Daily Notes for Thursday: Deron rolling in March
|Time||Visitors||Opp. PPG||Opp. FGP||RPG Diff.||Home||Opp. PPG||Opp. FGP||RPG Diff.|
|8 p.m.||San Antonio Spurs||91.3||.450||+0.8|| |
|8 p.m.||Boston Celtics||90.0||.417||+2.2|| |
|10:30 p.m.||Los Angeles Lakers||100.9||.443||+1.1|| |
All times are ET.
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.
Pau Gasol, PF/C, Lakers (ankle)
Of Thursday's three games, the Lakers-Jazz has the most fantasy potential in what figures to be a high-scoring affair. The Jazz are looking for their 20th straight home win, and Carlos Boozer could dominate against a Lakers team missing Pau Gasol. Deron Williams is enjoying his best month of the season with 20.0 points and 13.2 assists in March. By contrast, Andrei Kirilenko has regressed offensively. If he doesn't start shooting more, he's in danger of having his AK-47 nickname revoked; he has only one game with double-digit field-goal attempts since Feb. 2. Check on Mehmet Okur's health before starting him. For the Lakers, it's sometimes hard to shine in Kobe Bryant's shadow, but Lamar Odom continues to put up consistent numbers across the board, including 17.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in his past five games. Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar continue to undermine each other's value. The Celtics-Mavericks matchup figures to be dominated by defense, but if Ray Allen is limited, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will have to pick up more of the scoring load. Kendrick Perkins has cooled off considerably and Rajon Rondo's 2.8 assists his past five games are unacceptable for a point guard. For the Mavericks, ride with regulars Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard and Jason Kidd. Jason Terry seems more efficient coming off the bench, but other than points (15.0 his past five games) and his 84.6 free-throw percentage, there's not much to recommend in his fantasy game. San Antonio should be motivated to break its season-high four-game losing streak, so saddle up the Spurs' big three of Tony Parker (22.0 points his past five games), Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan (averaging a season-low 17.3 points on 43.6 percent shooting in March). The Bulls counter with a resurgent Luol Deng (18.4 points and 6.8 rebounds his past five games), Drew Gooden (18.6 points and 10.0 rebounds his past five), and Ben Gordon (21.2 points and 3.4 3-pointers his past five).
It's getting to be pretty slim pickings this time of year, but there are still a few free-agent gems (if not diamonds) in the rough. After a hot start, Larry Hughes has been dropped like a bad habit, and is now available in about half of ESPN leagues. Yes, his field-goal percentage has returned to form (39.8 percent in March), but he's still averaging 14.2 points, 4.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.1 3s this month, which is better than Kirk Hinrich (8.0 points, 6.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.9 3s in March), who is still owned in 99 percent of leagues. "Just say no" to the Bulls' duo of Joakim Noah and Andres Nocioni; both struggle to find consistent minutes and points in Chicago's crowded frontcourt. With Gasol out Thursday, Ronny Turiaf is worth a look at center. Turiaf has 12.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks his past two games. Vladimir Radmanovic is coming off his best game of the season, a 21-point, 10-rebound, four 3-pointer game in Tuesday's 102-100 win in Dallas. Kyle Korver has averaged 14.0 points in 24.0 minutes his past three games and could look to score more if Okur remains ill.
Tony Targan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com
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