- Brian McKitish, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Tuesday, Feb. 24
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.
Corey Brewer, SF, Timberwolves (knee)
Andrew Bynum, C, Lakers (knee)
Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs (ankle)
Al Jefferson, PF/C, Timberwolves (knee)
Desmond Mason, SG/SF, Thunder (knee)
Tracy McGrady, SG, Rockets (knee)
Jameer Nelson, PG, Magic (shoulder)
Sasha Pavlovic, SG, Cavaliers (ankle)
Amare Stoudemire, PF/C, Suns (eye)
Jason Terry, SG, Mavericks (hand)
Martell Webster, SG/SF, Blazers (foot)
Start 'em, sit 'em
No player has benefited more from the coaching change in Phoenix than Leandro Barbosa. With new head coach Alvin Gentry returning back to the old fast-paced style of play, Barbosa has averaged 21.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 3.6 steals and 2.1 3-pointers over his past five games. Barbosa also stands to benefit from Amare Stoudemire's season-ending eye injury as the Suns will go with a smaller lineup and rely more on Barbosa's speed. The Timberwolves have fallen apart since Al Jefferson went down, but Randy Foye has done his best to keep the team afloat. Foye is averaging 23.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his past five games, and will continue to put up gaudy offensive numbers while Jefferson sits. Chris Bosh hasn't been his normal self since returning from a knee injury earlier in the week, but he should be able to rebound against the struggling Timberwolves. With Big Al gone, the Wolves won't be able to contain Bosh in the paint. The change of scenery hasn't yet helped Shawn Marion, and it doesn't figure to if Andrea Bargnani continues to light up the scoreboard. Bargnani has been on fire with 19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers over his past five games. The Pistons have lost five straight games and they won't get back on track until Rodney Stuckey gets out of his slump. Stuckey is shooting just 38 percent from the floor over his past five games and is averaging just 8.2 points, 3.2 assists and 0.6 steals in 32.2 minutes during that time. Stuckey is too talented to be dropped outright, but he should be on fantasy benches until he rights the ship. With John Salmons and Brad Miller joining the rotation, the Bulls just got a lot deeper. That won't bode well for the fantasy prospects of Salmons, Luol Deng, Ben Gordon & Co., particularly on Tuesday when they face Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. Feel free to bench some of your Bulls in favor of better options on Tuesday. Delonte West returned from a broken wrist on Sunday night, and should earn plenty of minutes right away as the Cavs were short-handed with both West and Sasha Pavlovic on the shelf. West was averaging a versatile 12.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.8 3-pointers prior to the injury and fantasy owners should get him back into their starting lineups right away.
Al Jefferson's injury has given Ryan Gomes more opportunities on the offensive end, and Gomes has stepped up his game with 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his past five games. Gomes won't be available for much longer so owners will have to act quickly if they want to cash in on his recent success. With Rafer Alston gone, Aaron Brooks deserves a look at starting point guard in Houston. Brooks has averaged 14.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.1 3-pointers and a steal as a starter this season. He'll be a solid addition to fantasy lineups, but be sure to monitor his position battle with Kyle Lowry. Roger Mason drained five 3-pointers en route to 25 points in Manu Ginobili's absence on Saturday night. He will be asked to help pick slack on the offensive end while Manu mends and should be picked up by anyone looking for a boost in points and 3-pointers. Speaking of points and 3-pointers, Matt Barnes could prove to be a solid pickup option in Phoenix. Alvin Gentry's fast paced offense should bode well for Barnes, particularly now the Suns will go with a smaller lineup with Amare Stoudemire out.
Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
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