Monday brought a slew of more bad news in the land of fantasy hoops, as Derrick Rose and Bradley Beal lead the headlines. Rose elected to have his meniscus repaired instead of removed, which means he won’t play again this season, but the hope is that he’ll make a full recovery and be as good as new down the line. You have to feel bad for Rose, who is ready to go through another round of extensive rehab, and owners in keeper leagues might have to consider cutting him in order to stay competitive this season. Rose has played in just 50 games over the last three seasons, so dropping him might make sense for many of you.
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As for Beal, Bill Simmons reported that he aggravated the injury that ended his season last year, which was a broken fibula. And, of course, this news didn’t come out until Monday night, which means he is going to be stuck in a lot of weekly lineups. Beal was leading the league in minutes played and was simply killing it. I’m not going to drop him or do anything crazy until we get more information, but owners have to expect the worst and hope for the best here. Martell Webster, who appeared to be about done with the expected return of Trevor Ariza on Tuesday, is definitely relevant again and should be grabbed in all leagues. Garrett Temple could also see a boost if Beal’s out indefinitely. Beal hasn’t even been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Lakers yet, but the Wiz are going to release more information this morning. Teammate Otto Porter finally practiced through his hip injury, but it’s going to be slow going for him, even if Beal is out.
Rudy Gay practiced with the Raps on Monday and sounds like a go against the Nets Tuesday, but it sounds like he gave the flu bug to Tyler Hansbrough and Amir Johnson, leaving them both a little shaky for that one. If they’re out, maybe we’ll finally get a big line from Jonas Valanciunas.
Spencer Hawes missed Monday’s practice with his sore left knee and it doesn’t sound like the Sixers plan on having him available for Wednesday at Orlando. The hope is that Thaddeus Young is back from his personal leave in time for that one, and he could be a strong play if Hawes is out.
Brook Lopez didn’t practice due to his bum ankle on Monday and will miss his sixth straight game on Tuesday. They’ve lost all five games that Bro-Lo has missed and Andray Blatche should be a sneaky play vs. the Raps tonight. Deron Williams (ankle) didn’t even travel with the team to Toronto. Shaun Livingston practiced and is listed as probable despite a head injury, Andrei Kirilenko’s is likely out with his back problem, while Jason Terry skipped practice with a sore knee.
Rajon Rondo (knee surgery) has increased his activity and is doing some 5-on-0 work in Celtics practices. There was also a late report on Monday that he’s nearing 100 percent health and if that report is true, you have to think he could play sometime in the next 10 days. Jared Sullinger’s hand swelled up during Monday’s game, but he still had five points, eight boards, a steal, a block and two more assists Hopefully he’s ready to go on Wednesday against the Grizzlies.
Derrick Williams is being traded from the Wolves to the Kings for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, pending physicals. The Kings aren’t exactly stocked at power forward and it’s possible Williams could see a big role, which could even include a starting gig at some point down the line. I’m not bending over backwards to pick him up, but if you have room at the end of your bench, taking a flier on him makes a ton of sense. Mbah a Moute will now be trapped behind Kevin Love and Corey Brewer, which means he shouldn’t have much value in Minnesota.
Andrew Bogut and Mo Williams were each suspended for one game for their part in an altercation on Saturday, meaning Bogut is out against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans on Tuesday. That should mean big things for Davis, who struggled against Tim Duncan and the Spurs last night, but still had four blocks.
Monday Game News
Pistons Roll Bucks - The Bucks made a lineup change, benching Caron Butler and Luke Ridnour, and starting Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight. Middleton was OK with 14 points, while Knight struggled against the Pistons, his former team. This Bucks team is an absolute disaster and the Pistons ran over them in the first quarter, while O.J. Mayo disappeared, hitting 1-of-4 shots for five points. He’s a miserable Buck, but is simply too good to drop. Caron Butler’s benching didn’t help him much, while Ersan Ilyasova played just 16 minutes with two points in the blowout loss. John Henson was nice with a team-high 15 points, seven boards, two steals and two blocks, but relying on anyone in a Bucks uni right now is too much to ask for. Middleton, Henson and Gary Neal were the only Bucks to score in double digits.
Brandon Jennings was nice with 15 points, 13 dimes, two steals and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes, although it came against the NBA’s version of the Washington Generals. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 14 points and Rodney Stuckey stayed hot with 17 points for the Pistons. And while Josh Smith played and had 10 points and seven boards, he was also 0-for-4 from downtown. He’s now hit 19-of-69 3-pointers this season, and while Mo Cheeks is allowing him to even shoot one a game is beyond me. We also had a Charlie Villanueva sighting last night with 12 points, but that’s because the Pistons were basically using this game as an organized practice.
Pacers Down Wolves - Nikola Pekovic double-doubled with 18 points and 11 boards in Monday’s loss to the Pacers, Ricky Rubio had five steals and Kevin Love hit just 6-of-20 shots, but still finished with 20 points, 17 boards and a 3-pointer. Corey Brewer was off, hitting just 3-of-12 shots, but I still think his job is safe.
George Hill finally had a breakout game with a season-high 26 points, seven dimes, five steals and three 3-pointers on 9-of-13 shooting. Hopefully this is a trend and not just a Rubio defensive fluke. Paul George was all-world again and Roy Hibbert had his worst game of the season with three points, five boards and a block. He’s fine.
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Celtics Beat Bobcats - Jordan Crawford scored 21 points with four boards, five dimes and four 3-pointers for the Celtics on Monday, but the return of Rondo should really hurt his fantasy value. Gerald Wallace went off with 17 points and a full stat line, and was probably motivated against the Bobcats, his former team.
For the Bobcats, Al Jefferson actually played 33 minutes for 14 points, three boards and two blocks. Maybe he’s finally healthy and this is a sign of good things to come. Kemba Walker’s slump is officially over after hitting 11-of-17 shots for 28 points, six boards, five dimes and a 3-pointer, while Josh McRoberts scored just five points, but managed to stuff the stat sheet again. And Gerald Henderson poured in 20 points, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had just four points in 17 minutes. I have no idea what the deal is with MKG, but you can bet he’s going to start showing up on waiver wires everywhere. And if he ever gets hot again, you might want to grab him.
Heat Roll Suns - Mario Chalmers missed Monday’s game with a hip/groin injury and should be considered day-to-day. Norris Cole started in his place, but managed just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 34 minutes. If Chalmers misses more time, Cole should be better than this on most nights. LeBron James went off, hitting 11-of-14 shots for 35 points, five boards, four dimes, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, and also hit 11-of-11 free throws for good measure. And Dwyane Wade graced us with his presence, going for 21 points, six rebounds and 12 assists in the win. The Heat don’t have a back-to-back this week, which is why I started him in a weekly league.
Eric Bledsoe was out again, but could play on Wednesday. It will probably depend on how his shin feels just prior to game time so don’t be surprised if there’s not much notice on whether he’s in or out. Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris both played well, but starter Channing Frye was even better with 16 points, eight boards, three steals and four 3-pointers. Frye is playing well enough to be owned in all leagues, and looks to be a little more valuable than either twin. Gerald Green had 12 points and two 3-pointers, but should take a bit of a hit once Bledsoe is back, while Goran Dragic stayed hot with 14 points, eight boards and nine assists, just missing a triple-double. Dragic is on fire right now, probably due to Bledsoe’s absence.
Rockets Rock Grizzlies – Omri Casspi had 16 points and two 3-pointers for the Rockets, which was likely a direct result of Harden’s absence, not to mention that Casspi seems to do this about once a week. Patrick Beverley was quiet again with nine points and two assists, and it’s quite possible we were wrong about him. But it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and there’s plenty of time for him to get going. James Harden missed another game, as expected, and remains day-to-day with his sore foot. Consider him iffy for Wednesday against the Hawks.
Kosta Koufos had eight points, 13 boards and two blocks in his first start for Marc Gasol and is someone you should pick up immediately, as Gasol could miss a month, if not longer, with his knee injury.
Denver Downs Dallas – Nate Robinson scored 17 points and has hit double digits in four straight games, meaning it’s time to put him on your watch list. Wilson Chandler played just 19 minutes due to foul trouble, and we’re trying to be patient while awaiting a breakout game from Danilo Gallinari’s stand in. J.J. Hickson had 22 points, eight boards, three steals and a block and he’s looking good as Denver’s starting center, while Kenneth Faried pulled off a 10-10 double-double.
All five Mavs scored in double figures but they couldn’t get by the Nuggets. Monta Ellis led the way with 22 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 to pass Kevin Garnett on the all-time scoring list, and now sits at No. 14. Ellis tweaked an ankle but said afterwards that it was “no biggie,” so let’s assume that he’s fine. DeJuan Blair drew a start at center for Samuel Dalembert, and it was later revealed that Dalembert missed part of Mavs’ shootaround because he overslept.
Spurs Beat Pelicans For 11th Straight – Tiago Splitter sprained his right ankle but was available to return. However, he plays for Gregg Popovich and could get a couple nights off to let it fully heal. Manu Ginobili had 16 points and Boris Diaw returned from a rib injury to score 13, and will be a solid option if Splitter misses more time with his ankle injury. Kawhi Leonard had 11 rebounds, but scored just seven points as his disappointing season continues.
Eric Gordon played just 19 minutes in the blowout loss, while Tim Duncan smothered Anthony Davis. Brow looks like a great play tonight with Bogut out.
Jazz Nip Bulls in OT – Gordon Hayward had 15 points, 11 assists and six boards for an odd double-double, as all five Jazz starters hit double figures in the rare win, including Trey Burke, who looked good against the ancient Kirk Hinrich. Enes Kanter (ankle) was out, as Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams played well in a rare Jazz win. Marvin’s been playing heavy minutes and is starting, making him worth a look in most leagues. Kanter is hoping to return for Friday’s game against the Suns.
Carlos Boozer torched his former team for 22 points, 16 boards and six TOs, while Joakim Noah and Luol Deng each joined Boozer on the double-double train. Hinrich was awful, scoring just one point with four assists in 36 minutes, but he’ll bounce back. Jimmy Butler still can’t put any weight on his injured right foot and remains out indefinitely. I was expecting big things from Mike Dunleavy in his absence, but Dunleavy was a dog, hitting just 1-of-8 shots for three points. The good news is that he played 36 minutes, so I fully expect him to rebound from this dud. Tony Snell started in order to keep Dunleavy coming off the bench, but had just nine points. Butler was money when Rose went down last year and we could be in for more goodies once he’s back. In other words, pick him up or hang onto him if you can.
Blazers Blister Knicks – LaMarcus Aldridge stayed hot with 18 points, 14 boards and two blocks, while Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard each scored 23 points.
The 3-10 Knicks lost again, but got 10 points, five boards and six assists from Kenyon Martin, who is suddenly relevant again. Andrea Bargnani also stayed relevant with 16 points, six boards, two 3-pointers and a block, Carmelo Anthony added 34 points and 15 rebounds, and Beno Udrih was useful in place of Raymond Felton (hip) with 13 points, five boards, five assists and three 3-pointers. Keep a close eye on him if Felton continues to sit. Starter Iman Shumpert didn’t even score, while J.R. Smith hit just 2-of-8 shots for six points and picked up five fouls. Yuck.