This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
If you loaded up on Houston in Game 4, chances are you fared pretty well. Most of my builds centered around the Harden/Paul/Gordon/Tucker spectrum with a dose of Giannis in there, leading to fistfuls of cash across the board. Despite a return to the Oracle, I think Houston is in a position to fare similarly tonight, and I'll likely give the high exposure to the same people.
You can see as you watch this series – Houston simply wants it more. They're hustling for every loose ball and every errant shot in a way that makes the Warriors look sloppy and generally unmotivated. The home stand is only good news for Golden State, however. You should probably see the usual solid numbers from their starters, but they won't represent my core.
On the other end of the slate, it's all about Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,300), and if you didn't have him in your lineups in his last game, chances are you were behind the 8-ball from the start. Most seem to think that the Celtics will be sent packing sooner rather than later, and with offseason free agency rumors grabbing more headlines than the Celtics' play on the court, I'm left wondering if Boston can even come close to a win tonight.
In short, I favor Houston with a dash of Golden State, and Giannis as the cherry on top.Taking James Harden ($10,200), Giannis, Chris Paul ($6,500) and P.J. Tucker ($5,100) will leave me around 4.4K per player and that'll be a favorite build, but I will swap in Eric Gordon ($5,700) for either Paul or Tucker in a couple of spots as well. To weather the variance, I will also fire up a few large-field contests with a little more emphasis on Golden State. In either instance, we've got to find some serious value to get these guys on our roster, so my recommendations will center around the available budget plays.
Jaylen Brown, BOS at MIL ($4,700): You might be looking at the future of the franchise in Brown, as it's almost a foregone conclusion that Kyrie Irving will be headed elsewhere. He's received ample minutes in this series, and while his field goal percentage numbers are just average, he's made the most of his opportunities. He's also a lock to give you about five rebounds per game, and if you look at his history for the year against Milwaukee, his skill set matches well against their defense. As I said, I'm not heavy on the Celtics tonight, but the opportunity for 7k value is definitely there for Brown.
George Hill, MIL vs. BOS ($4,200): The resurgence of Hill over the past two games is no secret, and you can bet his ownership will skyrocket after another good outing in Game 4. That alone might be a reason to fade him, but to field the elites you have to take the good with the bad. After 27 minutes on the court in Game 4, I expect to see a similar usage, and possibly more if the Bucks pull away.
Austin Rivers, HOU at GS ($3,500): Rivers came out of nowhere in Game 4 with a 26.5 DKFP total as he quietly racked up a good combination of rebounds, assists and steals to go along with 10 points. I wouldn't put a lot of faith in a repeat performance, but if you're loading up on the big guns, he could make for a decent GPP swap here and there. If he has a similar number, it could shoot you up the charts.
MID-RANGE TARGET – Klay Thompson, GS vs. HOU ($5,900): As I said before, I plan on peppering in a few Warriors to stay ahead of variance. If anyone has the chance to put up an explosive number that beats value, it's Thompson. While Durant and Curry provide the star power, Klay's sharpshooting skills are often the big difference maker in a close game. He went only 1-for-6 from beyond the arc in Game 4, and you can bet he spent some hours getting his pristine shot back into the arsenal. While the primary focus is on getting to the Finals, you can bet his free-agency stock is in the back of his mind.
Marcus Morris, BOS at MIL ($5,300): I think you will likely fill this position up with some of the higher-priced players like Giannis, but Morris can provide similar numbers over guys like Khris Middleton and Jayson Tatum at a discount. Morris is in the midst of a great series with numbers consistently in the mid-30 DKFP range and performs as well as can be expected opposite Giannis. I feel like a broken record by saying I'm not high on Boston tonight, but it appears that there's value in the budget Celtic plays. I wouldn't place a combo of Brown and Morris – way too much volatility and blowout potential there, but Morris is a trustworthy value-beating candidate at this price.
Pat Connaughton, MIL at BOS ($4,000): This guy is no longer a secret either, as he flirted with a double-double in Game 4 and is on a nice three-game run in this series. He tripped up a bit in the Game 1 loss, but otherwise, it's been smooth sailing for him, and I like his dual eligibility on DraftKings. He'll come off the bench in the second unit, but if previous games against Boston are any indication, he's a good bet for 25-plus minutes tonight.
Damion Lee, GS vs. HOU ($2,600): With Andre Iguodala nursing a knee injury, I think there's an opportunity for Damion Lee to receive even more time tonight. He's garnered 19 and 33 DKFP performances in his last two contests and seems to be the favored son off the bench currently. This is a deep, deep budget punt but it could put you in a great position with the rest of your builds.
Draymond Green, GS vs. HOU ($7,200): I will likely fill this position with a forward-center hybrid as I'm not too keen on Clint Capela or Brook Lopez tonight. Green is a little cost-prohibitive for my overall game plan, but he's shown to be the one player for Golden State who matches Houston with his intensity and defensive mettle. While he's a nightly ejection risk in this hotly-contested series, he's been remarkably consistent, averaging 15.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists for a 45.5 DKFP average over four contests. Surprisingly, he's only averaging 2.5 fouls per game as well which Is a good indicator of how clean he is on the defensive end. It will cost me, but I'll need to find a way to fit him in.
Nikola Mirotic, MIL vs. BOS ($4,600): Mirotic is the wildest of wild cards tonight, but combine his low ownership with a showing similar to Game 2, and you've got sneaky play at center.He's only a GPP candidate for me as he's way too unreliable for a cash build, but he'll have his opportunities with the second and third unit (22.4 MPG over the last four games).