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.

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RAPTORS AT 76ERS

Game Analysis

Monday represents the night of the mismatch, where four out of the five games on slate should not hold for close competition. The Raptors (37-22) head into Philadelphia to take on the 76ers (13-45), who are now 33 1/2 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers are 3-7 over their last 10 games played, and are certainly looking to next season as they try to set their roster and starting lineups with youth moving forward. The Raptors, who remain one of the better clubs in the Eastern Conference, are bunched up with Cleveland, Chicago and Washington for playoff seeding. There’s no doubt that the Raptors lock up a playoff spot, but holding onto their current No. 2 seed would be ideal. Look for the Raptors, who are 16-12 on the road, to take advantage of the Sixers poor ability on offense. Currently, the Sixers rank dead last in the league in points scored as they average only 90.3 PPG. Even on the road, look for the Raptors to cover the -7.5 line.

Line: TOR -7.5, Over/Under: 194

Players to Watch

  • DeMar DeRozan, SG, Raptors  – 29th OPRK ($7,000)
  • Nerlens Noel, PF, 76ers  – 17th OPRK ($6,200)
  • Jonas Valanciunas, C, Raptors  – 29th OPRK ($5,200)
  • Lou Williams, SG, Raptors  – 29th OPRK ($4,300)

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WARRIORS AT NETS

Game Analysis

In another mismatch game, the Warriors (45-11) continue to lead the Western Conference, four games ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies, as they look to take down the Nets (24-33), who are still holding onto the 8th playoff seed, albeit by the skin of their teeth. The Nets may give the Warriors a bit of a fight, although in the end we should expect to see a Warriors victory. The Warriors offense continues to lead the league, ranked 1st in the NBA in points per game (110.2). Their defense is a bit suspect at times, although the Nets aren’t exactly known for their dominant offensive play (96.3 PPG, ranked 23rd). The Nets do remain healthy for the most part and are coming off an impressive win versus the Mavericks where five Nets players scored in double-digit figures. The Nets will need an all-around effort like they had against the Mavs if they expect to beat the Warriors on Monday. Take the Nets and the points, but don’t expect a straight win.

Line: GS -6.0, Over/Under: 207

Players to Watch

  • Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors  – 23rd OPRK ($9,800)
  • Draymond Green, PF, Warriors  – 28th OPRK ($6,800)
  • Deron Williams, PG, Nets  – 16th OPRK ($6,600)
  • David Lee, PF, Warriors  – 28th OPRK ($4,200)

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SUNS AT HEAT

Game Analysis

If you’re a point guard in this game things are tough, as both Brandon Knight and Goran Dragic are battling nagging injuries. Both should be ready to go for their teams, as the Suns (31-29) take their game into Miami to face the Heat (25-33). The Suns are still reeling as a club, with only three wins over their last 10 games played, although the Heat aren’t doing much better with a 4-6 record over their last 10 games. The Suns are looking for some consistency as a club after moving Dragic and revamping their backcourt with the addition of Knight, but they’ll need to get production from players like Alex Len and Marcus Morris if they expect to squeak out a playoff spot. Morris, who has been up-and-down of late, needs to settle down for the Suns. Expect a tough battle in this game, and don’t be surprised one bit if the Heat pull this one out.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Eric Bledsoe, SG, Suns  – 28th OPRK ($8,600)
  • Hassan Whiteside, C, Heat  – 18th OPRK ($8,200)
  • Goran Dragic, PG, Suns  – 26th OPRK ($6,500)
  • Alex Len, C , Suns  – 14th OPRK ($5,600)

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CLIPPERS AT TIMBERWOLVES

Game Analysis

As a club, the Clippers (39-21) continue to overcome adversity by winning games without the services of power forward Blake Griffin. Now, they’re dealing with day-to-day injures in J.J. Redick and Matt Barnes, as superstar point guard Chris Paul will need to give the Clippers the added oomph to net those victories. The Clippers have won two in a row and six out of their last 10 games, while continuing to to provide a +6.3 Average Point Differential. The Timberwolves (13-45) remain one of the worst clubs in the league, and will need every player in their starting lineup to go above and beyond to beat the Clippers. The Timberwolves are 29th in the NBA in points allowed (105.5), with their main concern in defensive rebounding. Look for an easy win by the Clippers, although snagging Andrew Wiggins for your DFS lineup isn’t a bad idea at all.

Line: None, Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers  – 12th OPRK ($8,900)
  • Andrew Wiggins, SF, Timberwolves  – 29th OPRK ($6,400)
  • Jamal Crawford, SG, Clippers  – 30th OPRK ($5,500)
  • J.J. Redick, SG, Clippers  – 30th OPRK ($4,500)

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PELICANS AT MAVERICKS

Game Analysis

The Mavericks (39-22) are still recovering from an embarrassing 10-point loss to the Nets on Saturday, where they gave up double-digit points to five Nets’ players. Usually the Mavs defense puts up a better showing, although their 21st rank in points allowed (100.6) does give notice to possible breakdowns from here on out. The Pelicans (31-27) have won four games in a row now, seven out of their last 10 games,  and remain on the cusp of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Pelicans are having a difficult time on the road in the 2014-15 season, running a 11-17 record, but could still give the Mavs fits since they are now showing kinks in the armor. The game should be a good showing for fans, with the Mavs still as the expected favorite to pull out a victory.

Line: None,  Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Tyreke Evans, PG, Pelicans  – 28th OPRK ($7,700)
  • Monta Ellis, SG, Mavericks  – 21st OPRK ($7,000)
  • Eric Gordon, SG, Pelicans – 23rd OPRK ($6,000)
  • Omer Asik, C, Pelicans  – 19th OPRK ($4,900)

 

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