A great NBA slate on Saturday comes to an end in Denver, where the Denver Nuggets play host to the Dallas Mavericks in the nightcap. Denver comes in on the second night of a back-to-back, where it is 3-2 this season, while Dallas is fully healthy with Kristaps Porzingis ($9,200) back in the fold, and fully rested with Porzingis and Luka Doncic ($11,400) sitting two nights ago on a back-to-back. With so much excitement surrounding this one, let’s get into how to construct your Showdown lineups for Saturday evening.
Nikola Jokic ($17,700 CP)
There are some warranted concerns here after Jokic turned his ankle on Friday and ended up on the injury report as questionable, but I think this spot is too good to pass up. Porzingis has long been a suspect post defender, and in a short time this season, he’s hurt the Mavs’ defense by 6.7 points per 100 possessions. Another interesting nugget is that Porzingis is only rebounding 20.3% of his opponent’s misses, which rates as a pretty average mark in the NBA. Jokic should be looked to for most of the offense.
Michael Porter Jr. ($7,800 CP)
The Mavericks have ranked in the bottom half of the NBA over the past 10 games with a 37.8% 3-point field goal conversion rate against them, and Porter has seen at least 35 minutes in three of the past four games. This game should be very fast-paced and high-scoring, and I expect Porter to benefit greatly. This will allow you to fit Jokic and Doncic in your lineup, as well.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($6,000)
On the other end of the 3-point spectrum, we have a very bad matchup for Hardaway. Denver’s defense has actually been surprisingly great over the past 10 games, ranking in the top three of the NBA in efficiency, and its 3-point defense has been stout to the tune of a 34.5% rate of threes allowed. It doesn’t help matters that Hardaway’s scorelines have been wildly inconsistent, along with his playing time.
Value FLEX Options
Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,800)
The reason Hardaway’s playing time has been inconsistent? The fantastic play of Finney-Smith, who has been part of the NBA’s best five-man lineup this season. That lineup, as it turns out, is the Mavericks’ starting lineup, which has only been on the floor for 11 games this season due to various injuries, but has an offensive rating north of 133 as a unit. DFS should be a great DFS play, seeing 35-plus minutes and benefiting from a great offensive showing.
Maxi Kleber ($4,400)
Another member of that starting five is Kleber, who hit one of the biggest shots of his life when these two teams played in January. He’s a big part of Dallas’s crunch time lineup, and with so much going on in the paint between Porzingis and Jokic, I think he should be called upon for plenty of minutes between the four and the five. He’s a three-level scorer who will start and play over 30 minutes at $4,400, which is hard to find.
The Mavericks have the rest advantage here with the Nuggets coming off a back-to-back, where they’ve been 3-2 all season long. With the rest advantage, Dallas is 5-1 on the season. With its starting lineup intact, I expect the offense to stay hot against some tired legs on an already-average defense and squeak by the Nuggets.
Final Score: Mavericks 122, Nuggets 120
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