• After Friday's morning shootaround, Mike D'Antoni was mulling whether or not to reintroduce Nate Robinson into the Knicks' rotation to see if he could give the Knicks "an offensive spark." He did and he did. Robinson returned to the active roster Friday after 14 consecutive DNP-CDs and rallied the Knicks to a 112-108 overtime win on the road in Atlanta. He scored 41 points on 18-of-24 shooting in 38 minutes, adding three treys, six boards, and eight assists. Robinson scored 11 of his points in the overtime, personally outscoring the Hawks by two in the period, and scored 19 of the Knicks' final 21 points in the game. Mike D'Antoni provided the following quotes after the game:
"We were kind of like 'Everybody get out of his way'" ... "We've just been trying to get him focused on winning, and he obviously was focused on that tonight."
If you haven't already checked your free agent list to see if Robinson is available, then now would be a good time to do so. What remains to be seen is what happens from here, although clearly D'Antoni's reference to Nate's focus is a key for continued playing time. Larry Hughes(notes) was a DNP-CD Friday – after averaging just 14 minutes over the past five games – and Toney Douglas(notes) didn't leave the bench either, as D'Antoni stuck to essentially a seven-man rotation. Chris Duhon(notes) played 27 minutes (6 points, 2 threes, 6 assists), the first time he's been under 34 minutes since Dec. 2. Maybe the Knicks are trying to up Robinson's trade value, and maybe D'Antoni simply wanted to see if one of his most dynamic players was ready to get back in the mix. Either way, fantasy owners need to get (back) on board, if possible.
• Matt Barnes(notes) has replaced Mickael Pietrus(notes) in the Magic starting lineup, with Stan Van Gundy saying that he likes Barnes' versatile game with the first unit and that he hopes Pietrus can see a bit more usage while playing with the team's reserves. Barnes was very solid in the 106-94 win over the T-Wolves Friday (35 minutes, 17 points, 11 boards, 1 steal) and has averaged 12 points, 0.8 threes, 8.3 boards, 1.4 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 33 minutes during his nine starts on the season.
• Jameer Nelson's(notes) left knee held up well Friday (30 minutes, 16 points, 2 threes, 6 assists, 2 steals), but a truer test of where he's at will come Saturday in the second game of a back-to-back.
The NBA is expected to wait to see if the law enforcement agencies file charges before the league acts. NBA security has been working with the Wizards to investigate the matter. Team officials had immediately reported the incident to the league office, and have been cooperating with law enforcement authorities. Several league sources believe NBA commissioner David Stern ultimately will mete out stiff penalties in the matter. Both Arenas and Crittenton could be subject to suspensions and fines.
For what it's worth, Arenas said that what is being widely reported is not the real story. We can only stay tuned here.
• Look for Andre Miller(notes) and Jerryd Bayless(notes) to get extended run on Saturday (GSW) and a bit further into the immediate future. Steve Blake(notes) was hospitalized Friday morning with pneumonia and is out indefinitely.
• Saturday status updates: Kevin Garnett(notes) (knee), Paul Pierce(notes) (knee), and Rajon Rondo(notes) (hamstring) are out for the Celtics. … Chauncey Billups(notes) (groin) is questionable, Carmelo Anthony(notes) (knee) is probable. … LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) (ankle) is doubtful. … Peja Stojakovic(notes) (back) expects to play. … Troy Murphy(notes) (ankle) is out. … Hedo Turkoglu(notes) (knee) is doubtful.
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