- Josh Whitling, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Sunday, November 23
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.
Start 'em, sit 'em
Jamal Crawford makes his Golden State debut Sunday, and his addition isn't good news for owners of Kelenna Azubuike or Anthony Morrow. Even if Azubuike does play after missing Friday's game with a sore knee, I don't have high hopes for either of them, especially Sunday against the defensively solid Pistons who allow just 95.8 points per game. Crawford will likely take some time adjusting to his new digs, so even though I don't see the change in scenery as a downgrade in his value, I'd be wary of what he'll do in his first appearance on Sunday. Jermaine O'Neal left Friday's game with a sore knee, and he's questionable for Sunday's game. Andrea Bargnani picked up the slack, scoring 29 points with 10 rebounds and five 3-pointers in the overtime loss to the Nets. Bargnani has had borderline value so far this season, but with O'Neal out of the lineup he becomes an easy start. Anthony Parker has scored in single digits in all but four November contests, and his percentages are way down from last season. He's typically good for 3s and steals, and the percentages should even out over time, although Boston's defense isn't the best to start against.
Both Trevor Ariza and Jordan Farmar are on the cusp of fantasy viability, and should have good outings against the Kings' defense that ranks last in the league in defensive efficiency. Minnesota's efficiency isn't much better, which should provide ample room for some of Detroit's peripheral players such as Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiell to outperform their averages. Maxiell earned nearly twice as many minutes as any other bench player in Thursday night's loss to the Celtics, and responded with 10 points, six rebounds, one steal and one block in 28 minutes. The fact he hasn't forged out more value this season surprises me, but it's still an early season and if he continues playing big minutes he'll have impact in the fantasy game. Leon Powe posted a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double Friday night, and has 25 boards in his past three contests. His numbers averaged out over 35 minutes equal more than 15 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, indicating he'd be a beast given the minutes. Boston is a much better rebounding team than Toronto, so even though he's only good for bench time he should mop up on the boards yet again. Kevin Love is averaging just 7.6 points per game in his past five contests, and it's clear that it'll take awhile until he figures out how to utilize his unique skill set so that it translates into success in the box scores. Unless you're playing in a keeper format, there are much better immediate options than Love, who will have an inconsistent rookie year and shouldn't be depended upon Sunday against the Pistons.
Josh Whitling is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
14hEthan Sherwood Strauss