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 NBA Game Breakdown will offer daily fantasy basketball strategy for each game in today’s slate.

Sunday’s Contests

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Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks

Game Analysis

Brooklyn is tied with Boston for the last two playoff spots in the east, one game up on the Pacers, and two ahead of Miami. Milwaukee is assured a spot with one more victory and they need to win to make sure they stay ahead of the Nets and Celtics. This game features a clash of styles as the Nets have played fast recently and have seen a lot of scores in the 200+ range. The Bucks are playing really solid defense again and keeping totals more down in the 190 range. Vegas decided to split the difference here and we should get some good plays out of this game with huge playoff implications for both sides.

Line: Brooklyn -1, O/U 198

Players to Watch

  • Deron Williams, PG, Nets ($7100)
  • Brook Lopez, C, Nets ($8400)
  • Kris Middleton, SG, Bucks ($6000)
  • Giannis Antetekounmpo, SF, Bucks ($6500)


Cleveland @ Boston

Game Analysis

Cleveland has the tiebreakers already, so they have basically clinched the 2 seed in the East behind the Hawks. That is why Lebron is likely to sit and Kyrie may join him. If that is the case, this becomes a much softer spot for the Celtics. The Celtics still have something to play for as they as we just mentioned above. They are playing at a faster pace and would be favored to win and score a good amount of points if both of those guys are out. If those guys play, I think the Celtics would be in a lot of trouble. Vegas is unsure of their status as well, which is why they are slow to post a line on this game.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • JR Smith, SG, Cavaliers ($5600)
  • Kevin Love, PF, Cavaliers ($7000)
  • Isiah Thomas, PG, Celtics ($6000)
  • Tyler Zeller, C, Celtics ($4300)


Charlotte Hornets @ Detroit Pistons

Game Analysis

Both of these teams are eliminated already and really have nothing left to play for. The reason this matters is because Al Jefferson has been playing banged up for awhile now and will likely remain out now that Charlotte is eliminated mathematically. That means we should see big games from the Detroit frontcourt who will not have him to contend with. With no Jefferson and Zeller banged up, we should see more minutes from Marvin Williams. There’s some guys here who will benefit from big Al missing on both sides, but this is a low total game that really means nothing to ether team, so just be careful.

Line: Pistons -7, O/U 193

Players to Watch

  • Andre Drummond, C, Pistons ($8400)
  • Reggie Jackson, PG, Pistons ($8500)
  • Marvin Williams, PF, Hornets ($5500)
  • Bismack Biyombo, C, Hornets ($5200)


Sacramento Kings @ Denver Nuggets

Game Analysis

Both teams are out of the playoff race. Demarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay are also likely out for this game. This game is not worth too much of your time here. With those two out it likely becomes a blow out. The only thing to figure out is who does it help the most fantasy wise. With the big two out on Sacramento, guys like McCollum, McLemore, and Casspi should all see more minutes. If Nelson remains out that goes double for Ty Lawson.

Line: Denver -10, O/U 216

Players to Watch

  • Ray McCollum, PG, Kings ($4800)
  • Ben McLemore, SG, Kings ($4500)
  • Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets ($6600)
  • Randy Foye, SG, Nuggets ($4800)


Atlanta Hawks @ Washington Wizards

Game Analysis

Vegas has been slow to post a line for this game as well, and I think that has a lot to do with the uncertainty over who will sit for the Hawks. Milsapp is definitely out already, but the question becomes who will join him there. On the other side of the court, John Wall may be one of the guys joining him there. The Wizards are already in and can really not move up anywhere in the playoff hierarchy. Wall has sat two straight and there’s no reason for him to rush back at this point. Assuming we have some guys not play it would open up some value here. Definitely will need to keep an eye on late news for this one.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards ($6500)
  • Marcin Gortat, C, Wizards ($6500)
  • Dennis Schroeder, PG, Hawks ($5000)
  • Mike Scott, PF, Hawks ($3800)


Oklahoma City thunder @ Indiana Pacers

Game Analysis

This should be one of the best games to target for fantasy as both teams have something to play for. OKC is tied with New Orleans for that last playoff spot and the Pacers are one game out of the eight spot in the East. Both teams are literally playing this game for their playoff lives. The Pacers have played well, winning four straight to keep hope alive. The Thunder have sputtered, losing four of their last five. With the Pacers being favored and likely ahead most of this game, I think we are in for another monster game from Russell Westbrook. The total here is high, the spread is close, and both teams have something to play for. That is why I think this will be one of the best games to target today for fantasy purposes.

Line: Pacers -3, O/U 207

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($11800)
  • Enes Kanter, C, Thunder ($7800)
  • George Hill, PG, Pacers ($7000)
  • Rodney Stuckey, SG, Pacers ($5500)


New Orleans Pelicans @ Houston Rockets

Game Analysis

The Rockets are amongst a group of four teams all within one game of each other for playoff seeding. The Pelicans are tied with OKC for the eight spot as of now. Both teams have something to play for. The Rockets have dropped a few to some playoff bound teams lately aas have the Pelicans. Both sem to be able to handle their business when the lesser teams come to town, so this one should be interesting. I think both teams slug it out in this one and with a high total and low spread it is another good game to target for fantasy purposes.

Line: Rockets -4, O/U 200

Players to Watch

  • Tyreke Evans, PG, Pelicans ($7700)
  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11000)
  • James Harden, SG, Rockets ($10600)
  • Trevor Ariza, SF, Rockets ($6400)


Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs

Game Analysis

It has been a pretty epic collapse for the Suns. They went from a playoff team to an afterthought after trading away two of the three headed point guard attack they had mid season. The Spurs on the other hand are rounding into form. They are another one of those teams in the four way tie, so they have something to play for. The Suns have struggled lately and this healthy San Antonio team has been handling it’s business. I expect them to play hard and do that again today in a game I will be shying away from as Pop will look to go up big and steal some rest for his tired old star players.

Line: Spurs -15, O/U 202

Players to Watch

  • Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs ($8200)
  • Tim Duncan, C, Spurs ($6500)
  • Markieff Morris, PF, Suns ($6000)
  • Marcus Morris, PF, Suns ($5200)


Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Lakers

Game Analysis

Dallas has solidified it’s seven seed in the playoffs and the Lakers have cemented their lottery status. This game is meaningless to both teams, which is why I expect Parsons to stay on the sidelines for now. Rondo and Lin are both questionable for this game, so depending on the news, we could see some value open up. I would expect the spread to be reasonably high when it does come out, but we will not know that until we hear news on the injury front. The value guys might make some sense and Clarkson is always in play lately, but it’s pretty tough to predict minutes and game flow here, so it’s not highly recommended to use this game heavy today.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • Jordan Clarkson, PG, Lakers ($7000)
  • Wes Johnson, SF, Lakers ($5000)
  • Al Farouq-Aminu, SF, Mavericks ($3900)
  • Devin Harris, PG, Mavericks ($3500)