Take a deep breath.
We’re on the edge of the glorious start of the 2009-10 NBA season. For fantasy owners, this means that eyes are bulging, lips are grinning and palms are sweating as we check our starting rosters over and over and over again to ensure a good start to the season.
In order to help you toward a successful launch for however many fantasy teams you own this week, we’ll have a brief overview of team schedules for week one, along with a look at some of the difficult decisions you might have to make.
4 games: BOS, CLE, LAC, POR
3 games: ATL, CHI, CHA, DAL, DEN, DET, HOU, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NJ, NO, NY, OKC, ORL, PHO, PHI, SAC, SA, TOR, WAS
2 games: GS, IND, MIL, UTA
No-brainers: LeBron James, Mo Williams, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden
Tough calls: Baron Davis (foot), Blake Griffin (knee), Marcus Camby (ankle), Andre Miller (not starting), Al Jefferson (Achilles), Pau Gasol (hamstring), Emeka Okafor (toe), Allen Iverson (hamstring), Mike Conley (ankle), Hedo Turkoglu (ankle), Anthony Randolph (not starting, back, knee, two games), Stephen Jackson (hamstring, two games)
Do not start: Rashard Lewis (suspension), J.R. Smith (suspension), Kevin Love (hand surgery), Raja Bell (wrist), Renaldo Balkman (suspension), Josh Howard (ankle), Kelenna Azubuike (ankle), Antawn Jamison (shoulder)
If you own anyone on the Celtics, Cavaliers, Clippers or Blazers, you have to be happy with their four-game schedules to start off a relatively light week. However, the Clippers have a bunch of injury concerns that could make for some tough decisions when finalizing your starting lineups. Davis should be ready to go, while Griffin looks like he’ll need some time before returning, which could allow Camby to produce good lines if he can return to the court this week.
Besides Danny Granger and Deron Williams, if you own anyone on the Warriors, Pacers, Bucks or Jazz, you’re in for some tricky choices. Players like Monta Ellis, Andris Biderins, Troy Murphy, Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap could make you slap your forehead if you decide to bench them when they blow up for a pair of sexy lines.
The Warriors should have a ball with the Phoenix Suns on Friday, but the other two-game teams this week have fairly average opponents.
For those in head-to-head leagues, the decision basically comes down to what the fantasy team you’re playing looks like. For example, if they look strong on threes and you think you can compete with them in that category by playing Daniel Gibson for four games instead of Paul Millsap for two, go for it. If you’d rather secure your rebounding, blocking and field goal percentage advantages over the other team, then you might want to keep Millsap in. Others simply want to play their best lineups each week regardless of how many games their starters are playing.
Hopefully this quick overview of week one helps you make the right choices in setting your starting lineups for your first taste of fantasy basketball this year.
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
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