TOR @ NYK: The Raptors won a nail-biter at home last night, so fatigue may be a factor. If Tyson Chandler (ankle) can play, he’ll be quite a load for rookie Jonas Valanciunas, and Carmelo Anthony presents matchup nightmares for most teams. Rudy Gay and Amir Johnson will try to slow down Melo. Raymond Felton vs. Kyle Lowry will be fun to watch, but the Knicks should prevail.
DEN @ BRK: All of a sudden, the very deep Nuggets are shorthanded and might even get blown out in this back-to-back. However, all is not well in Brooklyn, either. Deron Williams (ankles) is out, so they will use C.J. Wilson and rookie Tyshawn Taylor at PG. Brook Lopez is an excellent fantasy play, Joe Johnson will be gunning and if Gerald Wallace can contribute offensively, the Nets are poised to win.
WAS @ DET: Break up the Wizards! Bradley Beal is back, with a career-high 28 in his latest, and they even won a road game. The Pistons had also been playing well, until coming out flat at home on Monday. Greg Monroe is a must-start and I admire Jose Calderon, but others need to try harder, more consistently. I’m looking at you, Charlie Villanueva.
PHI @ MIL: If you read between the lines of recent reports, Larry Sanders has more than a routine bruise on his lower back. Samuel Dalembert would be a starter somewhere if he wasn’t so inconsistent; how he fares against Spencer Hawes tonight will be important. There are playoff implications to this one — the Sixers are three games back of the Bucks for eighth place.
UTA @ MIN: Amid all the trade rumors, the Jazz were terrific at home last night and might be in a positive mood. They certainly have a frontcourt advantage, but also a reputation for being a bit soft on the road. For Minnesota, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic are must-starts, Luke Ridnour has been hot and everyone else is a question mark.
POR @ NOH: This ends a long, difficult trip for the Blazers, who lost their fourth straight in Miami last night. It’s a great opportunity for New Orleans. Robin Lopez has been almost as good as his brother over the last eight games, Ryan Anderson exploded for 31 on Monday and Greivis Vasquez is a steady leader.
SAC @ DAL: Even if the Kings weren’t playing a road back-to-back, Dallas would get the call. Dirk Nowitzki is coming around, O.J. Mayo can light it up and Vince Carter is thriving off the bench. The Mavs look like a hockey team in the playoffs, growing beards until the team gets back to .500. No word on how many are coming in grey, but Vinsanity might look like James Harden’s dad in a couple of weeks.
HOU @ LAC: After a hard battle in Oakland last night, the Rockets may not have much left, and I’d call Harden (ankle) doubtful. It could be a night of alley-oops and dunks for Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, who are clicking again. Matt Barnes is a spot start if Caron Butler (back) sits out as expected. Now that Eric Bledsoe is back with the second unit, Jamal Crawford doesn’t have to handle the ball as much and should get more open looks.