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NBA DFS Playoff Primer (FREE): What Should You Expect In The Eastern Conference Finals Battle Of Toronto And Milwaukee?

Chris Spags



Damien is back with his top NBA DFS Picks for DraftKings and FanDuel on Monday, March 4th (3/4/20) incl. Giannis Antetokounmpo & Bradley Bealves out top plays for daily fantasy basketball lineups on Yahoo, for Tuesday, Feb. 4 (2/4)

After a dominant Game 1 win in the Western Conference Finals, we move onto the Eastern Conference for tonight’s NBA DFS slate. This is a situation with a lot more moving pieces than the last game was. Toronto and Milwaukee have had noticeable player additions during the season as well as rotational changes throughout these playoffs that make it tough to find historical comparisons to add value from an NBA DFS perspective even though I have seen a lot of people across the industry quoting DVP performances for certain guys this year. I’ll dig into what I’ve seen using a bunch of data sources and plus-minus data, my own game watching, as well as our always helpful NBA DFS rankings and ownership projections for the Showdown slate to provide you guys with what I see on tonight’s slate for Game 1 in Milwaukee. So let’s get to it on another FREE Double P, the Playoff Primer for tonight’s single-game NBA DFS slate between the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Toronto Raptors (105.8 implied points, -8.7 on season average) at Milwaukee Bucks (111.8 implied points, -6.3 on season average)

-One thing to note up front: Neither Marc Gasol nor Nikola Mirotic have been available for the games between Toronto and Milwaukee during the regular season so their additions to the rotations should change things for anyone looking at previous matchups. I’ve seen a lot of talk about Malcolm Brogdon in recent days (and will talk more about him down below) based on his success vs Toronto this year but I wanted to point this out because the addition of those two guys alone can materially change both teams’ rotational approaches

Kyle Lowry looks like the best combination of upside and value, though he has been more bad than good vs Milwaukee this year with two games with 17.25 and 17.5 FP along with one Kawhiless one where he had 43 FP on 3-for-14 shooting. The field’s expected 50% ownership seems fair for him given how he can be useful (and will certainly get the minutes to be useful) but he could certainly recede into the background or on the opposite side of a blowout

Kawhi Leonard will see tougher defense than he saw last series but he should continue to see a bunch of opportunity from a usage standpoint. Kawhi should have some rebounding opportunities and be forced to take some more looks from deep so I’m still okay paying his price even though the 75% ownership on him seems like you could maybe make an argument to get away from him

Pascal Siakam is likely to get a lot of open looks from three as a function of this series and he’s shown some willingness to take them with upwards of six and seven attempts in the Philly series. Siakam averaged 40.5 FP in his four games versus the Bucks this year, including one without Lowry and one without Kawhi, and his defense and size should be highly necessary to play a ton of minutes

Danny Green projects as a decent value for me with minutes that should be secure. He’s still Danny Green and capable of going missing as he did in Game 7 vs. Philly with just three shots in 30 minutes but with Milwaukee’s defense that allows a lot of three point looks, he could be forced to hoist some from deep

Marc Gasol seems like a less ideal matchup vs. this Milwaukee squad with him likely to be stationed outside the paint with Brook Lopez and not showing much of a penchant to take and make threes in the Philly series or in general this season. I’ll take some shots at him in the hopes he can add value this series but I have genuine concerns he gets played off the floor for better defensive matchups with groups with a comparable guy in Jonas Valanciunas for Toronto having been among the worst in terms of plus-minus vs Milwaukee this year

Fred VanVleet has been on pretty much all of the best plus-minus groups for Toronto vs Milwaukee this year so I think there’s a possibility he can see more minutes in this series if he’s more that player than the albatross he was in the Philly series. At his near minimum price I’d take him over Norman Powell in terms of guys who are projected to see some run

Giannis Antetokounmpo looks like a solid play to have a lot of at both the captain spot and a regular one. His price is high but he’s been perfectly fine vs Toronto this season and his usage is as solid as can be thus far in the playoffs. It also doesn’t hurt that he seems unlikely to see Kawhi defense from a matchup and energy conservation standpoint

Khris Middleton seems solid though I might be more inclined to favor Eric Bledsoe given the price difference. Bledsoe’s averaged 31.2 FP vs Toronto this year while Middleton averaged 32.9 FP so they both look fine (particularly with Middleton picking up more usage so far these playoffs) but Bledsoe appears to be lower owned and with comparable upside especially if he somehow wins minutes back from George Hill

Nikola Mirotic will continue to start for the Bucks but he’s going to face some real threats for his minutes with the Bucks showing their willingness last series to go smaller if those units roll. Mirotic is a decent matchup against Toronto and could also benefit some from Lopez’s likelihood to pull Gasol away from the interior to offer more rebounding opportunities. I’d also think there’s a chance he ends up with Danny Green defending him with Kawhi on Middleton which could offer him some interesting size advantages

Brook Lopez should be better off this series than he was versus Boston but he’s been all over the map vs Toronto this year with lows of 7.5 FP in 24 minutes and a high of 31.25 FP in 33 minutes. I don’t mind him with the depressed price but with Brogdon back in there I wonder if maybe we get to a point where Mirotic is at center and everyone else shifts up

Malcolm Brogdon averaged 27.9 FP and 32 min vs Toronto this year but with him not starting, his minutes load is a bit of a concern. I think he ends up earning minutes from one of Mirotic or Lopez throughout the course of the series but I’m not sure I’m confident enough in that based on his price today. The 10% ownership expected for him seems low enough to take some shots

George Hill seems unlikely to immediately give minutes back to Eric Bledsoe after a resurgent series vs Boston but he now is sharing run with both Bledsoe and likely Brogdon who can play both guard spots. I could take a shot at Hill but it seems hard to chase his success last series which felt a little like lightning in a bottle

Pat Connaughton should see a slight minutes haircut too with Brogdon back and expected to increase his court time. I don’t mind some exposure to him given how good he was last series but I don’t know that I’d get to the field’s 28% expected ownership

Ersan Ilyasova also isn’t out of play here if Brook Lopez continues to be ineffective. He’s at a nice price and earned minutes throughout last series with his solid play even in games where Nikola Mirotic was effective

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags and I’ll be back tomorrow with some more thoughts on Game 2 of Portland-Golden State.

Chris Spags is the senior director of editorial strategy at and contributes to the site's NBA, NFL, and MLB coverage as a writer and host of video content. Chris's content background from sites like Guyism, Uproxx, and Barstool Sports allows him to bring a unique spin to the world of daily fantasy sports analysis. Chris writes regular columns with NBA and NFL analysis as well as his inimitable style and his 'Four Corners' videos for basketball, baseball, and football DFS are the primary short form content offering on Awesemo's YouTube channel. You can find him on almost any given night providing analysis right up to slate lock on Awesemo's flagship Live Before Lock livestreams or on Twitter @ChrisSpags. You can contact Chris by emailing