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.

 

Wednesday Contests

$100K Sharpshooter – $3 to Play >> DRAFT NOW

$100K Crossover – $27 to Play >> DRAFT NOW

_____________________________________________________

Brooklyn Nets @ Charlotte Hornets

Game Analysis

The Nets have won four of their last six. They are playing at a faster pace, scoring more, and allowing more points during this recent run. They have given up 115 points per game on average over the last five and still managed to win more then half of them. This is a different team from the one we saw earlier in the season. Charlotte also is looking a lot different. Kemba Walker is officially back after playing over 30 minutes and dropping over 35 fantasy points in three straight games. He has been playing with Mo Williams on the floor and both guys are producing 30+ point stat lines for the Hornets. It has not translated into wins yet as they have won just one of their last five, but the offense is putting up better numbers then the twin sub 70 scores they saw two weeks ago. Charlotte does tend to play lower scoring and slower paced games, as evidenced by the four unders in their last five. They are favored here and the Nets will speed up the game, so I think the Hornets are a great place to target tomorrow that may go under the radar.

Line: Charlotte -3.5, O/U 193.5

Players to Watch

  • Mo Williams, PG, Hornets ($6100)
  • Kemba Walker, PG, Hornets ($7100)
  • Brook Lopez, C, Nets ($7000)
  • Deron Williams, PG, Nets ($5600)

_____________________________________________________

Atlanta Hawks @ Orlando Magic

Game Analysis

The Hawks have lost three in a row to the Warriors, Thunder, and Spurs. Not exactly anything to be ashamed of as they have beaten up on everybody else. Today they get a much softer opponent in the Orlando Magic. The Magic only have one win in their last eight games. They have been playing to the over lately and seeing a much faster pace to their games. After playing very slow earlier in the season they have scored over 100 in four of their last five and allowed opponents to do the same in all of those games. The Hawks are an efficient offense and giving more possessions to an efficient team is never a recipe for success. I think the Hawks will be looking to get back on the winning track today and you should see the starters play a few more minutes to make sure of it. Not the highest total on the day, but I think they are worth a look in fantasy.

Line: Hawks -7.5, O/U 201

Players to Watch

  • Denis Schroeder, PG, Hawks ($4600)
  • Al Horford, C, Hawks ($6400)
  • Victor Oladipo, SG, Magic ($8000)
  • Elfrid Payton, PG, Magic ($7700)

_____________________________________________________

Chicago Bulls @ Toronto Raptors

Game Analysis

Chicago has won three of their last four. They have played to the over more often recently, but but they tend to see scores in the 190 range. They have been scoring better and that has a lot to do with the emergence of Nikola Mirotic. He has 38 DK points or more in seven of his last eight. He is seeing time at the SF and PF spots and he is scoring in a variety of ways from all over the court. He gets an extra boost if Noah is out again or Taj Gibson is limited. As for Toronto they are also in danger of having some players sit out. Kyle Lowry played on the first game of the back to back set and may be out or limited tomorrow on the tail end. If so you would have to look elsewhere to cover the shot attempts and usage that would open up. Toronto lost to Chicago last week by 16 points when they were healthy and Chicago was missing a few guys. The tables are reversed this time with Chicago being the healthier team, so I think they win this one going away again.

Line: Bulls -1, O/U 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Nikola Mirotic, PF, Bulls ($7300)
  • Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls ($8700)
  • DeMar Derozan, SG, Raptors ($7700)
  • Lou Williams, SG, Raptors ($4600)

_____________________________________________________

Indiana Pacers @ Washington Wizards

Game Analysis

Indiana has lost six in a row. Their scoring is done and their defense has been horrid. They tried to play faster the last two games and still saw the same results. Things are just not flowing on either end for the Pacers right now. The Wizards followed up a five game winning streak with a recent three game losing one. During the downturn they are averaging 87 points per game and giving up 110. Three straight bad blowouts to three solid West Coast teams has them searching for answers. These two teams both look pretty lousy lately. This one is expected to stay close, but has a low total. On a large slate like today I think it makes sense to avoid this one.

Line: Wizards -3, O/U 193

Players to Watch

  • George Hill, PG, Pacers ($7100)
  • Roy Hibbert, C, Wizards ($5300)
  • Kevin Seraphin, PF, Wizards ($3100)
  • John Wall, PG, Wizards ($8600)

_____________________________________________________

Los Angeles Clippers @ New York Knicks

Game Analysis

The Knicks are just a bad team. They are even worse with injuries to guys like Hardaway and Shved who have at least been serviceable. Even if those guys are healthy this should be a blowout. The total is low at only 197 and the spread is huge at -16, so stay away from this game, as it is unlikely to feature any starters in the fourth quarter.

Line: Clippers -16, O/U 197

Players to Watch

  • Spencer Hawes, C, Clippers ($3000)
  • Austin Rivers, PG, Clippers ($3200)
  • Langston Galloway, PG, Knicks ($5100)
  • Andrea Bargnani, PF, Knicks ($5900)

_____________________________________________________

Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics

Game Analysis

Boston has won six of their last nine, and Miami has won four of their last six. None of that matters tonight, though, as both teams will have to play differently than they had been. The Celtics are welcoming back Isiah Thomas and the Heat may be without Hassan Whiteside who cut his hand last night on the rim when trying to block a shot. Both teams have already been playing faster, so adding in IT2 should only help the pace. I think without Whiteside, the Celtics will be able to get to the rim at will and this may be even higher scoring than anticipated. The heat lacking an inside presence will hurt against a Celtics team that has been beat up inside this year. I would think this hot pace may help some of the stat lines for both teams guards.

Line: Celtics -4, O/U 200.5

Players to Watch

  • Goran Dragic, PG, Heat ($7000)
  • Michael Beasley, SF, Heat ($4200)
  • Jae Crowder, PF, Celtics ($5200)
  • Brandon Bass, PF, Celtics ($5300)

_____________________________________________________

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Memphis Grizzlies

Game Analysis

One of the most explosive offenses in the association takes on one of the stingiest defenses in this one. The average totals for these two teams are about 15 points away from each other, so you have to decide if you think the Grizzlies slow down the Cavs or if the Cavs speed up the Grizzlies? Vegas split the difference here, so I think they even had a hard time deciding. Memphis has played some higher scoring games and won lately, like three back against the Mavericks where they won 112 to 101, so if anything I think this one does play faster and to the over. It’s still a tough match up for any team playing the Grizzlies, but I think there’s some merit in taking Grizzlies in a paced up game.

Line: Cavaliers -2, O/U 194

Players to Watch

  • Zach Randolph, PF, Grizzlies ($7300)
  • Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies ($7500)
  • Lebron James, SF, Cavs ($10100)
  • Kyrie Irving, PG, Cavs ($7700)

_____________________________________________________

Houston Rockets @ New Orleans Pelicans

Game Analysis

The good news here is that James Harden and Anthony Davis are both scheduled to play. The bad news here is that most of the supporting cast on both sides are dealing with injuries. For the Pelicans we have Omer Asik and Tyreke Evans questionable. On the Rockets side it appears Beverly and Jones are out, while Brewer and Josh smith are questionable. That would leave both teams with very short benches and a lot of minutes to go around. Vegas is slow to release a line with all the uncertainty, but I would expect a lot of points and a heavy workload for the healthy options. Smith and Motiejunas had some big days without Jones earlier in the season and Davis playing the 5 here would work against Motiejunas, since he is not your typical power center that Davis would struggle with.

Line: Rockets -1.5, O/U 205

Players to Watch

  • James Harden, SG, Rockets ($11500)
  • Josh Smith, SF, Rockets ($6000)
  • Eric Gordon, SG, Pelicans ($5800)
  • Anthony Davis, PF, Pelicans ($11200)

_____________________________________________________

Los Angeles Lakers @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Game Analysis

One of the big problems with NBA daily fantasy is how many injuries late in the season affect the games. Minnesota is a prime example as they have seven players on the injured list right now with at least one at every position. They will likely have a short bench, which means whoever is healthy to play should see a good amount of minutes. If they played a team more talented than the Lakers I would even expect a blowout. The problem here is the Lakers are just as bad, if not worse. No one understands the rotations for them. Ed Davis is clearly the most talented post player they have, but Ryan Kelly and Tarik Black have drawn a few starts lately. Even Carlos Boozer is still in and out of the line up. At Guard it was Clarkson and Ellington for a good run, but now Jeremy Lin is back in the picture. The whole thing is just a mess. I would say this will be a fast paced game, but depending on who is in, it could go any number of ways. There’s some cheap options to consider though.

Line: Timberwolves -2, O/U 201.5

Players to Watch

  • Gorgui Dieng, C, Timberwolves ($6400)
  • Zach LaVine, PG, Timberwolves ($5100)
  • Jeremy Lin, PG, Lakers ($4800)
  • Wesley Johnson, SF, Lakers ($4200)

_____________________________________________________

Philadelphia 76ers @ Denver Nuggets

Game Analysis

One of the highest spreads on the day with a nice total. Denver has won five of their last eight. They are playing fast while scoring and giving up triple digits regularly. Philly tends to play much slower and lower scoring games, so they may slow down the Nuggets a tad. Philly has some injuries and a lot of ineffective play, so I figure the Nuggets should win this one. Philly is on the tail end of a back to back and the night before they played a hard fought high paced game against Sacramento, so they should have tired legs and there’s a good chance a second fast paced team in two nights blows them off the court.

Line: Nuggets -11, O/U 207

Players to Watch

  • Ish Smith, PG, Sixers ($5900)
  • Nerlens Noel, PF, Sixers ($7800)
  • Danilo Gallinari, SF, Nuggets ($6100)
  • Randy Foye, SG, Nuggets ($4800)

_____________________________________________________

Portland Trailblazers @ Utah Jazz

Game Analysis

Another of those games with tons of injury concerns. Gordon Hayward, Nic Batum, Rodney Hood, and Lamarcus Aldridge are all in danger of missing this game. Utah has been absolutely lock down on defense and if the Trailblazers are short handed, this could be the lowest scoring game on the whole slate. The Utah bigs absolutely dominated last time out and they will both be asked to shoulder more of the offensive load if both Hayward and Hood miss this game. Vegas is slow to post a line here as well with the uncertainty. No matter who sits for the Blazers, I think the Jazz keep this game low scoring. I would shy away from all Portland players in this one.

Line: Jazz -4, O/U 186.5

Players to Watch

  • Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz ($8200)
  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz ($8100)
  • Damian Lilliard, PG, Blazers ($7600)
  • Dorrell Wright, SF, Blazers ($3500)

_____________________________________________________

Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs

Game Analysis

The Thunder have won five of their last six games. They are playing at an insane pace and the totals are nearing 220 almost every time they step on the floor. The insane run that Westbrook and Kanter are on is the reason. Both guys are putting up insane numbers with Ibaka and Durant on the shelf. The Spurs have also been hot, winning eight of their last ten games. They too have hit their stride on offense as they have put up some scores in the 110-125 range often. The key difference between these two high paced teams is on the defensive end. The Spurs defense has been much better than the Thunder’s and that is why they are favored in this one. Both teams like to play fast and both teams pput up a lot of points. I expect this one to stay close enough that the starters get full run, so I think both teams are in play this evening. As always the question comes down to whther or not you feel that spending up for Westbrook is worth it? He’s almost a lock for 60 fantasy points at this stage, but is that enough based on his price?

Line: Spurs -7, O/U 214

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($13200)
  • Enes Kanter, C, Thunder ($7200)
  • Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs ($6900)
  • Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs ($8100)

_____________________________________________________

Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns

Game Analysis

The Spread here is a little higher than I expected, but the total is right about where we want to see it. Some would expect higher, but this game is sneaky. Sacramento has played to the over in eight of their last ten. The new philosophy of run and gun has allowed them to score over 100 in nine of their last ten games. They are averaging close to 107 points per game, but have given up over 110 to six of their last ten opponents. Many would assume the Suns will try to match their pace, but Phoenix has played to the under in eight of their last ten games. They have changed their philosophy some as the scoring and opponents scoring are both way down. A month ago I would say 210 was a low total based on how these teams were playing, but with the new found commitment to defense in Phoenix I think this one might even play to the under.

Line: Suns -8.5, O/U 210.5

Players to Watch

  • Demarcus Cousins, C, Kings ($9600)
  • Rudy Gay, SF, Kings ($7700)
  • Eric Bledsoe, SG, Suns ($8200)
  • Marcus Morris, PF, Suns ($5500)