As I mentioned on Twitter last night, you only have four business days left to schedule Monday off from work. If you’re a fantasy hoops head and you’ve never taken the MLK holiday off to watch games all day, you’re basically missing the best NBA day of the year. Do it.
Ryan Anderson will be shut down for at least two months due to a herniated disk in his back. This could actually end his season, as two months from today is March 14, and the regular season ends on April 16. If he were able to play on March 14, he would be available for the Pelicans’ final 18 games of the season, but that sounds like a pretty big ‘if’ to me. Unfortunately, in most leagues, it’s time to drop him and move on. Al-Farouq Aminu should see a boost the rest of the way, while Jason Smith and Anthony Davis are also going to be forced into playing more minutes.
Kevin Durant skipped Monday’s practice with his left wrist injury and coach Scott Brooks said “we’ll see” when asked if he’d play Tuesday night against the Grizzlies. The good news is that it’s his non-shooting wrist and the injury doesn’t appear to be serious. My guess is he plays tonight, but owners will obviously want to watch for updates today. I’m guessing Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones III would be the main beneficiaries if he’s out.
Pau Gasol has been diagnosed with a moderate strain in his left big toe and he’s a game-time decision for Tuesday night against the Cavaliers. Given that he underwent an MRI, this is pretty good news. If he’s out, look for Jordan Hill to become relevant again for the Lakers.
Rajon Rondo posted something about 29,233,380 seconds on his Twitter feed, leading us to believe he’s planning to play on Friday. That number of seconds is equal to 338 days, which is how long ago he had knee surgery as of Friday.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (broken hand) practiced for Charlotte again and it looks like he should play on Tuesday against the Knicks. If you own Chris Douglas-Roberts or Anthony Tolliver, it’s probably time to think about saying goodbye. Having said that, it’s not like MKG is exactly a must-own, must-start player in his own right.
Mario Chalmers missed another practice on Monday and his lingering Achilles injury could keep him out against the Wizards on Wednesday. Norris Cole is always a viable option on nights when Chalmers is out for the Heat. Shane Battier practiced through his quad injury on Monday and is hoping to play for the Heat on Wednesday.
Tony Allen missed another Grizzlies practice on Monday with his hand/wrist injury and is questionable tonight against the Thunder. If he’s out, look for Courtney Lee to make another start at SG.
Danny Green is expected to miss the next month for the Spurs with a broken left hand. This should mean good things for Manu Ginobili and Marco Belinelli, while angry Green owners finally have a concrete reason to drop him. And if you have owned Green this year, I’m guessing you will sleep better once you make the move.
Raptors Stop Bucks
DeMar DeRozan stayed hot and Kyle Lowry looks like one of the top point guards in the league again now that Rudy Gay is out of the way. Tyler Hansbrough sat out again with an ankle injury and Patrick Patterson stayed hot, finishing with 18 points, four rebounds and a 3-pointer in 25 minutes off the bench. I came dangerously close to starting him over Kris Humphries in League Freak this week, but couldn’t do it. Pat-Pat is playing great, but still struggles with rebounding, and doesn’t hit enough threes or block enough shots to justify the move right now. But regardless of the league you’re in, Pat-Pat should be on your radar after his play over the past 10 days.
Ersan Ilyasova exploded for a season-high 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting with three 3-pointers, nine rebounds and two steals in 33 minutes for the Bucks. Finally! Whether this is the start of a hot streak remains to be seen, but Ilyasova’s been known to turn his play around in the blink of an eye and go on major hot streaks before. Stay tuned. John Henson returned from his ankle injury and had eight points, five rebounds and four blocks in 17 minutes. The blocks were nice, but like most of his teammates, trying to figure out on what night to play which Bucks is nearly impossible. Larry Sanders was disappointing with six points, eight rebounds and no blocks on 2-of-8 shooting, as he still can’t seem to get it going. He still looks like a buy-low guy to me.
Giannis Antetokounmpo came through again with 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in 33 minutes, but is still too raw to be fully trusted. O.J. Mayo played just 17 minutes and scored five points last night. I have given up trying to figure out what Mayo is going to do from game to game, but chances are he’ll have at least one more miserable night this week, along with a couple good ones. Khris Middleton started again, but was underwhelming with two points on 1-of-8 shooting. He’ll have some nice games, but who knows when and where they’re coming? This team is still a mess, but at least Larry Drew has started the same five guys in back-to-back games, giving some hope for some consistency going forward.
Rockets Rip Celtics
Chandler Parsons returned from a myriad of injuries for Houston and had 14 points and a full stat line in 39 minutes. He’s good to go. Despite Parsons’ return Omri Casspi had 12 points, six boards and three more 3-pointers, making him a deep-league option after some nice play over the past couple weeks. Dwight Howard had 32 & 11 and Terrence Jones also double-doubled in the win, while Jeremy Lin added 16 points and nine assists, and James Harden also scored 16 on 6-of-18 shooting.
Kris Humphries and Jared Sullinger both started, sending Brandon Bass to the bench. Sullinger was dealing with neck spasms during the game, but was able to finish with eight points, 10 rebounds and a block on 3-of-11 shooting. Not a great night, but not bad against the Rockets. Humps wasn’t much better with a similar line, but did have three blocks, while Jeff Green had a disastrous outing. He suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter and hit just 2-of-10 shots for four points, six rebounds and four TOs. He says he’s going to play on Wednesday, but owners will want to watch for updates. Jerryd Bayless played well yet again, going for 17 points, four assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer in 24 minutes. The Celtics like him and are using him to give Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley a rest, but things will get tight when Rajon Rondo returns, which could happen on Friday.
Knicks Win 5th Straight In OT Over Suns
Tyson Chandler was out again due to his upper respiratory infection and could miss Tuesday’s game, as well. But that didn’t stop the Knicks from winning their fifth straight game with a tough, overtime win against the Suns. Beno Udrih was a DNP-CD, which means Raymond Felton’s owners are going to see their guy get all the minutes he can handle going forward. J.R. Smith had 10 points, and in the words of What About Bob, baby steps, people. Felton had 19 points and just one assist, but is playing well for the red-hot Knicks. Iman Shumpert didn’t score much, but had a full stat line and is worth hanging onto right now. Carmelo Anthony hit just 9-of-24 shots but had 29 points, 16 boards and four assists in the win.
Leandro Barbosa came off the bench to hit 8-of-15 shots for 21 points in 30 minutes last night, and I never saw it coming. It looks like he’s going to play both guard spots, but keep in mind that Goran Dragic (28 points) is playing out of his mind and Gerald Green (2-of-16 shooting) saw 42 minutes. Barbosa also may have suffered a shoulder injury, so watch for updates on that. I don’t think you need to race to pick him up, but I sure wish I would have grabbed him in my 30-team league. Markieff Morris picked up a couple quick technicals and was ejected after just nine minutes. P.J. Tucker was quiet, but spent most of his time trying to slow down Carmelo Anthony, and is another player worth keeping a close eye on right now.
Wizards Crush Bulls
Nene moved back into the starting lineup on Monday, pushing Trevor Booker to the bench. Booker can be dropped, while Nene had 19 points, five boards, five assists, two steals and two blocks, and it’s time to own him again, as well as get him back in the lineup. Bradley Beal played 30 minutes and had 13 points, but isn’t playing like a must-start guy right now. John Wall and Trevor Ariza both played well in this one.
Jimmy Butler returned from his quad injury and had 12 points, and should be thrown back into lineups now that he’s healthy. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah both played well, while D.J. Augustin hit just 2-of-11 shots, but still had seven points and seven assists off the bench.
Spurs Pound Pelicans
Tony Parker led the Spurs with 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting and added seven dimes in the win. Manu Ginobili started despite a hamstring injury and had 14 points in 25 minutes. I’m surprised he played through the injury, but the Spurs need him with Danny Green shelved. Boris Diaw struggled, Marco Belinelli scored 12, and Kawhi Leonard continued his strong play with 13 points, six boards and a full stat line. Tim Duncan had 18 points and nine rebounds before fouling out, and just keep kicking along for the Spurs.
Tyreke Evans was out again with his left ankle injury and has now missed two straight games, and remains day-to-day. Alexis Ajinca had seven points, four boards and two blocks in 20 minutes off the bench and is worth a deep-league look with Anderson down and out. Austin Rivers had 11 points and five assists, but will take a hit when Evans is back, while Brian Roberts finally got hot with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists as the starting point guard. He should still be owned in all leagues, despite some recent struggles. Al-Farouq Aminu had eight points and 13 boards on 3-of-10 shooting and is also a nice own with the Anderson news.
Mavericks Maul Magic
Shawn Marion missed his fourth straight with his shoulder and ribs injury. Wayne Ellington came out of nowhere for 12 points and six rebounds, which is likely a direct result of Marion sitting. Vince Carter is the better option in place of Marion, and had 17 points and three 3-pointers. Jae Crowder also played well with 14 points, three steals, a block and two 3-pointers, but I doubt Marion is out much longer.
Nikola Vucevic missed yet another game due to his concussion and Arron Afflalo was also out with a strained foot, while Jameer Nelson (finger) and Moe Harkless (knee) were able to play through their injuries. Afflalo is hoping to play on Wednesday against the Bulls, but that will depend on how things go during Tuesday’s work out. Nelson had 21 points, seven dimes and four 3-pointers, while Glen Davis added 19 points and eight boards in the loss.
Jazz Hold Off Nuggets
Gordon Hayward missed his second straight game with a hip injury and will be iffy against the Spurs on Wednesday. Marvin Williams started for the Jazz despite a flu bug and had seven points, while Trey Burke had 18 points, three 3-pointers and eight dimes despite playing through a tweaked Achilles. Alec Burks hit 13-of-19 shots for a career-high 34 points. If you had him in your lineup, congratulations, but he’ll continue to be hit-and-miss going forward, especially once Hayward is back. Richard Jefferson had 16 points and three 3-pointers, and is an interesting option any time Hayward is out. Derrick Favors came through with 19 & 15 in the win, and kept the trend alive of opposing power forwards dominating against the Nuggets.
Wilson Chandler returned from his hip injury and had 12 points, five boards and two 3-poiners off the bench, meaning it’s time to get him back into your lineup. Randy Foye was in foul trouble all night, clearing the way for Evan Fournier to get loose for 16 points and three 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Foye had been unstoppable prior to this one, and we’ll have to see what happens in the next one before declaring Fournier as a guy you’ll want to add to the mix. J.J. Hickson had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Kenneth Faried added 11 points, seven boards and a block. That’s a disappointment after his strong play of late, but still not terrible.