The roller coaster ride continues... Amar'e Stoudemire is headed to Miami for a second opinion of his back injury, but all indications are that a bulging disc will require between four and six weeks of recovery, even though surgery does not appear to be necessary. We should know about that second opinion relatively quickly, so fantasy owners without other real options can certainly stay put in the interim, but there aren't many reasons to be optimistic about the remainder of Stoudemire's regular season. This injury shakes up the Knicks' fantasy hierarchy yet again, as Stoudemire is the team's leading scorer (16.9 points) during the Woodson interim era: the onus goes back to Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin, although both are questionable for Wednesday, Anthony because of a groin strain and Lin because of left knee soreness. Melo started at power forward on Monday, Landry Fields moved to small forward, and Iman Shumpert started at shooting guard against the Bucks. Melo at power forward isn't ideal, and we may see Josh Harrellson against bigger teams, but this combination of players is likely to be Mike Woodson's best bet, particularly with Jared Jeffries also out for the next two weeks. Bump up Shumpert, and there is some trickle-down to J.R. Smith and Steve Novak in the team's small look, so move up your expectations a bit accordingly.
• Monty Williams said Monday that we could see Eric Gordon back on the active roster in five days to a week. It may seem a bit foolhardy with the Hornets at 12-37, but there is mutual motivation with Gordon headed for restricted free agency - Gordon needs to show that he's healthy heading into the off-season and the Hornets want to finally get a look at him before deciding what to do with his qualifying offer (or potentially matching another team's offer sheet). Roto owners should feel free to roster him across the board, but h2h owners have a bit tougher decision to make - the Hornets play only three games next week [schedule], so there's no question that the quantity of games won't be there. That said, the Week 22 risk could pave the way for a Week 23 reward, if Gordon can get back to playing 30-plus minutes for four games during the default finals, which starts just under two weeks from today.
• Danilo Gallinari told an Italian website that he he thinks he'll be able to return to the lineup in 10 days, or right at the start of the default h2h finals. Clearly Gallinari is going to be optimistic with whatever timeline he gives, so there are no guarantees here. And then there's the question of how productive he can be immediately upon his return, as his left (non-shooting) thumb won't have been fully healed if he does return in 10 days. I'm not overly-optimistic when it comes to a stash here for h2h purposes.
• Status updates: Goran Dragic's ankle is still in pain today but he plans to play through it. The Rockets have Wednesday and Thursday off .. Nate Robinson (hamstring) will be a game-time decision on Tuesday .. Andre Iguodala (knee) is doubtful for Tuesday .. Carlos Delfino was "in substantial pain" after suffering a groin injury on Monday. Roster Mike Dunleavy while we wait for a specific update .. Jerryd Bayless returned Monday but aggravated his hip injury after 12 minutes (6 points, 2 threes, 4 assists). He's still listed as day-to-day and is expected to play Wednesday, as is DeMar DeRozan, but nothing definitive can be said at this point. Gary Forbes is the beneficiary while DeRozan and Bayless remain gimpy .. For the T-Wolves: Both Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and J.J. Barea (thigh) are out for at least the next two games and will try to play Friday (BOS) .. Jason Thompson (ankle) was expected to start on Monday but then ended up being held out of the game. He's day-to-day .. Chris Kaman was still sick enough on Monday that he was not in the arena for the Clippers' game .. Mo Williams (toe) is out at least the next two weeks. Randy Foye will continue to start at shooting guard in the interim, with Nick Young handling Williams' duties as sixth man .. Spurs on Tuesday: Gary Neal (foot) is expected to play, Tiago Splitter (back) will be a game-time decision.
• Scanning the Buzz Index leaders: Chandler Parsons continues to take full advantage of the extra minutes and usage at his disposal. He's now averaged 13 points, 1.6 threes, 7.9 boards, 4.3 assists, and 1 steal in games that both Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin have missed .. Ben Gordon was back to the bench Monday and played just six minutes because of a groin strain. Gordon has averaged 6.9 points on 37-percent shooting over his past 14 games as a reserve .. Derrick Rose is not close and C.J. Watson appears to be back to 100 percent. Monday's effort pushed his averages over the past three games to 18.3 points, 2.7 threes, 4 assists, and 1 steal .. Byron Mullens had one of his better games on Tuesday (33 minutes, 18 points, 7 boards, 2 blocks) and Paul Silas said we could see him paired more with Bismack Biyombo over the remainder of the season.