Commentary

Daily Notes for Friday: Just get healthy guys in

Updated: January 2, 2009, 12:00 AM ET
By Neil Tardy | Special to ESPN.com

Matchups for Friday, Jan. 2

Time Visitors Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff. Home Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff.
7 p.m. Houston Rockets 93.9 .443 +1.8
@
Toronto Raptors 100.5 .458 -4.4
7 p.m. Miami Heat 95.9 .440 -2.0
@
Orlando Magic 93.6 .425 -1.5
7:30 p.m. Washington Wizards 101.3 .474 -2.2
@
Boston Celtics 90.8 .419 +5.5
7:30 p.m. Indiana Pacers 104.6 .456 +1.0
@
New York Knicks 107.9 .484 -4.7
7:30 p.m. Atlanta Hawks 94.8 .443 +0.5
@
New Jersey Nets 102.3 .465 +0.1
7:30 p.m. Chicago Bulls 102.9 .456 -1.6
@
Cleveland Cavaliers 89.6 .423 +4.3
8 p.m. San Antonio Spurs 93.8 .455 -0.4
@
Memphis Grizzlies 100.2 .475 -2.3
8 p.m. Golden State Warriors 111.2 .472 -5.4
@
Minnesota Timberwolves 102.8 .473 -0.3
8 p.m. Sacramento Kings 105.3 .475 -3.2
@
Detroit Pistons 94.1 .447 -1.5
8 p.m. Denver Nuggets 99.5 .436 -0.5
@
Oklahoma City Thunder 102.2 .475 -0.4
8:30 p.m. Charlotte Bobcats 93.5 .447 -0.7
@
Milwaukee Bucks 96.6 .447 +3.3
8:30 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers 96.2 .453 +2.9
@
Dallas Mavericks 97.0 .437 +2.7
9 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers 99.9 .447 -3.0
@
Phoenix Suns 102.0 .452 +1.0
10 p.m. New Orleans Hornets 91.4 .450 +0.8
@
Portland Trail Blazers 95.0 .460 +4.9
10:30 p.m. Utah Jazz 97.3 .449 +1.6
@
Los Angeles Lakers 97.6 .440 +3.6

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)
Shane Battier, SF, Rockets (foot)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (knee)
Elton Brand, PF, 76ers (shoulder)
Eddy Curry, C, Knicks (knee)
Ricky Davis, SG/SF, Clippers (knee)
Luol Deng, SF, Bulls (ankle)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Warriors (ankle)
Jordan Farmar, PG, Lakers (knee)
Richard Hamilton, SG, Pistons (groin)
Kirk Hinrich, PG/SG, Bulls (thumb)
Darko Milicic, PF/C, Grizzlies (knuckle)
Paul Millsap, PF, Jazz (knee)
Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Magic (wrist)
Zach Randolph, PF/C, Clippers (knee)
Jerry Stackhouse, SG/SF, Mavericks (foot)
Wally Szczerbiak, SG/SF, Cavaliers (knee)

Day-to-day
Caron Butler, SF, Wizards (ankle)
Nick Collison, PF/C, Thunder (thumb)
Drew Gooden, PF/C, Bulls (ankle)
Spencer Hawes, PF/C, Kings (abdomen)
Antonio McDyess, PF, Pistons (ribs)
Tracy McGrady, SG/SF, Rockets (knee)
Mike Miller, SG/SF, Timberwolves (ankle)
Steve Nash, PG, Suns (back)
Jermaine O'Neal, PF/C, Raptors (knee)
Brandon Roy, SG, Trail Blazers (hamstring)
Joe Smith, PF, Thunder (thigh)
Rasheed Wallace, PF/C, Pistons (foot)

Start 'em, sit 'em

It's rare when the NBA has all 30 of its teams playing on the same night. What the full slate of 15 games does is save owners in daily lineup leagues some aggravation. For instance, why fret over Drew Gooden, who's supposed to return either Friday or Saturday, when you likely have another good, and healthier, option? The same goes for Tracy McGrady, who for the foreseeable future will rest one night in back-to-back situations (the Rockets visit Atlanta on Saturday). And, sadly, this also applies to one of my fantasy faves, Brandon Roy, who told The Oregonian that, although his injured hamstring is improving, he'll probably sit out again Friday. … One player who looks like a go is Steve Nash. He told The Arizona Republic that he expects to play Friday. … With the New Year's holiday, there frankly weren't a lot of updates Thursday, so keep checking for late word. In general, though, this is a good night to play it safe with your lineup.

Waiver-wire pickups

With all of your healthy front-line players available, there isn't a great need to dig for sleepers, but keep Russell Westbrook in mind. One of the most-added players in ESPN.com leagues this week, Westbrook goes against the Nuggets, and Denver opponents get the 10th-most steals, 11th-most assists and fifth-most 3-pointers. The rookie is making strides in his shooting (46.2 percent in December), and he has four 3s in his past two games. … The Raptors are third-worst in rebound differential, so 26-percent-owned Luis Scola is a good bet for double-digit boards in Toronto. … And with Roy likely sidelined, 17-percent-owned Steve Blake should be in line for another productive night against a Hornets team that yields nearly seven 3s per game.

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