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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Bucks vs. Nets Showdown on June 17

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Bucks and Nets, which locks at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Thursday’s NBA slate features Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals series between the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Game 5 in this series was an instant classic. The Bucks were able to jump out to a sizable lead, but Kevin Durant brought the Nets back with an all-time performance. He finished with 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists while shooting a ridiculous 69.6% from the field. The Nets were able to secure the win, which puts them in the driver’s seat in this series.

That said, it wasn’t all positives for the Nets. Kyrie Irving remains out of the lineup with an ankle injury, while James Harden was a shell of himself in his return to the lineup in Game 5. He did gut it out for 45.6 minutes despite missing the past three games, but he was just 1-10 from the field and 0-8 from 3-point range.

With that in mind, it’s not a huge surprise that the Bucks are favored in Game 6. They’re currently listed as six-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, while the total on this game sits at 220 points.

DraftKings is offering up a featured Showdown slate for this contest, so let’s break down some of the top options to consider for your lineups.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

Captain’s Picks

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($18,000 Captain) – The big decision if you’re paying up at Captain comes down to Giannis vs. Durant. Most people will likely lean KD after his sensational performance in Game 5, but I prefer Giannis at a slight discount. He’s been the better producer on a per-minute basis this season, and there could be some negative repercussions with Durant playing all 48 minutes in Game 5. It wouldn’t shock me if his legs were a little bit tired in this contest, which could hurt his shooting efficiency. This is basically the first time all year that Giannis isn’t the most expensive player on a slate, so let’s take advantage while we can.

Brook Lopez ($8,400 Captain) – Lopez is my preferred target if you’re looking to save at the Captain spot. He’s seen a pretty significant price decrease for Game 6, despite the fact that he played a series-high 36.4 minutes in Game 5. Lopez has scored at least 23.0 DKFP in all five games in this series, and that would be enough to pay off his current price tag.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $450K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (BKN vs MIL)

UTIL Plays

Kevin Durant ($12,400) – Even though I went with Giannis over KD at Captain, I still obviously want Durant in my lineups. The Showdown format favors a stars-and-scrubs approach, so locking those two players into your lineups is basically mandatory. Even if Durant has a bit of shooting regression on today’s slate, he’s still close to a lock for 50+ DKFP.

Jeff Green ($4,800) – Green should command massive ownership on Thursday following his big performance in Game 5. Still, he’s simply too cheap at $4,800. He played more than 34.5 minutes in his last outing, and he was arguably the Nets’ second-best player. It would not be surprising if he moves into the starting lineup in Game 6, which gives him the potential for even more minutes.

Pat Connaughton ($2,800) – Connaughton is the strongest punt play on the slate. He’s coming off 32 minutes in Game 5, and he’s scored at least 21.5 DKFP in each of his past two games. Connaughton has averaged a solid 0.74 DKFP per minute this season, so he’s capable of taking advantage of a few additional minutes.


James Harden ($11,000) – The contrarian in me wants to trust Harden on Thursday. He’s going to carry virtually no ownership following his disappointing performance in Game 5, and we know he’s capable of some huge outings. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s healthy enough to make that happen. He wants to be on the court for his team – which is an admirable trait – but he basically served as a decoy on Tuesday. I can’t imagine he’s healed up much after logging a ton of minutes in Game 5, so I’m not expecting him to look any healthier in this contest.

The Outcome

Pairing Giannis and Durant is the natural place to start in this contest, and I think using one in the Captain spot makes sense. Both players have ridiculous upside, so you’re potentially leaving a lot of points on the table by using both as utilities. I prefer Giannis in the Captain spot, but you really can’t go wrong with either.

The only downside to that strategy is that it will eat up a lot of your salary. You’re left with less than $5,000 per player for your remaining four roster spots, which doesn’t give you a ton of flexibility. That makes using someone like Connaughton, Landry Shamet ($3,200), or P.J. Tucker ($2,400) a must.

Ownership is another potential issue. Most people are going to pair Giannis and Durant, so there’s going to be a lot of overlap with the value options as well. Make sure to keep that in mind when building your rosters.

As for the game itself, I do think the Bucks can pull off a victory at home. The Nets got unreal shooting performances from Durant, Green, and Blake Griffin ($6,800) in Game 5, and it seems unlikely they can do that again on Thursday. I’m not sure if the Bucks can cover the spread, but this series deserves to go seven games.

Final Score: Bucks 109, Nets 105

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $450K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (BKN vs MIL)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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