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Best lineup strategy for Lakers vs. Bucks NBA Showdown

First in the East meets first in the West with Giannis taking on LeBron James. Greg Ehrenberg gives his full breakdown of LAL-MIL Showdown on DraftKings.

Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

There is a decent chance that this game is a preview of the NBA Finals. The Lakers come into today with the best record in the Western Conference and the Bucks are in the first in the Eastern Conference. Overall, these teams have the two best records in the NBA. Even if they meet in the playoffs, it will likely be on healthier on terms. Eric Bledsoe is out for the Bucks with a fractured tibia and Anthony Davis is questionable to play after missing the Lakers’ last game with an ankle injury.

Captain’s Picks

Given the star power on both teams, I think the captain’s slot has to be filled by either LeBron James ($18,000) or Giannis Antetokounmpo ($20,700). The stronger play of the two is going to be determined by injury news. If Davis is ruled out, I think LeBron is the guy to go with. When AD is off the court, James’ usage rating swells to 38.6%. If Davis ends up playing then I am looking to fill the captain’s spot with Giannis. He costs a bit more, but is likely to be worth it. Antetokounmpo is coming off a 76 DKFP game and has scored at least 55 DKFP in three of his last four games.

Flex Options

With Bledsoe out, Donte DiVincenzo ($7,400) has moved into the starting lineup and is having no problem filling the void. In the last two games as the starter, he scored 38.5 and 33.25 DKFP. This type of production probably isn’t sustainable, but DiVincenzo is putting up well-rounded lines, which implied that he has a very stable floor.

In addition to DiVincenzo, Khris Middleton ($9,000) benefits from Bledsoe being out. When Bledsoe is off the court this season, Middleton has a 28.8% usage rating (second on the team behind Giannis) and scores 44.96 DKFP per 36 minutes. At the end of November, Middleton had a minutes restriction and he’s been a great fantasy producer ever since it’s been lifted. He’s scored at least 32 DKFP in seven of his last eight games.

If Davis is ruled out, both JaVale McGee ($5,600) and Dwight Howard ($6,600) stand to benefit. AD usually plays some center minutes, leaving Dwight and JaVale to split time in the front court if Davis can’t play. On Tuesday, McGee scored 27 DKFP and Howard scored 30 DKFP with Davis inactive. Since both centers are great per minutes fantasy producers, they can be both succeed even though they never share the court.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.