This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
It's a make-or-break evening for Brooklyn and Milwaukee as they meet for what should be an exciting Game 7. Saturday's featured contest will be in the single-game format. For a more in-depth strategy regarding this format, read my recent article on the subject.
Since we have already seen a single-game contest for this matchup, let's look at a winning lineup from a single-entry contest for Game 6.
2x Khris Middleton 137
1.5x Giannis Antetokounmpo 77.85
1.2x Jrue Holiday 58.92
UTIL Blake Griffin 28.2
UTIL P.J. Tucker 15.5
The winner aligned with our advice of swapping Middleton with an elite as a contrarian build, and in this case, they chose to eliminate Durant. It turned out to be the correct call, as Middleton and Giannis dominated the scoring in the contest.
The series now swings back to Brooklyn for Game 7, and if history is any guide, Brooklyn's 3-0 home record against the Bucks in this series should shift our build focus back to the Nets, to a degree. With minutes now in the high 30s to low 40s, it may be time to start thinking about James Harden as a crucial element in our builds. While using the winning lineup above as a reference, the most likely spot is using Harden in place of Holiday at the 1.2x multiplier. Harden is $1,000 more expensive than Holiday tonight, but with everything on the line, expect Harden's shot volume and scoring potential to outdo Holiday, especially with Kyrie Irving's absence.
When last in Brooklyn, Kevin Durant delivered one of the best performances of his career, and Giannis Antetokounmpo has produced some of his lower playoff totals at the Barclays Center. Swapping back over to Durant as the primary point-getter makes some sense. Middleton's fantastic 68 FDFP evening in Game 6 is more of an outlier than anything else. Although he should register a solid number in the high-30, low-40 FDFP range, there's probably more value to be had with a Giannis/Durant, Durant/Giannis, Harden build for the multipliers.
The only problem is – we can't use that build. Going this route leaves us with a wasteland at the multiplier spots, so we have to compromise somewhere. It seems like the only recourse is to bring Middleton and/or Holiday back into the conversation. Since I am particularly focused on Brooklyn, I'm more inclined to leave Durant and Harden in the build and go with a mix of Holiday and Middleton, thus eliminating Antetokounmpo. Conversely, if you think the Bucks will prevail, eliminating Durant instead is also a reasonable way to go.
I don't think there's a better mid-range utility play than Blake Griffin, and at $9,000, I am wasting no time in locking him in. The final question involves our second utility player, who will be priced in the 8k range based on our endorsements. While one can certainly make an argument for P.J. Tucker, the meager stat line from Pat Connaughton could make him a victim of recency bias and a lower-rostered target. Bruce Brown and Joe Harris are eliminated as options assuming a Griffin lock unless you make a lower-priced play for Holiday at the multiplier, but the total point differential for that move isn't enough to move the needle. Tucker, Connaughton, Harris and Brown are all candidates to see similar stat lines.