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Matt Buser

Court Report: Playing the waiting game

Matt Buser
Roto Arcade

Fantasy owners are in a holding pattern for updates on Yao Ming(notes), Mo Williams(notes), Brandon Roy(notes), and Baron Davis(notes).

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Yao Ming left Wednesday's game after spraining tendons in his left ankle. There were no early indications that it's serious and it is not in the area of his previous foot problems, but we aren't going to have any specific update until after he undergoes tests Thursday. The irony here is that injury comes one day after the team discussed the possibility of increasing Yao's minutes. Chuck Hayes(notes) (25 minutes, 2 points, 7 boards), Brad Miller(notes) (14 minutes, 7 points, 1 three, 3 boards), and Jordan Hill(notes) (9 minutes, 4 points, 3 boards) are after Yao on the depth chart, but their roles have been muddled lately and it's hard to see one clear winner if Yao were to miss any time. Kevin Martin(notes) (31 points, 13-15 FT, 2 threes, 7 boards, 6 assists, 3 turnovers) and Luis Scola(notes) (24 points, 6 boards, 2 blocks) will certainly be needed to bear the scoring load for this team with Yao limited and Aaron Brooks(notes) out of action.

Ishmael Smith(notes) played reasonable well in his second start (26 minutes, 12 points, 2 threes, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 steals) but there's been no indications as of yet that he won't head back to the bench once Kyle Lowry(notes) (21 minutes, 4 points, 2-11 FG, 4 assists, 2 turnovers) is closer to full strength.

John Wall(notes) played something of a perfect game in front of Magic Johnson and the Wizards' faithful Wednesday, registering his first career triple-double (19 points, 10 boards, 13 assists) and posting flawless numbers overall (8-16 FG, 2 threes, 1 turnover, 6 steals, 1 block). Wall's averages in his three home games include 20.3 points on 48-percent shooting, 12 assists, 5 turnovers, 5.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 43 minutes. The Wizards also got contributions from Andray Blatche(notes) (20 points, 11 boards, 2 steals), Al Thornton(notes) (20 points, 7-13 FG, 6 boards), and Yi Jianlian(notes) (29 minutes, 13 points, 7 boards, 4 blocks).

Gilbert Arenas(notes) played 23 minutes after being questionable with left knee soreness and was ineffectual (5 points, 1-7 FG, 4 fouls). Flip Saunders said after the game that Arenas isn't going to play major minutes until he gets his weight down and shows he can go hard in both games of back-to-backs.

Utah's 104-94 win over the Magic Wednesday was its third consecutive come-from-behind victory, and they were down by at least 18 points in each of the three games. Deron Williams(notes) was huge in this one (30 points, 3 threes, 11-12 FT, 5 boards, 14 assists, 4 turnovers) and Paul Millsap(notes) posted another big line (23 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, 0 turnovers, 2 steals), but it was particularly nice to see solid fantasy lines for both Al Jefferson(notes) (21 points, 10-16 FG, 8 boards, 1 block) and Andrei Kirilenko(notes) (12 points, 2 threes, 6 boards, 2 steals). While Jefferson wasn't flawless on offense (0 assists, 5 turnovers), there are going to be few complaints any time he shoots at a high percentage.

Ryan Anderson(notes) got the start at power forward for the fourth time in five games but was pulled after just two minutes (and two turnovers), never to be seen again. Brandon Bass(notes) went on to play a career-high 37 minutes, scoring 14 points and adding four boards, two steals, and a block. Anderson's most recent four playing time figures are two minutes, 15 minutes, a DNP-CD, and seven minutes, but Stan Van Gundy said before the game that he'd settled on a plan that started either Anderson (against big teams) or Quentin Richardson(notes) (against everyone else). Bass could be in the mix before long if Wednesday was any indication.

The Bucks put together another efficient offensive performance, with Brandon Jennings(notes) once again setting the tone (19 points, 4 threes, 5 boards, 6 assists, 1 turnover). Of particular note for the Bucks: the solid showing by John Salmons(notes) (16 points, 7-12 FG, 1 three, 2 steals, 1 block) and Corey Maggette's(notes) best offensive output of the season (30 minutes, 20 points, 7-8 FG, 5-6 FT, 1 three) … Carlos Delfino(notes) (neck) sat out his second straight game and is day-to-day.

The Hawks were bad on offense and defense Wednesday and just about all of their notable players had nights to forget, as the bench was also heavily-involved during the blowout loss to the Bucks.

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The Bobcats filled up the box score with those difference-making defensive numbers, totaling nine steals and 13 blocks as a team. The main contributions came from Tyrus Thomas(notes) (1 steal, 5 blocks), Gerald Wallace(notes) (1 steals, 4 blocks), Boris Diaw(notes) (2 steals, 2 blocks), and D.J. Augustin(notes) (3 steals).

The Raptors got what they wanted from Andrea Bargnani(notes) (23 points, 2 three, 9 boards, 2 steals, 1 block) but the lines were pretty thin otherwise. Sonny Weems(notes) played 37 minutes (20 points) because of DeMar DeRozan's(notes) foul trouble (21 minutes, 5 fouls) and Linas Kleiza's(notes) sore heel (17 minutes). Leandro Barbosa(notes) also missed the game because of a sore shoulder and is day-to-day. Amir Johnson(notes) played at least 20 minutes for the fourth consecutive game (28 minutes, 16 points, 9 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks) and it's worth noting that Reggie Evans(notes) left this game late with a hip injury, although his status has yet to be updated.

There were plenty of good numbers to go around in the Warriors' 122-117 win over the Knicks, particularly with the game's 10 starters averaging 38 minutes each. Some of the highlights: David Lee(notes) was clearly up for this one and had his best game of the season, finally getting and converting a numbers of easy looks around the basket (28 points, 11-17 FG, 10 boards, 4 steals); Monta Ellis(notes) showed no signs of his back injury (41 minutes, 22 points, 6 assists, 2 turnovers, 4 steals); Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) had his first monster line of the season (33 points, 14-16 FT, 1 three, 10 boards, 3 steals, 1 block); and Wilson Chandler(notes) had a big game in his first start of the season (27 points, 4 threes, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 blocks). A notable lowlight was Anthony Randolph(notes) only seeing eight minutes of playing time because of a tight six-man Knicks rotation.

The Cavs' offensive struggles aren't likely to improve with the news that Mo Williams suffered yet another groin strain - this time on his left side - after battling the same injury on his right side through the preseason and first week of the regular season. We'll have to wait for his status to be officially updated, but Ramon Sessions(notes) and Daniel Gibson(notes) will end up with the extra work if Williams ends up being out for a timeframe of any significance.

The Nets' backcourt carried them to victory Wednesday, with Devin Harris(notes) and Anthony Morrow(notes) combining for 52 points. Harris added nine assists while Morrow nailed five threes. The pair made up for Brook Lopez(notes), who had yet another "worst game of the season". He was limited to 19 minutes because of foul trouble and scored just four points on one-of-five shooting. He appears to be struggling to adjust to Avery Johnson's coaching, but at this point all the Nets and fantasy owners can only hope that this is established as his low point and he starts to pick it up moving forward.

Troy Murphy(notes) was a late scratch because of a foot injury and Terrence Williams(notes) missed his second straight game with a strained abdominal muscle. Both players are day-to-day. Kris Humphries(notes) got the start for Murphy Wednesday and was huge (40 minutes, 13 points, 18 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks).

The Mavs got contributions up and down their roster in the easy win over the Grizzlies, with nine players seeing at least 20 minutes of action and six reaching double figures in scoring … Dirk Nowitzki(notes) left the game briefly after injuring his ankle in the second quarter but returned and logged a double-double (12 points, 10 boards). Caron Butler(notes) was not with the team, as he instead remained in Dallas to deal with back spasms - Shawn Marion(notes) got the start in his place and had his best game of the season (35 minutes, 20 points, 10-15 FG, 7 boards, 2 blocks).

Zach Randolph(notes) led the Grizzlies with 23 points and nine boards, while Rudy Gay(notes) had his first sub-20 point effort of the season (18 points, 2 threes, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block). Neither O.J. Mayo(notes) (4 points, 1-8 FG) nor Mike Conley(notes) (9 points, 4-11 FG) helped their fantasy owners much in this one.

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The combination of Kevin Durant(notes) and Russell Westbrook(notes) carried the Thunder to a win over the 76ers, with both players scoring 31 points. Westbrook continued his terrific start (11-19 FG, 9-11 FT, 5 boards, 12 assists, 7 turnovers, 1 steal), and his improvement at the foul line has been his biggest leap. He's averaging 91-percent shooting on 9 attempts per game thus far - his positive impact in the category is second only to Durant's (91%, 10 FTA), and he's averaging 4.1 more makes per game than he did last season … Jeff Green(notes) missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle and he remains day-to-day.

Jrue Holiday(notes) had another productive game and has really settled in after a shaky start. Over the past five games, Holiday has averaged 18 points on 53-percent shooting, 1.4 threes, 9 assists, 3 turnovers, and 2 steals in 38 minutes … Andre Iguodala(notes) missed his second straight game with right Achilles tendinitis. Evan Turner(notes) has started both games in his stead, averaging 14.5 points on 50-percent shooting and 9 boards in 37 minutes.

The Spurs got production from Tony Parker(notes) (21 points, 9 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals), Manu Ginobili(notes) (22 points, 3 threes, 1 steal, 1 block), and Richard Jefferson(notes) (22 points, 4 threes, 2 steals, 1 block) in their win over the Clippers. Tim Duncan(notes) played limited minutes (22 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks) after missing the team's morning shootaround with flu-like symptoms.

The Clippers were without regular starters Baron Davis, Eric Gordon(notes), and Chris Kaman(notes), with Eric Bledsoe(notes) (11 points, 1 three, 7 assists, 3 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block), Rasual Butler(notes) (18 points, 3 threes, 5 boards, 1 steal), and DeAndre Jordan(notes) (6 points, 6 boards, 2 blocks) getting the starts in their respective places. Al-Farouq Aminu(notes) saw extended run off the bench for the second consecutive game (26 minutes, 10 points, 1 three, 3 steals) … Davis played 10 minutes Tuesday but swelling and fluid buildup had his left knee feeling terrible Wednesday. The plan is to meet with a doctor on Thursday to reassess his situation.

The Kings had no defensive answer for Michael Beasley(notes), who scored a career-high 42 points (in 41 minutes) on 17-of-31 shooting in the 98-89 win. Before you get too excited about this performance, however, you should note that Kevin Love(notes) played just 28 minutes one day after his 23-point, 24-rebound game against the Lakers. There is truly no way to know how Kurt Rambis is going to hand out minutes from game to game for any one of his players in any matchup or situation.

Samuel Dalembert(notes) was effective in extended playing time at center (36 minutes, 14 points, 9 boards, 2 blocks), limiting DeMarcus Cousins(notes) yet again (14 minutes, 7 points, 6 boards, 4 turnovers, 1 steal, 2 blocks). Tyreke Evans(notes) dealt with foul trouble and had a very uneven line (28 minutes, 5 points, 1-5 FG, 9 assists, 5 turnovers, 6 fouls).

Brandon Roy update: a doctor will look at film of Roy’s ailing left knee by early next week and offer a diagnosis at that point. In the interim, Roy will remain the starter but is expected to have his minutes limited. Rudy Fernandez(notes) is expected to inherit the majority of however many minutes Roy ends up relinquishing.

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