Commentary

Daily Notes for Wednesday: Play J-Rich with confidence

Updated: February 10, 2009, 11:22 AM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

Matchups for Wednesday, Feb. 11

Time Visitors Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff. Home Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff.
7:00 p.m. Phoenix Suns 103.2 .452 +1.1
@
Cleveland Cavaliers 90.9 .426 +3.2
7:00 p.m. Denver Nuggets 100.8 .443 +0.4
@
Orlando Magic 94.3 .430 +1.3
7:00 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies 99.8 .477 -2.1
@
Philadelphia 76ers 95.6 .451 +3.2
7:00 p.m. San Antonio Spurs 94.6 .458 -0.3
@
Toronto Raptors 99.9 .457 -2.9
7:00 p.m. Washington Wizards 102.4 .480 -1.7
@
Charlotte Bobcats 94.4 .455 -0.9
7:30 p.m. Atlanta Hawks 97.2 .452 -2.0
@
Detroit Pistons 93.9 .449 -0.5
8:00 p.m. Boston Celtics 92.3 .426 +5.4
@
New Orleans Hornets 93.4 .458 -0.7
8:00 p.m. Indiana Pacers 107.1 .460 -0.8
@
Milwaukee Bucks 98.7 .456 +1.4
8:30 p.m. Sacramento Kings 109.0 .483 -4.8
@
Houston Rockets 95.2 .451 +2.5
9:00 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers 100.1 .447 +3.0
@
Utah Jazz 99.8 .459 +1.6
10:00 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder 103.2 .472 +2.5
@
Portland Trail Blazers 95.2 .468 +4.9
10:30 p.m. New York Knicks 106.6 .477 -4.2
@
Los Angeles Clippers 101.8 .459 -3.3

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
Raja Bell, SG, Bobcats (groin)
Andray Blatche, PF/C, Wizards (knee)
Mardy Collins, PG, Clippers (calf)
Andrei Kirilenko, SF, Jazz (ankle)
Brad Miller, C, Kings (abdominal)
Sasha Pavlovic, SG, Cavaliers (ankle)
Luke Ridnour, PG, Bucks (thumb)
Delonte West, PG/SG, Cavaliers (wrist)

Day-to-day
Mike Bibby, PG, Hawks (foot)
Steve Blake, PG, Blazers (shoulder)
Chris Bosh, PF/C, Raptors (knee)
Tyson Chandler, C, Hornets (ankle)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Rudy Gay, SF/PF, Grizzlies (hip)
Kyle Lowry, PG, Grizzlies (ankle)
Chris Paul, PG, Hornets (groin)
Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, Bobcats (ribs)

Start 'em, sit 'em

Andrew Bynum's injury has drastically changed the fantasy landscape in Los Angeles, as both Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom have been spectacular in his absence. Since the injury, Gasol is putting up huge numbers with 26.0 points, 13.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks, while Lamar Odom has finally busted out with 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.5 blocks. Expect Gasol and Odom to continue to put up monstrous numbers because the Lakers will lean heavily on them for the remainder of the season. … Jason Richardson may have a tough matchup against LeBron James and the Cavs, but he is playing at a high level as of late, with 23.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.5 3-pointers in four games this month. Start him with confidence, even against one of the league's best defenses. … Mo Williams had already stepped up his game with Delonte West out, but he'll be leaned on even more now that Sasha Pavlovic is on the shelf. Look for Williams and Daniel Gibson to help compensate in the Cavs backcourt. … Zach Randolph has been an absolute beast since returning to the lineup for the Clippers, and he'll have a good time against his former teammates when the Clippers meet up with the Knicks on Wednesday night. Look for Randolph to perform above his averages of 20 points and 10 rebounds. … Randolph isn't the only Clipper who should have a big game against the defensively challenged Knicks. Look for Eric Gordon and Al Thornton to get in on the action, as well. … Andrea Bargnani and Jermaine O'Neal have played well in the absence of Chris Bosh, but the Raptors have a tough game coming up against the Spurs on Wednesday night. Bargnani should be able to get his numbers, but O'Neal might struggle with Tim Duncan down low. … Hedo Turkoglu is going to thrive in the assists category with Jameer Nelson out, but Rashard Lewis has been suffering with just 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 0.8 blocks per game in his past five. He's still knocking them down from long distance, but you should feel free to go with a better option if you aren't desperate for his 3-pointers. … Normally you would never bench Al Horford, but he has struggled since returning from a knee injury, with just 5.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 26.3 minutes since returning. He probably won't be right until after the All-Star break. Marvin Williams, on the other hand, has averaged 18.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in his past five. … Ronnie Brewer is playing well with Andrei Kirilenko out and is averaging 15 points, 6 rebounds and a steal in four games this month. Start him while he's hot.

Waiver-wire pickups

Raja Bell's injury has opened the door for D.J. Augustin to return to the starting lineup for the Bobcats, and Augustin just might keep the job long term if he continues to play this well. Augustin showed his potential in a short stint in the starting lineup earlier this season and is doing it again with 22.0 points, 4.5 assists, 2.5 3-pointers and a steal in his past two games. He's too talented to keep off the court (even after the Bobcats heal), so look to grab him as a long-term investment for the second half. … Mike Conley doesn't possess the upside that Augustin does, but he does have more job security. Since the arrival of new head coach Lionel Hollins, Conley has seen his minutes skyrocket and has enjoyed a corresponding bump in production. Averaging 14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.3 steals and a 3-pointer in four games this month, Conley is a fine option for anyone looking for some point guard help in the second half. … There aren't too many quality big men sitting around on the waiver wire these days, but Nick Collison could fit the bill if you aren't looking for blocks. Collison has averaged a solid double-double with 13.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in his past five games. … Ramon Sessions shouldn't be available in any leagues at this point, but he's still hanging around in some leagues, and he gets a huge boost in value with Luke Ridnour on the shelf. Sessions is averaging 14.9 points, 6.3 assists and 1.9 steals in 9 starts for the Bucks this season, but he will be considerably better without Ridnour eating into his production. … Those in deeper formats will want to consider Jameer Nelson's replacement in Orlando, Anthony Johnson. Johnson is not going to light up the fantasy scoreboard, but he can be a solid option at point guard if you are in a bind. … Look for Daniel Gibson to contribute more now that Sasha Pavlovic has joined Delonte West in street clothes. Gibson is mostly a two-category specialist, but he can provide points and 3-pointers in bulk if given the opportunity. … The Wizards are close to employing an all-out youth movement, and both Nick Young and Javaris Crittenton should be watched closely in deeper fantasy formats.

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.

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