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Best lineup strategy for Bucks vs. Celtics NBA Showdown

We break down how to approach lineup construction for Wednesday night’s Showdown contest between Milwaukee and Boston on DraftKings.

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics looks on during the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on December 18, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The NBA kicked off the season on Tuesday with two games, so naturally we have the other 26 teams in play on Wednesday night! With such a massive slate, you’ve got plenty of different contests and formats to choose from. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the DraftKings Showdown for one of the featured primetime games: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics. This matchup should be solid. You’ve got two teams with championship aspirations. Giannis Antetokounmpo will make his season debut coming off his second straight MVP award. Jayson Tatum might have something to say, developing into a solid MVP candidate himself.

Let’s take a look at some picks for the Showdown. Head here to enter your lineup on DraftKings!

Captain’s Picks

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($18,000) — There’s really no reason to get cute in Showdown at Captain on the first big Showdown slate of the season. Giannis should be good to go in this game after dealing with a minor back injury during the preseason. Giannis averaged 63.5 DKFP over three games against the Celtics last season. Boston made a play to get bigger with Tristan Thompson, but still lack depth in the front court. Antetokounmpo should get whatever he wants down low. If you’re playing a more chalky lineup, Giannis is your captain.

Jaylen Brown ($12,900) — If you want a player with some upside who could help give salary relief, Brown isn’t a bad call. We know that Kemba Walker (knee) is going to be out tonight, so Brown and Jayson Tatum should be tasked with carrying the squad. Brown only played one game against the Bucks last season and struggled. He’ll have a tough matchup against Jrue Holiday. This may just drive ownership in the Captain’s spot down. Brown isn’t a bad tourney Captain.

Flex Plays

Jeff Teague ($4,800) — With Walker sidelined, we should see a fair amount of Teague for the Celtics tonight. He should end up starting and is very conveniently priced below $5K. It won’t be hard for Teague to return value at that price despite a tough-ish matchup against a good defense. When healthy and in his prime, Teague was a solid passer. If nothing else he should be able to set up Tatum and Brown better than Marcus Smart ($8,200).

Bobby Portis ($3,800) — Portis has bounced around and hasn’t really settled in anywhere. He was decent in the preseason for the Bucks and should be the primary backup to Giannis off the bench. Portis can fill it up, so that’ll be where he needs to come through to return value. You’ll need to pay down in at least one place to be able to spend up for a few studs in Giannis, Tatum, Holiday, Khris Middleton or Brown.

Fades

Marcus Smart ($8,200) — This goes beyond my pure hatred for Smart. If you look at the Celtics back court, we should see a lot of Smart and Teague. If both of them end up playing around 30 minutes, Teague is significantly cheaper. I could see a lot of lineups looking to Smart as the clear-cut option at guard with Walker sidelined. Teague should handle the ball more and I don’t know how much the Celtics want Smart chucking against the reigning No. 1 overall seed Bucks.

The Outcome

Without Kemba and Gordon Hayward, I think the Celtics will struggle to deal with the Bucks. Boston still only has Thompson and Daniel Theis down low, and if one of them gets into foul trouble, that wouldn’t be great. The Celtics also lack 3-point shooting, so getting into a hole will make it tough to get out. Overall, I just see the Bucks as winning this game relatively easy.

Final score: Milwaukee 112, Boston 97

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