over the first two games. If the big man returns Friday, Harris' usage will naturally take a hit to some extent, but he should still be in plenty of lineups on the small slate. Tyrese Maxey, PHI ($7,200) Maxey went off for 34 points and 45.1 FD in Game 2, and at his salary makes for a very popular Friday whether or not Embiid returns. Key Values Spencer Dinwiddie, DAL vs. PHO ($4,600) Dinwiddie is one player who shouldn't be very chalky Friday after shooting 33.3 percent over the first two games and averaging a modest 18.9 FD points during that sample. The veteran guard still carries plenty of upside and the resulting salary drop makes him an intriguing tournament play in Game 3, especially with the Mavericks desperate for any complementary sources of offense. Dinwiddie did post 23.6 FD points in Game 1, and dating back to the home stretch of the regular season has produced 21.1 to 37.8 FD points in four of his last five home matchups. Maxi Kleber, DAL vs. PHO ($4,500) Kleber has registered 23.2 and 20.1 FD in the first two games this series, and the big man also managed tallies of 21.1 and 36.7 in the first round against the Jazz. He was a more productive performer at home during the regular season, and like Dinwiddie he could be more aggressive than usual on the offensive end with Dallas desperately trying to break the ice. Victor Oladipo, MIA at PHI ($4,200) Oladipo was impressive in Game 2 off the bench pouring in 19 points over 28 minutes. The veteran sharpshooter also recorded 35.7 FD points against the Hawks in Game 5 and has scored over 20 FD in three of his first four postseason games. Multiple members of the Heat backcourt are sporting questionable designations going into Friday, so Oladipo could enjoy another solid workload and deliver on what is still a very modest salary.