- Seth Landman, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Wednesday, April 8
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.
Randy Foye, PG/SG, Timberwolves (hip)
Kevin Garnett, PF, Celtics (knee)
Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs (foot)
Allen Iverson, PG/SG, Pistons (back)
Stephen Jackson, SG/SF, Warriors (toe)
Corey Maggette, SG/SF, Warriors (post-concussion)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Don't expect the Pistons to put it into cruise control if and when they clinch a playoff spot (which should be happening any day now). They'll certainly want to pass the Bulls if they can, avoid the Cavaliers in Round 1 and set up a possible matchup with the Magic, a team the Pistons feel they can beat. The guy you need to get back into your lineup is Rasheed Wallace, who came back against the Sixers on Saturday and then played 37 minutes in a win against the Bobcats on Sunday. Rasheed isn't going to wow you in any one category, but he'll give you enough scoring and rebounding to go with his blocks, steals and 3-pointers that you need to have him in your lineup the rest of the way unless you're in serious jeopardy in field goal percentage. Speaking of teams not resting, I'm sure the Suns will keep playing their starters heavy minutes until they are mathematically eliminated, and that day hasn't come quite yet. It's still safe to play Steve Nash and Shaquille O'Neal, is what I mean. However, the matchup against Chris Paul and the Hornets is not a good one for Nash. You can go ahead and play him anyway, but if he struggles and the Suns clinch a spot in the lottery, we might not see too much more of him during the last few games. Just so you know, in two games against the Nuggets, these are Kevin Durant's averages this season: 32.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists. Needless to say, you can expect him to be the focal point as usual Wednesday, but Denver might not have the option of throwing Kenyon Martin at him. This time KD might go for 40. Finally, in playoff seeding speculative news, Utah may have clinched a spot already, but the Jazz are still tussling with the Mavericks on Wednesday in a game that might decide who gets to avoid the Lakers in the first round. I can't imagine Jerry Sloan will want to start resting anyone up just yet.
With most of the Warriors' key contributors out of action or questionable heading into Wednesday's contest with the Timberwolves, Golden State is starting to look like a waiver-wire gold mine. Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph and Anthony Morrow all are available in most fantasy leagues at the moment, and all three are putting up big numbers of late. That certainly shouldn't change against the also-beat-up Timberwolves. Speaking of the Wolves, it's hard to say that anyone is worth playing right now, but against a team like the Warriors, numbers tend to just happen. One guy you might want to take a look at if you need some help in the rebounding area is Shelden Williams. He has averaged 26.0 minutes in the past two games, and put up 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds. If Kevin Love is back in action, which is likely, those numbers could take a little hit, but it appears the Timberwolves are going to see if they have anything in Williams as they close out the campaign. I would pick up and play both Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis for the Celtics against the Nets. The C's still have a lot to play for, as they are currently tied with Orlando in the loss column, so there's not much risk of their taking it easy against the Nets. Both have been productive of late, Davis more in scoring and Perkins more in rebounds and blocks.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Seth Landman previews Wednesday's NBA schedule, and recommends picking up any of three Warriors to emerge as solid fantasy threats recently.