This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Although we have a slate that spans two games for Sunday and Monday, the big guarantees favor the one-game Showdown contests. Today, we'll once again tackle the action as the Bucks try for a third straight win in Toronto.
With the exception of the massive game by Brook Lopez two games ago, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($18,300 CPTN, $12,200 UTIL) is easily the chalk play at Captain. It hasn't even been close. His salary has reflected that, as it will now cost you almost 37 percent of your cash to lock him in at the bonus spot, leaving you an average of only $6,340 for the remaining five slots. If you also utilize Kawhi Leonard ($11,400), you're left with just over 5k per spot. Luckily for us, I see some changes happening for Toronto in this game that will allow us to drive that cost down with some decent budget calls. I think Giannis and Kawhi are necessary if you want to keep pace – you have to hope that you make the right low-cost plays.
The Raptors have come to terms with that fact that their game plan isn't working against the Bucks, so I suspect some changes will be made, beginning with the first unit. Guys like Danny Green and Marc Gasol are grossly underperforming currently, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some changes here. I'll identify those spots below.
Kyle Lowry, ($7,600): I still think we have to keep Lowry in our game plan despite a lackluster Game 2. He'll have a regular tendency to spike above 30 DKFP on any given night, and there isn't a comparable guard on the roster that can achieve those numbers. Like any floor general, Lowry will rely heavily on a decent assist total. Hopefully, some tinkering in today's game will allow Lowry to deliver the ball to his frontcourt with a little more consistency.
Before I make another recommendation, we should discuss the muddle in this price range. Even though Khris Middleton continues to start at the two, the resurgence of Malcolm Brogdon has sabotaged his usually steady numbers. Add Eric Bledsoe to the stew, and you've got a menagerie of talent that is tough to prognosticate. This trio is great for the team but bad for their independent stat lines (and bad for DFS). If I had to go with someone here, it would be Brogdon due to his balanced line, but it's not a play I am rushing to.
Nikola Mirotic, ($5,200): Mirotic is gradually becoming more and more of a chalk play as the playoffs wear on. DraftKings was a little quick in giving Mirotic a salary dip after Game 1, but he's seeing around 25 minutes per game and is a nightly threat to put up a good number. In some ways, Mirotic's game is a little more diverse than Giannis' slash-and-drive approach. His ability to stretch the floor with a sneaky-good perimeter game keeps defenses guessing.
Serge Ibaka, ($4,200): OK, here is the first change I see for the Raptors. I think that for them to counter Giannis and Brook Lopez, Ibaka has to get more involved. We saw a hint of this in Game 2, but Toronto needs more from him, and I believe that's how it will go down tonight. As a result, I'd minimize my exposure to Marc Gasol. It's apparent that he is not the answer against Milwaukee, and I think the team is coming around to that reality.
Ersan Ilyasova, ($3,800): Ilyasova is a rebound magnet when he is on the court, and even with his limited minutes he accounts for about 15 percent of all available balls off the glass. He manages to do a little bit of everything, and the Bucks let him loose in Game 2, where he managed a postseason high of 17 points. It's a high water mark for Ilyasova, so I wouldn't necessarily expect a repeat, but his low price can definitely open things up for you up top.
Norman Powell, ($2,200): This is the other spot where I see a significant change coming for the Raptors. If you look at his recent numbers, he's shooting the ball exceptionally well. I think Toronto would benefit by giving him more minutes and reeling Danny Green in a bit. Much Like Ibaka, we saw a glimmer of this in Game 2, and I think they will lean in this direction more going forward. I'm going all in with this guess in GPP formats.