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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
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies: With just two games on the schedule Monday night, it's a pretty good bet that the Grizzlies and Thunder game will be lower scoring than the Clippers and Warriors game. While the Grizzlies do boast one of the best defenses in the league, ranking third in the league in points allowed with just 94.6, they also struggle to score as well. They're ranked just 27th in the league in points per game at 97.1 and scored just 86 in Game 1 against the Thunder. On the other side of the matchup, the Thunder are ranked fifth in points per game and are also a borderline top-10 defensive team after ranking 12th in the league in points allowed per game at 99.8 points. While the Grizzlies are an elite defensive team, the Thunder are just as elite on offense and their defense combined with Memphis' struggles to score should make fantasy options on the Grizzlies' team limited.

Offenses to Use
Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors: Even though the Warriors are ranked 10th in both points scored and points allowed for the season, the Clippers' top ranked offense should keep them as one of the best offensive options for fantasy. They averaged just under 108 points per game for the season and with Andrew Bogut out for the Warriors, Golden State's defense shouldn't be as good as normal. With Blake Griffin hopefully not being limited by foul trouble the Clippers should be even better offensively on Monday than they were in Game 1.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: None

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Point Guard
Mike Conley, MEM (at OKC), PG ($7,600): With just two games scheduled for Monday and all four point guards likely to play heavy minutes, Conley comes as a cheaper option than the other three starters but should still contribute well. Even though the Grizzlies have probably the worst offense on Monday's slate of games, Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol should still be solid fantasy options and are the biggest producers for the Grizzlies. Conley put up 16 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds in Game 1 against the Thunder, and with Nick Calathes suspended, he should continue to be the Grizzlies' primary playmaker and play heavy minutes.

Other options: Russell Westbrook, OKC (vs. MEM), PG ($9,000), Darren Collison, GS (at LAC), PG/SG ($5,200)

Shooting Guard
J.J. Redick, LAC (vs. GS), SG ($5,400): There aren't many quality shooting guard options Monday night, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson the top two options at the position Monday. However, Redick played well Saturday and should do so again Monday. Redick scored 22 points Saturday and should continue to be their main wing scorer. With Chris Paul one of the most dangerous guards in the game, the Warriors will likely switch Klay Thompson onto Paul and try hiding Stephen Curry and his bad defense on Matt Barnes again while Iguodala guards Redick. He doesn't produce many rebounds or assists, but he can score and should continue to do so in this series.

Other options: Reggie Jackson, OKC (vs. MEM), PG/SG ($5,000), Klay Thompson, GS (at LAC), SG/SF ($7,100)

Small Forward
Harrison Barnes, GS (at LAC), SF/PF ($5,000): With Andre Iguodala in foul trouble in Game 1 and limited to just 20 minutes on the court, Barnes stepped in at small forward, but even if he sees his minutes cut back a bit with Iguodala playing more, he should continue producing well for fantasy purposes. In Game 1, Barnes recorded 14 points, eight rebounds, one assist, and one block in 23 minutes. With Andrew Bogut out and Jermaine O'Neal not likely to play too many minutes, some playing time at either small forward or power forward should give Barnes enough time on the court to be a good fantasy performer for his price.

Other options: Tony Allen, MEM (at OKC), SG/SF ($3,900), Draymond Green, GS (at LAC), SF ($5,700)

Power Forward
Serge Ibaka, OKC (vs. MEM), PF/C ($7,500): With Kevin Durant (who has power forward eligibility) and all four starting forwards playing tonight all likely to play heavy minutes, there aren't many good fantasy options outside of the rather spendy top five. Ibaka comes in as the cheapest of the top five options but could very well finish with the most productive night other than Durant. Ibaka has been a very steady performer and should continue to play well in the Thunder's series against the Grizzlies. In his last six games, Ibaka is averaging 15.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 4.3 blocks, and 54 percent shooting. He should continue to keep those numbers going against Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies and could potentially give Randolph a hard time on defense as well.

Other options: David Lee, GS (at LAC), PF/C ($7,900), Marreese Speights, GS (at LAC), PF/C ($4,400)

Center
Marc Gasol, MEM (at OKC), C ($7,300): Gasol didn't fill up the box score as much as the Grizzlies might have hoped on Saturday, but he still played well and recorded 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He didn't shoot well but should pick up the slack Monday against Kendrick Perkins and the Thunder. His passing skills should continue to be a valuable asset for the Grizzlies in the playoffs and add to his fantasy value as well.

Other options: Jermaine O'Neal, GS (at LAC), C ($4,700)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Andrew Bogut (ribs) is unlikely to return during the playoffs.
Nemanja Nedovic (calf) is out indefinitely.
Festus Ezeli (knee) is unlikely to be available during the playoffs.
Nick Calathes (suspension) was suspended for 20 games on Friday.
Quincy Pondexter (foot) is still recovering from season-ending foot surgery.

Game-Time Decision
Tayshaun Prince (illness) practiced Sunday and should start Monday.
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