Adam Levitan

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Timmy in Trouble

Tuesday, February 08, 2011




PHOENIX
PG Steve Nash
SG Vince Carter
SF Grant Hill
PF Channing Frye
C Robin Lopez

Coach Alvin Gentry has been as steady as they come with his rotation. This starting lineup has been the same (outside of injury) for 15 straight games, producing a 9-5 record heading into Monday night. The roles are set: Channing Frye is going to play an absurd 36-38 minutes nightly and be a fantasy monster. Steve Nash, Vince Carter and Grant Hill will all play 30-plus minutes.

The only question is the Robin Lopez vs. Marcin Gortat split. Note that in the 10 games prior to Monday, Lopez was averaging 15.0 minutes a game while Gortat was up at 26.4. During that span, Gortat is averaging 13.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. Ignore the fact that Gortat is coming off the bench and be comfortable starting him.

PORTLAND
PG Andre Miller
SG Wesley Matthews
SF Nicolas Batum
PF LaMarcus Aldridge
C Joel Przybilla

The news that Brandon Roy plans on returning to action this week is monstrous. The dual knee scopes were not long-term fixes for Roy, but should provide real temporary relief. Think of it as a cleanout procedure for your car's engine -- it will run better for a little bit. Look for Roy to come off the bench for a week or two before getting his starting gig back. I'd expect Wes Matthews, Roy and Nicolas Batum to all play about 30 minutes a game once Roy is up to speed -- with Batum most likely to come off the bench.

Unlike other injury stashes such Chris Kaman and Mo Williams, Roy is actually a top-25 player when healthy. He almost certainly won't regain that form, but the point is that the upside here is huge. Even in a completely hobbled state earlier this season, Roy averaged 16.6 points, 3.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.1 treys. He should be healthier now and belongs on all teams in all formats.

Marcus Camby (knee) says he is going to practice on Tuesday, which would put him on track to return against the Raptors on Friday. If that happens, he will quickly ramp up to 30-plus minutes a night. Joel Przybilla and Dante Cunningham have proven to be liabilities on the court and will not be trusted for anything more than spot minutes.

The Blazers are rumored to be working the phones hard ahead of the trading deadline, but the fact remains that they entered Monday as the eighth seed in the West. It would be hard to see them selling off their veteran talent while in playoff contention. Don't make any preventative moves like adding Patrick Mills just yet.

SACRAMENTO
PG Beno Udrih
SG Tyreke Evans
SF Omri Casspi
PF Jason Thompson
C DeMarcus Cousins

The twin towers lineup of DeMarcus Cousins at power forward and Sam Dalembert at center was interesting, but coach Paul Westphal is not into it. He thinks Jason Thompson plays better as a starter, so there you have it. On most nights, Thompson and Sammy D will cancel each other out.

Omri Casspi has not exactly lit the world on fire since Francisco Garcia (calf) went down, but he may have done enough to retain the starting gig. Heading into Monday night, Casspi was averaging 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 treys as a starter. More importantly, the Kings had won three of their last six games prior to Monday, including a win over the Lakers and a narrow loss to the Celtics. Westphal never hesitates to "Pipp" his players, meaning Garcia is in real danger of losing his job due to injury. Casspi is a decent specialist in deep leagues and is a good bet to hold the gig for the rest of the year.

UTAH
PG Deron Williams
SG Raja Bell
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Paul Millsap
C Al Jefferson

After a brief "mixing it up" at the small forward spot, look for Andrei Kirilenko to hold the job for the rest of the season. Gordon Hayward is nowhere near ready to play and C.J. Miles' defense (or lack thereof) infuriates coach Jerry Sloan. Now over his ankle injury, AK47 is a good bet for 31-33 minutes nightly. Note that as a starter, Kirilenko averages 1.3 steals, 1.2 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers. He is as underrated as they come.

Most owners that picked up C.J. Miles while Kirilenko was out can go ahead and cut bait. While playing 23-25 minutes, he will be a weak 3-point/steals specialist. Miles as a reserve this season before Monday: 12.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 treys, 23.4 minutes.

Follow Adam Levitan on Twitter for instant news and reaction to changes in NBA depth charts throughout the week.


Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan



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