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Best lineup strategy for Lakers vs. Clippers NBA Showdown

LeBron James should headline in Showdown contests based on Sunday’s Lakers-Clippers matchup.

 Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James reacts against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Staples Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles’ two teams will face off for the third time this year on Sunday. The Lakers (48-13) will take on the rival Clippers (43-19) and attempt to establish themselves as the top dogs in the Western Conference. The Lakers and Clippers rank first and second in the standings. Does the result of this game indicate which side would have the edge in a playoff series? That’s what everyone wants to see. We broke down the best lineup strategies for Showdown contests here:

Captain’s Picks

LeBron James’ ($20,100) gives him an edge over the rest of the stars in this game. Kawhi Leonard ($17,700, $11,800) can score and rebound at an elite level, but isn’t nearly the passer James is. James is less than an assist and a rebound away from averaging a triple-double against the Clippers this season. He’s also in the midst of a scoring tear and is averaging 29.1 points per game in his last nine outings. That momentum could help James follow up his 37-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks with another strong showing.

Anthony Davis ($18,600) has been dealing with some elbow soreness, but that didn’t stop him from taking 24 shots against the Bucks in his last game. He should continue to be aggressive in a potential Western Conference Finals preview. Marcus Morris Sr. and Ivica Zubac aren’t ideal candidates to guard Davis or rebound against him. He’ll get plenty of chances to attack these mismatches as the Lakers’ top scorer.

FLEX Options

This will be an intense game, and that’s where Lou Williams ($7,400) thrives. He’s significantly cheaper than Paul George’s flex price of $9,600 and only trails him in points per game by two. Williams often rises to the occasion in big games and could be a reliable third option when the Lakers are keyed in on George and Leonard.

Kyle Kuzma ($5,200) might not be connecting on his shots at an efficient rate, but he is putting them up. He’s taken at least 10 shots in his least eight appearances. Kuzma has faced the Clippers one other time this season, and exploded for 25 points. He might not be able to replicate that performance, but his past success is encouraging.