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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Clippers vs. Nuggets Showdown

Greg Ehrenberg gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Clippers and Nuggets, which starts at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With just one game on today’s NBA slate, we are focusing on the DraftKings Showdown contest between the Nuggets and Clippers. Los Angeles is up 3-2 with a chance to close out the series and move on to face the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $100K Shootaround [$20K to 1st] (LAC vs DEN)


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Showdown Strategy

Los Angeles Clippers

This game shouldn’t even be happening. The Clippers were up by double-digits late in the second half of Friday’s Game 5 and it looked like the series was over. Unfortunately, Los Angeles could not escape the curse of Charles Barkley guaranteeing a win for the Clippers. With his hex over the team, the Clippers fell apart late as the Nuggets seemingly made 100% of their shots down the stretch.

Due to what transpired last game, I expect the Clippers to go pedal to the metal in this one. Big minutes for Kawhi Leonard ($17,100 CP/$11,400) seem like a certainty so that Los Angeles can ensure there is no Game 7. A loss here would be devastating for the Clippers. Even if the Clippers were to win in seven games, they would be fatigued and have to play a rested Lakers squad next round. With the expectation of big minutes from Kawhi, he’s my favorite choice for Captain. He is averaging 65.25 DKFP in the past two games.

Paul George ($9,600) is also a viable option but I prefer Leonard if paying up for only one of the Clippers’ stars. Kawhi has a bit more upside although George is playing pretty well in this series, contrary to what the public thinks of him as a playoff performer. PG13 has put up at least 44 DKFP in three of the past four games.

Value is tough to come by with teams playing tighter rotations in the playoffs, although there is one cheap player that stands out in this contest. Patrick Beverley ($4,200) remains extremely cheap due to his minutes restriction, which is no longer a real concern. Coming back from a calf injury, Beverley only played 12 minutes in his first game back and gradually has seen an uptick in playing time. He played 27 minutes in his last game and since his minutes have gone up in each game this series, it stands to reason he will play around 30 minutes today.

The center situation for the Clippers is interesting. Montrezl Harrell ($4,600) won the Sixth Man of the Year Award but is barely playing in the playoffs. He’s generally looked poor in the bubble, leading to Ivica Zubac ($7,000) playing the bulk of the minutes. For a while, I expected Harrell to take his minutes back but I no longer think this is the case. Zubac is easily outplaying him, so he’s the better play of the two big men.


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Denver Nuggets

Of the Nuggets’ stars, Jamal Murray ($10,000) is garnering most of the attention in the playoffs. For sure, he’s playing out of his mind and has reached a new level. Even so, Nikola Jokic ($10,800) is the best player on this team and the far better fantasy producer overall. For the season, he averages 46.89 DKFP compared to 35.6 DKFP for Murray not to mention that in this series, Murray has been held under 37 DKFP in three of five games. Without much separating their salaries, Jokic is my preferred option.

Looking at the forwards on Denver, the playing time is pretty messy. The one guy I am confident will play big minutes is Jerami Grant ($6,400). Since moving into the starting lineup, he’s played at least 34 minutes in eight of nine games. The only time he fell short of that mark was due to a blowout. Even though his ceiling isn’t massive, Grant is a fairly safe play considering his massive workload.

The playing time becomes much harder to predict behind Grant. Paul Millsap ($5,400) plays big minutes sometimes and other times it’s Michael Porter Jr. ($7,600). There isn’t any real consistency nor is the playing time easy to predict between the two. One of the things we have seen is that each player has upside individually and one of them will likely play well while the other duds. For this reason, both are in play but don’t play them together in the same lineup.

Gary Harris ($5,000) has fouled out in back-to-back games. Since he’s tasked with defending George and Leonard, this is always a risk. If he stays out of foul trouble, we can expect big minutes for Harris. In Game 3, he was able to stay on the court and playing 36 minutes while putting up 28.75 DKFP. I expect a decent game from Harris if he can avoid fouls.


The Outcome

I expect a fairly easy win for the Clippers tonight. With that said, I also thought this in Game 5 and we all know how that ended. I still think the Clippers were better that night but they let their foot off the gas after getting a big lead and let the Nuggets get back into the game. Chalk that up to a learning experience. I think the Los Angeles vs. Los Angeles matchup for the Western Conference crown is officially added to the calendar this afternoon.

Final Series Score: Clippers 114, Nuggets 102

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $100K Shootaround [$20K to 1st] (LAC vs DEN)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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