The Los Angeles Clippers find themselves in yet another 0-2 playoff series hole, this time against the Phoenix Suns. They’ll try to dig their way out of it again, starting with Game 3 at home. This matchup also provides another opportunity to play a Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s highlight some players to consider for your lineups.
Paul George ($16,800 CP): George missed two key free-throw attempts at the end of Game 2 that left the door open for the Suns to pull out a last-second victory. It marred an otherwise good performance that saw him score 41.5 DKFP. He’s scored at least that many DKFP in all four games since Kawhi Leonard (knee) went down and has averaged 41 minutes per game in the playoffs. With his leading role and that kind of playing time, he’s one of the safer options for the Captain’s spot.
Deandre Ayton ($13,500 CP): Ayton’s conversion of a game-winning alley-oop in Game 2 was the cherry on top of a great performance that saw him score 48.0 DKFP. He shot 12-for-15 from the field and is shooting an absurd 72.6 percent from the field during the playoffs. While that type of efficiency is difficult to maintain, he did shoot 62.6 percent during the regular season, so it’s not as crazy as it might seem. With the Clippers providing little resistance for him up front, he’s an interesting option for this spot if you want to deploy a more well-balanced entry given his significantly cheaper salary than George.
Chris Paul ($9,400): After a dominant performance in the previous round against the Nuggets, Paul missed the first two games of the Western Conference Finals because of COVID-19. He reportedly didn’t have severe symptoms and passed his cardio exam Wednesday, so the expectation is that he will return for Game 3. There is the risk that he could be somewhat eased back into action, but after scoring at least 49.0 DKFP in four straight games, he could be worth taking a chance on.
Ivica Zubac ($5,200): With Ayton causing problems in Game 1, the Clippers ditched their small starting lineup for Game 2, moving Nicolas Batum ($6,800) to the bench and starting Zubac. Zubac would go on to play 34 minutes and score 30.8 DKFP. The Clippers almost pulled out the victory, so it would seem likely that Zubac starts again in this matchup.
Rajon Rondo ($2,800): Since Paul is expected to return, there are now several players with high salaries that are appealing. If you want to roll with a few of them, you’ll need to take a chance on a cheap player, or two. Rondo could be one to consider in tournament play given that he logged at least 17 minutes in both of the first two games in this series. He took advantage of his added playing time, scoring 25.3 and 18.8 DKFP, respectively.
Cameron Payne ($7,600): Payne started the first two games of this series with Paul out and stepped up in a huge way. He missed a double-double by one assist in Game 1, then followed that up with 29 points, nine assists, two steals and two blocks in Game 2. However, the starting role was obviously key for him in that he played at least 29 minutes in both games. Now that Paul is expected to return, reduced playing time will likely make it difficult for Payne to provide value at this increased salary.
The Clippers have shown that they can dig themselves out of a hole, but that task is going to be difficult this time around without Leonard. Getting Paul back should provide a huge boost to the Suns, who have already won nine straight games. Even with this game being played in Los Angeles, don’t be surprised if the Suns put the Clippers on the brink of elimination with another victory.
Final Score: Suns 112, Clippers 109
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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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