February 04, 2010
• What a difference a month can make. Nate Robinson was a DNP-CD for all but one of the Knicks' games in December, and now he's been named the team's starting point guard. Robinson played the entire second half at point for the Knicks Wednesday, finishing with 23 points, eight assists, and two steals in 35 minutes, and the Knicks outscored the Wizards 66-40 after halftime. Chris Duhon(notes) was just 1-of-6 on the night and has averaged 3.8 points on 23-percent shooting over his past 13 games. Mike D'Antoni said he likes the energy that Robinson can bring to the starting five, and added that he'll be okay with Robinson making mistakes "as long as he is aggressive." After having totaled 15 minutes of playing time in January, Larry Hughes(notes) has also been added back into the rotation (18 minutes, 11 points Wednesday), so Duhon could now be the one who is saddled with numerous DNP-CDs. How long this arrangement lasts remains to be seen, but Robinson absolutely deserves universal ownership consideration as a starter in New York.
• His grand total of one assist aside, Randy Foye(notes) was okay against the Knicks (31 minutes, 15 points, 1 three, 2 steals) in the follow-up to his stinker against the Celtics (18 minutes, 2 points). He was pulled against Boston because, according to Flip Saunders, he was struggling to defend Rajon Rondo(notes), but it remains in the Wizards' best interests to continue to give Foye the lion's share of the run at point guard, and it's highly unlikely that the trade deadline does anything but provide him with more usage opportunities ... Caron Butler(notes) sat out Wednesday with a left knee injury, but it's not considered serious and he's expected to at least attempt to play on Firday.
• A question for you, the commenter: who has been the more disappointing Hawk this season, Mike Bibby(notes) or Marvin Williams(notes)? Bibby was serviceable at the start of the season but has lost minutes and usage to Jamal Crawford(notes), and his current season averages include 8.9 points on 41-percent shooting, 1.5 threes, 4.3 assists, 1.1 turnovers, and 0.9 steals in 27 minutes. The 23-year-old Williams has largely been a non-factor for the Hawks, and has regressed overall and on a per-minute basis. His season averages include 10.2 points on 44-percent shooting, 0.7 threes, 5.1 boards, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 30 minutes. Bibby was drafted earlier (ADPs of 69.4 and 101.1), but Williams was thought to be an eighth-round bargain because of his "upside", and that certainly hasn't turned out to be the case.
• Joakim Noah's(notes) plantar fasciitis has worsened to the point that the team has talked about shutting him down. Although Vinny Del Negro said the move is not imminent, they may be left with no choice if his condition continues to deteriorate:
"Yeah, absolutely. We're just going to try to see what we can get out of him until he can get some rest at the All-Star break. We'll monitor it every day. Some days, you feel better than others with it. We'll use him as much as he can move."
Noah's minutes are down over the past eight games (28, versus 33 on the season) but he's remained productive (11 points, 10.9 boards, 0.8 steals, 1.5 blocks). Brad Miller(notes) has seen more playing time recently and would be the starter if Noah eventually needs time off. Over the past six games, Miller has averaged 12.3 points, 1.3 threes, 4 boards, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 25 minutes. Noah's injury concerns may or may not complicate Miller's candidacy to be traded before the deadline, as well.
• Louis Williams(notes) remained a reserve for the 76ers Wednesday, despite Allen Iverson's(notes) absence to be with his sick child (Iverson is expected to return to the team for Friday's game). Eddie Jordan said the decision to start Willie Green(notes) over Williams was a "recommendation from the coaching staff," so take that however you see fit. Williams did end up with solid run (32 minutes, including all of the fourth quarter and overtime) and some production (14 points, 1 three, 3 steals), but as for now it appears that Williams is fourth in the pecking order among the guards in Philly. Jordan has mostly attributed Williams' reserve role to defensive matchup issues that arise alongside Iverson, but his continued tinkering with his rotation (to put it lightly) makes it nearly impossible to project how things will work out over the season's second half. I'd continue to roster Williams for now in standard leagues - the 76ers were 6-7 in his 13 games as a starter after returning from a broken jaw and are 3-3 since he was moved to the bench.
• The Celtics don't expect Paul Pierce(notes) to play Friday, but he could return shortly thereafter. Tony Allen(notes) (27 minutes, 6 points, 6 boards, 2 steals Wednesday) is likely looking at at least one more start, and it shouldn't shock anyone if the Celtics decide to be extra cautious and keep Pierce inactive leading up to the All-Star break.
• Marcus Thornton(notes) had an extremely productive game Wednesday (22 points, 2 threes, 6 assists, 0 turnovers, 1 steal, 2 blocks) but also suffered a hard fall in the fourth quarter and is questionable for Friday's game because of a sore lower back ... Darren Collison(notes) had a tough matchup in Russell Westbrook(notes) and finished with nine points on 4-of-12 shooting, nine assists, and five turnovers in 32 minutes.
• Ronny Turiaf(notes) replaced Anthony Tolliver(notes) as the starting power forward for the Warriors Wednesday, a move that may spell doom for Tolliver's flirtations with fantasy relevance and could put Turiaf back on the radar. Turiaf didn't do much against the Mavs (30 minutes, 2 points, 4 boards, 2 blocks) and you never know what Don Nelson is going to do from game to game, but Turiaf averaged 8.1 points in 56-percent shooting, 6 boards, 2.8 assists, 1 turnover, 0.6 steals, and 1.8 blocks in his 26 starts last season.
• Brandon Roy(notes) will be a game-time decision when the Blazers take on the Spurs Thursday ... Yet another reason to attempt to sell high on Martell Webster(notes) (20 points, 3 treys, 2 steals Wednesday): Travis Outlaw(notes) has made significant progress in his return from a stress fracture in his left foot and is on target to rejoin the Blazers' rotation by the end of February.
• Nazr Mohammed(notes) has been starting for the Bobcats for over a month, with only sporadic bouts of production, and his 23-point, 17-rebound effort against the Lakers Wednesday should not be seen as anything but a one-off situation. He played 40 minutes against the large Lakers' front line and had more rebound opportunities with Gerald Wallace(notes) out with a sore left hamstring. The Bobcats are off Thursday and Friday, and G-Wall is hopeful that he'll be back in the lineup Saturday (NOR). Tyson Chandler(notes) is finally getting close to a return, so Mohammed is a bit late to the party.
• Kobe Bryant(notes) seems to be about at his breaking point in terms of injuries. The broken right index finger is an ever-present issue, he's still dealing with a sore lower back, and now his left ankle sprain is "back to square one" after he aggravated it on Wednesday. Kobe was 2-for-12 in the game and finished with five points despite 37 minutes of playing time (0-of-2 FT). It's unlikely that Kobe is considering any kind of down time in an attempt to get closer to 100 percent, but at his current pace it seems like he may eventually be left with no choice.
• Carmelo Anthony(notes) missed his sixth straight game Wednesday and is still dealing with swelling and soreness in his left ankle. Anthony doesn't want to give it a go before he's 100 percent and expects to miss two more games, with Tuesday (DAL) his current target for a return. Joey Graham(notes) will continue to start in Anthony's absence, but has no fantasy relevance outside the absolute deepest of leagues.
• The Raptors are off until Sunday (SAC). Jay Triano expects to have Hedo Turkoglu(notes) and DeMar DeRozan(notes) back for that game, but Jose Calderon's(notes) status is up in the air. He had an MRI on his sprained right ankle Wednesday night, and the results have yet to be made known.
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