UPDATE: Bucks will go with the starting five they’ve been using with no Bledsoe. Donte DiVincenzo, Wes Matthews, Khris Middleton, Giannis and Brook Lopez. Sixers will go with same starters as well, Simmons, Richardson, Harris, Horford and Embiid.
UPDATE: No status change on some role players for the Sixers. So Joel Embiid is fine for this game vs. the Bucks, huge spot for the big man against Giannis Antetokounmpo.
No changes to #Sixers’ injury statuses.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 25, 2019
Zhaire Smith, Jonah Bolden and Marial Shayok are with the team for today’s matchup vs. #Bucks. They are inactive. Norvel Pellle remains with team and is active.
This isn’t the matchup of the two top teams in the Eastern Conference like we all hoped, but close enough, right? The Milwaukee Bucks are on top of the basketball world at 27-4 at the Christmas Break. Giannis Antetokounmpo is putting together another MVP season and is currently the favorite on DK Sportsbook. The Philadelphia 76ers have had a bit of an up-and-down season so far, sitting at 5th in the conference at 22-10, 5.5 games back of the Bucks for first place. The Sixers are still struggling to find a presence that can stretch the floor, likely something they’ll have to address before the Trade Deadline in February.
Right now, the spread is almost none-existent, so the books expect this game to be very close. This makes sense considering both rosters and both teams are top 5 in terms of defense and points allowed. Joel Embiid has been dealing with an illness for the Sixers, so he may enter this game questionable. But chances are he’ll suit up and be 100% for such a big contest. This is pretty much a toss up, so how should we approach roster construction for DraftKings’ Showdown?
The two top options are obviously Giannis ($19,800) and Embiid ($16,800). I don’t know if you necessarily HAVE to have one of them as captain, but let’s be real, this is the featured matchup in the game. We should see both players go at it all afternoon. I think given Embiid’s price, he’s a bit more appealing, but it’s a tough call. Both teams are great rebounding the ball, both play good defense. I wonder if The Greek Freak can stretch it out again and knock down a few outside shots. I’ll lean Giannis given his ceiling, but we’d then have to find some savings.
So if we want to save some salary in the Captain’s spot, I like targeting guards on the Milwaukee side. With Eric Bledsoe still out, George Hill ($7,600) and Donte DiVincenzo ($9,900) have stepped up. Hill is cheaper, but lacks the type of floor we’d like in our Captain. I don’t mind the DiVincenzo in Philadelphia narrative. He played for Villanova and is from nearby Newark, Delaware, so you’d expect some friends and family in the building on Christmas Day.
I think in a tight game like this, you’re going to have to fit in both Giannis and Embiid, whether one is in your Captain’s spot or both are in the FLEX. Going through some lineup process, it may be the best idea to go cheap at Captain. I’m talking really cheap. This will allow us to fit in Giannis, Embiid, as well as other studs like Ben Simmons ($9,600) and Khris Middleton ($8,200). Again, tight game, I’d imagine the starters will see north of 35 minutes and the benches will be relatively short. Wes Matthews ($4,600) and Kyle Korver ($2,400) are a few cheap options I don’t mind fitting in. The Sixers don’t get much production from their bench, but maybe James Ennis ($1,800) or Mike Scott ($1,000) is worth rostering for basement pricing.