Monday’s news day was an injury massacre and we saw a ton of strange things happen in the fantasy basketball world on Monday night. Let’s dive in.
Heat beat Magic for 27th straight win
Dwyane Wade sat out again with his sore right knee, but said that he does plan on playing Wednesday against the Bulls. It didn’t really matter, as LeBron James overcame a slow start to just miss a triple-double with 24 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists for another monster fantasy line. That makes 27 straight wins for the Heat, who are now just six games short of the all-time record. No one really stepped up on Wade’s behalf, but it doesn’t matter, as it sounds like he should be back for the next one. Rashard Lewis did hit three 3-pointers, so it’s nice to know he’s still alive and kicking.
Nikola Vucevic was out again for the Magic with a concussion and it’s hard to say when he’ll play again for the Magic, although I’m guessing he’ll be back fairly soon. Jameer Nelson went off with 27 points, 12 dimes and five 3-pointers, while E’Twaun Moore started in place of Arron Afflalo (out for the year) and had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 39 minutes. Beno Udrih also played 39 minutes off the bench, but hit just 1-of-9 shots for seven points, four rebounds and five assists. Look for Moore and Udrih to continue to see heavy minutes going forward. Kyle O’Quinn started at center and had 12 points, six boards and a block, while Moe Harkless just couldn’t get it going, missing 12-of-15 shots for seven points, nine boards, one steal and no blocks. He’ll be better in the next one, while Tobias Harris added 20 points, five boards, two blocks and two 3-pointers. I’m comfortable using Moore, Harkless, Harris and Udrih in most leagues the rest of the way. Andrew Nicholson sprained an ankle and didn’t return, not that it matters in fantasy.
Wizards beat Grizzlies, Wall goes for 47
Nene (knee), Martell Webster (ab strain) and Trevor Ariza (flu) all sat out on Monday, while Bradley Beal is still not back from his sprained ankle. Webster is also said to be dealing with a potential sports hernia, but as of now, the hope is he’ll play at some point this week. Any of these guys are droppable if you’re desperate for healthy bodies in a daily league. John Wall took advantage of an undermanned squad and put up the line of his life with a career-high 47 points, seven boards, eight assists, a steal, monster block and two (that’s right) 3-pointers on 13-of-22 shooting. If he keeps rolling he’s going to help a lot of you win fantasy championships with that sweet schedule. Emeka Okafor tore it up with 21 & 9, and Chris Singleton played 43 minutes for 10 points, seven boards and two blocks with both Webster and Ariza out. Singleton may be worth keeping an eye on, but this game is not a reason to run out and pick him up.
Marc Gasol doesn’t have a complete abdominal tear, and while we still have no idea when he’ll be back on the floor, it doesn’t sound like he needs immediate surgery. Having said that, his season could still be over. Darrell Arthur, and not Ed Davis, started at center and had six points and four boards before fouling out in 19 minutes (yuck), while Davis added nine points, seven boards and zero blocks off the bench. Both of these dudes are going to have to step up their games with Gasol out, so don’t give up on them just yet. Mike Conley was solid, Jerryd Bayless came through for his new owners with 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists, despite hitting just 5-of-17 shots, and Quincy Pondexter came off the bench for 14 points and four 3-pointers. Ignore QP, as this looks like a fluke. Bayless, on the other hand, should now be owned in most leagues, while owners wondering if they should drop Gasol might just have to go ahead and make the move if we don’t get some good news soon.
Pacers blow big lead, but hold off Hawks
George Hill sat out with a left groin strain and is iffy for Wednesday, while Lance Stephenson also sat out with a hip injury. And as we knew going in, David West was out with his back injury and there’s still no word on when he’ll play. As someone who picked up Tyler Hansbrough, let’s just say I wouldn’t be sad if West took the rest of the week off. D.J. Augustin started for Hill but hit just 1-of-6 shots, Gerald Green started for Stephenson and had 19 points and six rebounds, but had scored a total of seven points in his previous two games. As long as Green’s coming off the bench, he should be too inconsistent to use in most fantasy leagues. Roy Hibbert and Hansbrough double-doubled, and Hibbert called out his teammates for allowing the Hawks to come back and make it a game. Orlando Johnson had 15 off the bench and Jeff Pendergraph added 14, but neither is worth a look right now.
Devin Harris sat out for the Hawks with a sore left foot, Jeff Teague struggled, and the Hawks just didn’t have it last night. And as long as they’re starting Dahntay Jones and Johan Petro, I’m guessing the Hawks won’t win many games. Josh Smith had a decent line, but his 6-of-12 free throw shooting is going to leave a mark. If you’re holding Harris and want to drop him for a free agent, do it.
Hornets stop Nuggets’ 15-game winning streak without Vasquez
Greivis Vasquez sat out Monday with a left ankle injury and will have X-rays, while Eric Gordon sat out with what’s being called left ankle soreness. So much for that early call that he’d play in all his games this week, and it’s now possible he’ll miss more time. Brian Roberts, a guy many of you have never heard of, went off for 13 points and a career-high 18 assists in 41 minutes, starting for Vasquez. He’s a nice handcuff if you own Vasquez, and might be worth a pickup in most leagues, but I get the feeling Vasquez isn’t going to miss much time. Darius Miller started for Gordon and there’s an outside chance he’ll keep the job. He had 16 points and four 3-pointers, but also hit 6-of-7 shots. In other words, don’t expect him to do this often. We also had an Al-Farouq Aminu sighting with 13 points and a very full stat line, but he’s a guy I’ve simply grown accustomed to not trusting. Let’s see what the injury report says about Vasquez and Gordon before bending over backwards to own any of them. But if you’ve got an open spot, go ahead and add Roberts in case GV misses more time. Ryan Anderson came through with a big game and Anthony Davis was decent.
Ty Lawson sat out with his lingering heel injury and remains day-to-day, allowing Andre Miller another start, and helping the Nuggets to have their impressive 15-game winning streak snapped. Miller had nine points, six assists and two steals in 39 minutes, so he was at least serviceable. Andre Iguodala pulled another annoying disappearing act, along with Kosta Koufos, while Danilo Gallinari scored 24. Wilson Chandler was back from his injury and had 11 points, splitting time with Corey Brewer (9), as usual.
Jazz stop four-game free fall with win over Philly
The Jazz got a much needed win, although Al Jefferson managed to disappoint yet again with 12 points, nine boards and zero blocks in just 18 minutes due to foul trouble, and the fact that most of the other Jazz bigs are playing better than him right now. I really need him to get his act together for their remaining three games this week, but am not holding my breath. Derrick Favors had 13 points, 10 boards and three blocks off the bench, but is still pretty unreliable as long as he’s not starting. None of the Jazz players did anything too impressive, but if you own any of them, keep rolling them out there as the four-game weeks continue.
The Sixers saw Jrue Holiday play a miserable game, as he hit 2-of-8 shots and a 3-pointer for seven points, one assist and four turnovers. I’m rolling him (and Al Jefferson) in League Freak, so I’m hoping for a bounce-back in the next three. He generally rebounds after games like this one. Damien Wilkins scored 13 to remain relevant, Spencer Hawes had 14 points, eight boards and three more blocks, while Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young were disappointing. Dorell Wright is heating up again and had 19 points, three steals and two 3-pointers, rewarding those of us who played him this week due to his four games. Arnett Moultrie had his best game of the season with 14 points and eight boards, but I’m not ready to drink that Kool-aid.
Warriors hold off Lakers behind Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson
Stephen Curry looked as if he might sit out with his bum ankle, but decided to play and looked fantastic with 25 points, seven boards, 10 dimes and three 3-pointers, while Klay Thompson chipped in with 22 points, six 3-pointers and a full stat line. David Lee double-doubled with 23 points and 12 boards, while Jarrett Jack came through with 19 points, three boards and three assists on 9-of-16 shooting, but uncharacteristically failed to hit a 3-pointer. Andrew Bogut had four points, nine boards, two blocks and five fouls, and it’s becoming apparent he’s out there to focus only on defense and rebounding, as he took just three shots. Harrison Barnes had 10 points and five boards in 29 minutes, making him a very shaky fantasy start with endless three-game weeks.
Dwight Howard took three stitches in his lower lip during Monday’s game but played through it, finishing with 11 points, 15 rebounds and one block, while Kobe Bryant scored 36 points on 27 shots, and Steve Nash blew up for 21 points, nine boards and seven assists in the loss. Part of the reason Curry was able to have his way is the fact he was going up against the old man. Metta World Peace went down with a strained left knee and was unable to return, leaving his owners in a bind with three more games this week. I would be surprised to see him play on Wednesday. Antawn Jamison played through his bum wrist, but lasted just 15 minutes, while Pau Gasol was hugely disappointing with seven points and eight boards in 23 minutes. Eventually, he’ll figure this out. This was a big win for the Warriors (holding off Houston for the No. 6 seed), and a tough loss for the Lakers, who are being stalked by the Jazz for the No. 8 seed.
News and Notes
Chris Paul is now iffy for the Clippers on Tuesday when they play the Mavericks. He has a sore knee and some swelling, and if he’s out, Eric Bledsoe looks like a nice pick-and-play for that one.
Dion Waiters is not showing improvement in his knee and has no timetable to return for the Cavs. If you have to cut him, do it.
Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo is concerned about Joe Johnson’s health, as he deals with quad and heel injuries. He’s been struggling lately, as well as missing games, and could continue to get rest as the Nets prepare for the playoffs. He’s a drop candidate for a hot free agent.
Tyreke Evans will see a doctor for his flu that hindered him over the weekend. The Kings don’t play until Wednesday, so I’m guessing he’ll be fine.
Kevin Love could play again for the Wolves this season, but I just don’t see it happening.
Kyle Lowry’s knee is still a concern for the Raptors and he’s a little iffy for Wednesday. I’m guessing he’ll play, but owners have to stay tuned. Rudy Gay practiced on Monday and doesn’t look like a guy who is ready to shut it down due to his back injury. However, whether he plays on Wednesday is still anyone’s guess.
Tyson Chandler could play for the Knicks on Tuesday or Wednesday, but is far from guaranteed due to his neck injury.
Kevin Garnett will miss a week or two for the Celtics with his ankle injury, which means he can be dropped in many leagues. Jeff Green and Brandon Bass benefit. Courtney Lee is probable for Tuesday with his an ankle injury of his own.
Andre Drummond could still return this season for the Pistons, but I just don’t see them giving him heavy minutes and risking his future. Chances are you can find a more reliable player on waivers.
Kyrie Irving still hasn’t been ruled out for the season with his shoulder injury, but Cavs’ coach Byron Scott doesn’t sound like he’s overly confident we’ll see Irving any time soon.