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Best lineup strategy for Nets vs Celtics NBA Simulation Showdown

We go over how to craft a winning lineup for Saturday afternoon’s simulated basketball Showdown between Brooklyn and Boston.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving dribbles the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half at Barclays Center.  Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the weekend and we’ve got one simulated basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings for this afternoon. It’s what would have been a return to Boston for Kyrie Irving, something that we didn’t even really see in RL during the regular season. Irving has been hurt every time the Nets visit the Celtics this season. So if you’d like, you can root against Irving going up against his former team in a simulation setting. Or you can just enjoy the fact that DraftKings is offering anything resembling NBA DFS. Let’s get into it.

Captain’s Picks

Caris LeVert ($9,600) seems criminally underpriced in the Captain’s spot for this contest. He’d be my clear-cut No. 1 choice given he’s under $10K and had been carrying the Nets since the beginning of February. LeVert offers a few ceiling games to potentially hit on, though he comes with some risk given how slow he’s progressed this season. Irving ($15,900) has only played 20 games this season and in half of those games he’s scored fewer than 25 points. That just isn’t cutting it to be paying up for him in the Captain’s slot. There are much better high-priced options on the Celtics — Jayson Tatum ($14,700) and Kemba Walker ($12,900).

FLEX Options

If we’re rolling with LeVert as our Captain, it opens up a lot of interesting and easy lineup decisions. Jaylen Brown ($7,200) is another borderline All-Star I feel is very underpriced here. He pretty consistently hits 20 points and is a solid rebounder. At this price, all we would need to hit 5x value is a box score with around 24-25 points and 6-8 rebounds, which is more likely to happen than not.

There isn’t a ton of really cheap value here, so Marcus Smart ($6,600) is doable at this price. He’s had plenty of games in which he’s had to start/play 30-35 minutes to compensate for injuries. This gives most of his box scores a good chance of rolling something slightly above this price range. He has more variance in those games, so I’d consider Smart a bit more risky than say Jarrett Allen ($5,600) or DeAndre Jordan ($5,000) — both of whom are cheap and have decent floors with the rebounding.

An all-out Celtics stack seems like the way to go if you Captain LeVert. If you decide to go with a more expensive option like Tatum or Walker, you’re going to have to get a bit more creative. Allen and Jordan are decent value options, but if you need someone cheaper there isn’t much to consider. Brad Wanamaker ($3,600) has zero upside but we know he’s another guy who has stepped up and played decent minutes due to injuries. At this price, you wouldn’t need much for him to return value. He’d be able to free up salary to get into the $5-7K range for a few players if you stack Tatum, Irving and/or Walker.