UPDATE: With Big Dawg Glenn Robinson III back, Alec Burks goes back to a bench role. I still think Burks will get some run in this game. His scoring has been too valuable to Kerr.
Glenn Robinson's availability sends Alec Burks back to the bench. He's desperately needed for the second unit while also getting some run with the 1s.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) December 25, 2019
UPDATE: Kevon Looney has been confirmed out of the lineup due to an abdominal injury, per coach Steve Kerr. Ky Bowman is actually going to be active for this game.
Ky Bowman and Alen Smailagic are both active tonight. Kevon Looney is out.— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) December 25, 2019
This is one of the less intriguing games on tap for Wednesday’s Christmas schedule. Normally we’d be getting James Harden vs. Stephen Curry, a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Semifinals. We were on track for even better with Russell Westbrook in Houston, but injuries to Klay Thompson and Curry have derailed out dream matchup. Instead, we’ll have to watch as Harden likely picks apart the Warriors en route to an easy victory. But hey, it is Christmas, right? Magic in the air, maybe we’ll see D’Angelo Russell flash shades of Curry and some vintage Draymond Green, getting in the head of Harden and Russ. Sounds like wishful thinking. Let’s take a look at the Showdown contest on DraftKings.
I think the Captain’s spot really comes down to Harden ($21,000) vs. Russ ($16,800). It’s tough to justify captaining someone like Green ($12,600) or Russell ($13,800). Neither of the Warriors’ top players really have the type of ceiling we’re looking for. D’Lo has the potential to score, but has been up-and-down this season. Green was more of a product of the team around him, and would need a triple-double to return value. Harden is averaging 62 DKFP over the past six games, shooting 43.9% from downtown. He’s found his outside shot and that’s dangerous.
Harden and Russ will be chalky, so if you’re looking for a contrarian play at Captain, Clint Capela ($14,100) should feast on the boards vs. the Dubs. He had 19 points, 16 boards and six blocks against Golden State earlier in the season. I also don’t mind Alec Burks ($11,400), who has sort of created a bizarro, poor man’s Splash Bros tandem with D’Lo in the Dubs backcourt.
I think a lot of the guys I mentioned above are going to make up most of your lineup/lineups, so let’s take a look at cheaper options. Danuel House Jr. ($3,600) has been getting minutes in the front court for Houston. He hasn’t produced much, but is averaging 31.5 minutes per game over his past six. House does have double-digit points in three straight, so at this price you’re at least getting a player who will see the court often and could get garbage time touches.
Really the only appealing cheap option for the Dubs is Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,200). Golden State isn’t getting much from its bench, plus the ceiling is capped on some of their rotation players. WCS is shooting 62.5% from the field over his past five games and is putting up nearly 2.0 steals and blocks per game in that stretch.