Fantasy Basketball Playoff Concerns

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IMarch 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 27:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on from the bench during the game with the Charlotte Bobcats on January 27, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Bobcats won 117-110 in double overtime.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Hopefully, you'll go deep into your fantasy playoffs. To get prepared, start monitoring the following playing-time situations:


The Bad Teams

If you have any Golden State Warriors players on your fantasy team, you know where I’m going with this. Don Nelson is making it a point to play some of his younger players.  Corey Maggette, Andris Biedrins, and Jamal Crawford have been given healthy "nights off" in order to try out the newbies. If you’re in a daily league, you can make adjustments, but if you’re in a weekly league, it’s almost impossible to play any Golden State players.

The Toronto Raptors' Shawn Marion could be in that same boat (being benched when he could be playing) if they don’t feel The Matrix is in their long-term plans; he’s a free agent after this season. The Raptors may also shut down Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon, who have battled through minor injuries this year. They both played in the Olympics for their respective countries and could use a little "R & R."

Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards is also candidate for an early summer. He’s dealing with a hamstring injury now, and he could easily be given the last week off.


The Good Teams

The concern of benchings isn't limited to the bottom-feeders. Once the good teams are locked into their seed, they may be tempted to rest up their fellas until the postseason.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are likely to put some of their best on the pine, as they maintain a solid lead over Boston and Orlando. They could start reducing the minutes of LeBron James, Mo Williams, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

Also, if the Celtics of Magic can get some separation from the other, either might give some of their stars a break. Kevin Garnett is working to get his legs under him, so he should remain in rotation, but Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo could see reduced workloads. Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, and Rashard Lewis could see the same down in Orlando.

The Los Angeles Lakers are running away with the West and have a deep bench. Kobe Bryant, Paul Gasol, and Lamar Odom could see a reduction in burn. With Kobe essentially out of the MVP race, that won’t be a factor in keeping him in the lineup.

Seeds two through eight in the West are pretty tight, so those teams likely won’t be able to rest up.


Keep these things in mind as you set your lineup for your championship run.

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