News and Notes
Rajon Rondo was given a two-game suspension for his role in the mini-brawl that took place on Wednesday when he overreacted to Kris Humphries’ ho-hum foul on Kevin Garnett. Humps, KG and Gerald Wallace all avoided a suspension, and I would have been shocked if Rondo would have gotten more than two games off, given that Ron Artest’s ‘Malice in the Palace’ move only drew a 73-game suspension in 2004. Rondo will sit out tonight and Saturday, but will be back on Wednesday against the Timberwolves. Leandro Barbosa, Jason Terry and possibly Courtney Lee will be good pick-and-play options for the next couple games.
Brook Lopez will miss the next two games with a sprained right foot, meaning he’s out on Friday and Saturday, and possibly longer. Lopez was playing at a very high level and this news is going to hurt a lot of fantasy owners, although the injury is said to be unrelated to the foot problems that shut him down last season. Hopefully he’ll be back on Tuesday against the Thunder. Look for Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans to help pick up the slack in his absence, while Andray Blatche will start at center. Picking up Blatche, at least as a short-term fill-in, makes sense.
Wesley Matthews’ thumb injury is a painful one and could be limiting his offensive prowess right now. He was 2-of-10 from the floor on Wednesday and owners should keep an eye on how he looks tonight at Boston.
Chandler Parsons has a strained right shoulder and is iffy for Saturday's game. Daequan Cook went off on Wednesday and is worth a deep-league look if you need short-term help, while Patrick Patterson is on fire right now. Patterson should be owned in most leagues at this point, with or without Parsons healthy.
O.J. Mayo has a pair of sprained ankles and has hit 11-of-34 shots over his last three games. Yes, he could take a hit once Dirk Nowitzki is back from knee surgery, but I still think he’s a buy-low candidate. We’re still not getting a firm return date on Dirk, but my guess is he’ll be back in mid-December, possibly playing against the Celtics on Dec. 12.
Andrei Kirilenko is not worried about the back pain that caused him to miss Wednesday’s game. My guess is he won’t play on Friday, but might be ready for his next game, which isn’t until Tuesday.
As we hinted at previously, Jason Kidd is out indefinitely with his back problems. I’ve got him stuck in a couple weekly lineups, but will be dropping him for a hot free agent on Sunday night, assuming I can find a decent one to pick up. Pablo Prigioni could be a nice pick up for as long as Kidd is out after going for 11 points, seven assists and two 3-pointers in his last game. Steve Novak is also worth a look and could start for the Knicks tonight. Novak hit five 3-pointers on Wednesday and has scored 18 and 19 points in two of his last three games to go along with 10 3-pointers over that stretch. If you can drop Kidd and pick up Novak for the next couple games, it could pay off.
Amare Stoudemire is now targeting a return around Christmas from knee surgery, but could come off the bench for the Knicks. It’s time to pick him up if he was dropped in your league.
Kyle Korver isn’t likely to play on Friday with his back problems, which is a shame. He was playing very well and the Hawks’ schedule is about to get very good in terms of fantasy. Once he’s healthy he should be picked up.
Marvin Williams could miss a few games with a concussion, which should help a struggling Gordon Hayward. And if Hayward plays well in the next game or two, a sell-high window will open, and I’d recommend climbing through it.
Mo Williams is a game-time decision for Friday night after missing three straight games with a foot injury. If I had to guess I’d say he’s playing tonight.
The Raptors will sign Mickael Pietrus, who is worth a look in a 30-team league, but I expect Terrence Ross to pick up more minutes and start playing well for Toronto. He had 19 points, five boards and a 3-pointer on Tuesday, but cooled off on Wednesday with eight points. He’s worth a look if you play in a deep league.
Daniel Gibson is a game-time decision for the Cavs on Friday against the Hawks with an elbow injury, but went through practice on Thursday. He might be good for some threes tonight, but Dion Waiters is a safer fantasy bet. He’ll be playing through a right finger contusion, but it sounds like he should be able to go tonight.
The Mavericks signed Derek Fisher on Thursday, which doesn’t even qualify as fantasy news.