The NBA Game Breakdown takes an in-depth look at all of the games on the schedule each day in terms of expected pace of play, Vegas lines and defense vs. position matchups.

The Seasons’ Biggest: Basketball and Hockey Contests! Win entries into our High Stakes NBA & NHL Championships! >>> ENTER NOW!

______________________________________________________________________

Houston Rockets @ Indiana Pacers

Game Analysis

Although the Pacers (30-39) have lost five games in a row, they still have a shot at a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with only 13 games remaining on the 2014-15 regular season. The Pacers have only averaged a bit over 95 points per game over the losing streak, while allowing over 106 points per game to opponents. Things don’t look too promising for the Pacers on Monday as they play host to the visiting Rockets (46-23), who are trying to hold onto their current No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. Houston is currently dealing with day-to-day injuries to Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverley, while Terrence Jones will miss time due to a collapsed lung, so the Pacers could be catching the Rockets at a good time. The Pacers haven’t lost four home contests in a row since January of 2010, which they are hoping to avoid. Look for George Hill (15.1 PPG and 4.6 APG) to do his best to help break the Pacers losing streak, and expect the Pacers to play up to the overall competition with better a better defensive presence. The Rockets have lost six out of their last eight contests in Indiana.

Line: IND -1, Over/Under: 202.5

Players to Watch

  • James Harden, SG, Rockets – 14th OPRK ($11,200)
  • George Hill, PG, Pacers – 14th OPRK ($6,900)
  • Corey Brewer, SG, Rockets – 14th OPRK ($5,400)
  • Roy Hibbert, C, Pacers – 22nd OPRK ($4,900)

_________________________________

Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets

Game Analysis

Both the Celtics (30-38) and the Nets (29-39) are fighting for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, so if you’re looking in from the outside? This game matters. The Celtics are playing much better basketball over their last 10 games, running a 7-3 record, compared to the Nets who have only won four out of their last six; however, the Nets do have a modest two-game win streak going. The Nets run a 12-19 record at home, which is surprisingly worse than their road record of 17-20, so don’t be surprised to see the surging Celtics come into Brooklyn for a victory. There are some decent overall values to choose from in this game, considering talent-to-salary value. Thaddeus Young is an intriguing option if you’re looking to fill out your lineup without spending more than 6K. Expect the game to run at a decent pace, with the Celtics nabbing a road victory by only a few points.

Line: BKN -4,  Over/Under: 204.5

Players to Watch

  • Brook Lopez, C, Nets – 25th OPRK ($6,500)
  • Avery Bradley, SG, Celtics – 17th OPRK ($5,800)
  • Thaddeus Young, PF, Nets – 27th OPRK ($5,700)
  • Evan Turner, PG, Celtics – 19th OPRK ($5,600)

_________________________________

Memphis Grizzlies @ New York Knicks

Game Analysis

Basketball lovers will probably want to tune into another game, with the extreme mismatch at hand here, but if you’re a glutton for basketball-pain? Here you go. The Grizzlies take their 49-21 record into New York on Monday, with the likelihood of resting some of their starters since they hold a 2.5-game lead over the Houston Rockets (through standings mid-afternoon Sunday). Still, even with Grizzlies resting a starter or two, they shouldn’t have a problem overcoming the Knicks and their defense. Plus, the Knicks currently rank 29th in the league in points per game (92.3), which doesn’t bode well for a club that could end up being the worst in the NBA by season’s end. Look for a mismatch game that doesn’t end pretty for the Knicks.

Line: NY +11 , Over/Under: 183

Players to Watch

  • Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies – 15th OPRK ($7,500)
  • Zach Randolph, PF, Grizzlies – 16th OPRK ($7,200)
  • Alexey Shved, PG, Knicks – 21st OPRK ($7,000)
  • Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies – 15th OPRK ($6,100)

_________________________________

Charlotte Hornets @ Chicago Bulls

Game Analysis

The Hornets (29-38) head into Chicago on Monday to take on the Bulls (42-29), as they fight for a seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Bulls are playing poor basketball right now, only winning four out of their last 10 games, as they suffer through a myriad of injuries. Thankfully for the Bulls they still have Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic to handle duties for the Bulls, which should be plenty enough to handle the Hornets. The Hornets take a three-game losing streak into Monday evening, and while they only allow 97.0 points per game defensively (4th overall), they can’t score enough points (94.6 PPG) to stay within reach of teams. Look for a Bulls victory, and take advantage of Mirotic and his 22nd OPRK when building your DFS lineups.

Line: CHI -6, Over/Under: 186.5

Players to Watch

  • Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls – 22nd OPRK ($8,300)
  • Nikola Mirotic, PF, Bulls – 22nd OPRK ($7,200)
  • Al Jefferson, C, Hornets – 28th OPRK ($6,800)
  • Aaron Brooks, PG, Bulls – 24th OPRK ($5,600)

_________________________________

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Utah Jazz

Game Analysis

This game doesn’t mean much if you’re looking at a playoff seeding, but let’s not forget that the Jazz (31-38) are not the same club they were two short months ago. The Timberwolves (15-53) are still fighting to keep out of the NBA cellar, although chances are they’ll end up occupying that slot by season’s end. The Jazz (17-17 at home) are a club worth looking at for your DFS lineup, considering all my below “Players to Watch” recommendations are Utah players. Rudy Gobert, a rebounding machine, remains a top center option, while Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward offer owners stability when choosing their lineups. The Jazz remain as tough as ever defensively, only allowing opponents to score 94.9 points per game, so don’t expect the Timberwolves to come out on top in this one.

Line: UTA -12, Over/Under: 185

Players to Watch

  • Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz – 20th OPRK ($7,900)
  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz – 25th OPRK ($7,800)
  • Gordon Hayward, SF, Jazz – 28th OPRK ($7,600)
  • Rodney Hood, SF, Jazz – 28th OPRK ($4,700)

_________________________________

Washington Wizards @ Golden State Warriors

Game Analysis

This is Monday’s Game of the Night as far as I’m concerned, with the Wizards (40-29) vying for a higher seed in the NBA playoffs. There’s a good chance that the Wizards will push the Toronto Raptors and/or the Chicago Bulls to a lower seed, as there is only one game between the three clubs, but keep in mind that the Warriors (56-13) aren’t going to sit by idly. This will be an early battle of two of the best point guards in the league, with Stephen Curry and John Wall battling for position. The key, however, will be lesser-relied-upon players, like Paul Pierce, coming through for their respective teams. I see the Wizards giving the Warriors a solid game of it, although in the end the Warriors should pull this one out assuming they don’t sit their best of the best.

Line: GS – 12, Over/Under: 205.5

Players to Watch

  • Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors – 18th OPRK ($8,200)
  • John Wall, PG, Wizards – 17th OPRK ($8,700)
  • Paul Pierce, SF, Wizards – 17th OPRK ($5,100)
  • Andrew Bogut, C, Warriors – 11th OPRK ($4,200)

 

Catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy. I just might answer your questions if I don’t have anything better to do.