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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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Rockets center Dwight Howard doubles up Warriors in losing effort
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(5/23/2015) Rockets center Dwight Howard scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field and pulled down 14 rebounds in Houston's 115-80 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.

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(5/23/2015) Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love was able to do a light workout on Saturday. 

Love is expected to miss the rest of the postseason with a shoulder injury. The Associated Press reported that Love was at the Cavs practice facility on Saturday and "got in some kind of workout, likely bike."


Pacers' Paul George still not 100 percent
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Pacers forward Paul George still isn't fully recovered from the broken leg that kept him out for much of the regular season. 

Appearing at the Indy 500 Festival Parade, George said he's doing "good" in his recovery from the injury, but he's still not at 100 percent. 

"Not yet," he said, per Vigilant Sports. "I’m working towards it though."


Kyrie Irving practices for Cavaliers, still questionable for Game 3
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving practiced on Saturday, wearing a soft sleeve on his injured left knee, per ESPN

Coach David Blatt said that Irving is still questionable for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, per the Associated Press. Blatt said Irving's playing status would be a medical decision. The fact that the Cavaliers are leading the series two games to none over Atlanta will have no bearing. 


Hawks' Kyle Korver out for playoffs, may need surgery
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver suffered a high right ankle sprain in Game 2 and is out for the remainder of the playoffs, per the Journal Constitution

Korver's MRI on Saturday revealed a severe sprain, the team announced. He'll see a specialist to see if surgery is necessary. 

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Raptors' Terrence Ross has ankle surgery
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Raptors guard/forward Terrence Ross had ankle surgery on Friday to remove bone spurs and loose bodies, the team announced on Saturday. 

Ross had the procedure in Van Nuys, California and will rehab in Toronto. No timetable has been released. 

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Rockets' Dwight Howard's knee improving
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Rockets center Dwight Howard said that his injured knee feels better than it did prior to Game 2, per the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Knee of Hawks SF DeMarre Carroll 'must've felt good' Friday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll didn't feel well mentally after his team fell again to Cleveland at home Friday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final. But he felt OK physically, which is saying something.

Carroll had to be helped off the court during the opener after taking a hard fall. A serious knee injury appeared likely, but he was diagnosed only with a bone bruise. Still, he was clearly not 100 percent and trying to hang with LeBron James on the court has a way of making knees not feel so good.

"I got out there, so I must've felt good," he said via cleveland.com. "But when you're a little kid, you dream of an opportunity to play in the Eastern Conference finals and playing against one of the best players in the world. I didn't care if I had one leg, I wasn't going to let his opportunity pass me by."

Carroll, however, expressed disappointment at the team effort, which inexplicably given the circumstances, was lacking.

"I don't know, man. I think we just came out flat," he said. "How does that happen? I don't know."


 
 
 
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