Oklahoma City - 3-3-4-4-4-3-3-3-2 = 29
The Thunder’s schedule is not a good one for leagues with H2H playoffs, which is why trading Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka is not a bad idea in those leagues. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler are all good players to target if your league counts games played. Thabo Sefolosha is worth a look in many leagues, but is far too inconsistent to be relied upon in most leagues. Kendrick Perkins has been playing pretty well and might be worth a look if you need a center.
Orlando - 4-4-4-3-3-4-4-2-2 = 30
Orlando has a decent schedule, but that two-game finale isn’t appealing. Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick (if not traded), Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic are all must-own players for now. Moe Harkless, Andrew Nicholson and Al Harrington are all guys to keep a close eye on going forward.
Philadelphia - 3-4-4-3-4-4-3-4-2 = 31
The Sixers have a pretty good playoff schedule and Nick Young is a player I think should be owned in all leagues. Thaddeus Young isn’t due back for at least a couple more weeks with a hamstring injury, and Lavoy Allen has been worth using in some leagues, but was really quiet in the week before the break. Spencer Hawes has entered must-own territory, especially since it sounds like Andrew Bynum may not play in a single game this season. Dorell Wright is another guy to keep an eye on down the stretch, but is still sitting on the bench in favor of Young and Evan Turner.
Phoenix - 4-3-3-4-4-3-3-3-2 = 29
The Suns are just a mess, as supposed studs like Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat are not even must-start players right now. The playoff schedule is terrible and there’s not much to like about this team. Michael Beasley, P.J. Tucker, Kendall Marshall, Jared Dudley, Shannon Brown and even Jermaine O’Neal are all worth a look in most leagues, if you can handle their inconsistency and poor schedule. Luis Scola remains a solid player to own in my book, but he has also had his share of problems.
Portland - 3-2-4-3-5-3-4-3-2 = 29
The Blazers still have a five-game week coming up and Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum (wrist injury), LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson (if not traded) are all must-starts in fantasy until further notice. They have the worst bench in the league, which is good news for the starters.
Sacramento - 3-4-4-2-4-3-3-3-2 = 28
Sacramento’s schedule isn’t good, with a two-game week prior to the playoffs, and then three-game weeks with the money on the line. Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are still must-own, while Marcus Thornton, John Salmons and Francisco Garcia are all worth keeping an eye on.
San Antonio - 4-3-2-4-3-3-4-3-2 = 28
Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green all look like must-starts, but I have some pretty serious concerns about how much Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will play down the stretch. I have no qualms about trading either player for someone who is healthy and guaranteed to play every night. Gary Neal, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw are all worth keeping an eye on, while Tiago Splitter still looks like a solid fantasy center to me. But as you can see above, their playoff schedule isn’t looking all that great.
Toronto - 3-4-4-3-3-3-4-3-2 = 29
Not a great playoff schedule for the Raptors, but Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas are all quality plays right now, despite some inconsistency from Valanciunas. Slam Dunk champion Terrence Ross, Alan Anderson and Andrea Bargnani are all worth keeping a close eye on, and Bargnani could break out if he’s dealt out of Toronto.
Utah - 2-3-4-3-4-4-4-2-2 = 28
The Jazz have two games in the last week of many playoff leagues, but do go 4-4-4 prior to that. Mo Williams might be worth stashing as it sounds like he could return sooner than later from a thumb injury, while Randy Foye, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson look like must-own players right now. And Derrick Favors should be held in all leagues until we see what happens at the trade deadline. Enes Kanter is another guy who might be worth stashing if the Jazz trade a big man or two. Gordon Hayward has been out for a few weeks with a shoulder injury, but sounds like he could be nearing a return. Hold and start him at your own risk. Alec Burks has also shown some flashes of brilliance, so keep a close eye on him as well.
Washington – 3-4-3-4-4-4-4-3-2 = 31
The Wizards are looking good for the playoffs, making John Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene and Emeka Okafor all strong players to hold. Jordan Crawford, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza and Kevin Seraphin are all worth keeping an eye on and could be relevant come playoff time.
Games Played Notes
There are only nine weeks left in the NBA season, with the final week being a short one, when teams play just once or twice.
The Timberwolves and Knicks lead the way with 32 games the rest of the way, while the Hawks, Grizzlies, Bucks, Sixers and Wizards all have 31 games left on the season.
The Clippers have the fewest remaining games with 26, while the Rockets have 27 left, and the Nuggets, Pistons, Lakers, Kings, Spurs and Jazz have 28 games left.
The Blazers have 29 games remaining and are the only team that still has a five-game week on the schedule. The Hawks, Celtics, Bulls, Pistons, Clippers (2), Lakers, Magic, Blazers, Kings, Spurs and Jazz (2) all have two-game week left, outside of the final Week 25. The Rockets have three-game weeks for the next six straight.
The Hawks, Celtics, Grizzlies, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Knicks and Wizards appear to have the best playoff schedules, while the Nuggets, Pistons, Warriors, Rockets, Clippers, Thunder, Magic, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Raptors all appear to have the worst playoff schedules around. Trading Kevin Durant to get LeBron James, or Stephen Curry for Carmelo Anthony could end up really working out in your favor in H2H playoff leagues.
Take a look at your league’s playoff schedule if you play head-to-head, and try to make moves that will give you the maximum number of games played throughout your league’s playoffs.
The Daily Dose will return on Tuesday morning after the All-Star break.