Court Report: Bismack Biyombo’s time to shine

Matt Buser
March 7, 2012

Bismack Biyombo returned from a two-game absence because of a sore shoulder and posted his best line of the season in an improbable win over Magic on Tuesday, logging a double-double (10 points, 15 boards) and blocking seven shots, the second time he's done so this season. Biyombo played more than 30 minutes (32) for just the fourth time on the season, with his chances of truly consistent minutes the rest of the way being seriously strengthened by the Boris Diaw situation. Diaw had averaged 30 minutes per game since rejoining the starting five in late January, but will now see DNP-CDs until the trade deadline passes and he's been traded or bought out. Biyombo's minutes are locked in, reinforced by Paul Silas calling him "one of the hardest-working guys I've ever seen" after the game, and health and possible foul trouble seem to be all that might work against him. Biyombo's averages in those four games with 30-plus minutes include 9.5 points (64% FG, 63% FT), 12.5 boards (4.8 offensive), 5.5 blocks, and 2.8 fouls. Go grab Biyombo anywhere he's available. Those are serious numbers, and his keeper league prospects are off the charts, given that he's still five months away from his 20th birthday.

As for Diaw, he will be on a different team two weeks from now. It's doubtful that a trade happens (expiring $9M contract), but he'd be free to sign with any team after a buyout. What is very doubtful is that he'll end up somewhere where he'd play enough minutes to matter for fantasy purposes, so he can be cut in standard formats (and beyond). So long, Boris, we'll always have 2005-06. D.J. White started at power forward for the Bobcats on Tuesday (22 minutes, 8 points, 0 boards), Byron Mullens was first big off the bench (25 minutes, 8 points, 13 boards), and Eduardo Najera saw playing time (12 minutes, 7 points) ahead of Tyrus Thomas (6 minutes, 0-2 FG). Mullens and White can both make a deep-league impact with consistent playing time, and we could see Mullens in particular regain some relevance as Silas gives his young guys the minutes. Mullens' per-25 minute averages on the season include 11.1 points, 5.3 boards, and 0.8 blocks, and his finesse game is a good complement to Biyombo's toughness.

• Doc Rivers confirmed Tuesday that the Celtics will continue to start Kevin Garnett at center and Brandon Bass at power forward regardless of Jermaine O'Neal's status, and that "it doesn't look good" regarding O'Neal's chances of returning this season. In 10 starts at center thus far, KG has averaged 16.9 points on 52-percent shooting, 4.8 free throw attempts (85%), 10.1 boards, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.9 blocks in 33 minutes. In his eight starts at power forward, Bass has averaged 12.1 points on 48-percent shooting, 4.9 boards, 0.8 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 33 minutes.

Status updates: Dwyane Wade (ankle) is expected to play on Wedneday .. Mark Jackson says he'll "play it by ear" regarding Stephen Curry's starting status and minutes allocation .. Joe Johnson (knee) said he had no soreness after a Tuesday workout but still is not sure when he'll play on the Hawks' current road trip, which runs through next Wednesday .. Both Danilo Gallinari and Nene Hilario will be limited to around 20 minutes on Wednesday .. Nikola Pekovic (foot) was able to work out Tuesday but will be a game-time decision Wednesday .. Andrea Bargnani (calf) will practice with the Raptors on Thursday. How he responds to that work, and the subsequent Friday practice, will determine his availability .. Jason Kidd (mileage) expects to play in all three games during the Mavs' upcoming back-to-back-to-back, but his minutes may be limited .. Spencer Hawes has slowly been ramping up his workouts and "hopefully" will be back in the lineup sometime next week .. Amir Johnson (knee) is active and will start on Wednesday .. The Bulls are calling Richard Hamilton (shoulder) day-to-day, but he's much less optimistic .. Devin Harris (knee) expects to play on Wednesday .. Gustavo Ayon (foot) is out Wednesday. Solomon Jones will get the spot start with Emeka Okafor (knee) and Carl Landry (knee) still out, as well .. Landry Fields may be replaced in the Knicks' starting five by Iman Shumpert on Wednesday.

Scanning the Buzz Index leaders: With Steve Novak providing the threes and Iman Shumpert playing defense, J.R. Smith's role is in serious question. He's done nothing to help his own cause, averaging 4.7 points on 28-percent shooting over the past three games (0-7 3PT), and he's shot just 20 percent from three to this point .. Corey Maggette is going to have plenty of usage opportunities the rest of the way, but be sure to keep his perceived value in line with his actual contributions. He's averaged 18.9 points and 81-percent foul shooting over the past nine games, but that's been the extent of the real positives (40% FG, 0.7 threes, 0.7 assists, 1.8 turnovers, 0.8 steals) .. Yes, Metta World Peace is still who we thought he was .. There is only so much Ronnie Brewer will accomplish while filling in for Rip Hamilton. His averages in 27 starts on the season tell the story [splits] .. Brandon Knight's numbers as a a starter (33 games, 33 minutes) are probably much less impactful than you think. They include 13.1 points on 40-percent shooting, 1.5 threes, 3.6 assists, 2.5 turnovers, and 0.6 steals. No, those stats don't warrant 61-percent ownership .. MarShon Brooks wasn't particularly impressive on Tuesday (28 minutes, 12 points, 2 threes, 1 steal), but the keys here are that he led the team in minutes in the blowout loss and was second in shot attempts to Deron Williams. He's back to being the team's No.2 option with Brook Lopez out of the way .. Nikola Pekovic is among today's most dropped players? I do believe smh is applicable here.