Monday’s News and Notes
Russell Westbrook went down hard on his left wrist and left the arena in a brace after beating the Spurs. He says he’s fine and he’s yet to miss an NBA game, so expect to see him out there on Wednesday at Atlanta. Serge Ibaka tied a career high with 25 points to go along with a season-high 17 boards and three blocks, and was, of course, on my bench in a weekly league (3 games) where we start six players. That’s kind of the way my year has gone in that one.
Amare Stoudemire is expected to practice for the Knicks this week and could return as soon as Friday or Sunday from his knee injury. He’s projected to come off the bench, but I’d still be up for cutting a player like Patrick Patterson in order to pick up Amare.
Steve Nash is targeting a return on Saturday after missing all but two games this season with a broken leg. I’m not expecting him to be an immediate savior for fantasy teams or the Lakers, but once he’s back and playing near 100 percent, he’ll once again become a must-start point guard. Pau Gasol practiced on Monday and is a game-time decision for Tuesday’s meeting with the Bobcats. He’s missed eight straight games with bum knees, but appears to be close. And given the way Antawn Jamison has fallen on his face, and an injury to Jordan Hill’s back, Pau should again be picked up in all leagues. Just don’t expect a 20-20 line any time soon, if at all.
Ricky Rubio played just 16 minutes with zero points and four assists on Monday, and will sit out on Tuesday as a precaution with his surgically repaired knee. He’s still not 100 percent, but is worth hanging onto in all leagues until he gets there. Even with Rubio back, Luke Ridnour (11 points, three assists, two 3-pointers) and J.J. Barea (10 points, six assists) are probably worth keeping around in many leagues. Alexey Shved fizzled tonight, hitting just 1-of-8 shots in another start at shooting guard. But if he keeps the job, he’ll be worth hanging onto in most formats. Kevin Love bounced back with 23 points, 15 boards, three steals and two 3-pointers on 10-of-20 shooting last night, and is too good to bench, even when slumping and dealing with a sore right hand and thumb contusion. Nikola Pekovic stayed hot with 19 points and 12 boards, and is averaging 23 points and nine boards over his last four games.
Sixers’ starting point guard Jrue Holiday is hoping to play through his foot injury on Tuesday against the Mavs after missing his last three games. Once he’s back, it will be interesting to see if Nick Young’s suddenly high minutes will continue.
Here’s what we know about John Wall and his mysterious knee injury. He’s hoping to start increasing his activity soon and doesn’t expect to miss the entire season, but still has no idea when he’ll play again. He duped us after early reports had him missing minimal time, and it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll play again. Jordan Crawford and Bradley Beal should be held in most leagues until further notice.
Glen Davis hit 13-of-17 shots for 28 points, five boards and two steals, and has now hit 20-of-28 shots over his last two games. If you recently bought low on him, he’s paying off. Arron Afflalo played through a sore knee on Monday and had 13 points and a full stat line in 31 minutes. It looks like he’s good to go.
Eric Gordon is wrapping up his rehab in L.A., but his return date for the Hornets is still unknown. I’m not touching him, as he just feels like fantasy poison at this point, but if you have room to stash him and have needs at shooting guard, feel free.
Wesley Matthews is iffy for the Blazers on Thursday with his lingering hip injury. Don’t put him back in your lineup until he’s officially cleared to play, and until proves he can make it through a couple games. LaMarcus Aldridge is also iffy for with a sprained left ankle and was seen on crutches earlier in the week.
Mavs’ center Chris Kaman missed Monday’s practice for a funeral, but should be in the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Sixers.
Roy Hibbert is expected to play on Tuesday against the Bucks after leaving his last game with a bruised thigh. Maybe he found his shot while he was taking care of his thigh. Maybe.
Dion Waiters is expected back for the Cavaliers on Tuesday after missing eight games with a sprained ankle, but it’s unclear as to whether or not he’ll start. That means C.J. Miles may still have some life left after playing so well over the past week, but I dropped him for Shannon Brown in one league today, as Brown’s job is much more secure.
Mike Dunleavy could return from his knee injury on Tuesday, but as long as he’s playing for Scott Skiles and the Bucks, he’s not to be fully trusted.
Stephen Jackson, who was “in” on Monday morning, “out” in the afternoon and then “available” just before the game, returned from a 14-game absence with a broken right pinkie finger and had five points in 19 minutes. Jackson will have the occasional big game, but as long as he’s playing for Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, he’ll struggle to do enough consistently to be used in most fantasy leagues. Kawhi Leonard isn’t back from his quad injury just yet, but is getting close, while Manu Ginobili could return on Tuesday from his quad injury.
Kirk Hinrich returned from his knee injury and had four points, five assists and two steals in 31 minutes. As long as he’s healthy, he’s at least worth a deep-league look by owners who need help at point guard.
Kyle Singler finally had a decent game for Detroit with 11 points in 39 minutes, but it can likely be directly traced to the absence of Rodney Stuckey, who was out with back spasms. Once Stuckey is back, look for Singler to return to his frustrating self.
There are reports that Orlando’s Al Harrington will miss the entire season with his knee injury, and he isn’t worth holding, even in deep leagues.
5 x 5
Take a look at the 5x5 games in NBA history (which doesn't include five 3-pointers) on the heels of Nicolas Batum's line Sunday. Hakeem Olajuwon was a monster.