The DNPs were all over the board in Monday’s 11-game night and Dose will attempt to break it all down. But this is the NBA’s ‘silly season,’ and trying to predict who is going to play from night to night is not an enviable task. Here’s what we know.
Dwyane Wade, as usual, was rested on the second night of a back-to-back for the Heat on Monday, and given the dogs the Heat play (Raptors, Wizards, Wizards) in three of their six remaining games, he could easily sit out three more. He was a risky start coming into the week, and remains so going forward. LeBron James played through an ankle injury on Monday and went off for 37 points and a full stat line, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a night or two off in order to rest his ankle and body. But if you started him in a weekly league, so far, so good. Chris Bosh added 22 points and 15 boards, and appears to be fully healthy. Mario Chalmers was awful in 23 minutes (rest), but should be better on most nights. I started him this week due to his favorable schedule and probable playing time, and am not panicking just yet.
Deron Williams sat out last night with a calf injury and with just four games left, the shutdown we’ve been worried about all year might finally be here. And it came out of nowhere, as the Nets don’t even have a back-to-back to worry about. Sundiata Gaines got the start at point guard and had 11 points, seven assists, two steals and a 3-pointer. If Williams is done, Gaines looks like the pickup. Gerald Wallace was held out again with his hamstring injury and has missed four in a row. He’s going to be re-evaluated on Tuesday when a decision will likely be made about whether he’ll play again this year. My guess is he’s done.
MarShon Brooks, Gerald Green and Kris Humphries were all big in this one, and should see plenty of minutes going forward. Jordan Williams started and came in hot, but laid an egg with two points and four boards in 32 minutes. He should bounce back.
Derrick Rose was a late scratch on Monday in order to rest his foot, but he is traveling with the team and could play on Wednesday. Then again, they play the Bobcats in that one, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see C.J. Watson get another start. Watson had 17 points, eight dimes and three 3-pointers on Monday, and remains a solid option on nights when Rose will be held out. Luol Deng sat out Monday’s game with a rib injury and will remain day-to-day. The bottom line is the Bulls want them both as healthy as possible for the playoffs, so more DNPs are a real possibility. With both Rose and Deng out, Richard Hamilton was able to bust out with 22 points, and is worth picking up in many leagues.
Eric Gordon got the night off on Monday for some precautionary rest, as the late-season benchings continue to baffle the fantasy world. They’ve got another back-to-back situation on Wednesday & Thursday, leaving Gordon as a true question mark. Marco Belinelli got another start and scored 13, and is worth a shot anytime Gordon will sit.
Chris Kaman was rested on Monday as the Hornets take a look at their young guys. Whether he plays again this season remains to be seen, so just watch for new updates if you need him. Carl Landry made a surprise appearance on Monday and had 14 points and 12 boards despite a calf injury. He could sit at any time, but played well last night. Jason Smith had nine points and six rebounds, and both Landry and Smith will benefit for as long as Kaman is out. And on a related note, PG Greivis Vasquez bounced back with 20 points, four boards and six assists, and should be a must-start the rest of the way.
Raymond Felton sat out Monday’s game and doesn’t even know if he’ll play again this season, as the Blazers want to take a look at Nolan Smith and Jonny Flynn. Flynn started and had four points and six assists, while Smith played 33 minutes and had 14 points, three boards and five assists. Both guards are worth a serious look, as it sounds like Felton’s done for the year.
Nicolas Batum sat out with his sore knee and it’s tough to say if or when he’ll play again. The Blazers are a mess right now, and trying to figure out who is going to show up from night to night is not easy. Luke Babbitt started for Batum and had 18 points, five boards and four 3-pointers, and could start the rest of the way for Portland. Wesley Matthews had 19 points and J.J. Hickson went off for 22 points and eight boards, and both might be safe going forward. Jamal Crawford, who was rested on Sunday, came off the bench for 22 points, five boards, four assists and zero 3-pointers, but it’s hard to tell if he’s going to play every night going forward.
Marcus Camby was held out on Monday due to his new back injury and will be day-to-day from here on out. I imagine he’ll play again at some point, as the injury doesn’t sound too serious. Samuel Dalembert got the start and had five points, nine rebounds, a steal and seven blocks, while Patrick Patterson added nine points and seven boards. It looks like Sammy D may have a little left in the tank on nights when Camby sits. Kevin Martin actually dressed for Monday’s game, but didn’t play through his shoulder injury. He’s been out for several weeks, but it is possible the Rockets bring him back before the end of the regular season to get him ready for the playoffs. Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee, Luis Scola and Chandler Parsons remain must-starts until further notice.
Jose Calderon (eye) dressed on Monday, but didn’t play, and it now sounds like he might be a long shot for Wednesday, as well. They didn’t re-sign Justin Dentmon, so Ben Uzoh got the start at point guard and had four points, 10 rebounds and eight assists on 2-of-11 shooting. As long as Calderon is out, Uzoh looks like a safe play, as they simply have no one else to play point guard. James Johnson, Alan Anderson, Amir Johnson and Ed Davis are all worth a look and played well on Monday.
Darren Collison actually returned and played 19 minutes on Monday, but it now sounds like he’ll be shut down for the rest of the regular season with his groin injury. George Hill remains nearly a must-start player the rest of the way. He had 11 points and four assists on Monday in just 22 minutes, but will play a lot more going forward if Collison is shut down, as reported. Paul George finally bounced back on Monday with 18 points and a full stat line, so I’m hoping you didn’t bench him after his recent slump.
D.J. Augustin sat out Monday with his bum knee and you have to think the shutdown might be coming. Kemba Walker was back in the starting five and had 14 points, five rebounds and three assists on 6-of-16 shooting. If DJA is finally done, Walker should be a strong play going forward. Reggie Williams suffered a concussion on Sunday, meaning he could be done for the season. Derrick Brown played 34 minutes on Monday, but hit just 3-of-10 shots for seven points, six boards and three steals. The minutes are going to be there, so I’d recommend hanging in there with Brown, if you picked him up for the seven-game finale. Byron Mullens started over D.J. White last night and had four points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, and many of you, like me, are wondering where this was last week.