There are two games for Thursday’s DraftKings NBA slate, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Brooklyn Nets travel to take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of what has been a laugher of a series so far. The Nets will try and put a stranglehold on the series while the Bucks look to regroup and take care of homecourt. The Los Angeles Clippers travel to face the Utah Jazz for the second game of their series. The Clippers jumped out to a sizable lead in Game 1 but the Jazz kept chipping away until they walked away victors. DraftKings Sportsbook has Milwaukee favored by four points with the O/U at 234, while the Jazz are favored by 3.5 points with the O/U at 222.5.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks, $9,700 – Irving has gone for 40.75 and 48.25 DKFP in the first two games of this series. He played 45 minutes in Game 1 but only played 34 minutes in Game 2 due to the blowout. He’s attempted 26 and 17 shots and garnered a usage rate of 25% and 24%. Without James Harden, Irving is going to be heavily involved. He hasn’t been just a scorer, though, as he’s chipped in five rebounds and racked up one steal in each game, and dished out six and eight assists. I expect the Bucks to come out like a hoard of banshees in this game so Irving should get a full complement of minutes. If so, he should rack up plenty of fantasy goodies and he does have 60-DKFP upside.
Other Options – Donovan Mitchell ($8,900), Jrue Holiday ($7,600)
Mike James, Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks, $3,800 – Since Harden went down with a hamstring injury, James has played 30 and 24 minutes. He’s attempted 11 and 12 shots while garnering a usage rate of 16% and 23%. The minutes look secure as he is the main guy off the bench. On the season, he is averaging 0.95 DKFP per minute and went for over 30 DKFP in two of 13 regular season games.
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $8,900 – If Mike Conley ($7,000) plays tonight, Mitchell is still a good play. If Conley can’t go, then this recommendation grows wings and can fly to fantasy heaven. When Conley doesn’t play, Mitchell slides down to point guard and becomes the primary ball-handler. The usage rate was 43% in Game 1 and he went for a whopping 61.75 DKFP. I wouldn’t expect that kind of game tonight as the Clippers will make some adjustments, especially keeping Luke Kennard off the floor so that the Jazz can’t keep hunting him. That said, a 50-burger isn’t out of the question.
Editor’s note: Jazz PG Mike Conley (hamstring) has been ruled out tonight.
Other Options – Kyrie Irving ($9,700), Khris Middleton ($7,800), Jrue Holiday ($7,600)
Bryn Forbes, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets, $4,100 – Since Game 1 in the Heat series, Forbes has played at least 20 minutes in every game. The shot attempts have fluctuated from six to 15 so there is plenty of volatility here. That said, I expect the Bucks to bounce back from the embarrassing losses in the first two games. Role players usually play better at home and Forbes is no different. In 702 minutes at home this season, Forbes shot 49% from the field and 48% from downtown. In 652 minutes on the road, those numbers were 44% and 41%, respectively. There is upside here as well. In two games during the Miami series, he shot 7-for-15 and 8-for-12 from the field which translated to 28 and 30.25 DKFP.
Other Options – Joe Ingles ($4,700)
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks, $10,600 – It’s really not fair what Durant is able to do on the basketball court. He can get his shot up at any time against anyone, so the points will always be there. What makes him such a great fantasy player is that he stuffs the stat sheet every night, which provides an incredibly high floor. In the playoffs, he’s scored at least 50 DKFP in six of seven games with two of those over 60. In the one game he didn’t, the total was 40.5 DKFP. His high during the regular season was 77 DKFP, so he can access ceiling if the situation calls for it.
Other Options – Kawhi Leonard ($9,600), Khris Middleton ($7,800)
Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks, $4,200 – With Harden out of the lineup, Brown is starting. He played 26 minutes last game and put up 27 DKFP. In the prior three games, he played 21, 24, and 24 minutes and contributed 21.5, 27.75, and 26.25 DKFP. He’s a low usage player so the points won’t be voluminous, but he gets a lot of cheapies in the paint, both in transition and when defenses leave gaps open in the middle of the court from shading towards Kyrie and Durant. He does work on the glass and contributes some defensive stats from time to time. His versatility on defense provides a relatively high minutes floor.
Other Options – P.J. Tucker ($3,100), Marcus Morris Sr. ($4,500), Joe Ingles ($4,700)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets, $11,100 – I do like Durant better today due to the consistency and $500 discount. That said, I do expect the Bucks to play like a bunch of Tasmanian devils today and the ceiling is one of the highest on the slate for Giannis. In the two games so far, he’s gone for 57.75 and 39.75 DKFP. In three regular-season games, he went for 65.6, 74.5, and 60 DKFP. He averages a ridiculous 1.63 DKFP per minute, so as long as this isn’t another blowout, Giannis should get busy.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($10,600)
Blake Griffin, Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks, $4,800 – Blake aka Possum Griffin. He played dead for most of the regular season. Now he’s balling like it’s 2015. In the first two games of this series, Griffin has played 35 and 26 minutes, contributing 46 and 23 DKFP. If Game 2 wasn’t such a blowout, he would’ve scored more. He’s dunking, draining three-pointers, and even getting his defense on! What a world.
Other Options – Marcus Morris Sr. ($4,500)
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $7,700 – Gobert only went for 29.5 DKFP last game. In three regular-season games against the Clippers, he went for 28.75, 55, and 32.75 DKFP. He averages 1.25 DKFP per minute so somewhere in the 30-DKFP range is where he will end up. He’s a low usage player so he needs to grab a ton of rebounds, block shots, and get plenty of cheapies in order to access a ceiling game. It’s within the range of outcomes but isn’t something that should be expected. As you can tell, I’m not crazy about this play but I’ve already written up Griffin and Giannis so I had to complete the G trinity.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100)
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets, $4,600 – Lopez has played over 30 minutes just once these playoffs. Uh, coach Budenholzer. Knock knock. There have been times this season when the Bucks have posted up Lopez and he’s feasted. With the Nets playing small at center, I can see that being implemented again. Regardless, over the last four games, Lopez has attempted 10, 11, 15, and 11 shots while playing 28 or fewer minutes. He also racks up blocks as well. This translated to 23, 26.25, 38, and 21.75 DKFP.
Other Options – Blake Griffin ($4,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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