Eric Gordon (Getty)
• It hasn't been easy to keep up with Scott Skiles' whims on the wing this season, but what is certainly notable about the Bucks' recent games is that they've featured a heavy dose of Carlos Delfino. His big line Monday (32 minutes, 24 points, 5 threes, 2 steals) pushed his averages over the past four games to the following: 32 minutes, 16.5 points, 48% FG, 4 threes, 5.5 boards, 1.8 steals. Shaun Livingston continues to start but has been losing time (19 minutes over the past four) to the combination of Delfino and Mike Dunleavy (27 minutes), and even Stephen Jackson has been getting run (23 minutes). Delfino is the clear standout for fantasy purposes when he has consistent opportunities to compile those steals-plus-blocks, and he deserves near-universal roster consideration when he has it going.
"He has his chance to get it done. If not, then in the future I'll have to make a decision."
The future is now. Thomas averaged 27 minutes, 6.9 points on 33-percent shooting, 6.1 boards, 0.8 assists, 1.4 turnovers, 1.3 steals, and 2.2 blocks in 12 starts following Silas' comment. Throw out his one-off in the blowout loss to the Wizards on January 25 (13 points, 5-9 FG, 9 boards, 4 steals, 9 blocks) and those defensive numbers fall to 5.8 boards, 1 steal, and 1.5 blocks, certainly not enough to make up for being a complete failure on offense. His team's injury woes absolutely worked against him, but Silas doesn't seem like the type to give much credence to that qualifier. Corey Maggette's return has pushed Thomas back to the bench, where he'll fight for minutes behind Boris Diaw and Maggette with Derrick Brown and D.J. White, and he's averaged just 13 minutes over the past two games (5.5 points, 56% FG, 2.5 boards). He's technically in a better position to succeed now that the Bobcats are getting back to full strength, but what is the unknown is whether or not Silas will give him more than scraps of playing time moving forward. He had his chance, after all.Kenyon Martin arrived: 32 minutes, 9.1 points, 66% FG, 10.3 boards, 2.7 blocks. Now take a look as his past four games, with Martin in the rotation: 22 minutes, 5.3 points, 69% FG, 7.5 boards, 1.5 blocks. The Clippers are 11-3 in games that Jordan has played at least 30 minutes and 6-6 in games that he hasn't. That a bit simplified, but the fact is that Jordan has not only been great for fantasy, he's helping them win games. Martin represents an upgrade from players like Reggie Evans, Brian Cook, and Trey Thompkins, but there isn't a good reason for Vinny Del Negro to consistently bench Jordan in his favor. It's too early to panic here, but clearly it's not too early to be concerned.
• J.R. Smith lists the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Bulls, Magic, and Pacers among possible destinations in his Twitter bio. The Clippers and Knicks appear to be the most likely destinations, with the Clippers being the better option for expected fantasy impact as he'd likely bump Randy Foye from the starting five in fairly short order. In any case, we're now a matter of days away from finding out where he'll sign, so the prudent course of action here is rostering him while things shake out. It's either that or give your league-mates the opportunity to acquire his services. Smith's per-game ranks over the past three seasons were 94th (25 minutes), 11oth (28 minutes), and 99th (28 minutes).
• Status updates: Derrick Rose (back) is out Tuesday and considered day-to-day .. Brook Lopez (foot) was "pretty much" a full participant in the Nets' Tuesday practice and he could see game action before the All-Star break .. Kyrie Irving (concussion) was a full participant in Tuesday practice and could return on Wednesday .. Kevin Garnett (hip) did not practice Tuesday and is doubtful for Wednesday .. Marcus Camby (ankle) is expected to play on Tuesday .. Nuggets on Tuesday: Nene Hilario (calf) is out; Corey Brewer, Kenneth Faried, and Kosta Koufos are in the starting five .. Jarrett Jack (knee) is targeting Friday for his return .. D.J. Augustin (foot) looked so good in Tuesday's practice that Paul Silas is considering starting him on Wednesday. In any case, Kemba Walker stands to lose minutes with DJA back in the fold, as Silas plans to limit Walker's minutes at shooting guard .. The Bobcats are also hoping to have Gerald Henderson (hamstring) back by Sunday's matchup with the Pacers.
• Scanning the Buzz Index leaders: Nikola Pekovic's starting gig isn't going anwhere. Add with confidence .. Randy Foye's upside has been held back by Mo Williams' strong play - and his own limitations, of course. In four starts, he's averaged 10 points on 36-percent shooting, 1.3 thres, 2.8 assists and 0.8 steals in 27 minutes. If J.R. Smith signs with the Clips, Foye's numbers will completely evaporate .. Trevor Brooker's averages over the past nine games include 12.3 points on 62-percent shooting, 7.2 boards, 1.4 steals, and 1.6 blocks. What's not to like? .. Brandon Bass is just fringey enough in standard leagues that a drop makes sense while he sits out the next few weeks .. I still like Evan Turner's game, but Doug Collins has been featuring him less in the rotation lately and there's not enough of a far-reaching fantasy impact to wait around for a correction and then some (per-game rank 196 in 24 minutes on the season).
- Paul Silas
- Eric Gordon