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.
Atlanta Hawks @ Detroit Pistons
Atlanta has won three of it’s last four. They clinched their playoff spot a few games back and have been resting some of their players ever since. This is probably why their pace and scoring have been down in recent games. They should have everyone available tonight with the possible exception of Dennis Schroeder, who is likely out. Their opponent tonight is also on the upswing. The Pistons have won five of seven without PF Greg Monroe. It is looking like he will be out again today, which helps paint a clearer picture of who to target. In Monroe’s absence, Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Andre Drummond have all stepped up their games, and their prices have also risen dramatically. They do face a very solid Hawks defense tonight, so there’s reason for pause. The spread here is not too high, and the total is a little lower than usual for the Pistons. This is not the best game to target, but on a four game slate it’s also not the worst. Be careful to monitor the news flow, as the Hawks are known to rest some guys from time to time.
Line: Hawks -3, O/U 196.5
Players to Watch
- Jeff Teague, PG, Hawks ($6000)
- DeMarre Carroll, SF, HAwks ($5800)
- Reggie Jackson, PG, Pistons ($8700)
- Andre Drummond, C, Pistons ($8900)
Indiana Pacers @ Brooklyn Nets
The Pacers have hit a rough patch that has seen them win only two of their last nine games. Their pace is up, as they have only played to the under twice during this stretch. Unfortunately for them, their opponents scoring has seen the biggest boost. This could create a problem for them tonight, as their opponent has scored over 100 points in 6 of their last nine games, seven of those nine being wins. The Nets seem to be peaking at the right time, as they have really turned things around in the month of March. Thaddeus Young is the only injury concern on either side today, so I think we should see a good representation from the Nets big men. The higher pace of the Nets, coupled with the struggling defense of the Pacers, leads me to believe we should see a Brooklyn victory today. The spread is low and the total is right around 200, so this is definitely a usable game for fantasy purposes.
Line: Nets -2.5, O/U 199
Players to Watch
- Brook Lopez, C, Nets ($7800)
- Joe Johnson, SG, Nets ($5800)
- George Hill, PG, Pacers ($7500)
- David West, PF, Pacers ($5400)
San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat
The defending champs are peaking at the right time. They have won seven of their last nine. They tend to keep opponents under 95 points and have scored over 100 in 7 games during this stretch. They have an efficient offense and a solid defense. They do play at a high pace, but the solid defense tends to limit their opponents second chances and easy baskets. Despite a lengthy list of injuries, the Heat have also played pretty well. They have won five of their last nine games and are back to doing it with defense and timely offense. They have played to the under seven times in their last nine games and have only allowed two opponents to score over 100. The spread on this one is calling for a three possession game at the end, which lends itself to thoughts of chewing clock and free throws late in the fourth quarter. The total here is one of the lower ones today, and the Spurs do play again tomorrow, so their is a chance Pop decides to give his starters some rest late in the game if San Antonio has a comfortable lead. With the game tomorrow, there is also a chance some of the starters sit this one out, anyway, so follow the news flow here.
Line: Spurs -7, O/U 197.5
Players to Watch
- Kawhi Leonard, SF, Spurs ($8100)
- Tiago Splitter, C, Spurs ($4500)
- Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat ($7600)
- Udonis Haslem, PF, Heat ($4400)
Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Clippers
This is the game most people will be targeting. The spread is close, and the total is 214 points. This is exactly the kind of contest we like for fantasy. Golden State has won nine in a row and has not scored less than 106 points in any of those games. The Clippers have also won seven in a row themselves. They are averaging 107 points over this stretch and look very good with the return of Blake Griffin. The Warriors actually opened as a two point favorite in Vegas before the line swung to minus two for the Clippers. The big reason to me is that while both Blake and Draymond Green are listed as questionable, only one of those two is likely to play. With no Draymond to guard Blake, I can see why the line swung in the opposite direction. This game can go either way tonight. The one thing I do know is these teams like to play fast, and that should mean a lot of points scored.
Line: Clippers -2, O/U 214
Players to Watch
- Chris Paul, PG, Clippers ($9600)
- Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers ($8600)
- David Lee, PF, Warriors ($3800)
- Klay Thompson, SG, Warriors ($7100)