clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Best lineup strategy for Nets vs. Celtics Game 3 NBA Showdown in 2021 NBA playoffs

We take a look at the Showdown contest on DraftKings Game 3 of the Nets-Celtics first round NBA playoff series, giving you Captain’s Picks and who to fade.

James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets high-five during a game against the Boston Celtics during Round One Game Two on May 25, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The No. 2 seed Brooklyn Nets have looked the part of a potential championship contender so far in the NBA playoffs as they have made light work of the seventh-seeded Boston Celtics to take a quick 2-0 series lead.

As the series shifts to the TD Garden in Boston for Game, we’ll look at some good DFS Showdown plays for tonight’s pivotal matchup. Some of the usual suspects will be top options for players for the captain spot while there’s one crucial player in particular you may want to shy away from.

Captain’s Picks

To no surprise, the Nets ‘Big 3’ of James Harden ($17,100), Kevin Durant ($16,500), and Kyrie Irving ($15,300) are all worthwhile picks to captain your lineup for tonight’s festivities. Durant has put up identical 52.5 FP performances in both games, including shooting 67 percent from the floor in Game 2. Harden pulled off a near double-double of 27 points and seven rebounds on Tuesday while Kyrie delivered a strong 40 FP effort in 37 minutes of action in Game 1.

You couldn’t really go wrong with either three but I’m slotting Durant here until further notice, especially if he continues to average a double-double.

FLEX Plays

Marcus Smart ($10,800) has led the Celtics in minutes so far this series (35.7 mpg) and has made the most of them on both ends, averaging 18 points on 46 percent shooting along with 5.5 assists and 2.5 defensive rebounds a game. If Jayson Tatum is still hampered by his eye injury, one would expect the veteran to continue to carry the load for the C’s.

Certainly the shooting prowess of one Joe Harris ($9,300) warrants flex consideration for tonight’s matchup. Harris was a walking heat check in Game 2, burying seven threes in 29 minutes on the floor to end the game with 25 points, four boards, three assists, and two steals.

Another value consideration off the Brooklyn bench is Blake Griffin ($7,200). Griffin only saw 20 minutes of action in both respective games but did manage to put up 11 points and four assists in Game 2. However, with Jeff Green ruled out for the rest of the series, there may be more opportunity for the former Lob City veteran to flex against Boston.


As alluded to earlier, we’re back away from Jayson Tatum ($16,200) for the time being for multiple reasons. The young All-Star has averaged below his season FP average when facing the Nets this season and was held in check during Game 1, shooting just 30 percent from the field on 20 shots to come away with 22 points and five assists while nearly fouling out in the series opener.

And then there’s the issue of his eye, as he was taken out of Game 2 after being poked in the middle of the third quarter. Some have said he may have suffered a corneal abrasion and even though he will suit up for Game 3 tonight, his vision could be an issue. Again, fade Tatum for the time being.

The Outcome

Brooklyn hits the road as 7.5-point favorites in Game 3 and that might be a little generous. With Boston’s star potentially struggling with his version, the Nets may smell blood in the water and set themselves up to finish off the Celtics on Sunday. The more rest they can get for their superstar trio before the next round, the better and they’ll look to hit the gas against this withering Boston team.

Final score: Nets 122, Celtics 101