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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
Report: Tristan Thompson in, Mike Miller out of Cavaliers lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:22 am ET) Cavaliers power forward and super sub Tristan Thompson, who led the NBA this season in offensive rebounding off the bench, will reportedly not be a super sub in Game 2 of the playoff series against Chicago on Wednesday night. He is set to start, league sources have told the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Thompson came off the bench in the first-game loss and managed four points and eight rebounds in 37 minutes. With Thompson pairing up with LeBron James and Timofey Mozgov, the Cavaliers would boast a frontcourt of three players 6-foot-8 and taller.

The move would send Mike Miller to the bench. Miller, who did not play at all in the first-round series against Boston, failed to provide much production in the opener.

It remains to be seen who Thompson guards, but he might match up with Pau Gasol, whose length and mid-range jumper wreaked havoc on the Cavaliers in Game 1.


Thibodeau on Bulls PF Taj Gibson: 'Taj is always important'
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:13 am ET) The addition of Pau Gasol and emergence of Nikola Mirotic this season cut into the opportunities for Bulls reserve forward Taj Gibson. But it didn't cut into the respect Tom Thibodeau has for him.

Gibson averaged 13 points and 6.8 rebounds a game last season, but the numbers fell to 10.3 and 6.4 this year. He contributed plenty down the stretch in the regular season, however, after returning from an ankle sprain. He also helped Chicago handle the length of Milwaukee in the first round. Thibodeau is thankful for what he brings to the table.

"Taj is always important," he told NBA.com. "That's the only thing you can't overlook, what he brings to our team, his defense, his rebounding. He's probably our best low-post defender. He's our best guy at moving his feet. Offensively it's hard to put a small on him - he can overpower you inside with his post game. Second shots. He's got a good 17-foot shot, it's not like you can disregard him. You've got to pay attention to him. He's critical for our team."

Gibson posted eight points on 3-of-5 shooting and five rebounds in 28 minutes in the Bulls' Game 1 victory in Cleveland.


Wizards' John Wall to seek another opinion for 'really bad' wrist sprain
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:49 am ET) Wizards guard John Wall told reporters he's dealing with a "really bad sprain" in his wrist, which has given him trouble dribbling the ball the way he is accustomed to, per the team's official website.

Wall's injury stemmed from a nasty fall in Game 1 against Atlanta. He consulted with team doctors and opted to sit out Game 2. In his absence, Ramon Sessions got the start and scored a playoff career-high 21 points, but it wasn't enough as Washington dropped Game 2, 106-90.

According to David Aldridge of TNT and NBA.com, Wall reiterated that his wrist isn't broken, and that he is expected to get another opinion back in Washington before the team determines a course of treatment.

The Wizards have until Saturday before determining his status for a pivotal Game 3 in Washington. The series is tied 1-1 through two games.


Grizzlies' Conley drops 22 in a triumphant Game 2 win over Warriors
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:35 am ET) Multiple facial fractures didn't hold Grizzlies guard Mike Conley back Tuesday night against Golden State. The point guard played with a clear mask and led his team with a triumphant 22-point performance to top the Warriors 97-90 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Conley went 8 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 6 from downtown, and 3 of 4 from the charity stripe. He added three assists while logging 27 minutes of game action. Conley's 22 points was his highest scoring effort in a playoff game since scoring 24 in Game 4 of the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals (May 13, 2013).


Grizzlies' Mike Conley will suit up, wear protective mask vs. Warriors
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Grizzlies guard Mike Conley will suit up for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Warriors, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Conley suffered a facial fracture in the opening round of the playoffs against Portland and will wear a clear mask for additional protection. He also told reporters that his sprained right foot is still bothering him, though he'll try to play through the pain.

Conley averaged 14.6 points and 6.1 assists in 80 regular-season games.

Memphis is a 10-point underdog at Golden State, VegasInsider.com.


Rockets' Dwight Howard not worried about lack of touches down the stretch
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Rockets center Dwight Howard didn't take a shot in the final seven minutes of the team's Game 1 loss. He's not worried about his lack of scoring opportunities, however. 

"I can’t focus on that," Howard said, per the Houston Chronicle. "I got to continue to be a presence on the defensive end, get more blocked shots, get more rebounds, run the floor more, do all the things I can do, not focus so much on if I’m getting the ball or not."


Wizards' John Wall a late scratch, Bradley Beal will play Game 2
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Wizards guard John Wall was a late scratch Tuesday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Hawks, per the Washington Post. Bradley Beal, who suffered a sprained ankle during the Game 1, will play against Atlanta.

Ramon Sessions will start in Wall's place.

Wall landed on his wrist in Game 1 and initially feared he may have broken it. Coach Randy Wittman told reporters that the decision to play Wall was out of his hands and up to the medical staff.

"He's one of the toughest guys I've been around," Wittman said.

Wall has doubled up in four consecutive postseason games, and is averaging 17.4 points, 12.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game in the playoffs, while shooting 39.7 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from downtown in five games.

Washington was considered a 6-point underdog before the team deemed Wall out for the game.

The Wizards have a 1-0 series lead.


Clippers list Chris Paul as doubtful for Game 2 in Houston
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Although Clippers coach Doc Rivers labeled point guard Chris Paul as "50-50," the team officially deemed him as doubtful for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Rockets on Wednesday, per the Los Angeles Times.

Paul played through a hamstring injury and scored the winning bucket to lift his club past San Antonio in Game 7 of the opening round of the playoffs. Rivers held Paul out on Monday and started his son, Austin Rivers in Game 1.

Los Angeles is a 7-point underdog at Houston, per VegasInsider.com.


Clippers' Blake Griffin steps up as vocal leader with Chris Paul out
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Clippers forward Blake Griffin doesn't usually talk much on the court, when his teammates need correction.

"I’m not ever one of those guys that’s going to yell at guys," Griffin said, per InsideHoops.com. "It’s about helping them out."

Griffin was content to leave the yelling to teammate Chris Paul, a fiery on-court leader. But with Paul out for Game 1 and "50/50" for Game 2, according to coach Doc Rivers, Griffin is stepping out of his comfort zone. 

He could be heard verbally leading his teammates during Game 1 and intends to do the same if Paul is sidelined for Game 2.




Clippers G Chris Paul (hamstring) may play in Game 2
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Clippers guard Chris Paul is listed as questionable for Game 2 on Wednesday at Houston, reports ESPN.

Paul missed the Game 1 win over the Rockets after suffering a hamstring injury during the Game 7 win over the Spurs in the opening round. Guard Austin Rivers started in place of Paul.

The Clippers are 1-point underdogs at Houston on Wednesday.


 
 
 
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