- Tony Targan
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Matchups for Friday, Jan. 25
All times are ET. Statistics from 2007-08 regular season.
Key: Opp. PPG = Points per game allowed to opponents. Opp. FGP = Field goal percentage allowed to opponents. RPG Diff. = The difference between team's rebounds per game and its opponents' rebounds per game.
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets (ankle)
Ben Gordon, SG, Bulls (wrist)
Jameer Nelson, PG, Magic (foot)
Vladimir Radmanovic, SF, Lakers (ankle)
John Salmons, SG/SF, Kings (ankle)
Jerry Stackhouse, SG/SF, Mavericks (hamstring)
Mo Williams, PG, Bucks (finger)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Friday's marquee fantasy matchup pits the Kings against the Jazz; both teams score and allow 100-plus points per game. Expect more points and rebounds than usual from Mehmet Okur (three of his five 20-point games have come this month), and Andrei Kirilenko should bounce back from his scoreless game on Monday. The Kings are on a roll with Kevin Martin, Ron Artest and Mike Bibby back in the starting lineup, and Brad Miller has returned to his old multi-category self, averaging 13.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.2 blocks his past five games. ... Chicago may be the unpredicta-Bulls lately, but Andres Nocioni is one constant, averaging 21.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 3-pointers his past five games. Expect Nocioni to log heavy minutes for the injury-depleted Bulls against the Bobcats. Jason Terry could benefit from some extra time if Jerry Stackhouse's hamstring keeps him out on Friday. Terry has been up and down lately but remains the Mavericks' third leading scorer despite coming off the bench. ... Break up the Timberwolves! They've won two straight games for the first time all season, but temper your expectations against the Celtics, who will clamp down defensively after losing 114-112 to Toronto Wednesday night. ... After getting blown out by the Cavaliers on Wednesday, the Wizards will seek revenge against the Grizzlies, who allow 105 points per game. Look for Brendan Haywood to rack up the rebounds against Memphis.
With the Bulls' Ben Gordon and Luol Deng dinged up, Thabo Sefolosha is getting his shot, averaging 11.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.2 steals in 31.4 minutes his past five games. ... With Nene out indefinitely and Carmelo Anthony day-to-day, both Kenyon Martin and Linas Kleiza have value again in Denver. Martin returned from a three-game absence with back-to-back double-doubles, and Kleiza proved that his 41-point career high was no fluke by scoring 21 and 23 points in his past two games, respectively. ... If you need three-pointers, Kyle Korver is 7-for-16 from beyond the arc his past three games. Korver should launch plenty of 3s against the Kings, who allow 20 attempts per game. ... Francisco Garcia has been dropped in many leagues, but consider him for a high-scoring game against the Jazz if John Salmons remains out. ... Cuttino Mobley continues to fly under the radar despite averaging 14.0 points and 3.8 assists while shooting 47 percent from the field and 86 percent from the line in 35.8 minutes his past five games. ... Marko Jaric is averaging 15.3 points, 8.0 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 44.3 minutes his past three games, although he might not fare as well against Boston. Ryan Gomes' 19.2 average his past five games includes two games each against Golden State and Phoenix, so expect him to come back down to earth quickly. ... The Rajon Rondo roller coaster is back on the upswing after consecutive 14-point games and a favorable matchup coming against Minnesota. ... There's been an Andrea Bargnani sighting in Toronto: Is his 20-point, seven-rebound, seven-assist performance on Wednesday against the Celtics a sign of things to come or another tease in a long season of futility?
Tony Targan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com
1dMarc Stein and Ramona Shelburne