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Best lineup strategy for Nets vs. Bucks NBA Showdown

We take a look at the Showdown contest on DraftKings between Milwaukee and Brooklyn, giving you Captain’s Picks and who to fade.

Kevin Durant, James Harden, Joe Harris, and DeAndre Jordan of the Brooklyn Nets celebrate during the first half against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center on January 16, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The new era of the Brooklyn Nets is upon us we could see Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden team up against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Can Brooklyn’s big three take down the top team in the Eastern Conference? Let’s break down how you could attack Showdown contests on DraftKings centered around the matchup.

Update: Irving (health protocols) is not expected to play tonight, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Captain’s Picks

The Nets will have a hard time protecting the rim now that Jarrett Allen has been traded so expect one of the NBA’s best post scorers to feast against Brooklyn. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($16,200) should be as aggressive as always attacking the basket and DeAndre Jordan isn't the athlete he used to be. It’s easier to count on his numbers than a Nets team that's still figuring out how to run with three superstars.

Assuming KD draws the Antetokounpo assignment, Joe Harris will be tasked with stopping Khris Middleton. The Bucks wing has scored at least 40 DKFP in four of his last five games. He has the size, strength, speed, and athleticism to dominate his matchup. Captaining him helps you fit in all the high fliers that will be available if Irving plays.

FLEX Plays

Harris ($6,400) could be a defensive liability in this matchup but shouldn't be on offense. Milwaukee can’t help but leave shooters open because of all the creators Brooklyn has on offense and Harris is one if the most consistent shooters around. He shooting nearly 50 percent from beyond the arc on 6 attempts per game and is underrated as a passer and rebounder. A cold shooting night is the only thing that should stop Harris from performing, and those don’t come along often.

Bobby Portis ($5,800) has quietly been having a great season for Milwaukee. Despite playing the reigning MVP, he’s managed to tally double-digits in points in eight of his last 10 games while being a menace on the boards.

Fades

Irving ($9,600) is easily the most polarizing player in this game. Harden notched a triple-double in his Nets debut while orchestrating the offense and Irving hasn’t played since Jan. 5 because of the time he took off for personal reasons. We don’t know if Steve Nash will give Irving a full workload or how much his role will be reduced with Harden on the team. I’ll likely stay away from Irving if he does get the go-ahead to play, but he could also provide tremendous leverage if he performs like he has been all season.

The Outcome

This game is almost impossible to call. While Brooklyn only narrowly edged out the struggling Orlando Magic in its last outing it could get back one of the most dominant point guards in the world to pair with two other superstars. Milwaukee is favored by 2.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook and I think its chemistry will help it squeak by a Nets team that’s still experimenting this time.

Final score: Bucks win 125-120