January 22 Game Previews
ORL @ DET: This matchup of sub-.500 teams doesn’t mean much, but it could be a fantasy goldmine. The Magic can score, but they can’t stop anyone. The Pistons just dropped 103 on Boston. The return of Glen Davis might have a slight negative effect on Nikola Vucevic, who took on more of an offensive role while Big Baby was out. Both PG are banged up; Jameer Nelson (hip) gets the nod over Brandon Knight (ankle) if only because sparkplug Will Bynum has been sharing the minutes that formerly belonged to Knight and Rodney Stuckey. Talented C Greg Monroe is a must-start for Detroit, with Andre Drummond always worth considering. I like Arron Afflalo and J.J. Redick to stay hot for Orlando.
BOS @ CLE: The .500 Celtics have looked unbeatable at times, in between stretches of apathy. They ‘should’ beat the Cavs, but not if they play like they have in recent losses to the Hornets and Pistons. Paul Pierce has been ice-cold (15-for-43) during the 3-game losing streak, while Rajon Rondo had nine turnovers and 12 missed FG in Detroit. Will they turn it around tonight? No idea. Kyrie Irving is capable of great things, Dion Waiters has embraced his sixth-man role and the Cleveland bigs are making up for inexperience with effort. Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller both double-doubled in Utah on Saturday. If you were holding Anderson Varejao in a Head-to-Head league hoping he’s return for the fantasy playoffs, you can let him go, as a blood clot has complicated his recovery from leg surgery.
PHI @ MIL: Off that disappointing home loss to San Antonio, the Sixers must regroup quickly. Milwaukee is fully rested, at home and 5-2 under new coach Jim Boylan. They have Larry Sanders blocking everything in sight, and just maybe, Ersan Ilyasova can follow up his 27-point, 14-rebound breakout game with another good one. Brandon Jennings is no easy assignment for a tired Holiday, Philly could have trouble stopping Monta Ellis, and Mike Dunleavy provides a spark off the bench. It won’t surprise me if the Bucks pull away in the second half.
OKC @ LAC: This is two extremely tough opponents in 24 hours for the Clippers, and if you saw CP3 hobbling around yesterday, you know he’s doubtful to play. That would normally make Eric Bledsoe a spot start in fantasy, but tonight he’ll be busy chasing Russell Westbrook, who has scored 30+ in four straight games. Not to be outdone, Kevin Durant has racked up 33 or more in six of his last seven, including games of 52, 42 and 41. In other circumstances, this would be a tossup, but the Thunder should have fresher legs in crunch time. When these teams met in Oklahoma back in November, Serge Ibaka had a double-double with three blocks, and Kevin Martin scored 20 off the bench.
The Fantasy Spin is here by 9:00 EST every morning, and the DraftStreet Diary offers daily league advice. Follow me on Twitter — @SheridanFantasy — for updates.