Defenses to Avoid
Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors: Although there's still work to be done, the Raptors are an improved defensive team this season, and they play at the fourth-slowest pace (94.45 possessions per 48 minutes) in the league. Toronto ranks eighth in Defensive rating (99.1) and eighth in opponents' three-point percentage (34.0), while boasting the fourth-best rebounding rate (51.7 percent) in the league. The banged-up Nets will likely have a hard time creating shots and grabbing boards against a Raptors team that's much improved in a number of areas, if not on the offensive end.
Offenses to Use
Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans: The Warriors rank fifth in field-goal percentage (47.6), first in three-point percentage (44.4), and ninth in pace (98.41). Turnovers have limited them to the 11th-best offensive rating (104.2) in the league, though Golden State certainly has the talent to rank higher. Tuesday should be a nice launching point, as the Pelicans own the third-worst defensive rating (107.6) in the NBA. New Orleans will also be playing the second game of a back-to-back, after getting shredded by the Spurs on Monday to the tune of a 54.3 field-goal percentage and 112 points.
Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors
Second game of a back-to-back: New Orleans Pelicans
DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
Stephen Curry (vs. NO): Curry returned from his concussion with a bang Saturday, racking up 22 points and 11 assists in a loss to the Trail Blazers. Tuesday's matchup should be even better, as the Pelicans are allowing opponents to shoot 47.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. With Tuesday's slate rather lacking in star power, Curry should be worth the lofty price.
Steve Blake (at WAS): Averaging 11.2 points and 10.8 assists over his last five games, Blake has rapidly ascended the fantasy point-guard rankings in Steve Nash's (back) absence. Blake is still a nice bargain in mostly daily games, and he'll be facing a sub-par defensive team Tuesday. It doesn't hurt that the Lakers trail only two teams in pace (100.49), while the Wizards (96.28) rank a middling 15th. That averages out to a rather fast-paced contest, which should give Blake a decent shot to pile up double-digit assists for the sixth time in seven games.
Other options: Jrue Holliday (at GS)
DeMar DeRozan (vs. BKN): The red-hot DeRozan will be facing a Brooklyn team with the worst defensive rating (106.3) in the NBA. Not only are the Nets struggling, but they're also missing some key pieces, while veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett flat-out look old. DeRozan is averaging 26.8 points over his last five games, on the strength of a 50.5 field-goal percentage. He should keep it going against one of the most disappointing teams in the league.
Other options: Aaron Afflalo (at ATL), Klay Thompson (at NO), Alan Anderson (at TOR)
Martell Webster (vs. LAL): With Bradley Beal (leg) expected to miss Tuesday's game, there should be plenty of minutes for both Webster and Trevor Ariza (hamstring), the latter of whom is probable to return to action. Webster has been playing reasonably well in Ariza's absence, producing 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists over 40.4 minutes in his past five games. Tuesday's slate is short on star power at the small forward spot, so it probably makes sense to save your budget for other positions.
Other options: Rudy Gay (vs. BKN), Harrison Barnes (at NO)
Pau Gasol (at WAS): Gasol averaged 18.2 points and 10.8 boards over his last five games, after starting the season in a rut. Tuesday's opponent should be favorable, as the Wizards have allowed opponents to convert 64.2 percent of shots within five feet of the rim, which ranks 29th in the league. Washington also owns the NBA's fifth-worst rebounding rate at 48.4 percent, so Gasol has a nice opportunity for a double-double.
Other options: Marreese Speights (at NO) may start at center Tuesday, Paul Millsap (vs. ORL), Anthony Davis (vs. GS)
Jordan Hill (at WAS): Hill has three double-doubles in his last five outings, including a monstrous 24 point and 17 rebound performance against the Pistons last Sunday. The Wizards have been kind to opposing big men this season, and they're catching Hill and Pau Gasol at the wrong time. Hill is shooting 58.7 percent from the field this season, while grabbing 8.8 boards in just 22.6 minutes. He's reached the 30-minute mark in five consecutive games, so the 8.8 boards are on the low end of what we can expect Tuesday night.
Other options: Al Horford (vs. ORL), Nikola Vucevic (at ATL)
Bradley Beal (leg) reportedly aggravated his right fibula injury from last season, leaving him unlikely to suit up Tuesday.
Deron Williams (ankle) will sit for the third game in a row, though he's still considered day-to-day.
Brook Lopez (ankle) will miss a sixth consecutive game.
Andrei Kirilenko (back) is doubtful for Tuesday but could return soon.
Jason Terry (knee) is doubtful Tuesday after missing the last two games.
Andrew Bogut is suspended for Tuesday's game due to his involvement in a fight that occurred during Saturday's game.
Andre Iguodala (hamstring) remains out indefinitely.
Trevor Ariza (hamstring) is expected to return and start Tuesday after missing the past five games.
Shaun Livingston (head) is probable and figures to start Tuesday with Deron Williams (ankle) still sidelined.
Rudy Gay (illness) was able to practice Monday and is reportedly feeling better. He'll likely play Tuesday.
Amir Johnson (illness) was limited during Monday's practice, making him a bit more uncertain than Gay.
Jermaine O'Neal (groin) is a game-time decision Tuesday. If he suits up, O'Neal could see some added minutes with Andrew Bogut (suspension) out.