Commentary

Daily Notes for Tuesday: Augustin becoming a must-start

Updated: February 16, 2009, 1:14 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

Matchups for Tuesday, Feb. 17

Time Visitors Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff. Home Opp. PPG Opp. FGP RPG Diff.
7:00 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers 95.4 .451 +3.0
@
Indiana Pacers 107.2 .461 -1.1
7:00 p.m. Charlotte Bobcats 93.9 .453 -0.6
@
Orlando Magic 94.1 .429 +1.3
7:00 p.m. Minnesota Timberwolves 102.5 .471 +1.3
@
Washington Wizards 102.5 .480 -1.9
7:30 p.m. Milwaukee Bucks 99.1 .455 +1.4
@
Detroit Pistons 94.3 .451 -0.5
7:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs 94.5 .458 -0.1
@
New York Knicks 107.8 .479 -4.0
8:00 p.m. New Orleans Hornets 93.1 .456 -1.3
@
Oklahoma City Thunder 103.3 .472 +2.0
8:30 p.m. New Jersey Nets 100.0 .462 +0.2
@
Houston Rockets 95.5 .453 +2.7
9:00 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers 102.1 .460 -3.5
@
Phoenix Suns 103.5 .452 +0.9
9:00 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies 99.2 .474 -1.2
@
Utah Jazz 100.0 .459 +1.5
10:30 p.m. Atlanta Hawks 97.0 .453 -1.9
@
Los Angeles Lakers 100.3 .448 +3.2

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
Andray Blatche, PF/C, Wizards (knee)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (knee)
Mardy Collins, PG, Clippers (calf)
Chris Kaman, C, Clippers (foot)
Morris Peterson, SG, Hornets (foot)
Luke Ridnour, PG, Bucks (thumb)
Bobby Simmons, SF, Nets (abdominal)
Craig Smith, PF, Timberwolves (ribs)
DeShawn Stevenson, SG, Wizards (back)

Day-to-day
Raja Bell, SG, Bobcats (groin)
Tyson Chandler, C, Hornets (ankle)
Marquis Daniels, SG/SF, Pacers (back)
Chris Duhon, PG, Knicks (ankle)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Rudy Gay, SF/PF, Grizzlies (hip)
Yi Jianlian, SF/PF, Nets (hand)
Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Jazz (ankle)
Kyle Lowry, PG, Grizzlies (ankle)
Tracy McGrady, SG, Rockets (knee)
Steve Nash, PG, Suns (back, hamstring) )
Quentin Richardson, SG/SF, Knicks (ribs)
Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, Bobcats (ribs)

Start 'em, sit 'em

Speculation surrounding Danny Granger's knee surfaced again during All-Star Weekend, and while his owners have to be slightly worried about his health, Granger has shown no ill effects when actually on the court. He participated in the 3-point shootout on Saturday, played in the All-Star Game on Sunday (albeit sparingly) and looks good to go for the second half. … D.J. Augustin has caught fire with Raja Bell out and is averaging 19.0 points, 3.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 3.3 3-pointers in his past five games. Augustin has played so well as a starter in Charlotte that he's turning himself into a must-start in fantasy leagues. … You're never going to bench Rashard Lewis, but keep in mind that his numbers have suffered since Jameer Nelson went on the shelf. He's still hitting a bunch of 3-pointers (2.5), but his shooting percentage (.361) has plummeted since the injury. While Lewis has struggled, Hedo Turkoglu has thrived in the absence of Nelson. Averaging 6.0 assists per game this month, Turk has taken over as the primary playmaker in the Magic's offense. … With Al Jefferson out for the season, Randy Foye and Kevin Love will be asked to shoulder more of the load in Minnesota. Expect a big increase in scoring, but a corresponding decrease in shooting percentage for both Foye and Love. … With injuries plaguing the Bucks, Ramon Sessions, Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva are must-starts in fantasy leagues of all sizes. Sessions, in particular, has upped his play since the injury to Luke Ridnour. He is averaging 26.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 2.5 steals in his past four games. … Nate Robinson's victory in the slam dunk contest might be a tough act to follow, but he'll put on a show against the Spurs if Chris Duhon can't go. Little Nate scored 30-plus points in each of his past two games and should have another big one on Tuesday. … Brook Lopez has averaged 17.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in the month of February, but faces a big test when he goes up against Yao Ming and the Rockets on Tuesday. Lopez should be able to hold his own, but don't expect miracles in this one. … After a great weekend in Phoenix, it's back to reality for the struggling Suns. Terry Porter is on his way out, with assistant coach Alvin Gentry taking the reins. With Gentry at the helm, the Suns are likely to revert back to their old up-tempo style of play, which would benefit everyone involved. … Rudy Gay got a chance to rest up over the long weekend, but he may not be at full strength when the Grizzlies take on the Jazz on Tuesday night. Look for O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley to pick up the slack if Gay is limited. … Al Horford struggled in his return from a knee injury last week, but the All-Star break should have given him a chance to rest up. He faces a tough matchup on Tuesday against the Lakers, but a healthy Horford should return to form in the second half.

Waiver-wire pickups

Injuries to Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut and Luke Ridnour have given Charlie Bell a chance to step up on the offensive end in Milwaukee. Bell hasn't disappointed with 15.2 points, 1.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers per game in his past five. He won't offer much in the way of rebounds or assists, but can be a fine specialist for points, steals and 3-pointers going forward. … With Mike Dunleavy on the shelf, Jarrett Jack has been reinserted into the starting lineup for the Pacers. He's put up 14.4 points, 1.8 3-pointers and a steal in his past five games, and is a fine short-term addition until the Pacers heal up. … Randy Foye and Kevin Love aren't the only ones in Minnesota who should see an increase in production with Al Jefferson out. Ryan Gomes will be asked to help compensate on the offensive end, and will see an increase in minutes and shot attempts as a result. Averaging 19 points in two games since the injury, Gomes could be in line for a big second half. … Thaddeus Young shouldn't be available in many fantasy leagues, but some owners could have dropped him after a roller-coaster first half. Young has been anything but consistent this season, but came on strong just before the break, and should be able to build on that success in the second half. Go ahead and scoop him up if he was dropped in your league. … Those in deeper formats who need help on the boards may want to consider Antonio McDyess in Detroit. McDyess has taken to his role as the first big man off the bench for the Pistons and is averaging 8.8 points and 11.2 rebounds in his past five games.

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.