- Seth Landman, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Sunday, Dec. 2
All times are expressed in Eastern time.
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.
Tony Allen, SG, Celtics (thigh)
LeBron James, SF, Cavaliers (finger)
Marquis Daniels, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Jermaine O'Neal, PF/C, Pacers (knee/leg)
Sam Cassell, PG, Clippers (calf)
Cuttino Mobley, SG, Clippers (elbow/groin)
Stephon Marbury, PG, Knicks (shoulder)
Raja Bell, SG, Suns (back)
Dorell Wright, SG/SF, Heat (wrist)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Even though he shot 1-for-9 from the floor against Cleveland just this past week, I'm expecting the Celtics' Rajon Rondo to have a good game against the Cavs this time around. Daniel Gibson isn't playing stellar defense right now, and with LeBron James listed as day-to-day, Gibson might have to carry more of the offensive load. If anyone has a chance to succeed for Portland against San Antonio, it's LaMarcus Aldridge. If he can hit a few jump shots to start the game, the Spurs will be reluctant to have Tim Duncan guard him and Aldridge could end up being a good scoring option. Look for Troy Murphy to have a good game for the Pacers against the Clippers; Chris Kaman won't be able to go out and guard him on the perimeter, and all of the Clippers' other options are too small to bother Murphy's shot. I'd expect plenty of points (including 3-pointers) and rebounds. I have to believe David Lee will get some minutes against Phoenix. There's no way Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph can chase the Suns up and down the court for extended minutes, and Lee is perfect for the style of game the Suns like to play. I might sit Shaquille O'Neal for Miami against Denver, as he'll be going up against Marcus Camby and the Nuggets play too fast for Shaq to really keep up. Start your Warriors and SuperSonics because neither team is going to play much defense. Still, I wouldn't look for Kevin Durant to repeat his 35-point outburst of Friday night. I think Stephen Jackson is the sort of defender who should be able to deal with Durant; he's stronger and almost as tall. I would sit Andrew Bynum for the Lakers against the Magic; Dwight Howard will have Bynum in foul trouble pretty quickly; Howard's playing like he's the MVP right now.
Portland's Travis Outlaw has seen his minutes creep up into the 30 per game range, after starting the year closer to 20. He's a huge talent with great potential in blocks and steals, but he hasn't been accumulating those stats much this year. As his playing time goes up, I'd look for those numbers to increase. He's a good guy to take a flier on right now in deep leagues, and in keeper leagues as well. With Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley both a bit hurt, the Clippers' backup point guard, Brevin Knight, should be a good pickup for the time being. He won't get you many points, but he should be a great source of assists and steals. If Stephon Marbury can't go for the Knicks (he has a shoulder problem that forced him out early against Milwaukee), then Nate Robinson will be a great pickup. Long term, the Knicks are in enough trouble that it makes sense to hang onto Robinson, as he's one of the guys who should benefit if and when the team goes in a different direction. Either way, I like Robinson against the Suns in a faster-paced game than the Knicks are used to. Anthony Carter is starting at point guard for Denver right now, and although he won't get a lot of shots, he appears to be a pretty good source of assists and steals if you need them.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com