Pascal Siakam Under 3.5 Ast (+114 DK)

Siakam only had five potential assists in Game 1 and 2 potential assists in Game 2. The biggest thing here is OG Anunoby is OUT with a hamstring strain. Watching the entire fourth quarter, Josh Hart was the main defender on Siakam, and he looked very comfortable trying to post him up and looked to score. The Knicks allowed Siakam to go one on one against Hart and for the most part it worked, but these are shots Siakam typically makes with his post up game. The Pacers were making the Knicks pay with their drive and kick game as the Knicks had sloppy rotations, but typically he is not going to be one of those guys waiting in the corner or driving as the ball handler off the pick & roll, at least in this series. He may get the ball at the top of the key and drive, but its not off the pick and roll. He’ll look to get down hill and isolate to either get straight to the rim to draw a foul or post up. With his height advantage against Hart, this is a great spot for him to be aggressive and score. Then in the second half of the 4th quarter, Achiuwa was matched up with Siakam, but he was still being aggressive looking to score against him as well.

Michael Porter Jr Under 16.5 Pts (+104 FD)

Porter Jr hit four threes in Game 1 but only one in Game 2. So what changed? The scheme of defending him did not change at all and it wasn’t because Gobert was not there. They simply just executed better. The goal for locking down MPJ is to deny, plus use a technique called top lock which forces him to either cut rather to the basket or force his way over the top of the off-ball screen. If he continues to try and go over the top, at that point when executed well, that play is essentially blown up, forcing him away from the screen pushing him out too far. KCP and Gordon are going to have to be the ones to create a little more offense for the Nuggets to succeed on the offensive side of the ball. In Game 1, all seven of his threes were considered open or wide open (4+ feet of space from nearest defender), but in Game 2 with better execution, the looks became increasingly more difficult as three of his seven attempts were considered tight coverage (2-4 feet of space from nearest defender). McDaniels, Reid, and NAW have been his primary defenders so far in this series where he has shot a combined 3 of 9 from the field in 97.1 partial possessions or 21:07 matchup minutes. He is not a good pullup shooting when they force him to attack the paint with floaters (1 of 5 shooting this series but 7 of 14 in Lakers series). The Timberwolves have done a great job in stopping transition buckets which is where a good chunk of MPJ points come from. In the first two games the Nuggets scored only 14 and 10 fastbreak points. With the Nuggets being down 2-0 in this series, they are going to want to push the pace, but the Timberwolves have the athleticism to stop that. The Timberwolves have completely forced the Nuggets to play at a slower pace, going from a pace of 96 in the first round which was the highest in the first round to just a pace of 91 which is the slowest in both rounds. He was able to torch the Lakers transition defense as they have been one of the worst transition defenses all season. The Timberwolves have the 3rd best transition defense in the post season, allowing only 1.08 points per possession and in the regular season they were the 5th best. MPJ has the highest transition frequency on the team. If the Timberwolves slip up without getting back on defense then he has potential to score in bunches but the Timberwolves pride themselves in solid transition defense.