Alexey Shved and Nikola Pekovic missed another one for the Wolves on Wednesday night, but it sounds like Shved is close to a return. J.J. Barea had 11 points, four boards, eight assists and a 3-pointer, but will take a bit of a hit once Shved is back, while little known big man Chris Johnson had 12 points, six boards and three blocks. He’s played well in two of his last three games, and is worth a deep-league look with so many injuries in Minnesota. Ricky Rubio had five points and six assists (and four TOs), and didn’t play in the fourth quarter of a tight game. He’s a mess and his recovery from knee surgery remains an ongoing battle for the point guard.
Luol Deng missed another game for the Bulls on Wednesday with his hamstring injury and Jimmy Butler went off for 18 points, nine boards, a three, a steal and a block in the win over the Pistons. Any time Deng is out, Butler will be worth a look.
LeBron James, who missed a practice with a cold, had his 34th triple-double with 31 points, 10 boards and 11 assists in the overtime win over the Raptors. Dwyane Wade overcame a foot injury and blew up for a season-high 35 points to go along with five boards, seven assists and a block in the win.
The Hornets saw the return of Anthony Davis (9 points, 7 boards, 1 block), while Greivis Vasquez managed another double-double despite being under the weather. Al-Farouq Aminu continues to get minutes and play well, going for eight points and 12 more boards. Davis was in early foul trouble, which contributed to his disappointing line.
Raymond Felton is nearing a return for the Knicks from his pinkie injury and could possibly play on Saturday. It’s time to pick him up.
Andrea Bargnani (elbow) and Jonas Valanciunas (finger) are not close to returning to the Raptors, meaning Amir Johnson and Ed Davis continue to be must-own players. Alan Anderson had 20 points in a loss to the Heat, and looks like a much safer play than Landry Fields right now. Terrence Ross had 16 points last night, but has been very inconsistent off the bench for the Raps. Kyle Lowry and Jose Calderon are still in a timeshare, and Calderon had 17 points, three dimes and five 3-pointers, while Lowry had 13 points and one assist in 28 minutes.
Royce White appears to finally be ready to report to the Rockets’ D-League team, but there’s no reason to think about picking him up at this point. Jeremy Lin is giving his owners headaches right now and had just nine points and three assists in 24 minutes. He came off the bench in the second half on Saturday, was benched again on Monday and has simply looked awful in his last two games. Now is a good time to try to buy low on Lin.
Wilson Chandler had 20 points and a nice stat line in 24 minutes off Denver’s bench, and is worth keeping an eye on, but I don’t trust his hip enough to take a flier on him right now. Kenneth Faried failed to score in 20 minutes last night, but there’s no reason to panic on the Manimal.
The Grizzlies got a surprising season-high 20 points, nine boards, a steal and a block from Darrell Arthur, who enjoyed the absence of Dwight Howard for most of the game. Just keep an eye on him, as this was probably just a fluke.
Michael Beasley had 19 points, six boards and a 3-pointer off the bench in 22 minutes against the Kings, and might be ready to start playing well again now that Lindsey Hunter is his coach in Phoenix. But I’ll need to see him do it a few more times before taking the bait. Goran Dragic actually had a double-double after struggling for much of the season, while Luis Scola added 21 points and seven boards in 29 minutes. Jared Dudley struggled in 22 minutes last night, while Shannon Brown added 12 points, two boards, three assists, four steals and a 3-pointer in 29 minutes. Both players should be owned at this point, despite the timeshare.
Thomas Robinson had 12 points, a career-high 14 boards and a steal in 26 minutes against the Suns and has basically rendered Jason Thompson useless for the Kings. Robinson isn’t a must-add at this point, scoring a total of four points in 32 minutes over his previous four games. But he should officially be on the radar in all leagues. DeMarcus Cousins stayed hot with 15 points, 15 boards, five dimes, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer, and has been on a tear since his suspension. He also picked up his 10th technical foul and would face an automatic one-game suspension once he hits the magic number of 16 – and we’re only halfway through the season. Isaiah Thomas hit just 2-of-10 shots for six points and seven assists in 29 minutes, while Aaron Brooks had eight points and one assist in just 15 minutes. Hang in there with Thomas. James Johnson had 14 points and a full stat line off the bench, but he’s terribly unreliable in every category except blocks right now. Marcus Thornton played just 15 minutes off the bench for eight points, and should be benched until he gets back up to 25 minutes per game.
Stephen Curry’s ankle injury doesn’t appear to be an issue right now, as he went off for 31 points, seven assists and four steals in a tough win over the Thunder. Keep your fingers crossed if you own him, and keep running him out there. Carl Landry had 20 points and seven boards last night, but will continue to struggle with inconsistency as long as he’s coming off the bench behind a red-hot David Lee. Lee had 22 points and 12 boards, Klay Thompson added 19 points and three 3-pointers before fouling out, while Jarrett Jack had nine points and eight assists in 30 minutes off the bench. Harrison Barnes was 0-for-5 with just two points in 26 minutes, but is still a guy I’m going to try to hang onto for now.
Russell Westbrook was off, hitting just 3-of-16 shots and committing six turnovers in the loss to the Warriors, but he came in on fire. He’ll bounce back. Kevin Durant added 33 points, five boards, nine assists, a steal, three blocks and two 3-pointers, hitting 10-of-17 shots and 11-of-12 free throws. What more is there to say?
John Wall came off the bench again and had 14 points and eight assists in 27 minutes. He has to be close to re-taking the starting PG job from A.J. Price. Emeka Okafor stayed hot with six points, 17 boards, a steal and two blocks, while Martell Webster had 15 points and three 3-pointers in another start. He’s worth a look as long as he holds off Trevor Ariza (7 points, 5 rebounds, 14 minutes) for the starting job in Washington. Bradley Beal has cooled off, but owners should stick with him, while Jordan Crawford managed just nine points on 3-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes. He’s still trying to work his way back from an ankle injury and should be benched until he gets hot again.
Thursday’s lineup features just three games, with the Raptors visiting Orlando in a back-to-back, along with the Clippers at Phoenix, and the Knicks at Boston. This will be the first meeting between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett since the ‘Honey Nut Cheerios’ incident that saw Melo try to get to Garnett after the game at the Celtics’ bus. Melo says he’ll be on his best behavior, but you can bet KG will be trying to push his buttons once again.