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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Mavericks vs. Clippers Showdown on June 4

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Mavericks and Clippers, which locks at 9:00 p.m. ET.

And then there was one. We are down to just one lone matchup in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and it involves the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks currently own a 3-2 series lead, so they will have a chance to close things out on their home court.

That said, this series has been an absolute rollercoaster. The Mavs were able to win the first two games of this series on the road, but the Clippers battled back with two wins in Dallas. That tied things up at two games apiece heading into Game 5, and it appeared as though the Clippers had taken control of the series with their small lineup.

Of course, I should’ve known better than to trust the Clippers. They always seem to let me down as soon as I start believing in them, so they naturally dropped Game 5 back in Los Angeles. They entered this series as large favorites, but now they’ll need to win two straight games to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Clippers are currently listed as three-point road favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, and the public seems to think they can win this contest. They’ve received 55% of the bets and 66% of the dollars, so we’ll see if the Clippers can force a decisive Game 7.

DraftKings is offering up a featured Showdown for this contest, so let’s break down some of the top options to consider for your lineups.

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Captain’s Picks

Luka Doncic ($19,200 Captain) – Doncic is the headliner in this matchup, and he was fantastic in Game 5. He finished with 77.5 DraftKings points – his third game with at least 71.5 in this series – and he had his hand in virtually the Mavericks’ entire offense. The Mavericks made 37 field goals in Game 5, and Doncic either scored or assisted on 31 of them. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

His usage rate has been off the charts in this series, and he’s posted a usage rate of at least 45.3% in three of the past four games. He’s the most expensive player on the slate, but I can’t imagine building a lineup without him. There’s more than enough value for you to use him in the Captain slot, as well.

Boban Marjanovic ($3,600 Captain) – If I’m not using Luka at Captain tonight, I’m paying all the way down for Boban. One of the best parts of the playoffs is the coaching chess match that takes place during the series. The Clippers grabbed the edge once they started playing small, so Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle decided to put one of the largest humans on the planet in his starting lineup. Kristaps Porzingis ($9,000) may not be able to take advantage of Batum in the post, but Boban is more than capable. He’s averaged 1.26 DKFP per minute this season, and he played around 20 minutes in Game 5. He’s a lock value play, and using him at Captain allows you to jam Doncic, Kawhi Leonard ($11,600), and Paul George ($10,800) into your lineup pretty easily.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $500K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (LAC vs DAL)

UTIL Plays

Kawhi Leonard ($11,600) & Paul George ($10,800) – This pair has been underpriced for most of the series, and nothing has fundamentally changed heading into Game 6. Both players have returned value in four of the first five games, and they should play more than 40 minutes in an elimination contest. Leonard is coming off a clunker in Game 5, but he was uncharacteristically inefficient from the field. Expect some positive shooting regression on Friday.

Marcus Morris ($6,600) – Morris is an outstanding value option on Friday. He led the team with 42.2 minutes in Game 5, and Morris has averaged 0.85 DKFP per minute this season. He should continue to see tons of playing time with Serge Ibaka currently doubtful and Ivica Zubac struggling.

Nicolas Batum ($5,000) – Batum is another outstanding target on Friday. He’s started each of the past two games for the Clippers, and that shouldn’t change in Game 6. The Clippers were outscored by 19 points over Zubac’s 20 minutes in Game 5, so they simply cannot put him on the court much if they hope to win. That means Batum should continue to rack up minutes at center. He’s finished with at least 23.75 DKFP in each of his past two games, and he’s returned value in all five games to start the series.


Kristaps Porzingis ($9,000) – You could make a case that Porzingis is an interesting buy-low target, but I’m not going to be the one to make it. He’s failed to return value in four of five games in this series, and he’s coming off just 16.5 DKFP in Game 5. He posted a usage rate of just 9.2% in that contest, and he’s been at 18.6% or lower in three of the past four games. He posted a usage rate of 26.5% during the regular season, so that represents a massive decrease.

In theory, the Clippers’ decision to play small over the past few games should be a benefit to Porzingis. He’s often the tallest player on the court by roughly half a foot, but Porzingis is essentially a wing player in a center’s body. His price has come down considerably since the start of the series, but he’s still too expensive for me.


I honestly have no idea how to approach the Clippers at this point. They are the better team on paper, and they were the better team during the regular season. That did play well in “must-win” situations in Games 3 and 4, but whether this team will show up tonight is anyone’s guess.

From a DFS perspective, I am going to get Doncic, Leonard, and George into virtually all of my lineups. I would prefer to get one of them in the Captain spot, but if I can’t, all three will be utilities at a minimum. Boban also seems like a lock at his price tag, so this really just comes down to which two players to pair with that core and how to shuffle them around in my lineups.

Final Score: Clippers 110, Mavericks 109

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $500K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (LAC vs DAL)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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.

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