We are still awaiting word on Anderson Varejao’s timetable to return from a broken wrist. My guess is he’ll miss a month, but look for a new update later on Tuesday. Tristan Thompson and Alonzo Gee look like the guys to pick up if he’s out that long, in that order.
Kyrie Irving is due back for the Cavs on Wednesday (maybe), meaning Ramon Sessions’ run is about to come to an end. Sessions was flat-out balling, but I’m afraid the only hope for him is to be traded to the Heat or Lakers, which is probably a pipe dream. I’m fine with dropping Sessions, but if you have the luxury of hanging onto him without it hurting your team, do it.
Nene and Danilo Gallinari are technically questionable for Tuesday night, but realistically have no shot of playing. Bench Nene until further notice, as he could miss the whole week with a calf injury, while there is still no timetable on when we might see Gallo and his bum ankle again. I’m not a fan of cutting Gallinari, but in some leagues it probably makes sense to get a healthy body in your lineup.
Blake Griffin hit just 2-of-9 free throws on Monday, snapping a hot streak. He was 22-of-27 from the line coming in over his previous four games after implementing a new routine at the stripe, but crashed back to earth last night. Hopefully it was a fluke, and he’ll shoot them better the rest of the way. Despite the hot four-game run, he’s still hitting just 52 percent from the line on the season.
Stephen Curry might have tweaked his troublesome ankle last night, but stayed in the game and played through it. He hit just 3-of-10 shots for nine points, seven boards, five assists and a 3-pointer, while Monta Ellis was 5-of-20 for 18 points. I still don’t know how they did it, but despite an off night for Curry, Ellis and Dorell Wright, the Warriors beat the Suns. Wright played just 23 minutes and had five points on 2-of-6 shooting for the Warriors. He has scored nine or less in three of his last four games, and while that’s highly annoying, he should break out of the funk soon. Keep him in your lineup for now.
Coolin’ By Sound
Elton Brand, who is playing through a sore thumb, saw just 18 minutes for eight points and six boards on Monday night. There was no report of an injury and he was in some foul trouble, but the minutes are obviously a concern. The Sixers beat the Bobcats last night, but it wasn’t in runaway fashion, leaving some concern about Brand. Keep an eye out for some new Brand news on Tuesday.
Stephen Jackson played just 17 minutes and had seven points, and Mike Dunleavy had five points in 19 minutes for the Bucks. Meanwhile, Carlos Delfino went nuts, hitting five 3-pointers to finish with 24 points and two steals on 8-of-12 shooting in 32 minutes in a loss to the Heat last night. Putting one of these guys into your lineup is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette, but if you rolled with Delfino this week, so far, so good. I pick-and-played Delfino and am thrilled with the early results, but I could see him falling apart by the end of the week if Jackson or Dunleavy get hot again. The Bucks’ rotation is a mystery, and will continue to be a tough read the rest of the way, thanks to Scott Skiles.
Devin Harris, who I have been accused of standing by for too long, hit just 1-of-4 shots for two points and four assists for the Jazz on Monday. Earl Watson had seven points and five dimes in 29 minutes, and the two point guards look to be locked into a timeshare until further notice. Harris looked “disengaged” at times last night, so keep a close eye on Watson. If he takes over as the starter, he’ll become a must-own player.
Gordon Hayward, who was coming in hot, had just eight points on 3-of-6 shooting for the Jazz last night in a loss to the short-handed Hornets. Hayward had hit double figures in scoring in eight of his nine games coming into the night, so this just looks like an off game to me. Keep him in your lineup.
Wilson Chandler’s Chinese team is expected to go deep into the playoffs, meaning we may not see him until the end of March, or early April. Given that the NBA’s regular season is slated to end on April 26th, holding Chandler seems pointless as of now.
Zach Randolph is targeting a return in early March from his knee injury and could play in 29 games or so, making him worth a pick-and-hold in most leagues.
J.R. Smith is due to sign with someone in the near future, and the Clippers appear to be the front-runners for his services, as Chris Paul leads a campaign to sign him. Like I said recently, expect some huge lines mixed in with off nights from Smith, as well as a stint in the coach’s doghouse once he’s up and running in the NBA. He’s probably worth holding in many leagues, but I wouldn’t cut a good player to get him.
Starlings Of The Slipstream
Hedo Turkoglu has been dropped in some leagues, but had 14 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers for Orlando in their win over the Timberwolves last night. He hit just 4-of-12 shots, but has hit double digits in scoring in three straight, averaging 14 points, six boards and four assists over the stretch, along with hitting seven 3-pointers. Keep him in your lineup, or grab him if he was dropped. Jameer Nelson had 14 points, six rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers on Monday, and is averaging 12 points, four rebounds, five assists and a 3-pointer over his last five games. If you can cut Devin Harris to pick up Nelson, do it.
Chris Kaman started despite a sprained ankle and went off for 27 points, 13 rebounds and a block on Monday. Emeka Okafor was out with a sore knee, leaving Kaman and Gustavo Ayon as the only healthy bigs on a thin Hornets’ roster. Ayon had 13 points, nine boards and three blocks, and both of these guys are worth using for now. Especially if Okafor is going to miss more time with his injury. This was Okafor’s first missed game of the season and the injury doesn’t appear to be serious, but all three are going to play solid minutes with Jason Smith and Carl Landry out with injuries. If you pick-and-played Ayon for the week, so far, so good.
Brendan Haywood somehow had 10 points and nine rebounds in Monday’s win over the Clippers, and had seven points, 10 boards and two blocks in his previous game. Prior to that, he totaled two points and eight rebounds in his previous two games. Unless you’re in a very deep league, ignore Haywood for now.
Ekpe Udoh had nine points, four boards and three more blocks on Monday, and is averaging five points, three boards and 2.2 blocks over his last five. If you’re desperate for blocks, he’s going to rack them up consistently as long as he continues to get 24 minutes per game.