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.

_______________________________________________________________

Hawks @ Cavs

Game Analysis

The Cavs put a hurting on the Hawks last time they met. I expect this game to be much closer today. Both teams are at full strength and I think it stays close enough to merit a lot of playing time for all the stars. The Hawks have won 9 of 10 and Cleveland 8 of 10. The Hawks tend to play slower and have an excellent defense so I would think that ticks down the Cavs slightly and the Hawks get a bump. It didn’t work out that way last match up but I expect a better showing from the Hawks today then the 70-40 halftime score we saw last time. This should be a game to use a few guys in good DvP spots for Atlanta with the tick up in pace.

Line: Cavs -4.5 down from 8, O/U 200.5 down from 204

Players to Watch

  • Lebron James, SF, Cavs ($11600)
  • Kevin Love, PF, Cavs ($9300)
  • Paul Millsapp, PF, Hawks ($8800)
  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks ($7200)

_______________________________________________________________

Suns @ Hornets

Game Analysis

The analysis of this game was the opposite of what you would expect. The Hornets are normally a methodical defensive minded team yet have played over in 4 of the last 6. The Suns are known as a run and gun team yet have been under in 4 of the last 6. The Hornets totals are usually between 190-200 while the Suns minimum is usually 200 to 210+. What this tells me is the Hornets have been playing well and the Suns have struggled a little bit to score. Throw in this game is at Charlotte and i think Vegas had the line right originally. I don’t expect a very high scoring game, but it should stay close enough to see max run for the starters.

Line: Suns -2 up from +1, O/U 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Al Jefferson, C, Hornets ($8300)
  • Gary Neal, SG, Hornets ($3500)
  • Isiah Thomas, PG, Suns ($5800)
  • Markieff Morris, PF, Suns ($6700)

_______________________________________________________________

Jazz @ Heat

Game Analysis

Injuries will play a big role in who to target here. Bosh is definitely out, but that is not a simple plug in his replacement thing as Jordan Hamilton owners found out last night. If anything I think it ticks up the scoring for guys like Chalmers, Wade, Deng, and Shawne Williams. Watch to see if Wade takes a night off on the back end here too. On Utah I thought Favors would play yesterday, but maybe they saved him for the tail end of the back to back as he practiced earlier in the week and was looking like a go for last night. Whether or not he plays the way to get at the Heat right now is through the post, so either him or Gobert could be in line for a good day. This should be low scoring, so shy away from high priced studs.

Line: Heat -4, O/U 188

Players to Watch

  • Enes Kanter, C, Jazz ($6600)
  • Alec Burks, SG, Jazz ($5400)
  • Mario Chalmers, PG, Heat ($5600)
  • Loul Deng, SF, Heat ($6100)

_______________________________________________________________

Mavericks @ Pistons

Game Analysis

We all know the Mavs are a high scoring, high paced team. Detroit is known as the opposite as they only reached 100 in three games out of their last 10. The thing though is those games were against Phoenix, Philly, and Boston who all push the pace like the Mavs do. My bold call of the day is someone on Detroit will have an above the norm game, but good luck figuring out who amongst Jennings, Smith, Monroe, and Drummond that will be. For the Mavs I think having Chandler Parsons back only makes that offense more dangerous. I don’t think it does much for the defense, but that’s another weapon added to an already sick arsenal of scorers. I think the Mavericks play to about their averages, but I would tick up all Pistons based on pace and effort on their home floor.

Line: Mavs -6, O/U 204.5 up from 202.5

Players to Watch

  • Josh Smith, SF, Pistons ($7700)
  • Andre Drummond, C, Pistons ($8300)
  • Chandler Parsons, SF, Mavericks ($6600)
  • Tyson Chandler, C, Mavericks ($7100)

_______________________________________________________________

Magic @Celtics

Game Analysis

I am making another bold call that this will be a low scoring game that burns a lot of DFSers tonight. Most people see Boston and automatically assume a 120-110 game, but they have been playing under and closer to 200 totals recently. In fact they have been under 200 in three straight games. The Magic are used to playing a slower pace and are not a high scoring team. They have only allowed one of their last 10 opponents to crack 100 and even managed to limit the Warriors to only 98 which is something no one else seems able to do in the league. I don’t think they have very good DvP match ups for some of their better performers and I would expect this game to see both teams stay below 100. I will be fading most of this tonight and think you should too based on the likely high ownership and lower probable chance for a high scoring game.

Line: Celtics -3.5, O/U 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic ($9200)
  • Victor Oladipo, SG, Magic ($6600)
  • Kelly Olynyk, C, Celtics ($4900)
  • Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics ($8500)

_______________________________________________________________

Nets @ Toronto

Game Analysis

The Nets struggle to score recently as they averaged 88 points in the last 8 games before the 114 and 95 outputs they had this week. Toronto is one of the better defensive teams in the league and has slowed down the pace from a week or two ago that they were playing at. I don’t think this one stays close and I would fade all the high priced guys who should see less run in this probably blowout. The money is coming in heavy on Raptors and the under and the lines are moving along with it. That is usually a big red flag for me. I’m going to maybe throw in a value guy or two but stay away from using this game heavy.

Line: Raptors -11, O/U 197.5 down from 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Lou Williams, SG, Raptors ($4600)
  • Patrick Patterson, PF, Raptors ($4700)
  • Mirza Teletovic, PF, Nets ($5200)
  • Mason Plumlee, C, Nets ($5400)

_______________________________________________________________

Grizzlies @ Spurs

Game Analysis

So I recommend everyone watch this game tonight as it should be a good one between two of the NBAs best teams. I also recommend you keep the iPad handy to watch league pass and follow your teams, because I will not recommend using anyone in this game. Two of the league’s best defenses and deeper teams square off here and there’s really no great DvP match ups to exploit. Grizzlies are on the tail end of the back to back today and the Spurs are fresh, healthy (Splitter back), and at home. I would expect the Spurs to win this one, but I rarely play anyone against Memphis so I won’t start today. Stay away from this game for fantasy, but definitely watch it.

Line: Spurs -3, O/U 194

Players to Watch

  • STAY
  • AWAY
  • FROM
  • THIS GAME

______________________________________________________________

Bucks @ Trailblazers

Game Analysis

The Blazers are really tough at home and even with Robin Lopez out I think Chris Kaman may be a better fit for this team anyway. The Bucks have been putting up numbers and playing faster in recent games against some high paced teams. Scores on both sides have routinely seen the triple digit marks. The Blazers on the other hand can win no matter the pace, but I think they get ticked up being at home and against a team with a higher pace number. Vegas doesn’t seem to think the Bucks can hang which I disagree with, but I could see this one being 108 to 100 or so which means a lot of points and fantasy goodness abound. I would use a few guys on each side of this one.

Line: Raptors -11, O/U 197.5 down from 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Brandon Knight, PG, Bucks ($6600)
  • Khris Middleton, SF, Bucks ($4900)
  • Chris Kaman, C, Blazers ($4000)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Blazers ($10700)

______________________________________________________________

Rockets @ Nuggets

Game Analysis

Rematch from four days ago has some drama associated with it now. For starters the venue switches and the cast of players may as well. Dwight Howard came back and had a huge game. He is listed as questionable and rumblings are they may take it easy with him. The Manimal Faried is back for the Nuggets as well, although he can not guard a Dwight Howard so if Howard plays I expect more of the same. The Rockets have played well on defense even without the big guy, but with Howard back that only allows the excellent perimeter defenders they already have some added leeway with a rim protector behind them. Early on they were on pace to be one of the best defenses the NBA has seen so I expect them to make it tough for the high scoring Nuggets tonight and win this game. The pace factor ticks up Houston a little bit as well, so roster your Rockets today.

Line: Rockets -2, O/U 206.5

Players to Watch

  • Dwight Howard, C, Rockets ($9000)
  • James Harden, SG, Rockets ($11400)
  • Aaron Afflalo, SG, Nuggets ($5400)
  • Darrell Arthur, PF, Nuggets ($4000)

______________________________________________________________

Pacers @ Clippers

Game Analysis

Do not think it requires a lot of time to do this one. The Clips should win this easy. They are on their home floor and playing very well. I do not like this game for fantasy for two reasons. First off, the Pacers play slow so that ticks down the Clips. Secondly I fear a blow out and that ticks down everybody. I’m not comfortable or confident in a lot of plays in this game, but I will mention a few to look at. Don’t fall into the trap of spending up for some of these guys as they may really struggle to reach value.

Line: Clippers -11, O/U 200

Players to Watch

  • Rodney Stuckey, SG, Pavcers ($5500)
  • CJ Miles, SF, Pacers ($4000)
  • Jamal Crawford, SG, Clips ($5000)
  • JJ Reddick, SG, Clips ($5100)