• Eric Gordon struggled again Wednesday (3 of 13 FG, 1 of 6 3PT) and clearly needs the season to end soon so that he can rest his nagging groin injury, which he's been dealing with since his first inactive stint in early November. He's gutted out 36 minutes per game over 58 games, and his playing time has actually been trending upward (37 per game since the ASB).
I'm only looking at his current season per-game rank of 131st (212 over the past month) as a solid discount on his draft price next season - he was a sixth-round pick on average this season (77.3 ADP). There's a decent chance he'll be one of my heavy targets next season, assuming he has no set-backs during the coming months. He's just 21 years old and still projects to be a very good offensive player. And given that he made 83 percent of his free throws in college, his current 74-percent average figures to be the exception and not the norm (he shot 85% last season).
• So much for Ben Wallace's(notes) season being over. He played 20 minutes Wednesday (4 points, 6 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks) after Jason Maxiell(notes) left the game early with a back strain (4 minutes, 0 points). Maxiell's status for Friday remains unknown at this point (X-rays were negative), and he's likely to be expendable between the combination of injury and Wallace's return ... Richard Hamilton(notes) also missed Wednesday's game with a sprained right ankle and is day-to-day.
"It's still a little sore. But I think at this point I'm not looking for complete health. You're not really going to be pain free. You want to be smart with it."
The team isn't pushing him to return quickly - their spot in the playoffs is fairly set, and Erik Spoelstra said he won't be allowed to play "until he can do so without any further damage." When he does return, he'll be wearing a knee brace.
• DeAndre Jordan(notes) started ahead of Drew Gooden(notes) Wednesday for "matchup reasons" but ended up as a team-low minus-27 in 13 minutes (3 points, 3 boards, 5 fouls). Gooden had another double-double (17 points, 10 boards) and was a plus-1 in his 27 minutes. While I do believe that Jordan could post some Dalembert-at-his-best numbers at some point in his career, it will never happen at power forward (read: while Chris Kaman(notes) is around).
• I can think of worse players to add heading into their weekend back-to-back (Sat @PHI, Sun GSW) than Sonny Weems(notes) and Antoine Wright(notes), with their starting spots secure. The matchups are great and Jay Triano is against playing Hedo Turkoglu(notes) and DeMar DeRozan(notes) in limited stretches these days. Here's how the minutes were divvied up Wednesday: Weems 31, Wright 27, DeRozan 21, Turkoglu 17.
• Deep-leaguers will want to consider adding Louis Amundson(notes) Thursday, in advance of the Suns' upcoming back-to-back (Fri @DET, Sat @MIL), as he's certainly in for more playing time with Robin Lopez(notes) out of the picture. He played 19 minutes Wednesday (7 points, 4 boards, 1 steal, 1 block) and has averaged 8.5 points on 64-percent shooting, 6.5 boards, and 1.7 blocks in 20 games with at least 19 minutes of playing time.
• Shaun Livingston(notes) is in for as many minutes as he can handle now that Randy Foye(notes) is done for the year. He played 37 Wednesday (18 points, 8 assists, 3 turnovers) and has averaged 26 minutes, 8.6 points, 4.2 assists, 1.9 turnovers, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks over the past 11 games. The Wizards play Friday (CHI) and Sunday (NJN) and then have GSW, NYK, and IND among their final six games [schedule].
• Chris Paul(notes) played 44 minutes Wednesday (8 points, 9 assists, 1 turnover, 1 steal) and I'll freely admit that I didn't see that coming. I didn't see the Wiz beating the Hornets by five, either. The thing is, Darren Collison(notes) still played (24 mintues) and had some numbers (14 points, 1 three, 1 steal), so I'm still not ready to write him off in standard leagues.
• Marc Gasol(notes) played only 22 minutes (4 points, 1 board, 1 block) in his second game since returning from his neck strain. He left the game massaging his shoulder and his immediate status is unknown. Hasheem Thabeet(notes) replaced him (21 minutes, 2 points, 4 boards, 3 blocks) and should be of deep-league interest with this news. The Grizzlies play Friday (NOR) and Sunday (@ORL) to end the current week.
• Can you think of a better box score for the current installment of the T-Wolves than we got Wednesday? It's too bad that it's not possible to set expectations anywhere near the ideal with this team.
• Bulls updates: Luol Deng(notes) (calf) has been ramping up his practice activities and is targeting Saturday for a return to the active roster, although he expects limited minutes at best ... Kirk Hinrich(notes) (ankle) is "prett encouraged" that he'll be able to play Friday ... Joakim Noah(notes) played 27 minutes Tuesday (12 points, 10 boards, 2 blocks) and discussions have now turned to if/when he'll return to the team's starting lineup.
• Quick hits: Kevin Martin(notes) (shoulder) missed his fourth straight game Wednesday and is questionable for Friday. Jermaine Taylor(notes) could be useful again if Martin were to be out ... Monta Ellis(notes) missed his second consecutive game Wednesday because of the flu but is likely to return Friday ... Vince Carter(notes) (toe) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice and should be back in the lineup on Thursday ... Andrei Kirilenko(notes) (calf) is out Friday but is hopeful that he'll be able to return Tuesday ... Al Harrington(notes) suffered a severely sprained ankle Wednesday and may be done for the season. Bill Walker(notes) would get more playing time if he were to be out ... In case you were waiting for official word: Wilson Chandler(notes) is done for the season.
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