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.
Toronto Raptors @ Boston Celtics
The Celtics have clinched a playoff birth and the Raptors have clinched the division, so this game means little to either team. So far the only word I hear on availability for either team is Amir Johnson. Johnson is hopeful he will play, but it’s likely he may sit out to get right before the playoffs. Both teams may look to take it easy on the high valued players, so this may be a game where a lot of bench guys see a few extra minutes. As far as the games on this small slate go, this one has the best probable pedigree for fantasy use. The total is pretty high and the spread is only 4, so you should definitely look here for some plays.
Line: Celtics -4, O/U 208
Players to Watch
- Isaiah Thomas, PG, Celtics ($6200)
- Evan Turner, PG, Celtics ($6300)
- DeMar DeRozan, SG, Raptors ($8100)
- Tyler Hansbrough, PF, Raptors ($4300)
Washington Wizards @ Indiana Pacers
The Pacers just won’t go away and are pushing the Nets hard for that final playoff spot in the East. Losses right now are unacceptable if they want in, so I think they are going to come out balling. Washington poses an interesting issue for me here. They can not move ahead of anyone, nor can they be caught. There’s no reason for them to have to play hard here, and it would be a spot to rest or limit the minutes of the stars. John Wall is back and played 35 minutes Saturday. He said he is fine, so there’s no reason he can not play physically, but if you were the coach of a team with two days left that locked up a playoff birth and had a star player recently back from injury, Would you not take it easy on his minutes a little? My concern with the Wizards is not if they play, but how much? I can see the coach decided to let the bench play the fourth quarter and these guys getting a few rotations to stay sharp, but being limited to remain fresh. Either way the spread here is somewhat low, so I have no problem rolling out Wizards.
Line: Pacers -7, O/U 192.5
Players to Watch
- Roy Hibbert, C, Pacers ($5000)
- CJ Miles, SF, Pacers ($5400)
- George Hill, PG, Pacers ($7200)
- Otto Porter, SF, Wizards ($3700)
LA Clippers @ Phoenix Suns
The Suns are out of the race and the Clippers are within half a game of three other teams for the 4-6 seeds. They need to win out to remain tied and hope a few of the others lose. If the last couple games are any indication, I think the Clippers are gunning for the highest spot they can get. Paul, Blake, and DeAndre have all played over 35 minutes in the last few, so I have no reason to think they will take it easy in this one. There’s always the chance they blow out Phoenix, but even then, these guys are going to be running it up while they can to steal some rest in the fourth quarter if they need to. I still see this as a fast paced game and think the match ups at all 3 of those positions favor the Clippers. I expect the clippers to blow this one open, but the starters will still get the numbers. It’s risky, but I think you have to take some Clips on the small slate.
Players to Watch
- Chris Paul, PG, Clippers ($9700)
- DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers ($8000)
- Brandan Wright, PF, Suns ($5400)
- PJ Tucker, SF, Suns ($4800)