The NBA regular season tips off Tuesday with two marquee matchups. One of them is the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Golden State Warriors, which will be the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings. Let’s highlight some players to consider as you build your lineups, as well as one to possibly avoid.
Stephen Curry ($18,300 CP): The Warriors didn’t make any major splashes in the offseason and Klay Thompson (Achilles) is expected to be out until at least December, which means Curry will once again have to carry their scoring attack. He thrived in that role last season, averaging 32.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 5.3 three-pointers per game. The Lakers have a tough defensive backcourt that is led by Russell Westbrook ($10,800), but with all of the shot attempts that he can handle likely coming his way, Curry is still a prime option for this position.
Draymond Green ($13,800 CP): If you want to roll with a player with a cheaper salary to build a more well-rounded lineup, then Green is at least worth considering. After a bit of a slow start, he finished last season by averaging 8.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.0 block over his final 26 games. His scoring upside should remain limited this season, but his ability to stuff the stat sheet in multiple areas can make him valuable.
Anthony Davis ($11,000): Despite adding Dwight Howard ($6,200) and DeAndre Jordan ($2,200) during the offseason, the Lakers will roll with Davis as their starting center. Given Westbrook’s deficiencies from behind the arc, having Davis help space the floor at the five could be key. Even in a disappointing 2020-21 season by his standards, he produced averages of 21.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.6 blocks.
Jordan Poole ($5,600): The Warriors badly need someone to step up and take some of the scoring burden off of Curry. Poole helped fill that role in the second half last season, averaging 14.7 points and 2.3 three-pointers over their final 38 games. He averaged only 24 minutes per game during that stretch, so he could provide increased production in this game with a starting role on tap.
Nemanja Bjelica ($2,000): Bjelica could end up being a perfect fit with the Warriors. They badly need his size up front, especially with James Wiseman (knee) still out. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see instances in which he and Green were both on the floor together. He can also help stretch the floor, averaging at least 1.1 three-pointers in three of the last four seasons.
Andrew Wiggins ($8,400): It’s difficult to have much faith in Wiggins against a Lakers team that had the seventh-best defensive rating in the league last season. He doesn’t provide a ton of production outside of the scoring column, averaging just 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season. Add in that his salary doesn’t come at much of a discount and it might be best to keep him out of your entry.
The Lakers could be in for an adjustment period out of the gate. The addition of Westbrook will likely help them a lot during the regular season, allowing them to give LeBron James ($11,600) more rest since they do a lot of similar things. However, Westbrook didn’t look comfortable yet in the preseason, averaging more turnovers than assists. With Curry leading the way, the Warriors have a chance to pull off the upset on the road.
Final Score: Warriors 111, Lakers 108
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