Welcome Back, Kobe!

Steve Alexander
Devin Booker and Emmanuel Mudiay scored career highs and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant put on one last show on TNT. Friday's Dose breaks it all down

Close the book on Kobe & Bron

Devin Booker and Emmanuel Mudiay scored career highs and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant put on one last show on TNT. Friday's Dose breaks it all down

It was another busy weekend in the NBA and there was a big trade, the return of a superstar, and plenty of injury news to cover. Here are some of the highlights from the weekend.

Games Played for Week 7



2 games: IND, MIA

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday night's games. It's $10 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.

Welcome Back, Kobe – Kobe was finally back in action on Sunday and had nine points, eight boards, four assists, two steals and eight turnovers in 28 minutes. Despite the turnovers and poor shooting (2-of-9), he didn’t look all that bad, although he didn’t really look like vintage Kobe, either. Occasional days off could hurt his fantasy owners, but it looks like it’s time to get him into your lineups. He was passive on the offensive end tonight, but that’s going to change quickly as he gains confidence in his surgically repaired Achilles.

Rudy Gay Trade Fallout – Gay should start at small forward immediately for the Kings, who now have a pretty potent starting five with Isaiah Thomas at PG, Ben McLemore at SG, Gay at SF, Jason Thompson at PF and DeMarcus Cousins at C. Thompson gets a boost with Patrick Patterson now in Toronto, while Thomas should continue to get it done with Vasquez out of the way. This deal should be finalized on Monday, but we still don’t know if Gay will be available to play against the Mavericks tonight.

For the Raptors, we don’t really know who is going to start at small forward. Terrence Ross, Landry Fields and John Salmons are all options, but this has the makings of a messy timeshare, so I’m not rushing out to pick up any of them. Kyle Lowry, who is red-hot, could also be negatively impacted by the arrival of Greivis Vasquez, while DeMar DeRozan should be even better now that Gay is gone.

Amir Johnson Now Motivated – Johnson blew up for a career-high 32 points on 14-of-17 shooting and added 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks on Sunday. He was helped by the fact that Tyler Hansbrough was out, while the arrival of Patrick Patterson isn’t the best news for Johnson. But he’s been on fire for three straight games and you should be thrilled if you were able to pick him up after he was benched early in the week. Dwane Casey did it in order to motivate Johnson, and it has clearly worked.

The Knicks Are Not Good – The Knicks were run out of the gym by the Celtics on Sunday in a dreadful 114-73 loss. Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton and Andrea Bargnani were all pretty bad on Sunday and the Knicks look like the biggest train wreck in the dismal East. Tyson Chandler is going to help once he’s recovered from his broken leg, but I don’t expect to see him in action this week. The Knicks are 5-14 and 2-8 at home, and there doesn’t appear to be any relief for Mike Woodson’s band of misfits coming any time soon.  

Terrence Jones Has Big Night – Jones blew up for 16 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, five blocks and two 3-pointers in a win over the Magic. If he was dropped in your league, he shouldn’t have been. Go get him. Dwight Howard finally posted some big numbers against his former team, finishing with 20 points, 22 boards, two steals and three blocks.

Chandler Parsons Plays 39 Minutes In Return – Parsons returned from a back injury and had 18 points and three 3-pointers in 39 minutes. He’s still not in the clear, but should be put back into fantasy lineups in most leagues.

Jordan Crawford Still Cooking For Celtics – Crawford had 23 points, three rebounds, seven assists and six 3-pointers in Sunday’s blowout win. He’s averaging 20 points, 4.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.8 3-pointers over his last five games, and Rajon Rondo isn’t going to come back to rain on his parade this week. Ride him until the wheels fall off.

Stephen Jackson to Clippers? - Marc Stein reported early Monday morning that the Clippers may be ready to sign Stephen Jackson, which makes sense with J.J. Redick out for an extended period of time, along with injuries to Matt Barnes and Reggie Bullock. Owners in very deep leagues may want to take a flier on Jackson. 

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Injury Report

Kevin Love missed Saturday for his grandmother’s funeral, but should be ready to go on Tuesday.

Dwyane Wade sat out Sunday’s game with his balky knee, but is at least over the flu. The Heat only have two games this week, and no back-to-backs, so the hope is that Wade will play in both of them.

Ty Lawson was out on Saturday with a hamstring injury and we don’t know much about his availability heading into Week 7. For as long as he’s out, Andre Miller and Nate Robinson looks like strong fantasy options.

Deron Williams is hoping to play through his ankle injury on Tuesday, but that’s not guaranteed. And with the potential for just three games this week, Williams is as risky a start as there is in fantasy.

Michael Carter-Williams has been in the hospital for three days with a knee infection and is very iffy for the upcoming week. I’m benching him for now.

Rajon Rondo pushed back his meeting with Dr. James Andrews regarding his surgically repaired knee, so it doesn’t sound like he’s close to a return this week. And that’s great news for the owners of Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley.

Derrick Favors missed Saturday’s game with a back injury and is pretty iffy for Monday. Jeremy Evans and Rudy Gobert aren’t enticing in fantasy, but Enes Kanter will continue to benefit if Favors misses more time.

Pau Gasol played through a sore right ankle on Sunday and doesn’t plan to miss time with the injury. But if he aggravates it at some point, that plan could change. Start him at your own risk.

Nikola Vucevic missed another game on Sunday with his ankle injury and is questionable for Monday. Glen Davis is a strong play even when Vucevic is healthy, and is a must-start on nights when Vucevic is out.

Andre Iguodala’s hamstring injury has not allowed him to play for a couple weeks and we still don’t know when he’ll return. I’d be surprised to see him this week.

DeAndre Jordan is hoping to play through his foot injury on Monday and almost returned to Saturday’s game. I am starting him this week.

Luol Deng is iffy for the week due to an Achilles injury. MRI results were negative and he’s hoping the swelling dies down mid-week. And to me, that means starting Deng this week is too risky. And this should mean more big games from Taj Gibson, who has been on an absolute tear for the last 10 days or so.

Jimmy Butler was out again on Saturday, and while he’s closer to a return from his turf toe, he might not play this week. Tony Snell has been hit or miss in Butler’s absence.

Jeremy Lin is hoping to return from his knee injury on Thursday. Patrick Beverley continues to underwhelm, while Aaron Brooks has been more miss than hit in Lin’s absence.

Nene is very iffy for Monday with an Achilles problem, along with foot and leg issues, and it sounds like he might shut himself down until he’s healthy again. It was a fun ride while it lasted.

Steve Nash was out again on Sunday and while he appears to be nearing a return from a back injury, we don’t know when it’s going to happen. Steve Blake, who has cooled off, will take another hit when it happens.

Martell Webster is iffy for Monday’s game with an ankle injury, but I get the sense he’ll play.

Rodney Stuckey sat out on Sunday with a quad injury, which will leave him questionable for Tuesday. I’m looking for a safer option for the upcoming week.

Jeff Taylor’s heel injury will leave him iffy for Monday, which is too bad after he had 20 points on Friday while filling in for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If Taylor is out, keep a close eye on Anthony Tolliver.

Caron Butler has missed six straight games with a heel injury, and while I expect him back some time this week, Khris Middleton should continue to start for the Bucks.

Marvin Williams’ heel injury could continue to keep him out, which is good news for Enes Kanter. Whether Williams is still a starter once healthy again remains to be seen.

Tony Allen’s hip injury has caused him to miss his last few games and Jerryd Bayless will get his minutes if Allen continues to miss time with the injury.  

Tiago Splitter left Saturday’s game with a calf injury and is questionable for Tuesday. If he’s out, Boris Diaw looks like the spot start to own.

Kelly Olynyk is hoping to return from an ankle injury on Tuesday, but it’s possible Jared Sullinger has stolen his job.

Tyler Hansbrough has been out with a shoulder injury and Amir Johnson looks like a beast for the Raptors. Hansbrough can be dropped if you picked him up when he was named the starter over Johnson.

Michael Beasley was out on Sunday with a hamstring injury, but has been too inconsistent to be in fantasy lineups. And with two games this week, he should continue to be ignored.

Zaza Pachulia’s foot is in a walking boot for the Bucks, meaning more good news for John Henson, who looks like a strong start this week.

For the entire Injury Report, click here. 

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