Matchups for Saturday, Jan. 24
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.
Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards (knee)
Steve Blake, PG, Trail Blazers (shoulder)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (knee)
Eddy Curry, C, Knicks (knee)
Yi Jianlian, PF, Nets (hand)
Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Magic (wrist)
Delonte West, PG/SG, Cavaliers (wrist)
Andrew Bogut, C, Bucks (back)
Elton Brand, PF, 76ers (shoulder)
Wilson Chandler, SF, Knicks (hip)
Devin Harris, PG, Nets (ribs)
Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Jazz (ankle)
Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Heat (groin)
DeShawn Stevenson, SG, Wizards (back)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Wilson Chandler is dealing with a sore hip, but he also might be dealing with limited playing time with Danilo Gallinari emerging and Tim Thomas healthy. The 76ers are one of the league's better defensive teams, so it's probably wise to keep Chandler reserved until he proves the dip in playing time is just temporary. If Shawn Marion is still suffering the effects of a groin injury that limited him to eight minutes in his most recent contest, expect Michael Beasley, who scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds off the bench in relief of Marion, to benefit once again. Charlie Villanueva tied his season high in rebounds with 12 and scored 25 against the Kings in an earlier meeting this month, and Villanueva's topped 20 points seven times already this month. There's no reason he can't do it again, especially with the Kings at the bottom of defensive efficiency. Villanueva is averaging 17.5 shots in the four games Andrew Bogut has missed, and since Bogut isn't expected back until next week, another big game should be on the way. Travis Outlaw has slowed down a bit, averaging a modest 10.8 points in his past five games, but he's contributing in other areas by blocking six shots and making seven 3-pointers in that time span. A favorable matchup against the Wizards (27th in opponents' field goal and 3-point percentage) should get his scoring back on track, and after slipping to 30 percent shooting from beyond the arc in December, Outlaw's 3-point shooting percentage is back up to a robust 41.2 percent in January.
Hakim Warrick's streak of 14 straight games scoring in double figures came to an end Wednesday in a 1-for-6, seven-point performance against the Bobcats. Warrick averaged 16.6 points and 6.1 rebounds during that stretch, consistency normally unheard of from Warrick. He'll almost assuredly start his streak anew against the deplorable Nets defense (27th in defensive efficiency), and should continue to score in the upper teens in the near future. Only twice in 11 games has Jason Thompson not picked up at least four fouls, a bad habit that, as you might expect, has led to extreme inconsistency. Fortunately, his opponent Saturday, the Bucks, was the one team Thompson went off on this month, dropping 22 points, 11 rebounds and 15 free-throw attempts (14 made) in 35 minutes. Without Bogut, the Bucks don't have much of an inside presence, so Thompson makes a convincing spot-start.
Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.