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Best lineup strategy for Mavericks vs. Sixers NBA Showdown

The Mavs continue to miss Luka Doncic, while the Sixers look to begin a new home winning streak. We break down how to approach Friday’s Showdown on DraftKings.

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown and Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis in action during the game between the Mavericks and the Celtics at the American Airlines Center. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are a different team without star Luka Doncic (ankle), but for now, they’re still very much a competitive unit. The Mavs are 1-1 without Doncic, nearly winning both tough games vs. the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. Kristaps Porzingis, Jalen Brunson and Tim Hardaway Jr. have all stepped up big time with Luka out. The Philadelphia 76ers continue to be an enigma. They’re coming off their first home loss of the season to the Miami Heat, though had been playing very well prior to the L. Let’s take a look at tonight’s NBA Showdown contest on DraftKings and how to craft a winning lineup.

Note: Delon Wright and Seth Curry are expected to be available to play tonight.

Captain’s Picks

The two obvious options are Porzingis ($16,200) and Joel Embiid ($18,600). I’ll lean Porzingis because he’s cheaper and should be the focal point of the Mavs offense again with no Doncic. He’s got a double-double in each game without Doncic (including when Luka left vs. the Heat). Zingis is forced into huge minutes because of the injury and that should be no different tonight. The game should also be competitive. As for Embiid, he has the highest ceiling of all the players in this game and thus needs to be considered here. He has at least 50+ DKFP in three straight and could rest Saturday. I think there could be enough value on the Mavs side to justify paying up for Embiid.

If you’re looking for a contrarian option, THJ ($10,800) is the way to go I think. If we’re talking ceiling, Hardaway can fill it up and if the Mavs go down in the first half, I imagine he’ll be chucking the rest of the game. Hardaway was quiet in the win over Milwaukee, but dropped 28 points on the Heat after Doncic left.

FLEX Options

I think the Flex plays will come down to a few names on the Dallas side. Both Delon Wright and Seth Curry are questionable to play tonight. If one or both are out, the Mavs won’t have much backcourt depth. I think this will force coach Rick Carlisle to play JJ Barea ($2,400) and he’s dirt cheap. Jalen Brunson ($8,600) is more pricey, but again, Dallas would have essentially two healthy guards. I think Maxi Kleber ($3,800) is the other salary-saver on the Dallas side I’d consider.

As for Philly, we know where the majority of its production comes from in the lineup: the starters. So if I’m captaining Embiid, I want to fit in at leas two of Ben Simmons ($10,200), Tobias Harris ($9,400), Al Horford ($8,400) or Josh Richardson ($7,600). Given the lack of backcourt depth, I’d lean Simmons and Richardson, the former being a matchup nightmare for the Mavs. In terms of value on the Philly side, give me James Ennis ($2,200) and Matisse Thybulle ($1,600). Both won’t see too many minutes, but they’ve shown enough lately to deserve some extra run if the game goes one way or the other.