CP3 from the kneeFriday, February 08, 2013
In 12 starts this season, Eric Bledsoe has averaged 14.2 points, 5.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 (!) steals. Unfortunately for his owners, the party is coming to a close.
Chris Paul (knee), Chauncey Billups (foot), Jamal Crawford (shoulder) and Blake Griffin (hamstring) all practiced Thursday. Billups is expected back Friday while Paul appears to be targeting Sunday. Consider Crawford and Griffin questionable at worst for Friday. Bledsoe needs to be held for another week or so to make sure there are no aggravations here, but owners should be preparing to move on.
The Clippers have wisely stated they have no intention of trading Bledsoe at the deadline. Paul is an impending free agent and his knees have been an issue in two of the last four years. But when he’s been active this season, he’s played 33.5 minutes and Bledsoe has played 18.1. Don’t expect that to change down the stretch.
NEWS OF THE DAY #2
Kevin Love has returned to Minnesota following a stint in New York rehabbing his fractured shooting hand. Let’s not overreact.
Love still hasn’t been cleared for any basketball activities and is merely working on strengthening his grip. Remember that his original timetable was 8-10 weeks after undergoing surgery Jan. 15. The Wolves are well out of the playoff race. After rushing back too fast the first time, expect Love to take the full 10 weeks no matter how good he thinks he feels. Stashers can’t expect anything more than the final 14 games.
TRADE DEADLINE CHATTER
* Reliable NBA veteran reporter Chris Sheridan says the Wolves are shopping Luke Ridnour, which makes a ton of sense. Ricky Rubio’s minutes cap has been lifted and potential shooting guard of the future Alexey Shved needs more NBA experience. Perhaps the Jazz, who are playing without Mo Williams (thumb) indefinitely, would be a fit.
* ESPN’s Marc Stein had a scoop that the Bulls and Raptors are discussing a Carlos Boozer for Andrea Bargnani swap. It’s the first of about 25 Bargnani rumors we’ll hear over the next two weeks and I suspect Toronto can do much better than a declining Boozer. Don’t expect anything to happen until the deadline.
* J.J. Redick’s shoulder has no structural damage, he’s just dealing with pain and is day-to-day. The bigger concern for owners is the possibility of a trade. The impending free agent will attract a ton of interest from contenders at the deadline and figures to see his minutes and shot attempts slashed wherever he lands.
LAKERS at CELTICS RANDOM THOUGHTS
* Kobe Bryant called out Dwight Howard for not playing through his shoulder injury. Then Dwight ripped Kobe at shootaround. And then Howard went out and played, but looked completely disinterested and ineffective. Yes folks, it’s another Dwightmare. There’s not much light at the end of the tunnel here as Dwight’s shoulder can only get better with rest and it’s clear he doesn’t fit in with the Lakers.
* Meanwhile, Pau Gasol (foot) has been ruled out for the next 6-8 weeks. Earl Clark had just five points in this one, but he’ll be a fantasy asset the rest of the way.
* As expected, reserve Jeff Green is the better fantasy asset than Brandon Bass. He’s more athletic, a better shooter and can do some ball-handling. Doc Rivers knows this.
* Outside of deep leagues, I’m not too interested in owning any of the Avery Bradley/Courtney Lee/Jason Terry/Leandro Barbosa mess. They’re going to exchange productive lines in a hot-hand situation.
* Note that the Celtics are now 6-0 since Rajon Rondo’s torn ACL. It’s a reminder that guard play can almost always be replaced – at least in the regular season.
BULLS at NUGGETS RANDOM THOUGHTS
* Joakim Noah (foot) returned to action and got eaten alive by the Manimal, Kenneth Faried. He says he’s taking enough precautions to not let the plantar fasciitis become a problem. We’ll see. We do know that Taj Gibson is a mere handcuff as long as Noah and Carlos Boozer are healthy.
* JaVale McGee didn’t even get into the game until there was eight minutes left in the second quarter, but he was really special. In 14 minutes, he posted 10 points, four offensive rebounds and three blocks. The future remains bright here.
* Wilson Chandler blew up in a fluke performance. Ignore.
INJURY FAST BREAK
Andrei Kirilenko (quad) is doubtful for Friday. It feels like 2005 all over again. … Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (concussion) got back in practice, putting him in play to return Friday. … Jarrett Jack’s shoulder X-rays came back negative and he’s listed as questionable. … Andre Drummond’s back continues to give him trouble. He needs to be benched until he proves his health. … Bradley Beal (wrist) is feeling optimistic about returning Friday. … Larry Sanders merely has a bruised back and hip. He hopes to be back within a few days. Samuel Dalembert is well worth owning while we wait – and possibly beyond. … Andrew Bynum (knee) said he’ll need 10-14 days after returning to practice before playing in a game. The problem is he hasn’t even starting playing 1-on-1 yet. … Derrick Rose (ACL) is doing “everything” in practice now. A late-February return is looking likely.