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.

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Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Game Analysis

The Rockets have won eight of their last ten. They enjoy high scoring and fast paced games. They have reached over 100 in seven of their last ten and should do so again today. The Thunder have only won  one of their last five. As good as Westbrook has been, they need to get some other guys to help him out. Enes Kanter is the only other consistent threat on the offensive end and the myriad of injuries have really hurt them on the defensive end of the floor. Kanter was taken for X-ray’s after his last game, so if he is out I have no idea how the Thunder can be favorites in this one. Despite what Vegas has here, I think this is a high scoring affair, but can not see the Rockets losing.

Line: Thunder -2, O/U 216.5

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($12100)
  • Anthony Morrow, SG, Thunder ($4500)
  • James Harden, SG, Rockets ($11200)
  • Trevor Ariza, SF, Rockets ($6700)


Chicago Bulls @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Game Analysis

Chicago has won seven of it’s last ten games. The are playing to the over often, and scoring over 100 with ease. They are also limiting opponents to under 90. The Cavs have been on a roll too. They tend to play a little faster as their scoring and opponents scoring are both slightly higher than Chicago’s. They have won eight of their last ten and have done so with comfortable margins of victory in most of those games. Despite Chicago being fully healthy, Vegas is expecting a lower scoring game here with a good lead for the Cavs. If you play the early slate, it seems like the other game is a much better fantasy target.

Line: Cavs -8, O/U 198

Players to Watch

  • Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavs ($7700)
  • JR Smith, SG, Cavs ($5600)
  • Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls ($8400)
  • Joakim Noah, C, Bulls ($6000)


Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers

Game Analysis

Miami has lost five of it’s last seven and played to the under in most of those games. The have only scored triple digits in one of those games, and in five of those games, neither team reached the century mark. They routinely see lower totals in the 190 range and still struggle to play to the over. The Pacers have only won two of their last ten games. They have played faster lately though as they managed to score and give up over 100 in most of those recent contests. This one should be a slower paced game and one of the lower scoring ones on the day. I would not use it heavily for fantasy purposes.

Line:

Players to Watch

  • Loul Deng, SF, Heat ($5500)
  • Hassan Whiteside, C, Heat ($7200)
  • David West, PF, Pacers ($5700)
  • George Hill, PG, PAcers ($7400)


Golden State @ San Antonio

Game Analysis

These two teams have won 19 of their last twenty games. Both are title contenders who are firmly in the playoffs already. I have a nagging feeling that we see some of these guys rest a little tomorrow. I hope I am wrong, as this would be a great game if both teams are playing hard and trying to win it. The Warriors have been scoring better than the Spurs, but not by much. They also are a little weaker recently on the defensive end without Draymond Green, so they have given up a few more points too. This game is in San Antonio, and Golden State is on the tail end of a back to back here. I guess that Vegas still does not believe in the Warriors as they have them as a five point dog. Both these teams play fast and efficient offensive basketball so I expect a high scoring affair here and think it is a useable game for fantasy.

Line: Spurs -5, O/U

Players to Watch

  • Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs ($6400)
  • Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs ($7800)
  • Steph Curry, PG, Warriors ($9300)
  • Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors ($7300)


Philadelphia 76ers @ New York Knicks

Game Analysis

Somebody has to win this game. Normally I do not roster many, if any, guys on either of these teams. This game has a very low total, although it is slated to be close. Lately, both teams have had a few guys who returned GPP winning value. There’s no need to get into the stats and W/L records for this one. Both these teams are bad and have lost by a decent amount of points in most of their recent games. Against each other though, this could be a good game. Ish and Nerlens have been on fire for the Sixers. Ledo and Galloway have reached value for the Knicks lately. A lot of the guys who should see decent minutes today are cheap, so despite the low total, it is a decent place to find some value guys if you want them.

Line: Sixers -1, O/U 189

Players to Watch

  • Nerlens Noel, PF, Sixers ($7900)
  • Ish Smith, PG, Sixers ($6100)
  • Ricky Ledo, SG, Knicks ($3600)
  • Langston Galloway, PG, Knicks ($5100)


Utah Jazz @ Sacramento Kings

Game Analysis

This is as big a difference in styles as we can see. The Jazz like to play slow and low scoring. They are perfectly comfortable winning games that fail to reach a total of 190. The Kings on the other hand would prefer the totals to be up in the 210 range. Even without Rudy Gay, they are putting up big numbers and playing at a high pace. The interior defense of the Jazz has been one of the best in the league since the break. Boogie Cousins has been one of the best offensive forces over the last week with Gay out as well, so it’s strength vs. strength in this one. The game is expected to be lower scoring, so a lot of the high priced studs may struggle to reach value here. It’s not one of my favorite games to target, but there’s not a ton of options here on a five game slate, so all the games are in play.

Line: Kings -1, O/U 191

Players to Watch

  • DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kings ($10300)
  • Omri Casspi, SF, Kings ($4500)
  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz ($7900)
  • Gordon Hayward, SF, Jazz ($7800)


Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers

Game Analysis

This game should be an easy victory for the Clippers. They have been playing very well lately and putting up big numbers on offense. They have won seven of their last eight and put up triple digits in each of those games. The Lakers have only won two of their last seven. They have alternated games where they scored 110 with games where they struggle to reach 80, so there is no telling how the offense will play on any given night. I think the Lakers will fight as to not get embarassed by their cross town rivals.

Line: Clippers -11, O/U 211

Players to Watch

  • Jordan Clarkson, PG, Lakers ($6700)
  • Wes Johnson, SF, Lakers ($5000)
  • Chris Paul, PG, Clippers ($9700)
  • DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers ($8100)