Adam Levitan

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Boosting Beaubois?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011




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

Vince Carter's usage over the last week has been alarming. Before logging 31.8 minutes on Thursday, Carter was averaging just 19.1 minutes per game over his previous four. It wasn't because he was injured -- it was simply because Mickael Pietrus and Jared Dudley were playing better. In other words, Carter has been put on notice and he has to step up.

I'm not convinced Carter is capable of raising his game at this point in his career. Since joining the Suns at age 34, his field-goal percentage is down to 42.4 percent while his 3-point attempts are up to 4.8 per game. It's a sign that he can no longer get to the rim. Look for his minutes to continue to fall.

We can only consider Robin Lopez's 13 point, 13 rebound performance on Thursday night a fluke. In the previous seven games, Marcin Gortat was averaging 30.2 minutes per game. That will be the norm as Gortat is clearly the better player.

PORTLAND
PG Andre Miller
SG Wesley Matthews
SF Nicolas Batum
PF LaMarcus Aldridge
C Dante Cunningham

This situation is extremely fluid. First of all, Brandon Roy is expected to test his knee in practice Tuesday in the hopes that the Blazers will let him play Wednesday. Once cleared, he will be eased in off the bench for somewhere around 20 minutes. Again, note that his dual scopes were designed for short-term relief -- he fully intends to contribute in a significant manner this season. His minutes will cut into Patty Mills and Rudy Fernandez -- not as much Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum. There is enough room here for Roy to get back around 28-30 minutes and be a fantasy asset.

Marcus Camby (knee) is also tentatively expected back this week, although he does not want to be traded. That could make him sit out through Thursday's deadline. Either way, look for Camby to stay -- the Blazers are just too thin up front. Camby should quickly get back up around 28-30 minutes as well.

Andre Miller is certainly on the trading block and seems likely to get moved. Without a clear-cut destination, however, we cannot make any preemptive moves.

SACRAMENTO
PG Beno Udrih
SG Jermaine Taylor
SF Omri Casspi
PF DeMarcus Cousins
C Samuel Dalembert

The latest setback with Tyreke Evans' plantar fasciitis has to be considered a major concern. With just 29 games left in the year and the Kings sporting a 13-40 record, there isn't much incentive for Evans to fight through the kind of pain this injury includes. Even if he does end up playing later this week, he is a poor bet to sustain health all the way to the end.

However, don't get sucked into Jermaine Taylor's outburst from last Wednesday. The 2009 second-round pick is a borderline NBA talent that caught he Mavs off guard. Beno Udrih is the real beneficiary if Evans shuts it down. And coach Paul Westphal is prone to sending Taylor back to the pine at the first hint of struggles.

DeMarcus Cousins' 33 point, 14 rebound in the Rookie Challenge showed the world what we already know -- this kid is special. Still only 20 years old and growing into his body, he has the upside to be a 20 and 10 player for a long, long time if he can keep his head on straight. While Samuel Dalembert, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson all cancel each other out, Cousins will be the constant. His 17.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last seven games are sustainable.

SAN ANTONIO
PG Tony Parker
SG Manu Ginobili
SF Richard Jefferson
PF Tim Duncan
C DeJuan Blair

Coach Gregg Popovich sent owners into a tizzy when he brought Manu Ginobili off the bench against the Wizards on Feb. 12. It turns out it was just a one-game thing to get Manu some rest, but the intent is worth noting here. Ginobili is shooting 36.9 percent over his last nine games and appears to be wearing down after that scalding start. With more rest on the horizon, Ginobili is a sell-high candidate on name value.

Speaking of name value, Tim Duncan is averaging just 25.8 minutes a night over his last nine games. As I led with two weeks ago, Duncan is on cruise control. DeJuan Blair, who played just 19.6 minutes in the last game before the break, is a nice buy-low.

UTAH
PG Deron Williams
SG Gordon Hayward
SF C.J. Miles
PF Paul Millsap
C Al Jefferson

New coach Tyrone Corbin has been pretty clear about his intentions with the rotation. Like Jerry Sloan, he sees C.J. Miles as a bench player. That means Raja Bell (calf) will start right out of the break, sending Miles back to the bench. We don't need to dig too deep to realize how much of a hit this is to Miles' value.

C.J. Miles as a starter: 18.0 ppg, 2.0 3-pointers per game, 36.6 minutes.
C.J. Miles as a reserve: 11.9 ppg, 1.5 3-pointers per game, 23.1 minutes.

Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) will also get his starting job back when healthy. Note that in Corbin's first game, Kirilenko played the entire first quarter and ended up with eight points, five rebounds and two assists. Playing at a level reminiscent of a few years back, AK47 remains an extremely underrated fantasy asset with an up arrow.

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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