As many of you know I am an unabashed Warriors fan, and though I don’t own Stephen Curry anywhere after ankle concerns scared me off, I'm probably as heated as his owners about the way Golden State has handled his injury.
Here is a guy that is 23 years old with his entire career ahead of him, and the geniuses that took over for the old geniuses have deemed it fit to push him early in the season with everything to lose and nothing to gain.
Unless you were away from technology last night, by now you know that Curry did it again. In the third quarter of last night’s game he rolled his chronically injured right ankle – get this – trying to push off on it. Curry said it was the worst pain he has felt this season dealing with it. He said:
“This is the worst it’s been (pain). I’m sure it has to do with the fact that it’s the third time. It’s hard to say exactly how it will react. I did put weight on it and tried to tape it back up and lace it back up but it started to stiffen up. We’ll have to see how it reacts tomorrow. But it’s just déjà vu again for me.”
Curry added that he would test it on Thursday and he wouldn’t rule himself out for Friday’s game against the Lakers. And once again Mr. Hand Down Man Down, Joe Lacob, and Peter Guber will ponder ruining their short-term outlook, their long-term outlook, and potentially this young player’s career so they can sell some tickets. That’s really the only reason you push a guy that Neil Patrick Harris could diagnose as tore up.
And Friday it could easily be déjà vu all over again. Excuse me while I go look at lottery odds.
For a full analysis of how this injury could impact Dorell Wright’s value check out the final page. And to follow me on Twitter for real-time news, information, and analysis click right here.
Zach Randolph (knee) will be out for up to 8 weeks with a knee injury, which was quite the blow after reports emerged that he was “legitimately” day-to-day. I guess I’m “legitimately” the best smelling person on this planet. Heck, while we’re at it, all of you are “legitimately” going to receive a visit by Sloan from Entourage and she will explain to you where the No. 7 went in the Seven Budweisers of Christmas. But I digress….
Randolph is out and nobody in particular is in, though Marreese Speights caused a stir by getting traded to the Grizzlies for Xavier Henry, and anybody remembering Henry’s contract negotiations with the Grizzlies can imagine owner Michael Heisley saying ‘don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.’
The real winner in this situation is Rudy Gay (19 points, eight boards, three steals, one block, one three), who was woefully underdrafted as I mentioned yesterday after producing at a Round 1 level last season when healthy. Marc Gasol is also a winner and with mid-Round 2 value right now he’s looking like a solid bet to stay in the top-40 this year. Dante Cunningham (two points, 1-of-7 FGs) started last night in Z-Bo’s place but played just 18 minutes, and Speights is probably a better pickup but we need to see that he’s in shape before fully endorsing anything. Speights has a nice touch around the rim but those in the know say Doug Collins was not a fan. And that’s putting it nicely. A 24-28 minute upside is reasonable, leaving Speights as a speculative add in 14 -16 team leagues for now.
Owners should, however, watch to see if the Grizzlies decide to play small. Tony Allen posted his second straight nice outing with an 8-for-8 shooting effort for 20 points, four rebounds, two steals, and a block. Allen, Sam Young, and O.J. Mayo are each candidates to step up into the void if that happens. None of them are must-adds right now, but one of them could be shortly so stay tuned.
BIG TIME (I’M ON MY WAY AND I’M MAKING IT)
DeMar DeRozan hit five 3-point shots last night, equaling his entire total for last year and he now has 10 triples on the season. Like Derrick Rose, once the range is found and the green light is given, the threes are going to start falling. Barring an unlikely face-plant, DeRozan will nicely exceed his draft day ADP, so congratulations if you had the foresight (I’m looking at you Pork Chop) to draft him.
Dwight Howard didn’t appreciate my Andrew Bynum talk and posted a 28-point, 20-rebound, three-block line against JaVale McGee, and hit just 6-of-14 shots from the foul line … McGee was Superman’d and left with six points and four boards but did have five blocks ... McGee gets a pass for obvious reasons in the midst of a hot streak.
Ryan Anderson bounced back from an off-night and scored 23 points with 15 rebounds and three treys. Anderson had never really taken charge of the PF position in Orlando in the past, and his late ADP in drafts might have been as much about owners forgetting how bad Big Baby is than it was about Anderson himself.
Ricky Rubio continued to highlight the differences between NBA and overseas ball with 12 points, 10 assists, two steals, and two threes in 32 minutes off the bench. Not only did he through enough salt in his own game this past year to plummet on draft boards, but he has doubled the pleasure by emerging as a must-start player as long as he’s getting these minutes. There will be nights that Lukewarm Luke Ridnour will run the show extensively, but on the whole Rubio should only see more time as we go. Congrats if you drafted him, because he’s another guy in a timeshare with question marks that many (including this guy) passed up.
Eric Gordon (knee) returned to action and picked up right where he left off with 22 points, six boards, three steals, two blocks, and a three in a full 39 minutes. He will be wearing the injury-prone label for a while, but he’s going to be a monster when healthy. On the good news front Jarrett Jack wasn’t slowed at all with 19 points, five rebounds, and 11 assists. Carl Landry resurfaced with 21 points, eight boards, and nothing else – which is how he rolls. Jason Smith (16 minutes, nine points, one three, two boards, one block) backed off after a strong Tuesday, but regardless it’s increasingly clear that this frontcourt is going to be a mess. Chris Kaman (10 points, eight boards, 24 minutes) and Emeka Okafor (five points, seven boards, two blocks, 27 minutes) are capping their already modest upside and 1-2 guys are going to disappear nightly it seems. All of the aforementioned but Smith are worth owning, but will likely give you heartburn with sit-start decisions. Al-Farouq Aminu (zero points) did nothing with his start for injured Trevor Ariza (groin), who should be back sooner than later.
Marcin Gortat (thumb) finally had a big night, setting season-highs in points (22) and boards (10) with a block on 10-of-15 shooting. Robin Lopez looks healthy but I still don’t see Gortat giving way to him much, if at all. Slowly improving Channing Frye (seven points, 3-of-4 FGs, one three, 10 boards, one block, 25 minutes) still hasn’t succumbed to rookie Markieff Morris (four points, five boards, 17 minutes). While I feel comfortable saying Frye has better times ahead since he can't do much worse, he’s knee-deep in a position battle with the rook. The good news for Frye’s owners is that he will be given incumbent/veteran advantages by Alvin Gentry. Just hang onto Frye for now, and those adding or looking at Morris may want to slow their roll. He may end up harming Frye more than he helps himself in fantasy leagues.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
James Anderson started for the first time in Manu Ginobili’s (hand) place last night, and both he and Gary Neal didn’t do much to justify their pickups. Anderson scored just five points on 2-of-6 shooting with two boards, two assists, and one three, while Neal had seven points on 3-of-9 shooting (including a three) with three rebounds and nothing else. Even more worrisome for owners grabbing them was the insertion of T.J. Ford and Danny Green into the mix throughout last game, particularly late. Ford finished with nine points and eight assists, and Green had eight points, two boards, two assists, two blocks, and a three. It smells like a Gregg Popovich special, but owners adding either Anderson or Neal should give it at least a game or two to see how things play out. If Ford emerges as the go-to guy again on Thursday against the Mavs, he’ll have some deep league appeal, as well.
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