Well, Week 5 is off and running and injuries remain the top story, as Dwyane Wade sounds doubtful for Tuesday, Derrick Rose was back for the Bulls and MarShon Brooks was a surprise scratch on Monday with a sore Achilles. Here are the top stories from Monday’s action and news.
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Magic Hit All-time Low
The Magic got 18 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and block from Dwight Howard, and 11 rebounds from reserve Glen Davis, but that was the only good news to report from Boston regarding Orlando on Monday. The Magic were trounced 87-56 by the injured Celtics and hit a grand total of 16 field goals in the loss. The 56 points set a team record for futility, topping a 57-point effort in 1996. They also committed 25 turnovers, 20 of which came in the second half, while Hedo Turkoglu, who returned from a back injury, scored seven points as the team’s second-leading scorer. Previously smoking-hot Ryan Anderson missed all eight of his shots and failed to score. The good news is they have four more games this week to make up for Monday’s disaster, but this is not the way the Magic, or their fantasy owners, saw this week kicking off. Things have to get better on Tuesday at Indiana, right?
Derrick Rose Returns For Bulls, But Luol Deng’s Wrist Is A Mess
Derrick Rose was finally back in action after missing four straight games with a toe injury. He hit 9-of-16 shots and two 3-pointers for 22 points, five rebounds, eight assists and a steal in a win over the Nets. The injury could realistically linger all season, but at least he’s back for now. If he makes it through the week and you want to sell high, it’s not a bad idea. Meanwhile, Luol Deng will be out for about a week (at least) with a wrist injury that could even require surgery. Ronnie Brewer started in his place and had 11 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes, but Richard Hamilton might be the big winner in Deng’s injury. Rip had 22 points, four boards, 10 assists and two 3-pointers and should be picked up in all leagues given Deng’s iffy status. Joakim Noah had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and this could be a sign that it’s time to sell high.
Anthony Morrow Starts For Nets, MarShon Brooks Hurt
Anthony Morrow started in place of MarShon Brooks (Achilles) and scored 15 points. He didn’t hit a 3-pointer, and Brooks says he’ll be back on Wednesday. Morrow looks like a safe add again, especially with DeShawn Stephenson struggling, and Damion James out indefinitely due to another foot surgery. Deron Williams had 16 & 10, while Jordan Farmar came off the bench for 22 points and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes. I don’t trust Farmar much, but he’s worth keeping an eye on. He’d scored 13 in each of his previous two games, but had just 5 & 6 in the two games prior.
Rashard Lewis Starting Again For Wiz
Rashard Lewis was back in the starting five for the Wizards, who looked dreadful again in a blowout loss to the Sixers. Lewis had 11 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes, and is at least worth a look now that he’s off the bench. Flip Saunders’ job appears to be in serious jeopardy, as the Wizards simply don’t look like they know how to work as a team.
Monday’s Big Lines
Kyle Lowry had his second triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and a 3-pointer on 4-of-13 shooting. He’s having a monster season for the Rockets and I see no reason to sell-high on him.
Kevin Love had a career-high 39 points on 13-of-19 shooting, hitting all five of his 3-point attempts and 8-of-10 free throws, while chipping in with 12 rebounds. Ricky Rubio (12 assists) loves finding Love open from downtown, and this looks like a fantasy match made in heaven. Nikola Pekovic played just 10 minutes for two points and one rebound, and it doesn’t look like the Wolves are ready to start him at center. Rookie Derrick Williams made his first start and had 11 points and seven rebounds in 37 minutes, and could be worth grabbing with Michael Beasley out for another week with his foot injury. However, Wes Johnson was out due to illness on Monday, which could have been the reason for Williams’ start. Just keep an eye on Williams and think about grabbing him if he sticks in the starting five.
Tony Parker played through a sore back and had 20 points and a career-high 17 assists on 8-of-14 shooting, while Tim Duncan returned from a night off with 28 points and seven rebounds in the Spurs' win over the Hornets. Kawhi Leonard started, but failed to score in just seven minutes. There are no reports of an injury to the rookie, so it looks like he just got “popped” by his coach.
Jarrett Jack had 26 points, six rebounds, nine assists and a 3-pointer on 12-of-22 shooting in the loss to the Spurs, and is a must-start point guard in four-game weeks. Trevor Ariza had another nice line of 18 points, six boards five assists, three steals and two 3-pointers on 7-of-13 shooting, and is another player who should be flying off waiver wires right now. And with the latest news that Eric Gordon is going to need another three weeks to get his knee in order, Jack and Ariza (and Marco Belinelli) should all continue to get plenty of run going forward. Carl Landry had 18 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench, while Chris Kaman had six points and four boards in just 14 minutes. Jason Smith started, and it looks like these three are locked into an unpredictable timeshare for the Hornets until further notice.
The Hawks seem to be surviving life without Al Horford thus far and got big lines from Joe Johnson, Jeff Teague, Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia, who started at center last night. Johnson had 28 points, Teague posted 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, Smoove added a monster line of 19 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, a steal, three blocks and a 3-pointer, and Pachulia added nine points and 14 boards in 28 minutes. Pachulia will need to continue to start to be worth starting in fantasy leagues, so keep an eye on him. Atlanta has won seven of eight games since losing Horford and it will be interesting to see if they can keep this up. It all hinges on the play of Smith, in my opinion, and he’s been a beast since Horford dropped.
Shawn Marion looked like his former self on Monday with 29 points and four 3-pointers in 31 minutes, while Lamar Odom started for Dirk Nowitzki and had 11 points, three boards, five assists and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes. Dirk should be back for the Mavs on Sunday, so Odom’s run should be a short one. Ian Mahinmi had 17 points, nine boards and three blocks off the bench, and it’s still possible he’ll replace Brendan Haywood as the starter at some point. He had scored in single figures in six of his previous seven games before Monday’s explosion, so just keep an eye on him.
Gerald Wallace played through his sprained middle finger and somehow hit 9-of-12 shots for 20 points, eight rebounds, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer in the Blazers' win over the Kings. Nicolas Batum didn’t fare so well, failing to score in 19 minutes. However, Marcus Camby tweaked his groin and lasted just 13 minutes, so Batum could be in line for more minutes and production again real soon. Jamal Crawford heated up in Batum’s stead and had 26 points and two 3-pointers.
Stephen Curry’s ankle injury is finally under control and he had 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals and two 3-pointers in the Warrirors' heart-breaking loss to Memphis, while Monta Ellis had 20 points, four rebounds, five assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers on Monday. The return of Curry has limited Nate Robinson, who played just 12 minutes for five points and six dimes. Dorell Wright played 34 minutes but scored just eight points, but I would keep rolling him out there as long as the minutes are there.