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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
Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets: The Nets are averaging just over 90 points per game so far in their series against the Heat, scoring below 90 points in the first two games before breaking out for 104 points in Game 3 to win their first game in the series. While the Nets' production in Game 3 might give some hope for their offense in upcoming games, it was also Miami's first loss of the playoffs and is likely to provide a source of renewed intensity for LeBron James and the Heat. With Portland struggling to contain the Spurs and scoring just under 100 points per game themselves, the Nets seem a good contender to be the least productive squad Monday unless you feel confident that the Nets can win their second game in a row against Miami.

Offenses to Use
San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers: The Spurs are up 3-0 in the series and will look to close things out with a sweep Monday in Portland. They're averaging 116 points per game over the series so far and have scored more than 110 points in all three games. Their depth allows them to keep the pressure on Portland's struggling defense at all times, and even if Game 4 is another blowout, they should be able to provide enough scoring to come close to their output from the first three games of the series.

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
Deron Williams, BKN (vs. MIA), PG ($6,700): Williams offers a cheaper option than Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, and Dwyane Wade (who has point guard eligibility) Monday but should still be a good option. Other than Game 2 where he shot 0-of-9 form the field and failed to register a point, Williams been fairly solid, including putting up nine points and 11 assists in Game 3. He's not normally a big scorer but can provide a three-pointer or two, a couple rebounds, a good number of assists, and a steal or two per game. If you want to splurge a bit more, Wade might be a safer option, but if the Nets want to avoid going down 3-1 in the series, they'll need Williams to play a key role in the offense and produce well.

Other options: Dwyane Wade, MIA (at BKN), PG/SG ($7,300)

Shooting Guard
Wesley Matthews, POR (vs. SAS), SG/SF ($6,200): The shooting guard matchup in this series between Matthews and Manu Ginobili, is a pretty sure bet to provide some good production on both ends, and both players offer cheaper options than the star shooting guards. Ginobili has been able to provide about the same number of fantasy points as Matthews on DraftKings but has been able to do so in far fewer minutes. Matthews has been getting more of his production from scoring, while Ginobili has been struggling to score but has been a much better value in other categories such as assists and steals. Ginobili might be the better per minute producer, but he is also likely to get fewer minutes, while Matthews has a good chance to play 40+ minutes per night. The Blazers will do everything they can to avoid a sweep and keep their season from ending, and Matthews will likely play an important cog in the offense.

Other options: Manu Ginobili, SAS (at POR), SG/SF ($6,300)

Small Forward
Kawhi Leonard, SAS (at POR), SG/SF ($7,000): Leonard has been a big part of the Spurs' success on both ends of the floor, averaging 17.3 points on 56 percent shooting, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game. He doesn't provide many assists or blocks but has been shooting very efficiently, including a red hot 55 percent from three. Leonard doesn't play as many minutes as the starters for some other teams, but that doesn't limit him from producing well while on the floor. He's averaging 35 fantasy points in 30 minutes per game this series.

Other options: Joe Johnson, BKN (vs. MIA), SG/SF ($7,000)

Power Forward
Chris Bosh, MIA (at BKN), PF/C ($6,600): Bosh is averaging 15.0 points on 49 percent shooting, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in three games against the Nets so far this series. He recorded a double-double in the first game of the series and got three blocks in both Games 2 and 3. Bosh doesn't provide much in the way of assists or steals but can provide scoring, threes, rebounds, and blocks. He also comes at a reasonable price in the aftermath of Miami's first loss of the postseason, and the team will likely come out strong looking to avenge their loss and take a commanding 3-1 series lead over Brooklyn.

Other options: Paul Pierce, BKN (vs. MIA), SF/PF ($5,700)

Center
Robin Lopez, POR (vs. SAS), C ($5,800): LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan offer the only real star power at the center position Monday night, but Lopez should be able to provide some solid production as well, as he has throughout the series. Lopez is averaging 10.3 points on 45 percent shooting, 9.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.3 blocks in 32 minutes per game. He's struggled to score, but he doesn't play a large role in the Blazers' offense, so it doesn't provide a huge detriment to the team overall. Lopez remains one of the Blazers' leading rebounders alongside Aldridge and is a good source of blocks as well. Like the rest of the Blazers, Lopez will be looking to come out energized and focused in order to keep the Blazers' season alive.

Other options: Tiago Splitter, SAS (at POR), C ($6,000), Tim Duncan, SAS (at POR), PF/C ($7,700)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Brook Lopez (ankle) is out for the season.

Game-Time Decision
Mo Williams (groin) did not play in Saturday's Game 3.
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