The NBA injury train rolled again on Monday night as Kobe Bryant, Eric Gordon, Andrea Bargnani, Dwight Howard, Nicolas Batum, Jarrett Jack, Darren Collison, Rodney Stuckey, Al Harrington, Trevor Ariza, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all missed time. Some were injured, and some were Popoviched, but any way you slice it, trying to field a fantasy lineup right now is tricky business. Here’s what we know.
Dwight - The Great Cardician
Dwight Howard missed Monday’s game with a bad back and sounds doubtful to play on Tuesday night. This comes on the heels of his “I’m a warrior…I’m going to find a way to get through it all” speech after Saturday’s game, which is a devastating blow to fantasy owners. A cardician is a “card manipulator,” and Howard apparently has taken the name of his team to heart. Glen Davis went nuts again with 16 points, 16 boards and five dimes last night, and should have another big game tonight if Howard sits. Ryan Anderson returned from his ankle injury and had 14 points, seven boards and two 3-pointers, and it looks safe to get him back in lineups. J.J. Redick played well again with 20 points and four threes in another start, and could stick in the starting five the rest of the way for the Magic, while Jason Richardson was solid with 22 points and six treys as the starting small forward.
Shin of Kobe
Kobe Bryant was out again on Monday due to his shin injury and remains day-to-day. I can’t imagine Kobe missing much more time, but he’s questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Spurs. Devin Ebanks had six points on 2-of-7 shooting in another start on Monday, but has no fantasy value, with or without Kobe. Ramon Sessions played through a shoulder injury and had 17 points, six boards and six assists in the win over New Orleans, so keep him in your lineup.
Welcome Back Wade?
Dwyane Wade is expected back against the Celtics tonight after missing his last game with a “tweaked ankle.” Go ahead and run him out there, but I still think there’s an excellent chance he’ll sit on Friday against the Bobcats, no matter how healthy or banged up he is. After all, Kentucky could beat the Bobcats right now, right?
Every Rose Has It’s…
Derrick Rose apparently hurt an ankle during Sunday’s game and is now a game-time decision for Tuesday night against the Knicks. I’m guessing he plays, but missing tonight’s game would make this a two-game week for Rose, which is bad news during the fantasy playoffs. Watch for updates on Tuesday afternoon.
Bargnani Done For the Year?
Andrea Bargnani was out on Monday with his calf injury as Amir Johnson had 16 points and seven rebounds in a start. It’s unclear when Bargnani, who could be done for the season, will return, making Johnson worth a look in most leagues. Ed Davis added 11 points, 10 boards, a steal and a block off the bench, but the two big men should be inconsistent, even without Bargnani around.
The Rest of Monday’s News
Nicolas Batum missed Monday’s game with a quad/knee injury and will be questionable going forward. Jamal Crawford, who started and had 18 points on 4-of-14 shooting would be the guy to pick up if Batum is shut down.
Darren Collison was a surprise scratch for Monday with a groin injury, but it doesn’t sound like a serious injury. Consider him questionable for Wednesday against Cleveland. George Hill started and had 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and should be a strong play for as long as Collison is out. Roy Hibbert tweaked an ankle in the first half last night, but returned to play through it. We’ll have to see if there are lingering effects, leaving him a little iffy for Wednesday’s game. Consider him a go for now, but watch for updates.
Jarrett Jack has been shut down for the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. This opens the door for Greivis Vasquez the rest of the way and he went off to the tune of 18 points, 11 assists, two steals and five assists last night. Go get him.
Eric Gordon missed Monday’s game, not with a bad knee, but a balky back instead. He’s day-to-day, again, and Marco Belinelli stepped up with 20 points and four 3-pointers on Monday night. Bello would possibly be a sound pickup if Gordon is shut down again, but at this point, we just don’t know. Carl Landry got hot off the Hornets bench with 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, but you never know what you’re going to get from him or Jason Smith. Trevor Ariza was a DNP-CD, and I have no idea what he did to draw the ire of Monty Williams. But if you can, get Ariza out of your lineup ASAP.
Rodney Stuckey started again on Monday, but left with a right knee injury in the first half. Another tough blow in fantasy, and owners have to just hope he’s ready to go on Thursday at Charlotte. If he’s out, Ben Gordon will quickly become relevant again.