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Best lineup strategy for Thunder vs. Bucks NBA Showdown

We break down how to craft a winning lineup for Friday night’s featured Showdown contest on DraftKings.

While you’d probably be justified in assuming that the Thunder have their work cut out of them this evening on the second night of a back-to-back, it must be stated that the team’s been incredibly successful this season in such a scenario. In fact, Oklahoma City comes into Friday’s slate 9-0 against the spread in its last nine contests played with zero days rest. Unfortunately, for a nice as that stat sounds, none of those nine games involved Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

Can the upstart Thunder hold their own in Milwaukee? Let’s break gig into all from a Showdown perspective.

Who should you play in the Captain’s slot?

Khris Middleton ($14,400 CP)

For as easy as it would be to suggest using Antetokounmpo at 1.5x value, let’s not sleep on his fellow All-Star. The important thing to note with Middleton’s viability is the recent trends in his workload. It would seem that Mike Budenholzer is beginning to ramp up his starters’ conditioning in preparation for the playoffs, with Middleton logging at least 30 minutes in every game he’s appeared since Jan. 18. That’s translated to a season-high average of 33.7 minutes per night so far in February, which, in turn, has led to 24.6 points and 8.2 rebounds. He’s been quite good the past few weeks.

Who should I stack with Middleton?

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($13,400)

There’s a time and a place to buck conformity and tonight’s isn’t it. Antetokounmpo has exceeded 60.0 DKFP in nine of his past 11 starts and the reigning MVP also carries a streak of 13-straight double-doubles into this evening’s matchup. Additionally, Oklahoma City is a team that truly lacks elite talent on the wing. Realistically, there’s no one on this roster that has a chance of slowing the Greek Freak down.

Where can I find value in the contest?

Luguentz Dort ($1,600)

Dort is by no means a high ceiling asset, but there’s something to be said about guaranteed playing time at a price point below $2K. The rookie has started every contest for the Thunder since Jan. 20 and, while Dort possesses just a 12.8% usage rate within that span of time, he ranks fifth on the team in overall minutes played (375). Milwaukee’s defensive game plan tends to funnel field goal attempts to opposing team’s least proven shooters. If Dort can knock two or three of those down, he’s hitting value.

Who should I fade?

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($9,200)

Avoiding Gilgeous-Alexander is more about archetype than anything else. Though the former lottery pick is possibly the Thunder’s most skilled player, a lot of his offensive game is derived from driving to the basket. To wit, Gilgeous-Alexander leads Oklahoma City by a wide margin in both drives (16.2) and points off of drives per game (10.1) in 2019-20. However, the Bucks simply don’t concede many opportunities in the paint and Gilgeous-Alexander’s three-point shot is still a little inconsistent. It’s just a bad matchup.

I am an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.