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Best lineup strategy for Nuggets vs. Warriors NBA Showdown

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

SFChronicleWarriors
Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green and Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic chat in 1st quarter during NBA preseason game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.
Scott Strazzante/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Saturday’s NBA playoffs slate concludes with a primetime contest between the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors. These teams have had some tight battles over the regular season and now meet in the postseason.

Reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic has carried Denver to the playoffs, while the Warriors look to finally have their “Big 3” of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green intact at the most important time. This is a loaded game for fantasy and DFS contests, with stars across the board. Let’s go over the Showdown fantasy outlook for the game for contests on DraftKings.

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($17,400) - If you’re going to pay up, you might as well pay up for the best player on the floor. Jokic is going to deliver in all three major statistical categories and will likely play close to 40 minutes per game. He’s always a triple-double threat and will be needed for the Nuggets to have any chance of pulling off the upset.

Jordan Poole ($13,800) - Curry would be the pick if he wasn’t going to have a minutes restriction. Poole might not start with Curry’s return but the guard will get heavy minutes and should continue to thrive in a secondary role. Poole has been distributing the ball more of late, averaging 6.5 assists per game in his last 11 contests. He’s a great Captain option if you don’t want to pay up for Jokic.

FLEX Plays

Klay Thompson ($8,800) - Thompson is not going to contribute much in terms of assists and rebounds but he’s a scoring machine. The guard is averaging 30.8 points per game in his last six contests and can get hot at any time. The price point is a bit higher than most flex plays, but Thompson is worth it. With no rest management program in the playoffs, it’s likely he sees heavy minutes from here on out.

Monte Morris ($5,600) - Morris has been a hit-or-miss play most of the season, although he does have Golden State’s number. The point guard is averaging 16.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game against the Warriors in three meetings this season. Someone outside of Jokic has to contribute, and Morris is the best all-around candidate from Denver’s supporting cast.

Fades

Draymond Green ($7,000) - Green is a fantastic player but most of his in-game contributions won’t show up in fantasy scoring. He’s not going to score a ton of points, and his rebound rate will be impacted by Jokic’s presence. At this price, Green might be a good player to avoid in Showdown.

Aaron Gordon ($7,400) - Gordon is playing extremely well of late, averaging 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the last 11 contests. However, he’s been far less effective against Golden State. In three meetings, the forward averaged 9.3 points and 7.0. rebounds. Those games were without Green, who is Golden State’s defensive anchor. Expect the Warriors to contain Gordon tonight, making him a tough play at this price.

The Outcome

Look for the Warriors to get off to a hot start at home. The Nuggets should eventually settle into the game, but the Curry-Thompson-Green combo will be too much in a playoff game. The Warriors have mixed their rotations a lot this season so there are plenty of capable guys here. This team will look closer to what many thought it would be, and that’ll be too much for Jokic and Denver to overcome here.

Final score: Warriors 112, Nuggets 104