Steve Alexander

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Even Kidd Can't Miss w/ 5

Monday, December 27, 2010

We had an interesting weekend here in Dahlonega, Georgia. We had the first white Christmas in 120 years with a couple inches falling on Christmas Day, while today is my birthday. I'm thinking of celebrating by driving my four kids to Indy for a few days, leaving my wife behind to work. Last time I drove them to Indy without her was in the dead of winter as well, and while I won't go into detail, we had a puppy in the car, as well as a baby doing an impersonation of Linda Blair in the Exorcist. Hopefully things go a little more smoothly this time if I decide to go for it.

Anyway, as far as hoops go, here's a list of some things going on around the league you'll want to think about from a fantasy standpoint this week.

Five On The Five

I forgot to mention the Dallas Mavericks play five times this week in Waiver Wired, but I'm sure you figured that out by now. DeShawn Stevenson is available in a couple leagues, but even a games-played whore like me isn't going to touch that one. Besides, so many teams play four times this week, the five-game advantage isn't as big as it usually seems to be. But if you own Dirk Nowitzki, you already have a lead in your game, while this could be a nice week for Jason Kidd, as well.

Welcome Back

Here's a list of guys who have returned to action recently, or are set to return, and a quick thought about them.

Jamal Crawford (back) – Should be ok to start, but still a bit shaky.
John Wall (knee) – Played off bench on Sunday, risky as usual.
Andray Blatche (susp.) – Should be fine after silly suspension for fighting with…
JaVale McGee (susp.) – Ditto, although bench role could be coming.
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) – No fantasy value for now.
Taj Gibson (head) – Could get back into groove, but bench for now.
Stephen Curry (ankle) – Must-start with 4 games after playing (poorly) on Sat.
Mike Miller (thumb) – Will start hitting threes at some point, but risky start.
Nenad Krstic (ankle) – Does nothing but hurt Serge Ibaka.
Jason Thompson (hand) – Does nothing but hurt Carl Landry, who I'm starting.
George Hill (toe) – Ruins Gary Neal, but a little risky coming off injury.
Mehmet Okur (Achilles) – I see no reason to be playing him right now.

Good News For People Who Like Bad News

As for the big injury picture, a link to the NBA Injury Report at Rotoworld is linked at the end of the column, which will give you the entire league. But here's what we know about the guys you are asking about the most as you prepare to set lineups.

Rajon Rondo (ankle/hamstring)

Rondo could play this week, and it could even happen Tuesday at Indy. But he could also miss all week. Either way, he's a risky play and Doc Rivers is always too coy and mysterious about his injured players. I really wouldn't be surprised to see him play on Tuesday, or miss the entire week. Therefore, if I owned him I'd be looking for an alternative starter this week, while praying for an update later on Monday. One thing we've learned in his absence is that Nate Robinson is no Rondo. But maybe Paul Pierce is close.

Gerald Wallace (ankle)

Crash is now planning on sitting out Monday and Wednesday with his severely sprained ankle, meaning it's time to get him benched until further notice. That injury must have been a bad one, as he'll have missed six straight games if he does play on Friday. Curiously, Gerald Henderson will start in his place, and while he has no value, this whole scene appears to be setting up perfectly for a breakout week for Tyrus Thomas under new coach Paul Silas. Of course when expectations are high for Thomas, he generally turns into a disaster, but if I own him, I'm starting him this week, just out of principal. And if Silas doesn't set Thomas free, it's probably never going to happen.

Carmelo Anthony (personal)

As I predicted when the news first came out that Melo would return "after Christmas," he also missed Sunday's game. He's expected back for Tuesday against the Blazers, but that is not guaranteed and he'll be playing with a heavy heart. I'd start him if I owned him, but there is a little risk involved.

Andrea Bargnani (calf)

I posted a cryptic Bargnani blurb on Sunday night that stated he didn't make the trip to Memphis for tonight's game due to a calf injury. Making matters worse is the team travels to Dallas for a Tuesday game and will then hit Houston on Friday. They're back home for Boston on Sunday, but Bargnani might miss the whole week. He's definitely out on Monday, and doubtful for Tuesday and Friday. Bench him until further notice, and look for Amir Johnson and Joey Dorsey to get extra run in his absence. Johnson is iffy with a back injury of his own, but it sounds like he's going to try to play. And as owners know, just because he's starting doesn't mean he's necessarily going to play well.

Brandon Roy (knee)

Maybe he'll play Thursday, maybe he won't. But if I own him, he's planted firmly on my bench.

Monta Ellis (ankle)

Monta tweaked his ankle on Saturday but played through it for a monster fantasy line. It's possible it swelled up on him and could hurt him this week, but I've got him in all my lineups for now. And I'm leaving him there unless I see an update on his status on Rotoworld later today.

Keep reading for more injury updates, as well as some Shallow Thoughts.

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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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