Derrick Rose still hasn’t had a contact practice and has missed 10 straight games. The Bulls go just three times this week, three times next, and then play four times in the last full week of the season, which is championship week in many leagues. I ran out of patience with Rose and dropped him for Marreese Speights, who plays five games this week and next. And dropping him for Jose Juan Barea makes sense after Luke Ridnour went down last night. Yes, Rose might return for that last week and be able to help your team, but you also have to think the Bulls will baby him, just hoping he can play at full speed in the playoffs. I say drop him and don’t look back.
Andrew Bynum’s ankle injury doesn’t appear to be too serious, but that doesn’t mean it won’t possibly keep him out for several games. We should know more on Tuesday afternoon, so just keep an eye out for more information throughout the day.
Doc Rivers, as usual, says he hopes Ray Allen can play through his ankle on Wednesday. Rivers is like a broken record on this one, so just keep Allen benched until you see him play again for the Celtics.
Ryan Anderson is iffy against the Pistons on Tuesday due to his sprained ankle, but we hope to have an answer before game-time. Magic Teammate Dwight Howard could also miss time with his back injury, and sat out Sunday’s game, but did make the trip with the Magic to Detroit. Consider both players a game-time decision for Tuesday night.
Mike Conley was out again on Monday night with his sprained ankle and news of his injury and status has been crawling out of Memphis at a snail’s pace. He’s now missed two straight games and all I can tell owners in weekly leagues is that I hope you benched him.
Eric Gordon will be re-evaluated after Tuesday’s Hornets practice and could play on Wednesday against the Nuggets. I’m still not picking him up, but that doesn’t mean he won’t play well once he’s ready to go.
Nene and Trevor Booker are both suffering from plantar fasciitis and I’d much rather own Kevin Seraphin than either player.
Kyrie Irving is hoping to return from his shoulder injury on Tuesday night, but the final decision will likely be in the hands of coach Byron Scott.
Ben Gordon (groin) was back at practice on Monday, but Rodney Stuckey (hamstring) was not. Neither player should be trusted right now, while owners should keep an eye on Will Bynum and Austin Daye.
Carlos Delfino (groin) was hoping to play on Monday but it didn’t happen. Consider him iffy for Wednesday against the Cavs.
Kemba Walker will start in place of D.J. Augustin on Tuesday night, and should be picked up in most leagues. His field goal percentage can be a killer, but he should get a ton of minutes going forward, as D.J. Augustin will come off the bench. Byron Mullens should also start the rest of the way at power forward, while Reggie Williams is suddenly hot because the Corey Maggette (Achilles) shutdown appears to be in full force and effect. Add in the fact the Cats play five games next week, and then finish up 4-3, and Walker, Mullens and Williams should be grabbed in almost all leagues.
Hot Pickups & Schedule
This is an abbreviated version of the Pickup of the Day column I posted in Monday’s Season Pass.
Nate Robinson finally looked good again Sunday, while Charles Jenkins suffered an ankle injury. We don't know the extent of Jenkins' problem yet, but I'm rolling Robinson for four games in a couple leagues this week. Dorell Wright showed signs of life last Sunday, but is far from reliable. Still, I'm using him with four games in a deep league. As for Jenkins, we'll probably have to go into the week not knowing whether he's going to play on Tuesday or not. And, as usual, Klay Thompson should be starting until further notice, and I still like Brandon Rush despite his disappearing act on Sunday night.
The Grizzlies have five games this week and next, and Mike Conley is dinged up with a bum ankle. O.J. Mayo looks like a must-start, while Marreese Speights should still have a solid five-game output despite the return of Zach Randolph, who is coming off the bench. Tony Allen is also a decent option if games played matter.
Mario Chalmers isn't a must-own player, but I love the fact that in ESPN leagues he plays seven games in the final week. I picked him up while planning ahead in a league where I can take advantage of that.
Derrick Williams came to life on Sunday with 21 points and six boards, but is going to be up and down the rest of the way. I like the idea of owning him, but weigh options before starting him. The Wolves go 3-4-4-1 the rest of the way, which means they have a 5-game week in the final stanza of the season in ESPN leagues.
Gerald Green has been crushing it and the Nets play four games this week. I like the idea of rolling with both Green and MarShon Brooks until further notice.
The Knicks have just three games this week, but I've stashed Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith in a few leagues, and plan on using those guys for New York's strong 4-4-2 finish. Baron Davis is a possibility with Jeremy Lin shut down for the year, but my cajones just aren't that big. He's dealing with hammy and back issues, as usual, and could drop at any time.
The Sixers have four games this week (then three in the next), making Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, and maybe Evan Turner worth a look. I'd rather play a guy like Shannon Brown, Jared Dudley or Shumpert over Turner though, as he's become unreliable.
Shannon Brown should be filling in as the starting shooting guard due to Grant Hill's knee surgery and I'm going all in on the new Suns SG. Jared Dudley is also worth starting in most leagues, as the Suns finish up 4-4-4-2.
The Spurs go 4-4-5-3 to finish, meaning they have the most games left, as well as play a league-high eight games in the final week in ESPN leagues. Kawhi Leonard looks like the sure bet here, with DeJuan Blair also looking like a solid pickup. Danny Green will have some nice games, but like teammate Tiago Splitter, I don't really trust him. And owners of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have to be worried about those five sets of back-to-backs and one back-to-back-to-back set. Popovich is about to get creative with his old guys.
Kevin Seraphin is playing well for the Wizards, as Trevor Booker and Nene deal with plantar fasciitis. Jan Vesely started on Sunday and played well, but is still a risky option. The Wizards finish up 4-4-3-3 and I like the idea of rolling with Seraphin the rest of the way.
ESPN Leaguers Take Notice: The Spurs play eight games in the final "week" of the season, as ESPN combines the final two weeks in all formats that I know of, while the Bobcats, Cavs, Warriors, Heat and Sixers all go seven times.
On the flip side, the Celtics, Mavs, Timberwolves, Lakers, Nets, Blazers, Kings, Raptors and Jazz all have just five games that week.
If you could somehow drop Brandon Bass, Jason Kidd and Gerald Green, and pick up Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair and Spencer Hawes prior to that week, you would NET EIGHT GAMES PLAYED. I'm just sayin'...