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What's on the Schedule: Week 12

Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy Week 12 (March 12-18) is one of the busier periods of the season as there are 59 games scheduled over the next seven days. Four teams will play five games this week and there are 33 back-to-back sets, including one back-to-back-to-back. And with the NBA's trade deadline upon us, there could be some players on the move this week, which will add an additional challenge to Fantasy owners and teams as both continue to navigate what has been anything but a normal NBA season.

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While it is difficult to predict which players will be on the move, we have highlighted the seven teams we feel have the most intriguing matchups this week and who could also be affected by trades, starting with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers only played 30 games prior to the All-Star break but have been one of the busiest teams since play resumed. Los Angeles played four times in each of the last two weeks but will now be one of four teams with five games scheduled this period. However, the Clippers are the only team that will get to play all five of their games at home starting Monday night against the Celtics. Chris Paul and Co. will then face the Hawks Wednesday, followed by a visit from the Suns Thursday night. After a day off, Los Angeles will close out the period with a back-to-back set against the Rockets and Pistons on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, respectively.

While playing seven games over a 10-day stretch will present plenty of challenges, the Clippers should benefit greatly from playing at the Staples Center. Coach Vinny Del Negro's squad is averaging 99.8 points per game at home and is making 47 percent of field goals in their own pad. That should help when facing the defensive-minded Celtics and Hawks during the early portion of the week. Things look to get easier as the week progresses as the Clippers have scored more than 100 points in each of their two matchups against the Rockets this year. Despite Detroit's improved play lately, the Pistons are allowing their opponents to convert 47 percent of their field-goal attempts, which ranks 28th out of the 30 NBA teams. The Suns held Los Angeles to a season-low 78 points during their lone meeting this season, but we don't foresee that happening again.

Despite the obvious challenges of playing so many games over such a small time frame, this looks to be a great week to use most of the Clippers' Fantasy options. In addition to must-start options Blake Griffin and Paul, owners should make sure to get DeAndre Jordan, Mo Williams and Randy Foye active. Even Kenyon Martin could have some run in deeper formats.

Pacific: Sacramento Kings (GS, DET, BOS, MIN) The Kings are scheduled to play four times during Week 12 but will have the luxury of playing all four at home. Sacramento will open the period with its lone back-to-back set against the Warriors and Pistons on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Kings will then welcome the Celtics to town Friday before closing out the week Sunday evening against the Timberwolves. Despite the Kings' sub-.500 record, this looks to be a great week to start most of their main Fantasy options. Both the Pistons and Warriors have been spotty at best on defense this season and the Timberwolves have surrendered an average of 99.8 points over their last five games. The Celtics are the lone team on the schedule this week which could present a defensive challenge but the Kings usually find a way to score points at home. In fact, coach Keith Smart's squad is averaging 99 points per game at home this season, which is five points more than their average on the road. DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas should all be active this week and even Jason Thompson, Jimmer Fredette and John Salmons can be considered viable options in deeper formats.

Pacific Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warriors @SAC BOS MIL @UTA
Clippers BOS ATL PHO HOU DET
Lakers @MEM @NO MIN UTA
Suns MIN UTA @LAC DET HOU
Kings GS DET BOS MIN

Northwest: Minnesota Timberwolves (@PHO, @UTA, @LAL, @SAC) The Timberwolves are slated to play four games during Week 12 as they get ready to begin life without Ricky Rubio. Minnesota will be on the road for the duration of the scoring period, starting Monday night in Phoenix. The T'wolves will then take on the Jazz and Lakers in a back-to-back set Thursday and Friday night, respectively, before closing out the week at Sacramento on Sunday. While Minnesota looks to have some favorable matchups on the docket, the Timberwolves will have to find a way to replace the 10.6 points and 8.2 assists Rubio gave them on a nightly basis. Kevin Love's production should remain unchanged, but many are wondering how Fantasy sensation Nikola Pekovic will fare without some of Rubio's precise passes to him in the post. That doesn't mean Pekovic's production will be non-existstent without Rubio, but it could take a hit. Luke Ridnour and Jose Juan Barea -- if healthy – should see a boost in production this week and even Martell Webster's minutes will likely increase. However, because no one knows for sure how Minnesota will look moving forward, some of its options could be considered a bit risky this week. Other than Love, Pekovic and Ridnour, we would recommend leaving most of the T'Wolves' other options reserved.

Northwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nuggets ATL OKC BOS
T'Wolves @PHO @UTA @LAL @SAC
Thunder HOU @DEN SA POR
Trail Blazers @IND @NY @CHI @OKC
Jazz DET @PHO MIN GS @LAL

Southwest: Houston Rockets (@OKC, CHA, @LAC, @PHO) The Rockets are one of the 20 teams scheduled to play four times this week. Houston will start the scoring period on the road for a matchup against the Thunder Tuesday night. The Rockets will take on the Bobcats back in Houston Wednesday before closing out the scoring period with a pair of road games against the Clippers Saturday and Suns on Sunday. While Houston will have to play three of its four contests away from home, the Rockets are actually one of the more efficient road teams in the league, averaging 95.7 points in other arenas. Combine that with the fact that Luis Scola and Co. have already put up more than 100 points on the Clippers and Thunder this season and this looks to be a good week to use most of Houston's Fantasy options. Fantasy owners should make sure Scola, Kevin Martin and Samuel Dalembet are all active this week. With Kyle Lowry sidelined for a few weeks, Goran Dragic should be activated heading into the scoring period.

Southwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Mavericks WAS CHA SA
Rockets @OKC CHA @LAC @PHO
Grizzlies LAL TOR WAS
Hornets CHA LAL WAS @NJ
Spurs WAS ORL @OKC @DAL

Central: Detroit Pistons (@UTA, @SAC, @PHO, @LAC) The Pistons enter Week 12 playing some of their best basketball of the season and are scheduled for four games over the next seven days. All four contests will be on the road, starting Monday at Utah. Detroit will then take on the Kings Wednesday night before wrapping up the period against the Suns Friday and Clippers Sunday in a matinee. While the Pistons have not fared well on the road this season, they look to have some favorable matchups on tap. The Jazz and Suns both rank in the bottom tier in points allowed this season and the Suns have been anything but a defensive juggernaut. The Clippers could present a challenge but not enough to worry about sitting most of Detroit's main Fantasy options. Make sure to leave Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey, Brandon Knight and Tayshaun Price active this week. Even the emerging Jason Maxiell could be worth starting in some deeper formats.

Central Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Bulls NY MIA POR PHI
Cavaliers TOR @MIL ATL
Pistons @UTA @SAC @PHO @LAC
Pacers POR PHI @NY NY
Bucks @NJ CLE @GS

Southeast: Washington Wizards (@SA, @DAL, @NO, @ATL, @MEM) The Wizards will play five times during Week 12, with all five contests coming on the road. Washington will start the week in Texas with a back-to-back set against the Spurs and Mavericks on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The Wizards then take on the Hornets Thursday and Hawks Friday before wrapping up the scoring period against Memphis Sunday evening. If playing five road games over seven days wasn't challenging enough, Washington's roster could look completely different by the week's end. General manager Ernie Grunfeld has made it clear everyone not named John Wall is on the trading block, making most of the Wizards' Fantasy options risky plays this week. While it won't be feasible for some owners, we recommend trying to avoid using Jordan Crawford, Nick Young and Andray Blatche if possible. The center position is too thin to sit JaVale McGee, but Trevor Booker is another player who could be dealt. Wall appears to be the only sure bet this week, which is why he is the only player we feel comfortable fully endorsing for the scoring period.

Southeast Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hawks @DEN @LAC WAS @CLE
Bobcats @NO @HOU @DAL TOR
Heat @ORL @CHI @PHI ORL
Magic MIA @SA NJ @MIA
Wizards @SA @DAL @NO @ATL @MEM

Atlantic: Philadelphia 76ers (@IND, MIA, @CHI) The 76ers are one of the few teams slated to play only three games during Week 12. Philadelphia will start the week at Indiana on Wednesday before taking on the Heat at home Friday night. The 76ers will then face the Bulls in Chicago Saturday night, wrapping up a very tough three-game stretch. Indiana, Miami and Chicago all rank in the top 10 in points allowed and opposition field-goal percentage this season, making this a brutal stretch for Philadelphia. Points will likely come at a premium this week and Philadelphia's balanced scoring attack makes this a tough week to endorse most of its Fantasy options. Only Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams and the emerging Evan Turner look like safe plays. Start the slumping Jrue Holiday and inconsistent Elton Brand at your own risk.

Atalntic Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Celtics @LAC @GS @SAC @DEN
Nets MIL TOR @ORL NO
Knicks @CHI POR IND @IND
76ers @IND MIA @CHI
Raptors @CLE @NJ @MEM @CHA

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Player News
Hornets coach Clifford: Hairston's not making his teammates better
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:28 am ET) Hornets coach Steve Clifford doesn't like what he's seen from rookie P.J. Hairston as of late. Monday, Hairston was made inactive for arriving late to a weight training session and Tuesday Clifford had some harsh words for the rookie, according to the Charlotte Observer.

"He hasn't developed any way to play to make his teammates better," Clifford said.

Hairston didn't play again on Tuesday and is averaging 5.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 35 games this season.


Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried doubles up on Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:12 am ET) Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried put up a double-double on Tuesday against the Bucks.

Faried shot 5-10 from the field. He hit four of his five free throws, finishing with 14 points. Faried was active on the boards as well, picking up 14 rebounds. Twelve of those came on the defensive end of the court. Faried also added two blocks. 


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by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Raptors point guard Greivis Vasquez wasn't expecting to fill a backup role this season. But the veteran is making the most of the playing time he's getting, reports the Toronto Sun.

"This year has been tough for me," said Vasquez of the changing roles and adapting to each changing situation. "I have to adjust to one, two, three different roles."

Vasquez is averaging 9.5 points and 3.6 assists in 60 games this season.

"I just want to win," said Vasquez. "I just want to play in May."


Bucks' Antetokounmpo goes for double-double on Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo picked up a double-double on Tuesday against the Nuggets.

Antetokounmpo shot 7-10 from the field, including 1-1 from beyond the arc. He sunk four of his six free throws, finishing with 19 points. He was also active on the boards, pulling down 11 rebounds. Antetokounmpo finished with three blocks and two assists. 


Bulls forward Pau Gasol posts league-leading 39th double-double
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Bulls power forward Pau Gasol scored 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the field in Chicago's 97-92 win over the Wizards Tuesday. Gasol also grabbed 10 rebounds, leading to his league-leading 39th double-double of the season and fourth in his last five games.

Gasol also added two blocks and one steal to his totals.


Bulls center Joakim Noah posts double-double in win Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Bulls center Joakim Noah scored 14 points on 4 of 5 shooting from the field and 6 of 10 from the free throw line in Chicago's 97-92 win over the Wizards Tuesday. 

Noah also did well on the glass, grabbing 12 rebounds, leading to his third straight double-double and 14th of the season. Noah has reached double figures in rebounds in each of his eight games. He added five assists and three blocks to his totals.


Wizards guard John Wall doubles up Bulls in losing effort Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Wizards point guard John Wall scored 21 points on 8 of 20 shooting from the field in Washington's 97-92 loss to the Bulls Tuesday.

Wall, who struggled from 3-point range, going 1 of 4, also dished out 11 assists. It was Wall's 33rd double-double of the season and fifth in his last six games. He added two blocks and two steals to his totals.


Jazz center Rudy Gobert pulls down 24 rebounds on Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Jazz center Rudy Gobert was a monster on the boards on Tuesday.

Gobert pulled down 24 rebounds during the game. Eighteen of those came on the defensive side of the floor. Gobert also put up a solid offensive game, shooting 6-10 from the field. He sunk three of his four free throws, finishing with 15 points and picking up a double-double. 


Hawks' Paul Millsap doubles up on the Rockets on Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Hawks forward Paul Millsap posted a double-double on the Rockets on Tuesday.

Millsap shot just 6-16 from the field, including 0-3 from beyond the arc. He sunk all four of his free throws, finishing with 16 points. Millsap was active on the boards, pulling down 14 rebounds. Twelve of those came on the defensive side of the court. Millsap also added four assists and two steals during the contest. 


Magic guard Evan Fournier taking it slow in recovery from hip injury
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Magic guard Evan Fournier is hoping to get back on the court for Wednesday's game against the Suns, but is being cautious, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

"You don't want to mess too much with a muscle," Fournier said. "It's very important to take care of your body and make sure you feel good, because it can get worse."

Fournier suffered the injury Feb. 20 when he collided with Anthony Davis going up for a shot. 

The Magic are currently 4-point underdogs against the Suns Wednesday.


 
 
 
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