Goran Dragic checked himself out of Friday's game for good after slamming into Devin Harris in the third quarter, and we'll be keeping a close eye out for updates. He's averaging a double-double since the All-Star break with 15.3 points and 10.7 assists, while rounding out his line with 1.4 threes, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals. In the face of those gaudy numbers, it’s easy to overlook his 4.0 turnovers per game and his lousy FG shooting (40.4 percent) and FT shooting (68.0 percent). Kendall Marshall is the likely fill-in PG if Dragic is forced to miss any games, but Marshall’s turnover ratio this season (1.8-to-1.0) does not inspire confidence. Neither does his shaky jumper.
The Suns have somehow pulled off three consecutive victories, holding their opponents to 90.3 points per game, though the benefits have not accrued to fantasy owners (aside from Dragic, as mentioned above). Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola each started on Friday yet finished with single-digit points in under 21 minutes of action. Jermaine O’Neal chipped in 12 points and five rebounds in 28 minutes and he continues to hover around fantasy value while threatening DNPs at every turn. The Morris brothers each played 28-29 minutes and scored in double-digits, with Marcus pitching in four 3-pointers, but I’d be shy about picking up either one off the waiver wire. And if anyone is still keeping tabs on Michael Beasley, he finished Friday’s victory with one missed shot, one turnover and one personal foul in eight minutes. Glorious.
Derrick Favors flopped in an unrestricted start at PF, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds before fouling out in just 21 minutes of action. Nobody should be surprised. Just before the draft deadline, I wrote this in my 'deadline stash candidates' column – "Favors has been one of the premier stashes all season ... Be forewarned, however, that Favors also averages 5.0 personal fouls per 36 minutes, so the availability of playing time isn't a guarantee that he'll average 35+ minutes." Bingo. He should fare much better if Big Al and/or Millsap are forced to miss Monday's game vs. the Bucks, but their status has yet to be determined.
On the plus side, Enes Kanter lived up to his per-minute hype in a start at center, racking up 23 points (10-of-12 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), 22 rebounds, one assist and one block. He turned the ball over five times, and this massive line came against the Bobcats' league-worst frontcourt, but those are piddling concerns after this monstrous 23 & 22 performance. The impending returns of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap spoil any long-term upside for Kanter for this season, but that shouldn't prevent him from being owned in every single keeper league -- both Big Al and Millsap are unrestricted free agents this summer, and the end result ought to be an exponentially bigger role for Kanter in 2013-14.
Beyond the big men, this game was almost indecipherable for fantasy purposes -- Earl Watson spearheaded the offense with zero points and two assists in 12 minutes, and Marvin Williams lived up to expectations with one point in 17 minutes, while the bench combined to score 57 points while trouncing the Bobcats' sad-sack second unit. Alec Burks had 10 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block in 29 minutes, but despite a steadily increasing role his fantasy value is scuttled by awful shooting (39.8 percent FGs, 67.4 percent FTs), combined with relatively high TOs (1.2 in under 18 minutes per game). I looked this up out of curiosity, and it turns out that 12.7 percent of Burks' possessions this season have ended with a turnover, a ratio which ties him for 77th in the NBA alongside Andre Iguodala, Jason Maxiell, O.J. Mayo, Aaron Brooks and Jeff Teague.