November 21, 2009
The Knicks have shunned AI, Bogut is back on the shelf, and the Curry Line's namesake is back in action. All that and notables from Friday's action in bullet form …
It will be interesting to see what is next for AI. With neither the Heat nor the Bobcats looking like they are ready to bring him aboard, he's looking at unemployment for at least the near future. Perhaps it will take a major injury to a team's starting guard to eventually move the needle here. Or perhaps Iverson's rant after just one game with the Grizz this season will prove to be to be his ultimate undoing. Those of you that added AI in recent days can think about another player off the wire (Ersan Ilyasova(notes)? Jared Dudley(notes)?) – even if he were to sign with Miami or Charlotte, the fantasy potential won't approach what might have been in New York.
• Eddy Curry(notes) played all of 12 minutes on Wednesday, but he's already generating enough buzz to have D'Antoni bring his name up with the likes of Gallinari and Chander. So who does Curry take minutes from in the event that he's playing 25 per game? They will most likely come from Jared Jeffries(notes) first, Larry Hughes(notes) second, and Al Harrington(notes) third. I'll stop short of an endorsement – the Curry Line exists for a reason – but it'd be unwise to completely ignore a player with offensive talent in the Knicks' system, and the organization would certainly like for him to succeed. Deep-leaguers with a roster spot in play should consider a move here, particularly if they are short on bigs or need help in FG%.
• The good news for Andrew Bogut(notes) is that his back feels good. The bad news is that his leg doesn't. He's expected to miss two to four weeks with what the team is calling a strain and contusion – Bogut himself said "the ligaments are inflamed and damaged." He played well in his first nine games, averaging 16.1 points on 57-percent shooting, 9.2 boards, and 1.4 blocks in 34 minutes. Dan Gadzuric(notes) got the start in his place on Friday (15 minutes, 2 points, 3 boards, but Kurt Thomas(notes) was more effective (23 minutes, 4 points, 7 boards, 1 block) and is the preferred deep-league add while Bogut is out.
• Michael Redd(notes) missed his eighth consecutive game on Friday but is working out again and is expected to be back in the lineup by the end of a four-game road trip that starts Saturday and ends next Friday.
• It will be interesting to see how Redd and Brandon Jennings(notes) co-exist, as Jennings' torrid run continued Friday (29 points, 3 treys, 7 assists). He's now averaged 32 points on 52-percent shooting, 3.8 threes, 4.8 boards, and 7.4 assists over the past five games.
• Gerald Wallace(notes) topped 20 points for the second time this season on Friday and filled it up all over (22 points, 10 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks). Feel free to keep them coming, G-Wall. Stephen Jackson(notes) led the team in shot attempts (13), but Wallace had 12 and Boris Diaw(notes) had 10.
• A left groin strain will keep Manu Ginobili(notes) out of action for the next seven to 10 days. Manu is also dealing with a hamstring strain and will get kid-glove treatment, even though both afflictions are considered mild. The Spurs have also been without Tony Parker(notes), who has missed the past two games with a sprained left ankle. He's day-to-day and will be a game-time decision when the Spurs face the Wizards on Saturday.
• Shawn Marion(notes), Josh Howard(notes), and Erick Dampier(notes) were all out of the lineup again on Friday. Marion's target is the Mavs' next game (Tuesday, GSW), but both Dampier and Howard are on indefinite timetables.
The team expects to know something next week in regards to Dampier, who spent time in the hospital earlier in the week after feeling light-headed in warmups and will undergo a battery of tests. Drew Gooden(notes) had another big night on the glass on Friday (9 points, 16 boards, 1 block) and has averaged 13.6 points, 13.6 boards, and 1.2 blocks in his five starts. Gooden should continue to warrant heavy rostering for as long as Damp is sidelined, and the possibility exists that it will be significant time.
• Tyreke Evans(notes) had arguably his best performance of the season on Friday (29 points, 2 threes, 7 boards, 10 assists, 1 steal, 1 block) and has been huge at shooting guard in Kevin Martin's(notes) absence. In the seven games that Martin has missed, Evans has averaged 22.7 points on 46/37/83-percent shooting, 1 three, 5.6 boards, 5.6 assists, 3 turnovers, 1.6 steals and 0.7 blocks in 39 minutes. Beno Udrih(notes) hasn't minded the arrangement, either, averaging 17.4 points on 55/35/91-percent shooting, 1.1 threes, and 4.6 assists in 38 minutes during the same stretch.
• Mario Chalmers(notes) exploded for 30 points (9-of-15 FG, 5-of-9 3pt, 7-of-9 FT) on a night where just 28-percent of fantasy owners started him (64% owned). You can't really hold it against anybody, as he was averaging 8.4 points on the season and just 5.8 points over the previous four games. The big game actually cleaned up his season averages pretty nicely and hopefully can spur him on to more consistent play moving forward.
• Troy Murphy(notes) came off the bench on Friday for the Pacers after missing six games with a back injury, and played well relative to a somewhat limited 24 minutes (12 points, 1 three, 10 boards, 2 steals). Dahntay Jones(notes) had another solid game (35 minutes, 17 points, 1 steal, 2 blocks) and it will be interesting to see if it's Brandon Rush(notes) that goes to the bench once Murph is back up to speed.
• The Sixers went small with Elton Brand(notes) again on Friday, and the line was once again stellar (38 minutes, 22 points, 6 boards, 4 steals, 4 blocks). With that said, the Sixers were outrebounded 48 to 28 in the five-point loss, so it's safe to say that they were a bit too small. Brand, Andre Iguodala(notes) (15 points, 5 boards, 9 assists), and Louis Williams(notes) (31 points, 4 threes, 5 assists, 6 steals) combined for 68 points, but nobody else on the team managed more than seven.
• Rudy Gay(notes) had his second 33-point game of the season and added two treys, 10 boards, two steals, and two blocks. In 10 games in November, Gay has averaged 22.6 points on 51-percent shooting, 0.7 threes, 6.3 boards, 1.9 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 39 minutes.
• Marvin Williams(notes) had a huge offensive game (29 points, 3 treys, 9 boards) just as people were really starting to wonder about him. He entered Friday having averaged 8.4 points on 39-percent shooting over his previous 10 games. He'll remain down the offensive pecking order on most nights, but it's good to know that he still has a game like this in him.
• Tracy McGrady(notes) and the Rockets have a difference of opinion regarding his state of readiness. T-Mac was ready to play Friday, while the team is still insisting that he wait to be re-evaluated after practice and a scheduled MRI on Monday. To add to the drama, some are suggesting that the Rockets are unenthusiastic about his return and others suggesting that they should be. Even if the level of tension is being overstated, don't plan on an official timetable being released until after Monday's MRI.
• The Magic pulled out a hard-fought win over the Celtics in Boston, with the close contest being decided from long-range (ORL 10-of-22, BOS 2-of-19). Rasheed Wallace(notes) missed all eight of his three-point attempts and shot 4-of-16 overall. He did have 13 boards, three steals, and a block in 34 minutes, though, as he saw extra time because of Kendrick Perkins'(notes) foul trouble (14 minutes, 5 fouls).
• Before you bail on Jason Williams(notes) after two starts (combined 11 points on 27% shooting), keep in mind that he faced two strong defenders in Russell Westbrook(notes) and Rajon Rondo(notes). The upcoming schedule should treat him a bit better, with Toronto, Milwaukee, New York (twice), and Golden State among their next seven games.
• The Thunder sure were feeling it against the Wizards. As a team they shot 53 percent from the field, 52 percent from three, and 85 percent from the line, en route to 127 points. The usual suspects were involved, but what is most notable is that James Harden(notes) got solid run for the second consecutive game and produced (26 minutes, 25 points, 4 threes, 4 boards, 4 steals).
• Monta Ellis(notes) was huge on Friday in a big win over the Trail Blazers. He played all 48 minutes, scored 34 points, dished 8 assists, had six steals, and blocked two shots. Anthony Randolph(notes) mixed in some good (15 points, 11 boards, 3 steals, 2 blocks) with some bad (6-of-15 shooting, 6 turnovers) in 30 minutes. His averages over the past nine games now include 13.4 points on 43-percent shooting, 8.1 boards, 1.2 steals, and 1 block in 24 minutes.
• The Blazers shot just 42 percent as a team and had a 18 assists versus 23 turnovers, and Rudy Fernandez(notes) actually turned in the team's best line of the night (38 minutes, 19 points, 3 treys, 4 boards, 5 assists, 4 steals). He saw extra time thanks in part to Andre Miller's(notes) foul trouble (19 minutes, 5 fouls), but he's been playing more – and well – since Travis Outlaw(notes) was lost to a foot injury, averaging 13.5 points on 50-percent shooting, 2.3 threes, 4 boards, and 2.8 steals in 31 minutes over the past four games.
• Chauncey Billups(notes), Arron Afflalo(notes), and J.R. Smith(notes) combined for 6-of-22 shooting (27%), dooming the Nuggets in their seven-point loss to the Clippers. The Clips got a great effort from Rasual Butler(notes) off the bench (34 minutes, 27 points, 4 threes).