The Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets will meet up in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals Thursday with Denver holding a 1-0 lead. We’ll see if the Nuggets can maintain homecourt advantage and go up 2-0 or if the Lakers can get the split they need before the series shifts to Los Angeles.
Here we’ll take a look at one potential DFS strategy for Showdown contests on DraftKings involving this matchup with Captain’s picks, flex plays and fades.
Nikola Jokic ($18,900) - There’s no way you can fade Jokic. Since Game 1 against the Suns, Jokic has four games of 72+ DKFP and then two games where he’s crossed 80 DKFP. He went for 88.8 DKFP in Game 1 against the Lakers, and they’ve shown no ability to slow him down. Look for The Joker to keep up his hot play in Game 2.
LeBron James ($16,800) - James hasn’t been elite, but he’s the most likely to rack up stats across the board for the Lakers. The King went for 56.5 DKFP in Game 1, and he’s unlikely to go 0-4 from behind the arc again. James comes in at a slightly lower price point than Anthony Davis and the two are comparable on production, so it makes sense to take the forward over the big man.
Austin Reaves ($7,400) - Reaves went for 40 DKFP in 42 minutes in Game 1. He’s slowly playing his way into a huge contract in the offseason, and the Lakers are going to keep looking for him on the perimeter. Reaves might not hit five triples like he did in Game 1 but his fantasy production has increased every game since his Game 2 dud against the Warriors. At this price, he’s a strong filler play.
Michael Porter Jr. ($7,200) - It felt like Porter Jr. had a fairly quiet opener, and he still went for 37 DKFP. He’s unlikely to cede as many shots as he did to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope again, and the efficiency has remained stellar despite the uncertain volume. If Porter Jr. can catch some good looks early, he could really explode and look like the best DFS play on the board. The upside is beyond this price point, so Porter Jr. should be in lineups.
Aaron Gordon ($6,800) - Gordon was awesome in Game 5 against the Suns but he’s put up back-to-back outings of under 20 DKFP. The reality is Gordon simply isn’t a key piece of this offense, and Caldwell-Pope’s emergence makes him take even more of a backseat in terms of shots. Gordon is still an important defensive piece and can make an impact on the glass, but his scoring upside is capped and that’s a reason to fade him in this matchup.
Lonnie Walker ($3,800) - It’s tempting to take Walker at this price, but he’s not going to replicate the Game 4 he had against Golden State here. Walker isn’t going to get heavy volume, especially with Reaves getting more usage. D’Angelo Russell is also set to bounce back, which will cut into Walker’s opportunities. The price isn’t bad but the downside is real. Fade Walker in Game 2.
In Game 1, the Nuggets held a huge lead for most of the contest before the Lakers rallied late. LA should start better in Game 2, but the Nuggets are the more consistent team and should have more focus after nearly giving away the opener. Look for Jokic, Jamal Murray and Porter Jr. to keep their offensive exploits going in a high-scoring win for Denver.
Final score: Nuggets 126, Lakers 114