- Brian McKitish, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Tuesday, Dec. 9
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.
Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards (knee)
Corey Brewer, SG/SF, Timberwolves (knee)
Eddy Curry, C, Knicks (knee)
Brendan Haywood, C, Wizards (wrist)
Kirk Hinrich, PG/SG, Bulls (thumb)
Tracy McGrady, SG/SF, Rockets (knee)
Cuttino Mobley, SG, Knicks (heart)
Mickael Pietrus, SG, Magic (thumb)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (quad)
Al Horford, PF/C, Hakws (ankle)
Josh Howard, SF, Mavericks (ankle)
Mike Miller, SG/SF, Timberwolves (ankle)
Shaquille O'Neal, C, Suns (knee)
Nate Robinson, PG/SG, Knicks (groin)
Martell Webster, SF, Blazers (foot)
Antoine Wright, SG, Mavericks (groin)
Start 'em, sit 'em
With Carlos Boozer due to return at some point this week, Paul Millsap's run as a starter will be coming to an end. Millsap has been simply brilliant in Boozer's absence, averaging 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals and a block per game in eight starts. It likely will take Boozer some time to get back into game shape, though, so we should use Millsap while we can for another week or two. Randy Foye struggled to get into a rhythm early in the season but has turned it on of late, with 18.8 points, 5.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 3-pointers per game over his past five games. On a night like Tuesday, when you'll have to make a few decisions as to who to start and who to bench, you can feel confident rolling with Foye while he's hot. Jermaine O'Neal had a big game Sunday against the Blazers, with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks, but he'll have a tough time repeating those numbers against a stingy Cavaliers defense. With nine games on the docket, you can feel free to put O'Neal on your bench if you have better options. Luol Deng is having a rough season but is starting to come around, with consecutive 20-plus-point efforts in his past two games. Look for Deng to continue the hot streak against the fantasy-friendly Knicks. Over his past five games, Chris Duhon is averaging 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 3-pointers. He is a must-start in formats of all sizes at this point, and should have another big game Tuesday against a weak Chicago defense. Manu Ginobili is slowly but surely working himself back into game shape. You can feel safe using him now that his minutes are creeping back into respectable territory. Greg Oden has had a couple of nice defensive outings, averaging 9.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over his past five games. But he's not likely to do much against Dwight Howard and the Magic. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising in the least if Oden fouls out early in this one.
After starting the season slow, rookie Kevin Love has posted three double-doubles in the past week and is averaging 12.6 points and 10.4 rebounds in 27.2 minutes over his past five games. Love should continue to earn heavy minutes for the 4-15 Timberwolves as the season progresses, particularly once the team decides to fully turn to the youth movement. The Cavaliers made a big offseason move in acquiring Mo Williams, but the biggest difference this season has been the steady play of Delonte West. West has quietly turned in a nice season and is averaging a versatile 11.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his past five games. Owned in just 9.3 percent of ESPN.com leagues, Steve Blake is flying under the radar in most fantasy leagues. With averages of 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his past five games, Blake should be owned in most fantasy formats. The Mavericks have a tough matchup Tuesday, so you probably won't want to use him here, but Jose Juan Barea is averaging 14.0 points and 5.6 assists per game over his past five games. He's an intriguing option for those in need of points and assists in deeper formats. If you can deal with his inconsistency, Andray Blatche makes for an interesting gamble in deeper fantasy leagues. He has scored in double digits in four of his past five games, and is looking good under new head coach Ed Tapscott.
Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
13hEthan Sherwood Strauss