Even though there were 11 games on Saturday it was a relatively quiet night, followed up by a three-game Sunday. There’s enough injury news, as usual, to keep us busy, while owners of Anthony Davis and some other two-game stars have some tough decisions to make in weekly leagues.
Games Played for Week 4
5 Games LAC
4 Games ATL, BOS, BRK, CHA, CHI, DAL, DET, GSW, MIN, PHI, PHX, POR, SAC, UTA, WAS
3 Games CLE, DEN, HOU, IND, MEM, MIA, MIL, NYK, OKC, ORL, SAS
2 Games LAL, NOP, TOR
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Anthony Davis, Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Steve Blake and several other players have just two games this week. In my weekly leagues the only two-gamer I’m thinking about rolling with is Davis. Let’s say you plug Nene in for four games and bench Davis. Season Pass projections suggest Nene will end up around 50 points, 23 boards, 11 assists, four steals and three blocks in his four games, while Davis should come in around 44 points, 22 rebounds, four assists, five steals and six blocks in his two. Of course, if Davis gets in foul trouble or posts a dud in one of his games, his week could be ruined, while having the two extra games out of Nene give you some wiggle room. If Nene has two bad games and two good ones, you’ll probably be OK, while the possibility also exists that Davis could freak out and post two monster lines. The bottom line is, if you’re simply trying to win blocks, I’d think about rolling with Davis. But if not, plugging in a solid four-game option like Nene and benching Davis makes sense. And for the record, I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do against Eric Seitz in League Freak. For those of you following along on Twitter, he’s the dude who refuses to give me Paul Millsap for Russell Westbrook, although now I’m not even sure I still want to do it.
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The Lakers don’t play until Friday, meaning Kobe Bryant has nearly a full week to practice and get ready to go. There’s still an excellent chance he may not play this week, but I’m thinking if he continues to look “like Kobe” in practice this week that he’ll be ready to roll out there on Friday. It’s a home game against the Warriors, setting up a perfect spot for him to pull a Willis Reed.
Mike Malone got mad at his starters on Sunday and basically benched them all. This was rough for owners of DeMarcus Cousins, Greivis Vasquez and others. In fact, the only one who played more than 19 minutes was Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who just joined the starting five last night. This is the third time (that I know of) that Malone has messed with Cousins’ minutes and the only thing we can hope for is that he’s learning something along the way. New starting power forward Jason Thompson played 10 minutes, Cousins played 18 and Vasquez played 19 minutes tonight, but I’m still rolling with Cousins until the roof caves in.
Waiting on Waiters
It sounds like Cleveland's Dion Waiters may have had his feelings hurt in Wednesday’s players-only meeting and no one has really heard from him since. He supposedly is at home with an illness but it sounds like there’s more to it than that. C.J. Miles started on Saturday and got into foul trouble, and is a guy I didn’t mention in Wired, but maybe should have. And while we’re on that topic, former Cav Mo Williams is playing very well for the Blazers right now, and is a guy you should also pay some attention to.
Another Jordan, another Blake and another Gasol
Jordan Hill went nuts last night with career highs of 24 points and 17 rebounds on 11-of-16 shooting. As hot as he is, it’s a real shame the Lakers only have two games this week, but he should be owned in all leagues at this point. Steve Blake had 16 dimes, four steals and nine points, while Pau Gasol just missed a triple-double with a fat stat line. Again, this looks like a team that could explode on Friday if Kobe shows up in uniform.
The Clash lied – Rudy can fail
Rudy Gay is scoring and putting up numbers for teh Raptors, but the way he’s going about it is a little scary. He’s shooting just 37 percent on the season, hit 11 of a ridiculous 37 shots to score 29 points on Monday, and had 30 points on 12-of-27 shooting Sunday without handing out a single assist. And that is a good example of how a player is much better in fantasy than reality. And with DeMar DeRozan and Gay cranking up shots every time they touch it, it’s going to be tough for their teammates to get into the mix on most nights.
Brook Lopez – Bro-Lo has a sprained ankle and was seen with a substantial limp when he left the arena on Saturday. He could easily miss a game or the whole week for the Nets, depending on the severity of the injury and if that happens, Andray Blatche looks like a nice pick-and-play. Hopefully we get an update before Monday’s lineup deadlines. And I know this doesn’t help you Yahoo! owners in weekly leagues, as their deadline is in the middle of the night on Sunday.
Deron Williams – Williams is basically in the same boat after spraining his left ankle. The Nets are hoping he won’t miss much time, but this is Deron Williams we’re talking about, and he has never returned quickly from an ankle sprain that I know of. I picked up Shaun Livingston in a daily league and plan on riding him until Williams is back to full strength.
Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce – And while we’re talking about the Nets, Kevin Garnett sat out on Saturday for rest and isn’t exactly killing it right now. I don’t own him anywhere, nor do I want to. Paul Pierce was also out on Saturday with a groin injury, and while I don’t think it’s serious, I wouldn’t use him until we get a new report out of Brooklyn.
Lou Williams – Sweet Lou debuted for the Hawks on Friday and then sat out on Saturday, which could become a trend. I think he’s going to be a nice source of 3-pointers and points at some point this season, but he’s too shaky to be in lineups right now. Keep in mind he’s coming off of major knee surgery.
Al Jefferson – Jefferson missed yet another Bobcats game with his sprained ankle on Saturday and he simply can’t be trusted in lineups right now. Bench him until he makes it through a couple games, as he’s missed seven of his 10 games thus far.
Danny Granger – Granger is dealing with an upper respiratory infection, a calf injury and his balky knee. It sounds like he’s nearing a return for Indy and I’m guessing he plays this week. But I bet he comes off the bench behind Lance Stephenson and I don’t trust him enough to invest in owning him, let alone throwing him into a lineup right now.
The Bucks – Brandon Knight (hamstring), Caron Butler (shoulder), Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) and Larry Sanders (thumb) are all banged up, and while any of them (minus Sanders) could return this week, none of them can be trusted at this point. Perhaps no collection of players has been as frustrating as this group, although Al Jefferson owners might disagree. Just keep them all benched until we get some positive reports out of Milwaukee.
Mario Chalmers & Dwyane Wade – Chalmers' suspension is over and he’ll be back in action on Tuesday against the Hawks. Wade plans on playing in that one but is very iffy for Wednesday’s game against the Magic. It may come down to how he is feeling on Wednesday afternoon, or the Heat might just sit him down to be safe. If he sits, his three-game week becomes a two-gamer, which is not great news for his owners. Wade will likely be iffy in the second of back-to-back games until further notice, so owners will want to do some schedule watching and weigh options carefully with the superstar.
Tyson Chandler & Metta World Peace – Chandler remains out until at least December with his broken leg, meaning Andrea Bargnani is a must-own player until further notice. MWP missed his last game with sore knee, so we’ll have to wait for an update on Monday before declaring him good to go. And even if he’s healthy, whether you actually want to own or use him is a whole other story. And speaking of New York injuries, the super-secretive Knicks didn’t disclose the fact that Iman Shumpert had knee surgery in July. Thanks, Jimmy. It sounds like Shumpert will be traded sooner than later out of New York, which will likely hurt his fantasy value.
Tobias Harris – I probably get more questions about Harris than any other player, and I have no answers. He said on Tuesday he thinks he’s still a couple weeks away from playing through his severely sprained ankle, so let me take a shot at a target date for his return. The Magic are at Atlanta on Tuesday, Nov. 26 and then host the Sixers on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The entire league gets Thanksgiving Day off, and the Magic then host the Spurs on Friday, Nov. 29. I’m going to guess that is the night we’ll see Harris back in action, but it’s just a guess.
Michael Carter-Williams – MCW’s arch injury in his left foot will very likely keep him out on Monday at Dallas, but it’s possible he could return for Wednesday’s home game against the Raptors. I’m benching him in my weekly leagues, for now, but if he only misses one game he could play in three this week. So like most of you, I’ll be watching for news on Monday before making a final decision on my new favorite player.
Trevor Ariza – Ariza’s hamstring injury isn’t thought to be serious, but I’d still be a little surprised to see him play in more than two of Washington’s four games this week. Martell Webster should go off in his absence and makes for a decent play this week. Even when Ariza is back, Webster should still hit some threes and score some points off the bench.
Omer Asik & Terrence Jones – After sitting out a few games as the Rockets frantically try to trade him, Asik now says he wants to play on Tuesday against the Celtics. While this news is slightly concerning for all the new Terrence Jones owners out there, I’m not too worried. Jones is the starter and is playing very well right now, and I don’t think that some garbage time from Asik on his way out the door should slow him down too long. What is a bigger concern is what the Rockets get for Asik. If it’s a starting-caliber power forward, Jones could be in trouble, but I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
That’s all I have for now. I’ll see some of you in the NBA Season Pass Live Chat on Thursday at 1 p.m., and I’ll see the rest of you tomorrow morning for the Tuesday Dose. Good luck in Week 4!