Tonight, both road teams are in danger of going down 3-1 in their respective series. The Monday, May 9, action tips off at 7:30 pm ET on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Below we will examine the player pool and break down the best NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Be sure to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for all the top fantasy basketball content for Monday’s slate of games.
NBA DFS Picks: Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks Today | mondayMay 9
Yahoo Play of the Day – Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks vs. boston celtics
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 59.62 | Draft Kings: 61.8
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 49.4% | FanDuel 71.3% | Draft Kings 55.5%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $58 | Fan Duel $11,300 | Draft Kings $11,400
Tonight, Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to be a key building block for all lineups. Ja Morant (knee) is doubtful and none of the DFS sites did anything of note to adjust the rest of the Memphis salaries from Game 3. More on that in a moment, but just know that it will be hard to make up ground on the field for those who choose to veer away from Antetokounmpo.
Giannis had a phenomenal game on Saturday with 42 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and four combined blocks and steals while leading the Bucks to a 103-101 victory. After shooting 38.5% from the field and 52.4% from the free-throw line in the first two tilts, he was 16-of-30 from the field (53.3%) and 9-of-12 (75.0%) from the line. Going against the tenacious Boston defense for at least two more games, the realistic outcome for the two-time NBA MVP rests somewhere in the middle of these two benchmarks. Tonight, Giannis should once again play 38 or more minutes if the game is close while seeing a usage rate 40% or higher. Enjoy!
Celtics Frontcourt at Milwaukee Bucks
Robert Williams was on pace to play around 28 minutes in Game 3, though he ended up not stepping on the court in the final frame until there were only four seconds left in the game. This was likely a combination of factors, including getting an elbow to the head, along with Grant Williams playing excellent defense in the fourth quarter with three blocks. Plus, in the middle of all of this, Al Horford was in the zone with 22 points, including four made 3-pointers, 16 rebounds, five assists and a pair of blocks in 39 minutes.
Williams was still productive with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and five combined blocks and steals for 37 fantasy points. The duo of Williams and Horford is definitely one to target again, as they have found tremendous success on the boards against Milwaukee in this series. Clearly, the Celtics like the defensive matchup that Williams and Horford present against Giannis, so expect more of the same tonight.
Could it finally be time to consider Jayson Tatum against the Bucks in the NBA player props market? Currently, he has a 5.5 over/under on his rebound prop, and the Awesemo NBA player projections have him for 7.1 rebounds, which gives him a 70% probability of surpassing the over. Though, he has never been a strong or consistent rebounder in his career, as evidenced by his 6.6 regular and 6.5 postseason career rebounding averages. In this series, Tatum has just 10 rebounds through three games, including a one-rebound effort on Saturday. This is not, by any means, a sure thing, but it is looking like a favorable wager.
Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors
Across nine postseason games, Ja Morant is averaging 37.6 minutes and 20.4 field goal attempts. This works out to 27.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 9.8 assists and 2.4 combined steals and blocks. That is quite a chasm to fill, and it will not be done by any single player by themselves. Tyus Jones and De’Anthony Melton will likely handle the lead facilitation role, though it will be interesting to see which player draws the start for coach Taylor Jenkins. Keep in mind that Dillon Brooks will be back after his one-game suspension, and he is likely to get the first crack at the extra field goal opportunities, along with Melton and Desmond Bane. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke are likely to see some trickledown rebounding and scoring opportunities, though neither should be dramatically impacted by the absence of Morant. Finally, Kyle Anderson should pick up a few extra minutes filling in behind Melton, Bane and Jones, though it is difficult to be too excited about his prospects outside of the single-game contests.
Yahoo Discount Dandies
Jonathan Kuminga: Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($10): In the absence of Gary Payton II (arm), it was rookie Jonathan Kuminga who got the spot start courtesy of coach Steve Kerr. Kuminga played the first six minutes of the game before giving way to veteran Otto Porter Jr. ($11). Porter also started the second half, and Kuminga did not see the court until he played the final five minutes of the third quarter.
The rookie rejoined the fun as the Warriors were wrapping up a 12-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter that extended their lead to 28 points. In the last five minutes of the game, it was Kuminga time and he scored 10 of his 18 points during this stretch, including knocking down two 3-point shots.
The moral of this story is that Kuminga got most of his production in mop-up duty and typically banking on a repeat of this performance would be fraught with danger. However, Golden State is favored by 9.5 points with the expectation that Morant does not play. This keeps Kuminga in the mix as an extreme punt option at the Yahoo minimum salary, though he is well behind the various Grizzlies who will be filling the void vacated by Morant.
Pat Connaughton: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics ($10): Grayson Allen moved into the starting lineup as a replacement for Bobby Portis in Game 3, and that is likely to remain the plan for tonight. Pat Connaughton remained in his reserve role, which is not a bad thing since any minutes he sees without Giannis, Allen and Jrue Holiday increase the odds that he will see more shots and rebounding opportunities. While Connaughton does not have the upside of Kuminga, he is still a steadier option.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks for the Monday, May 9 Fantasy Basketball Slate
Aside from a surprise appearance by Morant in the nightcap, it would take something completely unknown to dramatically alter current projections. Of course, considering the pandemic is still impacting daily life, do not count any chickens before they have a chance to hatch.
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