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What's on the Schedule: Week 13

Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy Week 13 (March 19-25) signals the final week of the regular season in most Fantasy leagues, leaving some owners one more chance to earn a playoff berth. There are 57 games scheduled over the next seven days with plenty more intriguing matchups on the docket. A season-high five teams will play a set of three games over three consecutive days, while two clubs are slated to play five times. However, the team we have chosen to feature this week is the Chicago Bulls, who don't fall into either of those categories.

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The Bulls are one of eight teams slated to play only three games during Week 13, but Chicago is the only club that will play just two different teams over that stretch. The Bulls start the week with a prime-time matchup against the Magic Monday night before heading to Canada to face the Raptors Wednesday night. After two days off, Chicago will be back in the United Center taking on the Raptors Saturday night for the second time in four days.

While coach Tom Thibodeau has the Bulls rolling toward another No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, Chicago will likely be shorthanded once again this week. Derrick Rose seems highly unlikely to play until Saturday at the earliest due to a groin injury, while Luol Deng continues to try and play through a nagging wrist injury that has limited his production. That means some of Chicago's lower-end options should continue to see some extended run, which has worked out pretty well lately. The Bulls are 9-4 without the reigning MVP in the lineup and have averaged 96.6 points per game over that stretch. That trend should continue this week with the Magic and Raptors on the docket. Chicago is averaging 95.5 points per game against Orlando this season, while Toronto has allowed more than 100 points in each of its last two contests, including 107 points to the offensively challenged Bobcats.

While Fantasy owners should leave Rose on the bench this week due to his injury, continue to roll with Chicago's other high-end options Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. C.J. Watson will continue to start in Rose's absence and has played well in his extended opportunities, so owners looking for a replacement should consider picking him up. Even Kyle Korver and Taj Gibson should continue to see increased minutes and deserve a look in deeper formats this week.

Central: Milwaukee Bucks (@POR, BOS, @CHA, IND) The Bucks are slated to play four times during Week 13, including their first back-to-back-to-back set of the season. Milwaukee will start the week wrapping up its mini two-game West Coast trip against the Trail Blazers Tuesday night. The Bucks will then get Wednesday off before returning home to face the Celtics Thursday. Milwaukee will be at Charlotte Friday before wrapping up the scoring period at home against the Pacers Saturday night. While the Celtics and Pacers present a defensive challenge, the Bucks should have no problem putting up points on the Bobcats and Trail Blazers. Both teams have been awful on defense lately -- especially Portland, which is allowing an average of 104 points per game since the All-Star break. That should bode well for the Bucks and their new acquisitions. Fantasy owners should make sure to leave Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, Ersan Illyasova -- if healthy -- and Drew Gooden active this week. Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Delfino are riskier options but still useable in deeper formats, however, we recommend leaving Ekpe Udoh on the bench until his role with the team becomes a bit more defined.

Central Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Bulls @ORL @TOR TOR
Cavaliers @NJ @ATL @ORL PHO
Pistons @DEN MIA @NY
Pacers LAC @WAS PHO @MIL
Bucks @POR BOS @CHA IND

Atlantic: Toronto Raptors (@NY, CHI, NY, @CHI) The Raptors are slated to play four times in Week 13, although they will only face two teams over the next seven days. Toronto will open up the week on the road against the Knicks Tuesday night before returning home to face the Bulls Wednesday. After a day off, the Raptors will take on New York again Friday before closing out the week with another matchup against the Bulls Saturday night -- this time in Chicago. While Toronto has been lighting up the scoreboard over the last few nights, points could be tough to come by this week. The Bulls are ranked second in points allowed this season (90.9) and seventh in opposition field-goal percentage (42.7 percent) and held the Raptors to a season-low 64 points in their lone meeting this season. Meanwhile, the Knicks have looked very sharp under new coach Mike Woodson, holding each of their last three opponents to an average of 89 points per game since making the coaching switch. With Toronto's tough schedule and inconsistent lineup, there aren't too many Fantasy options on its roster we would recommend using this week. Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon -- if healthy -- should be the only options considered for use.

Atlantic Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Celtics ATL @MIL @PHI WAS
Nets CLE WAS @ATL CHA
Knicks TOR @PHI @TOR DET
76ers @CHA NY BOS @SA
Raptors @NY CHI NY @CHI

Southeast: Atlanta Hawks (BOS, CLE, NJ, @WAS, UTA) The Hawks are one of the two teams slated to play five games this week, although Atlanta will play four of those contests at home. The Hawks will open up the scoring period against the Celtics Monday night before taking on the Cavaliers Wednesday. After a day off, Atlanta will begin a back-to-back-to-back set against the Nets, Wizards and Jazz Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. While playing five games over a seven-game stretch is never an ideal situation, the Hawks will have some favorable matchups on tap. The Jazz, Wizards, Nets and Cavaliers all rank near the bottom of the pack in terms of points allowed and opposition field-goal percentage, which should translate into a high-scoring week for the Hawks. Fantasy owners should make sure to leave Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Jeff Teague and Zaza Paculia active this week. Even Marvin Williams -- if healthy -- and Kirk Hinrich could be worth a look in deeper formats.

Southeast Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hawks BOS CLE NJ @WAS
Bobcats PHI MIL @NJ
Heat PHO @DET @OKC
Magic CHI PHO CLE
Wizards @NJ IND ATL

Southwest: San Antonio Spurs (MIN, DAL, @NO, PHI) The Spurs are slated to play four times during Week 13, including their first back-to-back-to-back set of the season. San Antonio will start the period by playing host to the Timberwolves Wednesday night before beginning its triple set against the Mavericks at home Friday. The Spurs will be in New Orleans Saturday night before wrapping up the week against the 76ers back in San Antonio Sunday. Coach Gregg Popovich never misses an opportunity to give his starters some extra rest and that will more than likely be the case this week. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will almost certainly be held out of one of the Spurs weekend contests and Pop could even opt to rest Tony Parker, which he has already done at times earlier in the season. Fantasy owners will have to take a hard look at their rosters when deciding about whether or not to start some of the Spurs' main options this week. While Parker should be OK, even if he does miss a game, Duncan and Ginobili's sporadic production may be more problematic. Owners with other options may want to sway that way this week, but if you don't have a choice, leave Manu and Duncan active and hope for the best. Stephen Jackson will also remain a risky play until his role becomes more defined, but DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter could be worth a look in deeper formats.

Southwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Mavericks @DEN LAL @SA @HOU
Rockets LAL GS DAL
Grizzlies @SAC @POR @LAC @LAL
Hornets GS LAC SA
Spurs MIN DAL @NO PHI

Northwest: Oklahoma City Thunder (@UTA, LAC, MIN, MIA) The Thunder are scheduled to play four times this week and will get to play three of those contests at home. Oklahoma City will start the week with its lone road contest of the scoring period Tuesday night in Utah. The Thunder will then take on the Clippers Wednesday before wrapping up the week against the Timberwolves Friday and Heat Sunday. Despite having to deal with the Clippers and Heat in the same week, Kevin Durant and Co. will have some favorable matchups. The Thunder have scored more than 100 points this season in each of their matchups against Utah, Minnesota and Los Angeles and the Heat's up-and-down tempo continues to dictate higher-scoring games. Oklahoma City also enters the week as the highest-scoring team at home this season, averaging 105.4 points at Chesapeake Energy Arena. As should be the case every week, make sure Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are all active. Even Kendrick Perkins could be worth a look in some deeper leagues.

Northwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nuggets DAL DET @UTA @MIN
T'Wolves @GS @SA @OKC DEN
Thunder @UTA LAC MIN MIA
Trail Blazers MIL MEM @LAL GS
Jazz OKC @SAC DEN @ATL

Pacific: Phoenix Suns (@MIA, @ORL, @IND, @CLE) The Suns will play four times during Week 13, but all four contests will be on the road. Phoenix will be on the East Coast this week, starting Tuesday night at Miami. The Suns will then take on the Magic in Orlando Wednesday before facing the Pacers Saturday night. After a day off, Phoenix will then close out the scoring period against the Cavaliers Sunday. While Phoenix has been clicking on offense lately, three of the four teams the Suns will face are ranked in the top 10 in points allowed and opposition field-goal percentage. Cleveland shouldn't present much of a challenge but facing the Heat, Magic and Pacers in the same week could make points tough to come by. Despite coach Alvin Gentry expanding his rotation over the past few weeks, Steve Nash, Marcin Gortat, Channing Frye and maybe Jared Dudley (deeper formats) should be the only Suns worthy of using this week.

Pacific Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warriors MIN @NO @HOU SAC
Clippers @IND @OKC @NO MEM
Lakers @HOU @DAL POR MEM
Suns @MIA @ORL @IND @CLE
Kings MEM UTA @GS

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Player News
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.


Grizzlies' Conley (face) upgraded to questionable for Game 2
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Grizzlies guard Mike Conley has been upgraded to questionable for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Warriors, the Bay Area News Group reports.

Conley has yet to practice in contact drills, but it appears his chances of playing in Game 2 Tuesday have increased. He's working his way back from a facial fracture suffered in his team's first-round series. The Grizzlies will evaluate the guard before the game before making a final decision on his status.

The Grizzlies are 10-point underdogs Tuesday.


Cavaliers star LeBron James vows more aggression in Game 2
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has declared that he needs to change his mindset from Game 1 to Game 2 of the team's second-round series against Chicago.

James is claiming he must pick up his aggressiveness, per The Associated Press. His original motivation was setting up his teammates, but the loss of Kevin Love (injury) and J.R. Smith (suspension) leaves only Kyrie Irving as a viable offensive force. James now figures he will be needed to attack the basket and score.

With the Cavaliers' outside threats lessened, the Bulls packed the inside in their Monday win and made it difficult for James and Irving to drive.


 
 
 
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