Thursday could be a dramatic night in the NBA with two playoff series that will have potential elimination games. One of them features the Portland Trail Blazers trying to stay alive against the Denver Nuggets. With this matchup also being a Showdown contest on DraftKings, let’s discuss some players to consider for your entries.
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Nikola Jokic ($18,300 CP): Jokic had a big night during a wild double-overtime win in Game 5, scoring 77.3 DKFP. He fell one assist shy of a triple-double, also recording 38 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. That added playing time obviously helped his cause, but he’s had a spectacular series, scoring at least 56.5 DKFP in four of the five games. He’s the engine that drives the Nuggets, so expect him to have a high floor in this contest, as well.
Damian Lillard ($17,400 CP): As good as Jokic was in Game 5, Lillard was even better. He drained 12 three-pointers on his way to a 55-point performance. Add in his six rebounds and 10 assists and he finished with a whopping 92.5 DKFP. He’s as clutch as they come, so look for him to step up in a big way with the Blazers facing elimination. Since his salary is even cheaper than Jokic’s, he could be the ideal option for the Captain’s spot.
CJ McCollum ($8,800): Despite playing 51 minutes in Game 5, McCollum only scored 18 points. He was just 7-for-22 from the field, including 2-for-8 from behind the arc. Still, he’s had a productive series, scoring at least 30.0 DKFP in each game. While he doesn’t have the upside that Jokic and Lillard do to make him an option for the Captain’s Pick, his ability to contribute in multiple areas makes him someone to consider for a utility spot.
Monte Morris ($5,000): The Nuggets are short at point guard with Jamal Murray (knee) out for the playoffs. Morris hasn’t started in his place, but he’s still one of the Nuggets’ key reserves. He scored 28 points over 41 minutes off the bench in Game 5 and has scored at least 10 points in four of the five games in this series. He’s also helped facilitate offense for his teammates, dishing out at least five assists four times. At his reasonable salary, he has the potential to provide value.
Austin Rivers ($4,800): Rivers hasn’t been as consistent as Morris has been in this series, which makes him a bit of a risky option. However, he’s shown that he has upside, scoring 21 points in Game 3 and 18 points in Game 5. If you’re trying to squeeze both Jokic and Lillard into your lineup, then taking a chance on Rivers could be a wise move.
Jusuf Nurkic ($8,400): Nurkic has the unenviable task of trying to slow down Jokic. That’s part of the reason why he’s fouled out in three of the last four games. He still has three double-doubles in this series and has averaged 13.2 points and 11.0 rebounds. However, with the potential for him to get into foul trouble early, he’s a very risky option.
As well as the Nuggets have played, asking them to close out the Blazers on the road is a tough task. Lillard tends to step up when the lights shine the brightest, so look for him to keep the Blazers alive on their home floor with a monster performance. That could set us up for an electric Game 7 in Denver.
Final Score: Trail Blazers 119, Nuggets 115
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) 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.
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