Commentary

Daily Notes for Thursday: Barea steps up for Mavs

Updated: December 10, 2008, 10:50 AM ET
By Neil Tardy | Special to ESPN.com

Matchups for Thursday, Dec. 11

Time Visitors Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff. Home Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff.
8:00 p.m. Boston Celtics 91.0 .415 +4.1
@
Washington Wizards 102.5 .477 -1.5
8:30 p.m. Charlotte Bobcats 93.3 .453 -2.5
@
Dallas Mavericks 98.9 .431 +2.8
10:30 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers 94.0 .463 +5.3
@
Utah Jazz 96.1 .452 +2.5

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.

Listen on ESPN Radio

You can listen to the following games on ESPN Radio or streamed on ESPNRadio.com:

10 p.m.: Blazers-Jazz

All times Eastern

Injury report

Out
Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards (knee)
Jarron Collins, C, Jazz (elbow)
Brendan Haywood, C, Wizards (wrist)
Josh Howard, SF, Mavericks (ankle)
Jerry Stackhouse, SG/SF, Mavericks (heel)
Martell Webster, SF, Trail Blazers (foot)

Day-to-day
Alexis Ajinca, C, Bobcats (eye)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (quad)
Gerald Wallace, SF, Bobcats (personal)

Start 'em, sit 'em

Christmas came early for owners who swooped up Paul Millsap a couple weeks back. It's ending early, too. Carlos Boozer should return to the Utah lineup either Thursday or Saturday. Of course, with Thursday's three-game slate -- and given his 17.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks over nine straight double-double performances -- you'll keep Millsap active. Even if Boozer goes against the Blazers, it's logical to assume he'll receive fewer minutes coming off an 11-game absence. As for Millsap's value going forward, his numbers as a sub (10.9 points, 6.3 boards, 1.3 blocks) still work in leagues of 12 or more teams. And with the rumors surrounding free-agents-to-be Mehmet Okur (a return to Detroit?) and Boozer (headed to his offseason home of Miami?), Millsap looks good for keeper leagues, too. … Jose Juan Barea is way undervalued. He's now officially the Mavs' starting shooting guard, yet he's only rostered in 2 percent of ESPN leagues. Barea is averaging 19.0 points over his past four games, including going for 21 points, five assists and a pair of 3s in the double-OT loss to the Spurs on Tuesday. He isn't doing much in 3s or steals, but it looks like Barea will give you a nice shooting percentage (currently 47.6) while maintaining 15-plus points and around five assists. Josh Howard's extended absence -- and the struggles of Devean George and Antoine Wright (and Gerald Green before them) -- means the minutes will be there. The Mavs will continue to go small frequently by playing Barea with Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.

Waiver-wire pickups

Erick Dampier might not play much against the smallish Bobcats, but with Charlotte opponents averaging a league-high 6.7 blocks, he should get some rejections. When Dallas visited Charlotte last month, Damp came through with six points, 11 boards and three blocks in only 19 minutes. … Gerald Wallace will miss his second straight game due to a death in the family. As Larry Brown can tell you, the choices are pretty slim without Crash. Jared Dudley replaced Wallace in the starting lineup at Miami on Monday, but he managed just one point and seven rebounds in 38 minutes. … An excellent choice if you're streaming players is Eddie House; the Wizards allow the second-most 3s. You could even hold House another day, because on Friday, Boston gets the Hornets, who surrender the eighth-most triples. … Beyond Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, there are no certainties with the Wizards. Youngsters Nick Young, Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee are not getting minutes. Veterans Juan Dixon (16 points and seven assists versus the Pistons on Tuesday) and Darius Songaila (15 points in that same game) have had their moments, but only the most maniacal owners would reach that deep with Washington hosting the Celtics, who allow the second-fewest points and lowest opponent's field-goal percentage.

Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.

Neil Tardy | email

Fantasy Basketball
Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com

ALSO SEE