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What's on the Schedule: Week 3

Fantasy Writer
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With 116 games scheduled to be played over the next seven days, Fantasy Week 3 (Jan. 9-15) promises to be just as action-packed as the first two weeks of the season.

Week 3 looks to be the most balanced in terms of scheduling, as 18 teams are on tap to play four times during the scoring period. In addition, five teams are scheduled to play five games, while eight will play three times and one club just twice. The NBA's condensed schedule continues to provide plenty of intriguing matchups and other circumstances teams have had to deal with, and we once again have chosen the seven teams which have the most interesting slate of games on tap this week.

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The team which perhaps has the most intriguing schedule in Week 3 is the Charlotte Bobcats. After playing four games in each of the first two weeks of the season, Charlotte is scheduled to play five times in the upcoming scoring period. The Bobcats will start the week by making their second trip of the season to Madison Square Garden for another matchup with the Knicks on Monday. They then finish up their third back-to-back set of the year on Tuesday night against the Rockets at home. After a day off Wednesday, Charlotte will play three games on three consecutive nights, starting with the Hawks in Atlanta on Thursday night. The Bobcats will then host the Pistons on Friday before wrapping up a grueling stretch of seven games over 10 days against the Warriors on Saturday.

While fatigue and depth will likely be a big factor for the Bobcats this week, Charlotte looks to have some favorable matchups. New York, Houston and Golden State are all ranked in the bottom 10 in points allowed this season, while the Pistons have surrendered an average of 99 points per game over their last three contests. The only team which could give Charlotte some trouble on the defensive end is Atlanta, although the Bobcats put up 96 points against the Hawks in their meeting last week -- albeit the game did go to overtime.

Still, the Bobcats are averaging nearly three points more per game this season compared to last year and we anticipate that trend to continue this week. Fantasy owners should make sure Charlotte's main Fantasy options, including Boris Diaw, Gerald Henderson and possibly Tyrus Thomas -- now that he is healthy -- are all active heading into the scoring period. However, because Charlotte's jam-packed schedule could force coach Paul Silas to go to his bench a bit more, owners in deeper formats should also consider rolling with Kemba Walker, Byron Mullens and D.J. White as viable options heading into Week 3.

Southeast Division: Orlando Magic (@POR, @GS)

We chose to highlight the Magic's schedule last week, but with only two games on the docket for Week 3, we thought it pertinent to mention them again. Orlando will be in the midst of a four-game road trip over the next eight days, however only two of its games will fall during the upcoming scoring period. After a matchup with the Kings on Sunday night, the Magic will get two days off before finally playing its first game of Week 3 against the Trail Blazers Wednesday. Orlando will then be in Golden State on Thursday, which will be the team's fourth back-to-back set of the year. However, that will be it for Orlando as it will get the final three days of the scoring period off. With the Magic being the only team with two games scheduled this week, Fantasy owners are best to leave every player on the roster not named Dwight Howard on the bench.

Southeast Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hawks @NJ @IND CHA @MIN
Bobcats @NY HOU @ATL DET GS
Heat @GS @LAC @DEN
Magic @POR @GS
Wizards TOR @CHI @PHI PHI

Central Division: Detroit Pistons (@CHI, DAL, @MIL, @CHA, GS)

After playing four games in each of the first two weeks of the season, the Pistons are slated to play five times during Week 3. Detroit will open up the week in Chicago on Monday before returning home to face the Mavericks on Tuesday night. The Pistons will then get a day off Wednesday before traveling to Milwaukee and Charlotte on Thursday and Friday respectively, for their second back-to-back set of the scoring period and fourth of the season. Detroit will finally close out the week at home against the Warriors on Sunday, concluding a stretch of seven games over 10 days dating back to last week. With that many games crammed into such a small window, depth will be a huge factor for Detroit this week, which is why we feel some of the team's lower-end players could be worth using this week. Besides the obvious choices of Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey, other players such as Ben Gordon, Jonas Jerebko and Brandon Knight could also be worth using in deeper formats.

Central Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Bulls DET @MIN WAS @BOS TOR
Cavaliers @UTA @PHO @LAL
Pistons @CHI DAL @MIL @CHA GS
Pacers @PHI ATL @TOR BOS
Bucks SA DET @DA

Atlantic Division: Boston Celtics (DAL, CHI, @IND)

The Celtics only played three times last week, which will once again be the case in Week 3. Boston should be well rested heading into the upcoming scoring period as the Celtics will be coming off four consecutive off days before finally taking the court Wednesday against the Mavericks. Boston will then get another day off before the team wraps up with a back-to-back set against the Bulls and Pacers on Friday and Saturday, respectively. All three teams the Celtics will be facing this week are allowing fewer than 100 points per game, with Indiana and the Bulls both ranked in the Top 10 in points allowed. While Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce should be able to get their numbers, owners might want to think about sitting Kevin Garnett this week.

Atlantic Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Celtics DAL CHI @IND
Nets ATL @DEN @PHO @UTA
Knicks CHA PHI @MEM @OKC
76ers IND SAC @NY WAS @WAS
Raptors MIN @WAS SAC IND @CHI

Southwest Division: Memphis Grizzlies (OKC, NY, NO)

The Grizzlies are coming off a tough week -- which included losing power forward Zach Randolph until at least February with a knee injury -- and an embarrassing loss at Utah. The Grizzlies will try to regroup with a four-game home stretch, which entails the team playing three times during Week 3 -- all at home. The Grizzlies will host the Thunder on Tuesday before facing the Knicks and Hornets on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. While both the Thunder and Knicks rank near the bottom of the barrel in points allowed, Memphis has looked a bit out of sync on offense with Randolph sidelined. With only three games on the docket this week, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley should be the only Grizzlies considered sure-starts this week.

Southwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Mavericks @DET @BOS MIL SAC
Rockets @CHA @SA @SAC POR
Grizzlies OKC NY NO
Hornets @DEN OKC MIN @MEM
Spurs @MIL HOU POR PHO

Northwest Division: Denver Nuggets (NO, NJ, MIA, UTA)

The Nuggets are coming off a grueling stretch that saw them play six games over the past eight days, which included road games at Los Angeles, Portland, New Orleans and San Antonio. However, the Nuggets will now get to unpack their suitcases as the team is slated to play four home games during Week 3. Denver will play every other day in the scoring period, starting with the Hornets on Monday night. The Nets will be in town on Wednesday, followed by visits from the Heat on Friday and Jazz on Sunday. The Nuggets are averaging a league-leading 104 points per game at home this season and have already posted 117 and 96 points against the Jazz and Hornets, respectively. New Jersey isn't known for its defensive prowess and while the Heat are better, keep in mind that the Nuggets put up 130 points on Miami in Denver last season. While we don't anticipate that necessarily happening again, the Nuggets should have no problems scoring on all four of their Week 3 opponents. Fantasy owners should make sure all of Denver's main Fantasy options -- including Al Harrington and Arron Afflalo -- are active this week.

Northwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nuggets NO NJ MIA UTA
T'Wolves @TOR CHI @NO @ATL
Blazers LAC ORL @SA @HOU NY
Thunder @MEM @NO NY
Jazz CLE LAL NJ @DEN

Pacific Division: Golden State (MIA, ORL, @ CHA, @DET)

The Warriors are slated to play four times during Week 3, with the first two contests coming at home. Golden State will host the Heat on Tuesday night before welcoming the Magic to town on Thursday. After a day off on Friday, the team will head East for its first of two road trips to the Eastern Time Zone this year. Golden State will be at Charlotte on Friday before concluding its third back-to-back set of the season against the Pistons on Saturday. While the Bobcats have really struggled on defense thus far, Miami, Orlando and Detroit have not. Combine that with the fact that Golden State is averaging just over 90 points per game offensively and could be without Stephen Curry for an extended period of time, and we aren't sure where the team's points will come from. Other than the obvious choices of Monta Ellis and David Lee, there aren't enough viable options on the Warriors roster worth starting in Week 3.

Pacific Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warriors MIA ORL @CHA @DET
Clippers @POR MIA LAL
Lakers PHO @UTA CLE @LAC
Suns @LAL CLE NJ @SA
Kings @PHI @TOR @HOU @DA

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Player News
Heat C Hassan Whiteside posts 16-24 line vs. Mavericks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:32 pm ET) Heat center Hassan Whiteside scored 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting while grabbing a career-high 24 rebounds in his team's 93-72 loss to the Mavericks Friday.

Whiteside set a franchise record by racking up 14 rebounds in the first quarter, despite playing just eight minutes before being sent to the bench with two fouls. He was unable to keep up the monstrous pace but did deliver his first career performance with at least 20 rebounds while chipping in one steal and one block in 29 minutes. The Heat will square off with the Celtics Sunday.


Mavericks PF Charlie Villanueva scores season-high 20 Friday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:27 pm ET) Mavericks power forward Charlie Villanueva scored a season-high 20 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including 6 of 11 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 93-72 win over the Heat Friday.

Villanueva played just a total of 17 minutes in the team's last seven games but managed to excel in 23 minutes of action Friday, knocking down at least six three-pointers for just the fifth time in his career. He also grabbed five rebounds and blocked one shot in the win, which ended a four-game losing streak for the Mavericks. They'll square off with the Magic Saturday.


Pelicans SG Eric Gordon scores season-high 28 vs. Clippers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:21 pm ET) Pelicans shooting guard Eric Gordon scored a season-high 28 points on 10 of 20 shooting, including 5 of 7 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 108-103 win over the Clippers Friday.

Gordon set several season highs while leading the Pelicans in scoring Friday, including in shots made, shots attempts and three-pointers made. He also racked up seven assists, two rebounds and one steal in 38 minutes of action. The Pelicans will square off with the Hawks Monday.


Clippers C DeAndre Jordan doubles up vs. Pelicans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:15 pm ET) Clippers center DeAndre Jordan scored 12 points on 6 of 7 shooting while hauling in 15 rebounds in his team's 108-103 loss to the Pelicans Friday.

Jordan managed his ninth double-double of the month Friday but just his first in the last three games. He also blocked three shots in his 34 minutes of action. Jordan and the Clippers will head to San Antonio to face the Spurs Saturday.


Clippers PG Chris Paul scores team-high 24 vs. Pelicans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:12 pm ET) Clippers point guard Chris Paul scored a team-high 24 points on 10 of 20 shooting, including 3 of 9 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 108-103 loss to the Pelicans Friday.

Paul matched his best scoring performance of the month Friday while shooting at least 50 percent from the field for the fourth straight game. He racked up eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 38 minutes, but it wasn't enough to prevent the end of the team's six-game winning streak. The Clippers will look to bounce back Saturday against the Spurs in San Antonio.


Cavaliers PF Kevin Love doubles up vs. Kings Friday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:09 pm ET) Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love scored a team-high 23 points on 9 of 17 shooting, including 2 of 5 shooting from behind the arc, while hauling in 10 rebounds in his team's 101-90 win over the Kings Friday.

Love has managed double-doubles in three of his last four games, but his 23 points marked his highest scoring output since Jan. 11. He also dished out three assists in 29 minutes of action. The Cavaliers take a nine-game winning streak into Saturday's matchup with the Timberwolves.


Cavaliers SF LeBron James scores 19 points vs. Kings
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:05 pm ET) Cavaliers small forward LeBron James scored 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting in his team's 101-90 win over the Kings Friday.

James was initially considered doubtful to play Friday after missing Wednesday's game with a wrist injury, but he was evaluated before Friday's game and given the green light. He played 33 minutes in the win while tallying seven assists, four steals, three rebounds, two blocks and six turnovers. The Cavaliers will square off with the Timberwolves Saturday.


Kings C DeMarcus Cousins doubles up vs. Cavaliers Friday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:01 pm ET) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins scored a team-high 21 points on 5 of 17 shooting from the field and 11 of 12 shooting from the free-throw line while hauling in 13 rebounds in his team's 101-90 loss to the Cavaliers Friday.

Cousins played 36 minutes in the loss after being listed as probable to play with an ankle issue. He also racked up a season-high five steals along with four assists and one block. The Kings take an eight-game losing streak into Saturday's matchup with the Pacers.


Nets C Brook Lopez scores season-high 35 points vs. Raptors
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(10:54 pm ET) Nets center Brook Lopez scored a season-high 35 points on 15 of 28 shooting while hauling in 12 rebounds in his team's 127-122 overtime loss to the Raptors Friday.

Lopez rode his hot shooting night to 41 minutes of action off the bench, with Kevin Garnett playing just nine minutes. The center also kicked in three blocks and three steals in addition to his fifth double-double of the season. He'll match up with the Clippers Monday.


Nets PG Jarrett Jack scores career-high 35 points vs. Raptors
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(10:50 pm ET) Nets point guard Jarrett Jack shared the team scoring lead Friday, racking up a career-high 35 points on 13 of 30 shooting while matching another career high by dishing out 13 assists in his team's 127-122 overtime loss to the Raptors.

Jack delivered his career-best performance while playing 52 minutes in the loss, which represented his first career game with more than 50 minutes played. He also managed one steal and made just one of his seven three-point attempts. The Nets will square off with the Clippers Monday.


 
 
 
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