Matchups for Wednesday, March 4
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 a team's rebounds per game and its opponents' rebounds per game.
Caron Butler, SF/SG, Wizards (hamstring)
Luol Deng, SF, Bulls (shin)
Jeff Green, SF/PF, Thunder (back)
Josh Howard, SF, Mavericks (ankle)
Corey Maggette, SG/SF, Warriors (rest)
Steve Nash, PG, Suns (ankle)
Ronny Turiaf, PF/C, Warriors (illness)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Even if it's not going to alter your decision-making process, it's probably worth noting that the last time LeBron James faced the Bucks, he lit them up for 55 on the road. He'll face them at home Wednesday. The way he's going right now, there's no way I would even consider sitting Shaquille O'Neal against the Heat. He is even making his free throws of late; he's at 68 percent in his past five games, which is terrible for most, but much better than we normally expect from him. Besides a monster 22-point, 15-rebound performance against the Pacers, Marc Gasol has been throwing up some real stinkers lately. He has a tough matchup against his brother Pau and the Lakers' front line, which is formidable even without Andrew Bynum. I'd sit Marc for this one. In case you haven't noticed, Ron Artest is on fire for the Rockets lately with Tracy McGrady done for the season. He has averaged 23.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.6 3-pointers in his past five games. He also is shooting better than 50 percent from the floor and 88 percent from the line during that stretch. He should be in your lineup every night, of course. Al Horford's season averages are less than impressive, but during his past five games, he has averaged 16.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks. His Wednesday matchup against the Knicks should be a sweet one; make sure you play him.
Phoenix's Matt Barnes should be one of the best players available on the waiver wire in your league. He's getting more minutes with Steve Nash out with an ankle injury, and even though Nash will be back soon, I expect to see Barnes continue to score double figures in points with a steal and a couple of 3-pointers on a regular basis. For now, he's at least a good play Wednesday against the Heat, since Nash might continue to sit. I don't see the Rockets' Aaron Brooks as a long-term solution at point guard; I think he'd be better served in the sort of role Eddie House plays for the Celtics. That said, Brooks is doing a great job at the moment and should be owned in more than the 8 percent of ESPN.com leagues in which he is currently owned. He's been struggling with his shot lately, but he looked good in scoring 22 points to go along with 10 assists against the Timberwolves on Sunday. If you need assists, he should be a decent play the rest of the season. Nenad Krstic was a force for the Thunder against the Mavericks on Monday, going for 26 points on 10-for-16 shooting in OKC's victory. With Kevin Durant out and Jeff Green dealing with back spasms, I'd keep Krstic in my lineup for the time being, especially considering he'll be matched up against the Wizards' front line Wednesday.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.