Commentary

Daily Notes for Friday: Which Celtic will torch Knicks?

Updated: February 5, 2009, 10:10 AM ET
By Seth Landman | Special to ESPN.com

Matchups for Friday, Feb. 6

Time Visitors Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff. Home Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff.
7:00 p.m. Atlanta Hawks 96.7 .450 -1.9
@
Charlotte Bobcats 94.2 .454 -1.0
7:00 p.m. Orlando Magic 94.3 .431 +1.0
@
Indiana Pacers 107.1 .461 -0.4
7:30 p.m. Boston Celtics 91.5 .424 +5.5
@
New York Knicks 106.5 .475 -3.9
8:00 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers 101.9 .459 -3.6
@
Memphis Grizzlies 99.8 .479 -2.3
8:00 p.m. Toronto Raptors 100.3 .458 -2.8
@
New Orleans Hornets 93.3 .458 -0.5
8:00 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers 94.8 .466 +5.0
@
Oklahoma City Thunder 103.2 .471 +2.3
8:00 p.m. Denver Nuggets 100.5 .443 +0.8
@
Washington Wizards 101.6 .478 -1.8
10:00 p.m. Utah Jazz 99.6 .460 +1.1
@
Sacramento Kings 108.8 .481 -4.8
10:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors 111.2 .464 -5.3
@
Phoenix Suns 103.3 .453 +1.2

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
D.J. Augustin, PG, Bobcats (abdominal strain)
Andray Blatche, PF/C, Wizards (knee)
Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Jazz (ankle)
Jameer Nelson, PG, Magic (labrum)
Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, Bobcats (collapsed lung)

Day-to-day
Chauncey Billups, PG, Nuggets (ankle)
Steve Blake, PG, Trail Blazers (shoulder)
Caron Butler, SF/SG, Wizards (flu)
Chris Duhon, PG, Knicks (flu)
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Warriors (ankle)
Kevin Garnett, PF, Celtics (flu)
Al Harrington, SF/PF, Knicks (knee)
Al Horford, PF/C, Hawks (knee)
Joe Johnson, SG, Hawks (viral infection)
Kyle Lowry, PG/SG, Grizzlies (ankle)
Corey Maggette, SG/SF, Warriors (back)
Darko Milicic, PF/C, Grizzlies (hand)
Brad Miller, C, Kings (abdominal strain)
Chris Paul, PG, Hornets (groin)
Deron Williams, PG, Jazz (quadriceps)

Start 'em, sit 'em

I don't know exactly what to make of it, but something is happening in Madison Square Garden these days. It's not an easy homestand for the Knicks, having to face the Lakers, Cavaliers and Celtics, and New York has played admirably, keeping the games within shouting distance, but they are giving up some major numbers to star players. Kobe had 61. LeBron had 52 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Even Pau Gasol managed 31 points, 14 boards and 5 dimes. With Kevin Garnett possibly out again with the flu, I'd expect big nights out of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, but look for the Knicks to see if they can keep the rest of the C's roster from beating them. For now, you still need to start all relevant Celtics, but if this is a pattern, it's something to watch out for since the Cavs' other fantasy guys, Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao all had off nights. … With both Deron Williams and C.J. Miles a bit banged up at the moment, the Jazz are going to have to rely on Ronnie Brewer to play some heavy minutes in the backcourt. He played 43 against the Bobcats on Monday and finished with 21 points, five rebounds and three assists. He also got to the line 14 times, which means he's being a lot more aggressive when asked to carry the load. That's a good sign, because against the Kings on Friday, he's not going to face much resistance, and should have a huge night again. … Without Chris Paul in the lineup, Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose each had a field day for the Bulls against the Hornets, and the Raptors' Anthony Parker, who was terrific against the Lakers on Wednesday, should have a nice night against the beat-up Hornets on Friday night.

Waiver-wire pickups

The Bobcats' Raja Bell makes an excellent pickup right now, and fortunately for you he's still available in almost 50 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues. Joe Johnson is suffering from a viral infection for the Hawks, and even if Johnson plays it should significantly hinder the Hawks' backcourt defense. This means plenty of good looks for Bell, and probably a good night for Raymond Felton as well. … We didn't learn much about Orlando's post-Jameer Nelson rotation Wednesday since they pretty much put the Clippers away in the first half. Both Anthony Johnson and Courtney Lee had fantastic games, but considering they were a combined 18-for-21 from the floor, I don't think we're likely to see a repeat of their performances, even against a lax Pacers defense. For now, though, if they're available, they are each worth a prospective pickup until we know exactly how the minutes are going to shake out against real competition. … Speaking of the Clippers, their terrible defense will benefit the Grizzlies on Friday night, and those Grizzlies will be playing at home again, where they beat the Rockets on Wednesday. Looking at the numbers Orlando's backcourt was able to pile up against the Clips, I'd be definitely picking up Mike Conley, who is owned in only 6 percent of leagues right now. He's the starter, folks. He's averaging 11.6 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 35 minutes per game in his past five games, and he should be owned in just about every possible format right now.

Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.

Seth Landman

Fantasy Basketball
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.

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