This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
After an exciting first four games resulted in a 2-2 series deadlock, we're set for an intriguing Game 5 back in Phoenix on Saturday night. The Suns were especially effective defensively during Games 1 and 2 on their home floor and won both contests by double digits. Still, it will be interesting to see if Milwaukee can capitalize on the momentum it built with its recent pair of victories and produce a better road result Saturday.
With just one game on the ledger, we're dealing with DraftKings' Showdown contest rosters, which are comprised as follows:
· Captain's Spot (Garners points at 1.5x the normal rate)
· Five Utility spots (Garner points at normal rate)
With players carrying markedly higher salaries when rostered in the Captain Spot, there are definitely strategic elements particular to single-game lineups. Picking the right player for that multiplier spot becomes particularly key to success, as the higher salary that player carries naturally affects the composition of the rest of your roster.
Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns (Projected total: 219.0 points):
As just alluded to, the Suns were typically stingy on the defensive end during the first two games of the series on their home court, with the Bucks averaging just 106.5 points per game in that pair of contests. Milwaukee has actually scored over 109 points just once in the first four games of the series, that being their 120-point tally in Game 3, and the 212 total points put up in Game 4 was by far the lowest figure of the series. For their part, the Suns were much more prolific offensively in the first two games of the series at home while scoring 118 points apiece, yet they slumped to 101.5 points apiece in pair of contests at Fiserv Forum.
Injury Situations to Monitor
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written (usually late morning Eastern time), check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.
Neither team has any short-term injuries to report coming into Game 5.
Antetokounmpo has essentially proven an unsolvable problem for the Suns over the first four games, as he's averaged 32.3 points, 14.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks while playing 39 minutes per contest and scoring over 60 DK points in three of those contests. Given his ability to provide extremely well-balanced lines, he's the clear-cut top candidate for a 1.5x multiplier spot and the most trustworthy play of the night overall.
Middleton is averaging 43.6 DK points per game in the series and is coming off having racked up 58.5 in Game 4, but he's still a bit shaky when it comes to his shooting consistency on the road. The veteran wing already had one clunker (31.3 percent shooting in Game 2) at Phoenix Suns Arena, so while his ceiling is certainly impressive, his salary is a full $2.2K less than Antetokounmpo's for a reason.
Finally, Booker has also certainly struggled with consistency during the latter portion of the postseason, posting six sub-40.0 percent success rates in his last 10 playoff games alone. Naturally, it's well documented what he's capable of when he's on – Game 2 (48.3 DK points) and Game 4 (46.3 DK points) are two recent examples – so he's still in the conversation for possible elite production.
With only one game on the ledger, all of the players mentioned in the previous section will certainly be very popular. Additionally, the Suns' Chris Paul ($8,800) and Deandre Ayton ($8,000) and the Bucks' Jrue Holiday ($9,600) should also be in plenty of lineups.
Note: On a multi-game slate, I typically try to highlight players that would be considered under-the-radar plays in this section. Naturally, with such a limited player pool, there will be very few low-rostered players that are likely to also be viable from a DFS perspective, so I'll instead focus on two of the best candidates to provide a strong return relative to salary.
Jae Crowder, PHO ($7,400)
Crowder is on a nice little run that would allow him to once again outpace his salary if he's able to keep it going in Game 5, as he's scored 32.0 to 41.5 DK points in the last three contests against the Bucks. The veteran shot just 30.0 percent in Game 4, but he was able to offset the struggles with eight rebounds and a trio of blocks and steals apiece that still led him to 41.5 DK points. Crowder's work on the boards and playing time are both pretty much a lock from game to game, and while his offense can certainly fluctuate, he's encouragingly been aggressive during the series by putting up no fewer than five three-point attempts in any game and draining 12 of them overall in Games 2- 4.
Pat Connaughton, MIL ($4,800)
Connaughton has rather quietly been offering strong production off the Bucks' bench, scoring 18.8 to 25.3 DK points in the last three games. The veteran wing averaged 11.0 points (on 50.0 percent shooting, including 45.0 percent from distance), 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists over 32 minutes per contest in that span, with 6.7 of his 8.0 attempts per game coming from behind the arc. While that level of aggressiveness naturally has the potential to lead to some clunkers if Connaughton is off-target in any given game, it certainly gives him very solid upside as a tournament play at his salary. Connaughton has also shot well against the Suns dating back to the regular season, as he now owns a 48.6 percent success rate, including 46.7 percent from distance, over six total encounters with Phoenix.
Other value plays to consider: Cameron Johnson, PHO ($4,000)