Thursday, July 8, has Game 2 of the NBA Finals is on tap with the home team up 1-0 and favored by 5 heading into tonight’s action. Let’s look at the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not 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, Thursday, July 8
Yahoo Play of the Day — Chris Paul: Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 41.96 | DraftKings: 43.29
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 60.5% | FanDuel 45.3% | DraftKings 49.8%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $34 | FanDuel $15,000 | DraftKings $10,400
After his Game 1 performance, Chris Paul should be on everyone’s radar tonight, and it would not be a surprise to see his popularity surge closer to 70% as tipoff approaches. The real question is, what (if any) adjustments will coach Mike Budenholzer make to his team’s approach for defending Paul and Devin Booker when they are able to force Brook Lopez to switch onto them? Even at age 33, Lopez is still a solid defender in the paint and when protecting the rim, but he has lost a step or two on closeouts. Even when he was there on time on Tuesday, the Phoenix ball handlers were able to hit an open man without much difficulty. Paul has a nice combination of safety since the ball will be in his hands on most possessions, and he has upside as one of the primary postseason scorers for his squad. While it is unlikely he will continue his torrid field-goal efficiency of 28-for-43 (65.1%) and 11-for-15 from behind the arc, it is good to see him locked in.
Devin Booker: Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.51 | DraftKings: 42.96
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 65.5% | FanDuel 42.9% | DraftKings 62.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $40.5 | FanDuel $13,500 | DraftKings $10,000
This postseason has been a breakout party for Booker. In Game 1 he played a team-high 41.8 minutes, and his 27 points were second to only Paul. There is every reason to believe that Booker will be the leading scorer tonight, particularly if Milwaukee does not make any defensive adjustments. Only twice in the last 13 games has Booker failed to top 20 points, and he has been chipping in with a few peripheral stats in the other categories that help keep him in the mix for 40-plus fantasy points every game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 51.94 | DraftKings: 53.99
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 80.5% | FanDuel 74.4% | DraftKings 72.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $52 | FanDuel $16,000 | DraftKings $11,400
Tonight there is no injury designation for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who missed a week of postseason action with a hyperextended knee. Though he was a game-time decision on Tuesday, he was in the starting lineup and played 35.3 minutes, including the entire fourth quarter. While there is an increased risk of reinjury, it would seem that Antetokounmpo is at least 90% right now, which is about as good as one should expect any player to be in this series after seven weeks of playoff games.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
- P.J. Tucker, $11: Once again Tucker was in the 30- to 35-minute range, and he tallied 16.6 Yahoo fantasy points, which is in his expected 15- to 20-fantasy-point range.
- Bobby Portis, $11: With Giannis back in the starting lineup, Portis was relegated to backup frontcourt minutes. Pat Connaughton nearly doubled his 14 minutes. Portis still has the better upside, but seeing him play only the final 24 seconds of the fourth quarter was disheartening.
- Pat Connaughton, $10: While Connaughton got the most run among the reserves, he did not do much with it, notching just 13.4 fantasy points. Gamers can continue to ride with the knowledge that at some point in this series, Connaughton will flirt with 30 fantasy points, though who knows when it will occur? Hope for something in the low 20s, but be ready for production in the low teens. Fortunately, he is at the minimum salary on Yahoo for this very reason.
- Cameron Johnson, $10: Johnson started off on a heater with two early 3-pointers, but he ended up deferring several times to the veteran guards when he had open shots in the second half. The rookie is still the best discount dandy on Yahoo and is a strong play in all formats tonight.
- Cameron Payne, $13: Now that his salary is back in bargain land, Payne is back in play as a lottery ticket for tournaments. It should be noted that unless something happens with Paul or Booker, Payne is likely in line for 10 to 15 Yahoo fantasy points. In Game 1 he had eight field-goal attempts, making half, and he still only totaled 12.2 fantasy points.
- Frank Kaminsky: Dario Saric went down with a knee injury in the first quarter and will be out for the rest of the season. Kaminsky spelled Ayton in the second quarter, but it was Jae Crowder playing the nominal center role for a few minutes in the final frame alongside Craig when Ayton had a quick three-minute rest. It is hard to envision Kaminsky getting fourth quarter action outside of mop-up duty, so he will likely be limited to a meager 8 to 10 minutes going forward.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Tuesday, July 8 Slate
There are some massive prize pools tonight, but these tournaments are teeming with entries. Keep in mind that the smaller-field contests can be lucrative and have far fewer lineup duplications.
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