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What's on the Schedule: Week 11

Fantasy Writer
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After two straight shortened scoring periods, things return to normal during Fantasy Week 11 (March 5-11). There are 57 games scheduled over the next seven days and 29 of the 30 NBA teams will play at least three times during the period. With only a few weeks left before the start of the playoffs in most Fantasy leagues, it is important for Fantasy owners to set the best lineup possible as they make their final push toward the postseason. To help, we have highlighted the seven teams which have the most intriguing schedules this week.

The Dallas Mavericks are the only team slated to play five times this week after playing four games the week following the All-Star break. Dallas is starting a grueling stretch in which it will play nine games over 12 days, including six of those contests on the road. The Mavericks will start the week in Oklahoma City for a matchup with the Thunder before heading home to face the Knicks Tuesday night. After a day off, Dallas will embark on its lone triple set of the season starting Thursday night at Phoenix. The Mavericks will then be in Sacramento Friday against the Kings before closing out the period Saturday night at Golden State.

With so many games crammed into such a small time frame, fatigue could certainly be a factor, especially near the end of the week. However, Dirk Nowitzki and crew do look to have some favorable matchups on tap. Three of the five teams Dallas will face are ranked in the bottom five in points allowed this season and the Mavericks have scored more than 100 points in two of their three contests against the Thunder. New York has also shown some flaws defensively of late, so we fully anticipate the Mavericks being able to score some points this week. Coach Rick Carlisle could be forced to go to his bench a bit more than usual over this crowded stretch, which makes this a good week to get most of Dallas' main Fantasy options active. While Nowtizki is a must-start option, Fantasy owners should make sure to get Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd active this week. Even Brendan Haywood and the suddenly emerging Roddy Beaubois deserve some consideration in most leagues.

Southwest: San Antonio Spurs (NY, LAC) We highlighted the Spurs' schedule last week, but with San Antonio the lone team with just two games on the docket we felt it pertinent to mention them again. The Spurs will play their first game of the scoring period on Wednesday against the Knicks before wrapping things up on Friday against the Clippers. While both games are at home, two games don't leave much room for error and one poor performance could really put Fantasy owners in a hole. As a result, we don't recommend using most of the Spurs' Fantasy options this week. Only Tony Paker should be left active in most formats.

Southwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Mavericks @OKC NY @PHO @SAC @GS
Rockets @BOS @TOR @NJ @CLE
Grizzlies @GS @PHO @DEN
Hornets @POR @SAC @DEN @MIN
Spurs NY LAC

Northwest: Denver Nuggets (SAC, CLE, NO, MEM) The Nuggets are slated to play four games during Week 11 and are the only team to will play four games without any back-to-back sets. Denver will start the week with a matchup against the Kings Monday night before welcoming the Cavaliers to town Wednesday. The Nuggets will then host New Orleans Friday and wrap up the period Sunday against the Grizzlies. While Denver looks to have some favorable matchups on the docket, the Nuggets are a team going through transition. Nene, Danilo Gallinari and Rudy Fernandez are all expected to return this week, which will likely throw a monkey wrench into coach George Karl's current rotation. Corey Brewer and Kenneth Faried will likely have their minutes affected the most this week. Plus, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, Arron Afflalo and even Al Harington could see their playing time take a small hit. Because of all the uncertainty surrounding Denver's rotation at the moment, we would caution Fantasy owners about using some of the team's options. Sure Gallinari and Nene can be plugged back into most lineups as soon as they return, but Ty Lawson looks to be the only other sure bet this week. Owners should consider the rest of Denver's pieces risky plays -- at best -- for the upcoming scoring period.

Northwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nuggets SAC CLE NO MEM
T'Woves LAC POR LAL NO
Thunder DAL PHO CLE CHA
Trail Blazers NO @MIN @BOS @WAS
Jazz @CLE @CHA @PHI @CHI

Pacific: Los Angeles Lakers (@DET, @WAS, @MIN, BOS) The Lakers are slated to play four times during Week 11, although three of those contests will be on the road. Los Angeles will start the week in Detroit to take on the Pistons Tuesday night. Kobe Bryant and Co. will then face the Wizards Wednesday before wrapping up their three-game road trip against the Timberwolves Friday night. Los Angeles will close out the scoring period against the Celtics Sunday in the Staples Center, concluding a stretch of four games in eight days. While the Lakers have struggled to score points on the road this season, they look to have some favorable matchups this week. The Pistons and Wizards are both ranked in the bottom of the league in opponent field-goal percentage, while Washington is one of the few teams allowing more than 100 points per game this season. Detroit and Minnesota are surrendering 95.9 and 96.5 points per game, respectively. However, Los Angeles was able to put up more than 100 points in both its meetings against the Timberwolves this year. Sure, the Celtics will likely put up a tough defensive effort, but Boston has allowed 100.6 points over its last five contests. With the way the Lakers have been clicking on offense of late, this looks to be a good week to give some of their mid-range options some run. Outside of must-start options, Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes could also be worth a look. Even Steve Blake and Derek Fisher could be worth using in deeper formats.

Pacific Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warriors @WAS MEM DAL @LAC
Clippers @MIN @NJ @SA GS
Lakers @DET @WAS @MIN BOS
Suns @OKC DAL MEM
Kings @DEN NO DAL ATL

Atlantic: Toronto Raptors (ORL, HOU, @DET, MIL) The Raptors are slated to play four times during Week 11 and will play three of those contests north of the border. Toronto will take on the Magic Monday night before welcoming the Rockets to town on Wednesday. After a few days off, the Raptors will wrap up the scoring period with a back-to-back set at Detroit Friday before returning home to take on the Bucks Saturday. While Toronto has had a tough time scoring points this season, it looks to have some favorable matchups this week. Houston and Detroit are both ranked near the bottom of the league in opponent field-goal percentage and Toronto was able to put up 96 and 99 points, respectively, in its lone matchups with the Magic and Bucks earlier in the year. The Raptors are also averaging nearly five points more at home this season than on the road, so this could be one of the rare weeks where owners want to think about using some of the club's mid-range options. Other than DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon, make sure to get Amir Johnson, James Jones and Linas Kleiza active. For those owners feeling extremely brave, Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis and Leandro Barbosa could also be worth a look in deeper leagues.

Atlantic Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Celtics HOU @PHI POR @LAL
Nets @MIA LAC @CHA HOU
Knicks @DAL @SA @MIL PHI
76ers @MIL BOS UTA @NY
Raptors ORL HOU @DET MIL

Central: Milwaukee Bucks (PHI, CHI, NY, @TOR) The Bucks are one of 23 teams slated to play four times during Week 11. Milwaukee will begin the week with three straight home games, starting Monday night against the 76ers. The Bucks will take on the Bulls Wednesday and then the Knicks Friday before closing the week in Canada against the Raptors Sunday. While Milwaukee appears to have some tough matchups on tap, the Bucks do have the advantage of playing in the Bradley Center. Coach Scott Skiles' club has been more efficient offensively at home this season, averaging 99.1 points compared to just 92.4 points on the road. Despite the defensive prowess of the Bulls, 76ers and even Knicks to a certain degree, Milwaukee's offensive efficiency at home is too hard to ignore. The Bucks have plenty of Fantasy options not named Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova who could help owners earn a win this week. Make sure to get the now-healthy Drew Gooden active this week as well as Carlos Delfino and Mike Dunleavy.

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

Southeast: Washington Wizards (GS, LAL, POR) The Wizards are slated to play three games -- all at home -- during Week 11. Washington will start the week with a matchup against the Warriors Monday before the Lakers come to town Wednesday. After a few days off, the Wizards will wrap up the scoring period against Portland Saturday night. While Golden State shouldn't provide much of a defensive challenge, the same cannot be said about the Lakers and Trail Blazers. Both teams have been particularly stingy on defense this season -- especially Los Angeles -- which could make points tough to come by for the Wizards. Coach Randy Wittman has been shaking up his rotation of late, which is a trend that could continue this week. He benched Nick Young and JaVale McGee recently and has been giving veterans Maurice Evans and Roger Mason Jr. extra minutes. With no clear-cut rotation and a tough schedule on tap, owners may want to avoid some of Washington's mid-range options. Other than John Wall and maybe McGee, there aren't many risk-free options on the roster. Jordan Crawford's recent play should be reason enough to get him active in deeper formats, but there is still some risk there.

Southeast Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hawks @IND @MIA @DET @SAC
Bobcats ORL UTA NJ @OKC
Heat NJ ATL IND
Magic @TOR @CHA @CHI IND
Wizards GS LAL POR

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Player News
Spurs F Tim Duncan tallies 27 in what could be his last game
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) When Tim Duncan walked off the court Saturday night after the Spurs were eliminated in the first round, one had to wonder if he would ever again walk back on an NBA court as a player.

If he indeed retires, he will have nothing to be ashamed of in regard to his last performance. The 18-year veteran nearly willed his team to victory over the Clippers, scoring 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting and adding 11 rebounds.

Duncan rose to the occasion in the playoffs, averaging 16.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.


Clippers PG Chris Paul overcomes injury to bury Spurs
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) In one of the gutsiest performances in NBA playoff history, Clippers point guard Chris Paul scored 27 points Saturday night, including the game-winner with one second remaining, to key a Game 7 defeat of now-deposed defending champion San Antonio.

Paul banked home a tough-angle shot from the right side to put the dagger in the Spurs, then limped back in pain from the hamstring injury sustained in the first quarter that forced him briefly out of the game.

"We've been in that situation a lot of times already this year, and most of the time I hadn't made it," Paul said. "We talked about it, and finally it worked when we needed it."

He finished with nine points in the fourth quarter, hit 9-of-13 shots throughout and added six assists.

Paul and his team are set to play Houston in the Western Conference semifinals.


G Joe Johnson: Nets likely to be broken up in offseason
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) Nets veteran guard Joe Johnson doesn't know how the roster will change next season. But he does believe that it will be quite different.

His team finished under .500 and lost in the first round of the playoffs despite boasting such talent as Johnson, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams. The Nets simply didn't mesh.

"I don't see us coming back as the same team," Johnson told the New York Daily News. "This is my third year here. I could see if we were getting better each year, but it's been kind of the opposite. So to not even be a .500 ball club in the East, it's disheartening and I don't know. I think everyone in the locker room is unsure of the future here."

The Nets have no cap space and pick 29th in the draft. Lopez and Thaddeus Young appear destined for free agency. Johnson could be traded. So could Williams, whom coach Lionel Hollins recently claimed is not worthy of a max contract.

Hollins was still complaining Saturday.

"I thought we had a higher basketball IQ as a group than we did," he said. "That was a big thing. I thought we had more toughness and all of that. But as a coach, looking from the outside, that's what I always say until you come in and coach a team you don't know for sure. I thought the skill level was better ... but we worked around it and that's part of coaching."

Williams declined to to speak to the media as he and his teammates gathered their bags and took off.


Grizzlies G Mike Conley doubtful for second-round opener
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) David Joerger has deemed Grizzlies guard Mike Conley doubtful for the series opener Sunday at Golden State, per Fox13Memphis.

It was not revealed if Conley, who sustained a facial injury against Portland, practiced Saturday. He missed the last two games against the Trail Blazers.


Clippers' Chris Paul heads leaves with hamstring injury, returns
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) Clippers point guard Chris Paul was forced to leave Saturday's Game 7 against the Spurs with an apparent leg injury. Paul headed back to the locker room near the end of the first quarter after limping off the court. He was diagnosed witha left hamstring strain and he is expected to return.

He scored five points on 2 of 3 shooting from the field with three assists before exiting the game.


Clippers PF Glen Davis cleared for action Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) The Clippers have announced that power forward Glen Davis will play in Game 7 of the playoff series against San Antonio on Saturday night.

Davis injured his ankle Thursday, but it healed quickly.


Clippers PF Glen Davis a maybe for Game 7
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) An ankle injury that had Clippers reserve power forward Glen Davis wheeled off the court Thursday has healed well enough to make him a possibility to play in Game 7 Saturday night against San Antonio, a source has told the Los Angeles Times.

Davis was diagnosed with a low ankle sprain. It was feared initially that it was broken.


Bulls C Joakim Noah ready to roll despite illness
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) Bulls center Joakim Noah did not pick an ideal time to be ill with a second-round playoff series against Cleveland, but Tom Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune that he worked most of Saturday practice and declared him ready to go for the Monday opener.

Noah played just over 33 minutes per game in the first round against Milwaukee. He averaged 6.5 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.


Wizards PG John Wall working through shoulder strain
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) The numbers against Toronto scream otherwise, but Wizards point guard John Wall was playing with a right shoulder strain that he now must deal with against the tougher Hawks in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Wall sustained the injury in the opener against the Raptors, yet still averaged 19.6 points and 14.0 assists over the final three games of the sweep. And he's not fretting it as his team prepares for Atlanta.

"It's all right," he told CSNWashington.com. "...I have a little strain in it and it's something I have to deal with, but you make no excuses when you're in the playoffs."


Nets coach Lionel Hollins: Deron Williams no longer a franchise player
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) Nets coach Lionel Hollins said that his point guard Deron Williams is a solid player, but shouldn't be expected to be a franchise player any longer.

"He's not a franchise player anymore," Hollins said during his exit interview Saturday morning, per ESPN. "He's a good player, he's a solid player, but I don't think he's a franchise player anymore. That's just my opinion. He's a good player. I'm proud of the way he's bounced back and played, and there's so much pressure on him to be a franchise player, and everybody talks about a franchise player, but we need to have a franchise team.

"That means we have everybody going out there and playing hard, playing together, sharing the ball. If a guy is open, he makes a shot. If a guy is not open, he passes to another guy and he makes the shot. To me, that's what basketball is about. It's not about a franchise player. I mean, those guys come along once in a lifetime, and everybody doesn't get a chance to coach one. When you don't have one, you can't say you can't win. There are teams that have won championships without franchise players, what everyone considers a franchise player. I'm not worried about that. That's something you guys talk about and worry about. I worry about us going out there and playing hard, playing together and trying to scratch and claw to win a game. That's what it's all about."

This isn't the first time Williams has been criticized for his inconsistent play and his injury-riddled run with the Nets over the past three seasons. Future Hall of Fame forward Paul Pierce spoke candidly back in April about his disastrous season with Williams and the Nets a year ago, calling it "horrible."

"Before I got there, I looked at Deron as an MVP candidate," Pierce said in an ESPN interview with Jackie MacMullan. "But I felt once we got there, that's not what he wanted to be. He just didn't want that. ... I think a lot of the pressure got to him sometimes. This was his first time in the national spotlight. The media in Utah is not the same as the media in New York."

Williams lost his starting role to Jarrett Jack from late December to early February this season while he recovered from a rib injury. He also dealt with a severe case of tendinitis throughout the season and finished his 2014-15 campaign averaging a career-worst 13.0 points, 6.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 68 games (55 starts).

The Nets entered the postseason as an eighth seed and were bounced out of the first round by Atlanta. Williams was held to only 11.8 points and 5.5 assists while shooting 39.1 percent from the field in the series. 


 
 
 
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