Adam Levitan

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011




NEW YORK
PG Toney Douglas
SG Landry Fields
SF Carmelo Anthony
PF Amare Stoudemire
C Jared Jeffries

Ronny Turiaf is starting again, but do not take the bait. He has started 16 games this season prior to Monday and averaged just 5.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in those games. Turiaf is also one of the best bets in the league for an in-game injury.

I certainly understand the appeal of Shawne Williams. Not only is he one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA, but he also rebounds at a high level and his length leads to some blocks. However, the torn ligament in his shooting hand that he is playing through is a major concern. As a borderline player to begin with, a wait-and-see approach is safer.

ORLANDO
PG Jameer Nelson
SG Jason Richardson
SF Hedo Turkoglu
PF Brandon Bass
C Dwight Howard

There are no surprises here on a game-to-game basis. Gilbert Arenas is proving that he will never return to serviceable form and Ryan Anderson continues to show that he is quite comfortable as a reserve.

In his last 10 games before Monday, Anderson was averaging 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 treys and 1.0 blocks. Sneaky, solid value despite the 25-27 minutes nightly.

PHILADELPHIA
PG Jrue Holiday
SG Jodie Meeks
SF Evan Turner
PF Elton Brand
C Spencer Hawes

Andre Iguodala took what amounted to a maintenance day on Saturday, giving rookie Evan Turner the start. Although Iguodala has nagging knee and Achilles pain, I would not expect anything near a full shutdown. The concern is that the Sixers are essentially locked in to the sixth or seventh seed and that really does not make a difference in playoff positioning. Iguodala could take a game or two more off in the final week.

The nagging injuries certainly have not bothered Iguodala on the court. Over his last 10 games, the swingman is averaging 15.0 points, 8.1 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.4 treys. He also guards the opponent's best perimeter player nightly and plays 36 minutes. It's a level we have not previously seen from Iguodala.

Jodie Meeks' ability to defend and finish consistently on the fast break have yielded more minutes. Over the last 11 games, Meeks is averaging a staggering 35.7 minutes to go with 14.5 points, 2.8 treys and 1.3 steals. He has not played fewer than 30 minutes in any game over that span and the Sixers are 31-21 overall when he starts. Look no further for a 3-point specialist with upside.

TORONTO
PG Jose Calderon
SG DeMar DeRozan
SF James Johnson
PF Amir Johnson
C Andrea Bargnani

Amir Johnson left Monday night's game with another ankle injury and Reggie Evans started the second half at power forward. Since coming off the injured list seven games ago, Evans is averaging 12.1 boards a night. Category hunters should take notice.

As long as Leandro Barbosa is coming off the bench, which he will likely do the rest of the season, he is going to be tough to trust. The Brazilian Blur has logged 18 or less minutes in three straight games as the Raptors refuse to kick DeMar DeRozan to small forward.

WASHINGTON
PG John Wall
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Trevor Booker
PF Yi Jianlian
C JaVale McGee

The lack of information coming out of Washington regarding their litany of injuries speaks volumes. They seem to be mailing in the final part of their miserable season and did not even practice Monday even though they arrived in Portland Sunday night, two days ahead of Tuesday's game.

When teams like this give up, it turns into wild, defense-free street ball. See JaVale McGee's triple-double from last week or Jordan Crawford's 20.2 points per game over the last five. Even defensive-minded Trevor Booker is giving owners viable production.

The point is that anyone starting in this kind of system deserves consideration. Rashard Lewis is done, Josh Howard is likely done and Nick Young/Andray Blatche are not showing much urgency to get back. All we can do is get the guys getting minutes into our lineups.

Andray Blatche is out at least two more games and Nick Young is out at least one more. Get Jordan Crawford and Trevor Booker into lineups.

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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