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 match ups.

_______________________________________________________________

Heat @ Nets

Game Analysis

Injuries are the main problem with analyzing this game. Bosh is most likely out and Wade is questionable, so that explains the spread and low O/U here. On the Other side the Nets are going to be without Brook Lopez and Garnett and Teletovich are still questionable as well. The spread is not too large, but the O/U here is very low. I like the value guys if anything in this game as some of those prices are so cheap they can still pay off even if this one is as low scoring and ugly as expected. You are really going to have to watch and see who is in and who is not before making any decisions here but for our purposes I am going to act as if all those guys are out, which is looking like the most probable scenario.

Line:Nets -6.5, O/U 187.5

Players to Watch

  • Mario Chalmers, PG, Heat ($5400)
  • Loul Deng, SF, Heat ($6300)
  • Mason Plumlee, C, Nets ($5400)
  • Joe Johnson, SG, Nets ($6300)

_______________________________________________________________

Mavericks @ Knicks

Game Analysis

Dallas is one of the most offensively gifted teams in the NBA and has averaged close to 110 over the last 10 contest. The Knicks are one of the worst offensive teams averaging around 91 points over their last 10. Dallas plays at a high pace so their opponents tend to outperform their scoring averages and the Knicks play slower but lack any clue on the defensive end, so they still managed to give up over 100 points a game. I like Dallas to win this one, but do think the output for the Knicks offensively may be above seasonal norms. JR smith, Chandler Parsons, and a few other minor pieces are all questionable tonight in this game and Shumpert has already been ruled out, so there’s some value to exploit. If JR can’t go then I really like Hardaway Jr. while if Parsons sits I think that bumps up the usage on guys like Monta and Dirk as they will be asked to shoulder more of the scoring load.

Line: Mavs -7, O/U 201

Players to Watch

  • Monta Ellis, SG, Mavericks ($8000)
  • Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks ($6300)
  • Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Knicks ($4700)
  • Jose Calderon, PG, Knicks ($4600)

_______________________________________________________________

Timerwolves @ Wizards

Game Analysis

Minnesota has lost 8 of the last 10. They failed to crack 95 in their last 4 games and have been giving up an average of 101 in those. They are playing at a slower pace recently which is not a good sign for tonight’s fantasy prospects. I can not really knock them too much, because injuries have been a main reason for the poor play. The Wizards on the other hand have won 8 of their last 10. They too have been slowing the pace down and playing in the 90s recently. They have hit the under in 5 of the last 7 with one push, so it’s not out of the question to expect a lower scoring game here as Vegas has moved the line down as well due to a lot of early money coming in on the under. With the high spread and potential for a slower paced game I would not advise using this one too heavily on either side.

Line: Wizards -12.5, O/U 201.5 down from 205

Players to Watch

  • Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards ($6000)
  • John Wall, PG, Wizards ($10600)
  • Corey Brewer, SF, Timberwolves ($5700)
  • Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Timberwolves ($4300)

_______________________________________________________________

Jazz @ Pelicans

Game Analysis

Both Power Forwards in this game are questionable. Favors practiced yesterday so he is the more probable to play, but both are still game time decisions at best. If Davis is out then Ryan Anderson becomes a good play and the usage on Jrue and Tyreke get bumped as well. If Favors is out than we will have a chance to see the uber athletic Gobert again. Pelicans have picked it up recently as they have won 3 of 5 including a win over Cleveland, while dropping a game @ Dallas and one at home to the league leading GS Warriors. The turn around can be attributed to the pick up in scoring by both Jrue and Tyreke, especially with Davis out. They have picked up the pace offensively which is nice to see, but also suffer on the other end with Anderson instead of Davis in there. Jazz have one win in their last 10 and have been slowing down the pace and playing games in the high 90s. The upside for them is they are letting up less points, but the scoring is also down and that is a red flag for fantasy purposes. I can see the over hitting here as the Pelicans should dictate tempo and push the pace. If Utah can keep it close on the road this would be a good game to target, but they may not be able to do so on New Orleans home floor, so temper the expectations somewhat for all those involved who could see a few less minutes on both sides.

Line: Pelicans -8, O/U 197

Players to Watch

  • Tyreke Evans, SG, Pelicans ($8600)
  • Jrue Holiday, PG, Pelicans ($8300)
  • Ryan Anderson, PF, Pelicans ($6200)
  • Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz ($5000)

_______________________________________________________________

Warriors @ Grizzlies

Game Analysis

Easily the best and most anticipated match up on today’s slate. The Warriors bring the high powered offense into Memphis with all of their stud perimeter options and the Grizzlies will counter with the lock down defense led by the guys they play on the inside. The tough part of that for the Warriors is that David Lee is still out and Bogut is on the wrong side of questionable. It will be very tough for them to deal with the Memphis duo in the paint and have any chance to rebound if they are playing sans their starting big men. Draymond Green and the splash brothers are really that talented though, so I would not count GS out. I would think based on pace analysis and DEF that the Warriors should see a tick down in averages while the Grizzlies get a slight bump up. The question you have to ask is whether the slight bump down for GS due to the match up offsets the added scoring expectations the remaining starters will be taking on. The key to tonight’s slate may be how players decide to handle that balancing act. The good thing here is the spread is expecting a very close game which usually means max minutes for both teams best players.

Line: Even, O/U 203

Players to Watch

  • Draymond Green, SF, Warriors ($6500)
  • Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors ($7000)
  • Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies ($7400)
  • Zach Randolph, PF, Grizzlies ($7400)

_______________________________________________________________

Thunder @ Kings

Game Analysis

Sacramento is a dumpster fire at the moment. With Cousins out with Viral Meningitis and coach Mike Malone recently fired as the scapegoat, this team is a mess. I honestly do not get the firing at all as the Kings were one of the best teams in the NBA early. The GM cited philosophical differences in the tempo of the game they wanted to play being the reason, but that is a BS excuse. I’d really like to see how bad the final score line gets today if they truely are going to attempt to play an up tempo style. The Thunder are back to full strength and this game should be an easy victory for them from my viewpoint. I think Thunder wind up winning this one going away and would be careful to use too many of the high priced stars on either side as it could be a blowout come fourth quarter which could limit minutes.

Line: Thunder -7.5, O/U 207

Players to Watch

  • Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder ($10300)
  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($11000)
  • Ryan Holins, C, Kings ($3000)
  • Ben McLemore, SG, Kings ($4500)