Isaiah Thomas had another slow start but had another great finish last night. 18 points, eight assists, two threes, and a steal later he had the Kings crowd on their feet. If I had to choose between him and Jeremy Lin for my reality basketball squad right now, I’d take Thomas (marketing deals aside, of course). Thomas’ skills and intangibles are lottery-level talents, with his height being the only reason he fell out. What GMs didn’t know is that his strength and leaping ability would cover up that deficiently greatly, and the Kings look like a different team with him on the floor. He’s not going anywhere, and congrats to those that were early adopters.
Zach Randolph (knee) is nearing a return, but he’s tiptoeing through the awkward stage between non-contact and contact work. Put a gun to my head and I’d guess (read: guess) he’ll be back in 16 days.
Andrea Bargnani (calf) is swimming and doing light on-court work, which is more week-to-week than day-to-day, and he’s in the same boat as Z-Bo.
Iman Shumpert (knee) participated in practice yesterday, and will return to a clogged situation in New York. He’ll be ahead of J.R. Smith in the pecking order, as the duo will join Steve Novak at the wing slots on the team’s backup unit. I don’t own Shumpert anywhere anymore in 12-team leagues, as the signing of Smith was a death blow to his value.
Tyson Chandler sounded concerned about his wrist on Tuesday, but he is expected to play through the pain.
Manu Ginobili (oblique) was a partial participant in practice yesterday, and he’s about to enter the second week of his 1-2 week timetable to return. Tiago Splitter (calf) practiced, and is in the second week of his two-week timetable.
Joe Johnson said his knee “felt great” and that’s a great sign for owners as he heads into a game-time decision tonight against the Warriors.
Corey Maggette (knee) and Gerald Henderson (hamstring) both practiced and will play on Wednesday, with Henderson coming off the bench. Henderson will start eventually and move Reggie Williams back to the bench, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Williams ultimately step in for Maggette once he gets injured.
Wilson Chandler’s situation is a headache for all involved, but the good news is that we’ll likely get some resolution soon with the deadline for teams to make offers to restricted free agents on Thursday. From there, he will either play for Denver or for nobody at all (in the NBA). The problem is that if Denver signs him for the remainder of the season, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next season. If they don’t sign him, he’ll be an RFA next year. If you’re holding Chandler you’ll probably want to see how things roll this week, because I don’t think the Nuggets will want to wait to get him on the court if they can indeed come to a deal with him. Right now, both sides are waiting for the deadline to pass, albeit for opposing reasons.
Danilo Gallinari (ankle) said that he could be back by the end of the week, and told an Italian website that he would be back in 10 days starting yesterday or thereabouts. Owners of anybody not named Ty Lawson and Nene, who is struggling, are sell-high candidates in Denver with Chandler and Gallinari threatening to crash the party.
Jermaine O’Neal is trying to avoid surgery on his left wrist and met with a specialist yesterday, but as of last night we were still waiting on the results.
Andray Blatche (shoulder) could be targeting Saturday’s game according to beat writer Craig Stouffer, which would give him Thursday and Friday to practice and prove his health.
Jameer Nelson (knee) practiced in full yesterday and will be a full go for tonight’s game. He should be owned in all 12-team formats, and I’ll be watching to see if he can recover PG duties from Hedo Turkoglu. My guess is that the pair meets each other halfway, so plan accordingly.
Kobe Bryant did indeed suffer a concussion to go along with his broken nose from the All Star game. He needs to go 24 hours without symptoms with testing for symptoms after physical activity, too. There’s no telling when that clock started and his status is in doubt.
Stephen Curry (foot) did not play last night and is very iffy for tonight’s game, but a report emerged early last night indicating that a one-week timeline was established last Tuesday. If he doesn’t go tonight, Friday is a very real possibility.
Andrew Bynum (knee) did everything but scrimmage yesterday, and aside from being expected to play tonight I haven’t seen anything other than precautionary business, here.
Ty Lawson (ankle) practiced on Tuesday and appears good to go for Wednesday. His ankle is slowly heading toward Steph Curry territory, though Lawson’s ankle has the appearance of a nagging, minor injury, rather than the scary, career-altering type that Curry’s has the potential to be. Rudy Fernandez (back) practiced and is ready to clog up the gears in Denver, too.
Gordon Hayward could end up coming off the bench when Raja Bell (adductor) returns.
Dorell Wright hit just 1-of-8 shots for two points, and is an awful slump right now and there’s trouble in Oaktown. Brandon Rush played well on the stat sheet (14 points, 6-of-11 FGs), but nobody in a Ws uniform played well last night. I can live with folks dropping Wright for a higher upside guy or a guy with better consistency, but this particular game would not be the one that I would use to make the decision with.
Drew Gooden took a hard fall last night, which is regrettable since his wrist injury appeared to be handling its first test. Gooden finished with 15 points and 10 boards and will be questionable on Wednesday.