The Clippers and Kawhi Leonard are back in San Antonio for the second time this season tonight, but for both teams, it’s no longer about the past. The Clippers are in second place in the Western Conference, trying to keep within striking distance of their home-court roommates, the Lakers. The Spurs are just trying to stay in the playoff chase altogether, sitting within a game of the 8-seed as the season’s midway point begins to loom on the horizon.
So revenge game narratives aside, we have the makings of a competitive game, and that should make for an equally competitive Showdown slate. Let’s break down the top plays and best strategies.
Kawhi Leonard, SF/PF, Los Angeles ($17,400)
The Clippers are playing the first half of a weekend back-to-back, so we offer all the necessary disclaimers here that there’s a 50-percent chance this is the game Kawhi sits for injury management. Keep an eye on Twitter throughout the day to confirm Leonard will be in the lineup against his former team. One would think this is the game Leonard would play, against the Spurs, and if he does, keep in mind Leonard is averaging 53 DK points over two previous games. Leonard also comes at a nice discount from Paul George, making him all the more attractive as the Captain here.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, San Antonio, ($15,600)
Aldridge has solidified himself as the No. 1 option on the Spurs, scoring over 40 DK points in 6 of his past 9 games. The Clippers have struggled to contain opposing frontcourts this season, and Aldridge has been flirting with 40 minutes over his past few games, giving him a fairly high ceiling as a slight discount from the two top Clippers.
Derrick White, PG/SG, San Antonio ($6,900)
Trying to fit as many as four of the studs into this Showcase lineup is going to require one of two strategies: Playing one of them in the Captain spot and reaching for a minimum-priced punt that might give you nothing, or putting the Big Four in the flex and putting a mid-priced play in the Captain. White is ideal for the latter strategy. White has produced better than 27 DK points in 3 of his last 4 games and is averaging 31.5 against the Clippers in two previous games this season. Even though he is now coming off the bench, the production is still there.
Dejounte Murray, PG, San Antonio ($8,200)
Now the starter at point guard, Murray is probably priced up just a little too high to make sense as the Captain, if you’re trying to fit in several high-priced players without having to risk a punt that might whiff. But Murray definitely needs consideration as a flex, as he is now playing close to 30 minutes a game and scoring in the 30s in DK points on the regular.
Jakob Poeltl, C, San Antonio ($3,800)
Unless there’s some dramatic injury news today, there really aren’t any sub-3K players we want to miss with here. A balanced lineup is likely going to be a winning lineup on this slate. About the cheapest we’re willing to go here is Poeltl, who has still managed to put up mostly serviceable outputs despite going back to the bench after Aldridge returned from an injury two weeks ago. At 3.8K, you aren’t asking for a 40-point bomb (although we’ll take it), but if he gets over 20, it’s a flex well spent.