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What's on the Schedule: Week 7

Fantasy Writer
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There are only 112 games scheduled during Fantasy Week 7 (Feb. 6-12), making this scoring period the lightest of the season thus far. No team is slated to play five times or play three games on three consecutive days this week, as 24 of the 30 teams are scheduled to take the court four times over the next seven days. Only six teams will play three contests and there are only 26 back-to-back sets.

With this week's schedule arguably the most balanced to date, there aren't that many intriguing matchups at first glance. However, after taking a closer look at each team's upcoming schedule, we found plenty of tidbits that Fantasy owners should be aware of when setting their lineups this week. Here is our list of the teams we feel have the most intriguing schedules heading into Week 7.

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We highlighted the Grizzlies' schedule last week, but with four games on the docket during Week 7, we thought it prudent to mention Memphis once again. The Grizzlies are the only team slated to play four home games during the upcoming scoring period and one of the only teams that won't play any back-to-back sets. Memphis will begin the week with its third matchup of the season against the Spurs on Monday night, followed by a visit from Kevin Love and the Timberwolves on Wednesday. The Grizzlies will then host the Pacers on Friday night before closing out the week against the Jazz on Sunday.

While Memphis looks to have some tough matchups this week, the Grizzlies should have no problem putting points on the board. Coach Lionel Hollins' club has one of the most lopsided home and road splits in terms of points scored this season. The Grizzlies are averaging just 87.2 points per game on the road this season but are scoring 102.1 points per contest at home. That is a difference of nearly 15 points, which is the largest differential in the league. Sure, fatigue could play a factor at some point with the Grizzlies playing nine games over 14 days, but Memphis' splits are simply too drastic to ignore. While Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley should almost always remain active, Fantasy owners should have no qualms about rolling with some of Memphis' lower end options this week as well. Feel free to activate O.J. Mayo, Tony Allen and even Marreese Speights in deeper formats.

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

Southwest: New Orleans Hornets (SAC, CHI, POR): The Hornets are one of only six teams with three games scheduled for Week 7, although New Orleans is the only club slated to play all three contests at home. The Hornets will welcome the defensively challenged Kings to the Big Easy on Monday night before hosting the Bulls on Wednesday. After a day off, New Orleans will close out the scoring period against the Trail Blazers on Friday night. While Sacramento is ranked last in points allowed this season (101.4), Chicago and Portland are both ranked in the Top 10 in the same category, allowing just 88.4 and 91.5 points per game, respectively. Combine that with the fact that New Orleans is averaging a league-low 87.4 points per game at home this season and Fantasy owners are likely looking at three grind-it-out, low-scoring affairs this week. Only Jarret Jack -- if healthy -- Emeka Okafor and maybe Trevor Ariza are worthy of starting in most formats this week. Carl Landry and Greivis Vasquez are simply too risky to start in anything other than the deepest of formats.

Southwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Mavericks @DEN @MIN POR
Rockets @DEN @POR @PHO @GS
Grizzlies SA MIN IND UTA
Hornets SAC CHI POR
Spurs @MEM @PHI @NJ

Pacific: Phoenix Suns (@ATL, @MIL, HOU, @SAC): The Suns have played four times in each of the last two weeks and that trend will continue during Week 7. Phoenix is slated to play four games over the next seven days, with three of those contests coming on the road. The Suns will start the week with a back-to-back road set against the Hawks and Bucks on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Phoenix will play its lone home game of the scoring period on Thursday against the Rockets before closing out the week at Sacramento on Saturday night. While everyone considers the Suns one of the faster-paced teams in the league, Phoenix has had problems scoring away from home. Coach Alvin Gentry's squad is averaging just 89.9 points per game on the road this season, which doesn't bode well for owners considering their upcoming schedule. With three road games, including a back-to-back on the docket, Fantasy owners should avoid using the majority of Phoenix's Fantasy options this week. Only must-starts Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat should be left active in most formats.

Pacific Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warriors OKC @DEN HOU
Clippers @ORL @CLE @PHI @CHA
Lakers @PHI @Bos @NY @TOR
Suns @ATL @MIL HOU @SAC
Kings @NO @MIN OKC PHO

Northwest: Oklahoma City Thunder (@POR, @GS, @SAC, @UTA): The Thunder will be on the West Coast over the next seven days as Kevin Durant and Co. are scheduled to play four road games, including a pair of back-to-back sets during Week 7. Oklahoma City will begin the week in Portland for a game against the Trail Blazers on Monday night before making its second trip of the season to Golden State on Tuesday. After a day off, the Thunder will be at Sacramento on Thursday night before closing out the scoring period against the Jazz on Friday. While four road games in five days seems like a daunting task for most teams, the Thunder should be up for the challenge. Three of the four teams Oklahoma City will be facing this week are ranked in the bottom seven in points allowed, including Sacramento, which is allowing a league-worst 101.4 points per contest. Couple that with the fact that the Thunder is averaging 98.3 points per game away from home, and this looks to be a good week to use most of Oklahoma City's Fantasy options. Besides the obvious choices of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, Fantasy owners should give Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and even Nick Collison a look in deeper formats.

Northwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nuggets HOU DAL GS @IND
T'Wolves SAC @MEM DAL NY
Thunder @POR @GS @SAC @UTA
Trail Blazers OKC HOU @NO @DAL
Jazz @NY @IND OKC @MEM

Southeast: Charlotte Bobcats (@BOS, CHI, LAC): The Bobcats are slated to play three times during Week 7, and all three on their matchups look to be challenging. Charlotte will be in Boston on Tuesday night to take on the Celtics before Derrick Rose and the Bulls come to town on Friday night. The Bobcats will then close out the scoring period against the Clippers on Saturday. Both the Celtics and Bulls are ranked in the top five in points allowed this season, which could make it a long week for the offensively-inept Bobcats. Charlotte has been decimated by injuries of late and is having trouble generating offense. Kemba Walker and Co. are averaging just 78 points per game over their last six contests and have failed to score 100 points in 11 straight games, making most of Charlotte's Fantasy options risky plays this week. Only Walker and perhaps Boris Diaw are worthy of starting in the majority of formats this week.

Southeast Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hawks PHO IND @ORL MIA
Bobcats BOS CHI LAC
Heat CLE @ORL @WAS @ATL
Magic LAC MIA ATL @MIL
Wizards TOR NY MIA @DET

Central: Chicago Bulls (@NJ, @NO, @CHA, @BOS): The Bulls enter Week 7 in the midst of a nine-game road trip, which will have Chicago playing four times over the next seven days. The Bulls will battle the Nets on Monday night in New Jersey before heading out to New Orleans on Wednesday. After a day off, Chicago will take on the Bobcats on Friday before making their second trip of the season to Boston on Sunday afternoon. While most teams struggle on the offensive end when playing away from home, the Bulls have been the opposite. Chicago is actually averaging nearly 98 points per game away from the United Center this season, which ranks sixth overall. With New Jersey, Charlotte and even New Orleans on the schedule this week, the Bulls should have no problem continuing their stellar offensive play. Fantasy owners should feel free to roll with the majority of Chicago's Fantasy options heading into Week 7. Even lower-end options such as Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver could be worth a look in deeper formats.

Central Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Bulls @NJ @NO @CHA @BOS
Cavaliers @MIA LAC MIL PHI
Pistons @NJ NJ WAS
Pacers UTA @ATL @MEM DEN
Bucks PHO @TOR @CLE ORL

Atlantic: Philadelphia 76ers (LAL, SA, LAC, @CLE): The 76ers are slated to play four times during Week 7, with three of those contests at home. Philadelphia will face the Lakers on Monday night before Tim Duncan and the Spurs head to town on Wednesday. After a day off, the 76ers will take on the Clippers on Friday and then close out the week in Cleveland against the Cavaliers on Saturday night. While taking on the Lakers, Spurs and Clippers seems like a daunting task on paper, the 76ers should be able, at the very least, to score some points. The Lakers are the only team on that list ranked in the top 10 in points allowed this season, while the Clippers and Cavaliers rank near the bottom. San Antonio is surrendering just over 93 points per game but has had its fair share of issues on the defensive end. With the way Philadelphia's offense has been clicking of late, owners should feel free to continue to roll with the majority of the 76ers' main Fantasy options. Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Jodie Meeks could also be worth a look in deeper formats.

Atlantic Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Celtics CHA LAL @TOR CHI
Nets CHI DET @DET SA
Knicks UTA @WAS LAL @MIN
76ers LAL SA LAC @CLE
Raptors @WAS MIL BOS LAL

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Player News
Warriors C David Lee ruled out for Monday's playoff game
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:51 pm ET) The Warriors announced center David Lee will not play in Monday night's Game 2 contest against the Pelicans, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Lee has a lower back injury that sidelined him two of the past three regular-season games, as well as Game 1 of the playoffs. 


Pacers' Larry Bird wants Paul George to play some power forward
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4:55 pm ET) Pacers president Larry Bird is hoping Paul George can add a skill set to his overall game. 

Bird said, via the Indianapolis Star, that he wants George to learn how to play the power forward position by next season. It wouldn't be a move where George switches positions, but one where the Pacers could gain an advantage with a smaller lineup. 

"David (West) is our starter, but when we go smaller we'd like to see Paul maybe play some '4' and you know everybody says, 'You'll have a problem on the defensive end,' well, I don't think so," Bird said. "He can guard about anybody, and then on the other end, it's a major plus for us."


Hawks F Mike Scott will play Sunday against Nets
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said forward Mike Scott will be available for Sunday night's first-round opener against the Nets, according to the team's website. 

Budenholzer previously stated that he expected Scott to be able to play in this game. Scott has averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 68 regular-season games. He missed the regular-season finale with a back injury. 

The Hawks are 10-point favorites in the game. 


Wizards G Garrett Temple has chance to return in Raptors series
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4:18 pm ET) Wizards guard Garrett Temple could return later in the first-round series against the Raptors, according to The Washington Post

Temple is dealing with a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since March 9. He was able to put up more shots than usual in practice on Sunday. If he does return in the Raptors series, it will most likely be in a limited role. 


Bulls G Kirk Hinrich listed as questionable for Game 2
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3:52 pm ET) The Bulls are listing guard Kirk Hinrich officially as questionable for Game 2 against the Bucks on Monday night. 

Hinrich missed Game 1 as he's recovering from a left hyperextended knee. The first playoff game was the third consecutive he's missed. This year in 66 games, Hinrich's averaged 5.7 points and 2.2 rebounds. 


Spurs' Tiago Splitter (calf) is a game-time decision
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2:31 pm ET) Spurs coach Greg Popovich center Tiago Splitter is a game-time decision for Sunday's opening-round game against the Clippers, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Splitter is listed as questionable for the game with a calf injury. 


Pelicans' Tyreke Evans considers himself game-time decision
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2:19 pm ET) Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans called himself a game-time decision for Monday's Game 2 contest against the Warriors, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

Evans was forced to leave Saturday's 106-99 loss to Golden State with a knee bruise.

Though Evans considers himself a game-time decision, Pelicans coach Monty Williams said Evans is "day to day."

Evans was injured with 5:16 remaining in the first half in Game 1. 


Clippers' DeAndre Jordan not concerned about free-throw woes
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(12:58 pm ET) Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has had his fair share of issues from the free-throw line. 

For the season, Jordan has only made 39.7 percent of his free-throw attempts. Only Detroit's Andre Drummond's 38.9 percent ranks worse in the NBA. As a result, teams have fouled Jordan to put him on the line late in games. 

Jordan said he's been working on his free throws and that he's not concerned about them heading into the playoffs. 

“It’s happened all season, and I feel like a lot of the games that they’ve done it we’ve won,” Jordan said, via the San Antonio Express-News. “I’m not really worried about it. When it does happen, which I know it will, I’ll just go to the line and shoot the basketball. It’s not something that I’m dreading, but I’m prepared for it. I’m ready.”

The Clippers will face the Spurs on Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round series at 10:30 p.m.


Grizzlies Tony Allen (hamstring), Mike Conley (foot) will play
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(12:31 pm ET) Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said forward Tony Allen and guard Mike Conley will be able to play Sunday night against the Trail Blazers, according to sideline reporter Rob Fischer. 

Conley has a foot injury that caused him to miss the final four games of the regular season. Allen dealt with a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the final nine regular-season games. 

Joerger did say he's concerned about how much "rust" both Allen and Conley will have to overcome with the playoffs beginning. 


Suns on Brandon Knight's surgery: 'It was a minor procedure'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:56 am ET) Suns point guard Brandon Knight underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery Friday, but president of basketball operations Lon Babby called it "a minor procedure," the Arizona Republic reports.

"It was a minor procedure," Babby said. "There was an anterior flap (of cartilage) in his ankle that caused irritation. We expect a full recovery."

Knight suffered the injury on March 9 and missed 16 of the team's final 17 games. He averaged 17.0 points and 5.2 assists in 63 games between the Bucks and Suns last season.


 
 
 
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