Tuesday’s News and Notes
Ryan Anderson will have his neck re-evaluated in two months to see if he’ll need surgery. There’s nothing official here, but it sure sounds like the rest of his season is in doubt, so cut him if you need to find a healthy body for your fantasy team.
Dirk Nowitzki had trouble shooting on Monday after suffering a bruised triceps and then a forearm injury, but says he plans on playing Wednesday. Leave him in your lineup, but watch for updates in case he’s still not feeling well prior to game time.
Leandro Barbosa’s shoulder X-ray came back negative, so he should be ready to go on Wednesday against the Lakers. He had 21 points in his last game, and while I don’t really trust him, that could change if he plays well again tonight.
Manu Ginobili could continue to start for the Spurs in an effort to keep his injured hamstring from tightening up on the bench at the start of games. He had 14 points in 25 minutes in Monday’s start.
Jared Sullinger (neck) and Jeff Green (shoulder) both went through Tuesday’s practice, meaning both should be ready to go on Wednesday against the Raptors. Sullinger, Green, Kris Humphries, Jordan Crawford, Avery Bradley and Jerryd Bayless are all decent fantasy options tonight. Rajon Rondo will go through a physical test on Wednesday and all signs are pointing to him playing on Friday against the hapless Lakers.
Shawn Marion practiced on Tuesday and sounds like a go for Wednesday against the Clippers. He’s missed four straight games, so owners should weigh options carefully before using Marion on a busy Wednesday night.
Khris Middleton is iffy for tonight’s game against the Grizzlies due to a sprained left ankle. If he’s out, look for Caron Butler to make an appearance for the Bucks.
The Clippers appear to be close to signing Hedo Turkoglu, but he should only be given a look in very deep leagues. It’s been just under a year since he last played in an NBA game.
Tuesday Game News
Bobcats snap Knicks winning streak
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returned from a six-week absence with a broken hand and hit 3-of-12 shots for eight points, seven rebounds and two steals in the win over the Knicks. It was nice to see him shoot it this many times, but he’s not a great fantasy option, at least for now. Kemba Walker stayed hot against Raymond Felton with 25 points, seven rebounds, five dimes, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, as his fine season continues. And Al Jefferson torched the Knicks for a season-high 35 points to go along with eight rebounds, a steal and a block on 14-of-20 shooting. Things might have gone differently had Tyson Chandler been at full strength, but Jefferson is hot again, averaging 27.5 points, 9.5 boards and a block over his last two games.
Carmelo Anthony will not be fasting this season like he did last year. “Hell no!” he said, when asked if he would skip meals again this season. This is great news, as he really took a dip in production around this time last year. Tyson Chandler returned from his respiratory illness and had five points, four rebounds and a block in 16 minutes. They could have used his defense, as Al Jefferson was dominant in the win. Amare Stoudemire had 17 points and four rebounds for the Knicks, and can actually be started in fantasy leagues if you’re desperate for a big man. J.R. Smith never left the bench on Tuesday and we’re all wondering if he did something else to tick his coach off. Smith says he has no idea why he was benched, while Mike Woodson simply offered a “no comment” on why Smith didn’t play. Smith says he has no plans on speaking to Woody about the benching and it’s possible the Knicks are ready to move on without him.
Pacers stop Kings
The Pacers got 31 points, three rebounds, two assists, a steal and four 3-pointers from Paul George in the easy win. He hit 10-of-18 shots and 7-of-8 free throws in a nice bounce-back game after going for eight points on 2-of-14 shooting on Friday. C.J. Watson enjoyed some more garbage time with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists on 5-of-6 shooting. After going 0-for-6 on Jan. 5, Watson has now made 17-of-21 shots over his last four games, and has scored in double figures in two straight. A timeshare could be coming for him and George Hill, although Hill was a little better than normal last night with nine points, five boards and three assists. Frank Vogel will coach the East All-Stars in New Orleans this year.
DeMarcus Cousins went off for 31 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and a block on 12-of-21 shooting, and also hit 7-of-7 free throws for his 11th straight double-double. He sat on the bench for much of the fourth quarter in the blowout, but will be back at it tonight against the Timberwolves. Isaiah Thomas hit just 3-of-9 shots for seven points, one assist and one 3-pointer in the loss. The Pacers tend to shut down the opposing point guards, so look for Thomas to be better against the Wolves tonight. Marcus Thornton played 28 minutes but struggled again. He could still get hot at any time as long as he’s starting and getting that kind of run, so keep a close eye on him.
Grizzlies top Thunder
Marc Gasol returned from his knee injury for 12 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. He appeared to tweak his knee late, but stayed in the game and made a few key plays that helped Memphis secure the tough win. Courtney Lee stayed hot in another start, hitting 9-of-15 shots and two 3-pointers for a season-high 24 points, five rebounds and two steals. As long as Tony Allen is out, Lee looks like an excellent fantasy option.
Kevin Durant played through his sore left wrist, but aggravated the injury near the end of the loss to Memphis. He says he’s going to keep playing through it, but I bet the team makes him get an MRI. He was clearly in pain at the end of the game, but still finished with 37 points on 15-of-28 shooting. The injury is to his non-shooting hand, which is good news, although he’s struggling from downtown right now, hitting just six of his last 30 shots from beyond the arc. Reggie Jackson had a bounce-back game with 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers, but also committed seven turnovers. He was really struggling coming into this one, but may have righted the ship last night. The Thunder are off tonight.
Cavaliers beat Lakers
Luol Deng went off for 27 points and hit 9-of-15 shots, 5-of-5 3-pointers and 4-of-4 free throws, and added five rebounds, four assists and a steal in a win over the Lakers. He’s back and played 38 minutes, so make sure he’s back in your lineup. Anderson Varejao had 18 points, 18 boards and six assists in the win, and is averaging 11 points and 15 rebounds over his last seven games. Tristan Thompson had 15 points, 13 rebounds, a steal and a block last night, and has posted a double-double in four of his last five games, and six of his last nine. C.J. Miles played just 15 minutes to finish with five points and a 3-pointer on 2-of-6 shooting, but had scored between 14 and 34 points in his previous six games. Maybe this was a fluke, or maybe his run is over. Either way, Matthew Dellavedova is playing well and had three 3-pointers and 11 points last night, and I’m worried that Miles’ run might be over. We should know one way or another after tonight’s game against the Blazers. Just like Miles, Jarrett Jack was useless last night and I’ve about given up on him, mainly due to the strong play by Dellavedova and Dion Waiters, as well as the fact that Jack just hasn’t done much with his minutes this season.
Xavier Henry will miss another week with his right knee strain, but will travel with the Lakers on their seven-game road trip. Pau Gasol returned to action despite a toe injury and had 20 points, 12 rebounds, a steal and two blocks in the loss. The Lakers have lost 11 of their last 12 games and it won’t take much for Pau to be shut down for an extended period of time. He says he wants to continue to play through the injury, but I’ll be surprised if we see him tonight against the Suns, given how much he was laboring late in Tuesday’s game. Kendall Marshall had 10 points, 16 assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, and is averaging 13.0 points and 12.0 assists in his six January starts at point guard for the Lakers. And at home, he’s handed out 16, 17 and 15 assists in three games. Jodie Meeks stayed hot with a season-high 26 points and six 3-pointers, and is averaging 21.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s a must-start player until further notice, just like his teammate, Nick Young. Swaggy P had a season-high 28 points, a season-high six assists and four 3-pointers while hitting 7-of-16 shots, and also hit 10-of-10 free throws. He’s scored 21 or more in three of his last five games and his two-point performance last Tuesday has been quickly forgotten. Wes Johnson also played well for the Lakers with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer, and he’s averaging 14. 5 points and 1.75 treys over his last four. As long as Kobe Bryant is out with his knee injury, all these guys look good.
12 Games Wednesday
Chicago @ Orlando – Arron Afflalo hopes to play through his foot injury, while Nikola Vucevic could miss another game with his concussion.
Charlotte @ Philadelphia – Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker will look to stay hot against the sieve defense of the Sixers.
Miami @ Washington – Dwyane Wade should play, but it’s not a guarantee, while Mario Chalmers could be game-time decision with his Achilles injury. If he’s out Norris Cole should be a nice daily play. Nene should start again for the Wizards.
Toronto @ Boston – If Tyler Hansbrough sits again, Patrick Patterson could have another nice game. The Celtics should be near full strength, minus Rajon Rondo and Keith Bogans, who has been given a personal leave by the team.
Memphis @ Milwaukee – Middleton is iffy for the Bucks, while Tony Allen doesn’t sound likely for the Grizzlies, clearing the way for more goodies from Courtney Lee.
Sacramento @ Minnesota – The Kings’ starters got some rest in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, so they should be ready to roll, while the Wolves are as healthy as they’ve been all year.
Houston @ New Orleans – There’s a chance Patrick Beverley could return from his broken hand for the Rockets, while the Hornets will be without Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson, and may get another DNP from Tyreke Evans, who is dealing with an ankle injury.
Utah @ San Antonio – Trey Burke is hoping to play through an Achilles injury and Gordon Hayward may or may not be ready to play through his hip injury. Alec Burks will look to stay hot after his career-high 34-point game on Monday. Watch for updates today. Danny Green and Tiago Splitter are out for the Spurs, while Manu Ginobili will likely start at SG to keep his hamstring warm. Marco Belinelli is probably due for another big night, as well.
LA Lakers @ Phoenix – Pau Gasol is questionable for the Lakers with his bum toe, while it sounds like Leandro Barbosa should play off the bench despite his shoulder.
Cleveland @ Portland – No injuries to report here.
Denver @ Golden State – The regulars are healthy, as far as we know.
Dallas @ LA Clippers – Shawn Marion should return from his shoulder injury and Dirk Nowitzki should play through his arm issues, while Darren Collison will try to stay hot for the Clips.