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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Monday

Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes covers the Oklahoma City Thunder and writes weekly NBA columns for Rotowire.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Over the past 10 games, the Knicks rank 11th in defensive rating and have given up an average of 97.8 points over those games, a solid improvement over their season average of 100.2 points per game. On the other hand, the 76ers have absolutely collapsed offensively over their losing streak and have what is by far the worst offense in the league at this point. In their last five games, the 76ers have an offensive rating of just 88.3, which is a full 11 points worse than the next closest team. They’re also averaging just 91.6 points over their past five games as well and aren’t a promising fantasy prospect.

Offenses to Use
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns: Over the past five games, the Suns and Clippers have boasted two of the best offenses in the league, while the Suns also hold one of the worst defenses as well. The Suns are giving up an average of 112.2 points per game over their past eight games while scoring 109.4 points over the same stretch. During their current seven-game win streak, the Clippers are scoring 116 points per game, and over their past five games, their defense is allowing just 93.4 points per game. While both teams have been great on offense lately, the Clippers appear set to continue their explosive scoring streak over the Suns’ struggling defense.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Milwaukee Bucks
Second game of a back-to-back: Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns

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Point Guard
Darren Collison, LAC (vs. PHO), PG ($5,000): With Jamal Crawford officially out at least one more game, Collison should continue to get extra playing time at least through Monday’s game against the Suns. Over his past five games, Collison has recorded more than 30 fantasy points three times and is averaging nearly 34 minutes per game. Against Phoenix’s struggling defense, Collison should be able to continue his quality play, and even though top-tier players such as Chris Paul, John Wall, or Ty Lawson will likely produce more, Collison should provide excellent numbers for his cheap price.

Other options: Goran Dragic, PHO (at LAC), PG/SG ($7,700), Brandon Knight, MIL (vs. ORL), PG/SG ($6,500)

Shooting Guard
Gerald Green, PHO (at LAC), SG/SF ($6,300): Green has been fantastic in his last three games, even against solid defenses. He lit up the Thunder for 41 points on Thursday and put together a solid all-around game against the Clippers last Tuesday. He’s been one of the league’s best three-point shooters this season and has hit at least four threes in each of his past three games. Even though the Clippers’ defense has been solid lately, Green has shown that he can still play well against good defenses, and with Crawford out, Green could have a big height advantage against Chris Paul or Darren Collison, which could benefit his three-point shooting. It’s worth keeping in mind that Eric Bledsoe could return to the court on Monday, and if he does, it’s likely that Green will see his role on offense reduced along with his minutes.

Other options: Wilson Chandler, DEN (at CHA), SG/SF ($5,800), Dwyane Wade, MIA (vs. WAS), PG/SG ($7,100)

Small Forward
Matt Barnes, LAC (vs. PHO), SF ($5,400): Barnes has been shooting extremely well lately and has made at least three three-pointers in each of his last four games. He’s averaging almost 34 minutes a game over his past eight games and has shot above 50 percent from the field in each of his last seven games. Barnes could benefit from the Suns’ struggles to defend the three-point line, as their opponents are shooting 43.4 percent from three in the month of March.

Other options: Trevor Ariza, WAS (at MIA), SG/SF ($6,800), Tobias Harris, ORL (at MIL), SF/PF ($6,700)

Power Forward
Tobias Harris, ORL (at MIL), SF/PF ($6,700): Harris has been scoring and rebounding fairly well lately, even though he came off the bench in the Magic’s last game against the Spurs. It’s unclear if this was just a spot start for Kyle O’Quinn in Harris’ place or if this will be the norm from now on. Harris’ minutes didn’t suffer Saturday when he came off the bench, but playing with the second string more could change his role on the offensive end. He should play well against Milwaukee’s struggling defense, which holds the second worst defensive rating in March so far.

Other options: Kenneth Faried, DEN (at CHA), PF ($7,000), Paul Millsap , ATL (at UTA), PF/C ($7,500)

Center
Tyson Chandler, NYK (vs. PHI), C ($6,500): Chandler has been playing incredibly well lately, grabbing double-digit boards in 11 straight games and putting up double-doubles in eight of his past 10 games, including two games with 20+ rebounds. He also continues to be very efficient from the field and has been solid from the charity stripe as well, even though he doesn’t get there too often. Against the Sixers, he should be able to continue to make the majority of his shots and get a few blocks as well.

Other options: DeAndre Jordan, LAC (vs. PHO), C ($7,300)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Patrick Patterson (elbow) suffered a sprained UCL and will be evaluated in 7-10 days.
Jamal Crawford (calf) returned to the court too soon Saturday and will not play Monday.
Kevin Seraphin (knee) missed his sixth straight game Saturday.
Leandro Barbosa (hand) will be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured hand.
J.J. Redick (back) still does not have a timetable to return.

Game-Time Decision
Eric Bledsoe (knee) could return Monday but is more likely to be back on Wednesday.
Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) is unsure if he will be able to play Monday.
Paul Pierce (shoulder) left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
Kevin Garnett (back) did not play Sunday and is a game-time decision for Monday.
Brendan Haywood (foot) is close to making his first appearance of the season.
Ekpe Udoh (ankle) was a game-time decision Saturday but did not play.
Jared Dudley (back) did not play Saturday.
Victor Oladipo (ankle) did not play Saturday.