Thursday brings a limited six-game slate in the NBA. On the bright side, one of the matchups is between two teams with championship aspirations with the Dallas Mavericks hosting the Los Angeles Lakers. This game is also the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s discuss some players to consider for your lineups.
Editor’s Note: Mavericks PF/C Kristaps Porzingis is not listed on the injury report for tonight’s game vs. the Lakers. PF/C Maxi Kleber (back) is doubtful.
Luka Doncic ($17,400 CP): Doncic stands out as the top option for the Captain’s spot. He’s having another stellar all-around season, averaging 28.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.0 steals. He’s even improved his efficiency, shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from behind the arc. Despite the Lakers having the best defensive rating in the league, Doncic still has an incredibly high floor.
Dennis Schroder ($11,400 CP): Schroder (foot) is on the injury report for this matchup, but he should play since he’s listed as probable. The Lakers can ill-afford to lose his playmaking abilities, especially with LeBron James (ankle) still out. Since James went down, Schroder has averaged 16.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.6 steals across 16 games. The Lakers don’t exactly have many other quality playmaking options backing him up, so expect Schroder’s expanded role to continue.
Kyle Kuzma ($7,400): Like Schroder, Kuzma has also seen his numbers on the rise since the Lakers started dealing with injuries. Across the same 16-game stretch, he’s averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.3 three-pointers. The Lakers are starting to get healthier up front, but Kuzma’s scoring upside still makes him someone to consider.
Jalen Brunson ($4,800): This is the second game of a back-to-back for the Mavericks, so we could be looking at a possible rest situation with Kristaps Porzingis ($9,600). If he does play, the Mavericks could be cautious with his minutes. That could open up added scoring responsibilities for Brunson, who has been their offensive sparkplug off the bench this season. He’s averaging a career-high 12.9 points per game and has scored at least 25.0 DKFP in five of his last six contests.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,400): Hardaway has also been another important part of the Mavericks’ second unit, providing his usual steady shooting from behind the arc. He’s averaging 2.8 three-pointers and shooting 38.5 percent from behind the arc, which has propelled him to an average of 15.8 points per game. While his contributions in other areas leave a lot to be desired, his cheap salary at least makes him someone to consider.
Anthony Davis ($10,200): For the first time in over two months, Davis (calf) is expected to make his return for the Lakers. In a normal situation, not only would he be someone that you’d want to add to your lineup, but he’d be someone that you’d want to consider for the Captain’s spot. However, with long he has been sidelined, and the Lakers wanting him to be healthy for the start of the playoffs, expect him to play limited minutes. At this salary, any sort of limitations will make it difficult for him to provide value.
This is a tough spot for the Mavericks, who are only 4-7 against the spread in the second game of back-to-back sets. A lot of the outcome could depend on what they decide to do with Porzingis. Assuming that Porzingis plays, they could pull out a close win. If Davis was at full strength, it might be more of an uphill battle, but it’s unlikely that he even tops 25 minutes in this contest, which should help the Mavericks’ cause.
Final Score: Mavericks 109, Lakers 106
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