Spurs down Rockets in overtime
Jeremy Lin caught fire and brought back the Linsanity with James Harden out with a sprained ankle, finishing with a career-high tying 38 points to go along with seven assists, two steals, two blocks and four 3-pointers in an overtime loss to the Spurs. Unfortunately, after stinking it up and flirting with losing his job to Toney Douglas (who had 17 points tonight), Lin was likely on more than a few benches last night. He’s not going to lose his starting job anytime soon, but he’s also not likely to play this well again any time soon. Especially with Harden likely back in the next one. Omer Asik also had a career high with 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in the loss. He also might have been on benches after averaging just three points over his last two games. Patrick Patterson had just eight points and two rebounds in 21 minutes of an overtime win, and is officially slumping, averaging just nine points and three rebounds over his last four games. He’ll get hot again, but we just don’t know when. Carlos Delfino, who I picked up and started in several leagues this week, played a season-high 38 minutes, but hit just 2-of-12 shots on an off night. I liked the minutes and am holding out hope that he’ll get hot again from downtown over his last three games of the week.
Tony Parker had his first career triple-double in an overtime win against the Rockets, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Maybe he’s a sell-high candidate, but as long as he’s healthy, he’s going to put up big numbers for the Spurs. Gary Neal, who I used in some leagues last week to mixed results, caught fire with a career-high 29 points and seven 3-pointers last night. He’s scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games and deserves a close look for as long as Kawhi Leonard is out with his quad injury. It would be surprising if Leonard plays this week. Danny Green stayed relevant with 14 points, six boards, five assists, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers, and is worth an add for as long as Leonard is out. Manu Ginobili added a season-high 22 points and a full stat line in the win.
Dallas rolls over Kings
Francisco Garcia exploded for a season-high 25 points, a career-high seven 3-pointers and three blocks in another start for Tyreke Evans and the Kings. Evans has missed five the his last six games with a knee injury that supposedly isn’t serious, while coach Keith Smart keeps labeling him as ‘probable.’ I wish I had left Garcia in my 30-team lineup, but I replaced him with Kirk Hinrich at the last minute. Oops. Garcia might hold some value for as long as Evans is out, but he’s a tough guy to own in most leagues due to inconsistency. Garcia’s explosion limited John Salmons, who had just five points and seven assists after playing well last week. DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and six boards, while also taking at shot at the crotch of O.J. Mayo during the game, drawing the ire of the Mavericks after the game. I doubt he gets suspended, but you never know. Cousins is out of his funk, scoring between 17 and 25 points in each of his last four games.
Shawn Marion was out again for Dallas with a groin injury, while Chris Kaman played through his “purple ankle” and had 18 points and three rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting. Congratulations if you rolled the dice on him. O.J. Mayo had another big game in a blowout with 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists, a steal and three 3-pointers on 6-of-9 shooting, and I think he’s going to stay very relevant even when Dirk Nowitzki returns.
Steve Nash’s return has been delayed by nerve damage to his leg and he’s now targeting the end of December for his return to the Lakers. So much for that early one-week timeframe on the injury. He’s already missed 19 games, and counting.
Derrick Favors is hoping to return on Wednesday against the Spurs from his bout with plantar fasciitis.
Brook Lopez went through a full practice on Monday and is a game-time decision for Tuesday against the Knicks. He’s missed five straight games with his foot injury, but I’m guessing he’ll play limited minutes tonight.
Anthony Davis (ankle) practiced on Monday and is officially questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Wizards. I went ahead and started him in weekly leagues, hoping that the most games he’ll miss is one. He’s been out for 11 straight.
Kyrie Irving was expected to practice on Monday and then play on Tuesday against the Lakers. He’s missed 11 straight games with his broken finger and his return should end any relevance Jeremy Pargo had. Dion Waiters missed another practice with his sprained ankle, which means I’d be surprised to see him tonight against the Lakers. He’s now missed four straight games with the injury.
Ricky Rubio is getting closer to a return, but my guess is he won’t see him until next week as he continues to work his way back from knee surgery. If you own Rubio, just watch for the daily updates. Nikola Pekovic’s bothersome ankle was fine during Monday’s practice so it looks like he’s good to go this week.
Andrew Bynum says that his right knee feels good, but his left knee still hurts when he walks. He also said that his worst-case scenario is a return a month from now, and that his best-case scenario is a return before then. But if he still can’t run, I’m not going to hold my breath that we’ll see him anytime soon. He also talked about the arthritis in his knee and a lack of cartilage. I’m not an actual doctor, but in my opinion it feels more and more like he may just be shut down for the whole season.
Kevin Seraphin missed Monday’s practice with the flu and will likely be a game-time decision for tonight’s game against the Hornets. Randy Wittman let it slip yesterday that John Wall is still “weeks from…” and then stopped short of finishing his sentence. I’m guessing the missing word was “practicing,” and Wall’s return before the end of December (or any month) doesn’t exactly appear guaranteed at this point.
Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich is expected to play on Tuesday against the Clippers after suffering a minor elbow injury in his last game.