• Lakers-Nuggets Showdown Strategy

    by: Aaron Asmus (@AsmusSports on Twitter)


    DEN-LAL Showdown Slate Strategy:

    As we head into a new series, we are able to get an opportunity to play out a few different scenarios with how this series will play out before others catch on. For Denver to keep pace, I see a few things that needs to happen: 

    – Jokic completely dominates the C combo of Howard and McGee and they’re forced to play Davis at C to try and slow him down.

    – Grant is able to stay out of foul trouble as the primary defender on LeBron. If he gets into early foul trouble, LeBron has the tremendous quickness advantage over Millsap and would eat Porter Jr.’s lunch as the inexperienced rookie. 

    – Murray and Harris shoot the lights out, avoiding the tremendous rim protection of the Lakers. 

    – Millsap is going to have to extend his playing time as the best option to match-up with Davis. It’s a big athletic and quickness disadvantage for Millsap, but his length and veteran acumen are going to have to be in play. I expect Millsap and some Plumlee will get most of the time matched up on Davis when he’s at the 4. 

    The Lakers are the better team, but the Nuggets are rolling with momentum and are coming off beating a more talented Clippers team. To start this series, I want to proceed as if these games are going to be close and build my core in that fashion. 


    Lineup Construction: 

    There are a few really good roster builds to go in cash, but my initial lean is not to pay up for a stud and look towards the mid-tier Nuggets value to fill out the roster. Rondo is the crux of this slate and looks by far the best captain option to fit in more studs with the current news we have. A few pairings I do like to potentially pivot off a chalky Captain Rondo in tournaments: 


    Captain Murray: Davis-MPJ

    No one is going to want to captain Murray with him being so close in price to the top 3 studs, but we’ve seen in this playoffs the upside he has when the shot is going. With this trio, you’re looking at massive real life points upside, but a dangerously low floor with how wide the range of outcomes are for MPJ and Murray on a game to game basis. 


    Captain Jokic: Harris-Davis

    My initial lean is that Jokic ends up the least popular captain of the 3 studs, despite coming off the massive game 7 against the Clippers. People just love to jam the Laker duo in, so I’m looking to take advantage of that here by fading the massive LeBron ownership. You don’t have to get any more contrarian than that in showdown and can focus on building the best possible lineup you can; the LeBron hedge is more than enough. 


    Who to Captain?

    Rajon Rondo ($5,400) 

    Draftkings refuses to bump up Rondo’s price tag after a stellar Rockets series and there’s no reason to expect his role to change moving forward. There’s some concern here with him currently being questionable with back spasms, so be sure to check the injury report before lock. If he’s in, he’s a must-play at this tag, allowing you to build whatever roster construction you want. For tournaments, he will be a popular captain, making a pivot off him will lead to contrarian construction. 

    Paul Millsap ($5,800) 

    If Rondo is active, Millsap in the captain is more for tournaments only, but at near the same price point, offers decent potential upside for the same low cost. Again, I think this is a series where Millsap is going to need to play bigger minutes as the best Nuggets option to match-up with Davis. It’s not a safe play by any means with his minutes volatility and production volatility, but there’s enough upside and minutes upside that I’d like to put him as one of my captain cores. 

    Anthony Davis ($10,800) 

    In a similar vein to Jokic, Davis gets forgotten a bit as most try to gravitate towards LeBron as much as they can. You’re getting a cheaper tag, that really comes into play on this slate and accessing the best upside on the slate with Davis. 


    This slate is a little less interesting than the Miami-Boston one since we’re playing the expensive studs with an incredibly (good) chalky Rondo as the highest owned captain on the slate if he plays. I think Millsap as a pivot in tournaments works extremely well and prioritizing Jokic and Davis to gain some ownership edge over LeBron are the main ways I want to differentiate on this slate. Please ask questions on my twitter @AsmusSports. I would love to work through some different showdown ideas with you so we can all get better. Best of luck!


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