Commentary

Daily Notes for Tuesday: Gasol a buy with Darko out

Updated: December 29, 2008, 4:45 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

Matchups for Tuesday, Dec. 30

Time Visitors Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff. Home Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff.
7:00 p.m. Atlanta Hawks 94.7 .443 -0.3
@
Indiana Pacers 104.4 .455 +1.0
7:00 p.m. New York Knicks 108.3 .483 -4.6
@
Charlotte Bobcats 93.5 .448 -0.8
7:30 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers 89.2 .422 +4.8
@
Miami Heat 96.1 .439 -2.3
8:00 p.m. Washington Wizards 101.9 .472 -2.4
@
New Orleans Hornets 91.2 .448 +1.1
8:00 p.m. Phoenix Suns 102.5 .452 +0.4
@
Memphis Grizzlies 99.9 .475 -1.8
8:30 p.m. Minnesota Timberwolves 102.8 .472 -0.5
@
Dallas Mavericks 97.6 .436 +2.3
8:30 p.m. Milwaukee Bucks 96.9 .447 +3.3
@
San Antonio Spurs 93.6 .453 +0.1
10:00 p.m. Boston Celtics 91.7 .422 +5.6
@
Portland Trail Blazers 95.3 .462 +4.5
10:00 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers 100.3 .449 -2.8
@
Sacramento Kings 105.7 .478 -2.8


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.

Injury report

Out
Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards (knee)
Corey Brewer, SF, Timberwolves (knee)
Eddy Curry, C, Knicks (knee)
Ricky Davis, SG/SF, Clippers (knee)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Brendan Haywood, C, Wizards (wrist)
Chris Kaman, C, Clippers (foot)
Kevin Martin, SG, Kings (ankle)
Darko Milicic, C, Grizzlies (hand)
Wally Szczerbiak, SG/SF, Cavaliers (knee)
Martell Webster, SF, Blazers (foot)

Day-to-day
Charlie Bell, PG/SF, Bucks (knee)
Raja Bell, SG, Bobcats (ankle)
Caron Butler, SF, Wizards (ankle)
T.J. Ford, PG, Pacers (back)
Mike Miller, SG/SF, Timberwolves (ankle)
Kendrick Perkins, C, Celtics (shoulder)
Zach Randolph, PF, Clippers (knee)
Quentin Richardson, SG/SF, Knicks (ankle)
Peja Stojakovic, SF, Hornets (back)

Start 'em, sit 'em

Emeka Okafor has been simply brilliant since Boris Diaw joined the Bobcats, averaging 20.7 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game over his past five. He should match or exceed those numbers against the struggling Knicks defense. Diaw himself should also find plenty of room to operate and is a must start, particularly against New York. ... At 25-4, the Cavaliers are giving the Celtics everything they can handle in the East, thanks mostly to a stifling defense that is only allowing 89.2 points per game. With that said, we can bench everyone in Miami other than Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion when the Cavs visit on Tuesday. ... If you own Marvin Williams you likely do so for his point-scoring ability and free throw shooting. You'll want to get him into your lineup when he goes up against the fast-paced Pacers on Tuesday. Williams has yet to prove that he can contribute in multiple fantasy categories, but he should be able to light up the scoreboard against the Pacers. ... The Bucks should have a tough time in San Antonio, which doesn't bode well for Richard Jefferson. Jefferson has been struggling, averaging just 13.8 points, 1.1 3-pointers and one steal per game over his past five, and doesn't figure to get back on track against a stout Spurs defense.

Waiver-wire pickups

With Darko Milicic out of action for four to six weeks, Marc Gasol should be able to get back on track in Memphis. Gasol started off strong but has faltered as of late, with Darko eating into his minutes. With Milicic out Saturday, Gasol played 42 minutes and put up 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. He's a strong pickup candidate now that he'll have ample minutes in the Grizzlies' frontcourt. ... Neither James Posey nor Rasual Butler have been able to do much in Peja Stojakovic's absence, but both are serviceable in a pinch if you're in need of steals and 3-pointers. Butler has averaged 9.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his past five games, while Posey has averaged a similar 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers during the same span. ... With Kevin Martin out, Bobby Jackson has emerged as an offensive weapon for the struggling Sacramento Kings. Jackson is getting up there in age, but he can still score and hit a few 3-pointers. He's had three double-digit scoring games over the past week and has hit 1.6 3-pointers in his past five games. ... With a 19-point, 15-rebound, 3-steal, 1-block performance on Saturday, Andray Blatche proved why many are enamored with his upside. He'll be inconsistent but is worth a gamble because of his potential. ... Mike James has done a fine job filling in as the starting point guard in Washington. He is now averaging 16.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 2.6 3-pointers as a starter and should be added by anyone in need of points, steals and 3-pointers. ... Despite the fact Ramon Sessions no longer poses a threat to his playing time, Luke Ridnour is still not owned in the majority of fantasy leagues. He is averaging 11.8 points, 6.2 assists and 2.6 steals over his past five games and should be owned in most fantasy formats at this point. Check your wire to see if he's still available and scoop him up for assists and steals.

Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.

Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com and is a two-time Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year, as named by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.