Matchups for Saturday, Nov. 1
All times are ET. Statistics are from 2007-08 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.
Chucky Atkins, PG, Nuggets (knee)
Marcus Camby, PF/C, Clippers (heel)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, Kings (calf)
Matt Harpring, SF, Jazz (ankle)
Larry Hughes, SG, Bulls (shoulder)
Brad Miller, C, Kings (suspension)
Greg Oden, C, Trail Blazers (ankle)
Sebastian Telfair, PG, Timberwolves (suspension)
Deron Williams, PG, Jazz (ankle)
Start 'em, sit 'em
If you're protecting your field goal percentage, you might want to sit Troy Murphy, who faces off against Kevin Garnett and the stifling Celtics defense Saturday. Murphy shot 29.6 percent in three games versus the Celtics last season. Rajon Rondo held Mo Williams to 4-of-10 shooting and four turnovers against two assists Wednesday, so don't be surprised if T.J. Ford struggles playing against Rondo. Yi Jianlian is a high-risk, high-upside play versus the Warriors. The Warriors love to run, which suits Jianlian's offensive talents, but he had four fouls in 31 minutes against the Wizards, and averaged 2.3 in 25 minutes per game last season. More possessions mean more opportunities to foul, and Al Harrington does present matchup problems. Peja Stojakovic (and Tyson Chandler, for that matter) is much closer to out than day-to-day, so expect James Posey to pick up the slack and get over the 30-minute mark. He's hit three 3s in each game this season, so if nothing else, he's a pretty good one-trick pony. Only three teams allowed a better 3-point percentage than the Bucks last season, so look for success beyond the arc from Anthony Parker, Jason Kapono and the rest of the Raptors roster. Carmelo Anthony will make his season debut Saturday and will assuredly take a healthy portion of J.R. Smith's shots and points, so you might want to bench the latter until he proves he can carve out consistent minutes off the bench. As a starter last season, Al Thornton averaged 15.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in 35-plus minutes; you may have better options with 14 games scheduled for Saturday. He was limited to 32 minutes versus the Lakers thanks to five fouls, and the risk of foul trouble against Carlos Boozer makes him a riskier play than normal.
Just as notable as Udonis Haslem's 23 points and 10 rebounds against the Knicks on Wednesday were the 39 minutes played despite five fouls. The Heat just don't have any big men to turn to, so Haslem may set a career high in minutes; give him a go against the Bobcats. Spencer Hawes gets a tough test in Dwight Howard, but 14 rebounds and six blocks in his first game speaks volumes. The Kings and Magic were eighth and ninth, respectively, in possessions per game last season, so there should be ample opportunities to grab some boards and swat some shots with Brad Miller still suspended. Fouls will be a problem for Darrell Arthur (three in 27 minutes against the Rockets), but at the same time, it's not like Darko Milicic (averaging two fouls in 17 minutes per game for his career) or Hakim Warrick (2.2 fouls in 20 minutes) don't have the same problem, and Arthur is the best rebounder of the group. Another good game against the Bulls and it's time to pick him up and see how it shakes out. The injury to Greg Oden is actually a boon to Travis Outlaw, who will see more time freed up at power forward as LaMarcus Aldridge and Channing Frye play more center. A big game could be in store against the Suns, as Outlaw will benefit from the increased pace.
Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.