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.

 

Monday Contests

NBA $100K PICK AND ROLL CHAMPIONSHIP [$100,000 GTD]- $12 to Play >> DRAFT NOW

_____________________________________________________

Boston Celtics @ Charlotte Hornets

Game Analysis

Boston has been slightly above average offensively this season — they rank 14th in points scored. Charlotte has one of the worst offenses in the league, ranking 26th in the league in terms of points per game. The pace of play numbers make the game look a little more exciting, though. Boston is tied for fifth is pace of play, while Charlotte is tied for 19th. While the pace of play has not led to points for either team, it does create more rebounds. We could be in store for an even lower scoring game if Al Jefferson is unable to play. Jefferson only played 17 minutes in the Hornets last game, and he is still dealing with knee soreness.

Line: Hornets -4, O/U 192

Players to Watch

  • Isaiah Thomas, PG, Celtics ($5800)
  • Marvin Williams, PF, Hornets ($4500)
  • Brandon Bass, PF, Celtics ($5300)
  • Kemba Walker PG, Hornets ($7400)

_____________________________________________________

Los Angeles Lakers @ Philadelphia 76ers

Game Analysis

Combined, the Lakers and 76ers allow almost 205 points per game to their opponents, so the over/under of 193.5 is a bit of a shock. As you might have guessed from their porous defenses, they also are above average in pace this season – the 76ers rank fifth in pace, the Lakers 11th. If you are looking for a guard today, this is a good game in which to look. The Lakers have been the worst team at defending point guards this season and the sixth worst against shooting guards; the 76ers have been the worst team defending shooting guards and the fourth worst against point guards.

Line: 76ers -4, O/U 193.5

Players to Watch

  • Jordan Clarkson, PG, Lakers ($5600)
  • Ish Smith, PG, 76ers ($5900)
  • Nerlens Noel, PF, 76ers ($7800)
  • Ed Davis, PF, Lakers ($4900)

_____________________________________________________

Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks

Game Analysis

Hey look, a game that matters to both teams! Atlanta is trying to secure the number one seed in the Easter Conference, while Milwaukee is currently the sixth seed in the east. Despite the good seasons thus far, neither team has been all that great lately. Atlanta is only 5-5 in their last ten games, Milwaukee only 3-7. Oddly enough, both teams have played at the same pace, tied for 14th in the league. Atlanta has been more efficient in scoring, and they have been slightly better on defense. Basically, this is a game between average offenses and average defenses. While you should not expect a high scoring game, you also should not expect an 82-80 score.

Line: Hawks -7.5, O/U 195

Players to Watch

  • Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Bucks ($6600)
  • Dennis Schroeder, PG, Hawks ($5600)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Bucks ($7300)
  • Ersan Ilyasova, PF, Bucks ($6900)

_____________________________________________________

Houston Rockets @ Toronto Raptors

Game Analysis

Both Houston and Toronto have locked in playoffs spots; both are still fighting for seeding and still have considerable room for movement up or down. Houston comes into the game having won seven of their last ten, while Toronto has won five of their last ten. Houston has the second fastest pace in the league compared to Toronto’s 19th pace ranking. Both teams have scored and allowed over 100 points per game, so you should expect a more offensive game than average tonight. Houston has four games in their last ten in which they have scored over 110 points, Toronto has allowed opposing offenses to score over 100 points in seven of their last ten games, which helps explain the over/under of 208.

Line: Raptors -2, O/U 208

Players to Watch

  • DeMar DeRozan, SG, Raptors ($7800)
  • Trevor Ariza, SF, Rockets ($6500)
  • Patrick Patterson, PF, Raptors ($4200)
  • Jonas Valanciunas, C, Raptors ($5800)

_____________________________________________________

Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies

Game Analysis

This game features the NBA’s second best defense – Memphis – against the second worst defense – Sacramento. As you might expect, the Grizzlies have a slow pace – ranking 26th in the league; the Kings rank eighth in pace so far this season. Despite allowing 104.3 points per game over their last five games, the Kings defense has actually been slightly better over that span than they have been for the season. Still, this should be a good game in which to stack Grizzlies; 104.3 points per game would still be the third worst defense in the NBA this season.

Line: Grizzlies -7.5, O/U 196.5

Players to Watch

  • Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies ($6100)
  • Zach Randolph, PF, Grizzlies ($7000)
  • Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies ($7200)
  • DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kings ($9900)

_____________________________________________________

Utah Jazz @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Game Analysis

Utah has allowed the fewest points per game this season, while Minnesota has allowed the most, so this is a game of opposites. As you might expect, Utah has been the slowest paced team this season; Minnesota has been a little above average at ninth in pace. Utah has managed to score over 100 points only twice in their last ten games, Minnesota has been a little better, topping 100 four times. The good news is the last time these two teams met, they both did top 100 points – of course the game went to overtime, so take that with a grain of salt. What you do not need to take with a grain of salt is the fantasy potential of Utah players tonight. Minnesota has been among the five worst defenses in terms of fantasy-points allowed per game to every position this season!

Line: Jazz -7.5, O/U 186.5

Players to Watch

  • Trey Burke, PG, Jazz ($5300)
  • Gordon Hayward, SF, Jazz ($8000)
  • Andrew Wiggins, SF, Timberwolves ($6800)

_____________________________________________________

Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trailblazers

Game Analysis

You might not think of this as a match-up of two above average paced teams, but it is. I am sure you know that Phoenix plays at a fast pace – currently the third fastest pace. Portland has also been slightly faster than average, ranking 13th in pace this season. Portland has scored over 100 points in six of their last ten games; shockingly Phoenix has only topped 100 points in three of their last ten games. Both teams will be playing their third game in the last four days so you should expect a little sloppier game than normal tonight.

Line: Trailblazers -7.5, O/U 201

Players to Watch

  • Damian Lillard, PG, Trailblazers ($7900)
  • Eric Bledsoe, SG, Suns ($8200)
  • Marcus Morris, PF, Suns ($6000)
  • Robin Lopez, C, Trailblazers ($4600)

_____________________________________________________
A big thanks to Dave Hunter for letting me cover for him today. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.