Pacers-Cavaliers: Series tied 3-3
It’s going to be the LeBron show on Saturday. Someone else around him will need to step up, but who knows who it’ll be. Kyle Korver remains my favorite play, but J.R. Smith and Jeff Green are certainly options as well. Even George Hill could be useful if he ends up playing. But nothing is guaranteed from those four or Kevin Love.
There’s a lot more value and balance on the Pacers. Victor Oladipo still runs the show, but Darren Collison and Thaddeus Young are contributing starters. Meanwhile, Domantas Sabonis and Cory Joseph have been solid off the bench in the last few games and Lance Stephenson is Lance Stephenson.
You’re certainly going to need a few reliable Pacers in your lineup to counterbalance the high salary players.
Jazz-Rockets: Series tied 0-0
The loss of Ricky Rubio changes things for the Jazz. Donovan Mitchell will be tasked with carrying the scoring load. He proved up to snuff against the Thunder, but the Rockets present a much tougher defense. Without Rubio, the Jazz offense was simplified against Oklahoma City and reliant on Mitchell being amazing. He can do it again, but they won’t be able to get away with it as much.
Mitchell is a good bet at his salary, but Oladipo is the better option at the same price. Of course, you can always pair the two and search for value elsewhere.
Jae Crowder and Alec Burks will benefit the most of Rubio being out. Either Burks will be the starter or Crowder will start and move everyone up a position.
The Jazz defense keeps them in any game, but this one may get away from them thanks to the quick turnaround from their round one series. This is either a defensive slugfest with neither offense looking all that great or a Rockets blowout.