Rotoworld turned 14 years old last month, and I think I posted my first game news back in 2001. I felt like I was getting into the game late, but in reality, I was basically in on the ground floor. It’s hard work and a 24/7 deal, but just about the coolest job I could have ever hoped to land. Thanks for being a part of it.
Due to the rescheduling of the Nets vs. Knicks in Brooklyn, there was only one game in the NBA on Thursday. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat as I am and will take a huge fantasy hit with the lost game from stars on both teams this week, but it’s really nothing in comparison to what happened to the people affected by the storm on the East Coast.
Speaking of the rescheduling, the game will be played on Monday, Nov. 26, which means you’ll get a four-game week out of Brook Lopez and Carmelo Anthony in Week 5 instead of just three games. The Season Pass Schedule Grid will be updated soon, and the Schedule Breakdown column has already been tweaked to reflect the change. You can purchase the Season Pass by clicking on the link.
Parker’s jumper puts Spurs over Thunder at buzzer
The Spurs beat the Thunder on Thursday night as Russell Westbrook completely blew a defensive assignment on Tony Parker, who ended the game with a contested 20-footer over Serge Ibaka. This cleared the way for the Westbrook bashing to begin, as the TNT talking heads ripped him endlessly after the game for making bad decisions and not making his teammates better. That didn’t take long, did it? Westbrook finished the game with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists, six turnovers and hit 6-of-21 shots.
You don’t have to know much about NBA basketball to know that Westbrook didn’t have a good game last night. The turnovers, poor shooting and defensive lapses hurt his team, while the numbers he posted were pedestrian for a guy of his caliber. But do we really need to be destroying Westbrook after the first game of the season against one of the league’s elite defensive teams? Not to mention the fact he was playing without James Harden alongside him for the first time since his rookie season. If you drafted Westbrook and are disappointed after his first game, forget about it. Some low-ball offers could be coming your way, but regardless of how things go without Harden in the house, Westbrook’s going to be a fantasy beast this season.
Kendrick Perkins was nearly invisible and I haven’t thought about owning him in any of my 11 leagues.
Kevin Durant attempted just two 3-pointers and made one.
Serge Ibaka saw 31 minutes, which is encouraging and helps me forgive his lackluster line of four points, nine rebounds, two blocks and five fouls on 2-of-7 shooting. If he gets 30-plus minutes this season, it’s going to be a fun ride (I hope).
Kevin Martin scored 15 with five assists, three 3-pointers and a steal off the Thunder bench, and hit all four of his free throws, as usual. Martin is the only OKC bench player worth a look in fantasy right now.
Tony Parker looked great with 14 points and 11 assists, including the game-winning jumper.
Danny Green played 35 minutes and scored 13 points with three 3-pointers. The minutes should decline when Manu Ginobili returns from his back spasms, but he’s still worth a serious look in all leagues.
Boris Diaw was better than expected with 10 points, seven boards, four assists, a steal and a block in 35 minutes. Tiago Splitter played just four minutes, making him unplayable right now in fantasy.
Kawhi Leonard played 32 minutes and had six points, four rebounds and five steals on 2-of-8 shooting. He should play 30 minutes a night and owners shouldn’t do anything drastic after this one. He’s going to be good.
Tim Duncan was very good with 20 points, eight boards and three blocks and remains a must-start fantasy PF.
Stephen Jackson came off the bench for 11 points, six boards, a steal and a 3-pointer in 27 minutes, but he’ll also have a more undefined role once Ginobili is back.
News and Notes
Kevin Love will see his hand specialist again and it’s starting to sound like he’ll miss more than 10 games, meaning he could be out until December. But we simply don’t know enough to give him a real target date for return at this point. I’m still expecting big things from Andrei Kirilenko and Chase Budinger for as long as Love is out, while Derrick Williams will probably have a few nice games off the bench.
Eric Gordon’s knee is structurally sound, according to coach Monty Williams, but Gordon isn’t planning to play anytime soon due to pain. Williams almost sounds like he doesn’t believe that Gordon can’t play, but it’s tough to imagine Gordon missing games just for the heck of it. His contract extension was weird, his coach’s take on his injury is weird and the vibe surrounding his relationship with his team in New Orleans is weird. I hope you didn’t draft him.
Gerald Green has become Rotoworld’s waiver-wire poster boy and he really didn’t play well on Wednesday night. But he played 37 minutes to lead the Pacers and I don’t see any way he doesn’t step up and perform for as long as Danny Granger is out with his knee injury. If Green is still available in your league, find a way to pick him up, as he averaged 15 points, nearly four boards, two assists and two 3-pointers in April for the Nets last year. Al-Farouq Aminu is another guy I'm grabbing in most leagues after he went off for 17 points, seven boards, two steals and three blocks on Wednesday. Hopefully that wasn't his best game of the season.
Jae Crowder’s minutes have been a concern in his first two games and I’m about ready to drop him and grab a hot player if things don’t change soon. I’m reluctant to do so, as I love Crowder’s game, but he needs more than 20 minutes per game to produce. Yes, I would drop Crowder for Green or Aminu right now.
Andrew Bogut is expected to play on Friday against the Grizzlies and then rest on Saturday against the Clippers.
Kobe Bryant is likely to play through his sore foot on Friday, while Steve Nash (shin) is listed as doubtful against the Clippers. Steve Blake might be worth a pick-and-play in deep leagues, but I’m not expecting any miracles.
Danilo Gallinari’s ankle is feeling better and his availability for Friday will be determined after today’s shootaround.
Michael Beasley wasn’t great in the opener on Wednesday, but the Suns still love him and are hoping he’ll lead the team in scoring. I own him in a lot of leagues and am not planning on moving him or benching him, for now.
Washington's Kevin Seraphin is targeting a return on Saturday from his calf injury and is a nice guy to have stashed on your bench, given the state of Nene’s feet.
Chris Copeland will come off the Knicks' bench on Friday against the Heat, with Jason Kidd getting a start at shooting guard. I still think Copeland is worth hanging onto for now, as he has to play a lot of power forward with Amare Stoudemire sidelined indefinitely after knee surgery. The Heat play small ball and the Knicks are going to join the party. Yes, Kidd is worth keeping an eye on, but I don't trust him. Tyson Chandler sounds like a safe bet to play tonight despite a sore knee.
Chris Kaman sounds likely to play on Saturday for the Mavs and it will be interesting to see how he and Elton Brand function together. Kaman’s return should ruin the little value Brandan Wright had after two promising starts at center for the Mavericks.
The Rotoworld crew is worried about George Hill’s hip injury for the Pacers, as it simply doesn’t seem to be going away. Start him at your own risk until further notice, and keep a close eye on D.J. Augustin if Hill is going to miss games.