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What's on the Schedule: Week 5

Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy Week 5 (Jan. 23-29) is the lightest thus far this season as there are 114 games scheduled over the next seven days. Most teams play four times this week, while seven teams are slated to play three times during the upcoming scoring period. Orlando is the only team scheduled to play five times during Week 5, which is why we chosen to highlight the Magic this week.

After playing four games last week, including three games over three consecutive days, the Magic will play five times during Week 5. However, Orlando will only play three different teams over that stretch, as Dwight Howard and Co. will face the Celtics and Pacers twice during the scoring period. The Magic start off the week with a back-to-back road set against Boston and Indiana on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Orlando will then take on the Celtics for the second time in three days at home on Wednesday night, which will be followed by a game in New Orleans on Thursday. Orlando will close out the scoring period with its second matchup of the week against the Pacers on Sunday evening, concluding a stretch of nine games over 14 days.

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The Magic have played very well during the early part of the season, although this upcoming stretch of games could prove to be challenging. All three teams Orlando will face this week are ranked in the top 10 in points allowed this season, while Indiana and Boston are also ranked near the top in defensive efficiency. That seems to suggest the Magic could be in line for some grind-it-out type affairs over the next seven days, making it very difficult for Orlando to put up the 96.7 points per game it has been averaging thus far.

However, it also means coach Stan Van Gundy will likely need to use most of the healthy bodies on his bench, which makes this a great week to start the majority of Orlando's Fantasy options. In addition to the obvious choices of Dwight Howard, Ryan Anderson, Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson, Fantasy owners should make sure J.J. Redick and Glen Davis are active as well. Even Earl Clark and Von Wafer could be worth using in deeper formats.

Here are the other teams that have schedules that could help make those tough decisions a bit easier:

Southeast: Miami Heat (CLE, @DET, NY, CHI): The Heat are slated to play four times during Week 5 with three of those contests coming at home. Miami will start the scoring period with a home game against the Cavaliers on Tuesday night before heading up to Detroit for a matchup with the Pistons on Wednesday. After a day off, Miami will then draw a pair of home games to close out the scoring period as the Knicks and Bulls come to town on Friday and Sunday night, respectively. Not only do Cleveland, Detroit and New York all have losing records, but all three teams also rank near the bottom in terms of defensive efficiency thus far. That should mean another set of high scoring games for the Heat, who enter the week as the highest scoring team in the league, averaging 107 points per game. While LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are all must-start options when healthy, this looks to be a good week to start some of Miami’s lower-tier Fantasy options. Owners should consider rolling with Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole during the upcoming scoring period. Even Mike Miller and Shane Battier could be worth using in some deeper formats as well.

Southeast Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hawks @MIL @SA @DET @NO
Bobcats NY @WAS @PHI WAS
Heat CLE @DET NY CHI
Magic @BOS @IND BOS @NO IND
Wizards @PHI CHA @HOU @CHA

Atlantic: Philadelphia 76ers (WAS, NJ, CHA, DET): The 76ers are scheduled to play four times during Week 5, with all four contests coming at home. Philadelphia will start with a game against the Wizards on Monday night, which will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams. The 76ers will then face the Nets on Wednesday night before wrapping up the scoring period with their seventh back-to-back set of the year against the Bobcats on Friday and Pistons on Saturday night. Coach Doug Collins has his team playing extremely well right now and the Sixers look to have some very favorable matchups on the docket. The Wizards, Nets and Bobcats all rank near the bottom of the pack in points allowed this season and Philadelphia scored 96 points during its lone meeting against Detroit this year. Fantasy owners should make sure to get Philly's main Fantasy options active heading into Week 5, including Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holliday, Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes. Even some of the lower-tier options such as Jodie Meeks could be worth starting in deeper formats this week.

Atlantic Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Celtics ORL @ORL IND CLE
Nets @CHI @PHI @CLE TOR
Knicks @CHA @CLE @MIA @HOU
76ers WAS NJ CHA DET
Raptors @PHO @UTA @DEN @NJ

Central: Chicago Bulls (NJ, IND, MIL, @MIA): After playing a pair of back-to-back sets last week, the Bulls are one of the few teams that don't play any during Week 5. Chicago is slated to play four times during the upcoming scoring period, with three of those contests coming at home. The Bulls will start with a game on Monday against the Nets before facing the Pacers on Wednesday night. Chicago will then take on the Bucks on Friday before wrapping things up against the Heat down in Miami on Sunday evening. The Pacers have been stingy on defense thus far, although Miami and New Jersey have not, while Milwaukee is currently ranked 17th in points allowed heading into the upcoming scoring period. Chicago has yet to lose at home this season and most of their main Fantasy options should have no problem getting their numbers during Week 5. While Derrick Rose will likely be an injury risk, Fantasy owners should make sure Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah are all active this week.

Central Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Bulls NJ IND MIL @MIA
Cavaliers @MIA NY NJ @BOS
Pistons @OKC MIA ATL @PHI
Pacers ORL @CHI @BOS @ORL
Bucks ATL @HOU @CHI LAL

Pacific: Los Angeles Lakers (LAC, @MIL, @MIN): After playing a league-high 18 games through the first four weeks of the season, the Lakers are only slated to play three times during Week 5. Los Angeles will be off on Monday and Tuesday before playing its first game of the scoring period on Wednesday against the Clippers. The Lakers will then get two more days off before wrapping up their week with a back-to-back set against the Bucks on Friday and Timberwolves on Sunday. While the Lakers' Fantasy studs should have no problems getting their numbers this week, some of the team's lower-tier options might have some trouble following suit, especially with only three games. Only Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are worth starting in most formats this week.

Pacific Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warriors MEM POR OKC
Clippers @LAL MEM @DEN
Lakers LAC @MIL @MIN
Suns @DAL TOR @POR MEM
Kings @POR DEN @UTA

Southwest: Dallas Mavericks (PHO, MIN, UTA, SA): The Mavericks have played four games in each of the last three weeks and that trend will continue in Week 5. Dallas has four home games slated for the upcoming scoring period and is one of the few teams not that don't have any back-to-back sets. The Mavericks will start with a game against the Suns on Monday, which will be followed by a visit from Kevin Love and the Timberwolves on Wednesday. Dallas will then face the Jazz on Friday before wrapping up the week against the Spurs on Sunday. While the Mavericks look to have some favorable matchups this week, keep in mind Dirk Nowitzki will likely miss most of the scoring period with a knee injury. That means Dallas' other Fantasy options should be in line to see a spike in production this week. Besides the obvious choices of Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, and Lamar Odom, Fantasy owners should make sure to get Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood, Ian Mahinmi and Delonte West active as well. Even Roddy Beaubois and Yi Jianlian could be worth using in deeper formats.

Southwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Mavericks PHO MIN UTA SA
Rockets @MIN MIL WAS NY
Grizzlies @GS @POR @LAC @PHO
Hornets SA @OKC @ORL ATL
Spurs @NO ATL @MIN @DAL

Northwest: Portland Trail Blazers (SAC, MEM, @GS, PHO): We highlighted Portland's schedule last week as the Blazers were in the midst of their longest road trip of the season. However, that is over now and LaMarcus Aldridge and Co. are slated to play four games during Week 5, with three of those contests coming at home. The Blazers open the week with three games on three consecutive days, starting with Kings on Monday night. Portland will host the Grizzlies on Tuesday before playing its only road game of the week on Wednesday at Golden State. The Trail Blazers will then wrap up the week against the Suns on Saturday, concluding a stretch of seven games over 10 days. While playing that many games over such a small time frame could make for some tired legs, Portland looks to have some favorable matchups on the docket. Sacramento and Golden State are both ranked near the bottom of the pack in points allowed this season and Portland is averaging nearly 105 points per game at the Rose Garden. While Aldridge, Gerald Wallace, Wesley Matthews and Raymond Felton should almost always be left active, some of Portland's lower-end options should also be able to put up some numbers this week. Consider Jamal Crawford, Nicolas Batum and Marcus Camby all viable plays in most formats for Week 5.

Northwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nuggets @SAC TOR LAC
T'Wolves @HOU @DAL SA LAL
Thunder DET NO @GS
Blazers SAC MEM @GS PHO
Jazz TOR @DAL SAC

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Player News
Carmelo, Kobe discussed teaming up during offseason in L.A.
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:50 am ET) Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony was considering joining the Lakers and Kobe Bryant this past offseason when he was a free agent, according to the New York Post.

"They came in at the 25th hour, they swooped in there," said Anthony, who owns an apartment in Los Angeles. "It was a great visit. The conversations I had with Kobe was just man to man. We both had to come to reality and say, 'Is this what we really want?' And it didn’t happen."

The Lakers were reportedly never interested in pairing the two superstars in Los Angeles, according to the report.

"We’ve been talking for a long time, man, especially this summer, just me and him communicating, and talking and being honest with one another as friends and brothers should be. It was a lot going on there on his behalf and my behalf trying to figure everything out," Anthony said.

Anthony, who is averaging 24.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 36 games this season, also thinks Kobe will be back in 2015.

"I know him, and this is not the way he wants to go out." Anthony said. "I’m pretty sure he’ll do whatever he has to do to get back on the court one more time before he hangs them shoes up."


Hornets' Marvin Williams says he saw stars when concussion occurred
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:20 am ET) Hornets forward Marvin Williams was a bit nervous last Saturday when he got knocked hard on the head in the first half against the Knicks. Williams was elbowed in the face while trying to get a rebound and was "seeing stars" after.

"The blow was the worst of it," Williams said. "Usually I’m the type of guy who, if I get knocked down, I’m going to get right back up. The problem is when I tried to get up, I was literally seeing stars – literally! That’s when I had to roll back over. When they took me back to the locker room I had to stop because I was so out of it."

Williams also revealed this wasn't his first concussion, according to the Charlotte Observer.

"This is my second or third concussion that I’ve had," Williams said. "I had one a few years ago my first season in Utah (2012-13). And I guess I had one when I was younger. I didn’t remember that but my parents told me about it."

Williams is hoping to be cleared for Saturday against the Nuggets.

"I’m doing OK. Yesterday was the first day I was symptom-free," Williams said Friday. "This morning I woke up feeling great. I took the concussion test and passed that. I did some things physically. A couple of little things are still bothering me, but for the most part I feel fine."


Kevin Love hoping to show defensive improvement in return to Minnesota
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:12 am ET) Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is ready for his comeback to the city he spent the beginning of his career with, Minneapolis. After posting a double-double in Friday's win, Love told reporters the biggest thing he wants to show his old bosses is his defensive improvements.

"I think I had no choice but to improve my defense," Love said. "I don't think anybody's has ever looked at my defensive presence and said, 'OK, he's a lock-down defender' and I don't think that anybody will ever say 'OK, that's the guy we want to guard LeBron James at the end of the game.'"

Despite his offensive numbers dropping considerably from last season, Love is showing his teammates how committed he is to finding a way to win.

"I hope that my teammates and coaching staff will say that I've handled the adjustment well on most if not all accounts," Love said. "I'm a better defender and will continue to get better."


Lakers recall Ryan Kelly from NBADL after 30-point game
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:58 am ET) Lakers forward Ryan Kelly was recalled from the NBA Developmental League Friday night and will travel to New York with the team Saturday, the team announced.

Kelly was sent to the D-League earlier Friday in order to participate in the D-Fenders' game against Bakersfield. He scored 30 points on 8 of 18 shooting while grabbing four rebounds in the team's 136-126 win.


Suns PG Eric Bledsoe scores team-high 23 vs. Bulls
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:19 am ET) Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe scored a team-high 23 points on 8 of 16 shooting, including 2 of 3 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 99-93 win over the Bulls Friday.

Gordon had scored just 25 points in his previous two games combined after posting point totals of 33 and 25 in his prior two performances, but he managed to get back to high-scoring territory against the Bulls. He also tallied six assists, four rebounds and three steals in 37 minutes. The Suns will match up with the Warriors Saturday.


Suns PF Markieff Morris doubles up vs. Bulls
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:16 am ET) Suns power forward Markieff Morris scored 12 points on 5 of 16 shooting while hauling in a season-high 14 rebounds in his team's 99-93 win over the Bulls Friday.

Morris turned in his seventh double-double of the season Friday, helping to record the team's second straight home win against an Eastern Conference opponent. He also kicked in three assists and one block in 32 minutes of action. The Suns will square off with the Warriors Saturday.


Bulls PG Aaron Brooks scores 21 points vs. Suns Friday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:12 am ET) Bulls point guard Aaron Brooks scored 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting, including 3 of 5 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 99-93 loss to the Suns Friday.

It was Brooks' highest scoring total since racking up 26 points against the Celtics on Nov. 8. His 32 minutes off the bench represented the third time this season he's played at least 30 minutes in a game. Brooks also kicked in two rebounds, two assists and two steals in the loss. He'll match up with the Rockets Wednesday.


Bulls PF Pau Gasol doubles up vs. Suns Friday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:09 am ET) Bulls power forward Pau Gasol scored 10 points on 5 of 14 shooting while hauling in 19 rebounds in his team's 99-93 loss to the Suns Friday.

Gasol has racked up nine straight double-doubles, but his 19 rebounds Friday were his highest total since grabbing 20 against the Warriors on Dec. 6. He also kicked in three assists and one block in 36 minutes. The Bulls will look to bounce back Wednesday against the Rockets.


Bulls PG Derrick Rose scores team-high 23 vs. Suns
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:07 am ET) Bulls point guard Derrick Rose scored a team-high 23 points on 8 of 23 shooting in his team's 99-93 loss to the Suns Friday.

Rose missed all six of his three-point attempts Friday but was able to sink seven of his nine free throws to help boost his point total. He also tallied five rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes in the loss, the third in the last four games for the Bulls. They'll square off with the Rockets Wednesday.


Kings' DeMarcus Cousins to replace Kobe Bryant on All-Star team
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:41 am ET) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was named by commissioner Adam Silver as the injury replacement for Lakers guard Kobe Bryant on the 2015 Western Conference All-Star team Friday.

"I’m extremely excited to play in my first All-Star game," said Cousins, per the team's website. "I appreciate the recognition and want to also thank my teammates and the fans for their support throughout the season. Representing the Kings and the city of Sacramento is a great honor."

Cousins will be the first player to represent the Kings in an All-Star game since Peja Stojakovic and Brad Miller did so in 2004.

"This honor is a result of the hard work and determination DeMarcus has shown throughout the season," Kings head coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He dedicated himself to improving those talents that make him a special player and he is demonstrating every night how unique an athlete he is in this league."

Cousins entered play Friday averaging 23.8 points and 12.3 rebounds in 32 games.


 
 
 
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