Postseason rotations tend to get a lot tighter, but there's still value to be found on each team. Ideally, those plays will match up well with specific weaknesses on the opposition.
The purpose of this two-part series will be to take a bit of a deeper dive into some typically useful DFS metrics and see where there may be exploitable spots that can be attacked with modestly priced players.
We reviewed the two Eastern Conference semifinal-round series in Part 1 and now follow up with an analysis of the Western Conference in Part 2:
Houston Rockets (4) vs. Golden State (1)
Season series: Rockets 3, Warriors 1
Notable Rockets metrics/areas to exploit: Seventh-highest offensive efficiency rating allowed to small forwards (22.3); third-most points in the paint per game allowed (51.9), including the most at home (52.6)
The Rockets allowed the Jazz's Royce O'Neale to average 10.6 points (on 46.7 percent shooting), 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in the first-round series, once again highlighting their tendency to allow higher efficiency to small forwards. Iguodala is highly capable of exploiting that weakness while checking off every box on the stat sheet, and the added bonus is he's the type of second-unit player that is locked into his usual minutes during the postseason due to his considerable defensive value.
Iguodala is also coming off a solid series against the Clippers, when he averaged 10.0 points (on 48.9 percent shooting), 4.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals across 25.7 minutes per contest.
Bogut and Looney will also be primed to offer solid value on their typically reasonable prices, given Houston's penchant for allowing scoring down low. The pair of big men combined to hold down the fort in the absence of DeMarcus Cousins during the first-round series against the Clippers, and each primarily makes their offensive contributions in the paint, where Houston is most vulnerable.
Bogut logged 87.5 percent of his points in that part of the floor versus the Clippers, while Looney's share of scoring in the paint stood at 72.5 percent in the first round. Finally, it's also worth noting Looney averaged a solid 8.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist across 15.5 minutes over four games against the Rockets this season.
Notable Warriors metrics/areas to exploit: 11th-highest offensive efficiency rating allowed to opposing second units (44.2); ninth-highest three-point percentage allowed to opposing second units (34.5)
Rockets value play to consider: Danuel House, Jr., F
House has earned a role in the postseason rotation with his solid play in the first-round series against the Jazz. The third-year pro put up 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds across five games versus Utah while averaging 23.0 minutes per contest. He also posted 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal across 39 minutes in one game against the Warriors this season, hitting a couple of threes and providing effort on defense. The 25-year-old logged at least 20 minutes in each first-round series game and shot 36.7 percent from distance, though he was mostly invisible in Sunday's Game 1, finishing with three points on 1-of-4 shooting.
Portland (3) vs. Denver (2)
Season series: Nuggets 3, Trail Blazers 1
Notable Nuggets metrics/areas to exploit: Third-highest offensive efficiency rating allowed to small forwards (23.0); fourth-highest shooting percentage (45.7) allowed to small forwards
Trail Blazers value play to consider: Maurice Harkless, F
The Spurs' Rudy Gay gave the Nuggets trouble during the first-round series, topping out with a 21-point performance in Game 7 on Saturday night. He scored in double digits in four games overall, and Harkless has the ability to also exploit Denver's weakness against the position. Harkless encouragingly averaged 11.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in the five games against the Thunder while logging a robust 30.4 minutes per contest. He shot a serviceable 45.0 percent from the field, and his level of involvement versus the Nuggets should approximate the nine shot attempts per contest he averaged against OKC. It's also worth noting Harkless shot an impressive 53.8 percent over three games versus Denver this season, underscoring their tendency to allow efficient performances to threes.
Notable Trail Blazers metrics/areas to exploit: 10th-highest shooting percentage allowed to power forwards (46.9), including eighth-highest from three-point range (36.0)
Nuggets value play to consider: Mason Plumlee, F/C
Plumlee averaged 6.3 points, 6.8 rebounds 3.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steal across 23.8 minutes in four games against the Trail Blazers this season, and he logged 14.9 minutes per game during the just-concluded seven-game first-round set against the Spurs. While his minutes are very likely to remain in the mid-to-high teens in the second round, as well, Plumlee has shown the ability to put together solid scoring and rebounding numbers in particular with that allotment of playing time. The veteran shot an efficient 55.2 percent versus the Spurs, and 59.3 percent during the regular season.