You really have to wonder what Mike Brown was thinking when he chose to saddle Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes) with what may have been the first "DNP-CD" of his career Saturday. Brown said he went small for "matchup purposes," but that glosses over the fact that Big Z was a single minute of playing time away – in a 16-point win, mind you – from setting the franchise's all-time record for games played. Ilgauskas was reportedly devastated by the decision, as he had a number of family and friends in attendance, and LeBron James(notes) criticized the decision by saying "one game is a smaller thing" when compared to a milestone of that magnitude. Big Z has been a consummate professional and a consistently productive member of the franchise for more than a decade, and the 33-year-old graciously accepted a demotion when the team brought Shaquille O'Neal(notes) on board in its quest for a championship. Simply put, he deserved better than this and Brown's failure to recognize how momentous the occasion could have been for Ilgauskas is nothing short of absurd and baffling.
Weekend Update: Need-to-know info from the past few days
• The 76ers have had "minimal discussions internally" regarding the possibility of bringing Allen Iverson(notes) back into the mix. While the team is certainly looking for some help at point guard in the wake of Louis Williams'(notes) broken jaw, an injury that will sideline him for two months, AI's baggage and tendency to monopolize the ball could mean diminishing returns if he's the choice over veteran free agents like Antonio Daniels(notes) or Brevin Knight(notes). Jrue Holiday's(notes) performances in the past two games (4 points, 24% FG, 3 assists), a pair of losses in which the team averaged 88 points, highlighted the fact that the 19-year-old is still a ways away from being ready for primetime. Nobody can say for sure what is going to happen as of yet, but the 76ers could make a move early in the week to fill out their depth chart, whether it involves AI or not.
"I knew it wasn't right. Even on my layups I was switching to go off this (right) leg in the open floor and I couldn't run the way I wanted to and get out. I couldn't move. I won't play like that. I'm going to get right and get healthy so I can help this team out for real."
Losing a player is one thing, but what is particularly unfortunate for fantasy owners is that nobody knows how long it will take for his left patella tendon to get right. Technically, getting Redd back at full strength after 10 days or two weeks of downtime would be better than having him go on and off the active roster for the entire season, but that's likely to be of little comfort to fantasy owners. I'd advise waiting for something definitive before considering an add/drop in his case, but it's a lot easier for me to say that as someone who does not have him rostered in any leagues. As to the fantasy impact of his being out: Brandon Jennings(notes) will continue to be the focal point of the Bucks' attack, Luke Ridnour's(notes) role will stay steady, and Charlie Bell(notes) will offer little fantasy value as the starting shooting guard.
• The winless Nets fired Lawrence Frank on Sunday in a move that was largely expected but likened to throwing the captain of the Titanic overboard after it hit the iceberg. The Nets have a dearth of true talent and have been decimated by injuries, so there was only so much any coach could have done in Frank's place. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect a coaching change to drastically alter the team's direction for the year. The focus will be on attempting to get and keep everyone healthy while they play out the string. Get ready for a number of contracts to expire, and then add pieces for 2010-11 and beyond. The most a new coach will do is adjust the rotation slightly, like giving Trenton Hassell's(notes) minutes to younger players – in general, no matter who takes over, things aren't going to change or improve dramatically for any of the Nets' players.
Injury/status quick-hitters: Charlie Villanueva(notes) suffered a broken nose on Sunday and his availability for Wednesday's game is unknown at this point. … Erick Dampier(notes) is expected to re-join the Mavs sometime during the current week, while Josh Howard(notes) "probably" will be back at some point in December. … A gash on Luis Scola's(notes) right eye, sustained only 22 seconds into Sunday's game, required seven stitches but is not expected to keep him out of the lineup on Wednesday. … Neither Andrei Kirilenko(notes) (back) nor Paul Millsap(notes) (knee) practiced on Sunday and both are being called game-time decisions for Monday. … Leandro Barbosa(notes) is expected to miss at least the Suns' next two games after sustaining a left ankle sprain on Sunday. … Kirk Hinrich(notes) could miss up to two weeks of action because of a left thumb sprain. … Although he looms large in the team's game plans in general, Mike Dunleavy will be limited to around 20 minutes per game for the foreseeable future. … Elton Brand(notes) (hamstring) will be a game-time decision on Monday.
For a rundown of the best available players in your league and a complete injury wrap, see the Week 6 Dashboard.
Market Movers: Charting player values
Gerald Wallace(notes) – Stephen Jackson's(notes) arrival has been nothing but positive for G-Wall, who was shooting 36 percent from the field at the time of the trade. In seven games since, Wallace has averaged 20 points on 51-percent shooting, one three, 12.3 boards, 2.2 steals and 1.2 blocks.
Carlos Boozer(notes) – Shame on me for not considering the possibility that Boozer would be a model citizen in his contract year and that production could trump personality when it was time to just play the games. Boozer is currently posting among the best numbers of his career – in 14 November games, he's averaged 20.4 points on 59-percent shooting, 10.5 boards, 3.1 assists and 1.7 steals-plus-blocks.
Nene Hilario(notes) – Fantasy owners that stayed away from Nene after his career season in 2008-09 have certainly regretted it thusfar. He's the fifth-ranked center for per-game numbers over the past month and has averaged 14.4 points on 60-percent shooting, 9.9 boards, 3.7 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.9 blocks over his past seven games.
Monta Ellis(notes) – Ellis' responsibilities and production have increased dramatically in the wake of the Stephen Jackson trade. He's averaged 28.7 points on 48-percent shooting, 6.3 assists and 3.3 steals in six games since the move.
Luol Deng(notes) – Deng looks completely healthy and has been putting up career numbers, proving to be a draft-day bargain (103 ADP). In 12 November games, he's averaged 19.3 points, 0.5 threes, 82-percent foul shooting, 8.3 boards, 1.2 steals and 1 block.
Ersan Ilyasova(notes) – Ilyasova's offense has been a big help to a short-handed Bucks squad, but it's his hustle and defense that has endeared him to Scott Skiles and will keep those numbers going for fantasy owners. Over the past eight games, the 22-year-old has averaged 14.6 points on 45-percent shooting, 1.8 threes, 9.3 boards and 1.4 steals-plus-blocks.
Nate Robinson(notes) – Robinson has started to recapture some of his form from 2008-09, when he showed that he doesn't need to start to be a fantasy asset. Over the past five games, Robinson has averaged 18.8 points on 58-percent shooting, 2.8 threes, 3.2 assists and 1 steal-plus-block in 27 minutes.
Roy Hibbert(notes) – Early-season dominance (12.8 points, 9.4 boards, 2.4 blocks over his first nine games) has given way to seriously diminished numbers since Troy Murphy(notes) returned from injury (5.8 points, 2.6 boards, 0.8 blocks over the past five games).
Mike Conley(notes) – Conley just hasn't been able to get anything going this season, and that's been regardless of the matchup or his playing time. Over the past 10 games, he's averaged 6.9 points on 35-percent shooting, 4.2 assists and 0.8 steals. He's recently been outplayed by Jamaal Tinsley(notes), who went almost two years between active duty and is still working his way toward game shape.
Michael Redd – It turns out that draft-day discount (54.9 ADP) was nowhere near as deep as it should have been.
Gilbert Arenas(notes) – All of the positive talk from the preseason has turned sour in the first month-plus of the regular season. His numbers over the past 10 games feature substantial negatives (36% FG, 67% FT, 3.9 turnovers) that trump the relatively poor positives (16.4 points, 1.3 threes, 4.2 boards, 6.6 assists, 1.3 steals).
Rotowire – Zegers has taken the mantle as the top team in the league, making a big-time jump over the past week while getting excellent production up and down his roster. Recent transactions included Jamario Moon(notes), Samuel Dalembert(notes), J.J. Hickson(notes), Jarrett Jack(notes), Martell Webster(notes), C.J. Watson(notes), and Donte Greene(notes) among others.