Commentary

Matchups: It's Andre Miller time

Portland's point guard has favorable matchups coming up on his schedule

Updated: February 18, 2011, 4:46 PM ET
By Kevin Pelton | Basketball Prospectus
Andre MillerMark J. Rebilas/US PresswireAndre Miller's stats should get a boost next week when he faces a favorable schedule.

Using opponent data for each team on the upcoming schedule, Basketball Prospectus can estimate how much a player's performance will vary because of the defenses he will face in the next week. (See here for more details on the process.) Each week, Kevin Pelton will take a look at five players to use, five to limit and an ideal pickup.

Must plays

1. Andre Miller, PG, Portland Trail Blazers (plus-9 percent)

Miller should already be in your lineup, of course, and the point guard must be salivating over upcoming matchups against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks, two of the league's weakest teams when it comes to defending opposing point guards.

2. J.R. Smith, SG, Denver Nuggets (plus-7 percent)

The week of the trade deadline does present a unique risk in that Smith might be on another team by the time games on Thursday and Friday roll around. A deal would likely force Smith to miss at least one game in addition to depriving him of the favorable schedule the Nuggets face. If he stays in Denver, however, he's a smart play.


To read Basketball Prospectus' list of five must-start players (hint: it's time to start Andre Miller), five players with tough schedules in the coming week and one player to target on your waiver wire, you must be an ESPN Insider.