Games Played Week 16 (All-Star Break)
2 Games: Every team except for…
1 Game: LAC, NYK, ORL, PHX
ESPN Weekly Leagues (Week 16/17 combined)
6 Games: ATL, CHA, CLE, DEN, DET, TOR, WAS
5 Games: BOS, BRK, CHI, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHX, POR, SAC, SAS, UTA
4 Games: LAC, OKC, PHI
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We’ve also got some trade deadline content in the hopper, so be on the lookout for that.
Sixers Meltdown at Clippers
The Sixers shot 27 percent from the floor in Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Clippers. They are the league’s punching bag defensively and looked even worse on the offensive end of things last night, shooting just 14 percent in the first half. Tony Wroten was the only that showed up, finishing with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Yay, Sixers! Blake Griffin blistered them for 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in just 25 minutes, while DeAndre Jordan added 10 points, 20 boards and four blocks. And in case you missed it, Chris Paul was back just in time for the blowout, finishing with seven points, eight assists and four steals in the easiest win the Clippers will have this season. J.J. Redick (hip) sat out again and remains day-to-day, as Jamal Crawford continues to pile up monster numbers in his absence. And while owners across the world are celebrating the return of CP3 from his shoulder injury, keep in mind the Clippers only have one game this week.
Rajon Rondo nearly triple-doubled (15-8-12) in Sunday’s loss to the Mavericks, but will sit out again on Monday as he continues to recover from knee surgery. He’s no longer on a true minutes count, but that information is misleading if the Celtics are still scared to play him in back-to-back games. Rondo will play just one more time before the break, Wednesday against the Spurs. Phil Pressey will likely start in his place, while Avery Bradley returned from his ankle injury (and struggled) for the C’s on Sunday.
Andrew Bogut (shoulder) sat out Saturday’s game against the Suns and is now iffy for the Warriors on Monday against the Sixers. As you know, the Sixers are a cream-puff matchup and Bogut would make for an interesting starter if he’s able to go in that one. David Lee has missed a couple games with a shoulder injury and is also questionable against the Sixers. If Bogut and Lee are out, look for Jermaine O’Neal and Harrison Barnes to pick up the slack.
Spurs point guard Tony Parker (back) struggled through a back problem on Saturday and could be iffy for Monday against the Pistons. Marco Belinelli (back) missed Saturday’s game and is also iffy tonight, along with Tiago Splitter (bruised right calf). With those three hurting, and Danny Green struggling on Saturday, Patty Mills went off for 32 points, two steals and four 3-pointers in Saturday’s win over the Bobcats.
Mike Conley (ankle) is now day-to-day, while fill-in Nick Calathes had 17 points, five rebounds, six assists, a steal and two 3-pointers in Sunday’s loss to Cleveland. Tony Allen (wrist) is out through the All-Star break, meaning Courtney Lee should continue starting for both fantasy teams and the Grizzlies until further notice. We don’t know if Allen will get his starting job back when he returns, so just hold Lee until we see what happens.
Kevin Love (left quad contusion) missed Saturday’s game and is questionable for Monday, while Kevin Martin (broken thumb) is out indefinitely for Minnesota. Nikola Pekovic (ankle bursitis) is out through the break, meaning guys like Corey Brewer (26 points), Chase Budinger (19 points), Ricky Rubio, Ronny Turiaf and Dante Cunningham (14 & 10) could be set up for more good stuff on Monday. Rubio scored a career-high 25 points with nine assists and two 3-pointers in Saturday’s loss to the Blazers, which was a welcomed sight for his owners, while Turiaf is crashing the boards and blocking shots.
Ersan Ilyasova (back) sat out Saturday’s game for the Bucks and is questionable against the Celtics on Monday. Larry Sanders (left eye/blurred vision) left Saturday’s game early and is also questionable for Monday. If they’re out, look for John Henson and Zaza Pachulia to continue to play well for the Bucks. But as we’ve seen, when they’re back at full strength, you’re looking at a bit of a crapshoot with everyone involved.
Eric Bledsoe (knee surgery) is shooting with the Suns, but there is still no timetable on his return. I’ve backed off my prediction that he won’t play again this season, but I also don’t think he’s as close as all the positive reports are making it sound. Hopefully I’m wrong.
Russell Westbrook had a good workout on Sunday but didn’t play for OKC as he continues to recover from knee surgery. Unlike Bledsoe, I get the feeling Westbrook could play at any time going forward, which will mean a drop off for Reggie Jackson, who had 19 points, six assists and three 3-pointers on Sunday. And while we’re talking Thunder, Kevin Durant went nuts again, dropping 41 points, 10 rebounds and nine dimes on the lowly Knicks yesterday.
Ty Lawson (fractured rib) suffered the injury on Saturday and “can’t even stand straight,” leaving him doubtful for Monday’s game against the Pacers. Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now out of Denver. Randy Foye (hamstring) played through his injury on Saturday and is getting a ridiculous amount of minutes right now, averaging 38 of them over his last five games. It looks like Brian Shaw plans on riding Foye until he breaks, and you should too. Foye had 25 points and five treys on Saturday.
Trey Burke (back) is having trouble walking and will be questionable for the Jazz on Tuesday against the Lakers. He had 13 points, three assists and three-3-pointers Saturday.
Carlos Boozer (calf) missed Sunday’s Bulls win against the Lakers and is now questionable for Tuesday against the Hawks. Taj Gibson started and had 18 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in the win. I’m planning on starting Boozer in weekly leagues, at least for now.
Tyreke Evans got a coach’s decision DNP on Sunday for an “internal matter” and he could be in Monty Williams’ doghouse. He’s also dealing with a rib injury, but was able to play on Friday. I expect to get more details on this situation on Monday, so watch the news page.
For all the NBA Injury News in one place, click here.
The (mess that is the) Lakers
Kobe Bryant (knee), Pau Gasol (groin), Jodie Meeks (ankle), Nick Young (knee), Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Xavier Henry (knee) are all out through All-Star break, while Steve Nash left Sunday’s game against the Bulls with a left leg injury. The Lakers are saying that Nash will play on Tuesday, but I’m still not fully convinced. Kendall Marshall is suddenly relevant again with Nash and Farmar hurting, and had 13 points, 11 assists and three 3-pointers in the loss. Steve Blake cooled off by hitting just 3-of-12 shots for eight points, four boards, four assists, three steals and two 3-pointers in 40 minutes, as life gets a little tougher when you’re a guard not playing against the Sixers or Cavaliers.
Ryan Kelly played just 16 minutes and failed to score on Sunday, but is still worth a look, while Jordan Hill had 15 points, nine rebounds and two steals. Chris Kaman scored a season-high 27 points with 10 rebounds and two blocks on Sunday, and is officially rolling for the banged up Lakers, while Wes Johnson struggled in that one. I own Kelly and Johnson in some leagues and am not panicking just yet. I also dropped Marshall recently, and am (kind of) regretting it.
League News and Notes
Mo Cheeks has been fired by the Pistons and John Loyer will serve as the interim coach. Whether Kyle Singler continues to start at shooting guard is the main question on my mind, while it will also be interesting to see whom they hire as Cheeks’ replacement. If it’s no-nonsense Lionel Hollins, Josh Smith could have a problem with his authority, as well.
Goran Dragic hit 10-of-13 shots, six 3-pointers and 8-of-10 free throws for a career-high 34 points, 10 assists and two steals as the Suns beat Stephen Curry and the Warriors on Saturday. Weekly owners are in a bind with the red-hot Dragic, as he plays just one game this week. Markieff Morris failed to score in that one, as his season of peaks and valleys rolls on.
Starter Kirk Hinrich hit 7-of-13 shots and three 3-pointers for 19 points, five assists and three steals for the Bulls on Sunday, while D.J. Augustin came off the bench for 15 points, six dimes, two steals and two 3-pointers. DJA is still the player to own, despite Hinrich’s nice game.
Monta Ellis played through a hamstring injury for the Mavs on Sunday and hit just 3-of-9 shots for 11 points. He’s in a fairly serious slump, but could break out of it at any time.
Mason Plumlee came out of nowhere and scored a career-high 22 points with 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocks for the Nets on Sunday. Andray Blatche was in early foul trouble and Kevin Garnett is seeing limited minutes. I’m not racing out to pick up the other Plumlee, but he now has my attention.
Rudy Gay played through an illness for the Kings on Sunday but had just five points on 2-of-11 shooting. He’s been fairly quiet since DeMarcus Cousins returned from his sprained ankle, but I have faith that he’ll get hot again soon. Cousins took a blow to the head and hit just 3-of-16 shots on Sunday, but it sounds like he avoided a serious injury. I’m starting him in my weekly lineups, although I’m a little nervous about doing so. Isaiah Thomas went off for 30 points and eight assists against the Wizards, but it wasn’t enough to beat John Wall and company.
Anderson Varejao played 43 minutes for the Cavaliers on Sunday and reportedly suffered a hand injury. As of now, it sounds like he should play on Tuesday, but owners will want to watch for updates.
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