Weekend Injury Roundup
Chris Paul is hoping to return from his knee injury sooner than later, but we still don’t have a target date. And given the fact he’s missed four straight games and seven of his last nine, I don’t care what the Clippers say. That sounds like a fairly serious injury to me. Paul has said he’s feeling better, but owners should start Paul at their own risk for now. If pushed into a corner in a weekly league, I’d bench him, depending on options.
Tim Duncan has now missed three straight games with his sore knee (which were all wins) and the Spurs (who have won eight straight) are probably in no hurry to rush him back. Especially since they easily own the best record in the entire league. If I were running that show I would probably pull a Popovich and sit Duncan down for another week or two, at least. The only thing they should care about right now is having him (and the other vets) healthy in April. Start Duncan at your own risk until further notice.
The only time I’ve seen Kyle Lowry’s name lately is in trade rumors about going to the Celtics. But he missed Sunday’s practice with a sore back and is pretty iffy for Monday’s game against the Warriors. Based on how he’s been playing, it should be an easy decision to keep him on the bench until he’s a sure bet to play in a game.
Klay Thompson is dealing with the flu and missed a voluntary practice on Sunday. Thompson should be in starting lineups for Monday’s clash with the Raptors unless we get bad news this afternoon.
Luol Deng is targeting a return on Monday or Wednesday from his hamstring injury, although it’s not guaranteed that he’ll play in either game. But when it happens, Jimmy Butler will (probably) disappear again.
Nikola Pekovic (thigh contusion) should be nearing a return for the Timberwolves, but news has been almost nonexistent lately. The latest is that there’s a “good chance” that Pekovic and Alexey Shved (ankle) can return during the team’s upcoming homestand. The bad news is that the homestand is six games long, and doesn’t start until Wednesday, meaning that they could also miss the entire week. I’m not starting Pekovic in the leagues where I own him until we know he’s going to play, and you can probably find a better player than Shved to own right now.
Gordon Hayward suffered a right shoulder sprain on Saturday and is now questionable for Monday’s game against the Rockets. If he’s out, look for Marvin Williams to play well, along with Randy Foye.
Byron Mullens could return from his ankle injury this week for Charlotte, but I’m not holding my breath. It might be time to pick him up, but there’s no reason to risk putting him in your lineup until we know when he’s going to be back.
Jason Richardson has been sitting with a knee injury, but there’s no guarantee he reclaims his starting job once he’s healthy again. Nick Young has scored 20 points in two straight games and could be given the job until further notice, while Dorell Wright has fallen out of the rotation again.
Kobe Bryant had 14 assists in both games this weekend and the Lakers look like a new team. Kobe’s scoring could take a hit if he’s going to continue to look for the open man, but hopefully the dimes will help make up for the lack of offense.
Blake Griffin is doing his best Kobe imitation, and has racked up 19 assists in his last two games. But the even better news is that he’s hit 81 percent of his free throws in four of his last five games, if you throw out his 2-of-8 line last Thursday.
The Mavericks started Bernard James at center on Sunday, but he played just 11 minutes. If you picked up Elton Brand recently, just hang onto him, despite the fact he played just 17 minutes in that one, finishing with 12 points and three boards. Chris Kaman is bummed with his benching and 11 minutes on Sunday, and I cut him in one league last night. My guess is Brand will start going forward, but we’ll have to see. Shawn Marion had a big game on Sunday, but is going to continue to be up and down for the Mavs, while Darren Collison now appears to be in a timeshare with Roddy Beaubois. Plan accordingly.
Devin Harris started for the Hawks on Sunday, but I don’t really trust him right now. With just two games this week, he can probably be left on waivers until we see him get hot again.
Andre Drummond was benched for the Pistons on Sunday and had zero points, four boards and two blocks in just 16 minutes. If he gets dropped in your league, I’d recommend grabbing him, as he still looks like a second-half breakout candidate.
Roy Hibbert’s slump appears to be over and he’s shooting it much better for the Pacers lately. Roll with him for three games this week if you don’t have better options.
Lamar Odom had eight points, 13 boards, six assists and a steal in 29 minutes for the Clippers on Sunday and is suddenly worth a close look in fantasy leagues. Odom and Grant Hill (20 minutes Sunday) are eating into Matt Barnes’ production and I’m thinking it might be time to dump Barnes for a hot free agent (or Odom).
Greivis Vasquez was just 2-of-16 on Sunday and is just 3-of-32 over his last two games for the Hornets. That is what we call a super-slump, but with four games this week, he’s still in all my lineups. Al-Farouq Aminu nearly double-doubled again on Sunday and looks like a solid four-game option now that Monty Williams no longer hates him.
Raymond Felton double-doubled for the Knicks and should be back in lineups this week.
Magic big man Glen Davis had his first double-double since Dec. 7 on Sunday and is another guy you’ll want to get back in your lineup ASAP.
Spencer Hawes started at center for the Sixers on Saturday and while he struggled, he also had four blocks. I expect him to start putting up pretty solid numbers if he sticks in the starting unit.
Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins were both awful for the Kings on Saturday, but Cousins remains a must-start player, while I’m hanging onto IT2 in most leagues. In other words, I would not cut Thomas to pick up a random guard in Boston, as we still don’t know who, if anyone, is going to emerge with new value for the Celtics.
My last two thoughts of the evening are that Emeka Okafor (Wizards) and Alan Anderson (Raptors) should be owned in all leagues until further notice.
Good luck in Week 14!