Damian Lillard

Friday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contests on DraftKings feature a choice between three NBA games: Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons (7:00 p.m. ET), Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans (8:00 p.m. ET) and Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the late game. The Lakers are big 12-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, and the game’s total points of 231.5 is on the higher side. The featured contest is the NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway, and fantasy owners can set their lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (POR vs LAL).

This is the first game that the Lakers will play since the tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, and this sets up to be a very emotional night in Los Angeles. Trail Blazers PF Carmelo Anthony (personal) is not with the team and is listed as out. Lakers PF/C Anthony Davis (glute) and PG/SG Alex Caruso (neck) are listed as questionable, while C JaVale McGee (illness) is listed as probable. Despite Davis being listed as questionable, it looks like he has a strong chance to play, as the Lakers have been consistently giving him a questionable tag before games lately and he has played regardless.

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook can change throughout the day. Value also unexpectedly can open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up-to-the-minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.


BETTING TRENDS

— The Lakers have a 24-21-1 against-the-spread record in 2019-20

— The Trail Blazers have a 18-28-2 against-the-spread record in 2019-20

— The Trail Blazers have an 0-2 against-the-spread record against the Lakers in 2019-20

— The Lakers have an 11-9-1 (54.8%) against-the-spread record in night games at Staples Center in 2019-20

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

The Lakers have been one of the league’s best teams at preventing points, while the Trail Blazers have been one of the league’s worst teams at preventing points. Portland ranks sixth worst in points allowed per game, while the Lakers rank sixth best. The Lakers have also been the fifth best team at preventing assists, ahead of the Trail Blazers’ rank of 14th. In addition, the Lakers have been stronger on the glass, ranking as the 10th best rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots rebounded, compared to the Blazers’ ranking of seventh worst.

The spot may set up better to load up on Lakers players, as Portland has been easier to record fantasy points against, although being 12-point home favorites does come with blowout risk. Obvious plays for the Lakers include LeBron James ($12,400) and Anthony Davis ($10,800). James has been the NBA’s top facilitator, creating 19 potential assists per game, 11 assists per game and 27 points per game off assists. James also leads the Lakers in usage rate at a heavy 31%, ahead of Davis’ 29% clip. While Davis is officially questionable to play, his status doesn’t really appear to be in danger, as he has been listed as questionable to play in each of the Lakers’ past few games and has played regardless, most recently playing 39 minutes. Both James and Davis draw an appealing matchup on the glass against a Portland team that generally struggles to soak up available rebounds, as the Trail Blazers rank as the league’s seventh worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots rebounded.

Cheaper options on the Lakers include Danny Green ($3,400), Rajon Rondo ($3,800) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,200). The Trail Blazers have been poor at defending the 3-point line, allowing the fifth most 3s per game. Portland has also been prone to allowing high quality looks from deep, allowing the fourth most wide-open 3s per game based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter. Portland’s proneness to allow wide-open 3s could allow Green and others to get hot from deep. While Green’s 3-point shooting hasn’t been quite as sharp this season, he was one of the league’s most lethal 3-point shooters when given wide-open looks last season, shooting an incredible 52% on wide-open 3s. Caldwell-Pope has also been outstanding this season when given wide-open looks, shooting 46% on wide-open 3s. As for Rondo, he could see boosted minutes if Alex Caruso ($2,200; neck) is unable to play. Download the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive for up-t0-the-minute news on the statuses of Davis and Caruso.

While the Trail Blazers have a difficult fantasy matchup against a Lakers team that generally is tough to score fantasy points against, they still have appealing fantasy options, headlined by Damian Lillard ($11,600). Lillard has been on an epic rampage lately, averaging 79 DraftKings fantasy points per game over his last four games. Lillard has scored no less than 70 DKFP in any of his last four games while peaking at 92 DKFP. Lillard is also a candidate for a boosted role on Friday, as Carmelo Anthony’s expected absence makes Lillard a candidate for expanded usage. Lillard has a heavy 33% usage rate in minutes with Anthony off the court this season, a boost from 28% with Anthony on the court. Lillard has attempted at least 12 3-pointers in each of his last four games and has created a heavy 17 potential assists per game over that stretch. Lillard’s recent ridiculous field goal, 3-point and passing volume gives him monstrous fantasy upside even in a tough matchup.

CJ McCollum ($8,400) is another candidate to benefit from Anthony’s absence. McCollum’s usage rate is a heavy 30% in minutes with Anthony off the court, up from 24% with Anthony on the court. Lillard has had more success head-to-head in two games against the Lakers this season, averaging 50 DKFP per game, compared to McCollum’s 28 DKFP per game. The last time Anthony missed a game, Anthony Tolliver started for Portland, but Tolliver is no longer on the Blazers’ roster. Candidates to replace Anthony in the starting five on Friday include Nassir Little ($1,800) and Gary Trent Jr. ($4,600), who are both cheaper options if given an expanded role. Mario Hezonja ($1,800) has recently fallen out of the rotation but could see minutes off the bench with Anthony sidelined. Hassan Whiteside ($10,000) is also on the radar among higher priced plays, and he has averaged a solid 44 DKFP per game in two previous games vs. the Lakers this season, higher than his season average of 42 DKFP per game.


THE OUTCOME

Damian Lillard’s ($17,400) recent epic stretch makes him an incredibly appealing Captain’s Pick option, and his recent seismic volume gives him both a high ceiling and safe floor provided the expanded volume continues on Friday. LeBron James ($18,600 CP) and Anthony Davis ($16,200 CP) are Captain’s Pick options for the Lakers in a good matchup against a Blazers team that allows elevated fantasy points to opponents. CJ McCollum ($12,600 CP) is a potential mid-tier Captain’s Pick play if fantasy owners want to save some salary, as Anthony’s absence will make McCollum a candidate for strong usage.

The Lakers technically have the rest advantage, as they have not played since Saturday, while the Trail Blazers last played on Wednesday. However, it has been an extremely emotional week for the Lakers, and despite being big 12-point home favorites, the extreme emotion of their first game in Los Angeles since Bryant’s passing may result in some uncertainty in how the team will perform. Lillard’s recent stretch could keep the Trail Blazers close enough to cover the point spread, although it’s unlikely they will win outright in this setting.

Final score: Lakers 115, Trail Blazers 110

Set your lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (POR vs LAL).


For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.


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