The Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets will face off in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Sunday, June 4. The Nuggets picked up the 104-93 victory in Game 1 and are hoping to hold serve at home before the series shifts to Miami for Games 3 and 4. Game 2 presents a new opportunity for daily fantasy managers to build profitable lineups.
Nikola Jokic ($22,200) - Jokic clearly has the most upside for your lineup. He is a triple-double machine, excelling in points, rebounds and assists. Jokic is the most expensive potential captain, but after 27 points, 10 rebounds and 14 points in Game 1, it is hard to pick someone else.
Jimmy Butler ($19,200) - Butler didn’t have a good game in Game 1. He played in 38 minutes but scored only 13 points with seven rebounds and seven assists. Even when he has an off day, he is still one of the more well-rounded players you can roster. If you don’t want to spend the salary on Jokic, Butler is your next best choice.
Gabe Vincent ($5,400) - Vincent missed Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals with an ankle injury, but it doesn’t look like he is hindered by it now. In Game 1, he played 38 minutes and had 19 points with two rebounds and five assists. Vincent is commonly the second-highest scorer on the Heat and orchestrates the offense as the point guard.
Max Strus ($4,600) - Strus is a high-risk, high-reward play, but I think he will be worth a start. He was nearly nonexistent in Game 1, as he played 21 minutes, but finished 0-10 from the field, including 0-9 from three-point range. Yes, the game script favored three-point attempts as the Heat tried to come back, but the fact that Strus kept pulling up from deep after repeatedly being successful is telling. He is going to keep shooting and if he can add 10-12 points to his consistent five rebounds and three assists, he’s a worthy flex.
Caleb Martin ($7,200) - Martin can help your lineup in a variety of ways, but he is easily overshadowed. Sure, he can tally one steal, one block, four rebounds and three points like he did in Game 1, but look at his price point. His salary doesn’t match the level of reliable production to make it worth it, making him a fade for this game.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,800) - KCP is in a similar boat. Despite starting and playing 36 minutes in Game 1, he finished with seven points, three rebounds and an assist. If you had the extra salary cap, you could look at adding him to your lineup, but I’d leave him on the bench as he is expected to be reduced to a role player in Game 2 yet again.
Denver has been tough to beat in the playoffs, and the Nuggets get to play at home in Game 2. I think they take a 2-0 series lead to Miami with a chance to hoist the championship trophy without coming back to the Mile High city.
Final score: Nuggets 111, Heat 102