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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
Indiana Pacers vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Even though the Pacers' elite defense has slipped lately, it should still be enough to shut down the floundering Sixers' defense. Over their past eight games the Pacers are allowing an average of 99.6 points per game including a 101-94 win over the Sixers on March 14. Outside of their four game losing streak that they suffered through recently, where they allowed three straight opponents to score 105+ points, their defense has still been pretty good. The Sixers are still terrible though, averaging just 92 points per game over their past eight games and are now up to a 20 game losing streak.

Offenses to Use
Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets: The Clippers are currently on an eleven game win streak, and are averaging a blistering 112.1 points over that time span and scoring 100+ points in 10 of those games. They're ranked first in offensive rating over their win streak and aren't showing any signs of slowing down. The Nuggets, meanwhile, are ranked 21st in defensive rating over the past 10 games and giving up 111.4 points per game. Monday's game appears a good bet to continue the Clippers' hot streak and extend their win streak to 12 games.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Atlanta Hawks
Second game of a back-to-back: Charlotte Bobcats, Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics.

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Point Guard
Eric Bledsoe, PHO (at BKN), PG/SG ($6,800): After suffering a knee injury in the end of December, Bledsoe has been solid in his first two games back on the court with the Suns and is getting enough minutes to make a very productive player in fantasy. After putting up 15 points and nine assists in his first game back, he followed it up with 17 points and 10 rebounds two nights later. He's gone just 1-9 from three since his return but he's getting both rebounds and assists while providing a solid source of steals.

Other options: Darren Collison, LAC (at DEN), PG/SG ($5,400), D.J. Augustin, CHI (vs. OKC), PG ($4,800).

Shooting Guard
Lance Stephenson, IND (vs. PHI), SG/SF ($6,300): Stephenson's numbers don't jump off the box scores, but he's been solid all around averaging 12 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 0.7 steals including solid shooting from the field and from three over his past six games. He's also been a great source of fantasy production including seven games of 30+ fantasy points in his past 10 games. He's going up against a struggling Sixers team tonight so even though it's a prime matchup for him to produce well keep in mind that it's also a possibility for a blowout, which could lead to reduced minutes for him as well.

Other options: Joe Johnson, BKN (vs. PHO), ($5,500), Alec Burks, UTA (at HOU), PG/SG ($5,200).

Small Forward
P.J. Tucker, PHO (at BKN), SG/SF ($4,700): Eric Bledsoe's return to the lineup doesn't appear to have affected Tucker's role with the team at all and he continues to be a good source of scoring and rebounding. Over his past four games Tucker is averaging 10.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.8 steals, and 54 percent shooting from the field. His steals numbers are also exceptional and he's a great value for the price he comes at Monday.

Other options: DeMarre Carroll, ATL (at CHA), SF/PF ($4,800), Matt Barnes, LAC (at DEN), SF ($5,500).

Power Forward
Kenneth Faried, DEN (vs. LAC), PF ($7,400): Faried has been great lately, averaging 22.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 65 percent shooting over his last seven games. With his solid rebounding and extremely efficient shooting lately Faried has vaulted himself into position as one of the most valuable fantasy forwards in the game. He's finished with 30+ fantasy points in eight of his past nine games including four games of 40+ fantasy points. Even though the Clippers are a solid defensive team Faried has posted big numbers against tough defenses in his past five games including the Bobcats, Pelicans, and Heat. Even though he's more expensive than the other players in this article, Faried has been very consistent in providing top tier fantasy value at a price cheaper than his points normally come at.

Other options: David West, IND (vs. PHI), PF ($6,800).

Center
Derrick Favors, UTA (at HOU), PF/C ($6,800): Favors has been shooting very efficiently lately, connecting on 60 percent of his shots of his past six games. He's scoring 12.5 points to go with 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. His block numbers are great and really add to his value and he's also a superb free throw shooting, connecting on 19 of his past 22 free throws. He rarely provides assists or steals, but he makes up for it by being very productive in just about every category.

Other options: J.J. Hickson, DEN (vs. LAC), PF/C ($5,800), Markieff Morris, PHO (at BKN), PF/C ($5,600).

INJURY REPORT

Out
Rajon Rondo (rest) will not play Monday.
J.J. Redick (back) may be out for the rest of the season.

Game-Time Decision
Darren Collison (Illness) missed Sunday's game with a stomach virus.
Jamal Crawford (calf) did not play Sunday.
Kevin Garnett (back) is questionable for Monday's game.
Ian Mahinmi (ribs) has missed the past three games.
James Anderson (thigh) left Saturday's game with a thigh contusion and is questionable for Monday.
Louis Williams (personal) has not played in five straight games.
Donald Sloan (personal) is expected to be available for Monday's game.
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