There are only five games on the NBA slate for Thursday night and thankfully we’ve got three of them in the form of a Showdown contest on DraftKings. The first is a matchup that will surely send chills down your spine — not really. It’s the Phoenix Suns taking on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. What we do have is two exciting guards in Ricky Rubio and Devin Booker operating on the biggest stage in basketball, which is a plus. On the Knicks side, Marcus Morris remains sidelined with a neck injury and the team has lost six of their past seven games. Let’s take a look at lineup construction for Thursday night’s featured Showdown.
Update: Morris will play and Frank Ntilikina is available to play.
As expected Marcus Morris is starting and Frank Ntilikina is available— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 16, 2020
Who should you play in the Captain’s spot?
There are one of two ways to approach the Captain spot. Either pay up for Booker ($17,100) or Rubio ($14,100) or pay down for value that has opened up with Kelly Oubre Jr. (concussion) sidelined. Mikal Bridges ($8,700) is an interesting Captain at a discount. He should start for Oubre and will see plenty of minutes given his defense. The Knicks can’t defend the 3 and while Bridges has struggled with his shot, this is a matchup he can knock down a few in. Regardless, Bridges usually comes through with a few steals, rebounds assists, so given the discount I don’t mind him as Captain.
Dario Saric ($6,000) is also dirt cheap as Captain and should play PF if the Suns opt for lineups featuring Rubio, Booker, Bridges and Deandre Ayton ($15,000). Saric hasn’t played 30+ minutes since Dec. 16, but when he did in back-to-back games, he posted at least 17 points and had a combined 24 rebounds in those games.
I think fitting in Rubio ($9,400), Booker ($11,400) and possibly even Ayton ($10,000) is key to this contest. The Knicks just aren’t playing well right now and the Suns offense should have an easy time picking them apart. Over the past seven games, the Knicks are allowing 125.3 points, 52.8% from the field, 44.5% from 3-point range, the numbers defensively are just awful.
The value lies in Bridges ($5,800) and Cameron Johnson ($2,200), who should see more minutes — either in place of Oubre or in garbage time. I wouldn’t break the bank for anyone on the Knicks, so the best course is one player who is cheap. Kevin Knox ($4,400) is getting some run lately and has double digit points in back-to-back games.