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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
Hornets pushing SG Troy Daniels to expand game
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:45 am ET) Hornets guard Troy Daniels got his foot in the door last season. But to join the party permanently, he must expand his game. His coaches have made that clear.

Steve Clifford wants him to work more off the dribble. Associate head coach Patrick Ewing would like him to get stronger.

"I'd like to see a total all-around game," Clifford told the Charlotte Observer. "He can really shoot and he's learning how to find space to get his shots off. He's worked really hard this summer at playing off the second dribble.

"Now I want to see it all: him knowing the defense, all of what we're doing. He'll get plenty of opportunities (in Summer League action) in pick-and-rolls and catch-and-shoot."

Daniels showed glimpses of talent last year. He made 13 of 25 shots from beyond the arc down the stretch.

"That's the reason I'm in the NBA, because I shoot the ball and space the floor," he said. "That's something Charlotte needs. I showcawed it a little bit at the end of the season and hopefully I'll get to do that more."

He'll apparently need to do more than that to land a spot in the rotation.


Report: Wizards seeking to land free agent PF David West
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:10 am ET) The Wizards can be added to the list of teams strongly pursuing veteran power forward David West, sources have told ESPN.

West had been reportedly most interested in San Antonio and Golden State. He expressed a desire to land with a winning team and Washington also fits that description, though not to the extent of the Spurs and Warriors.

The 34-year-old West has clearly begun his career descent. He averaged just 11.7 points per game for Indiana last season, his lowest total in 10 years.


Report: SG Marco Belinelli seekingto stay with Spurs
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:01 am ET) Shooting guard Marco Belinelli is hoping to stick with the Spurs, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The ability or desire of the team to bring him back could be influenced greatly by financial considerations revolving around premier free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, who is considered a strong possibility to join San Antonio.

Belinelli was a strong contributor off the bench last season. He averaged 9.2 points in 22 minutes per game, but his shooting percentages from beyond the arc and overall took a pronounced dip from the previous year.


Report: Kings eyeing free agents Josh Smith, Lou Williams
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:24 am ET) Having struck out on guard Wesley Matthews and with money to spend after a salary dump, the Kings are now setting their sights on forward Josh Smith and guard Lou Williams in free agency, league sources have told SI.com.

Smith has already bounced from Atlanta to Detroit to Houston since 2013 and his production has waned. He averaged only 12.4 points a game last season, his lowest output in nine years, and shot just 41.9 percent from the floor.

Williams continued to display his offensive explosiveness in 2014-15. He won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award by averaging 15.5 points in just 25 minutes per game.


Heat SG Dwyane Wade admits social media influenced decision
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:12 am ET) Some players don't pay attention to social media, particularly in regard to influencing decisions on where they will take their talents.

Dwyane Wade cannot be counted among them.

The all-star shooting guard tracked fan sentiment through social media and cited how many wanted him to stay with the Heat. So that's what he did.

"I can't tell you how much I appreciated what they all said," Wade told Associated Press.

That appreciation led to a one-year deal worth $20 million. Wade could have signed elsewhere - rumors had him rejoining LeBron James in Cleveland - but he's not complaining.

"I could never look at that and roll my eyes," he said. "I am from Robbins, Illinois. Look at what I've been through in my life."


Report: Lakers still a possibility for free agent LaMarcus Aldridge
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:24 am ET) The Lakers are not out of the running in the LaMarcus Aldridge Sweepstakes quite yet, according to the Orange County Register, which is reporting that he met again with the team Thursday.

A meeting Tuesday reportedly focused more on off-the-court appeal to playing for the Lakers rather than basketball and he came away unimpressed. The team alleviated that problem in the latest session, bringing in only Byron Scott and general manager Mitch Kupchak and leaving out Kobe Bryant, who reportedly unwisely compared Aldridge to Pau Gasol in regard to his future role Tuesday.

San Antonio is still considered the front-runner for his services.


Report: Free agent Robin Lopez commits to join Knicks
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(1:00 am ET) Free-agent center Robin Lopez has made a commitment to join the Knicks, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

Lopez will join the Knicks unless free agent DeAndre Jordan chooses the franchise during his free agency.

Lopez averaged 9.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 59 games for the Trail Blazers last season.


Report: Wes Matthews agrees to four-year deal with Mavericks
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:55 am ET) Free-agent guard Wesley Matthews has agreed to join the Mavericks on a four-year deal, sources told NBA.com's David Aldridge.

Matthews averaged 15.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game last season for the Trail Blazers before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury.

Matthews reportedly received a multi-year contract offer from the Kings as well.


Report: Knicks discussing $12-13 million per year for Robin Lopez
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Center Robin Lopez is in talks with the Knicks on a deal that could average him $12-13 million per season, according to Yahoo! Sports

This follows news that Lopez met with the Knicks about potentially joining their roster. During the 2014-15 season with the Trail Blazers, Lopez averaged 9.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 28 minutes per game. 


Report: Kings offer $45 million deal to Wesley Matthews
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Kings have offered guard Wesley Matthews a sizable contract, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. 

The deal is reportedly for three years and in the $45 million range. This news comes on the heels of Matthews meeting with the Raptors and Mavericks in recent days. Before his Achilles injury, Matthews averaged 15.9 points in 33 minutes per game with the Trail Blazers.

Previous reports indicated Matthews wanted a deal averaging $15 million per year, which would have the Kings right in the ballpark. 


 
 
 
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