Monday's Dose, as usual, takes a quick team-by-team trip around the league, as the injury-fest has finally slowed down a bit. If you want to check out the entire Injury List, click on this link, and follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Atlanta 4 Games – Joe Johnson’s knee is the big story in Atlanta, as he missed his last two games due to tendinitis. No new information is available, but we should have an update on Monday. The Hawks are at Indy on Tuesday. Josh Smith is rolling and Zaza Pachulia has become a serviceable fantasy center.
Boston 4 – Rajon Rondo recorded his second triple-double in his last three games on Sunday with a monstrous line of 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists. The Celtics aren’t trading him and he should obviously be in all starting lineups going forward. The last player to record a triple-double with at least 17 in each category was Magic Johnson, who had 24 points, 17 assists and 17 rebounds in 1989. And the last player to exceed Rondo’s performance in each category was Wilt Chamberlain, who had 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists in 1968. Maybe the Celtics should float his name in trade rumors more often. Brandon Bass tweaked his left ankle, but it sounds like he’s OK, making him worth a look if you need a PF. Paul Pierce also posted a big line on Sunday, while Kevin Garnett could be the Celtics’ starting center for the rest of the season if Jermaine O’Neal isn’t able to return from his wrist injury.
Charlotte 4 – Corey Maggette is healthy and on fire, Gerald Henderson is coming on, and Bismack Biyombo hopes to return from his shoulder injury on Tuesday. D.J. Augustin, Boris Diaw and Kemba Walker all deserve fantasy consideration, but have all been pretty inconsistent lately.
Chicago 4 – Derrick Rose is rolling, Joakim Noah is finally playing well on a consistent basis and the Bulls now have the best record in the league. Richard Hamilton is back and starting, but still hasn’t gotten it going. Keep an eye on him, and make sure Rose and Noah are in your lineup, along with Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer.
Cleveland 4 – Kyrie Irving is over his illness and good to go, Antawn Jamison continues to play at a very high level, and Tristan Thompson continues to be maddeningly inconsistent as a rookie. Irving and Jamison are must-start players, but until Anderson Varejao returns from his wrist injury (2-3 more weeks), they’re the only must-starts in Cleveland.
Dallas 5 - Dirk Nowitzki’s slump is a distant memory after his 40-point party on Saturday, while Lamar Odom missed a trip to the D-League and actually returned for that game, and played fairly well. Roddy Beaubois got us all excited after starting on Friday and posting a big number, but then went back to the bench on Saturday and only had three points. With five games this week, Dirk, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, Vince Carter, Roddy B, Brendan Haywood, and even Odom deserve a look if games played matter in your league. Delonte West should be back from his finger injury in a week or two.
Denver 4 – Timofey Mozgov went down after re-spraining his left ankle on Sunday and it didn’t look good. Al Harrington should pick up the slack for him if he’s out, along with Kenneth Faried and Chris Andersen. Danilo Gallinari and Nene are both due back from their injuries soon, and could play on Monday. Ty Lawson had one of the best games of his career on Sunday and is a must-start player, while Gallinari, Nene, Harrington, Arron Afflalo, Faried and Andre Miller are all worth a close look. Rudy Fernandez is also due back soon, but I’d only consider him in very deep leagues.
Detroit 3 – With three games, only Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey deserve consideration, but Monroe is the only must-start in my book. Ben Gordon is dealing with a sprained ankle, so I’d find another option if possible.
Golden State 4 – Stephen Curry (foot) missed his fourth straight game on Sunday, leaving him very iffy for the upcoming week. I think you have to bench him in weeklies unless we get a positive report on Monday. Ekpe Udoh started at center on Sunday and while he wasn’t great, is worth owning in most leagues. Dorell Wright was horrible again on 1-of-9 shooting, and should also be on benches, while only Monta Ellis and David Lee qualify as must-start Warriors.
Houston 4 – Samuel Dalembert vowed to become more aggressive and came through with 17 points, 12 boards, a steal and three blocks in Sunday’s game, and it was the first time he played over 30 minutes since Jan. 25. And not coincidentally, he also double-doubled in that one. We’ll have to see if Kevin McHale continues to give him minutes, but Sammy D is worth a pickup if he was dropped in your league. Kevin Martin hit just 6-of-22 shots but posted a solid line, and should remain in starting lineups despite the inconsistency, along with Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola. Chandler Parsons can also be used in a pinch, but is far from a must-start player.
Indiana 4 – Coming off back-to-back two-game weeks, it’s time to get Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, David West, Paul George and Darren Collison back in your lineups. George Hill and Tyler Hansbrough are worth keeping an eye on, but are not worth starting in most leagues.
Clippers 4 – Chris Paul is in beast mode, while Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Mo Williams, Randy Foye and Kenyon Martin are all worth a fantasy look this week. Jordan has been highly inconsistent, but did have eight points, 11 boards and a block on Sunday after disappearing on Friday. Owners of these guys have to be pleased with the schedule gods, as the Clips play five times in Week 12, and then four games every full week from here on out.
Lakers 4 – Kobe Bryant, or the Masked Mamba, is rolling for the Lakers and remains one of the better fantasy options around. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are also good to go, and Metta World Peace was actually effective for the first time in a while on Sunday. But I’d try to find another option in fantasy, as MWP has just been too ineffective for most of the season.
Memphis 3 – With just three games you’ll need to weight options carefully, but Mike Conley has been very hot, while Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay should be starting in most instances. Tony Allen, O.J. Mayo and Marreese Speights are all worth a look, but aren’t great options with just three games. Zach Randolph may or may not be back on Wednesday from his knee injury, but I’d leave him on your bench until you see him play in a game.
Miami 3 – Dwyane Wade was complaining of a head injury after Sunday’s game and said the lights were bothering him. Uh oh. I’m leaving him in my lineups, but if he has concussion symptoms, he may have to pass the same test Kobe Bryant did before playing this week. My guess is he’s good to go, but it’s just a guess. LeBron James is good to go, while Chris Bosh should be back from his personal leave on Tuesday after missing three games after the death of his grandmother. Bosh cost me a win this week, and might have cost the Heat one on Sunday. Despite three games, those three are must-starts until you hear differently, but Mario Chalmers can be benched if you have a four-game player as an option.