DeAndre Jordan owners that have been in panic mode over the last couple of weeks forgot one thing: Kenyon Martin has been around the block once or twice. Maybe even three times.
Yes, Martin has blatantly stolen playing time from Jordan since signing with the Clippers. In the first 22 games of the season, Jordan was playing about 30.8 minutes. In the nine games since Martin made his debut, Jordan is at 24.0. However, Martin is already beginning to show signs of wear.
On Wednesday night, the 34-year-old Martin sustained bruised ribs and also dealt with a sore back. Neither injury is serious, but it’s a reminder that his body is not going to take to the condensed schedule well. During Martin’s 12-year career, he’s never played in all 82 games. During his seven seasons in Denver, he averaged just 53.0 games per season. Owners of the 23-year-old Jordan need to ride this thing out.
NEWS OF THE DAY #2
As we head into the All-Star break, fantasy owners aren’t the only ones taking stock of their lineups. Coaches are as well.
The Jazz have dropped 10 of their last 13 games, leading to some decisions for coach Tyrone Corbin. At the forefront of his mind is veteran Josh Howard.
During his postgame press conference Wednesday night, Corbin announced he’s considering making Josh Howard a permanent starter at small forward. The move would send Raja Bell to the bench and kick struggling Gordon Hayward to shooting guard.
“[Howard’s] done a great job. It looked like he might be better starting for us than coming off the bench,” Corbin said.
Howard is only 31, but he does not have the same athleticism we remember from those Dallas days. An ACL tear will do that to a man. Still, there’s some deep league appeal here. In five starts this year, Howard has averaged 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 0.6 3-pointers per game.
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NEWS OF THE DAY #3
Speaking of lineup changes, Cavs coach Byron Scott is contemplating one as well. Scott didn’t go into specifics like Corbin did, but we have some clues here.
He benched starting center Semih Erden on Wednesday night for a lack of effort. You can’t be a below-average talent in this league and not try. So the obvious move is to sit Erden down permanently and roll with either rookie Tristan Thompson or veteran Ryan Hollins at the five.
That choice seems like a no-brainer, considering the Cavs’ 13-18 record and the investment they’ve made in Thompson. However, Scott has been extremely hesitant to use his No. 4 pick so far. In the six games since Anderson Varejao (wrist) went down, Thompson is averaging just 20.5 minutes. He’s still managed 6.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks during that span. There’s upside here, especially with Scott taking the break to “dissect” his rotation.
Scott did say he’s hoping to get Varejao back for the final 25 games of the season, but that’s the most optimistic of possibilities.
NEWS OF THE DAY #4
Stephen Curry seemed to take solace in the fact that his latest injury is not to his right ankle. However, he did sprain the tendon that connects his right calf to his right foot. He also added that the pain “felt like someone stabbing him in the foot.” There’s a ton of damage on that one wheel.
For what it’s worth, Curry’s agent says his client is “very optimistic” that he won’t miss any games. Agent claims in favor of their client are rarely worth much. Curry will meet with his team of ankle/foot doctors, rest and rehab during All-Star Weekend. He won’t defend his title in the Skills Challenge. All owners can do is wait, pray and add Nate Robinson as a handcuff.
THURSDAY GAME THOUGHTS: EARLY EDITION
Jeremy Lin got embarrassed by the Heat’s league-best defense, shooting 1-of-11 from the field and getting picked repeatedly like a high-school point guard. It’s no reason at all to panic, but it’s a reminder that Lin isn’t invincible. His handle is weak for an NBA point guard and he’s nowhere near a 50 percent shooter in the long run. … Carmelo Anthony played nearly 35 minutes and looked healthy. It will come. … Kirk Hinrich drew the start at shooting guard and split time down the middle with Willie Green. Both will fade back to irrelevance once Joe Johnson (knee) gets healthy. … Jeff Teague has started all 13 February games and played 28.1 minutes per night during that span. However, he’s averaging 2.7 assists a night. He’s not a playmaker. … Jason Richardson (chest pains) returned, but Jameer Nelson (knee) sat.
THURSDAY GAME THOUGHTS: LATE EDITION
Ty Lawson (ankle) didn’t play, but the fact that he was a game-time call on both Wednesday and Thursday bodes well as we look to next week. … With Tiago Splitter (calf) out at least another 10 days, DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner are spreading their wings. Deep-leaguers should be well aware. … Kawhi Leonard tweaked a calf but is still going to the Rising Stars game. I’m not chasing any Spurs shooting guards regardless. … Kobe Bryant shot 45.5 percent in December and 45.5 percent in January. But in 12 February games, he’s at 39.5 percent. Again, his current usage (38.3 MPG) at age 33 is silly and unsustainable. … Andrew Bynum banged his knee late but didn’t need medical attention. The injection he’s getting this weekend was planned.
INJURY FAST BREAK
Gerald Henderson (hamstring) said he’s confident he’ll be ready to go right after the All-Star break. Reggie Williams would head to the bench. Just remember that Henderson’s 0.3 3-pointers, 1.8 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocks cap his fantasy upside. … C.J. Watson (concussion) should be fine after the break, but he’s just a handcuff to a pain-free Derrick Rose right now. … Richard Hamilton (groin/thigh) is taking contact in practice. He sounds close, but it’s only a matter of time before another strain. … Joe Johnson (knee) will be reevaluated right after the break. He has simple tendonitis. … Kris Humphries (calf) is expected to play in the first game after the break.
DEPTH CHART FAST BREAK
Coach Mark Jackson hinted that Andris Biedrins will remain his starting center. Ekpe Udoh (knee, day-to-day) still may see more minutes going forward. … Coach Paul Silas acknowledged the second half of the season will at least partially be about developing his youth. Bismack Biyombo and Kemba Walker are going to play plenty. … Now Frank Vogel says George Hill could end up as a strict backup shooting guard. The bottom line here is that Darren Collison and Paul George aren’t going anywhere as starters. … These Michael Beasley to the Lakers rumors won’t go away. One thing’s for sure: The Lakers desperately need an upgrade on Metta World Peace/Matt Barnes at small forward.