Dewayne Dedmon scored four points with 12 rebounds, three assists, one steal and four blocks against the Clippers on Friday night.
He's not dead yet. Coach Gregg Popovich loves to use Dedmon as a situational big man, especially against formidable 4-5 combos like the Clippers have. Even with Pau Gasol back, Dedmon figures to get the most run of the bigs not named Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge. He could still be a sneaky block specialist, but there will be a handful of bad games due to the matchup-based minutes from night to night.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 points with 11 rebounds, one assist, one block, one steal and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes against the Clippers on Friday.
On paper, Aldridge was expected to see a boost in production while Pau Gasol was out. Well, that did not happen due to Aldridge making just 39.0 percent from the field in his previous February games and a drop in scoring compared to January despite an increase in minutes. LMA tore it up in the second half last season, but he just doesn't have it in his age-31 season. He's more of a mid-round guy than the early-round he's been for most of this decade.
David Lee played 11 minutes with two points, five rebounds and one block against the Clippers on Friday.
He was the primary beneficiary from the Pau Gasol injury and looked great for the last month. We'll see some more Lee at some point when the Spurs rest their bigs, but he's a clear cut candidate for those who used him in deep leagues.
David Bertans was a DNP-CD on Friday.
He had a nice little run as the fifth forward in the rotation, but he's out now with Pau Gasol back. We'll see Bertans again when the Spurs rest players, but there's no need to stash him.
Manu Ginobili scored six points with three rebounds, four assists, three steals and one 3-pointer in 22 minutes against the Clippers on Friday
He didn't need to miss any games due to an ankle injury in his final game before the All-Star break. With the Spurs likely to coast to the No. 2 seed, expect Ginobili to get some days off in the next two months.
Chris Paul returned to action on Friday night during a 105-97 loss to the Spurs on Friday, scoring 17 points with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes.
In his first game back since Jan. 16, CP3 admitted there was some rust on the offense. "There’s no excuses," Paul said about the loss. "This was our first game with everybody. I probably threw some guys off, but we’re going to figure it out." Loss and low assists aside, Paul beating his timetable by a week and getting 33 minutes is encouraging. Expect him to be a first-round player after a very brief adjustment period.
Blake Griffin scored 29 points with nine rebounds, five assists and one steal in 38 minutes against the Spurs on Friday night.
He did take a Dewayne Dedmon shoulder to his cheek and ran to the locker room for about 10 seconds, but he had to come back out to shoot the free throws. Griffin just had a band-aid put over his cheek and it was enough to stop the bleeding, so he stayed in the game. As for his play, Griffin clearly has it going again and looks like an early-round player going forward. He needs to stay healthy.
Jamal Crawford did not score in 19 minutes against the Spurs on Friday with one assist.
He had a nice run while Chris Paul was out, but he's a clear drop after this game with coach Doc Rivers trusting his son more than one of the best bench scorers of all time.