Thursday’s seven-game slate in the NBA consists of several teams that have been riddled with injuries. However, one of the matchups consisting of two of the healthier teams is the Los Angeles Clippers hosting the Phoenix Suns. This game is also the featured DraftKings Showdown contest, so let’s discuss some players to target for your entries.
Kawhi Leonard ($16,500 CP): Whenever the Clippers are involved in a Showdown contest, Leonard has to be considered among the top options for the Captain’s Pick. He’s averaging 46.3 DKFP per game, which can partially be attributed to the combination of his 29 percent usage rate and 51.5 percent field goal percentage. Also, he’s averaging a career-high 5.0 assists per game to go along with his usual stellar contributions in terms of rebounds and steals. While this could be a low-scoring game between two good defensive teams, Leonard still carries an extremely high floor.
Paul George ($14,400 CP): There are basically four top options for the Captain’s spot. They are Leonard, George, Devin Booker ($15,900 CP) and Chris Paul ($15,000 CP). With George being the player with the lowest salary of the group, he could be the top target if you’re trying to deploy a more well-balanced lineup. While he hasn’t been as efficient as Leonard, he is shooting a career-high 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also been an even better facilitator than Leonard, averaging 5.4 assists per game.
Deandre Ayton ($8,000): The Suns have a significantly better roster this season, so it’s not a surprise that Ayton has seen his usage rate decrease by 4.5 percentage points compared to last season. Still, he’s been able to average 14.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. The Clippers are missing their best defensive center in Serge Ibaka (back), which could work in Ayton’s favor to provide another double-double.
Marcus Morris Sr. ($5,600): Given the financial commitment that the Clippers gave to Morris, it seemed odd to have him coming off the bench behind Nicolas Batum ($5,000). The Clippers finally moved him into the starting five in the middle of March and he’s taken advantage of his new role, averaging 15.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 three-pointers across 10 games. The key is that he averaged 29 minutes a game during that stretch, which is up from his season average of 26 minutes.
Cameron Johnson ($3,400): If you want to load up on two or three of the top options, you’ll need to take a chance on a cheap player or two. One of them to have on your radar is Johnson. He’s scored at least 20 DKFP in three straight games and logged 37 minutes in an overtime loss to the Jazz on Wednesday. He’s not likely to come anywhere near that amount of playing time Thursday, but with a season average of 23 minutes per game, he could be on the floor enough to have a chance at providing value.
Mikal Bridges ($6,800): One of the reasons why Johnson played so much Wednesday is that Bridges was limited by foul trouble. Even when he hasn’t been plagued by that issue, though, Bridges hasn’t performed well lately. Entering this contest, he’s scored 26 DKFP or fewer in eight of his last 10 games. Given that his salary isn’t very cheap, adding him to your lineup is a risky proposition.
The Suns have the disadvantage of having to play the second game of a back-to-back set. With that being said, they are 8-3 against the spread in such situations this season. This has the makings of a close contest with both teams being mostly healthy, but given the Clippers’ added day of rest and 19-8 record at home, look for them to pull out a narrow victory.
Final Score: Clippers 113, Suns 110
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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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