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NBA • Monday Service Plays • 2/22/16

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    Preview: Detroit At Cleveland

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
    Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have come out of the All-Star break on a mission and earned their 40th win by crushing the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. The Cavaliers will try to keep that pace in the second half of a back-to-back when they return home to host the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

    Cleveland easily dispatched the Chicago Bulls in the first game after the All-Star break and had little trouble while visiting one of the best in the West on Sunday as Kevin Love collected 29 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way in a 115-92 drubbing of the Thunder. “We won,” coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. “Coming into it, with a great team and a situation like this, being undermanned and guys stepping up and playing well it’s a great feeling and a great team win.” Love could be in for another big night against the Pistons, who allowed opposing power forward Anthony Davis to go off for an NBA season-high 59 points and 20 rebounds in a 111-106 home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. “That one’s on me,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters. “You’ve got to come up with something. The guy can’t get 59. That’s on me. That’s terrible coaching. Terrible.”

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Ohio (Cleveland)

    ABOUT THE PISTONS (27-29): Detroit has dropped five straight bridging the All-Star break to drop into ninth place in the Eastern Conference. “I think everybody is frustrated,” Van Gundy told reporters. “Nobody likes to lose. Of course everybody is frustrated. We just have to keep playing through stuff.” The Pistons are getting positive results from newcomer Tobias Harris, who was acquired from the Orlando Magic prior to the trade deadline and has totaled 37 points and nine rebounds in his first two games with his new club.

    ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (40-14): Love’s role on the team is a frequent topic of discussion, but he believes his effort will help the team. “Being aggressive, I think overall,” Love told reporters. “I think that kind of in some way adds to the physicality of the nature in our approach. It’s just a small sample size of two games after the break, but if we can continue to do that (Monday’s) going to be another physical game and we’re going to be better off and that’s going to help us.” Forward Channing Frye, who was acquired at the deadline in part to pick up some of Love’s duties as a stretch power forward, has yet to play for his new team and was not cleared by the medical staff in time for Sunday’s contest.


    1. Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving (illness) left Sunday’s game and is day-to-day.

    2. Pistons F Anthony Tolliver left Sunday’s game with a knee injury and is doubtful for Monday.

    3. The Central Division rivals have split two meetings this season, with Cleveland earning a 114-106 win in Detroit on Jan. 29 in the most recent matchup.

    PREDICTION: Cavaliers 109, Pistons 98


    Preview: Indiana At Miami

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
    Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

    All-Star guard Dwyane Wade is listed as questionable due to his aching left knee when the Miami Heat host the Indiana Pacers on Monday. Wade has missed the past two games due to the soreness from an injury he suffered during practice last Wednesday.

    Being without Wade and All-Star forward Chris Bosh – the latter is out indefinitely with a blood clot in his left calf – has led to Miami speeding up the pace and it is averaging 114.5 points in back-to-back wins with forward Luol Deng emerging to average 28.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. “You have to play to the strengths of your personnel,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporter after Saturday’s 114-94 rout of the Washington Wizards. “I know fans love to see this and our players love to play it.” Indiana recorded a 105-102 road victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday for its fourth win in five games, a stretch that includes an impressive road win in Oklahoma City. “Our whole mindset has shifted,” Pacers forward Paul George told reporters after the win over Orlando. “We’re playing with more confidence down the stretch in games, with a confidence that we’re supposed to win. It’s going to change the way we finish the season.”

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana, FSN Sun (Miami)

    ABOUT THE PACERS (30-25): Indiana stands fifth in the Eastern Conference – one game behind Miami – and figures it can make a run at finishing third in the conference and possibly even second. “We’re past the growing pains, and we went through a reboot during the All-Star break,” guard Monta Ellis told reporters. “Everyone came back with a goal we’re trying to meet, and that’s finishing the second half strong and catch fire leading into the playoffs.” Ellis is averaging 24 points and made 8-of-12 from 3-point range in the first two games after the break while George had 20 points against Orlando for his sixth straight 20-point outing and he is averaging 24.3 points during the stretch.

    ABOUT THE HEAT (31-24): The faster pace has allowed point guard Goran Dragic to roam the floor similar to the way he once did while starring for the Phoenix Suns and he scored a season-high 24 points to go with eight assists and seven rebounds in the win over the Wizards. “It’s really fun,” Dragic told reporters. “Everybody’s loose and playing free-minded, just reacting and trying to push that ball. Everybody’s running and everybody’s dangerous. We’re moving the ball, too.” Dragic is averaging 20.5 points, nine assists and six rebounds in the two games and has scored in double digits in five straight consecutive contests.


    1. The Pacers have lost eight of their last nine regular-season games in Miami, including a 103-100 overtime defeat on Jan. 4.

    2. Heat C Hassan Whiteside had 25 points and 23 rebounds against the Wizards for the second 20-20 game of his career.

    3. Indiana rookie PF Myles Turner has scored in double digits in six straight games and 14 of the last 16.

    PREDICTION: Pacers 105, Heat 103


    Preview: Toronto At New York

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
    Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

    The New York Knicks have at least tentatively ended their slide and look to post consecutive victories for the first time in more than a month when they host the Toronto Raptors on Monday. New York ended a seven-game losing skid by defeating Minnesota on Saturday for only its second win in 13 games since winning back-to-back games Jan. 18-20.

    Toronto stepped it up on defense in Sunday’s 98-85 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies after allowing an average of 116.5 points in back-to-back defeats to Minnesota and Chicago following the All-Star break. “I thought the defense was in the game,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey told reporters. “Everyone’s knees were bent, down in the stance, ready to play and out of vacation mode.” Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 11 rebounds against the Timberwolves to become the 30th player in NBA history to reach 22,000 career points. Anthony, who has 22,002 points, has topped 20 points in four straight games and is averaging 26.5 points during the stretch.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One (Toronto), MSG (New York)

    ABOUT THE RAPTORS (36-18): All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan had 21 points against Memphis and the win was his 232rd with the Raptors, equaling the franchise record held by Chris Bosh and Morris Peterson. “I kept seeing it on Twitter the past couple of days and that’s how I really knew,” DeRozan said afterward. “It’s a cool thing honestly, just to be in the same record books and I have an opportunity to keep growing with that.” DeRozan has exceeded 20 points in eight of the past nine games and is averaging 24.8 points during the stretch.

    ABOUT THE KNICKS (24-33): Center Robin Lopez is averaging 15.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in seven games this month, and he matched his previous best game of the season when he exploded offensively and on the boards against Minnesota. Lopez had 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting and collected 16 rebounds —the exact same season-best stat line he had against Detroit on Feb. 4. “For me, it’s more my teammates are confident throwing me the ball, confident in watching me go to work,” Lopez told reporters. “Staff, coaches, it’s a lot easier to perform when you’re in a situation like that.”


    1. The teams split two games this season and the Raptors have won four of the past six meetings.

    2. Toronto All-Star PG Kyle Lowry has scored in double digits in all 54 games and he has topped 20 points on 31 occasions.

    3. New York rookie C Kristaps Porzingis had just six points and two rebounds against Minnesota after averaging 19 points and nine rebounds in the previous four contests.

    PREDICTION: Raptors 107, Knicks 98


    Preview: Golden State At Atlanta

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
    Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

    The Golden State Warriors stumbled out of the All-Star break at Portland but picked themselves back up in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday. The Warriors will continue their chase of history when they switch coasts and visit the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

    Golden State suffered its worst loss of the season at the Trail Blazers but started out hot in Los Angeles and managed to hold off the Clippers in the end to pull out a 115-112 victory despite playing without centers Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli. “We haven’t lost two in a row all year, which we’re proud of,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. The Hawks lost two in a row over the weekend after going down 117-109 in double overtime at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Atlanta, which fell to Miami on Friday coming out of the All-Star break, has dropped four of five bridging the break, with two of those setbacks coming in overtime and all four by single digits.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBATV, CSN Bay Area (Golden State), FSN Southeast (Atlanta)

    ABOUT THE WARRIORS (49-5): Golden State’s pursuit of 73 wins drew much of the focus during the All-Star break, but the team insists gaining the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference is the bigger objective over the final 28 games. “We can’t win 24 games at one time,” Stephen Curry told reporters. “It’s very cliché, but there’s only one way I can say it; if we get wrapped up in the moment and how we play every single night, and continue to play one game at a time (the wins record) may happen. … We have to lock up the No. 1 seed, that’s what we’re mainly focused about.” Forward Draymond Green recorded a triple-double while playing center on Saturday with Bogut (Achilles) and Ezeli (knee) sidelined.

    ABOUT THE HAWKS (31-26): Atlanta was reportedly fielding offers for most of its roster in front of Thursday’s trade deadline but avoided making any major deals, and the flaws that existed prior to the All-Star break remained over the weekend. The Hawks went 9-of-41 from 3-point range in Saturday’s 117-109 setback and were outrebounded 65-49 by the Bucks. Atlanta is close to the bottom of the league in rebounding differential despite having Paul Millsap and Al Horford patrolling the middle, and it got even weaker on the glass over the break when it was announced that center Tiago Splitter would need season-ending hip surgery.


    1. The Warriors are rumored to be in the market for free agent C Anderson Varejao, who was traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers at the deadline and then waived by Portland.

    2. Hawks G Jeff Teague (wrist) played only 18 minutes on Saturday and is day-to-day.

    3. The teams split two meetings last season, with Atlanta earning a 124-116 home win behind 23 points and seven assists from Teague.

    PREDICTION: Warriors 125, Hawks 101


    Preview: L.A. Lakers At Milwaukee

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
    Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Milwaukee forward Jabari Parker is coming off the top game of his NBA career and seeks his third straight 20-point outing when the Bucks host the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday. Parker posted career highs of 28 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday’s double-overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks, and the 20-year old appears to be on the verge of blossoming.

    Parker was enjoying a solid rookie campaign last season before it ended after 25 games because of a torn ACL in his left knee, and he’s starting to find a comfort level. “I think he’s really finding his rhythm,” Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd told reporters. “He’s getting on the glass, he’s getting to the rim and he’s knocking down some shots.” The Lakers have lost five straight games after suffering a 126-115 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. Kobe Bryant is averaging 23.5 points in two games since the All-Star break but is just 2-of-15 from 3-point range.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

    ABOUT THE LAKERS (11-46): Rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell will be a starter for the rest of the season, coach Byron Scott said after the loss to the Bulls. Scott took Russell out of the lineup more than two months ago but he’s ready to commit to Russell for the remainder of a season in which Los Angeles has nothing to play for in terms of a playoff spot. “I feel like I’ve still got something to prove, and I don’t want anybody to take it the wrong way, but you feel like your best players are your starters,” Russell told reporters. “And I feel like I’m going to keep the confidence and say that I’m one of the best players, so I feel like I just want to keep proving that I deserve to start, deserve to be out there and play crunch-time minutes.”

    ABOUT THE BUCKS (23-33): Milwaukee has won three of its last four games and is beginning a stretch in which 11 of its next 14 games are at home. Parker helped fuel the double-overtime victory over the Hawks by playing 51 minutes as the Bucks used only eight players. Center Greg Monroe contributed 24 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the month, one night after having just four points in 30 minutes in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets.


    1. The Lakers have won the past two meetings after the Bucks won six of the previous seven.

    2. Los Angeles SG Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points against Chicago for his fourth 20-point outing in five games.

    3. Milwaukee SF Giannis Antetokounmpo has strung together three consecutive double-doubles and is averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds during the stretch.

    PREDICTION: Bucks 96, Lakers 87


    Preview: Boston At Minnesota

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
    Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    The Boston Celtics are eyeing a home-heavy portion of the schedule, but first must wrap up a three-game road trip at Minnesota on Monday. The Celtics have split the first two games of the trek, losing by 18 in Utah before winning by 20 in Denver on Sunday, riding 22 points and 12 assists from Isaiah Thomas to improve to 16-14 on the road.

    Following the visit to Minneapolis, Boston plays five straight games and seven of its next eight at home, where it has won eight straight. The Celtics have another streak on the line Monday, as they have won five consecutive contests that fell on the second half of a back-to-back. The Timberwolves offered little resistance in a 113-99 loss at Boston earlier this season but have claimed three meetings in a row at home. They are coming off a 103-95 loss to New York on Saturday, scoring 16 points in the first quarter, 13 in the third and trailing by as many as 28 points in the fourth.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), FSN North (Minnesota)

    ABOUT THE CELTICS (33-24): Sunday offered up another example of how valuable Evan Turner is to Boston, as he finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists off the bench. Turner had a team-high 13 points in the first half to help the Celtics build a 15-point lead and easily record his seventh double-digit scoring effort in eight games this month, during which he is also averaging nearly seven boards and six assists in roughly 28 minutes. The veteran had a season-high 10 assists in the previous meeting with Minnesota, while Thomas handed out 12 to help offset a season-low eight points.

    ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (17-39): Minnesota will be looking for a bit more from big man Gorgui Dieng, who had three points on 1-of-6 shooting against the Knicks and was in the middle as his team was outrebounded 51-31. Dieng, who entered with a string of five straight double-doubles, registered a minus-23 rating in 25 minutes as the Timberwolves gave up at least 100 points for the 13th time in their last 14 games. While Boston is nearing a long stretch at home, Minnesota will play nine of its next 12 contests away from the Target Center.


    1. Timberwolves SF Andrew Wiggins is averaging 23.9 points in February.

    2. Celtics C Jared Sullinger has grabbed exactly 11 rebounds in each of his last four games.

    3. Boston is 10-3 overall in the second half of back-to-backs.

    PREDICTION: Celtics 104, Timberwolves 100


    Preview: Phoenix At L.A. Clippers

    When: 10:30 PM ET, Monday, February 22, 2016
    Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

    The Los Angeles Clippers can be satisfied with earning a split against the top two teams in the conference in the first two games after the All-Star break, though a pair of wins would have been better. The Clippers will try to bounce back when they take a step down in competition by hosting the lowly Phoenix Suns on Monday.

    Los Angeles crushed the second-place San Antonio Spurs 105-86 on Thursday but had a late rally fall short in a 115-112 loss to the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors on Saturday. “We wanted to win the game so badly that we couldn’t win the game,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters after Saturday’s loss. “We were in the way of ourselves.” The Suns’ descent to the bottom of the Western Conference continued with their 11th straight loss on Sunday, though they were surprisingly competitive in the 118-111 final against the Spurs. Phoenix center Alex Len missed the first game after the All-Star break but looked plenty healthy while putting up 23 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes on Sunday.

    TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)

    ABOUT THE SUNS (14-42): Phoenix has only the Los Angeles Lakers keeping it off the floor in the Western Conference but is trying to make strides toward the future under interim coach Earl Watson. Len, 22, got the start in place of injured veteran Tyson Chandler (shoulder) on Sunday and looked strong alongside newly-acquired power forward Kris Humphries. Watson is using a wide rotation and gave 10 players at least 18 minutes of playing time on Sunday, led by forward P.J. Tucker’s 30 minutes.

    ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (36-19): Los Angeles got blitzed at the start of Saturday’s game and needed a game-closing 13-0 run with all the reserves in the game to make the final score respectable. “Any top team, you’ve got to come out with the right mindset, the right spirit,” Clippers center DeAndre Jordan told reporters. “You can’t make game plan mistakes. We gave up a lot of points on things we went over.” Jeff Green, who was acquired from Memphis in front of Thursday’s trade deadline, made his team debut on Saturday and managed five points on 2-of-7 shooting in 20 minutes off the bench.


    1. Jordan is averaging 18.8 rebounds in his last four games.

    2. PG Phil Pressey made his Suns debut on Sunday and delivered six points and five assists in 28 minutes off the bench.

    3. Phoenix snapped an eight-game losing streak in the series with a 118-104 home win over Los Angeles on Nov. 12.

    PREDICTION: Clippers 112, Suns 98


    Hot teams
    — Cleveland won its last five games (3-5HF with Lue).
    — Indiana won four of its last five games (3-7 last 10AU). Miami won seven of last ten games (4-7 last 11HF).
    — Toronto won seven of its last ten games (1-4 last 5AF).
    — Celtics won six of their last eight games (7-3 last 10AF).
    — Milwaukee won three of its last four games (5-1 last 6HF).
    — Warriors won nine of last ten games (0-4 vs spread in last four)
    — Clippers won seven of their last ten games (6-4 last 10HF).

    Cold teams
    — Detroit lost its last five games (4-7 last 11AU).
    — Knicks lost seven of their last eight games (5-9HU).
    — Minnesota lost seven of its last ten games (5-1 last 6HU).
    — Lakers lost last five games, but covered six of last seven.
    — Atlanta lost four of its last five games (1-1HU).
    — Phoenix lost its last eleven games (1-13 last 14AU).

    Series records
    — Cavaliers won seven of last nine games with Detroit.
    — Home side won nine of last ten Indiana-Miami games.
    — Knicks lost four of last six games with Toronto.
    — Celtics won three of last four games with Minnesota.
    — Home side won seven of last eight Laker-Milwaukee games.
    — Warriors won six of last seven games with Atlanta.
    — Clippers won eight of last nine games with Phoenix.

    — Six of last nine Cleveland games went over the total.
    — Eight of last ten Indiana games went over the total.
    — Under is 9-4 in last thirteen New York games.
    — Over is 5-1-1 in last seven Minnesota games.
    — Four of last five Laker games went over the total.
    — Six of last eight Atlanta games went over the total.
    — Under is 8-2-1 in last eleven Clipper games.

    — Detroit is 1-5 vs spread on road if it played night before. Cleveland won its last five games if it played night before (4-0-1 vs spread).
    — Pacers lost six of last seven games if they played night before.
    — Toronto is 5-3 vs spread on road if it played night before.
    — Lakers are 1-11 (7-5 vs spread) if they played night before.
    — Celtics covered nine of last 12 if they played night before.
    — Suns are 3-6 vs spread if they played the night before.


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Over – All teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 off a home loss, extremely well rested team – playing 3 or less games in 10 days
    101-53 since 1997. ( 65.6% | 42.7 units )
    8-4 this year. ( 66.7% | 3.6 units )

    Play Against – Underdogs vs the money line (LA LAKERS) after a loss by 10 points or more against opponent after a game where both teams scored 105 points or more
    203-53 over the last 5 seasons. ( 79.3% | 76.3 units )
    39-15 this year. ( 72.2% | 8.7 units )

    Play Over – All teams where the first half total is greater than 100 off a upset loss as a favorite, extremely well rested team – playing 3 or less games in 10 days
    78-38 since 1997. ( 67.2% | 36.2 units )
    6-4 this year. ( 60.0% | 1.6 units )


    Tony Chau

    Here are the upcoming system bet(s):

    Golden State {A} bet – This is a unofficial bet because of the road record filter.



    Minnesota Timberwolves + Boston Celtics – OVER 217

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