Manu Ginobili (Kevin C. Cox - Getty)
Manu Ginobili suffered a broken fifth metacarpal in his left (shooting) hand and has been sidelined indefinitely. The immediate over/under is six weeks, but an official announcement should come from the Spurs sometime on Tuesday, after team doctors have a look at the injury. Manu has been a per-minute juggernaut (again) and it's a huge blow for fantasy owners (and the Spurs) - he's currently ranked fifth in per-game rank despite just 23 minutes through five games. How you deal with Manu's injury should depend on a few factors: your league's settings, your team's strength, and your league's free agent pool. If you are in a shallow league and doing terribly, then your situation dictates that carrying dead weight into mid-February makes little-to-no sense. You've got to hold him in roto and deep leagues, however, as a six-week timetable still leaves over two months of production on the other end. If you can't stomach his taking up a roster spot, at least put him on the trade block to see if you can acquire something better than a marginal free agent for his future services.
James Anderson will step into the starting lineup in Manu's place, for now. He was a successful college player but has yet to see much of an opportunity with the Spurs. When he has played, he's struggled with efficiency and defense, two things that won't endear him to Gregg Popovich. I'm targeting Gary Neal over Anderson for those reasons. Neal is currently rehabbing from his appendectomy in the D-League, but is expected to rejoin the team by the end of the week. He averaged 9.8 points on 45-percent shooting and 1.6 threes on 42-percent shooting as a rookie, and Neal's steady game was part of the reason the team was comfortable trading away George Hill. Neal is the preferred add here, but Anderson can also get a look while he receives the lion's share of the playing time over the next few games. The Spurs' play two back-to-backs over the remainder of the week (Wed GSW, Thu DAL, Sat DEN, Sun @OKC).
Other status updates: Amar'e Stoudemire is getting non-stop treatment for his sprained left ankle and says there is "definitely a good possibility" that he'll be back in the lineup on Wednesday .. Richard Hamilton (groin) will be a game-time decision on Tuesday .. David Lee (illness) was with the team but did not practice Tuesday and is questionable for Wednesday .. Mike Conley (ankle) is getting closer but will be out again on Tuesday .. Zach Randolph's timetable has yet to be established. He's schedule to undergo an MRI on Tuesday .. Kris Humphries is day-to-day with a sprained shoulder .. Tyrus Thomas (ankle) continues to get closer to a return but is not expected to play Tuesday ... DeMarcus Cousins will dress for Tuesday's game but will not start .. Nene Hilario missed Monday's game with a bruised foot and is day-to-day.
• What to do with Dorell Wright? His early-season showing has been almost completely devoid of positives. He's deferring non-stop on offense (12.3% usage) and defending passively. When he's not electing to not shoot, he can't get anything to go (31% FG, 15% 3PT). Wright has said that it's only "a matter of time" before he's going to get hot, but nothing about how he carries himself on the court suggests that he actually believes it. It wouldn't be so bad if we were merely talking about missed shots, but the drop-off in his level of involvement in the game is something entirely different. The one positive to cling to? He's averaged 32 minutes to this point, although that includes a season-low 26 on Monday (0-4 FG, 0-3 3PT, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block). It's too early to cut a player that was drafted in the third round, on average, particularly while he is still a rotation regular. You can try to shop him for a team that desperately needs threes and see what happens - he did lead the league in threes made last season, after all. Otherwise, you stay put and see if he can suddenly snap out of this funk, or at least if Mark Jackson will continue to give him enough minutes for it to remain a possibility. And more sympathetic I could not be, as I'm stuck with Wright in the 12x16 Friends and Family league. Click here to see the results of my disastrous Round 3-4 turn (not recommended for those with a weak stomach).
• Greg Stiemsma gave the Celtics a spark at center on Monday while starting in place of the injured Jermaine O'Neal. The 26-year-old rookie scored 13 points, grabbed seven boards, and blocked two shots in 21 minutes, and had his coach and teammates signing his praises after the game. He knocked down four of his five long jumpshots, dished out two assists, and provided a defensive post presence that has been missing for this team since Kendrick Perkins was removed from the roster. O'Neal was held out of the game because of soreness in his hamstring but hopes to play Wednesday. He's been delivering little to the team on either end of the court and is now clearly on notice - his performances upon returning will be worth watching, and Stiemsma should at least be on deep league watch lists for his penchant for blocking shots. Stiemsma was named D-League Defensive Player of the Year in 2010-11 after averaging 3.6 blocks in 45 games (28 minutes).
Check the comments below and @busersports on Twitter for further status updates
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