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Best lineup strategy for Thunder vs. Rockets Game 1 NBA Showdown

We go over the top Showdown strategy for Tuesday’s first-round matchup between the Thunder and Rockets.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets dribbles up the court against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 14, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder get going in their Western Conference first round series in the NBA bubble at 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT on Tuesday. The Rockets won’t have one part of their dynamic duo with Russell Westbrook nursing a quad injury. So we should see plenty of James Harden vs. Chris Paul. Let’s take a look at some DraftKings Showdown picks to consider. Set your DraftKings lineup here.

Captain’s Picks

James Harden ($19,200)

I’m not going to get cute like I normally do in these writeups. We’re rolling with The Beard and that’s the only way to go at Captain in my eyes. Harden with no Russ means massive usage rate and minutes. If the Rockets want to stay in this series long enough to see Westbrook come back, Harden is going to have to carry the team. I think this is a spot in which we’ve seen Harden put up insane fantasy numbers. The playoffs should only elevate his game. Plus, facing a former teammate like CP3 will help too.

Fade of the Game

Robert Covington ($8,200)

Nobody should be crazy about playing Big Shot Bob Covington at this price. Covington is a solid starter and would normally be priced in the $5-6K range. But at $8.2K, that’s just too rich for my blood. Covington should get some open looks with so many defenders focused on Harden but RoCo shot a very low percentage from 3 in the seeding round. I’d rather go down and grab Eric Gordon ($6,200) or Austin Rivers ($5,800).

Value Picks

Dennis Schroder ($7,000) — Schroder isn’t a no-name basement priced type of value pick. He’s underpriced in my eyes with Dort sidelined. Schroder shouldn’t start, but coming off the bench playing against the Rockets’ second unit is a strong spot. Houston has zero depth and Schroder should be able to take advantage.

Hamidou Diallo ($3,800) — Diallo looked good when the Thunder were resting players and he stepped into a bigger role. There’s a chance that the Rockets struggle with OKC’s size and these games get out of hand. Diallo has a lot of athleticism and should have an easy time rebounding against a small Rockets’ rotation. Diallo should also see more minutes with Luguentz Dort out.