ATL @ MIA: Easily the game of the night, as the Heat lost twice last week and have yet to get a 48-minute defensive effort, while the Hawks have been soaring with nine wins in their last ten, the most impressive two days ago, when they shut down the Grizzlies in Memphis. Coach Larry Drew has a flexible rotation, and he’ll go “small” tonight with Al Horford at C and Josh Smith at PF against Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Usually, DeShawn Stevenson gets the start at SF in that configuration. Louis Williams is the igniter off the bench. For Miami, Dwyane Wade has a big edge on Devin Harris that could be the key to the game. Points may be at a premium on both sides.
GSW @ CHA: Back in the day, Stephen Curry played high school ball in Charlotte, where his dad still works, so this is a homecoming. Now he’s the undisputed star of the most overachieving team in the NBA. Call them the Road Warriors, as they have won the first three of a 10-day, 7-game Eastern trip and should make it four straight tonight. David Lee has been heroic up front in the continued absence of Andrew Bogut, and the Bobcats have nobody capable of shutting down either Curry or Lee. Klay Thompson is also in a groove, scoring 20+ in six of his last nine. For the home team, Kemba Walker is the best fantasy play and Gerald Henderson appears ready for a larger role, possibly at the expense of rookie Jeffery Taylor.
SAS @ HOU: It’s safe to predict a Spurs win because they are deep, talented and better on the road (10-2) than most teams play at home. Though they beat the Rockets 114-92 on Friday in San Antonio, I’m expecting a more inspired Houston team tonight, and a faster pace. James Harden had 29 in that loss and poured in 39 the next night against Dallas. With Kevin McHale back on the bench, there could be some rotation juggling. Jeremy Lin is no match for Tony Parker, and is on the verge of losing his job to Toney Douglas, who is a nice speculative pickup in many formats. I’m a bit concerned about Omer Asik being either tired or hurt after two poor games; don’t cut him, but don’t count on him tonight.
SAC @ DAL: After two unlikely developments for the Kings — a road win and three straight victories — I’ll predict a return to normal chaos. O.J. Mayo is playing like an all-star; his 40-point explosion last game has him up to 20.9 PPG for the season. Chris Kaman is the main man up front and the new PG tandem of starter Derek Fisher and Darren Collison off the bench has produced three wins in four games. Sacramento will have a better chance if Tyreke Evans (knee) can play; check for a status update closer to game time.
TOR @ POR: The Raptors, after yesterday’s loss to the Clippers, are 1-13 on the road. The Blazers have injuries to two key wing players. Nicolas Batum is suffering back pain and Wesley Matthews has such a sore hip that his streak of 250 consecutive games is in jeopardy. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard will need to be superhuman if Batum and Matthews can’t go; J.J. Hickson might also have a big night. Portland’s thin bench could get exposed, but for Luke Babbitt, extra playing time is an opportunity and he is a decent spot play in fantasy. Days after Mickael Pietrus became the #1 SF for the Raptors, he suffered a knee injury, so Linas Kleiza started yesterday, scored 17 points and figures to get the call again.
Follow us on Twitter — @SheridanFantasy — for updates and roster advice. Jeff Nichols is away; I filled in for him on Sunday with an abbreviated Week 7 preview. I’ll be playing in daily cash leagues all week, but the DraftStreet Diary will now be published later each day, as it’s enough work bringing you this Fantasy Spin by 9:00 EST, seven days a week.