December 7 Games
BOS @ PHI: This is a meeting of intense divisional rivals who pride themselves on defense. It’s also the first of a home-and-home. Not exactly fantasy gold, although Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday are must-starts in any circumstances. The Sixers are making do with Lavoy Allen at C because Andrew Bynum (knees) is nowhere near a return; that makes Kevin Garnett a strong play.
DEN @ IND: Somebody needs to get to the bottom of the Andre Iguodala story. He was supposed to be the perfect fit in Denver, his offensive numbers inflated by a fast pace and his defensive skills making the team better. Instead, the Nuggets are under .500, a miserable 4-9 on the road, and Iggy has scored a total of nine points in his last two games. Is he hurt? Unhappy? I’d still buy low if he was available in any of my leagues. Ty Lawson is coming off his best game of the season and Corey Brewer has been red-hot off the Denver bench, so this is a tossup. For Indiana, it’s been the Paul George show for two straight games, and they will continue to feed him the rock.
WAS @ ATL: The longer the season progresses without John Wall getting close to a return, the worse for his owners. No news in this case is bad news. A.J. Price will continue to start at PG, but sixth man Jordan Crawford is the Wizards’ main threat and Kevin Seraphin their most productive big man. They did upset the Heat, but are winless on the road and should pose no problem for the Hawks. Use Al Horford and Josh Smith with confidence, and don’t sleep on Louis Williams.
CHI @ DET: Both teams are thin in the backcourt. Brandon Knight admits his legs are dead, Marco Belinelli is no Richard Hamilton and while Kyle Singler has been a pleasant surprise, he suffers from intermittent rookie growing pains. It’s easy to say Andre Drummond should be playing more and Jason Maxiell less, but the teenager’s development is up to Lawrence Frank. This Central matchup could be close and low-scoring, so look elsewhere if you’re playing in daily leagues.
GSW @ BRK: There are different kinds of two-game losing streaks. The Nets played great only to come up short against Miami and Oklahoma City in their last two games, and will be determined to get a W tonight. Andray Blatche will probably start again at C, though Brook Lopez (foot) may be nearing a return. Deron Williams had a season-high 33 on Tuesday and generally does well in high-profile matchups; Stephen Curry certainly qualifies. Klay Thompson has scored 20+ in five of his last seven.
CLE @ MIN: Hang in there Cavs fans, Kyrie Irving (hand) will be back in a couple of weeks. Dion Waiters (ankle) will miss another game, so there isn’t much scoring left on the roster and Anderson Varejao will have to be superhuman to earn them a road win. If Nikola Pekovic manages to keep Andy under wraps, Kevin Love can take over. In the absence of Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms), SF Josh Howard has filled in capably, and rookie Alexey Shved has become a consistent spark off the bench. Play your Wolves with confidence.