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Best lineup strategy for Bucks vs. Knicks NBA Showdown

It’s Giannis at the Garden, but is he the best option for the Captain? We break down the slate fraught with blowout danger.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This game looks dreadful on paper, but anytime of the sports’ biggest stars plays on the game’s biggest stage, you want to take notice and hope for a transcendent performance. It’s Giannis at Madison Square Garden, and that’s enough to inject some life into this Showdown slate. That’s assuming he plays, of course, and that’s one of the storylines that actually makes this an intriguing Showdown to navigate. Here is our look at the best plays and best strategies for Knicks-Bucks.

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF/PF, Bucks ($21,300)

On one hand, it’s the Greek Freak in the Garden against a dreadful Knicks team getting particularly killed by opposing power forwards. On the other hand, it’s the second of back-to-back games for the Knicks and the first of back-to-backs for the Bucks, who draw a legit divisional rival, Indiana, on Sunday. With Giannis already a little dinged up with a bad back, it’s entirely possible he plays reduced minutes if the game blows out, as expected. If it wasn’t in New York, he’d probably not play at all, and that’s a possibility that must be monitored. But if he’s a full go, the sky is the limit in terms of how many points he might drop in this spot.

CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS

Bobby Portis, PF/C, Knicks ($9,900)

The Knicks have been blown out two games in a row after Friday night’s loss to Miami, and Portis is becoming a master at racking up garbage time goodies. After scoring 25.75 DK points in 21 minutes on Tuesday, Portis exploded for 30 real-life points and 51 DK points in 25 minutes on Friday. The Bucks are among the league’s worst in DvP against power forwards, and if the game devolves into a blowout – the line is 12.5 – then Portis might just pick up the pieces one more time and put up a huge number at a discount.

FLEX MEN

Donte DiVincenzo, PG/SF, Bucks ($7,400)

The pride of Villanova comes back to the Garden and gets to face a team that might be as good as some of the college opponents he faced. With Eric Bledsoe out of the lineup, DiVincenzo has been on a bit of a tear, averaging about 32.5 DK points over his past three games. His minutes have been in the high 20s, and he should have no trouble accumulating stats against one of the worst teams against the point guard position.

George Hill, PG/SG, Bucks ($5,200)

We’re going to need to find some effective value plays if we want to cram Giannis into the Captain’s chair, and Hill is a good bet with Bledsoe out and Wes Matthews doubtful. Hill has scored in the 20s in DK points in four straight games and 5 of 6, so he will produce and support a lineup of bigger names with a solid floor. Given the state of the Knicks defense, Hill could push for 30 DK points.

Taj Gibson, PF/C, Knicks ($2,200)

We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here, and it would make us feel better if Gibson wasn’t so dreadful on Friday night. But he is about as minimum salary as you’ll see in a Showdown slate for a starter, and he dropped 24.25 DK points on the Bucks in their only other meeting this season. Gibson plays the position that the Bucks struggle the most against, so there’s hope here for a punt play that opens up the rest of the lineup.