Matchups for Wednesday, April 15
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/SG, Wizards (knee)
Andrea Bargnani, PF/C, Raptors (heel)
Jamal Crawford, PG/SG, Warriors (back)
Spencer Hawes, PF/C, Kings (knee)
Josh Howard, SF, Mavericks (ankle)
Antawn Jamison, PF, Wizards (ankle)
Rashard Lewis, SF/PF, Magic (knee)
Yao Ming, C, Rockets (foot)
Jermaine O'Neal, PF/C, Heat (calf)
Zach Randolph, PF/C, Clippers (concussion)
Hedo Turkoglu, SG/SF, Magic (ankle)
Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat (ankle)
Start 'em, sit 'em
What can we expect on the last day of the regular season? Well, expect that after this piece gets posted Tuesday, we'll learn more about playoff seeding Tuesday night. As a result, certain players who might have been a boon had they played will rest or sit entirely on Wednesday. Even so, let's take a look at which players could come up big on the final day. J.R. Smith hasn't been so impressive against the Trail Blazers this season, but the dude is absolutely lighting it up right now. In his past five games, he's averaging 24.8 points and has made a ridiculous 24 3-pointers. Most of that damage came Monday night against the Kings, and the Blazers are certainly going to play better D than that, but the fact of the matter is that Smith is coming off a game in which he scored 45 points on just 22 shots from the field! He's not going to get you assists, but he's your best chance to pull ahead in 3s and points. Speaking of the Kings, they'll be facing the Timberwolves to close out the season, so you might want to get your Wolves into the lineup. Specifically Mike Miller, who missed a triple-double by one assist Monday against the Mavericks. Devin Harris came back from his shoulder injury against the Bobcats on Monday, and had a decent line of 11 points (4-for-7 from the floor), four assists and two steals in 31 minutes. Certainly nothing to write home about, but against the Knicks on Wednesday, he's probably worth sliding into your lineup, even if he ends up not playing big minutes. The real guy you want to play against the Knicks, though, is Brook Lopez. At this point, everyone should be playing him every night anyway, but he's averaging 14.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in his past five games, and he's going to eat up the Knicks on Wednesday.
Another player on the Wolves you might want to grab is Sebastian Telfair. His recent hot shooting cooled off a little Monday against the Mavs, but he finished with 14 points and 12 dimes, and should be able to duplicate those numbers against the Kings. He's available in more than 95 percent of ESPN.com leagues right now, and might be your best hope to put some big assists up Wednesday. The Warriors are probably the best place to look to stack your roster with waiver-wire finds. As usual of late, Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph and Anthony Morrow are all worth playing, especially this time against the defenseless Suns. Neither team has anything to play for, but that's probably fine considering the fact that these teams are just going to run all night anyway. For scoring, Azubuike and Morrow are your best bets; if you need help on the boards and in the defensive categories, grab Randolph. Earl Watson had a nice game Monday with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes against the Blazers. I can't say for sure that he'll play that much Wednesday, but with the Thunder going up against the Clippers, and with Thabo Sefolosha out, there's a decent chance Watson could help you in the assists category one more time before we close things out. The Suns played all their starters 30-plus minutes Monday, which is a bad sign for any potential waiver-wire action, but against the Warriors, anyone and everyone might get a real chance. Either way, I'd expect Matt Barnes to have a nice game against his former team. He's been a great option for large parts of this season, and facing that Warriors defense should give him a chance to finish it on a strong note.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.