- Guy Lake
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Matchups for Friday, Oct. 31
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.
Watch on ESPN360.com
If you want to check out your players in action from your computer, you can watch the following games live on ESPN360.com:
• 8 p.m.: Bulls at Celtics
• 10:30 p.m.: Spurs at Blazers
All times Eastern.
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets (suspension)
Marcus Camby, C, Clippers (heel)
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Warriors (suspension, ankle)
Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, Kings (calf)
Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs (ankle)
Larry Hughes, SG, Bulls (shoulder)
Brad Miller, C, Kings (suspension)
Fabricio Oberto, C, Spurs (irregular heartbeat)
Greg Oden, C, Trail Blazers (foot)
Daequan Cook, SG, Heat (shoulder)
Baron Davis, PG, Clippers (finger)
Ben Gordon, SG, Bulls (toe)
Corey Maggette, SG/SF, Warriors (hamstring)
Jamario Moon, SF/PF, Raptors (Achilles tendon)
Tim Thomas, SF/PF, Clippers (groin)
Tyrus Thomas, SF/PF, Bulls (ankle)
C.J. Watson, PG, Warriors (elbow)
Thaddeus Young, SF, 76ers (back)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Trick or treat? If you are an offense knocking on the Knicks' door, it's going to be treat every time. In moving from Phoenix to New York, Mike D'Antoni exchanged the matador for the turnstile defense. Either metaphor works, and the opposition is going to light it up regularly. Start Louis Williams. If rookie Mario Chalmers can get 17 points against New York's finest, Williams is a good bet to get his (as is Thaddeus Young). Unlike the Knicks, the Sixers are a good defensive team. Chris Duhon didn't distinguish himself against Miami and is even less likely to do so against Philadelphia. Sit him. The Warriors are not great defending the deep ball, so get Anthony Parker off your bench and enjoy the 3-pointers. If you are looking for blocks, Jamario Moon and Jermaine O'Neal should be good plays. The Warriors were the 11th most blocked team in the league last season (5.0 per game) and were swatted six times Wednesday. They are only running seven players out there, and in the fourth quarter, those tired legs will translate into blocks for the Raptors. If you had any questions about John Salmons' role in the Kings' offense, they should have been answered in Wednesday's game. He is the No. 2 option after Kevin Martin and should be started at every opportunity. If I have to choose between Tyrus Thomas and Drew Gooden, I am starting Thomas and sitting Gooden for Friday's matchup with the Celtics. Thomas will at least get his defensive stats, while both players are likely to struggle offensively against the league's best defense. Many of us wondered if Mickael Pietrus would get looks in the Orlando offense. He did in his first start, scoring 20. The Grizzlies surrendered the eighth most 3-pointers in the league last season. The shooters for the Magic should be in for a good night. Start J.R. Smith against the Clippers. The Clips were bombed from deep by the Lakers (10-of-19), and Smith will see plenty of shots with Carmelo Anthony serving the final game of his suspension. Rudy Fernandez should be started until someone shows he can be slowed down. He had a fine line (15 points, 3 3-pointers, and 4 assists) against a good Lakers defense and could repeat against the Spurs.
Grab Wilson Chandler while you still can. He was 5.5 percent owned as of this writing, which means this is your best chance of the season to get him. He went for 17 points and 9 rebounds in just 24 minutes on Wednesday. Don Nelson ran with a seven-man rotation Wednesday, which should mean 20-plus minutes for Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf. Grab 'Buke for points and 3-pointers and Turiaf for blocks and boards. Azubuike in particular should have solid value through the season. Spencer Hawes (12 points, 14 rebounds, 6 blocks) is a must-add after Wednesday night's game. Brad Miller is serving a five-game suspension, and so far, Hawes is taking advantage of his audition for more minutes. After he put up 11 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks against the stalwart Rockets, it's going to be tough not to pick up Darrell Arthur. After all, he has only Darko Milicic in front of him. It looks like Mario Chalmers has won the starting-point-guard gig in Miami. If you are in need of a point guard, he should be serviceable. I liked Tony Allen coming into this season and like him even more now. He has inherited James Posey's sixth-man minutes and will provide more offense. I don't see him struggling to score against the likes of Kirk Hinrich. Anthony Carter is hardly a sexy name, but he can help you in one hard-to-fill category: steals. He pilfered three balls from the Jazz on Wednesday and averaged 1.5 per game last season. With Greg Oden out for two weeks at the minimum, it is time to look Joel Przybilla's way. The Vanilla Gorilla won't do much more than rebound and block the occasional shot, but at a thin position, this can be useful.
Guy Lake is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Guy Lake looks ahead to Friday's games, and there are some less-than-ghoulish defensive matchups on Halloween.