Monday was a bit crazy with several late scratches, career-high scoring nights, injury news, and overall bedlam as the fantasy playoffs get underway. Let’s take a look at what happened.
Injury Report & Game News (ordered by importance of news, not all teams covered)
Knicks - Amare Stoudemire’s back injury doesn’t sound good and he’s heading to see a specialist to see if he’ll need surgery. The bottom line is that he’s out indefinitely and could easily be shut down for the season. Carmelo Anthony tweaked his groin on Monday, but played through it and finished with 28 points, 12 boards, a steal and a block, and if he survives his gimpy groin, should be a much better fantasy player the rest of the way if Amare is done. While I can’t sit here and tell you to drop Amare immediately, I will tell you that I would be hesitant about holding on until word comes down next week on whether or not he’ll have surgery. Especially if there’s a hot free agent out there you can pick up. And secondly, there’s not a guy on the Knicks’ bench who becomes must-own if he’s done, as the team will absorb the hit. Although, Iman Shumpert started at shooting guard last night and had 11 points and a full stat line, and is worth keeping an eye on in all leagues going forward. Especially if Amare’s injury means Shumpert becomes the full-time SG for New York.
Jeremy Lin was out with a sore knee but sounds likely to try to play on Wednesday. I benched him in my 30-Deep matchup against Rick Kamla, slotting Gerald Green in there instead. Thanks to Aaron Bruski for giving me the courage to do so, as Green went off last night. Baron Davis started for Lin, but hit just 3-of-12 shots and committed nine turnovers. He also had 13 points and seven assists, but is only worth a look if Lin is going to miss more time.
Bulls - Derrick Rose (groin) and Richard Hamilton (shoulder) were out again for the Bulls, and neither has a firm return date in mind. C.J. Watson had 17 points, eight dimes and three 3-pointers, and is a must-start as long as Rose is out.
Rockets - Rockets guard Goran Dragic tweaked his ankle in overtime on Monday, but vows to play on Tuesday. Owners will have to see if it swells up overnight, but Dragic rolled again last night, finishing with 14 points, four boards, 10 assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer. Earl Boykins arrived in Houston and had 10 points and five assists, but will only be worth a look if Dragic is going to miss time, and it doesn’t sound like he will.
Kyle Lowry will be re-evaluated on April 7 and admitted he might be done for the season. I’ve been urging owners to drop him for a couple weeks, and am not ready to change my mind on that one. Kevin Martin hasn’t practiced since March 11 and remains out indefinitely with his shoulder injury, giving Courtney Lee some solid, albeit inconsistent, production. And in case you’re wonder, yes, I’m fine with dropping Martin too. You simply have to have healthy players during the playoffs, right?
Marcus Camby tore ligaments in his left wrist on Monday, but says he’s going to play through it. If Kobe Bryant can do it with his shooting wrist, Camby should be able to play through this for the Rockets. Patrick Patterson exploded for a career-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting, but I need to see him do it a couple more times before biting.
Kings - Jason Thompson was a late scratch for the Kings with his ankle injury and owners can only hope he’s ready for action on Wednesday against the Spurs, as he’s coming off five straight double-doubles. My guess is he’ll play. John Salmons left Monday’s game with a hip injury, but had fallen out of the starting lineup behind Tyreke Evans, anyway. DeMarcus Cousins blew up for a career-high 38 points, 14 boards, two steals and a block, Marcus Thornton had 27 points and Isaiah Thomas played 48 minutes in the OT loss.
Warriors - Nate Robinson’s hamstring injury remains a mystery, leaving him iffy for Tuesday against the Lakers. Stephen Curry doesn’t sound like he needs surgery, but there are still no real indications that he’ll play again this season. He could, but I still think it’s a real longshot. If Nate is out again, look for Charles Jenkins to have another good game.
Blazers - Raymond Felton will miss Tuesday’s game to be with his ill mother, but is expected back on Thursday. Jamal Crawford should play well tonight, but his shot has been broken lately.
Sixers - Andre Iguodala is iffy for Tuesday with his sore knee, but my gut says he’ll play. He’s been dealing with the pain for a while now, and regardless of what my gut says, owners have to cross their fingers here. He’s a true game-time decision. Spencer Hawes should be ready to roll from here on out, if he can stay healthy. But it sounds like the minutes restriction has been lifted. And Thaddeus Young has quieted down lately, dealing with some fatigue. The three-game week should help all the Sixers catch their breath.
Raptors - Jerryd Bayless tried to play through his hip injury last night, but left after just 12 minutes. He’s likely to be a shaky play for the next few games. DeMar DeRozan was out again with a sprained ankle, so Linas Kleiza got hot and scored 18 points with three 3-pointers off the bench. DeRozan will also be questionable for Wednesday. James Johnson played through the flu, but didn’t have a great game. I’m expecting more from him on Wednesday. Gary Forbes stayed hot, starting again at shooting guard and finishing with a career-high 21 points and four 3-pointers. He’s averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and a 3-pointer per game over his last three games, but will come back to earth once DeRozan and Bayless are healthy.