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.

HAWKS AT PACERS

Game Analysis

The Hawks (12-6) have now won five games in a row as they continue to rely upon their ability to score points. Over their current five-game winning streak, the Hawks have averaged 104.8 points scored, but the impressive part of their game  is that their defense is kicking in and only allowing 89.6 points in those same five contests. Two of the teams the Hawks faced (Charlotte and Brooklyn) were kept at a ridiculous 75 points each. It’s been a nice turnaround for the Hawks defensively, which have a wonderful matchup facing the Pacers (7-13) offense which is only averaging 93.5 points a game this season. Look for the Hawks to continue their winning dominance and cover the -1.0 line easily, but I’m actually taking the 195 under.

Line: ATL -1.0 

Over/Under: 195

Players to Watch

  • Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks ($8,000)
  • Roy Hibbert, C, Pacers ($7,000)
  • David West, PF, Pacers ($6,400)
  • Rodney Stuckey, Pacers ($4,600)

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CELTICS AT WIZARDS

Game Analysis

Don’t look now, but the Celtics (7-11) are on a three-game winning streak as they beat the Wizards (13-5) on Sunday afternoon. In a rematch game set for Monday, I would expect a bounceback recovery game for the Wizards even with the Celtics turning things on. The Celtic’s wins haven’t been pretty, two of them come-from-behind victories with Rajon Rondo lifting the team with his play as he netted a triple-double on Sunday. Rondo will look to continue his production in the turnaround rematch, although it won’t be enough as the Wizards will dominate in their own arena covering the -8.5 points.

Line: WSH – 8.5

Over/Under: 207

Players to Watch

  • John Wall, PG, Wizards ($10,300)
  • Jared Sullinger, PF, Celtics ($7,700)
  • Marcin Gortat, C, Wizards ($7,300)
  • Nene Hilario, PF, Wizards ($4,800)

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CAVALIERS AT NETS

Game Analysis

It’s been a season of streaks for the Cavaliers (11-7) in 2014. They’ve gone from a team that won four games in a row (Nov. 7-15), then losing four in a row (Nov. 17-22) and to now winning six in a row (Nov.24-Dec.5). Much has been made about the chemistry of the team, as LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love obviously represent tons of talent in the basketball world, but things have improved . In their last game, the Cavs were able to beat up on the Toronto Raptors 105-91, one of the better clubs in the league. The Nets (8-10) will have a tough time keeping up with the Cavs offense, which has been averaging 105.7 points a game over their winning streak. Expect the Nets to fall short about 10 points or so with LeBron dishing out to as many teammates as he can (13 assists in his last game out against the Raptors).

Line: CLE -5.0

Over/Under: 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavaliers ($9,100)
  • Deron Williams, PG, Nets ($8,200)
  • Mirza Teletovic, PF, Nets ($5,400)
  • Kevin Garnett,  PF, Nets ($4,500)

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NUGGETS AT RAPTORS

Game Analysis

Although they are still one of the better teams in the NBA this season, the Raptors (15-5) have lost three out of their last five games as the team suffers under some sloppy play as DeMar Derozan (groin) remains out with injury. Is it a coincidence that the Raptors hit a rough patch of play while DeRozan has been out of action? Unlikely not. Unfortunately for the Raptors, there is no time table for DeRozan’s return. The Nuggets (9-11) are an improving team, although they’ve had some very tough opponents (Portland, Washington and Atlanta) over their last three games which has lead to losses. The get another tough opponent in the Raptors, but I won’t be surprised at all to see a back-and-forth game that comes down to the wire. I’m taking the Nuggets plus the nine points even with Ty Lawson’s rough outing on Sunday where he broke his consecutive double-doubles streak at six.

Line: TOR – 9.0

Over/Under: 216.5

Players to Watch

  • Kyle Lowry, PG, Raptors ($10,100)
  • Wilson Chandler, SF, Nuggets ($6,000)
  • Timofey Mozgov, C, Nuggets ($5,600)
  • Amir Johnson, PF, Raptors ($5,300)

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WARRIORS AT TIMBERWOLVES

Game Analysis

The Warriors (17-2) are arguably the best team in the NBA right now, although there are a few clubs worth mentioning in the discussion. They face the Timberwolves (4-15) who arguably are the worst team in the NBA. I know it’s not fun to see these mismatches, unless you happen to be a fan of the better team. Still, it’s a great chance to take advantage of mismatches when building your DFS lineup. The Warriors are a deep club, as point guard Stephen Curry (23.2 PPG) and shooting guard Klay Thompson (21.2 PPG) are the only guard duo to average more than 20 points a game from the same team. The depth of the Warriors in general, with the emergence of Draymond Green, has been a big part of their success. Expect the Warriors to win handily and even embarrass the Wolves at times.

Line: GS -11.0

Over/Under: 212

Players to Watch

  • Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors ($7,100)
  • Draymond Green, SF, Warriors ($6,200)
  • Harrison Barnes, SF, Warriors ($5,200)
  • Marreese Speights, PF, Warriors  ($4,700)

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JAZZ AT KINGS

Game Analysis

Aside from Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors, the Jazz (5-15) have had absolutely nothing in the way of contributing statistical help en route to their current eight-game losing streak. Okay, well, maybe Trey Burke is trying to give his helping share. And while I may have been unfair to the other Jazz players on roster, you get my point. The Kings (10-10) will be without DeMarcus Cousins, who may have viral meningitis – let’s hope the poor guy heals up quickly – so that gives the Jazz an outside chance in this one assuming some other players really step up to help Hayward and Favors. I expect it to be a tight game, with the Kings dropping four out of their last five games.

Line: None

Over/Under: None

Players to Watch

  • Gordon Hayward, SF, Jazz ($7,900)
  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz ($7,600)
  • Darren Collison, PG, Kings ($6,600)
  • Trey Burke, PG, Jazz ($5,400)

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SUNS AT CLIPPERS

Game Analysis

It’s a pretty cool deal when a team has two superstar players they can count on, such as the Clippers (14-5) do in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. They are the only NBA teammates to average 17 points a game while also shooting 50 percent of better from the field. So, if you’re wondering how the Clippers are pulling down victories, Paul and Griffin are a huge contributing part. The Clippers have won nine out of their last 10 games and take on a Suns (12-9) team that ranks 5th overall in points per game (105.2), so the Clips will need to make sure they don’t overlook a a team that steps up their game against tougher opponents. I would take the Suns and the points, plus I’m going with the 215 over. I’ve got this as a high-scoring game, on that you’ll want to pull up a chair to watch.

Line:  LAC -7.5

Over/Under: 215

Players to Watch

  • Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers ($10,000)
  • DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers ($7,700)
  • Jamal Crawford, SG, Clippers ($5,100)
  • P.J. Tucker, SF, Suns ($4,500)

 

Good luck on Monday and don’t forget you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy.