Scott Skiles out as Bucks coach
The Lakers and their injury situation ruled the headlines on Monday, but got trumped around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, when most of you were sleeping, with news breaking that Scott Skiles is no longer the coach of the Bucks, and “hated his team,” according to a friend of Skiles' in a tweet from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. First of all, the fact Skiles hated his team is kind of amusing, especially when we have ripped on him for years for being such a fantasy-unfriendly coach. If you hate the team you’re coaching, it makes sense that rotations and playing time would be a mess. While it’s clearly too early to figure out exactly what a new coach in Milwaukee means (Jim Boylan is the interim), this is going to create some very interesting scenarios for guys like Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders, John Henson, Mike Dunleavy and Samuel Dalembert.
Ilyasova missed his last game with an ankle injury but practiced on Monday, leaving him probable for Tuesday. Now let’s see if he actually shows up and does anything for a new coach. My guess is that this is just what Ilyasova needed to happen to have a chance to get things turned around, but it’s far from guaranteed. But if he’s available in your league, now’s the time to find a way to grab him and see how this plays out. If Boylan throws him into the starting five (where he belongs), look out. I would guess Dunleavy and Sanders should continue to post similar numbers to what they’ve been doing thus far, although that could change if Boylan decides he doesn’t hate Sammy D. If Dalembert becomes relevant, it will hurt Sanders, but that’s a big ‘if.’ I’m also nervous that Henson was a “Skiles guy,” and could take a hit under a new coach. I’ve got him locked in a few lineups for the rest of this week, so I’m guessing we’ll have an answer to most of these questions by Sunday night. Stay tuned.
Good news for Lakers fans who like bad news
The first news blurb posted on Monday morning detailed an account of Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard getting into it after a New Year’s Day loss to the Sixers, and then suggested that Howard could end up in Brooklyn if the Lakers feel forced to trade him. All it will take for things to get right in L.A. is for the Lakers to start playing well, which would probably make Dwight and Kobe happy. But if it doesn’t happen and it becomes clear that Dwight won’t re-sign (although given his track record, it’s unclear if he’ll actually give them an honest answer to the question), the Lakers could be forced to trade him, and Brooklyn would be a logical landing pad.
But that wasn’t the only news out of LaLa land on Monday. A cut nose for Pau Gasol on Sunday surprisingly resulted in a concussion, and he’s not even traveling for their two-game road trip, and may not play all week. Meanwhile, Howard’s shoulder MRI turned up a torn labrum and he’ll miss at least a week, and is listed as out indefinitely. And all of this means that Antawn Jamison is suddenly relevant/must-own again, especially with Jordan Hill (hip) also hurting for the Lakers and not expected to play this week, while Jodie Meeks is also going to see more run. What would really make this whole Kobe/Nash/Dwight/Metta/Pau/D’Antoni/Lakers thing interesting is if they were to go on a tear with the big men all hurt. I’m hoping it happens, just to be able to watch D’Antoni say things like: “Even though we’ve won eight straight games without Dwight and Pau, we would have won all eight games if they were still in the lineup.” And then start cursing at writers questioning his sanity, while also saying that Dwight's free throw shooting is not a problem. Not to mention the second-guessing and basic chaos that would ensue if the Lakers somehow play better without Dwight and Pau. I'm not saying it will happen, but it would be a good time if it did.
Bynum still optimistic
Onto other news, a former Laker, Andrew Bynum, is still optimistic that he’ll play this season, but, of course, still has no target date for a return from his 80-year-old sore knees. When he’s finally back, it could be slow rolling for the big man, if it even happens. I’m not holding my breath.
Like Lakers, Wolves all banged up
Ricky Rubio practiced on Monday and should play on Tuesday after missing time with a back injury. It should be interesting to see how it impacts J.J. Barea, who I am still holding. Nikola Pekovic is iffy for Tuesday due to a hip injury, but my guess is he’s going to play. Kevin Love will meet with a specialist in New York this week to determine if he needs right hand surgery. If he does, his season could be toast, and if he doesn’t, I don’t expect to see him before the break. I dropped him in a daily league and still have him in a couple weeklies. Both Derrick Williams and Dante Cunningham are worth adding in most leagues for now.
Sick Parsons Project
Chandler Parsons missed Rockets’ practice with an illness on Monday, leaving him a little iffy for Tuesday’s game against the Lakers. My guess is he’ll play.