- Brian McKitish, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Tuesday, April 7
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.
Raja Bell, SG, Bobcats (calf)
Marcus Camby, PF/C, Clippers (ankle)
Randy Foye, PG/SG, Timberwolves (hip)
Udonis Haslem, PF/C, Heat (hand)
Larry Hughes, SG, Knicks (ankle)
Kevin Martin, SG, Kings (ankle)
James Posey, SF, Hornets (elbow)
Craig Smith, PF, Timberwolves (calf)
Al Thornton, SF, Clippers (foot)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Don't look now, but Shawn Marion is starting to look like his former self with 16.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in his past five games. He no longer is a threat from behind the arc, but that doesn't mean we can't use him for his rebounding, steals and blocks while he's hot. Despite the fact that he is averaging 17.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 3.0 3-pointers in his past five games, Mike Conley isn't getting enough respect in fantasy leagues. The way he's playing right now, he's a must-start in fantasy leagues of all sizes. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni has given Wilson Chandler some extra run of late, and Chandler has responded by posting a versatile 13.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers in his past five games. Expect to see Chandler on the court for 35 to 40 minutes per game the rest of the way now that the Knicks are out of the playoff race. John Salmons posted 17 points, five rebounds, two 3-pointers and a steal in his return from a groin injury Saturday. He has averaged 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 1.9 3-pointers since joining the Bulls and should be back in lineups ASAP. Speaking of the Bulls, both Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas have developed into quality fantasy players in the Chicago frontcourt. Thomas is averaging 14.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 blocks and a steal in his past five games, while Noah is putting up 10.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and a steal during that time. With Randy Foye out of action due to a hip injury, Mike Miller and Ryan Gomes have stepped up their games on the offensive end. Miller has taken over as a playmaker and is averaging 5.2 assists per game, while Gomes has dropped 20 points or more twice in the past week. Be sure to get Francisco Garcia in your lineup if Kevin Martin is forced to miss another game with an ankle injury. Garcia posted 29 points with four 3-pointers in Martin's absence Friday night. Be careful if you're relying on Tim Duncan this late in the season. Duncan is averaging 16.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his past five games, but he has seen only 28.2 minutes per game during that time. It will be hard for Duncan to be as productive if Gregg Popovich continues to limit his minutes.
Jason Thompson still has the occasional poor night, but the Kings are giving him every opportunity to play through his foul troubles, and he has responded with 16.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks in his past five games. The rookie is looking like a very nice late-season addition for anyone in need of points and rebounds down the stretch. Lou Williams figures to see additional minutes for the Sixers with Thaddeus Young out of action and will prove to be useful in points, steals and 3-pointers the rest of the way. As expected, Ronald Murray has turned his game up a notch with Marvin Williams out in Atlanta. Murray is averaging 15.4 points, 2.2 steals and 1.4 3-pointers in his past five games and should continue to post great numbers in steals and 3-pointers the rest of the way. D.J. Augustin might not be starting in place of the injured Raja Bell, but he'll be the one who benefits the most from the injury. Augustin, who has been productive in limited minutes lately, posted 22 points with a steal and two 3-pointers in Bell's absence Sunday. Give Rodney Carney a look if Randy Foye continues to sit out in Minnesota with a hip injury. Carney is mostly a specialist for 3-pointers, but he also can score around 15 points per game when he's getting enough minutes.
Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Brian McKitish previews Tuesday's NBA action from a fantasy perspective, highlighting players who are finishing strong.