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.

 

Sunday Contests

Remember that tonight’s slate tips off at 6PM EST instead of the usual 7 PM starts. Get your rosters in early.

$75K Sharpshooter – $3 Buy In

$100K Crossover – $27 Buy In

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Celtics @ Magic

Game Analysis

This is an interesting game based on recent form and injuries. The Magic had lost four in a row before playing the Kings last out. They managed to play a high scoring game even without center Nikola Vucevic. They played a very high paced team in the Kings that night and managed to put up 114 points which they had not done in a long time. Today they get another team playing at break neck speed lately. The Celtics have been paced up again since acquiring Isiah Thomas II. They have reached 100 in five of their last seven games and allowed opponents to do so in only two of those.  It seems both teams would prefer a hot pace today and I think that is what they get. Avery Bradley is still questionable for the Celtics so that means a few more minutes for all the guards if he sits. With Vucevic out we saw Channing Frye go nuts last game and if he gets another start. Overall I expect a hot pace in this one and a lot of points.

Line: Celtics -1.5, O/U 198.5

Players to Watch

  • Isiah Thomas, PG, Celtics ($6300)
  • Jae Crowder, SF, Celtics ($5300)
  • Channing Frye, PF, Magic ($4000)
  • Elfrid Payton, PG, Magic ($5400)

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Hornets @ Pistons

Game Analysis

Charlotte has won five of the last six. They are up in pace, up in scoring, and have Mo Williams to thank for a lot of that. He has really helped right the ship for this team in Kemba’s absence. The Pistons have lost five straight, played to the under in four of them, and are struggling to score points. Their trade deadline deal for Reggie Jackson does not seem to have worked out as well for them. This is one of the lowest totals on today’s five game slate. The spread is close and the game should be back and forth until the end. Overall I like the Hornets to knock off the struggling Pistons today, and will not be using this game too heavily.

Line: Pistons -1, O/U 190

Players to Watch

  • Mo Williams, PG, Hornets ($7500)
  • Al Jefferson, C, Hornets ($7700)
  • Reggie Jackson, PG, Pistons ($6500)
  • Greg Monroe, PF, Pistons ($7700)

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**

Game Analysis

Easily the lowest projected total of the five game late slate today. The Jazz have been really stout defensively since Gobert moved into the starting line up. The long lengthy rim Protector has been able to make up for some of the defensive mistakes on the perimeter and his rebounding has helped limit the opposition to one shot on that end of the floor. The Jazz have only allowed one opponent to reach the 100 point mark and that was the Lakers in a 100-97 loss a few games back. Brooklyn on the other hand is playing paced up lately. They have won four of seven and you would never know the pace had jumped by looking at the results of the O/U’s. This was team who routinely saw totals in the 190s and now are routinely seeing them closer to the 205 mark. Wile they have alternated Over and unders in recent games the uptick in the totals is more to blame than any pace factors. Truth is they are playing faster, scoring more, giving up more points, and it seems to be working out for them. It’s going to be a clash of styles in this one with the Jazz getting an uptick and the Nets probably getting a tick down from me. As I mentioned already this is a very low total, so be cautious how many guys you use from this one.

Line: Jazz -1.5, O/U 186.5

Players to Watch

  • Brook Lopez, C, Nets ($5900)
  • Deron Williams, PG, Nets ($6200)
  • Trey Burke, PG, Jazz ($4800)
  • Derrick Favors, PF, Jazz ($7300)

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Raptors @ Thunder

Game Analysis

The Raptors are in a tailspin. The once mighty leaders of the Eastern Conference have since fallen apart. They have lost eight of the last ten and looked bad doing so. Kyle Lowry is back in action now, but he is a shell of the guy who carried them earlier in the season. They are playing pacedup, but the defensive efficiency is dreadful lately and that has been a big reason for the downturn. The Thunder on the other hand have been riding the white hot Russell Westbrook Triple double Machine. This guy has been nothing short of AMAZING. He is averaging a tad under 80 DK points (NOT A TYPO) in his last four games. I will say this again, 80 points per game average last week for Westbrook. That is absurd production, yet has only led to two victories in the last five. What is good for Westy is not always best for OKC and that is the rub here. For fantasy purposes though we do not really care. A guy who gets 80 points should cost over $13000 and as long as Westy is streaking and under that number I think he is in play.

Line: Thunder -6, O/U 213

Players to Watch

  • Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder ($1200)
  • Serge Ibaka, PF, Thunder ($8000)
  • Demar DeRozan, SG, Raptors ($7100)
  • Terrence Ross, SF, Raptors ($3300)

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Mavericks @ Lakers

Game Analysis

Dallas has lost four of their last five and played ten straight games to the under. The once high scoring Mavs are treading water right now and it’s not a pretty sight. The Lakers are also reeling with 4 straight losses. They have two straight unders to notoriously slow paced teams in Memphis and Miami, but had played 6 games to the over proceeding those. The Lakers like the hotter pace and so do the Mavs, so I can see this one being more towards the high scoring side. The spread here is one of the larger on the day, but I think this one stays close enough with LA at home to give full run for the starters. I like the Mavs to get back on the winning track in a high scoring affair here which could be good for fantasy.

Line:  Mavs -7. O/U 202

Players to Watch

  • Rajon Rondo, PG, Mavs ($6100)
  • Tyson Chandler, C, Mavs ($6100)
  • Jordan Clarkson, PG, Lakers ($4800)
  • Wayne Ellington, SG, Lakers ($4400)