Remember that question mark that was attached to the Court Report's title two days ago? It turns out that Zach Randolph's right knee injury was pretty serious, after all. The Grizz were slow to release official results of Z-Bo's MRI, and have now announced that he's suffered a slight MCL tear that could keep him sidelined for up to eight weeks. An eight-week time frame puts a possible return at the beginning of March - that is four weeks before the default playoffs begin (April 2) and eight weeks prior to the end of the NBA regular season. The injury will not require surgery and his first re-evaluation will come in two weeks, and we should know whether he's projecting on early or late side of the timetable at that point.
Memphis acquired Marreese Speights from the Sixers in an effort to shore up their depth at power forward, and Speights immediately becomes a player of interest in deep leagues. His career per-36s include some solid numbers (17.7 points, 9 boards, 1.3 blocks) and he'll be a rotation regular from the outset. But Speights falls in the mold of players that "score when they shoot a lot" and those per-36s also include 5.4 fouls, so don't be expecting a huge payoff here. Rudy Gay becomes the clear No.1 option on offense and Marc Gasol will anchor the post for the Grizz, and both now seem poised for huge numbers. Every Grizzlies' starter is looking at more usage opportunities with Z-Bo out of the picture, and the team also figures to regularly run with Gay at power forward in a smaller look, with reserves O.J. Mayo and Sam Young getting boosts as a result.
• Manu Ginobili's surgery is set for Thursday and he's expected to miss between six and eight weeks. Gary Neal has been recalled from the D-League and will be active on Wednesday, although he's still working his way back to game shape following an appendectomy in mid-December. Neal, James Anderson, and Kawhi Leonard all have an opportunity for a more prominent role with Manu on the sidelines. Tim Duncan may not be able to rest as much moving forward, either, but you know that Gregg Popovich will fight giving him big minutes every step of the way.
• The Nets will be without both Deron Williams and Kris Humphries on Wednesday. Williams took a Tyler Hansbrough elbow to the ribs Monday and is experiencing enough muscle soreness that the team thought it would be best to hold him out. X-rays revealed no structural damage, but Deron said "it wouldn't be good" if he were to take another hit in his current state. He's considered day-to-day and the Nets are hoping to have him back in action on Friday. MarShon Brooks will get his first start, with Sundiata Gaines moving to point guard. I'd like to say that Brooks will stick as the starting shooting guard moving forward, but Avery Johnson is never predictable in that way. Hump will miss his second straight game with a sprained shoulder and is officially day-to-day.
• Other status updates: Dwyane Wade (foot) sat out Wednesday's shootaround and is questionable .. David Lee (illness) participated in the Warriors' Wednesday shootaround and is expected to play .. Eric Gordon (knee) will be a game-time decision on Wednesday .. Nene Hilario is still dealing with his foot issue and is questionable for Wednesday .. Jermaine O'Neal (hamstring) is expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday .. Chauncey Billups (groin) practiced on both Monday and Tuesday and expects to play Wednesday .. Trevor Ariza (groin) is out Wednesday .. Richard Hamilton (groin) could play Wednesday when the Bulls visit his old stomping grounds in Detroit .. Devin Harris' calf injury does not appear to be serious.
• Scanning Serge Ibaka's game log is a disheartening experience, particularly for managers who helped establish his ADP at 33.1 this season. Minutes totals for the most recent five games include 18, 41, 21, 37, and 22. Scott Brooks has been dealing Ibaka sporadic playing time to start the season, in part because of his defense-heavy starting five, in part because of a 10-man rotation, and in part because of regularly-utilized smaller lineups. All the parts add up to a disappointing 26 minutes for Ibaka on average thus far. A starting five of Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, and Kendrick Perkins has been excellent defensively but allows opposing defenses to concentrate on Westbrook and Durant as the only real offensive threats. Brooks has been employing a "true" center for the vast majority of games between Perkins (27 minutes per game) and Nazr Mohammed (14), and Nick Collison has also been getting steady run (19), leaving only so much for Ibaka at power forward and center (96-27-14-19=36). Brooks' smaller looks feature James Harden or Daequan Cook as an extra wing player around their center and to this point have excluded Ibaka.
Ibaka has seen more than 35 minutes in two games, and in those games it was Sefolosha and Mohammed who saw relatively limited playing time. Sefolosha was inactive Tuesday, but Brooks went with Perkins/Mohammed (45 minutes), Cook (24), and Collison (23) over Ibaka (18). It's also worth noting that Ibaka had three fouls in his 18 minutes, but the larger problem for his owners is clearly Brooks' deep and somewhat unpredictable rotation. What Ibaka owners need to hope for: a somewhat unlikely change in the starting five from Sefolosha to Harden that would put more of the onus on Ibaka's defensive ability. If that doesn't happen, then Brooks' rotation has to eventually feature less of Collison and Mohammed and/or less small looks. Ibaka's owners are undoubtedly short on patience as it is, but a silver lining here is that he's currently just one minute shy of last season's average of 27 minutes, and he managed a season rank of 28th under those circumstances. The early returns have been a true disappointment, but there is still plenty of time for Ibaka to assert himself as a key cog for Brooks over the course of the season.
• Scanning the Buzz Index leaders: Richard Jefferson has completely devolved into a catch-and-shoot player at this point. I'm not convinced that Manu missing lots of games is actually a good thing for him unless Neal and/or Anderson can command defensive attention and emulate some of Manu's drive-and-dish ways .. Kemba Walker is getting plenty of usage when he's on the court and the jumper will start falling eventually. I'm definitely holding in deeper leagues .. Al Harrington's play warrants universal ownership, no question about it .. Mario Chalmers' ridiculous percentages (61% FG, 71% 3PT) are keeping him relevant for now, but this will be a full season timeshare .. I'm buying the J.J. Redick improvements. His game continues to evolve, and his attempts at the rim and free throws are way up .. Ed Davis (17 minutes per game) has been losing playing time to Jamaal Magloire (14), who is the only true center on the team's roster. Sadly, it doesn't appear likely to change any time soon .. More deep-leaguers need to get on board with D.J. White (8% owned). His rotation spot is locked in no matter what happens with Tyrus Thomas, and he's showing he can make an impact with around 25 minutes.
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