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Matt Buser

Court Report: Greg Oden's cruel fate

Matt Buser
Roto Arcade

Wednesday's night's slate of NBA games was overshadowed by news that Greg Oden(notes) will need another knee surgery.

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Another season is over for Greg Oden before it has started, as he has ligament damage in his left knee that will require microfracture surgery. The timetable for recovery varies largely depending on the specific player, but can take up to 12 months and Oden certainly doesn't qualify as a fast healer. It's yet another crushing blow for Oden and the Blazers, who also are without Brandon Roy(notes) until at least November 26 because of his own knee issues. The fantasy spin here is that Marcus Camby(notes) owners no longer need to concern themselves with a potential timeshare, and Joel Przybilla(notes) should eventually have some deep-league value, as he's set to return from his own knee procedure by the end of next week. Oden will also be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, so he's no lock to finish this round of rehabilitation as a member of the Blazers, for whom he'll have played a total of 82 games in four seasons since being drafted No.1 overall in the 2007 draft.

Toronto beat the 76ers in a matchup of two-win teams, thanks in large part to an anemic 76ers offense (37% FG, 15:13 AST:TO). Elton Brand(notes) rebounded from a string of poor games (27 points, 9-11 FT, 8 boards, 2 steals) and Jrue Holiday(notes) was solid (17 points, 6 boards, 7 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 steal, 1 block), but Philly is a team that is lacking in a lot of areas right now. Evan Turner(notes) got the start once again and turned in one of his most complete lines of the season (11 points, 5-6 FT, 12 boards, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals). Andre Iguodala(notes) missed his fourth game of the season due to Achilles tendinitis and will remain out indefinitely until he gets himself right. The Sixers play just once over the next five days (Fri, MIL), so there's a good chance he'll sit that one out and be re-evaluated early next week.

Andrea Bargnani(notes) (30 points, 12-18 FG, 1 three, 7 boards, 1 block) and Sonny Weems(notes) (42 minutes, 25 points) were the major offensive contributors for the Raptors. Weems got another start and has averaged 18 points on 60-percent shooting and 1 three in 35 minutes over the past five games. Linas Kleiza(notes) was off Wednesday (22 minutes, 3 points, 1-7 FG), but there has yet to be any indication that he won't return to the starting five once he is all the way back from his own bout with Achilles tendinitis. Weems is worth a look in deeper leagues while the rotation is in flux but isn't going to provide much outside of scoring even in a best-case scenario.

Jose Calderon(notes) and Jarrett Jack(notes) remained locked in their strict platoon and continued their boom and bust exchange. It was Calderon's turn for the boom on Wednesday (25 minutes, 12 points, 5 boards, 8 assists, 1 turnover, 1 steal) while Jack was a bust (23 minutes, 6 points, 2-13 FG, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal).

Chris Bosh(notes) had the jumper working against the Suns (12-17 FG) and took it to their small frontline (11-11 FT) en route to a season-high 35 points in just 30 minutes. Bosh also added six boards, four assists, no turnovers and a steal in the 123-96 decimation. Cautious optimists can hope that this is the springboard for better numbers moving forward, but for now the safer assumption is that it was the right matchup at the right time. Bosh should see a bit more resistance this weekend (Fri CHA, Sat @MEM), so we'll just have to wait and see … LeBron James(notes) packed production into his 23 minutes (20 points, 8 boards, 9 assists, 3 turnovers, 3 steals), while Dwyane Wade(notes) was the third option on this night (31 minutes, 17 points, 6 boards, 6 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 blocks).

Steve Nash(notes) (groin) was questionable coming into Wednesday's game but ended up playing 29 minutes (17 points, 2 assists, 1 turnover). Nash said after the game that he didn't feel great but was able to get through the game, and he'll make a decision on whether or not he'll play in Thursday's game during warm-ups.

The Wizards/Celtics matchup was also a blowout (114-83) and allowed the Celts to get some rest for their key contributors. Kevin Garnett(notes) (18 points, 9-11 FG, 7 boards), Paul Pierce(notes) (23 points, 3 threes), Ray Allen(notes) (11 points, 5 assists), and Rajon Rondo(notes) (12 points, 13 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block) averaged 27 minutes as a group. The lopsided win also provided the perfect setup for Delonte West's(notes) return from his 10-game suspension - he played 21 minutes and delivered something of an ideal line (12 points, 2 threes, 5 boards, 4 assists, 3 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block). It remains to be seen how many minutes will consistently be available for West, but the Celtics absolutely would like to see Rondo (41 minutes per game) and Ray Allen (40) come down from their current averages, so the situation is at least worth monitoring.

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The Wizards were without John Wall(notes) (ankle) for the second consecutive game - consider him day-to-day in advance of Friday's matchup with Memphis. Gilbert Arenas(notes) got the start again but found production harder to come by in this one (9 points, 3-11 FG, 2 threes, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, 3 steals). JaVale McGee(notes) was the standout fantasy performer in the massive loss (27 minutes, 8 points, 10 boards, 2 steals, 2 blocks).

The Lakers/Pistons matchup likely went exactly how you expected. The Lakers won comfortably with Kobe Bryant(notes) (33 points, 3 threes, 9 boards, 2 steals), Pau Gasol(notes) (25 points, 12 boards, 1 steal, 1 block), and Lamar Odom(notes) (15 points, 14 boards) leading the way. Rodney Stuckey(notes) was solid (18 points, 4 assists, 0 turnovers, 2 steals) and Austin Daye(notes) did a few things (12 points, 1 three, 7 boards, 2 blocks), but this was an ugly one for the Pistons (39% FG, 25% 3PT, 76% FT).

The Hornets leaned heavily on their starters in a quality win over the Mavs - as a unit, the five starters averaged 34 minutes and 15.8 points. Marco Belinelli(notes) hit three more treys (17 points, 6-10 FG) and has averaged 13.4 points on 55-percent shooting and 2.3 threes over the past seven games. Trevor Ariza(notes) made at least half of his field goals (5-10) for just the second time on the season and turned in one of his better lines (12 points, 1 three, 4 boards, 5 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals).

Dirk Nowitzki(notes) was huge against the Hornets for the second time in three days. On Wednesday, Dirk played 36 minutes and scored 29 points (11-19 FG, 7-7 FT), adding nine boards, one steal, and one block. Nowitzki's relatively slow start has raised some red flags, as some of his numbers (23 points, 20% 3PT, 2.8 turnovers, 0.2 steals, 0.7 blocks) are the first signs of a possible decline in over a decade. It's early and he's certainly capable of a run that would put him back in first-round impact territory, but it's been a rough first few weeks for Dirk and fellow roto legend Chauncey Billups(notes)Caron Butler(notes) was active after missing three games with back spasms, but was ineffective in his 22 minutes (5 points, 2-7 FG).

The Thunder used Wednesday's comfortable win over the Rockets as an opportunity to get Kevin Durant(notes) some rest. He played just 30 minutes (24 points) after coming into the game averaging 42 minutes. Russell Westbrook(notes) had another strong game (21 points, 6 boards, 12 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 steals) and continued his dominance from the charity stripe (9-9 FT). Serge Ibaka(notes) started for Jeff Green(notes) for the fifth time in six games and blocked four shots for the fourth time in five games. Ibaka is now pushing the top 12 in terms of fantasy impact, with averages that include 12.1 points on 59-percent shooting, 83-percent foul shooting, 7.9 boards, 2.7 blocks, and just 0.5 turnovers. (Think about three OKC players being in the top 12 for just a second.) Welcome to the big time, Serge! … As for Green, he's taking a bit longer than was expected to return from his ankle injury but there are no long-term concerns as of yet. He's officially day-to-day as the Thunder prepare for a weekend back-to-back (Fri @BOS, Sat @MIL).

The Rockets were led by Luis Scola(notes) (26 points, 12-19 FG) and Kevin Martin(notes) (19 points, 2 points, 9-9 FT) but got nothing from the rest of their starters (combined 13 points, 2-10 FG). Kyle Lowry(notes) (22 minutes, 2 points, 0-3 FG, 4 assists, 4 turnovers) was drastically over-matched against Westbrook but is looking at a very favorable short-term schedule (Fri @TOR, Mon PHO, Wed GSW), so you might consider giving him another game or two if you are thinking of going another direction. That said, Aaron Brooks(notes) is likely to return from his sprained ankle in two to three weeks, so he was a short-term add from the outset … As for Yao Ming(notes), he's out through next week and Rick Adelman isn't sure what the plan will be once he's back.

The Clippers got big numbers from their two best players - Blake Griffin(notes) (26 points, 12-22 FG, 17 boards) and Eric Gordon(notes) (30 points, 2 threes, 7 assists, 5 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block) - but it wasn't quite enough to avoid falling to 1-11 on the season. In three games since returning from his shoulder injury, Gordon has averaged 29.3 points, 1.3 threes, 5.3 assists, 4.3 turnovers, and made 82 percent of 14.7 free throws per game.

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Al-Farouq Aminu(notes) also had some solid production (28 minutes, 17 points, 3 treys, 4 boards, 1 steal) and doesn't look like he's going to lose his starting gig any time soon. It's senseless for this team to start Ryan Gomes(notes) or Rasual Butler(notes) over Aminu, and that's in any and all scenarios. The ups and downs will come, but Aminu is averaging 13.4 points on 57-percent shooting, 1.8 threes, 5 boards, and 1.8 steals in 26 minutes over the past five games.

Starter's minutes led to big games once again for Kevin Love(notes) (38 minutes, 24 points, 2 threes, 14 boards, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals, 1 block) and Michael Beasley(notes) (38 minutes, 33 points, 2 threes, 7 boards, 1 steal, 1 block). What else can you say about these two other than that they are both on tremendous rolls and looked primed to continue the trend now that playing time appears to be much less of a concern.

It was a slow night for most of the other T-Wolves, but it's worth noting that Luke Ridnour(notes) returned from his hamstring injury and was solid off the bench (25 minutes, 12 points, 2 threes, 8 assists, 1 turnover, 3 steals). With Jonny Flynn's(notes) return also just around the corner, the point guard situation is going to get worse before it gets better. Darko Milicic(notes) played more than 30 minutes for the third consecutive game and mixed some good (11 points, 5-6 FG, 1 steal, 3 blocks) with some bad (3 boards, 5 turnovers).

The Jazz were heavily invested in their starters Wednesday, with the five players averaging 37 minutes and 17.6 points. Raja Bell(notes) finally had a noteworthy game (35 minutes, 15 points, 5 boards) but missed all three of his three-point attempts.

Troy Murphy(notes) was inactive Wednesday, with Avery Johnson saying that the team wants a bit more time getting him back to 100 percent physically. Kris Humphries(notes) (30 minutes, 8 points, 15 boards, 2 blocks) will continue to start in the interim and certainly makes for a good short-term pickup. In his four starts thus far, Humphries has averaged 9.5 points on 55-percent shooting, 13 boards, and 2.3 blocks in 32 minutes - there may end up being some long-term usefulness as well, when you consider that Murphy is an expiring contractAlso for the Nets: Anthony Morrow(notes) turned in one of his best lines of the season (24 points, 2 threes, 7 boards, 2 steals, 1 block) against the Jazz, but Travis Outlaw(notes) really struggled against Andrei Kirilenko(notes) (38 minutes, 3 points, 1-12 FG, 0-5 3PT). Brook Lopez(notes) was better than bad (17 points, 8-17 FG, 8 boards, 3 blocks), although he did turn the ball over five times. Terrence Williams(notes) (abdomen) was active after missing four games but played only six minutes.

Tony Parker(notes) scored 20-plus points for the fourth consecutive game on a night that his divorce from Eva Longoria was announced. Obviously this situation will be weighing heavily on his mind, but it didn't show up in the box score on Wednesday … DeJuan Blair(notes) got another start at center but played on 11 minutes (2 points, 5 boards). Matt Bonner(notes) got 22 minutes of run (8 points, 2 threes, 1 block) and this certainly could be headed for a situation where Gregg Popovich simply plays the hot hand. Tiago Splitter(notes) was a DNP-CD and won't be challenging for consistent minutes any time soon.

Derrick Rose(notes) was of course the Bulls' main offensive threat against the Spurs, and he scored 33 points for the second consecutive game (15-27 FG, 2-4 3PT, 1-1 FT). Rose upped his season average to 25.5 points on the season, good for fourth in the league, and he's now up to 48-percent shooting (55% over the past four games). Rose averaged 1.3 combined threes, steals, and blocks last season, and recent strong play has pushed that number up to 3.0 per game so far this season.

The Knicks had it all working against the Kings as 52/40/85 percentages will attest. The Kings simply had no answer for Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) (27 points, 11-19 FG, 10 boards, 2 steals, 2 blocks), and Danilo Gallinari(notes) was aggressive getting to the rim (16-17 FT) as the Knicks often looked to push the tempo. Ronny Turiaf(notes) started at center and was his typical useful self (30 minutes, 3 points, 7 boards, 4 assists, 0 turnovers, 1 steal, 2 blocks) - don't count on his getting bumped from the starting five any time soon, as his positive effect on the Knicks' starting five is undeniable. Mike D'Antoni took the leap and gave Anthony Randolph(notes) his first DNP-CD of the season, just in case there was any doubt that he's officially lost all faith in him.

Paul Westphal is still trying to find a starting five that he likes - on Wednesday he started Luther Head(notes) and Jason Thompson(notes) ahead of Beno Udrih(notes) and Omri Casspi(notes) in a hope to improve the team defense, but minutes were all over the place because Thompson and Samuel Dalembert(notes) were in foul trouble in short order. This arrangement moves Carl Landry(notes) to small forward and creates a pretty serious jumble on the wing - Francisco Garcia(notes) managed just 17 minutes Wednesday and certainly doesn’t stand to benefit if Westphal sticks with this lineup for any length of time.

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