Matchups for Tuesday, Dec. 4
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.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
The Pistons again have an upper-tier defense this season, ranking seventh in opponents' field goal percentage. They also excel at defending the 3-pointer, which is bad news for Joe Johnson (41.5 percent from the field, 6.1 3-point attempts per game). Consider Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Ilgauskas two of the strongest plays of the day if LeBron's sprained finger causes him to miss another game. The Suns and Pacers have been two of the league's fastest teams (second and third, respectively, in possessions per game), so expect an extremely high-scoring and explosive game, which bodes well for all parties involved. Carlos Boozer is a better bet to play than Mehmet Okur, and even if Okur can suit up, playing banged-up with a back injury won't help his foul-prone ways. Tim Thomas has a good matchup against his old team. The Bucks have one of the league's worst defenses, 29th in defensive efficiency, and were equally poor last season, so it's doubtful it's a fluke. They also allow opponents to shoot 37 percent from beyond the arc, good news for Thomas, who is shooting 37.6 percent this season on nearly seven attempts per game.
Both Sebastian Telfair, who already has seen increased minutes recently with the absence of Randy Foye, and Corey Brewer will be decent pickups for Tuesday, as Marko Jaric is questionable. With Jaric's extensive injury history, it is safer to assume he is more doubtful than probable. Mikki Moore likely should see 30-plus minutes, as Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Kenny Thomas are hobbled, but gets a poor matchup. The Jazz have a big frontcourt and are physical, and they are one of the league's better rebounding teams. Boozer also is likely to put Moore in foul trouble, and if Boozer can't suit up, Paul Millsap has produced nearly as well in his place. Brevin Knight got the start Sunday night in place of injured Sam Cassell, and Cassell is expected to miss a couple more games, as well. Knight has always been money for assists and steals when he's healthy enough to suit up.
Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.