So it might not be the worst idea to wrap Serge Ibaka in bubble, then shuttle him to a secure location. Things are getting dangerous in OKC.
A ridiculous plague of injuries has hit Oklahoma City's roster, with Russell Westbrook the latest to fall...
Thunder coach Scott Brooks says Russell Westbrook has a small fracture in his right hand.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) October 31, 2014
Just brutal. The break is reportedly to the second metacarpal of Westbrook's shooting hand. It happened during a perfectly ordinary rebound battle — just horrible luck, really. While Westbrook's recovery timeline isn't perfectly clear, you have to assume a minimum of four weeks. Perhaps six or eight. Again: brutal.
The Thunder were already running without reigning MVP Kevin Durant (foot fracture), Reggie Jackson (ankle), Jeremy Lamb (back) and Anthony Morrow (MCL). Not good. Welcome to the battle for the 6-8 seeds in the West, OKC.
Jackson will presumably return well ahead of Durant and Westbrook, and unlimited shots should be available to him. He's currently unowned in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues, so a few of you can still add-and-stash. The rest of us are left scrambling for this guy...
SF/PF Perry Jones, OKC (27 percent owned) — In deeper leagues, Jones was almost certainly on someone's roster prior to the Westbrook injury. He's been starting at small forward for OKC with Durant sidelined. And in competitive smallish leagues, Jones was no doubt snagged before halftime on Thursday night, while we all waited for the bad news on Russell.
Still, Jones is still unattached in three-quarters of the Yahoo universe as of this writing, and he's pretty clearly your priority add today. He scored 32 points on 17 shots against the Clippers on Thursday, playing 42 minutes. Jones hit 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and 9-of-11 from the free-throw line, plus he collected seven boards. For his career, Jones is a 34.7 percent shooter from distance and he's nothin' special from the stripe (68.6 percent), so you can't expect him to be the most efficient scorer moving forward. You'll note that he went 1-for-9 from the field in the opener. But the Thunder desperately needs scoring from any willing shooter, which means the opportunity ahead for Jones is significant. He'll offer points, plus 6-8 rebounds per night and the occasional defensive treat. Jones is flying off shelves right now, so act fast if you're interested.
If instead you're looking for PG assistance, this is your play...
PG Norris Cole, Mia (32 percent owned) – Cole was terrific in the season-opener for the Heat, scoring a career-high 23 on 15 shots against the Wizards, with three 3s included. Miami is going PG-by-committee in the post-LeBron era, with Cole starting. He played 28 minutes in the opener, while Mario Chalmers played 26 (eight points, five fouls) and Shabazz Napier went 15 (two points, two assists). Realistically, we won't get 20-something points from Cole consistently, but he'll give us steals (1.3-ish), assists (4.3-ish) and 3s. His teammates are clearly impressed:
"It was fantastic, especially Norris," Bosh said of the overall point guard play. "He was very aggressive. He took some great shots. He really pushed the tempo a lot. We're going to need him to be who he is. … We feel that if he does that, gets us off to good starts, making sure the ball is going side-to-side, we stand a good chance of winning."
I've picked up more shares of Cole than any other player over the past two days, for what it's worth. The Heat have back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday (at Phi, Tor), then a four-game slate next week.
PF/C Ed Davis, LAL (27 percent owned) – I feel compelled to mention Davis here, because he filled the stat sheet for L.A. on Wednesday at Phoenix: 14 points, nine rebounds, two steals, two blocks, 33 minutes. He's not startable next week, however, with only two games on the schedule (Pho, Cha). Davis will presumably see 25-plus minutes per night going forward, and he'll offer low-level double-double potential with a block per game, plus he shoots a useful percentage from the floor.
SF Doug McDermott, Chi (24 percent owned) – It seems clear at this stage that McDermott will be an early-rotation player for Chicago, and, if you hadn't heard, he can shoot a little. Even his misses look better than Tony Snell's makes. He won't often see 24 minutes of floor time as he did in the blowout win over the Knicks, but 16-20 seems reasonable. McDermott clearly isn't bashful with the ball in his hands, and he's a decisive offensive player. Defensively ... well, he tries hard. But he's flawed. (His biggest flaw as a human, without question, is the Taylor Swift thing.) If you're adding him, you're obviously viewing him as a category specialist, a reliable source for 3s. The Bulls have a four-game week ahead, which puts McDermott on the fantasy radar.
C Steven Adams, OKC (24 percent) – Adams pulled down 10 rebounds against the Clippers, delivering six points while endlessly irritating Blake Griffin. He's starting for OKC, playing 28 minutes per game, and we know he'll offer blocks and boards. Adams is a liability in free-throw percentage, but it's not as if he lives at the line. The Thunder have three straight four-game weeks upcoming, so he'll continue to pile up rebounds, scoring off clean-up opportunities.