LetsRUMBL NBA Picks: Let the NBA Playoffs begin
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
LetsRUMBL average: 58
Anthony Davis has led the New Orleans Pelicans into the NBA Western Conference Playoffs. Thanks to Davis' 34-point performance against the Golden State Warriors, the Pelicans got their first win in Oakland in six years. It also allowed New Orleans to clinch a playoff berth.
Davis has had a career year for the Pelicans scoring 28.2 ppg. His 2.3 apg are also a career high, and Phatman is also pulling down 11.0 boards a night. Davis has got New Orleans into the five seed currently, although the team could drop down to eight by the time the playoffs start. The Pelicans must still play San Antonio, so worst case scenario would see them fall to the eight seed and play the Houston Rockets.
Since the beginning of March, Davis has killed it on the court. The former Kentucky man has averaged 28.5 ppg, 10.8 rebounds and 35.4 minutes a night. His GmSc over that time period has been 25.0. If the Pelicans are going to get into the second round of the NBA Playoffs, Davis has to continue his big play.
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
LetsRUMBL average: 42 points
If the Golden State Warriors want to win the NBA Championship again this season, then the team will need to do it without Steph Curry in the opening round. Curry is still recovering from a grade 2 MCL sprain and hopes of the Warriors repeating as NBA Champions are up in the air. Kevin Durant has to step up and lead the Warriors without his tag team partner, which is easier said than done.
The good news is, Durant is one of the NBA's top 5 players. He and Curry both average 26.4 ppg, but he will need to increase his scoring performances during the Warriors' opening series. The first round without Curry won't be as smooth sailing as in years past, but with the offensive focus on Durant, DFS players should reap massive rewards by selecting the former Oklahoma City Thunder No. 3.
Golden State is the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and could play Oklahoma City. Although the Warriors are more likely to play either the Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves or Denver Nuggets – if they can sneak into the playoffs.
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
LetsRUMBL average: 40 points
Ben Simmons was just named NBA Player of the Week as the Philadelphia 76ers' guard continues to grow as a player. The point guard is in the running for the Rookie of the Year award after a sensational first year in the league. Simmons is on his way to being one of the Association's elite stars and a big playoff performance could make him a household name to basketball fans.
Simmons averages 15.9 ppg, but his 8.2 apg and 8.2 rebounds help him stand out against the other point guards in the NBA. Against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 6, Simmons scored 27 points, collected 15 rebounds and dished out 13 assists. Behind Simmons' recent play, the 76ers have reeled off 15 straight wins. The 76ers will either be a No. 3 or No. 4 seed. Either way, no team will want to play Simmons' 76ers.
Philadelphia could play the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs. Simmons tallied a double-double against the Bucks when the teams last met. Simmons dished out 15 assists to go along with 12 points. If Joel Embiid is still injured during the first round of the playoffs, expect Simmons to remain the 76ers go-to player. Once Embiid returns, expect Simmons' play to improve even more as the big man takes defensive focus away from the point guard.