November 11, 2009
It was something of a slow night for an NBA Tuesday, with only 12 teams in action, but there were still plenty of fantasy plot-lines in play. Let's get to the quick hitters...
• Joakim Noah(notes) appears to be entering full breakout mode. A monster line Tuesday (12 points, 21 boards, 2 steals, 2 blocks) gave him 37 boards over the past two games and pushed his season averages to 11.4 points on 59-percent shooting, 12.4 boards, and 2.3 blocks in 32 minutes per game. With Tyrus Thomas(notes) sidelined, Noah truly has a chance to shine.
• A solid game from Taj Gibson(notes) on Tuesday (10 points, 6 boards, 3 steals, 1 block). While foul trouble has helped limit his contributions in four starts (26 minutes, 8 points, 5.3 boards, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks), the opportunity for playing time isn't going anywhere for the next month or so.
• Another day, another very good line from Brendan Haywood(notes) (13 points, 11 boards, 4 blocks). His percent-owned number has been climbing (currently at 63%), but not at the rate that 11.5 points, 10.8 boards, and 2.4 blocks per game warrants.
• Caron Butler(notes) did not record an assist for the fourth time in six games, this time despite logging 45 minutes of playing time. He now has four assists in 261 minutes, good for a per-48 minute average of 0.7 (his per-48 average over the past four seasons was 4.7). Clearly something is off, but it's still early, he's adjusting to a new offensive system, and he's missing his buddy Antawn Jamison(notes). Let's give it a few games after Jamison's return before we assume his assist-to-turnover ratio will remain around 0.2:1 for the entire season.
• Clearly, the biggest news Tuesday was that Quentin Richardson(notes) failed to score in 33 minutes (0-of-2 FG, 0-1 3PT). Don't sweat it, though, as he'll undoubtedly score somewhere between two and 30 points versus Cleveland on Thursday. He's just too consistent not to.
• Vince Carter(notes) was a late addition to the active roster for the Magic on Tuesday, coming off the bench for 25 minutes of action (15 points, 3 treys, 4 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block). VC will be back in the starting five on Wednesday versus Cleveland. J.J. Redick(notes) (23 minutes, 8 points, 1 three, 3 assists) will return to the bench and the fantasy fringe.
• The shots weren't falling for Matt Barnes(notes) (4-of-11 FG, 0-of-3 3PT), but he played a team-high 40 minutes and did contribute seven boards and two steals. There's a good chance that he'll remain the starting small forward when Rashard Lewis(notes) returns, and he deserves a look when you head to the wire to find a replacement for Redick and/or Ryan Anderson(notes).
• A tough night for Tyson Chandler(notes), who came in averaging 10.3 points, 8.3 boards, and 2.7 blocks over his past three games. He accumulated five fouls in just 11 minutes, managing just two points, three boards, and a block. Foul trouble is nothing new for Chandler, however, as he's now averaged 4.3 fouls over the past six games. He'll get a chance to redeem himself at Detroit on Wednesday.
• It's getting tougher by the day for even the most die-hard D.J. Augustin(notes) backers (like me) to warrant carrying him on a roster. He saw 17 minutes of playing time Tuesday (4 points, 1 assist, 1 steal), with Raymond Felton(notes), Raja Bell(notes), and Flip Murray(notes) combining for 81 minutes. Bell doesn't appear to be having any issues with his wrist, and DJA may only have the chance to make an impact this season if the injury does catch up to him.
• Although it's just a one-game sample, the Blazers' effective defense against the Grizzlies (79 points, 37% FG, 11:12 AST:TO) is another sign that the three-guard lineup could stick moving forward.
• One reason for Marc Gasol's(notes) exceptional start to the season? He's getting to the foul line often and making the most of the chances. Greg Oden(notes) and Joel Przybilla(notes) combined for 11 fouls on Tuesday and Gasol was 10-of-13 from the line. On the season, he's averaging 7.3 attempts from the line (4.6 last season) and has made 79 percent of his attempts (73% last season).
• Erick Dampier(notes) is playing really well, and that can only mean one thing: contract year! His robust line against the Rockets on Tuesday (14 points, 6-of-6 shooting, 20 boards, 3 blocks) pushed his season averages to 9.6 points on 70-percent shooting, 11.1 boards, and 2.6 blocks in 29 minutes. At age 34, however, you have to wonder how long he'll be able to keep up the pace.
• Game two for Josh Howard(notes) featured 14 points and two threes in 23 minutes Tuesday, and he likely would have played more if the game hadn't been decided with plenty of time left. So far, so good, but a better test for his ankle will be the second of back-to-back games on Wednesday night, in San Antonio.
• Thabo Sefolosha(notes) is making a play for more widespread fantasy consideration. Although he had just two points on 1-of-7 shooting, he also had six boards, six assists, three steals, and four blocks in 35 minutes. Over the past four games, he's averaged 7.8 points on 46-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, 5.8 boards, 2.8 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 34 minutes. For all of James Harden's(notes) talents, it's difficult to see him supplanting Sefolosha as the starter any time soon.
• In three games at shooing guard, Tyreke Evans(notes) has posted averages of 25 points on 44-percent shooting, 1 three, 12 free-throw attempts, 6.3 boards, 5.7 assists, and 1.3 steals in 35 minutes. Do the Kings suddenly wish that Kevin Martin(notes) wasn't signed through the 2012-13 season?
• Jason Thompson(notes) looked excellent once again on Tuesday (21 points, 14 boards, 2 steals, 1 block), but what immediately caught my eye was his zero assists and five turnovers, since he entered the night with a 6:1 assist-to-turnover ratio (24 assists, 4 turnovers).
• Other notes: Eric Gordon(notes) is out for at least 10 days because of a sore left groin muscle. A tough break for fantasy owners, as he was really off to a great start. In the interim, Rasual Butler(notes) will start in his place, Al Thornton(notes) will rejoin the starting lineup, and Ricky Davis(notes) should see minutes off the bench ... Andris Biedrins(notes) is out until at least November 23 beacuse of inflammation of his groin and abdominal muscles. He's set to be re-evaluated at that time. Rumor has it some Anthony Randolph(notes) kid plays for the Warriors, and Ronny Turiaf(notes) will make for a great short-term pickup if he can get his knee healthy ... Someone please help me identify the tall, skinny dude with facial hair in this video ... And to recap, no timetable has been set for Tracy McGrady's(notes) return to the court.