Matt Stroup

The Daily Dose

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Granger?...Wallace?...Bueller?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


There were many standout performances, and in turn, there were a number of ugly outings during Wednesday night's slate of 12 games. But in many ways, the biggest news of the night didn't pertain to on-court statistical performance so much as it related to who was playing and who wasn't. With that in mind, there's only one proper way to start this particular edition of the Dose: an old fashioned roll call.

Danny Granger: ABSENT
The top-five fantasy talent missed Wednesday due to a right knee injury, and the Indianapolis Star reported early Thursday that the knee has been bothering Granger for the past six or seven games, and was even giving him trouble over the summer. If that's not enough to make you concerned, it's still uncertain whether he'll be able to play on Friday.

The way I see it, there are three ways to go here: 1) If you have Granger on your team, you wait it out, hope that a game or two off gets the problem under control and he's ready to go; 2) Fearing that it's serious, you trade Granger away and get the best return you can (at this point I still wouldn't deal him for anything less than a top-10 type of talent); 3) If you don't own Granger, you take a gamble and try to get him at a discount.

If it were me (and I do have Granger on one team), I'd stand pat. We don't know exactly what the nature of this injury is, but he's gotten through it before and can hopefully do so again. But if you're panicked and feel like you have to trade him now, don't shave too much off the price tag or you may regret it.

Gerald Wallace: ABSENT
In case you missed it, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer wrote on Wednesday night that Wallace (broken rib, collapsed lung) will be hospitalized until at least late Thursday, and will miss "a week or more of games" after his release.

It's easy to be optimistic when you look at the "a week" portion of that statement, but I have a feeling we'll soon find out exactly what "or more" means, and the definition of the phrase will not be to our liking. At this point, I definitely wouldn't be surprised to learn that he'll be out three weeks to a month, or longer. Keep in mind that's only my instinct, and the prognosis could prove to be better than that, but I don't have a great feeling here. In the meantime, hang onto Wallace and hope the news will be better than what I'm expecting.

Drew Gooden: ABSENT
We already knew Gooden wouldn't play Wednesday, but then he dropped the news that he has not only a groin pull, but an abdominal strain, a combo he referred to as a "double whammy" (no whammies, no whammies, no whammies, no whammies… double whammy). He's expected to be out another week, which means more fun for Joakim Noah (10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks Wednesday night).

Baron Davis: PRESENT
The Clippers PG returned from a 13-game absence and picked up where he left off with his Field Goal Annihilation initiative, going 1-for-10 (three points, four assists) to drop his season percentage to a dismal 35.5. The rest of his game should soon round into form, but the dreadful marksmanship will most likely continue unabated.

Marcus Camby: PRESENT
He returned after a five-game sprained ankle-induced absence, and though the line wasn't exceedingly Camby-esque (six points, six rebounds, no blocks in 22 minutes), it should be safe to get him back in your lineup.

Jamal Crawford: PRESENT
Returned from his hamstring injury and had just three points and one assist in 23 minutes, but several Warriors (Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis included) had bad games as they got blown out by Dallas. Crawford should be fine going forward.

Yao Ming: PRESENT
He's back from his knee injury and had 13 points and nine rebounds Wednesday. Now just hope he stays healthy, or alternatively, wait until he heats back up and then deal him before one of his feet explodes.

Ron Artest: PRESENT (sort of)
Yes, Artest showed up for class, but he spent most of the time making pencil carvings in his desk and lobbing spit balls at classmates. Artest had just nine points on 3-of-10 shooting with two threes and two steals in 23 minutes off the bench. Hopefully it'll get better soon so you can look to deal him before it gets worse.

For exclusive stat projections, top 250 rankings and more, check out Rotoworld's Season Pass.

Now, onto the rest of the action from Wednesday:

Outstanding

Kevin Durant: If you haven't yet acknowledged that he's a top-10 fantasy player, now would be an appropriate time to do so (35 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four blocks on 14-of-23 shooting).

T.J. Ford: He'll produce if healthy, but you may want to act before the next malady strikes (34 points, three assists, two steals on 14-of-21 shooting).

Charlie Villanueva: He's now averaging 23.8 ppg in his last six after a 28-point, eight-rebound, four-assist night. He should maintain some value all year, but is also inordinately hot right now, so feel free to attempt selling high.

Josh Smith: The 2-for-10 free throw shooting is forgivable considering everything else (26 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, two blocks).

Marvin Williams: Now averaging 20.7 ppg in his last three after a season-high 28 points (along with seven rebounds, three treys, a steal and a block).

Rudy Gay: Yes, it was against OKC, but 25 points, eight rebounds, three treys, two steals and a block is precisely the type of line owners have been looking for.

Tracy McGrady: 24 points, five rebounds, six assists, three treys, two steals and a block. Quite simply, not shopping him right now is a huge mistake.


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Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for Rotoworld.com. You can find him on Twitter here .
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