Monday was another crazy night in the Association, and I’ve decided that managing a winning fantasy hoops team might be the most difficult thing to do in fantasy sports. It’s an everyday job, and there are lineup tweaks and injuries every single night. Especially this season, as every hour seems to bring a new injury. Yesterday’s victims included Al Jefferson, Andray Blatche, MarShon Brooks, Jameer Nelson and Nicolas Batum.
Tuesday's Injury Report
Al Jefferson sat with a sore right foot, and the fact he’s taken two injections, is in a walking boot and said he felt like he was “walking on glass” during his last game is a little scary. Scary enough that I picked up Derrick Favors in a couple leagues on Monday afternoon. Favors wasn’t great last night, but should be worth owning for as long as Jefferson is out. Jefferson remains day-to-day, but could miss the whole week, so while Favors isn’t a must-own guy, he's nice to have if you’ve got the room.
Andray Blatche will miss three to five weeks with a strained calf. Ironically, I had to cut him in one league to get a healthy player (Favors), and did so about three hours before this news was announced. So I’m glad I made the move. I just traded MarShon Brooks to get Blatche, and it ended up being a trade of shall we say, garbage for junk. More on Brooks in a minute. Blatche will be replaced by both Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker, but Booker looks like the best option for now after going for 14 points, nine boards and two blocks off the bench last night.
MarShon Brooks has a fractured toe and has been shelved indefinitely. Anthony Morrow is the guy to pick up here, as DeShawn Stevenson (knee) and Damion James (foot, out for season) are also in trouble. I am dropping Brooks and Blatche across the board, picking up guys like Michael Beasley, Vince Carter, Jared Dudley, Jerryd Bayless, Mike Dunleavy and, in some cases, Chris Duhon and Derrick Favors (short term).
Jameer Nelson is out for the week with a concussion, meaning Chris Duhon should get all the minutes he can handle. If you were late to the party and missed out on Duhon, you’ll be happy to know he had three points and two assists in 35 minutes last night. But the good news is he played 35 minutes, so there’s a chance he’ll pay off with three games left this week.
Nicolas Batum went down at the end of Monday’s game after twisting his left knee and is awaiting an MRI on Tuesday morning. This one could go either way – he could be fine, or be out for an extended time. He had a nice line with 15 points, four 3-pointers, a steal and a block, and as an owner in several leagues, I’m hoping he’s OK.
Steve Nash was out with a thigh contusion and will be iffy for Wednesday at New Orleans.
Carmelo Anthony is questionable for tonight’s game, but my gut says he’s playing, and that he’ll play well. He really burned his owners last week, especially those of us in weekly lineup leagues, but I’m expecting a bounce back this time around. If he doesn’t play tonight, he should be ready by Thursday, and could give owners three nice games. But I think he’s going to do it four times.
Stephen Curry says his ankle is still bothering him, but he’s looked good playing through it. All you can do is roll him out there and hope for the best, which is exactly what I’m doing in several leagues right now.
Rajon Rondo could return tonight, according to coach Doc Rivers, but keep in mind that he’s missed six straight games with a wrist injury, despite the fact that Danny Ainge said he was fine after initially suffering the injury. Rondo said recently he could be out until near the All-Star break, which is roughly three weeks from now, so I’m not convinced Rondo will play against the Cavs on Tuesday, or at all this week. Hopefully we will have a new update on Tuesday afternoon.
Dunk of the Year?
Blake Griffin may have had the dunk of the year without even dunking, as he threw one down over Kendrick Perkins that was basically unforgettable. I’m not sure what else to say about it, other than that the pass from Paul was just about as good as the dunk, in a boring, textbook sort of way. Griffin's blast quickly sent this one from LeBron James over John Lucas to No. 2 on the list.
Game News and Notes
Magic Fall To Sixers
Ryan Anderson had 14 points and 20 rebounds in another loss by the Magic, signaling that he’s back, while J.J. Redick started for injured Jason Richardson and had 10 points and three 3-pointers. I predicted Redick getting a starting job on Sunday, and regardless of how injured Richardson’s knee is, Redick could get a real chance here going forward. He’s not must-own, but he’s nice to have right now. Hedo Turkoglu hit 1-of-9 shots, which was good for negative fantasy points in many leagues. Hopefully he’s ready to break out of the funk soon, as he’s scored a total of 13 points over his last three games, hitting 4-of-24 shots over that stretch. Had I done proper research, I would have benched him this week. The Magic have lost six of eight games, and trade rumors involving Dwight Howard heated up again last night, as Stephen Jackson missed a game AFTER his one-game suspension ended. There’s a chance he could be heading to New Jersey, but there’s also a chance he is simply leashed to a chain inside the doghouse of Scott Skiles. Whatever the case, bench Jackson until we see him back on the court.
Jrue Holiday was terrible for the Sixers last night, but they won, despite putting just three guys in double digits, led by Andre Iguodala’s 14 points. Holiday’s assists have been disappointing this season and he was just 3-of-11 for six points and six dimes last night, but he looks like a great buy-low candidate to me.