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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
San Antonio Spurs at Indiana Pacers: Although the Pacers, first in the Eastern Conference and tied for the third best record in the league, might not be a normal team to avoid, it appears that may be the case as they go up against the Spurs Monday night. The Pacers rank last in offensive rating over their past seven games and are scoring an abysmal average of just 80.4 points per game. On the other hand, over their past six games, the Spurs lead the league in defensive rating and are allowing just 90.8 points per game. They've allowed more than 100 points in just four of their past 11 games and are on a roll as they look to continue Indiana's scoring troubles and clinch their 18th consecutive win.

Offenses to Use
Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves: The Clippers continue to be one of the hottest teams in the league, ranking fifth in offensive rating over the past five games and scoring an average of 108.6 points per game. They've scored 100 or more points in 15 or their last 17 games and have also only lost two games in that same span. The Timberwolves pose a good chance for the Clippers to continue that streak. They rank 18th in defensive rating over their last five games but are giving up an average of 113 points over those games. They've also given up 100+ points in 16 or their last 18 games, and the Clippers seem to have a good chance to continue that streak.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set

First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks

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Point Guard
Brian Roberts, NOR (vs. SAC), PG/SG ($3,900): Roberts returned Saturday from a two-game absence due to a knee injury to put up 18 points and five assists in 28 minutes. He's not a top tier point guard but he can still put up good stats and Sacramento's defense isn't the greatest. Additionally, with Eric Gordon possibly still out for Monday's game, Roberts may play even more minutes and have the ball in his hands more than usual.

Other options: Ray McCallum, SAC (at NOR), PG ($4,300) (If Isaiah Thomas doesn't play), Ramon Sessions, MIL (at DET), PG/SG ($6,400)

Shooting Guard
Kawhi Leonard, SAS (at IND), SG/SF ($6,500): Leonard has been stuffing the stat sheet lately, averaging 15.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.4 steals along with good percentages. It's true that he may have a hard time matching his normal scoring numbers against the Pacers' defense, but he should still be able to record his normal numbers in all his other categories, and he can still provide value even with limited scoring.

Other options: Gordon Hayward, UTA (vs. NY), SG/SF ($7,300), Jamal Crawford, LAC (at MIN), PG/SG ($6,100)

Small Forward
Matt Barnes, LAC (at MIN), SF ($5,300): Barnes has scored in double figures in eight of his last 10 games and is providing rebounds along with a couple of assists, steals, and blocks as well. He recorded a double-double in Saturday's game with Griffin out after aggravating his back in the first six minutes, and with Griffin doubtful for Monday's game, Barnes seems to be in line for extra minutes and a chance for more rebounds and shots as well.

Other options: Jeff Adrien, MIL (at DET), SF/PF ($4,100), Trevor Ariza, WAS (at CHA), SG/SF ($6,100) (if he plays)

Power Forward
Derrick Favors, UTA (vs. NY), PF/C ($7,400): Favors has been great lately, posting three double-doubles in his last four games and averaging 2.4 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.6 steals to go with his points and rebounding numbers. He's shooting well from the field also, and his defensive stats add some great value to his game. Even though he doesn't score too much, Favors has 30+ fantasy points in six of his last 10 games with four of those games garnering 40+ fantasy points. He comes with a bit of a heftier price tag than other options in this article, but his production has been steady and should be worth it.

Other options: Taj Gibson, CHI (vs. BOS), PF/C ($6,400), Greg Monroe, DET (vs. MIL), PF/C ($7,200)

Center
Henry Sims, PHI (at ATL), C ($4,900): Sims has scored in double digits in five consecutive games and is shooting the ball efficiently as well. His rebounding numbers can fluctuate night-to-night, but when he has a good night, he can put up a double-double with anywhere between 10-15 rebounds. He can provide a couple assists and sometimes a steal or two, but he's not a reliable source of blocks. As bad as the Sixers have been, Sims has retained value and should continue to do so for the rest of the season.

INJURY REPORT

Out
Rajon Rondo (soreness) will not play Monday.
C.J. Watson (hamstring) is hoping to return in a week.
Andris Biedrins (shoulder) is out indefinitely
J.J. Redick (back) hopes to return with 3-4 games left in the season.
Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) is out for the season.
Nate Wolters (hand) will resume basketball activities in 3-4 weeks.
Danny Granger (hamstring) will sit out the remainder of the Clippers' road trip.

Game-Time Decision
Blake Griffin (back) is doubtful for Monday's game.
Gary Neal (knee/ankle) intends to play Monday.
Trevor Ariza (groin) injured his left groin Saturday.
Ray Allen (illness) did not play Saturday.
Eric Gordon (knee) did not play Saturday.
Anthony Davis (ankle) did not play Saturday.
Mario Chalmers (thigh) did not play Saturday.
Isaiah Thomas (quad) did not play Saturday.
Greg Oden (back) did not play Saturday.
Dwyane Wade (hamstring) did not play Saturday.
Danny Green (foot) did not play Saturday.
O.J. Mayo (ankle) did not play Saturday.
DeMarre Carroll (illness) did not play Saturday.
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