Roto Arcade - Fantasy

Sat Jan 09 05:12am EST

Court Report: Coming and going

A busy Friday was marked by notable returns (Danny Granger(notes), Chauncey Billups(notes)) and losses (Vince Carter(notes), Anthony Randolph(notes)).

Danny Granger returned to the court Friday, one day after being ruled out for the weekend by Jim O'Brien. He made seven of 19 shots (3 of 10 threes) in 31 minutes en route to 19 points, and probably won't push his season average of 37 minutes initially. Nevertheless, it's good to see Granger back on the court, as well as Troy Murphy(notes), who returned from his ankle injury (30 minutes, 21 points, 5 threes, 5 boards, 4 steals).

The suddenly crowded roster held Luther Head(notes) to 20 minutes (6 points) in his sixth start of the season, with Brandon Rush(notes) (29 minutes, 7 points, 2 threes, 4 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals) and Mike Dunleavy (26 minutes, 18 points, 4 threes, 6 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal) still warranting steady run. If everyone can get and stay healthy and productive (Dunleavy in particular), then there will only be so much playing time available for Head. 

Friday's line (32 minutes, 15 points, 1 three, 8 boards, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 block) could be what pushes Ryan Gomes(notes) back into the starting lineup, ahead of Damien Wilkins(notes) (23 minutes, 13 points, 4 boards, 3 assists).

Game two for the post-Arenas (?) Wizards was a 104-97 win over the Magic, thanks in large part to a 55-41 rebounding advantage and 30 made free throws. Sterling individual efforts came via Antawn Jamison(notes) (28 points, 11 boards, 2 steals), Caron Butler(notes) (23 points, 7 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks), Brendan Haywood(notes) (18 points, 15 boards), and Randy Foye(notes) (20 points, 2 threes, 6 assists, 0 turnovers, 2 blocks). Mike Miller(notes) returned to the starting lineup and played 39 minutes in his first game action since Nov. 21 (6 points, 6 boards, 6 assists, 5 turnovers). He was also sporting a buzz cut. Tonight's starting five should stick until injury and/or transactions affect any/all of the involved parties.

Vince Carter just can't get anything going. He's 69th in per-game rank on the season, and that drops to 102nd over the past month. Entering Friday's action, he'd shot 33 percent over his past nine games and 21 percent over his past four. Sadly, things only got worse Friday, as VC sprained his left shoulder in the second quarter on a pick by Andray Blatche(notes). He left without talking to reporters and we'll have to wait until at least Saturday to get some more specific details. J.J. Redick(notes) would once again benefit if VC were to miss any games. He had 14 points and made three treys in 33 minutes Friday and averaged 13.2 points and 2.3 threes in six starts in early November.

Jose Calderon(notes) played 24 minutes in his second game since returning from a hip flexor strain (8 points, 3 assists) and it's hard to see anything but some kind of platoon with Jarrett Jack(notes) (31 minutes, 10 points, 1 three, 4 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block) moving forward. The split could eventually turn back in Calderon's favor, but it won't happen in the short-term.

The Raptors have now won eight of nine games, while the 108-106 loss pushed the 76ers to 7-8 in games where they've held a double-digit lead at any point and 10-25 overall. Eddie Jordan is not making a lot of friends these days and nobody can deny that the matchup of system and personnel is looking poor, at best.

Elton Brand(notes) missed the game with a stomach virus but is expected to play on Saturday. Allen Iverson(notes) took a hit on his arthritic left knee Friday and will not be in the lineup Saturday.

The Jazz were a tale of two teams in the home-and-home series with the Grizzlies, playing without Deron Williams(notes). In Wednesday's 117-94 win in Utah, they shot 57 percent as a team and, amazingly enough, had a season-high 39 assists on 46 made field goals. The Jazz then fell to just 40-percent shooting in Friday's 91-89 loss in Memphis. Ronnie Brewer(notes) propped up 13 total points in the two games with averages of 4.5 boards, 8 assists, and 2.5 steals. C.J Miles scored a season-high 24 Wednesday and then went scoreless in 25 minutes Friday (0 for 7). Williams (wrist) is no lock to play on Saturday, either.

Mike Bibby(notes) may be working himself back into the scoring mix for the Hawks. He had a recent stretch of 10 straight games without taking at least 10 shots, but he's reached that milestone in three of the past five games. During that time, he's averaged 13 points on 49-percent shooting, 2 threes, 5 assists, 1.6 turnovers, and 1.2 steals in 29 minutes.

Meanwhile, Jamal Crawford(notes) has been the Carl Landry(notes) of guards, providing consistent and efficient offense for the Hawks without significant supporting stats. Over the past 10 games, he's averaged 19.4 points on 49-percent shooting, 2.3 threes, and 84-percent foul shooting, 3.4 boards, 2.1 assists, 2.3 turnovers, and 0.8 steals.

Chris Paul(notes) shut down Devin Harris(notes) in a big way Friday, limiting him to four points (2 of 9 shooting) and four assists in 34 minutes. Paul himself went for 11 points and 18 assists in 40 minutes. Shaky play isn't new for Harris, however - his per-game rank now stands at 128th on the season, with averages that include 15.9 points on 38-percent shooting, 0.6 threes, 5.8 assists, 2.8 turnovers, and 1.7 steals.

Courtney Lee(notes) had season-highs of 28 points, five threes, and six assists in yet another losing effort for the Nets, as Harris, Chris Douglas-Roberts(notes), Yi Jianlian(notes), and Brook Lopez(notes) combined to shoot 33 percent (14 of 43).

David West(notes) had another big game for the Hornets (32 points, 10 boards) and continues his upward trend. Over the past 11 games, he's averaged 22 points on 54-percent shooting, 86-percent foul shooting, 8.8 boards, and 1.7 steals-plus-blocks.

Manu Ginobili(notes) is healthy and producing and, in the interest of self-preservation, is assuming that he's already made the last start of his career. Over the past eight games, Ginobili has averaged 13.4 points on 47-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, 95-percent foul shooting, 4.5 boards, 5.5 assists, 1.4 turnovers, and 2 steals in 28 minutes.

Derrick Rose's(notes) numbers have been much improved in recent weeks and he now looks to be completely over his early-season injuries. Over the past 10 games, he's averaged 24.4 points on 48-percent shooting, 81-percent foul shooting, 4.5 boards, 6.8 assists, and 2.9 turnovers. With that said, 0.1 threes and 0.5 steals in those games could cap how far up the ranks he can climb. 

Tyrus Thomas(notes) isn't going to garner a lot of support to join the starting five with his recent stretch of games. Friday marked his fourth consecutive game with no more than seven points (4 points, 1-of-4 FG), and thus far in January he's averaged 5.8 points on 32-percent shooting, 5.3 boards, 0.8 steals, and 1 block in 22 minutes. 

The Bucks have won three in a row despite just 9 points on 25-percent shooting from Brandon Jennings(notes) in those games. Jennings was 1-for-9 Friday (5 points, 8 assists, 4 turnovers, 3 blocks) and has made just 34 percent of his shots over the past 11 games. Andrew Bogut(notes) continued his strong play Friday (27 points, 13 boards, 6 blocks) and has now averaged 17.1 points on 50-percent shooting, 10.5 boards, and 2.2 blocks over his past 14 games.

The MIA@PHO box score is having trouble registering Rafer Alston(notes), so jump here if you want to see his numbers. Alston got a somewhat unexpected start and played 35 minutes, delivering a fairly expected line (10 points, 3-of-9 FG, 2 threes, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 1 steal). Carlos Arroyo(notes) got the DNP-CD and will likely continue to do so as long as Mario Chalmers(notes) doesn't completely bottom out (13 minutes, 3 points, 3 assists). A reset on Alston: he'll be a reasonable source of threes, assists, and steals for fantasy owners that can deal with a (very) low shooting percentage, and warrants a look in most formats. Chalmers is universally droppable - his role as the No.2 point guard is locked in with Arroyo also around for the duration

Andre Miller(notes) turned in good line (39 minutes, 17 points, 1 three, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) a day after a heated exchange with Nate McMillan. Both Miller and McMillan apologized to the team Friday and called this a closed issue. The Blazers shot 51 percent from the field and made 32 of 39 free throws in the 107-98 win over the Lakers, who shot 43 percent and made five of 10 free throws.

Pau Gasol(notes) missed his third consecutive game Friday and Phil Jackson called him a "maybe" for Sunday. Lamar Odom(notes) has averaged 13.6 points on 47-percent shooting, 0.9 threes, 14 boards, 4.3 assists, 1.8 turnovers, and 1.9 steals-plus-blocks over the past eight games, all starts. 

Ime Udoka(notes) got a spot start Friday, in place of the injured Donte Greene(notes), and responded in huge fashion (35 minutes, 19 points, 4 threes, 14 boards, 2 steals, 1 block). With this team in build mode and Kevin Martin(notes) and Francisco Garcia(notes) eventually coming back, there isn't a whole lot to read into this performance. Udoka peaked while Omri Casspi's(notes) streak of 20-plus point games ended at four, as he scored just four points on 1-of-8 shooting.

Andris Biedrins(notes) put up some good per-minute stats (22 minutes, 6 points, 9 boards, 3 assists, 0 turnovers, 3 steals) and continues to work his way back to 100 percent. He could be in for an expanded role now that Anthony Randolph is headed for the inactive roster. He left Friday's game with a left ankle injury that has been diagnosed as a sprain and possible fracture, which could sideline him for up to six weeks. His status will be updated after a CT scan on Saturday.

The Nuggets got Chauncey Billups and Chris Andersen(notes) back but were still missing Camelo Anthony for their 99-97 win over the Cavs Friday. Kenyon Martin(notes) had another double-double (19 points, 12 boards) and has averaged 13.1 points on 48-percent shooting, 10.3 boards, 1.4 steals, and 0.6 blocks over his past 13 games. Anthony is doubtful for Saturday but hopeful that he'll be back on the active roster Monday.

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