Roto Arcade - Fantasy

November 04, 2009

Court Report: Yi-gads!

A collection of thoughts on events of the day, on and off the court.

• A Tuesday MRI revealed a grade 1 right knee sprain for Yi Jianlian(notes), and the Nets are not going to rush his recovery.

The team is not discussing any timetable for the third-year player, but a typical recovery period for such an injury is two to four weeks, and it has been known to last as long as six.

“It’s a shame; if you look at it, he had a good start to the season, he was aggressive and assertive in the first few games,” Nets coach Lawrence Frank said Tuesday night. “You feel bad for him, and hopefully from a mental standpoint, he understands the preparation that’s required to come back.”

Although Yi was reasonably effective before the injury (11.7 points, 8 boards, 1.3 blocks, 92% FT in his first three games), he's expendable in standard leagues, particularly in h2h. A suitable replacement won't come from the Nets, however, as a mash-up of Josh Boone(notes), Eduardo Najera(notes), and Sean Williams(notes) will absorb the minutes. Be looking for something more definitive from the Nets in the not-too-distant future.

• Most fantasy owners who picked Chris Paul(notes) first overall in their respective drafts probably didn't expect to be pondering his mental state four games into the season, but here we are. Sadly, Rajon Rondo's(notes) (alleged) assertion that Paul will never win a ring seems somewhat plausible when you look at how the Hornets are currently constructed. That said, this incident doesn't change the fact that Paul is among the best players in the league, and he's too talented to not continue playing like it. From a fan perspective, it sure would be nice to see the Hornets have a deeper team around him.

Delonte West's(notes) 2009-10 season just got a bit more complicated, as he was indicted on a number of weapons counts on Tuesday.

West has been indicted on two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon, two counts of carrying a handgun, two counts of transporting a handgun, one count of reckless driving and one count of negligent driving. With the charges, there were two new details about what West had on his person when arrested. West was carrying a total of 112 shotgun shells and a 8.5-inch Bowie style knife. If convicted, West could face up to three years for each of the six gun charges and a $2,500 fine per offense.

West's immediate availability may not be in jeopardy, as early speculation is that the trial would not take place until early in 2010. Keep him rostered at this point and be looking for more details in the coming days. The Cavs play a back-to-back on Thursday (CHI) and Friday (@NYK) and are then off until next Wednesday (@ORL).

Allen Iverson(notes) played 17 minutes as a reserve on Monday, his first game back from almost a month off with a hamstring injury, then delivered this assessment of his situation:

“I’m not a reserve basketball player. I’ve never been a reserve all my life and I’m not going to start looking at myself as a reserve. That’s something for the media to talk about. It’s only a big issue when the media talks about it. The subject never came up in my career until everything happened in Detroit. No one talked about me being a sub or anything like that until last year.

“In all the other years of my career, it’s never come up. I’ve been a starter on All-Star teams, Olympic teams and NBA Finals teams. It’s just a big deal now. I think it is something people should let go. To answer your question, no, I’m not a bench player or the sixth man. Go look at my resume, it will show you that I’m not a sixth man.”

Asked for his reaction to AI's comments, Lionel Hollins said that AI had a "right" to his opinion and added:

"It's my right as head coach to do what's best for the team. If that means starting Allen, he'll start. If that means Allen comes off the bench, then Allen comes off the bench. I don't know what the future holds. I'm trying to do what's best for the team. Individuals will succeed if the team succeeds. It's not about personal success trumping team success. If that's the case we're not going to have any success, period."

If I had to guess what the future held, it would involve Mike Conley(notes) playing fewer minutes and O.J. Mayo(notes), Rudy Gay(notes), and Zach Randolph(notes) seeing fewer shot attempts. The Grizz had the day off on Tuesday in advance of their matchup with the Warriors on Wednesday – pay close attention to that game and see how the frontcourt minutes shake out (and gauge the likelihood of a reaction afterward).

Tuesday's game action:

Carmelo Anthony(notes) didn't approach 40 points on Tuesday but was solid all over and his averages after four games still look fantastic: 34.5 points on 50-percent shooting, 86-percent foul shooting, 1.3 threes, 6.5 boards, 4 assists, 2 turnovers 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks.

• I'm as big of a Ty Lawson(notes) fan as the next guy and think he's got a great future in the league, but his Tuesday output (4 points, 3 boards in 13 minutes) should remind you that minutes are going to be particularly hard to find once J.R. Smith(notes) returns from his suspension. If there's someone else on the wire catching your eye, an add/drop is a pretty safe move.

• It turns out that Chris Andersen(notes) guy can board and block shots after all, eh?

• A shame to see T.J. Ford(notes) foul out so quickly (22 minutes). He was actually on his way to a decent statistical output (13 points, 5 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals). Earl Watson(notes) wasn't great in his relief effort (20 minutes, 2 points 1 assist).

Brandon Rush's(notes) leash may have gotten a bit shorter tonight. He scored eight points on 4-of-12 shooting in 32 minutes, while Dahntay Jones(notes) put up 20 points in 29 minutes versus his former team.

Troy Murphy(notes) left the game versus the Nuggets in the first quarter after falling on his back, and his status for Wednesday's game at the Knicks is unknown at this point.

• Lines were all over the map for the Celtics, as the team's reserves accounted for 62 of 105 total points. Rasheed Wallace(notes) had a huge game (20 points, 6 threes, 6 boards, 2 assists, 0 turnovers, 2 steals, 1 block) but still looks like a tough read in terms of consistency. One thing is for sure, you should plug him in versus the Suns on Friday.

• Another game, another victim of the Boston defense. Andre Iguodala(notes) managed to salvage a respectable line (17 points, 3 assists, 3 steals) on a 76ers team that shot 36 percent from the field, 6 percent from three (1-for-16), and had more turnovers (16) than assists (15). Elton Brand(notes), Samuel Dalembert(notes), and Marreese Speights(notes) combined to score 20 points in 76 minutes.

• A good night for Cavs bigs versus the Wizards. Shaquille O'Neal(notes) had his best game of the season (21 points, 8 boards, 1 block) and Anderson Varejao(notes) really filled it up (10 points, 10 boards, 3 assists, 0 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block). Varejao is playing well alongside Shaq and has some pretty solid numbers after five games (8 points, 8 boards, 1.8 steals, 0.8 blocks) – you should target him if you need some defense at the end of your bench.

• Pistons guards were free to run wild as Dwight Howard(notes) dealt with a sore shoulder and fouled out in just 17 minutes. Ben Gordon(notes), Rodney Stuckey(notes), and Will Bynum(notes) combined for 63 points and 25 foul shots in an 85-80 win. The Pistons totaled just eight assists and shot 38 percent from the floor in the narrow victory, but were 31-of-38 from the foul line.

Howard's shoulder isn't expected to keep him out of game action, but Vince Carter(notes) tweaked his injured left ankle and will be a game-time decision on Wednesday.

Channing Frye's(notes) line (9 points, 4-of-11 shooting, 1 three, 2 boards) should be a reality check for fantasy owners in terms of expectations. He's going to be solid overall, but will also have some matchup difficulties along the way.

• Double-digit boards for Grant Hill(notes) again, who is now averaging 10.3 in four games. Frye's penchant for the perimeter (4.8 boards) has forced Hill closer to the basket.

Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) was once again relatively low in the pecking order – his nine field goal attempts were fifth-most of the team – but his line was solid overall (16 points, 11 boards, 3 assists, 3 blocks).

Leandro Barbosa's(notes) sore right wrist kept him out of action and his status for Wednesday has yet to be determined.

Quentin Richardson's(notes) recent history is littered with singe-game outbursts, so I'd caution you to not read much into his good numbers against the Suns (18 points, 4 threes, 10 boards, 2 steals, 1 block).

Brandon Jennings(notes) scored 25 points and took 23 shots in his first game sans Michael Redd(notes), and you should expect significant offensive responsibilities for as long as he's sidelined. While it's a great opportunity to prove himself, his shooting percentage could be in for a precipitous fall. 

• The Bucks are going to need all the offense they can get, meaning that Hakim Warrick(notes) is likely to be a featured player. He finished second to Jennings with 15 shot attempts in 34 minutes on Tuesday, although he only had five makes (11 points, 10 boards).

Luol Deng(notes) somehow logged a 20/20 game (24 points, 20 boards) against the Bucks, and is *cross your fingers* looking healthy in the early going.

John Salmons'(notes) Tuesday output (3-for-15) means that he's now shooting 26 percent on 14.5 attempts per game so far this season. The counting stats haven't been great, either, outside of some steals (2.3). One of my favorite mid-round targets certainly has a ways to go to justify the optimism.

• Some good, some bad for Kevin Durant(notes). Although his 42-percent shooting was technically an improvement and it's silly to complain about 28 points and five assists, he went 0-for-8 from three and committed seven turnovers.

• Three treys, two steals, and two blocks from Jeff Green(notes), and the averages after four games look great: 19.3 points on 51-percent shooting, 2 threes, 7 boards, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 41 minutes.

• While James Harden(notes) (17 minutes, 9 points, 1 three, 3 assists) projects to be the better fantasy player, the defensive-minded Thabo Sefolosha(notes) (36 minutes, 12 points, 2 threes, 4 steals) makes more sense from a real-world perspective with the Thunder's first unit right now. It's easy to overlook that he's only 25 and was just given a contract extension.

• It sure is nice to see Andrei Kirilenko(notes) (35 minutes, 12 points, 1 three, 5 boards, 3 blocks, 3 steals) in the starting lineup, even if it is temporary.

Dirk Nowitzki(notes) was simply ridiculous on Tuesday: 40 points (29 in the fourth quarter), 1 three, 15-of-16 free throws, 11 boards, 5 assists, 0 turnovers, 2 steals, and a whopping five blocks. 

Mehmet Okur(notes) had a rough shooting night (4-for-15) but gave Dirk a run for his money in terms of counting stats (1 three, 14 boards, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 4 steals, and 2 blocks).

• The Hawks went small against Portland, resulting in what was easily the best game of the season for Jamal Crawford(notes) (34 minutes, 27 points, 2 threes, 7 assists, 0 turnovers). He's averaged 20 points and 30 minutes in three games since totaling three points in 14 minutes during the season opener.

• Not a great showing for a number of Trail Blazers. Foul trouble limited Greg Oden(notes) to 16 minutes (8 points, 9 boards) and Martell Webster(notes) had eight points and one board in 27 minutes of playing time. Point guard play was an issue – Steve Blake(notes) and Andre Miller(notes) combined to go 3-for-16 from the floor, although Miller was able to dish 11 assists in his 28 minutes (Blake had 3 in 27 minutes).

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