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Dose: Kyrie Goes Down Again

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Kyrie Irving Goes Nuclear
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Big Wednesday was on fire, but Kyrie Irving went nuclear to headline a very busy 11-game night. Bruski …

Atlanta 4 Games for Week 20 – It’s another four-game week for the Hawks, meaning more goodies from Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague, and more inconsistency and lineup tinkering from coach Larry Drew, Kyle Korver and Devin Harris. Use anyone not in the Hawks’ Big 3 at your own risk.

Boston 3 – The Celtics have just three games this week, but guys like Avery Bradley, Jason Terry and Brandon Bass are all worth a look in deeper leagues. Kevin Garnett couldn’t shoot it on Sunday, but KG, Paul Pierce and Jeff Green, who was also quiet on Sunday, are all players who should be in most fantasy lineups. 

Brooklyn 3 – The Nets go three times and are relatively healthy, meaning Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson should all be good to go, while Andray Blatche, Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans might be worth a look. Kris Humphries has fallen all the way out of the rotation, so drop him.

Charlotte 3 – Byron Mullens has become unplayable and Kemba Walker has become unbenchable for Charlotte.  Gerald Henderson is a solid starting option, Ben Gordon is now relevant due to Ramon Sessions’ knee injury, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, as usual, is worth keeping a close eye on, and Josh McRoberts could be the new starting PF going forward. I trust Walker and Henderson, but everyone else on this team is a risky roll of the dice.

Chicago 2 – Derrick Rose is bothered by a hamstring injury now, and even though it feels like he’s real close to playing, we still don’t have a target date, or even any indication that he’ll try to come back and do much at all before the playoffs start. No Bull is a must-start with just two games, but Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson should all at least be in the discussion this week.

Cleveland 3 – As if Kyrie Irving’s knee and illness problems haven’t been enough of a buzzkill lately, he left Sunday’s game with a bruised left shoulder and didn’t return. He shot his free throws one-handed before leaving and Shaun Livingston could be in line for a few starts this week if Irving is out. And given his injury history, their terrible record and the conservative nature of coach Byron Scott, Irving’s nervous owners should be watching the Rotoworld wire for updates the rest of the way. I don’t like the direction his story is taking. Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson look like your strong starts this week, while Livingston, C.J. Miles, Tyler Zeller, Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Alonzo Gee all might be worth a look in some deeper leagues.

Dallas 4 – A four-game week for the Mavs means that Dirk Nowitzki, O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison can all be trusted, while Vince Carter looks decent with Shawn Marion iffy for the week with a calf injury. Marion should probably be on all benches right now. Mayo hurt his left ankle on Sunday but played through it, so watch for updates on him Monday, as he could be iffy for Tuesday. Elton Brand, Chris Kaman and Brandan Wright are all interesting center prospects, but are sharing time, creating more of a logjam than anything else.

Denver 3 – Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iguodala and Kenneth Faried all look like solid three-game plays this week, while Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer, Andre Miller, Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee could possibly be used in a pinch, although I don’t really trust any of them. The good news is this team is healthy.

Detroit 3 – The Pistons aren’t expecting Andre Drummond back this week, so he should probably still be floating on waivers in your league. Maybe he’ll be back from his back injury next Monday, but I’m not holding my breath. Jose Calderon, Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe are the only Pistons I’d think about starting in a three-game week.

Golden State 4 – This is the W’s last 4-game week of the season so owners of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and David Lee (knee) should prepare themselves mentally. It sounds like Lee will go on Monday against his former team (NY), so I’d roll with him. Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry (who takes a hit if Lee is back), Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes are all worth a look this week, depending on your options. Watch for updates on Lee on Monday afternoon.

Houston 3 – Despite a sore foot, James Harden is your must-start with three games, while Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik should be relatively safe plays. Carlos Delfino could be boom or bust this week, while Donatas Motiejunas just hasn’t been living up to the hype lately. However, he is still a better play than Thomas Robinson.

Indiana 3 – Paul George still looks like a must-start despite a quiet game on Sunday, while Roy Hibbert, David West and George Hill should all be decent options. Lance Stephenson, Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin are also worth consideration, but I don’t really trust them in a three-game week.

L.A. Clippers 2 – A two-game week means potential playoffs disaster for owners of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, while Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Caron Butler and DeAndre Jordan are probably not worth starting in most leagues. Crawford has missed two straight with an ankle injury, but could play Wednesday.

L.A. Lakers 4 – With four games Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace are must-starts, while Earl Clark, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks are worth consideration. The good news is that they are all relatively healthy right now.

Memphis 4 – Zach Randolph sat out again on Saturday with his bum ankle, leaving him iffy for Tuesday at Portland. With four games he might be worth a roll of the dice, while Mike Conley and Marc Gasol look like strong plays. Ed Davis will be worth a spot start if Z-Bo is out again on Tuesday, while Jerryd Bayless and Tony Allen also appear to be solid four-game options this week. Quincy Pondexter might be a sneaky four-game play in real deep leagues, but there are some trust issues there.

Miami 4 – Four games mean that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are must-starts, while Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem are low-end options this week.

Milwaukee 4 – Larry Sanders sat out Sunday with a knee injury, J.J. Redick was out with an ankle injury, and Ersan Ilyasova sat with a sore knee, leaving all of them a little iffy for Tuesday. Watch for updates. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis both had monster weeks and are must-starts, while Samuel Dalembert, Mike Dunleavy and even Gustavo Ayon will be worth a look if Sanders and Ilyasova remain out.

Minnesota 4 – Andrei Kirilenko is hoping to return this week from his calf injury, but doesn’t sound likely for Tuesday. Nikola Pekovic (abdomen) is in the same boat, so owners of both players need to watch for updates. Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour are all good four-game options, while Alexey Shved, Mickael Gelabale and Greg Stiemsma might be worth a look in deeper leagues. We may see Kevin Love again this season, but I don’t think it will happen this week.

New Orleans 3 – Greivis Vasquez is playing through a thumb injury but looks like a strong play, along with Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson. The Hornets don’t go back-to-back until Sunday/Monday, meaning we could actually see Eric Gordon play three times this week, while Al-Farouq Aminu and Robin Lopez might be worth a look, although they’re not too reliable right now.

New York 4 – Amare Stoudemire’s regular season is done due to knee surgery but there’s not really a sure-fire replacement for fantasy purposes in New York. Carmelo Anthony has now missed three straight and most of a fourth with his knee injury, and we just don’t know if he’ll play Monday, despite traveling with the team. J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler look like solid options this week, while Steve Novak, Kenyon Martin and Chris Copeland might be able to help deep-league owners with four games. Here’s hoping we get good news on Melo in a few hours.

Oklahoma City 4 – With four games, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are all must-starts, while Kevin Martin, Thabo Sefolosha and maybe even Derek Fisher might be worth starting in some formats.

Orlando 3 – Jameer Nelson, Tobias Harris, Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic look like strong plays this week, while Moe Harkless and Beno Udrih might be worth a look. Andrew Nicholson didn’t even get off the bench on Sunday, so it’s time to move on.

Philadelphia 3 – Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Dorell Wright, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young are all worth a look despite three games, although Holiday and Turner are mired in slumps. Damien Wilkins has had some nice games recently, but I don’t trust him, while Nick Young could return at some point this week and possibly rain on Wright’s parade.

Phoenix 4 – Marcin Gortat (foot) is likely done for the regular season and Jermaine O’Neal (personal) is hoping to play on Monday. Goran Dragic, JO, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris and Jared Dudley are all interesting four-game options, while Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson and Luis Scola could also make some noise this week. This team is a mess and most of them aren’t to be trusted.

Portland 3 – LaMarcus Aldridge suffered a sprained right ankle on Sunday and while he’s vowing to play on Tuesday, he’s far from a lock to do so. Damian Lillard, who is dealing with a left shoulder injury, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and J.J. Hickson all look like safe plays, while Eric Maynor has been playing well enough to be given a deep-league look. Aldridge’s owners have to hope for the best this week, and then pray he’s fully ready for next week’s five games.

Sacramento 2 – DeMarcus Cousins elbowed Mike Dunleavy in the head Sunday and was ejected, meaning he could be facing a suspension this week. With two games most Kings should be benched, but owners have to weigh options with guys like Tyreke Evans, Isaiah Thomas, Jason Thompson and Marcus Thornton.

San Antonio 4 – The Spurs go back-to-back on Monday/Tuesday, leaving me a little worried that Tim Duncan and/or Manu Ginobili might be due for a night off in one of them. The point guard situation here is still a mess, while Duncan, Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter are all worth a close look.

Toronto 3 – Rudy Gay sat out on Sunday with a sore back leaving him iffy for Wednesday, while Terrence Ross started in his place and had 14 points and a full stat line. Alan Anderson had 18 points to lead the team, Amir Johnson posted a big line, and Jonas Valanciunas is finally showing signs of life with Andrea Bargnani down again with an elbow injury. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan look like strong starts this week and I’m leaning toward telling you to start Gay.

Utah 3 – Paul Millsap is iffy for Monday with his knee injury and Al Jefferson’s still not up to full speed on his bum ankle. Mo Williams has yet to turn it on since returning from his thumb injury, while Gordon Hayward suddenly looks like one of their safer options. Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks are always worth a look, but I don’t trust those guys much in a three-game week.

Washington 4 – Trevor Ariza is hot, Martell Webster is a decent option as long as he’s starting, and John Wall, Nene and Emeka Okafor also look like solid plays this week. Bradley Beal has missed three straight games with a bum ankle and is iffy for Tuesday against the Cavaliers. Depending on your options, he could be worth using with four games this week, and I’m guessing he’ll play against the Cavs.

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