- Brian McKitish, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Tuesday April 14
A reminder before we get into today's notes: the limits on games played apply to the day the limit is reached, so if you want to take full advantage of Wednesday's schedule, make sure that you stay one game short of your league's games played limit through the end of Tuesday's games.
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.
Start 'em, sit 'em
Carlos Boozer scored 25 points and added 12 rebounds on Saturday night against the Warriors, but despite the big night, he still hasn't been nearly what we expected since returning from injury earlier this year. Averaging just 13.2 points and 9.2 rebounds per game this month, Boozer may have to step it up if Deron Williams (ribs) can't go Tuesday. Still, we should temper our expectations as the Lakers will not allow him to roam free under the boards like the Warriors did Saturday. Ronnie Brewer had an awful outing in his previous game (just three points on 1-for-4 shooting), but you'll have to run him out there if you're in a tight race for steals. Brewer is averaging 12.8 points and 1.2 steals per game for his past five contests. The Lakers will use Tuesday's matchup with the Jazz as a tune up for what is almost sure to be a deep playoff run. With that said, we shouldn't be too worried about Phil Jackson resting Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum unless the game gets out of hand early. Bynum, in particular, should get at least 30 minutes of action as Jackson will want him to be conditioned for the playoff run. The Miami Heat don't have many fantasy options outside of Dwyane Wade, but Michael Beasley has stepped up his game with Jamario Moon out of action. Beasley is averaging a cool 20.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals and a 3-pointer over his past five games and is now a must-start with Moon's status in doubt the rest of the way. Al Horford has been a beast in the paint as of late with 16.6 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and a block per game this month. He should have no problem dominating on the glass against a thin Heat frontcourt that is missing Udonis Haslem. Marvin Williams returned to action Friday night after missing 16 straight games with a back injury. He played only 12 minutes off the bench and finished with five points on 1-of-3 shooting from the floor. He should see a few more minutes Tuesday as the Hawks will look to get him back into game shape before the playoffs, but we should still temper our expectations as he's sure to be rusty. Rajon Rondo gave owners a scare last week when he has some ankle problems, but Rondo has put all fears to rest with 16.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 2.6 steals over his past five games. Start him with confidence Tuesday against the Sixers.
At this point in the season, owners should be looking at just about everyone and anyone as potential pickups, paying particular attention to specific categories where they can make up ground. With only three games on the docket Tuesday, feel free to stream any of the players listed below in order to get an extra game in at the end of the season. Time is running out if you haven't yet jumped on the Lou Williams bandwagon. Williams has been a monster since Thaddeus Young went down with a foot injury and has averaged 18.0 points, 2.2 steals and a 3-pointer over his past five games. He is a fantastic pickup for anyone in need of points, steals and 3-pointers this late in the season. Marvin Williams may be back in action, but that shouldn't stop Ronald Murray from providing solid numbers in points, steals and 3-pointers against the Heat. Flip is averaging 13.6 points, 1.8 steals and a 3-pointer this month and should still get 30-plus minutes as the Hawks ease Marvin back into game shape. With Kevin Garnett on the shelf, Glen "Big Baby" Davis has stepped up his play with 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.8 steals over his past five games. He's not going to light the world on fire, but he can provide solid stats if you need a streaming option. Those needing a boost in steals for the final two games of the season will want to grab either Mario Chalmers in Miami or Trevor Ariza in Los Angeles. Neither player will provide all-around stats, but both can be dominant on the defensive end. Chalmers is averaging 2.2 steals over his past five games while Ariza is averaging 1.4 steals during the same time.
Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Brian McKitish gives start/sit advice for a short schedule with potentially significant strategic implications.