Matchups for Monday, Jan. 21
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.
Luol Deng, SF, Bulls (Achilles)
Rudy Gay, SG/SF, Grizzlies (flu)
Kirk Hinrich, PG, Bulls (back)
Kenyon Martin, PF, Nuggets (staph infection)
Mike Miller, SG/SF, Grizzlies (back)
Tracy McGrady, SG/SF, Rockets (knee)
Jameer Nelson, PG, Magic (foot)
Tony Parker, PG, Spurs (eye/heel)
Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics (back/hamstring)
Jerry Stackhouse, SG, Mavericks (knee/hamstring)
Jamaal Tinsley, PG, Pacers (knee)
Delonte West, PG/SG, SuperSonics (plantar fasciitis)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Ray Allen has been a bit up-and-down for the Celtics as of late, but he has now put together two monster games in a row in which he is averaging 29 points, almost five assists and almost three steals. He has made nine 3-pointers in the two games, and is 21-for-34 from the floor. A matchup with Jamal Crawford and the Knicks should allow him to keep his hot streak intact for one more night at least.
With Jerry Stackhouse and Eddie Jones both nursing injuries, it should be a good night to play Devin Harris and Jason Terry for Dallas against the Wizards. DeShawn Stevenson and Antonio Daniels both defend their positions pretty well, but I don't think Daniels has the quickness anymore to be able to stay with Harris, which should open up plenty of looks for Terry.
I don't see anyone on the Spurs roster capable of matching up effectively with Charlotte's Gerald Wallace. I'd probably sit everyone for Charlotte besides Wallace and Jason Richardson. Wallace has been on fire recently, averaging 28 points and eight rebounds to go along with more than four assists, more than two steals and more than one block over his past five games. Richardson has cooled off lately after a two-week stretch in which he looked like one of the best 10 players in the league, but he's still an automatic start every night going forward.
I'm excited to see Atlanta's Al Horford matched up against Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge in a battle of two promising young bigs. I'd play them both; I think Aldridge has a clear advantage in scoring while Horford is a far better rebounder. Each should be able to play his own game effectively against the other.
The Hornets' David West has been absolutely phenomenal lately, averaging 23 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and one block per game on better than 55 percent shooting over his past 10 games. Those gaudy numbers should continue with an extremely favorable matchup against the Bucks' Yi Jianlian and Charlie Villanueva.
If Glen Davis "Big Baby" Davis can get some minutes against the Knicks on Monday, and he could muscle his way to a big game. The Knicks don't have a single guy on the roster averaging more than half a blocked shot per game. Their interior defense is an embarrassment, especially when you consider the fact that between Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph, they have more size than most teams. At the beginning of the season, I thought Leon Powe would be the young Celtics power forward to really make a splash, but so far it has been Big Baby. Powe did get more minutes than Baby against Philadelphia on Friday night though, so this is a situation that's worth watching. Perhaps the C's are showcasing Powe for a trade? Look for Yao Ming to have a big night against Seattle's frontcourt; The Sonics will have to double- and triple-team Yao, and that should mean guys like Rafer Alston, Luther Head, and Shane Battier get plenty of open looks at 3s. Ryan Gomes should be a good start for Minnesota against Golden State; he matches up a little better with teams that like to go small.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com