Heat Turned Off in DC; Lakers Blow Huge Lead; Zach Randolph Unstoppable

GSW @ DET: The overachieving Warriors (10-7) were surprised at home by the Magic on Monday and the Pistons have been playing very well at home, making this a tossup. While Jason Maxiell isn’t a fantasy stud by any means, he’s blocked 13 shots in his last three games and his free-throw shooting is less of a liability (68.9%) than it’s ever been. Brandon Knight has the difficult task of guarding Stephen Curry, while Greg Monroe will try to get physical with David Lee.

MIN @ BOS: Off the big win last night in Philadelphia, the Timberwolves face another tough rival. Rajon Rondo is well rested from his two-game suspension; he makes all the other Celtics starters better and Courtney Lee adds skill to the second unit. Paul Pierce is a strong play tonight with AK-47 out, and Kevin Garnett is a tough cover for big Pek. My head likes Boston to prevail, my heart belongs to Minnesota.

LAL @ NOH: It could not have been a pleasant flight. The Lakers blew a huge lead in Houston and are now an abysmal 1-5 on the road. I’m assuming they take out their frustrations on N’Awlins tonight, but they could also be exhausted. The SG tandem of Roger Mason and rookie Austin Rivers may have nightmares about trying to stop Kobe, who tends to take over in these situations. Ryan Anderson, rumored to be a Lakers trade target if they move Gasol, has been the best Hornet since Anthony Davis hurt his ankle; the rookie will miss his ninth straight game tonight.

CHI @ CLE: One guy is critical in this matchup. Dion Waiters (ankle) is a game-time decision, and the Cavs desperately need his scoring. The Bulls are already missing Rip Hamilton a lot, and were held to 76 points last night, so don’t expect this to be a high-scoring affair. Anderson Varejao will have a ferocious battle with Noah, but the league’s leading rebounder is a safe bet for his tenth straight double-double.

DEN @ ATL: The Hawks haven’t played since a shocking home loss to Cleveland last Friday. They should be healthy and ready tonight. Al Horford and Josh Smith are always must-starts, and Jeff Teague needs to play well against Ty Lawson. The Atlanta wings aren’t nearly as good as Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari, so this could go either way. In their latest win, admittedly against the lowly Raptors, Denver got terrific contributions from JaVale McGee and Corey Brewer off the bench.

MIL @ SAS: With all their injuries concentrated at the wing position, the Spurs must rely heavily on Manu Ginobili tonight. Though he might return tonight, Gary Neal (Achilles) joined Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Stephen Jackson in street clothes. We might see more of rookie Nando De Colo; the surprise starter in Miami has drawn comparisons to Ginobli for his court vision and creativity. Using versatile Boris Diaw at SF is another possibility.

ORL @ UTA: It’s been an absolutely Magical road trip so far, but I’m picking against them again until I get one right. The Jazz defend their home court with a passion and their big guys are better than Orlando’s. Al Jefferson is poised for a big night and Mo Williams seems healthy, for the time being. In his new role as the sixth man, Gordon Hayward is making a strong contribution; J.J. Redick has been doing the same for his team. Utah will be without Marvin Williams (concussion) and Derrick Favors (foot) again.

TOR @ SAC: There’s no better place to start a road trip. Especially if Tyreke Evans (knee) can’t play, the Raptors should win despite a 1-10 road record. Kyle Lowry is far superior to either Aaron Brooks or Isaiah Thomas. As a patient Jonas Valanciunas owner, I’m not expecting big things tonight against DeMarcus Cousins, but with DMC, you never know. If Evans does return, Toronto will have its work cut out for them. There’s a theory that Andrea Bargnani needs to be fed early or he takes the whole night off; he’s scored just four points in two of his last four games, over 20 in the others.

DAL @ LAC: Back in the W column their last three after a 4-game slide, the Clippers are way too good for Dallas. Derek Fisher vs. Chris Paul? Give me a break. Darren Collison has lost a lot of value (though he will outproduce Fish) and can be dropped in quite a few leagues. The Mavs are very shorthanded up front; if Chris Kaman and DeAndre Jordan tie each other up, Blake Griffin will have plenty of room to soar. Chauncey Billups, gradually getting his legs back after a long injury rehab, has the tough assignment of covering O.J. Mayo.

Get the Spin by 9:00 EST, every morning. Follow us on Twitter — @SheridanFantasy — for updates and roster advice from Jeff Nichols, who examines the current week on Saturday afternoons, and preview the week ahead each Sunday.


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