Matchups for Saturday, December 6th
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.
Kelenna Azubuike, SG/SF, Warriors (foot)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (quadriceps)
Elton Brand, PF, 76ers (hamstring)
Ricky Davis, SG/SF, Clippers (knee)
Josh Howard, SF, Mavericks (ankle)
Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Jazz (ankle)
John Salmons, SG/SF, Kings (groin)
Robert Swift, C, Thunder (back)
Antoine Wright, SG, Mavericks (groin)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Few players have been hotter recently than Jeff Green, who is averaging 20.6 points and 2.6 3-pointers on 61.7 percent shooting his past three games. His 3-point and free throw attempts have increased to 4.6 and 5.3 per game, respectively, two areas the Heat aren't strong against, so expect the surge to continue. Peja Stojakovic has increased his scoring in three consecutive games, setting season highs in points the past two games in the process, so make sure he's active if you had him benched due to his early season struggles. The Mavericks are the only team holding opponents to less than 30 percent shooting from beyond the arc (29 percent allowed), so don't be surprised if Hawks sharpshooters Marvin Williams (46.5 percent) and Mike Bibby (45.4 percent) have an off night, especially as they cede shot attempts to the recently-returned Josh Smith. Francisco Garcia received his first start of the season Tuesday, due to John Salmons' groin injury, and had his typical all-around performance, with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal in 31 minutes. He did leave the game early to rest his calf, but it may have been precautionary more than anything. If Salmons' groin sidelines him again, expect Garcia to have an even better game versus the Nuggets, who are sixth in possessions per game.
Chris Wilcox had a recent four-game stretch in which he averaged 16.7 points and seven boards, play that earned him a starting job. Unfortunately, he has since been limited to a combined 39 minutes in those two starts thanks to 10 fouls. The foul problem won't go away entirely, but he's a decent play against a Heat team that doesn't draw many fouls, particularly in their frontcourt. The Sixers probably won't push Elton Brand to return Saturday -- he's expected to miss Friday's game with a strained hamstring -- and Marreese Speights could pick up much of the slack, as long as he can stay on the court. He had four quick fouls in five minutes Wednesday versus the Lakers, but scored in double-digits off the bench in three of the preceding four games. Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young should also see short-term boosts in scoring, especially considering the Nets are dead last in defensive efficiency. Those in deep leagues can take a gamble on Jose Juan Barea, who has put up 15 and 18 points his past two games as he's taken advantage of the injuries to Josh Howard and Antoine Wright. Barea has also averaged six assists his past four games, and may have done enough to stay in the shooting guard mix even when Wright returns. Don Nelson's response to Kelenna Azubuike's foot injury was to shorten the rotation, as just seven Warriors saw double-figure minutes versus the Heat on Monday even though the game went into overtime. That led to Brandan Wright logging 31 minutes, and he responded with 15 points and two blocks. Azubuike has yet to complete a practice since his injury, so Wright probably has another game or two of extended minutes, making him a useful add if you need blocks. Matt Bonner has won the starting job over Fabricio Oberto on at least a temporary basis, and has a particularly intriguing matchup versus the Warriors. Bonner has quietly nailed 17 3s in his past 11 games and should be good for double-digit points and a handful of treys as he benefits from the Warriors' porous defense (28th in defensive efficiency) and up-tempo scheme (second in possessions).
Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.