- Neil Tardy, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Thursday, Feb. 12
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 a team's rebounds per game and its opponents' rebounds per game.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Trail Blazers (hip)
Tony Allen, SG, Celtics (thumb)
Steve Blake, PG, Trail Blazers (shoulder)
Jerry Stackhouse, SG/SF, Mavericks (heel)
Dorell Wright, SF, Heat (knee)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Expect LaMarcus Aldridge to play and Steve Blake to sit. I base this on Blazers coach Nate McMillan's assessment of his two injured players in Tuesday's Oregonian. With the All-Star break ahead, it just makes too much sense for Portland to give Blake's separated right shoulder another week to heal. As for Aldridge, the team seems to think he's fine, even though McMillan termed him questionable for Wednesday's game with Oklahoma City. Derrick Rose might have already hit -- and smashed through -- the rookie wall. After averaging 15.3 points on 44.6 percent shooting in January, Rose has topped 20 points and 45 percent from the field in four of his past five games.
Despite playing just 20 minutes a night, Ronny Turiaf is third in the league with 2.2 blocks per game. So with Andris Biedrins out, of course you should add Turiaf, who is available in more than 90 percent of ESPN.com leagues. Inconveniently, though, no team gets fewer shots blocked than the Blazers. As much sense as it makes to add Turiaf, if you have only one open roster spot, spend it on Tyrus Thomas. Thomas remains available in more than 70 percent of leagues, but that bandwagon is starting to roll. He's the most-added player as of Wednesday. Also up there on the list of popular adds is Mario Chalmers. The rookie has a good Thursday matchup, given that Bulls opponents are 10th in steals. For leagues of at least 12 teams, the Mavs offer a pair of fill-in prospects in Jose Juan Barea and Antoine Wright. Barea will see significant minutes with Jason Terry sidelined, while the Jet himself has been telling Wright he needs to be more aggressive offensively. However, with the Celtics headed for Big D, you might want to steer clear Thursday. Boston allows the lowest opponents shooting percentage and the second-fewest points per game.
Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
14hEthan Sherwood Strauss