November 22, 2009
Four-game teams: DAL, DEN, LAC, MEM, MIL, MIN, NJN, NYK, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR
Three-game teams: ATL, BOS, CHA, CLE, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIA, OKC, PHO, UTH, WAS
Two-game teams: CHI, NOR
• Chris Andersen(notes) – For all the talk of how disappointing Andersen's production has been, he's still averaged 6.8 boards and 1.4 blocks in just 22 minutes while dealing with knee tendinitis. The knee is getting better and, from a matchup standpoint, you can't do any better than the Nuggets in Week 5 (NJN, @MIN, NYK, MIN).
• Anthony Morrow(notes) – Morrow has been up and down since joining the Warriors' starting five, but overall he's been solid in November (13.2 points on 56/56/90, 2.3 threes, 4 boards, and 1.1 steals in 32 minutes) and the playing time isn't going anywhere. Week 5: @DAL, @SAS, LAL
• Mike Dunleavy – Dunleavy could be back on the Pacers' active roster as soon as Wednesday, and now is the time to grab him if he's on the wire in your league. Be prepared for minimal production in the early-going, but the payoff down the line is what we're after here. Week 5: @TOR, LAC, DAL
• Randy Foye(notes) – Foye should get plenty of run while Mike Miller(notes) is sidelined (four to five weeks), even if it's DeShawn Stevenson(notes) who gets the call as the starter. There's only so much usage available after the team's big three get their share, but his playing time should be largely unchallenged. Week 5: PHI, @MIA, CHA
• Beno Udrih(notes) – Different week, same story here. In seven games as a starter, he's averaged 17.1 points on 52-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, and 5 assists in 37 minutes, and Kevin Martin(notes) still has a ways to go before he'll return. Week 5: @MEM, NYK, NJN, NOR
• Ben Wallace(notes) – Wallace continues to deliver fantastic defensive numbers (9.7 boards, 1.4 steals, 1.9 blocks over the past seven games) while actually delivering efficient offense, albeit in extremely low volumes (53% FG, 16:4 AST:TO). Week 5: CLE, LAC, ATL
• Drew Gooden(notes) – Gooden has posted double-doubles in three of his four starts since taking over for Erick Dampier(notes), averaging 14.8 points on 50-percent shooting, 13 boards, and 1.3 blocks in 36 minutes. With Damp's timeframe still an uncertainty, Gooden makes all kinds of sense, especially in the short-term. Week 5: GSW, @HOU, @IND, CLE
• Jared Dudley(notes) – Dudley's versatility has helped him emerge as the Suns' sixth man, and he's averaged 23 minutes over the past nine games. He's made 52 percent of his shots (34-of-65) and a whopping 58 percent of his threes (21-of-36) during that time, leading to averages of 11.3 points, 2.3 threes, 4.1 boards, and 1.3 steals. There are certainly worse ways to use that last bench spot, particularly if he stays ahead of Leandro Barbosa(notes) for reserve minutes. Week 5: MEM, @MIN, @TOR
• Ersan Ilyasova(notes) – Ilyasova has been providing good offense lately (13 points on 48% shooting, 1.7 threes over the past seven games) but it's been his defense over the same stretch (9.1 boards, 1.3 steals-plus-blocks) that has earned him a starting role for Scott Skiles. Andrew Bogut's(notes) injury should mean that he'll continue to see usage even when Michael Redd(notes) returns. Week 5: @SAS, @NOR, @OKC, ORL
• Jason Williams(notes) – Williams faced tough matchups in each of his first two starts (Russell Westbrook(notes), Rajon Rondo(notes)), but things were a bit more friendly on Sunday and he responded with 16 points, two threes, five boards, three assists, no turnovers, and two steals. Nobody should be expecting massive numbers here, but he's the starting point guard for at least another month or so. Week 5: MIA, ATL, @MIL, @NYK
• J.J. Hickson(notes) – Hickson's numbers are starting to come around a bit as he settles in as the starter. Over the past six games, he's averaged 15.7 points on 70-percent shooting, 5.2 boards, and 1.3 steals-plus-blocks in 31 minutes. At the very least, that is elite-level help in one category (FG%). Week 5: @DET, LAC, ATL
• Thabo Sefolosha(notes) – Sefolosha continues to be something of a Ben Wallace of guards. He's averaged just 6.0 points and 34-percent shooting in 33 minutes over the past eight games, but the supporting stats have been superb: 0.7 threes, 7.1 boards, 2.3 assists, 2 steals, and 1.1 blocks. Keep in mind that James Harden's(notes) production over the past two games, both blowouts, has largely come in garbage time – Sefolosha's playing time is not in jeopardy. Week 5: @UTH, MIL, HOU
• Martell Webster(notes) – Webster is back in the starting five and went for 21 points, four threes, and 13 boards on Saturday. While the matchup with the T-Wolves couldn't have been more ideal, it's a good sign nonetheless and the three-guard experiment in Portland has ended. In the six games where Webster has seen at least 25 minutes of playing time, he's averaged 13.2 points, 2 threes, 4.8 boards, and 1.7 steals. Week 5: CHI, NJN, MEM, @UTH
• Ramon Sessions(notes) – Sessions has been seeing more consistent playing time lately (25 minutes over the past six games) and has been fairly productive (10.8 points on 52% shooting, 4.2 assists, 1 steal). While the team is committed to Jonny Flynn(notes), he has been struggling to facilitate the offense (41:46 AST:TO) and Sessions appears to have at least worked himself into a platoon scenario. Now we just need Kurt Rambis to go ahead and let the two share the court on occasion. Week 5: @LAC, DEN, PHO, @DEN
• Andres Nocioni(notes) – There is not tremendous upside here, but there's production to be had off the wire nonetheless and the Kings' Week 5 schedule is a beauty (@MEM, NYK, NJN, NOR). In eight November games, Noc has averged 13.6 points, 1.5 threes, 4.9 boards, and 1.2 steals-plus-blocks.
• Mickael Pietrus(notes) – Pietrus has settled in as the starting small forward since Rashard Lewis(notes) returned, averaging 11.8 point on 50-percent shooting and 2.4 threes in 32 minutes over the past five games. He'll fight an uphill battle for usage, but it's hard to argue with 30-plus minutes per game. Week 5: MIA, @ATL, @MIL, @NYK
• Kurt Thomas(notes) – In a deep league and need big-man stats? Dan Gadzuric(notes) may start while Andrew Bogut is sidelined, but Thomas is clearly the rosterable player. In two games since Bogut was lost, Thomas has totaled 12 points, 17 boards, three steals, and three blocks in 54 minutes of playing time. Week 5: @SAS, @NOR, @OKC, ORL
• Rasual Butler(notes) – Butler has been a roller-coaster of production this season (27 and 6 points over the past two respective games), but he's worth a look during a favorable upcoming four-game week if you need threes. Week 5: MIN, @IND, @DET, MEM
• Darren Collison(notes) – Collison has been effective in four starts since taking over for Chris Paul(notes) (14.8 points, 0.8 threes, 6.5 assists, 1 steal), but the schedule is a real downer for any Hornets player – they play just twice in Week 5 (MIL, @SAC) and Week 6 (@LAL, MIN).
• Oleksiy Pecherov(notes) - Deep-leaguers looking for short-term help should take a chance on Pecherov. Ryan Hollins(notes) has been starting at center, but the Wolves' Week 5 schedule (@LAC, DEN, PHO, @DEN) should mean Pecherov's offense is a bit more featured.
• Rodrigue Beaubois(notes) – This won't seem like much of a complement to most people, but Beaubois is arguably the best option among universally unowned players. He'll continue to start for as long as Josh Howard(notes) is sidelined, and in six starts thus far he's averaged 9.3 points on 62-percent shooting, 0.8 threes, and 0.8 steals-plus-blocks in 17 minutes. Week 5: GSW, HOU, @IND, CLE
• Andrew Bogut - Bogut will be out for two to four weeks because of a ligament strain and bruise in his left leg.
• Erick Dampier - Dampier remains sidelined by a mystery illness that has yet to be made public, although the team has said it's not life-threatening. He's currently undergoing tests and we should see some kind of an update in the coming week.
• Josh Howard – Although his ankle is "getting better", Howard remains sidelined on an indefinite timetable.
• Kevin Love(notes) – Love's broken hand has been healing well, but he's still at least 10 days away from returning to practice and even further removed from game action. The rough target date for his return is currently December 11.
• Kevin Martin - Martin had surgery on his broken left wrist on November 9 and is expected to return sometime in mid-January.
• Tracy McGrady(notes) – A sore back has added to the drama surrounding T-Mac, who is/was scheduled to practice and have an MRI taken on Monday, in an effort to establish a concrete timeframe for his return. The new issue means he'll have tests on Sunday and his Monday itinerary is not locked in stone. Rick Adelman offered this general statement about McGrady's status:
“He's not ready to play yet. We've set that (schedule) all along. We said he wasn't going to play. He chose to say something else. That has nothing to do with me. My stance hasn't changed at all. It's not going to change. Certainly when he's healthy and ready to play he's a heck of a player. But we don't think he is (ready) right now, and we're following a timetable.”
• Mike Miller - Miller could be out as long as five weeks after injuring his right calf on Saturday. An MRI will provide some definitive details, but Flip Saunders' quote after the game was "He might've popped it."
• Mehmet Okur(notes) - Okur has missed the past three games with flu-like symptoms, although the team has confirmed that he does not have H1N1. Look for updates on Monday in advance of the Jazz's matchup with the Thunder on Tuesday.
• Shaquille O'Neal(notes) - Shaq has missed five consecutive games because of a shoulder injury and his return date remains uncertain. The Cavs are off until Wednesday, so we may see him return to practice in the interim.
• Chris Paul – Paul's timeframe for a return from a sprained ankle, suffered on November 13, is a bit murky, but general expectations are that he'll miss between two and four weeks. With the team only playing five times in the next 15 days, they'll be able to bring him along a bit more cautiously.
• Michael Redd - The Bucks are hoping to have Redd back sometime this week and possibly as early as Monday or Wednesday.