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Best lineup strategy for Wizards vs. Trail Blazers NBA Showdown

Whether Damian Lilard plays will affect who you should captain in Wednesday’s Wizards-Trail Blazers Showdown contest.

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura celebrates with guard Bradley Beal during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.  Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards (22-38) were edged out by the Sacramento Kings Tuesday and will face off against a Portland Trail Blazers (27-35) team that blew out the Orlando Magic in its last outing on Wednesday. Both teams are powered by high-volume shooters at the guard spot. The matchup will likely be headlined by the battle between Bradley Beal and CJ McCollum. We break down some ideal strategies for the Showdown contests centered around the game here:

Captain’s Picks

Beal ($17,700) has tallied at least 34 points and eight assists in three straight games and hasn’t dipped below 30 points in six appearances. He’s taking a ton of shots and hasn’t attempted less than 23 since January. Don’t expect this trend to stop, as he’s the only thing keeping the Wizards in games at this point. He’ll likely be guarding McCollum and is by far the better defender of the two. His strength and athleticism gives him an edge in this matchup, but McCollum can still could still light it up.

McCollum’s ($15,000) impact could be limited by Damian Lillard ($16,800/$11,200), who is targeting a return from a six-game absence due to a groin injury. Even if Lillard faces restrictions, he’ll take the ball out of McCollum’s hands. McCollum is thriving without Lillard and has tallied at least 27 points and five assists in six straight games. If Lillard doesn’t play, McCollum could go toe to toe with Beal. But if Lillard returns, it’s unlikely that McCollum’s shooting volume will put him in the same ballpark.

FLEX Options

Gary Trent Jr. ($5,200) is averaging just under 20 points per game on 51.2% shooting in his last three appearances. He’s been the role player who’s stepped it up while Lillard is out, but could also be affected by the star’s return. He’s been playing a lot of minutes and should continue to assume a heavy workload if Lillard doesn’t play.

Rui Hachimura ($7,400) has been developing consistency since returning from injury and has reached double-digits in scoring in seven straight games. He also reached the 20-point mark for the first time since December on Tuesday on 6-of-9 shooting. He’s not a pricey as Davis Bertans ($8,400) and has comparable upside. Both Hachimura and Bertans should get more minutes with Thomas Bryant listed as out. Ish Smith is also doubtful, so that’s another rotation player who could sit.