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Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers

Author: Aldo Panessidi

The Washington Wizards (18-19) will be hosted by the Indiana Pacers (22-17) on Friday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting LineupThe Wizards find themselves on a three-game winning streak following impressive road wins over the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls. Wednesday night saw the team return to Verizon Center to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 106-101, to remain steady at fourth place in the Southeast Division. John Wall led Washington with 19 points and 8 assists, while Ramon Sessions came off the bench for 15 points and 5 assists. Bradley Beal finally returned to action for the Wizards, netting 11 points in 23 minutes played. Beal had been sidelined with a left leg injury for the last 16 games, and is still the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 19.3 points per game, second only to Wall. Marcin Gortat found himself out of action for the second straight game with a left knee infection. The Polish center, averaging 9.7 rebounds per contest this season, is listed as day-to-day heading into Friday’s match-up.

The Pacers remain consistent in their inconsistency as of late, alternating wins and losses in the last week, with the Wednesday night trip to Boston seeing them fall to the Celtics, 103-94. Paul George had 23 points and 8 rebounds while shooting 7 of 20 from the field to lead Indiana in production. Ian Mahinmi put up a 10 point, 10 rebound double-double and Monta Ellis went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc as the team holds onto a tenuous grip of fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers shot an embarrassing 5-for-30 from long range, an area where they maintain a respectable 35.5% average on the season. After going 11-2 in the month of November, the team has struggled entering the new year, finishing December 7-9 and now sitting at 4-3 in January. 9-12 on the road, the Pacers have a difficult four-game Western trip ahead of them next week which includes a stop in Golden State to take on the Warriors.

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

By Aldo Panessidi

The Sacramento Kings (15-23) will be hosted by the Utah Jazz (17-21) on Thursday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting Lineup

The Lakers come into this game in the best stretch of their season and things are finally looking up in la-la land. They have won four of their last eight games and playing much better defense. In fact, they have allowed 91 points or less in four of those games, which is a borderline miracle considering where they were at a few weeks ago. The reason for the recent success is Lou Williams, who is playing his best basketball in the yellow and purple. If the Lakers want to hang around here, they’re going to need another career performance from Sweet Lou once again.

 

The Warriors have been the best team in the NBA this season, but they are coming off just their third loss of the year on Wednesday. They lost to the Denver Nuggets, who have been giving them fits all season. Golden State had to play that game without Draymond Green and that alone shows how important he is to this team. Steph Curry was ridiculous once again in that game though, as he scored 20 fourth quarter points to nearly pull off a huge comeback win. That loss will make the Warriors angry here and it’s scary to imagine what they’ll do to this terrible Lakers team on Thursday. In fact, they come into this matchup as a projected 15-point favorite.

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Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz

By Aldo Panessidi

The Sacramento Kings (15-23) will be hosted by the Utah Jazz (17-21) on Thursday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting Lineup

The Kings have been playing some of the best basketball of the season as of late, but are coming into this game with a disastrous road record. They are now 5-12 on the road and are playing in one of the toughest venues in Utah on Thursday. Sacramento is coming off a bad loss on Wednesday as well, as they lost to a New Orleans Pelicans team that has struggled mightily all year. In fact, the Kings were seven-point favorites in that game and once again lets fans down with another poor performance. DeMarcus Cousins continued his recent ridiculous play in that game, as he tallied 32 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. He is now the leading scorer in the new year and is making a bid for the All-Star team.

Utah comes into this game winning two of their last three and that directly correlates with the return of Rudy Gobert. The Frenchmen is one of the best defenders in the NBA and that’s clearly evident through the teams stats. The Jazz rank as a top-three defense with him in the lineup and barely top-10 with him out of it. Since his return, they are allowing about 90 points a game and once again stifling teams. The problem is the offense though, as they still rank 27th in scoring. Another major issue is the ball distribution, as the team ranks dead-last in assists with no legitimate point guard on the roster. This should be a good opportunity for this offense to get on track though, as the Kings sport one of the worst defenses in the league. Utah comes into this game as a five-point favored.

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs

By Aldo Panessidi

The Cleveland Cavaliers (27-9) will be hosted by the San Antonio Spurs (34-6) on Thursday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting Lineup

It’s not too often that the Cavaliers go into a game as an underdog, but that will be the case here. Cleveland has won seven-straight games coming into this and all the studs are fully healthy once again. What’s been carrying them this season is their defense, as they rank third in the NBA in points allowed. This should be a great barometer for this team to see where they are at right now against some of the best competition of the NBA. This will be a rematch of the 2014 NBA Finals when the Spurs defeated the Cavs and many of the same faces will be battling here. What’s most exciting about this game is the matchup between Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James.

If Cleveland is living off their defense, the Spurs are feasting off theirs. They rank first in nearly every defensive metric and have been dominating teams at that end of the floor. What’s amazing about this team is that they have matched a franchise-best start with 34 wins in 40 games. They also come into this game winning nine-straight and are regularly blowing teams out. If that’s not enough incentive for them to show out here, the Spurs are undefeated in their home building this season. If there’s one thing to be concerned about, it’s that the Spurs have had the easiest strength of schedule up to this point and have the hardest strength of schedule from this day forward. In any case, San Antonio comes into this game as a five-point favorite and look like a solid bet to continue their great run.

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Detroit Pistons vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Author: Aldo Panessidi

The Detroit Pistons (21-17) will be hosted by the Memphis Grizzlies (21-19) on Thursday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

NBA DETvsMEM 1-14-16

The Pistons had a three-game winning streak halted at home by the formidable San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, 109-99, to fall to 13-6 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put up 25 points on 9 of 14 shooting for Detroit, while Andre Drummond had 17 points and 10 rebounds to add to his league-leading 587 boards on the season. Reggie Jackson had his own double-double off of 10 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Despite falling to one of the top teams in the West, the Pistons have established themselves as a legitimate Playoff contender as the midway point of the 2015-16 campaign draws near. Now sitting at seventh place in the East, the team faces more stiff West competition on Saturday night when they host the Golden State Warriors.

Memphis, sixth place in the Western Conference, were dropped by 107-91 by the visiting Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies in scoring with 20 points, while Tony Allen put up 17 points while going 6-for-12 from the paint. The team has found a relative amount of success this season despite possessing a pedestrian offense that sees them record an average of 95.9 points per game, third-worst in the NBA. Mike Conley, the second-leading producer for Memphis with 15.1 points per contest through 36 games played, has missed four straight match-ups with a sore left Achilles. Conley is expected to suit up for Wednesday’s game, the fourth of six at home for Memphis.

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Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Author: Aldo Panessidi

The Chicago Bulls (22-15) will be hosted by the Philadelphia 76ers (4-36) on Thursday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting Lineup The Bulls entered the new year riding the wave of a six-game winning streak and putting the pressure on Cleveland for top spot in the East. They have since dropped three in a row, the latest coming at Milwaukee on Tuesday night where they were felled, 106-101, by the Bucks. Jimmy Butler continued his impressive play this season with 30 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assist, including dropping 10 of 12 from the charity stripe. Butler is averaging 22.2 points for his team this season, far and away their biggest offensive threat. Pau Gasol has 10 point and 14 boards while Derrick Rose had a quiet night with only 9 points as Chicago fall to fourth place in the competitive Eastern Conference, with the Indian Pacers hot on their heels. Rose left the game at various points, including in the third quarter with a bout of patellar tendinitis.

The 76ers dropped another game to the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, and although the outcome may never have been in question, they still managed to prevent the best team in the East from completely dominating them as the 95-85 loss was somewhat respectable given the fact that they were outclassed at every position. Rookie Jahlil Okafor was the leading scorer for Philadelphia with 21 points and 7 rebounds, shooting 9-for-15 from the paint. Ish Smith continued to impress since landing with the team in December, recording a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists. In just nine games played with the Sixers, Smith has emerged as the second-leading scorer with the club, averaging 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per match-up.

 

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Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic

Author: Aldo Panessidi

The Toronto Raptors (24-15) will be hosted by the Orlando Magic (20-18) on Thursday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

NBA TORvsORL 1-14-16The Raptors conclude their five-game road trip on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday afternoon, UK time, after finishing 3-1 on the North American leg of the tour. The team made quick work of the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, 108-95, to improve their winning streak to three games and hold onto a solid grasp of first place in the Atlantic Division, where they are 4.5 games clear of the second place New York Knicks. Kyle Lowry lead Toronto with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the victory, shooting 10 of 17 from the field. DeMar DeRozan added 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists while Jonas Valanciunas added 17 points and 9 boards to move the team into second place overall in the East. The Raptors’ potent defense was on display again in their win over Philly, as they are allowing 96.7 points per contest, ranking fourth-best in the league.

The Magic, themselves with designs on a Playoff run this season, have struggled to kick off 2016, losing five of their last six outings. So far in January, the team has already matched their loss total for the entire month of December, when they went 10-5. Orlando’s latest defeat came on Saturday night at home to the Washington Wizards, 105-99, despite all five of their starters posting double digits. Nikola Vucevic scored 23 points and added 9 rebounds to serve as the top producer for the team, while Aaron Gordon posted a double-double off the bench with 10 points and 10 boards. Vucevic has been the top weapon for the team throughout the season, leading the upstart unit with 17.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. The Magic will have the weekend to recoup before traveling to Atlanta on Monday to face the division-leading Atlanta Hawks.

 

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards

 

The Milwaukee Bucks  (16-24) will be hosted by the Washington Wizards  (17-19) on Wednesday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting Lineup Milwaukee improved to 11-7 at home on Tuesday night with a win over visiting division rival Chicago, 106-101. Although currently sitting in a deep hole in last place in the Central Division, the Bucks have the opportunity to play spoiler heading into the midway point of the season, as evidenced by recent victories over the Mavericks and Pacers. All five Milwaukee starters posted double digits on Tuesday, with Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the charge with 29 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 10-of-14 from the floor. Greg Monroe contributed his own double-double with 17 points and 12 boards in a game that saw the team make only 3 of 13 attempts from long range. Khris Middleton, who has been the team’s leading scorer all season with an average of 16.9 points per contest, was true to form with 16 points in this outing.

The Wizards return home after a two-game road trip that saw them log impressive wins against the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls. Their 114-100 Monday night victory over the Bulls was their ninth win away from home this season and was highlighted by seven Wizards players scoring in double digits. John Wall recorded another double-double with 17 points and 10 assists, while Ramon Sessions came off the bench with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Wall is putting up 9.6 assists in Washington’s 2015-16 campaign, second-best in the NBA behind Rajon Rondo. Drew Gooden had his own double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds as Washington prepares to contest seven of their next nine games at home where they are 8-11.

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Charlotte Hornets

 

The Atlanta Hawks  (23-15) will be hosted by the Charlotte Hornets  (17-20) on Wednesday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting Lineup The Hawks are coming off an impressive 120-105 home win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night, holding onto first place in the Southeast Division with a one game lead over the second place Miami Heat. Al Horford had a huge night as the leading producer for Atlanta, dropping a season-best 33 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists while making 15 of 21 shots from the field. Paul Millsap added 18 points and 8 board of his own and Kyle Korver put up 13 points and 3 of 6 three-point attempts as the Hawks have regained some of the form that made them the number one seed coming out of the East last season. The team ranks third in the league in assists, averaging 25.5 per game, behind only Golden State and San Antonio. Jeff Teague, Dennis Schroder and Millsap combine to average 13.6 of those assists. The team plays eight of their next eleven games on the road, where they hold down a 10-8 record.

Charlotte is in a freefall and trying to figure out a way to right their ship after squandering a promising start to their season. The team is returning home from a four-game road trip with no wins under their belt and are suffering through a seven-game skid. Their latest defeat came on Sunday night in Denver as they were bested by the Nuggets, 95-92. Cody Zeller and Jeremy Lamb both had 15 points apiece to lead the Hornets in scoring, yet Lamb made only 1 of 5 shots from beyond the arc, indicative of his team’s shooting woes all game. Charlotte shot 36.1% from the paint and 33.3% from long range in the loss, which sends them to the basement of the Southeast Division where they once threatened to reign over after a 10-5 November. Nicolas Batum returned to the starting lineup for Charlotte after a four-game absence with a sprained toe and put up 9 points. Batum is the second-leading scorer for the Hornets, averaging 16 points per contest.

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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Lakers

 

The New Orleans Pelicans  (11-25) will be hosted by the Los Angeles Lakers  (8-31) at Staples Center on Tuesday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting Lineup Anthony Davis is arguably the most talented player in the NBA, but the injuries have to be frustrating. He left the teams last game in the first quarter after diving into the stands and fans are starting to wonder if he can stay healthy for a full month. While he’s never suffered any major injuries, a multitude of minor injuries has kept him out of way too many games. Whether he’s injury prone or has a low tolerance for pain, the Pelicans simply can’t win games without him in the lineup. He’s questionable to play here and it would be scary to imagine the type of numbers Davis could put up against this Lakers defense. One bright spot with this team is the performance of Jrue Holiday in New Orleans most recent game, as he scored a season-high 29 points while grabbing 11 boards in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Tyreke Evans has also been playing some great ball recently and it’s a wonder with all this talent why the Pelicans have been so bad this season. The 28th ranked defense is a good place to start looking, as they severely need to clean that up if they want back in the playoff hunt.

The Lakers have lost four-straight games coming into this, but playing much better recently. They won three-straight before that stretch, as the defense has significantly improved. If you take out three games against the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder, the Lakers are allowing just 92 points a game over their last six games. Those are three of the fastest and deadliest offenses in the NBA, so it’s hard to stick that against them on their resume. The star of this team recently is Lou Williams, who is averaging 22 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game over his last eight games. He’s even getting regular “LOOOU” chants in the Staples Center and that’s got to give a player like him some serious confidence in such a historic venue. Look for this to be a high-scoring game between two bad defense, as there’s a projected total just shy 220 with the Pelicans being small favorites.

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Dallas Mavericks

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers (26-9) will be hosted by the Dallas Mavericks   (12-26) at American Airlines Center on Tuesday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting LineupMany people overlook LeBron James for MVP considerations with all the new studs in the NBA, but he’s playing like an MVP right now. Over his last six games, he is averaging nearly 28 points per game and shooting well over 50 percent from the field. He is also doing a great job of playing distributor, even with Kyrie Irving back in the fold. That’s what makes this team so scary, not only do they have arguably the best player in our generation, they have two other superstars on the roster. Cleveland comes into this game in the midst of a seven-game winning streak and much of that success has to be credited to the elite defense they are playing. The Cavaliers rank third in points allowed and that is always the biggest emphasis when James speaks about his team. This should be a an interesting game for James, as he’ll be facing a Mavericks team that ended his first stint in Cleveland in the 2007 NBA Finals.

Dallas comes into this matchup winning three of their last four, albeit against some terrible competition. This type of game will be a better barometer of where this team is at right now and it should be interesting to see them against a fully healthy Cleveland squad. Dirk Nowitzki is one of the only remaining players from that 2007 team that beat Cleveland and he’ll hope to carry over his recent form into this game. Nowitzki is averaging 24 points and six rebounds per game over his last four games. The Mavericks come into this game as a six-point underdog and they have covered five of their last six games when being a six-point dog or higher.

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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder (26-12) will be hosted by the Minnesota Timberwolves  (12-26) at Target Center in Minneapolis on Tuesday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting LineupThe Thunder have been one of the best teams in the NBA since the beginning of December, but they are in a bit of a rut right now. They are just 2-2 over their last four games and nearly lost to the struggling Los Angeles Lakers just last week. This appears to be just a blip on the radar though, as the offense and defense are performing at top-levels. In fact, the offense ranks second in the NBA just behind the Golden State Warriors in scoring and the defense has been top-10 since the middle of November. If there is one blemish with this team it would be their road woes, as they were 5-6 on the road before winning four of their last five. In any case, look for them to continue their recent road success, as they are double-digit favorites heading into this matchup.

The Timberwolves got off to a surprising start this season, but are regressing hard right now. They have lost 10 of their last 11 games and are really struggling on the offensive end. In fact, they haven’t cracked 100 points in 11-straight games and haven’t scored more than 102 in 16-straight games. Much of that has to be credited to these offensive rotations the coach sticks out there. Coach Sam Mitchell still insists on starting Kevin Garnett and playing Tayshaun Prince an abundance of minutes and it’s a wonder why with all the young talent they have. Young players like Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad have been riding the bench and it’s just a mysterious situation in Minnespolis right now. It likely won’t get any better here, as they come into this game as huge underdogs in their home building where they have struggled all season long.

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Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks

 

The Chicago Bulls (22-14) will be hosted by the Milwaukee Bucks  (15-24) at Bradley Center on Tuesday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting LineupThe Bulls will be playing on the second half of a back-to-back, having endured a rare home loss Monday night versus the Wizards, 114-100. Derrick Rose led the way for Chicago with 23 points, and is now averaging a solid 18.4 points in the past four contests since his return from a three-game absence due to knee and hamstring soreness. Jimmy Butler continued his outstanding all-around play by pitching in 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Pau Gasol posted a trademark 15-point, 10-rebound double-double. The defeat was a second straight for the Bulls, following a season-high six-game winning streak that included a 117-106 victory over the Bucks on January 5. Butler led the way in that contest with 32 points, but he and the Bulls may be hard-pressed to duplicate their offensive success Tuesday, considering they’ll be playing their fourth game in six nights.

 

The Bucks come in having lost three of their past four games, and firmly entrenched in last place in the Eastern Conference’s Central Division. They fell to the Knicks 100-88 on Sunday, despite an outstanding effort from Greg Monroe. The Bucks’ big man equaled a season high with 28 points, while adding 10 rebounds, two assists and a block. It was notably his third straight game with double-digit boards, and third double-double in the last five games. Khris Middleton (20 points) and Jabari Parker (14 points) made solid contributions as well in the loss. Milwaukee continues to be plagued by the inconsistencies of two of their most potential-laden younger players in Michael Carter-Williams and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and remain ranked in the lower half of the league in points surrendered (103.6), points scored (97.6) and point differential (-6.0).

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