February 3 Game Previews
LAL @ DET: While Dwight Howard has rejoined the team after a plasma injection and sounds likely to play, his owners should be nervous — every time he goes up for a dunk, rebound or block, he risks aggravating that shoulder injury. Pau Gasol was very good as the starting C on Friday, but might return to a bench role today, and Earl Clark will get fewer minutes. The new, pass-first version of Kobe Bryant helps fantasy owners in more categories than ever, averaging 11 assists over his last five and flirting with a triple-double in every game. The Pistons will be without Jose Calderon (visa) and will need Brandon Knight to repeat his 20-point, 10-assist performance to seriously threaten. Greg Monroe is averaging a double-double in 2013, and Kyle Singler looked pretty good at SF on Friday.
LAC @ BOS: Both these teams are missing their star PG, but Boston has somehow gone 3-0 without Rajon Rondo (torn ACL) while L.A. is struggling somewhat in the absence of Chris Paul (kneecap), losing four of six. There’s no way the Clippers will be as bad as they were on Friday. Matt Barnes will return from his one-game suspension and everyone will play harder than they did in Toronto. Jamal Crawford suffered a broken nose late in that game, but is expected to play, wearing a face mask. Paul Pierce has become a point-forward for the Celtics, Courtney Lee seems locked in as a starter and Jeff Green is the best bench player. If you haven’t heard yet, rookie Jared Sullinger’s season is over (back surgery) and Brandon Bass is starting again.
MIA @ TOR: So far, so good for Rudy Gay as a Raptor. This afternoon, his underrated defensive prowess will be needed to help contain LeBron James, so don’t expect huge offensive numbers from Gay. In the brief time they have been together, DeMar DeRozan looks like he will really enjoy playing alongside a talented wing man for a change. Kyle Lowry’s stock has also risen dramatically. This could be very entertaining; the return of once-beloved Chris Bosh adds to the fun for Toronto fans, and the Heat will be motivated after getting drubbed by Indiana on Friday. It’s possible that Andrea Bargnani (elbow) will return but highly unlikely that he’ll start. Jonas Valanciunas will gradually get more minutes, with Aaron Gray’s surprisingly effective run at C soon to end.
The Fantasy Spin is here by 9:00 EST every morning, and the DraftStreet Diary offers daily league advice. This afternoon, be sure to check out the Weekly Fantasy Planner by Mitch McClure. Follow us on Twitter — @SheridanFantasy — for updates.