Matchups for Friday, Dec. 7
All times are expressed in Eastern Time. Statistics from 2007-08 regular season.
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.
Andrea Bargnani, SF/PF, Raptors (knee)
Chris Bosh, PF/C, Raptors (groin)
Sam Cassell, PG, Clippers (calf)
Eddy Curry, C, Knicks (ankle)
Stephon Marbury, PG, Knicks (personal)
Darko Milicic, PF/C, Grizzlies (ankle)
Troy Murphy, PF/C, Pacers (Achilles)
Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Warriors (nose)
Al Thornton, SF, Clippers (ankle)
Delonte West, PG/SG, SuperSonics (foot)
Antoine Wright, SG/SF, Nets (shoulder)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Friday's games offer two triple-digit double dips, games in which both teams allow more than 100 points per game: Suns-Wizards and Clippers-Kings. So, in addition to the obvious starters, increase your expectations for Grant Hill (averaging 16.6 points in his past five games), Leandro Barbosa (coming off a monster 35-point game) and Raja Bell of Phoenix; Brendan Haywood (17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks on Wednesday) and Antonio Daniels (averaging about 10 points and six assists his past five games) of Washington; Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman and Tim Thomas (averaging 14.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.2 threes in 38 minutes his past five games) for the Clippers; and all available Kings, who will have to share the scoring load with Kevin Martin out indefinitely. ... The Pistons usually have Chicago's number during regular-season games in Detroit, so I would sit all Bulls except Luol Deng, who had a season-high 30 points on Wednesday. Expect a low-scoring defensive struggle, but Rasheed Wallace could provide an emotional lift for Detroit. ... T.J. Ford tallied 27 points in Wednesday's 136-123 loss to the Suns, but the Raptors will score much less on Friday in Boston (87.4 points against). Don't expect too much from T.J. and company, even if Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani return. ... Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 29 points on Wednesday, and if Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry remain out Friday against the 76ers, Crawford will continue to call his own number.
As mentioned, Kevin Martin's injury opens up some opportunities on the Kings, with John Salmons and Francisco Garcia likely to be the biggest beneficiaries. ... During the Pistons' recent five-game win streak, two of their big men have been popular adds in ESPN leagues: Jason Maxiell has averaged 12.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 65 percent from the field during that stretch, and Antonio McDyess has averaged 9.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks while shooting about 66 percent in the same period. ... James Posey scored a season-high 17 points Wednesday and has averaged 22 minutes in his past five games. Boston often has favorable matchups with blowout potential, making Posey more playable at times. ... Carlos Delfino has capitalized on the Raptors' injuries, averaging 16.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 3.0 3-pointers in 30 minutes his past five games. Ride the wave while you can before the Raptors return to full strength. ... Juan Carlos Navarro has averaged 14.6 points and 3.0 3-pointers while playing 30 minutes his past five games, and his ownership has jumped 30 percent in the past week alone in ESPN leagues. ... Bonzi Wells continues to tease owners with his potential, scoring a season-high 24 points on Wednesday while playing at least 26 minutes in his third straight game.
Tony Targan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.