A bit of a departure from the standard Skinny format this week - add up flight delays related to cross-continental travel, a bad back, and sinusitis, and this isn't one of my best days. I've touched on some relevant topics from the past few days below and updated injuries where information allowed. Look for The Skinny to return to it's normal time and place next Monday.
• Paul Silas wants the Bobcats to be a less predictable and more dynamic on offense. To this aim, he wants his players to push the tempo and shoot with confidence any time they have an open shot. Silas said after his first practice that, if a player doesn't want to get up and down, then "they can come sit by me" on the bench. He also added that he's comfortable with surplus turnovers coming as a result of a quicker pace. Game 1 was a success if only because the team showed some energy that was clearly missing with Larry Brown calling the shots, and they did also happen to get a win. Silas' presence should be a positive for a healthy Gerald Wallace(notes), D.J. Augustin(notes), and Tyrus Thomas(notes), while Brown favorite Boris Diaw(notes) figures to come down a bit from his current season average of 36 minutes per game.
• Tyreke Evans(notes) said after Monday's 100-99 loss to the Clippers that he is considering having a laser procedure to deal with the plantar fasciitis in his left foot that would sideline him three to four months. The bit of irony here is that his announcement came in the wake of one of his best individual games of the season (32 points, 3 threes, 3 steals, 1 block), but he did miss a free throw that would have tied the game with 1.9 seconds remaining. It was the Kings' eighth consecutive loss and the team now stands at an NBA-worst 5-23. Evans also said after the game that a family issue has been affecting his play, in addition to his ankle injuries and plantar fasciitis. He's currently discussing matters with his agent and would likely have the procedure around the All-Star break if he does go that route, although the specific reasons for that timetable are a bit of a mystery. Frankly, it's hard to argue that it makes sense to put off the procedure any longer if it is truly inevitable. This is a wait-and-see situation for fantasy owners, given that he's either going to keep playing or he isn't.
• Paul Westphal finally got around to including Francisco Garcia(notes) in his 2010-11 version of starting lineup musical chairs. Garcia responded with 12 points, four threes, one steal, two blocks, and a team-best +11 in 25 minutes and clearly represents one of the better speculative pickups available (24% owned). Westphal will have to break form and make a logical decision in order for Garcia to remain in the starting five, but his fantasy potential is too great to ignore in the interim - in the eight games where he's seen at least 25 minutes of playing time, Garcia has averaged 15.5 points on 53-percent shooting, 2.4 threes, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks. All that said, Garcia has become a bit more relevant with Evans' first discussions of a possible shutdown.
• The Magic's makeover has opened things up for Ryan Anderson(notes), who has averaged 25 minutes in three games since Marcin Gortat(notes) was removed from the roster. His shot has been off thus far (32% FG, 31% 3PT), but his volume of stats otherwise should be noted (9.3 FGA, 1.3 threes, 8 boards, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks). Deep-leaguers in need of threes and/or boards should consider a move here (4% owned). Anderson's career averages for every 25 minutes played include 11 points, 1.6 threes, 5.9 boards, 0.8 steals, and 0.4 blocks.
• Rudy Gay(notes) has been pushing his fantasy impact back up into the highest ranks thanks to exorbitant defensive numbers. Gay has had at least four steals in five of the past seven games, averaging 3.4 during that stretch, along with 1.4 blocks. On the season, Gay is averaging 1.4 threes, 1.8 steals, and 1.3 blocks. That combined average of 4.5 is good for fourth in the league, behind Danny Granger(notes) (4.7), Manu Ginobili(notes) (4.6), and Dorell Wright(notes) (4.6).
• The Warriors have sent Jeremy Lin(notes) to the D-League, and it will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he's able to produce with Reno, given his per-36s of 4.7 steals and 1.7 blocks with the Warriors (yes, small sample size). Some notable current D-League lines include Patrick Patterson(notes) (18.3 points, 10.3 boards, 1.6 steals, 1.6 blocks), Kyle Weaver(notes) (18.3 points, 2 threes, 6.3 boards, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks), Dexter Pittman(notes) (16.6 points, 60% FG, 9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks), Cole Aldrich(notes) (7.8 points, 50% FG, 7.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 5.2 fouls), Scottie Reynolds (17.5 points, 1.9 threes, 5.1 assists, 1.9 turnovers, 1.8 steals), and Antoine Walker(notes) (16 points, 41% FG, 30% 3PT, 54% FT, 1.7 threes).
• Let's compare two players' averages over the past month:
Player A: 10.7 points, 51% FG, 2.3 threes, 4.8 boards, 2.6 assists, 1.5 turnovers, 1.1 steals, 1.4 blocks
Player B: 10.4 points, 47% FG, 0 threes, 4.5 boards, 0.4 assists, 1.3 turnovers, 0.4 steals, 0.9 blocks
Player A is rostered in 56 percent of leagues, while player B is rostered in 64 percent of leagues.
• An MRI on Dirk Nowitzki's(notes) right knee revealed a sprain and no structural damage. He'll be out Tuesday and be evaluated on a daily basis afterward. The Mavs' remaining games this week are Thursday (SAS), Saturday (@MIL), and Sunday (@CLE). Shawn Marion(notes) will get the run while Dirk is sidelined. Nowitzki has missed an average of 2.6 games over the past 11 seasons.
• For the Bucks: Brandon Jennings(notes) has started his rehabilitation from a broken bone in his left foot, but he's still at least a few weeks away from returning. Drew Gooden(notes) is out at least until this coming weekend while he continues to deal with plantar fasciitis.
• Gerald Wallace (ankle) practiced fully Tuesday but his status for Wednesday's game won't be determined until he sees he feels during Wednesday's shootaround.
Photos via Getty Images