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Best lineup strategy for Rockets vs. Knicks NBA Showdown

Both Russell Westbrook and James Harden could explode against the Knicks, but we think Westbrook has the edge here.

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook shoots prior to the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets (39-20) have been on a roll since the All-Star break ended and are riding a six-game winning streak. They’ll try for a seventh straight victory Monday against the New York Knicks (18-42), who have dropped seven straight. Houston came out on top when these two teams last met in late-February, led by James Harden’s 37-point performance. We break down how you should go about building a Showdown lineup for tonight’s matchup here:

Captain’s Picks

Russell Westbrook ($18,900) is playing what’s arguably the best basketball of his career. He didn’t play the last time the Rockets took on New York, but is averaging 35 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game over his last 10 appearances on 57.2% shooting. Westbrook has taken at least 24 shots in three straight games and totaled more than 62 DKFP in two of those contests. He’s getting to the rim at will and shot 40% from beyond the arc in February. Look for him to continue trending upward.

It’s hard to not go with Harden ($19,800) in Madison Square Garden, but he’s experiencing a cold spell. The Beard has shot 40% from the field in his last two contests and failed to reach his season average of 59.9 DKFP in each of those games. But that doesn’t mean he can’t get hot, as he’s tallied more than 60 DKFP four times in the six games he’s played since All-Star Weekend. Either one of the starting members could set the nets ablaze.

FLEX Options

Mitchell Robinson is coming off a season-high 23 points on 11-of-16 shooting and will face a Rockets defense gives up the sixth most points in the paint (51.6) in the league. He Tallied 36.5 DKFP the last time he faced Houston and has averaged 35.6 DKFP in his last five games. Despite playing behind Taj Gibson ($3,200), Robinson has shown that he has more upside than any other center on New York’s roster.

Robert Covington ($8,600) is averaging 13 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per contest since the All-Star break and has really started to mesh in Houston’s system. He totaled the most DKFP (46) that he has this season since he joined the Rockets in his last outing and could ride that momentum into another solid performance.