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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Saturday, June 5th | Giannis Antetokounmpo

Eric MacPherson



NBA DFS picks DraftKings FanDuel today tonight lineup optimizer picks optimal lineup starting lineup NBA injury report rankings projections ownership daily fantasy basketball free tips cheat sheets Giannis player props betting picks best bets moneyline parlay over/under predictions

Saturday, June 5, features our first game of the second round, which means we have new matchups to analyze. Let’s look at the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE NBA Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Saturday, June 5th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 60.69 | DraftKings: 62.94
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections:  FanDuel 98.3% | DraftKings 89.7%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $15,000 | DraftKings $17,700

This should be a very entertaining series with two teams looking to push the pace while also being incredibly efficient on offense. Looking at the three matchups in the regular season between these foes seems to be a bit of a fool’s errand. Kevin Durant played in all three meetings, Kyrie Irving played in two and James Harden played only in the game without Irving.

Even looking at the respective first-round matchups is not going to tell us a lot with Milwaukee sweeping the Miami Heat and Brooklyn taking out a depleted Boston Celtics squad in five. The Bucks did post the best first round defensive efficiency rating, allowing just 95.4 points per 100 possessions. On the flipside, the Nets produced an eye-popping 128 points per 100 possessions against Boston, which was tops for the first round.

We know that the Nets can play reasonable defense when they want and do have the option to dust off DeAndre Jordan for some interior defense and rim protection after he did not play in the first round. If Jordan is not in the starting lineup, there is a very good chance he will not play tonight unless coach Steven Nash looks to shake things up mid-game. There is a strong possibility that Nash intends to rely on Nicolas Claxton since he at least is an offensive threat and a better defender than Blake Griffin. In crunch time if the game is in doubt, then Kevin Durant will likely function as the nominal center.

Conversely, Milwaukee knows its key to victory will be getting Giannis Antetokounmpo “moving downhill” where he is best equipped to drive to the bucket in transition and score around the rim. The fantasy production will be consolidated with him, as opposed to the Nets’ trio of superstars.

Brooklyn is favored by four points tonight, as well as being a -200 favorite to win the series. However, as we saw time and again in Round 1, there is a reason they actually play the games because probabilities are just that, and not actual results.

Finally, for those wondering, in the three games against Brooklyn with Jordan averaging 25.5 minutes, Antetokounmpo tallied 37.4 minutes, 39.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.3 combined blocks/steals. There is a reason he is the two-time reigning NBA MVP.

James Harden: Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 54.39 | DraftKings: 57.1
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: FanDuel 54.3% | DraftKings 63.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $15,500 | DraftKings $18,000

Quick, how many combined steals and blocks did James Harden have in the five games against Boston? Okay, was it over or under 7.5? Surprisingly, Harden compiled double that number, with 10 steals and five blocks. While that is no guarantee of future performance, it does seem like Harden is getting a bad rap when it comes to at least team/positional defense.

Harden is absolutely in line to be the “best” NBA DFS pick, and the difference between him and Giannis is a razor-thin margin. There is safety with this play, as Harden can fill up the box score, however, his upside is tied to his scoring. If he is deferring, he will likely end up with around 20 points, if he is looking for his shot and if it is falling, particularly when he gets the first 5 to 6 minutes at the start of the second quarter when both Irving and Durant are resting, he could be the top fantasy producer in the game. For perspective, in the five Round 1 games, he tallied 34, 23, 41, 20 and 21 points.

Jrue Holiday: Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 41.48 | DraftKings: 41.91
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: FanDuel 37.4% | DraftKings 48.9%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $34 | FanDuel $12,500 | DraftKings $12,900

This should be an interesting series for Jrue Holiday, who, at various points, is likely to be asked to lockdown each of Brooklyn’s Big Three. Holiday has upside with his steals, having corralled 10 in the five game series with Miami. Though he is the third scoring option for the Bucks, he can get it done when necessary having averaged 17.7 points per game this season. In the playoffs, he is averaging 9.8 assists per game and 6.4 rebounds. Finally, he should see 36 to 38 minutes when all is said and done, which has not fully been baked into his salary, particularly on Yahoo.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

Milwaukee Bucks

  1. Brynn Forbes $10: zero assists in Round 1.
  2. PJ Tucker $10: they will need his defense this series.
  3. Pat Connaughton $10: may draw the start with DiVincenzo out, but still will have similar minutes to Forbes.

Brooklyn Nets

  1. Bruce Brown $11: an absolute steal at this salary.
  2. Nicolas Claxton $10: wildcard who could see anywhere between 8 and 18 minutes.
  3. DeAndre Jordan $10: only if starting.

Final Thoughts on the Saturday, June 5th NBA DFS Slate

We want to have realistic expectations on the single-game slates, and while the giant tournaments are fun, the smaller-field contests can be lucrative with less lineup duplications. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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